Intimate Conversation with Danette Majette

Intimate Conversation with Danette Majette

Danette Majette  was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and moved to Norfolk, Virginia when she was five. After graduating from high school and going into the U.S. Marine Corps, Danette’s love for fashion led her to Nordstrom where she worked as a manager. It was there that she was advised be a friend and co-worker to write her first novel “I Shoulda Seen It Comin” which debuted in 2005. She followed this success two years later with her second novel ‘Deep” which successfully made the Essence Magazine bestseller list in 2008. She released her third novel “Good Girl Gone Bad’ in April 2009.

After years of living in Washington D.C., Danette decided to move to Raleigh, N.C., with her two children, Bryan Majette and Marketa Salley. Marketa is a featured author in LCB’S Teenage Bluez; a series of urban short stories written for and by teens. Danette’s fourth novel ‘Bitter’ is set to be released in February 2011.

Listen to the 2011 LCB Book Launch Party, here: http://bit.ly/h4Z3KJ

 

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
My passion comes from the deep interest I have in things going on in my community. I always have issues going on around me so I take those issues and turn them into a book, with added spice of course. To be honest, I love to write entertaining novels!!
I think people are so consumed with the trivial things in life that they don’t realize that there are people out here with serious issues and problems going on in their lives. There are people that are homeless, hungry, dealing with bad relationships, and fighting for their lives everyday. I hope my stories will effect someone in a positive manner.

BPM: Finish this sentence- “Our writing offers the following legacy to future readers…”I hope to show people that you can come from nothing and make something of yourself. I don’t want my life to be measured by what I accumulated but instead on how I used a gift from God to spread the word about issues affecting our society. I want to be remembered for putting out quality material and always conveying positive messages in my books to help the next generation. I hope long after my death, my legacy will continue with the lives I’ve touched with my writings.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest novel, Bitter.
Reese Kennedy, is a controversial radio talk-show host who was on top of the world when she was married and living the glamorous life. That is until her husband Eric, a former NBA player, leaves for her for a much younger woman. After a nasty divorce, Reese takes her frustration out on every man by bashing them on her show and soon becomes the most hated woman in Dallas. Just when Reese thinks she s completely fed up with men, a handsome and charismatic investor named Xavier walks into her life. Trying her best to adjust to love again, Reese finally puts her guards down until she suddenly finds herself on death s door. The phrase keep your enemies close will take on a new meaning when an awful truth is revealed and Reese quickly learns that she s not the only one who s bitter.

BPM: Who are the main characters of Bitter. What are two major events taking place?
The first major event is Reese is being stalked. Then there is Joi and Lavar who have a very explosive relationship which turns deadly for one of them.

My main characters are Reese, Joi, Julian, Lavar and Xavier. Reese is a radio host who loses her husband to a young white girl so she’s very bitter about that. She later finds love but at what cost. Joi is Reese’s best friend and co-host who is in a volatile relationship with Lavar a big time hustler who is the epitome of evil.

Julian is Reese’s producer who is obsessed with her but keeps it a secret until she meets Xavier. He then starts to unravel right before Reese’s eyes showing his bitter side as well. Xavier is Reese’s new love who has a few secrets of his own. 

BPM: Who were your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Joi is my favorite. In a lot of ways she reminds me of myself. She’s funny, loves shopping, tells it like it is, and she’s not afraid to stand up to Lavar, even though everyone else is. She knows he’s dangerous but she checks him when he gets out of bounds with her.

BPM: Were there things from “your world” incorporated into this storyline?
Absolutely! There are few scenes between Joi and Lavar that were really things that happened to me so it was really surreal writing them. When things happen to me I don’t think about how crazy they are until I write them in my books. I then look back and think to myself ‘wow’. Some of them have me laughing. Some of them make me wonder how I even allowed myself to get in that situation. I think we are all still learning from our mistakes and will continue to make mistakes because that’s a part of life. Nobody is perfect and life isn’t always going to go the way we want it to. With that said…I’ll never run out of stuff to write about because my life is just that colorful! The good and the bad!

BPM: What compelled you to write Bitter? What are some of the issues discussed in the book?
Domestic violence, stalking, and how to handle baby mama drama are some of the issues addressed in my new book. I read something about Wendy Williams and how she was the radio talk show host everyone loved to hate, my own personal relationships with people, and then just things I see everyday when I leave my home. I can go to a Walmart and see the craziest stuff, come back home, write it down and have a storyline for a book. LOL.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Everyone…because everyone is bitter about something or has been bitter at one time. We put our whole lives out there for the world to see. We get on Facebook and other media outlets and put our exact locations at that moment. We let people know where we work, where we live, we post our children’s pictures, and photos of our home and cars. Well if someone wanted to hurt you…they would know where to find you.
I think we’re also very trusting of people we don’t really know. We go out on a date with someone and the next thing you know they know where we live, what we do, and they’ve met the children. Then we find out their not the person we thought they were we get mad. Well we didn’t really get to know them did we? Yet we’re soooo surprised when it happens.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the reader’s life?
It’s going to make the readers re-evaluate a lot of things they normally do. Hopefully they’ll become a little more cautious and tread with open ears.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want them to gain a sense of self-worth. If you don’t love and protect yourself…you can’t expect anyone else to.

BPM: What makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I think each of my scenes suggest some kind of mystery and romance. Each chapter is going to arouse curiosity and tantalize readers.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
I can be reached at: theliteraryconnection.net   or www.facebook.com/danette.majette

Purchase Bitter by Danette Majette
ISBN-10: 1934230278; Urban Lit
http://www.amazon.com/Bitter-Danette-Majette/dp/1934230278

The Dirty Divorce 2 by Miss KP

Excerpt The Dirty Divorce 2 by Miss KP

The Dirty Divorce 2: Introduction
The most anticipated sequel…has readers drooling from the mouth! In The Dirty Divorce-Part 1 the Sanchez family ended with a bang. Lisa, Rich, and Denie all fought treacherously to escape a harsh death sentence. Only time will tell who had the heart to survive.

Dirty Divorce Part 2 starts off with drama and violence as Rich learns of his son, Juan dominating an industry where he used to be top dog. After grinding all his life, the fast money and numerous women land Rich in a place where his only son has turned against him. For the first time in Rich’s life, money can’t solve the problem….and it certainly can’t keep the ruthless, Renzo off his ass. Just when Rich thinks Lisa will take all in their final Divorce proceeding, his life may soon be ending too…Beware!!

WARNING: this excerpt is geared toward adult readers. The content is provocative and leads to a very mature discussion.

Excerpt: The Dirty Divorce by Miss KP
My husband was the finest thing in the city. His father was Columbian and his mother was Black, but with more of his father’s features, he was just the right mix. His tall stature and his lean but muscular build gave him power when he entered any room. His warm, brown complexion and thick, curly hair had many people mistaking him for a Dominican, and women were definitely weak for his dimples. He was definitely the type of man that you had to keep interested. Rich was “The Man” in D.C., with plenty of money and clout in the eighties and nineties. An entrepreneur at heart, Rich owned t-shirt stores, Laundromats, a few small car lots, but where most of his legal money came from was his bar, Bottom’s Up. Rich had old money, but his swagger still gave the young dudes a run for their money. We were definitely financially stable. He was the most wanted man in the streets by both the Feds and the chicks. That was just how it had always been. Many had tried, but none had succeeded.

After finally getting out of the tub, I wrapped myself in a towel, then waltzed to my dresser and pulled out my red lace La Perla bra and thong set. Our wedding photo on the dresser always made me smile anytime I started to feel insecure. With naughty thoughts on my mind, I figured I would give Rich a night cap after the birthday festivities. That’s if he didn’t reject me. He was known for doing that from time to time. His excuse, which sounded like a broken record, was that he was tired or had a stressful day. I wasn’t sure why he thought I believed that mess. Every woman knows that men never turned down a trip to the honey pot, not unless they were gay of course. Rich definitely wasn’t gay, but he was a cheater. Someone who’d been caught a countless number of times; so many times that I’d lost count.

Feeling refreshed, I put on my white terry cloth Juicy Couture robe and went back in the bathroom to do my hair. I’d been debating on cutting my hair forever because it was so long, falling past my breasts. However, the thought of how Rich would feel about me with a bob or a short pixie cut made me erase that thought immediately. He’d told me on countless occasions how women with short hair weren’t attractive. The last thing I needed right now was for him to think I wasn’t sexy. Pulling my hair up into a sleek ponytail with my custom-made, Tiffany diamond barrette Rich bought me years ago, I played with a few loose strands before I was finally satisfied.

Looking at myself in the mirror, my hazel eyes stared back at me. My high cheek bones and honey brown skin used to give me confidence, but now my self-esteem was low. I thought my beauty and innocence was enough that Rich would never cheat on me. Boy, did I have myself fooled.

I leaned over the sink then began washing my face with my Dr. Perricone facial cleanser when suddenly I heard a strange noise. I quickly stood up even though I couldn’t see anything, trying to figure out what it was. Maybe Denie and Rich came back, I thought.

“Rich!” I yelled out. When he didn’t respond, I called out his name again. “Rich!” There was complete silence. “Maybe I’m tripping,” I told myself.

Bending back down, I began rinsing my face with water then stood back up to grab a hand towel off the rack. After patting my face in several different areas, I finally looked in the mirror, and gasped at what I saw. My heart thumped. Chest pounded. Immediately, my brain told me it was really an extra set of eyes staring back at me. A shock of terror shot through my body. Who was this man with these big eyes filled with lust and what was he doing in my home? I didn’t even have time to scream before he put his left hand over my mouth and shoved a knife toward my throat.

“I always wondered how it would feel to hump Rich’s girl. Ummm, you smell so damn good,” he whispered in my ear in a seductive yet powerful tone. He smelled like a pack of Newports mixed with Armani cologne.

“What do you want from me?” I muffled through his black glove.

“Bitch, I want to destroy your husband’s life like he destroyed mine, and you’re gonna help me do it,” the intruder replied in a forceful, yet calm tone. “Now, cooperate with me and I’ll make this as easy for you as possible.”

Tears immediately streamed from my face. I was paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move. He pressed his body against me, squeezing my stomach against the porcelain sink. It felt as if he wanted to cut off my circulation. I began squirming, trying to get loose when he flung my body around to face him and then…he struck me…hard. So hard, I instantly fell to the floor. Hitting my head on the black and white ceramic tile was all I remembered, until…

####

© 2010 The Dirty Divorce. Excerpt Reprinted by Permission. All rights reserved. This is an abridged version of the original excerpt from The Dirty Divorce 2 by Miss KP. Do not repost or use without author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

The Dirty Divorce 2 by Miss KP
ISBN-10: 1934230774
ISBN-13: 978-1934230770

Check out the newly released novels The Dirty Divorce 1 and 2 written by Miss KP at Life Changing Books ( L.C.B): http://www.lifechangingbooks.net/images/lcb_bookstore.html

About the Author
Miss KP
began writing in high school as an outlet to express her emotions as a teenager. She would write poetry and has even written unpublished songs. However, after feeling as if she had much more to say, she decided to purchase a laptop and began working on her first novel, which we now know as The Dirty Divorce, Part 1.

Just months after a good friend introduced her to publisher, Azarel; Miss KP’s dreams came true. She became a published author with the Life Changing Books (L.C.B) family with a #1 hit behind her name. Along with being an author, Miss KP works in the fashion industry as a Merchandise Manager in prominent department store. A native Washingtonian, Miss KP currently resides in Maryland with her eight year old daughter, and is awaiting the release of her second and most anticipated novel of 2010, The Dirty Divorce- Part 2, ISBN-10: 1934230774.

For more information on Miss KP or her books, visit her website at: http://www.misskp.com.

One Night Stand by Kendall Banks

One Night Stand by Kendall Banks

Have you ever been played? Most will say, yes, and just take the defeat on the chin, but not Zaria Hopkins. Life had already dealt her a bad hand landing her in a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate who thought she was a nut-case, and who desperately tried to get away from both her odd behavior and controlling ways. As luck would have it Zaria hooked up with Hardy, a sexy, suave piece of eye candy who laughed her out of her panties the first night then tried to tell her to forget it ever happened the next day. 

Unfortunately, Hardy wasn’ t aware of her past and that the woman he’d slept with wasn’t the forgiving type. Before long, his wife is in danger and Hardy s secrets are exposed . Zaria wants revenge and decides she deserves everything she’s always been missing; money, power, and respect. With Zaria’s over the top personality and tricks up her sleeve this book is a cross between the modern day fatal attraction and single black female…but with an incredible twist. Beware! 

WARNING: this excerpt is geared toward adult readers. The content is provocative and leads to a very mature discussion.

Excerpt from One Night Stand by Kendall Banks

Clubs were never really my thing. The act of being in an overcrowded room smooched between hundreds of people like sardines as germs hover over both myself and my drink has never really got me off. But tonight I chose to make an exception. I refused to allow my roommate, Milan to out-do me.

Some kind of new age retro music poured from the club’s speakers as skinny model types and preppy looking men, black and white pranced around, danced , and talked loudly over every song the DJ threw on the turntable. Not one single true hip hop song would get any airplay up in here as far as I could tell. There was no way in hell I could ever see myself getting used to this futuristic sounding crap.

My eyes scoured the entire club from the dance floor to the bar repeatedly as I made my way throughout hundreds of people for nearly half an hour until I finally saw Milan standing at the bar with her friends. I walked up behind her and tapped her on the back. As she turned I could see Jazmine choke on her drink when she got a look at the dress I was wearing while Mia only eyed me silently from head to toe.

“Zaria,” Milan said, with surprise. Her eyes quickly ran from my weave to my heels.

Jazmine whispered something to Mia and they both begin to laugh. It was probably something slick, but I was a hard-core girl and would beat them both at the same time if needed. I ignored their ignorance with everything inside me, though I just wanna spaz out on both of their prissy asses. Undoubtedly I looked fabulous. And they hated me for it. That’s all.

“What are you doing here?” Milan asked, still surprised.

“A girl can’t go out sometimes?” I countered, smiling.

“Of course. I just didn’t know you were coming.”

“Yeah, cause you left me, purposely” I spat, then took a step back and placed my hands on my thick rounded hips. 

Both Jazmine and Mia began laughing again. 

Milan smiled and hit me with phony talk, “You…You look great.”

Suddenly a handsome guy walked over. “Milan, I didn’t know you had a sister,” he said out of the blue. Milan introduced me to her date.

“Marcus, this is Zaria.” 

Marcus extended his hand and shook mine. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Zaria.”

“You too,” I returned with a smile.

“So you guys are sisters?” he asked, assuming we were because I’d decided to wear the same dress that Milan wore. She was obviously irked by it. Her girls thought it was super funny. 

Jazmine and Mia laughed again in my face trying to clown me.

Inside, I pondered ways to torture and kill them both.

“No,” Milan said quickly. “We’re just roommates.”

Why couldn’t she lie? Was she trying to say I wasn’t cute enough to be her sister? I had to admit, my feelings were a little hurt. My brown skin had always made me feel ugly no matter how hard I tried to front. Some folks considered me to be light-skinned, and just a little bronzed but not me. I wanted that skin like Milan, almost white. “Are you here with someone, Zaria?” Marcus asked me.

“No. I’m not,” I spat, obviously heated.

“I think I can fix that.”

I watched Marcus wave someone over to the bar. Within a few seconds a man even more handsome than him walks over. 

“Damon, this is Zaria… Zaria, Damon.”

“Hey, Zaria,” Damon greeted with a bright smile and extended hand. “How are you?”

“I’m good now” I returned with major sex appeal. With the heavy flirting, my anger at Milan disappeared for a moment.

He chuckled. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“A Corona would be nice. I’m not a heavy drinker.”

“That’s no problem.” Damon softly placed his left hand on my arm. He waved for the bartender and ordered my drink. 

I couldn’t help but give him a few sly once-over. He was gorgeous: Goatee, pearly white teeth, well dressed, well spoken, muscular, and chocolate like a Hershey bar.

“Do you mind if we sit at a table?” Damon asked after I got my drink. “I’ve been on my feet at the office all day.” 

He has a job. Shyt! That’s always a plus.

“Sure,” I responded softly.

Before I knew it the two of us were bunned up at a booth in the corner of the club trapped in conversation like we were the only two people in the club. I loved the feeling even though I hadn’t planned on meeting a man tonight. I simply didn’t want to be at home alone just in case there was another break-in in our apartment. 

Within just a few hours I felt his body wanting me. And I wanted everything about him to be mine: his smile, the soft touch of his hand when it brushed against my own, and the smell of his cologne. I could feel it. And I didn’t need months or years to realize it like most women.

I was so deep into Damon that I didn’t notice him wave to a passing waitress. “Could you please bring her another Corona, please?” 

My eyes caught her give him a lightning fast inspection, thinking that I hadn’t seen her. “I can’t believe this heifer.” I said in disbelief. Letting her get away with that shit was not an option.

“I don’t appreciate that,” I stood and said sharply.

“Excuse me?” she responded sassily, like I was some fool.

“Zaria, what’s wrong?” Damon asked me with creases in his forehead.

“She knows what’s wrong,” I said lunging forward. I looked the big breast waitress directly in her eyes. “That was very disrespectful, hoe!”

“Miss, what are you talking about?”

Damon stepped between us just as Milan rushed over.

“What’s going on?” Milan asked, followed by Jazmine, Mia, and their dates.

“This hussy right here!” I shouted, pointing my finger in the waitress’ face. “She just tried to make a pass at my man!”

Several club goers turned to see what had kicked off.

“Trick, do you think I’m a freakin’ joke?” I asked, anxious to show her I was not the broad to test. Before I knew it, I’d kicked my heels off.

The waitress was still trying to lie, “I never said…”

Before she could say another word I grabbed Damon’s glass from the table and slung Vodka in her face. 

Just like that, the DJ cut the music and shouted for security, turning the entire Club’s attention in my direction.

The waitress lunged at me attempting to retaliate. 

I ducked her lousy punch. Little did she know I had a past where I always had to fight. “Don’t lie about it!” I screamed. “Be a woman, not a mouse! Admit what you did!”

“Zaria, Calm down,” Damon said, with his eyes beyond wide.

I got even more pissed. Why was he protecting her? Were they fooling around before I got to the club? I’ll bet she sucked his dick in the bathroom stall just before he came and talked to me. I’m nobody’s fool. I grab the empty Corona bottle by the neck, intending to tear his head off. But before I could swing, security had me by my arms and drug me outside while I kicked and screamed like a lunatic.

Dumped onto the street, I see people outside pointing fingers and wondering why I got thrown out, but then reality disappears in an instant. The club is gone. The bouncers are no longer carrying me. Everyone around me is gone. 

I found myself standing outside on a very dark night holding a bag full of my clothes with rain pouring from the sky, drenching my body, lightning and thunder nearly deafening me. Why am I here? Where is everyone?

Footsteps come quickly from the distance, splashing water underneath them. They’re getting closer and closer quickly with each step. Something inside me knows they’re coming for me. Something inside me knows they’re coming to hurt me. I look into the night to see a tall shadowy figure dashing up the street towards me, the sight of him scaring me more than the site of the devil himself.

I run to the nearest house and begin to beat on the door, feeling that I belong there. I’ve been there before hundreds of times. I can feel it. It feels like home. Someone here will protect me for sure.

“Please let me in!” I scream, turning to see the stranger quickly getting closer. “Please help me! I have no place else to go and I need help!”

Tears fall from my eyes. Why won’t they help me? Even over the rattling of thunder and lightning their voices can be heard inside. Why are they ignoring me? Why don’t they love me anymore? What did I do to make them leave me out here to die? 

The stranger’s hand grab’s my shoulder. 

“Zaria!” Milan shouted, snapping me from my daze. 

Current reality surrounds me again just as quickly as it disappeared before. I’m outside the club with the bouncer standing in front of me. 

“Sweetheart, you might’ve had a little too much to drink,” he said. “You really need to go home before I call the police.”

“Hit him!” Hit him now.” That voice was back and he wouldn’t stop. “You’re such a punk, Zaria. Either hit him or go home.”

“Zaria!” Milan called out again. She got close enough to touch me and offered some encouraging words. 

I turned away from her and the bouncer and hopefully that annoying voice. With the quickness, I stormed to my car, with one shoe in my hand , and the other lost. I hurried into my car and slammed the door, hard.

“Zaria!” Milan yelled again, hoping to catch me before I started my Honda.

It was too late… nothing left for her to see now but my tail lights and the invisible horns on my head. 

###

© 2011 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of publisher, Life Changing Books. This is an abridged version of the original excerpt. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this.

About the Author
Kendall Banks
, author of bestselling author of Rich Girls (2009) and the soon to be released One Night Stand (March, 2011), is offering the reader a glimpse at the consequences of cheating. In addition, after reading One Night Stand you’ll realize that sleeping with someone you don’t really know can have a life changing effect. Check out excerpts from her books on the publisher’s website at: http://www.lifechangingbooks.net.  

Kendall Banks
One Night Stand
ISBN: 193423026X
http://www.amazon.com/One-Night-Stand-Kendall-Banks/dp/193423026X

The Available Wife Excerpt

The Available Wife Excerpt
by Carla S. Pennington


WARNING: this excerpt is geared toward adult readers. The content is provocative and leads to a very mature discussion.

I sighed when the cab driver drove through the gates of my neatly manicured Houston subdivision nearly four hours after I was expected to arrive home. As I coasted through the neighborhood, I stared at each brick single family home and the families that were outside horsing around or tending to their yards. I wondered why I couldn’t be that happy or why my mouth could never form a smile. The only time that it did was when I was with him; Kingston. In the seven months that we’d known each other, he’d swept me off my feet and filled my world with nothing but excitement.

I wasn’t ready to return to reality, but as the cabbie drove closer to my home, I knew that I had no other choice. I took a deep breath and reached inside my leather, Alma Louis Vuitton bag and pulled out a twenty dollar bill to pay the fare. Seconds later, we pulled into my yard. I instantly frowned when I saw my mama’s car in the driveway.

What the hell is she doing here, I thought. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to deal with her ass at the moment.

However, my scowl instantly faded when I watched the enjoyment on my four-year-old son’s face as he did cartwheels on the front lawn. When he spotted me, he made a mad dash toward the yellow cab. I gave him a huge smile as he patted on the window for me to hurry up and get out. I had to get myself together. I desperately had to jump back into my role as mother and wife. Even though I couldn’t get Kingston off or out of my mind, I had to regroup for my boys’ sake.

“Hey, Mommy!” Jonathan yelled as he jumped all over me when I stepped out of the cab.

I didn’t show any painful emotion when he excitedly stepped on my foot.

“Whew, you smell like a wet dog,” I playfully frowned as I gave him several kisses and hugs. “I see you got your hair cut.” I rubbed my hand over his nearly bald head.

“Unhuh,” he smiled with those perfect, beautiful, white teeth that I hoped would look the same once they fell out and the permanent ones came.

“Where’s your daddy?” I asked nonchalantly.

Before he could answer, I heard the front door open. I looked up and saw my husband, Germaine, standing in the threshold of the door holding our five-month-old son, Nathan in his arms. I took a deep breath as I stared at him wishing, for a brief moment, he was Kingston, but I knew that he could never amount up to my lover.

“Why are you so late?” he asked as soon as I made it to the steps.

“Because I am,” I replied in an irritable and defensive tone.

“Why didn’t you call and tell me that you’d be late?”

“Because I didn’t need to,” I snarled. “Why all of the fucking questions? Damn!”

“I thought something may have happened to you Nikki…that’s all. Besides, I left you four messages.”

“I know,” I replied nonchalantly.

“Well, why didn’t you return any of them?”

“Germaine are we really gonna do this now?” I huffed and pouted. I placed my right hand on my hip and shifted my weight to let him know that I wasn’t in the mood. “I just got off the freaking plane.”

When Germaine realized that he wasn’t going to get any straight answers out of me, he dropped the whole interrogation.

“So, how was the trip?” he asked.

“Tiring.”

If only he knew just how tiring it was. As my husband leaned down to kiss me, I turned my head slightly so that his kiss landed on my cheek. I, in turn, planted my lips on my bundle of joys chubby cheeks. Germaine said nothing as I walked past him and into my 4,800 square foot house which, to my surprise, was still clean. Normally when I went out of town I came back to complete chaos…a bachelor’s pad, but nothing could’ve upset me at that moment. I was still on cloud nine.

“You smell nice,” Germaine complimented as he and Nathan joined me inside the house.

“Thanks,” I replied dryly. “Where’s my mother?”

He pointed toward the kitchen before continuing. “Is it new?”

“Why?” I asked then sucked my teeth.

“Because it doesn’t smell like any of the other perfumes you wear.”

Damn, does he pay that much attention to me? I thought. Kingston often told me that he loved the perfumes I wore, so I normally poured it on a little thick when we were together. “It’s the new perfume by Beyonce’,” I replied.

“Well, it smells nice.”

I made a mental note to put it in the drawer until I was with Kingston again. I didn’t want Germaine enjoying it. It was for Kingston’s enjoyment only.

“I made reservations at seven o’clock at that hibachi restaurant that you and John John love so much,” Germaine spoke as he rested his hands on my bare shoulders.

Using Jonathan was his way of getting me to say yes, but I wasn’t in the mood to go out. I wanted to escape into my tub filled with hot, bubbly water to dream and reminisce about my time with Kingston.

“Let me ask you a question?” I addressed him. “How in the hell can you make reservations to a restaurant when you don’t have any money?”

He gave me an uncomfortable look. “I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind…”

“Spending my damn money?” I finished his statement. “You have a lot of freaking nerve. Isn’t there something boxed in the freezer that you can throw in the microwave? Better yet, since you’re Mr. Mom, can’t you just throw some stuff together like you’ve been doing?”

He gave me another uncomfortable look, cradled Nathan in his arms a little tighter and walked toward the door. “I’m happy you’re home, Nikki,” he replied before moping back outside.

(continue)

Order The Available Wife today!

ISBN-10: 1934230170
ISBN-13: 978-1934230176
Life Changing Books – http://www.lifechangingbooks.net

Available today on Amazon Online
http://www.amazon.com/Available-Wife-Carla-Pennington/dp/1934230170

© 2011 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the publisher, Life Changing Books. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. This is an abridged version of the original excerpt. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sample from The Available Wife.

Meet Author Carla S. Pennington

Carla S. Pennington was born and raised in Prichard, Alabama where she continues to reside with her family. In 1996, Carla was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Over the years, the disease has halted her, but she refuses to let it stop her. She is currently working on a number of other projects that she plans to have published in the near future.

In 2002, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in journalism from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. After graduation, Carla decided not to pursue her career in journalism. Her heart and mind were elsewhere. She wanted to write fiction novels and short stories, something that she had been doing since she was a young girl.

In 2005, Carla published her first novel, Fling and from there several short stories which appeared in anthologies across the country. Finally, she landed a book deal with Life Changing Books which released the wildly anticipated novel, the Available Wife in January 2011. Readers can reach Carla S. Pennington on FaceBook and Twitter as: carlapennington. Email address: carlapennington@hotmail.com

SNITCH by VegasClarke

  
SNITCH  by VegasClarke 

Snitch is a sexy urban tale that will make you think twice about who you can trust. It all begins with Ces’ar Lopez aka Drape, a savvy street hustler who thinks he’s on top of the world. He has no plans of relinquishing his crown as King Pen of the Streets; but the love of his life Diona has a different agenda.

The drug game becomes a gamble when fast money, sex, and violence all collide and the chips fall hard. In comes Shorty, a gangsta chick with a bodacious body ready to betray anyone who threatens her livelihood. Love, trust, and loyalty are tested in this wild tale of sex and deception.

Eventually, Drape’s back is against the wall and classified information gets exposed. Soon, no one know what side they’re on …but best believe they’ll pay a hefty price; jail time or death. Who will be this hustler’s downfall?

Listen to the 2011 LCB Book Launch Party, here: http://bit.ly/h4Z3KJ
Praise for SNITCH
“If you’re looking for the ultimate betrayal, this is the one.  When it comes to real life snitches…this is as true as it gets. Newcomers, VegasClarke really brought the heat in this one!”
— Tiphani- best selling author of The Millionaire Mistress Series
Chapter Excerpt: SNITCH by VegasClarke 

WARNING: this excerpt is geared toward adult readers. The content is provocative and leads to a very mature discussion.
7:30 am, Drape’s Motorola vibrated on the nightstand loudly.

“What’s the business?” he answered groggily.

“Drape, I have some bad news,” Mr. Goldstein, his lawyer uttered.

He instantly hopped out of bed, lowered the volume on his phone and then walked into the bathroom, caressing himself through his boxers. He didn’t want Diona to hear what was about to be said.  Little did he know, she’d opened one eye as he walked away from the bed.

“What’s da bad news?” Drape asked as butterflies filled his stomach.

“The Feds picked up your case.”

“Don’t tell me dat. Mannnnn, I just got out. How dat happen so fast?”

“They’re here at my office right now.”

“What! Who you workin’ for, ‘dem or me? I can’t believe dis shyt is happenin’!”

Mr. Goldstein assured him that he wouldn’t be arrested if he came to his office, but if he didn’t, a federal arrest warrant would be issued. Drape took a deep breath as he pondered the thought of what could happen when he got there.

“F***  it, I’m on my way,” he said hanging up.

He came out of the bathroom and got dressed quietly as Diona laid in the bed with her eyes closed pretending to be sleep. Once he was dressed, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and left. She was barely speaking to him and he was trying his hardest not to upset her anymore.

Drape drove his low-key Honda Accord to his lawyer’s office playing out different scenarios in his head the entire ride. Once he arrived, he drove a block away from Mr. Goldstein’s and parked. He thought it was best to walk the rest of the way just in case they tried to arrest him; knowing he would make a run for it.  As soon as he  walked into Mr. Goldstein’s plush office, his secretary was in the foyer area sitting at her desk. She escorted Drape to the conference room where Mr. Goldstein was expecting him.   

“How are you Ce’sar?” he greeted. “This is Detective Burns from the Second District Police Department. I think you two met before,” Mr. Goldstein announced. 
 
Drape’s thick eyebrows crinkled. Detective Burns looked like the young detective who’d  jumped out of the ambulance on him days before. Drape looked at the ugly keloid scar on Detective Burns’ cheek and thought how demented it made his face look. Burns was a frail looking guy appearing to be in his early twenties. He wondered what could’ve happened to someone so young to make their appearance so abnormal. Drape chuckled inside at the thought of Burns, a rookie, who was way too inexperienced to be dealing with him.
 
“And I’m Agent Lewis from the F.B.I,” another man said, introducing himself. Agent Lewis looked like a hillbilly with blonde hair and blue eyes. “I’m gonna be working with Detective Burns on this case. Mr. Lopez, can I call you Drape?” Lewis asked with a toothpick lodged in between his teeth.

“Yeah, it’s cool.” Drape anxiously waited to hear what the agent had to say.

“By the way, why do they call you Drape?”

Drape smiled. “Because I stay draped in some fly shyt. Now what can I help you with?” 

“That’s funny,” Lewis chuckled, then looked at Burns hoping to get a laugh out of him. He got nothing but a straight face.

 “I’m going to get straight to the point. Help us help you. We got wire taps and surveillance of you at Malik Howard’s house selling him 500 grams of cocaine base crack,” he said.

Agent Lewis exposed Malik to Drape at ease because he knew there was nothing he could do about it. There was no way he could hurt or intimidate him because he was currently in protective custody. They’d taken extra precautions to keep him safe. Without Malik, the dope and the wiretaps weren’t enough to convict Drape. Agent Lewis informed him that he and three of his best friends AKA the Scrilla Boys had been under investigation for the past three months, and they intended on getting them all. 

Drape cursed under his breath, then focused back on his situation. Even though he was sure he could pay off some people to say it wasn’t him, the Feds were good in coercing witnesses.

Drape crossed his arms on the table and let out a sigh as he laid his head down on his muscular arms. He thought silently to himself for a second then raised his head. “What da f*** do y’all want me to do?” he asked as if he’d lost the war.
 
“We want the Scrilla Boys off the streets and we want you to make control buys from them on wire. I don’t care who the drugs get sold to as long as it’s on wire,” Agent Lewis said firmly, and then took a sip of water from the cup in front of him.

Drape’s heart sank. He couldn’t believe they wanted him to rat on his own friends; his boys that he’d known since childhood. The crew who always had his back. He sighed then let out a sign of disgust.

“Naw! I’on think I’ma be able to do dat.’  I can’t be a Snitch!”  He gazed off to the side and fell into a frenzied daze.

Lewis played around with his toothpick again. “Call me after you’ve thought for a couple of days. Your lawyer will inform you on how much time you’re facing.” Agent Lewis handed Drape his card, and then headed for the door with Detective Burns in tow. “You know it’s you or them,” he added.
Instead of responding, Drape turned away.

Mr. Goldstein escorted them to the door as Drape sat defeated, in deep thought. He came back into his office within seconds, and pulled a chair next to him.  “Drape, these charges carry a mandatory minimum of twenty years and a maximum of life in prison. The Feds have a ninety-eight percent conviction rate and with your record, we don’t stand a chance in trial. A plea would still get you at least twenty years or more. It’s your choice. The balls in your court,”  Mr. Goldstein said in a matter of fact tone.
Drape half-listened as he day-dreamed. Finally, he turned his head to his attorney and said, “I’ll call and let you know what I’m gonna do.” 
Mr. Goldstein sighed  “Fine with me. It’s your life.”

(CONTINUES)

 
Purchase Snitch from Life Changing Books
http://www.lifechangingbooks.net

 

Snitch by VegasClarke 
ISBN-10: 1934230766
ISBN-13: 978-1934230763
http://www.amazon.com/Snitch-VegasClarke/dp/1934230766
© 2010 All rights reserved. Book Excerpt Reprinted by Permission of Publisher, Life Changing Books. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sample from SNITCH.
About VegasClarke 
Authors, VegasClarke demonstrate that opposites attract.  Vegas entered a life of crime beginning at the age of 13.  Selling drugs was all he came to know which finally landed him a 78-month sentence in the Federal Prison System.  During his incarceration, he was able to cope with his time and mature through writing.  He put his heart into manifesting urban tales, poetry, and songs. He is currently pursuing his degree in Business Administration and working on the sequel to Snitch.  Vegas believes that it is never too late to change his life.  On the other hand, in order to change, one has to be willing to change he often tells his fan base.

Clarke developed a passion for writing while becoming an avid reader of all kinds of fiction.  Once Vegas and Clarke were reunited, they were able to combine Vegas’ street smarts and Clarke’s school smarts, creating literary magic while focusing on real-life realities.  Clarke graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Communications Studies with a minor in Pan-African Studies.  Since then she has changed fields and works in Corporate America, where she is working on a Masters in Business Administration. 
VegasClarke spends their time working on future novels while residing in Cleveland, Ohio with their two children.

Readers can contact VegasClarke at: facebook/vegasclarkeauthors, twitter/vegsclarke, website: www.vegasclarke.com and email: vegasclarke@vegasclarke.com or vegasclarke@rocketmail.com.

Intimate Conversation with award winning writer Katie McCabe

Intimate Conversation with award winning writer Katie McCabe

Katie McCabe is a National Magazine Award winner whose Washingtonian article on black surgical legend Vivien Thomas formed the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, one of the highest rated original movies in HBO history and the winner of the 2004 Emmy and 2005 Peabody Awards. McCabe’s 2009 book Justice Older than the Law, co-authored with pioneering lawyer Dovey Roundtree, won the Association of Black Women Historians’ Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize. For her work in science and medical journalism, McCabe has been honored with awards for investigative reporting (William Allen White Award, 1991) and public service (National Magazine Award finalist, 1986).

» First Lady Michelle Obama saluted Dovey Johnson Roundtree on the occasion of the book’s Washington, DC launch.

“She [Dovey Johnson Roundtree] has clearly demonstrated that even in the face of enormous challenges, an unblinking belief in equality and justice will spur real change. I am inspired by Ms. Roundtree, and I hope that her story continues to motivate all Americans to fight for our shared values. It is on the shoulders of people like Dovey Johnson Roundtree that we stand today, and it is with her commitment to our core ideals that we will continue moving toward a better tomorrow.”
— quote from First Lady Michelle Obama, July 2009

AUDIO SNEAK PEEK FROM THE BOOK
» Katie McCabe reading from Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”
Listen here now: http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WC3S5tj4

BPM: Katie, what can readers expect when they open a book created by you?
KM: I believe my power as a writer derives from my lifelong love affair with words and literature, my sense of the compelling stories hidden beneath the surface of outward events, and my fascination with unsung heroes. These passions came from my late parents, John and Kathleen Burns. They exemplified for me the kind of nobility and courage I endeavor to portray over and over again in my non-fiction as I seek out heroes and heroines whose lives have profoundly altered our world but whom history has forgotten or marginalized. My goal is to portray these history-makers with the vividness of fiction, and to bring them alive for future generations.

BPM: Discuss your approach to writing and your latest book, Justice Older than the Law, in particular.
KM: “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” – Nicolo Machiavelli

As a writer, I’ve chosen to portray individuals who defied existing systems and conventional notions of power, and in doing that, I’ve challenged my readers’ assumptions about the way that history is altered and the world changed.

One of my first articles for Washingtonian magazine, “Like Something the Lord Made,” told the little-known story of black heart surgery pioneer Vivien Thomas, a man who had changed the course of medical history so quietly that he was virtually unknown outside the rarefied circle of Johns Hopkins surgeons he trained. In my article, I brought from obscurity the story of this extraordinary man who changed the course of medical history without ever having obtained a medical degree or even attending college. It was the sheer force of his brilliance and the power of his character that enabled Thomas, in his capacity as laboratory technician to the powerful white surgeon Alfred Blalock, to carve out a revolutionary role for himself and to propel heart surgery into the modern age. At a time when the only black employees at Johns Hopkins Hospital were the janitors, Vivien Thomas ran the surgical lab, trained dozens of white med students who would go on to become the most famous heart surgeons in America, and most importantly, partnered with Dr. Blalock in an extraordinary interracial collaboration that defied every stereotype of their time and place. Together, the two made medical history, accomplishing things together that neither one could have done alone. Vivien Thomas shattered stereotypes for black men during Jim Crow, proving by the sheer force of his intellect and his character that he could contribute mightily to medicine at the most complex level. He challenged the status quo by excelling and by surviving within a deeply flawed society, and in so doing he lodged a powerful and eloquent protest against the evil of segregation.

KM: Pioneering lawyer, veteran and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, the subject of my 2002 Washingtonian article “She Had a Dream” and my 2009 book Justice Older than the Law (which I co-authored with Dovey Roundtree), was a woman who challenged deeply entrenched racism and sexism on a number of levels over her 50-year career. She shattered the color and gender bars in the World War II military as one of the 40 women selected by the great activist Mary McLeod Bethune to integrate the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. As one of only five women in her class at Howard University Law School (1947-1950), she challenged gender stereotypes in the law, and went on to transform the rigidly segregated legal system of the Nation’s Capital as the first black member of the DC Women’s Bar. Even as she overturned hardened prejudice in Washington’s legal community against blacks and women, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which had resisted the ordination of women for decades. When Dovey Roundtree was ordained to the ministry in 1961, she was among the first women to rise to that status within the male-dominated church.

I believe I am drawn to stories of unconventional heroes and heroines because I myself defy classification as a white woman who has chosen to celebrate the life stories of African Americans. I have learned that this unsettles some readers because it challenges existing systems, but I have also seen that many people have been inspired by the way in which I have crossed racial lines in the course of my career. In choosing to bring to the world the stories of quiet revolutionaries like Vivien Thomas and Dovey Roundtree, I believe I have illuminated a particular kind of power that is very different from that which we see in our politicians and big business entrepreneurs. Those who change the world by the force of their nobility and tenacity, who quietly challenge the status quo and manage to hold onto their sense of selves in the midst of a hostile society have much to teach all of us about how to live our lives.

BPM: What social issues do you address in your latest book, Justice Older than the Law? How is this book affecting the public?
KM: I have never been a “political writer” in that I have never set out to address any social issues. I am a storyteller, and my goal is to pass along stories that matter, that illuminate lives that exemplify nobility, courage, tenacity, faith and goodness. All truly great stories change the world, and they do so precisely because they come in “under the radar” of our critical sense and move our hearts and minds. When I set out to write Dovey Roundtree’s story, I did so because I was enthralled with her life experience and with her personal charisma. Having said that, I do believe that Justice Older than the Law speaks importantly to some of the most critical issues of our time. Contemporary America urgently needs this book. As we contemplate at fifty years’ distance the meaning of Brown v. Board in the light of recent Supreme Court rulings, as we struggle with issues of race at every turn, there is a sense that we’ve lost our bearings. What is justice? What sort of a society are we aiming toward? How can we capture the values we seem to have lost? How do we arrest what Dovey calls “the demon of violence” that is destroying our cities? To be able to tap into the world view of a 96-year-old living legend who brought her fight into the streets, the jailhouses, the churches, and ultimately, into the hearts of the individuals to whom she ministered, is an extraordinary opportunity, I believe, for people of all races.

BPM: What are you most proud of as a writer in today’s market?
KM: I have endeavored to pass on to the next generation of readers the stories of men and women who have prevailed over almost insuperable odds to achieve greatness in medicine, in the law, in athletics, and in public service. I believe that my legacy as a writer is that I have brought to life some truly extraordinary examples of the triumph of the human spirit. These examples speak to people of all races and backgrounds about what is possible when one draws strength from mentors and taps into one’s own well of courage, faith and tenacity.

In today’s market, which is dominated by books and movies that glorify violence, brutality and sexuality run rampant, I choose to tell stories that celebrate the eternal values, and I think that sets me apart from the mainstream.

BPM: How may readers contact you for more information and to find out more about the book?
KM: Visit us at http://www.justiceolderthanthelaw.com, the web site address for the book, and there is a link there to email Katie McCabe (at mccabe.kathleen@gmail.com)

Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 160473132X
http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Older-than-Law-Roundtree/dp/160473132X

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins



Renee Wiggins is the owner of Results By Renee, a wellness company based in Maryland. Her mission is to help people achieve optimum health through nutrition, fitness and supplemented with stress reduction techniques.



Ms. Wiggins designs lifestyle programs for individuals and groups. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Massage Therapist.


Listen to various health related coaching sessions by Renee, by clicking here today. 


BPM: Renee, please introduce us to your latest self-help motivational book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle.
RW: Transformations: Give UP The Struggle is a unique collection of affirmations written to encourage readers to break the chains of negative thoughts and actions, to embrace the positive aspects of change and to take the necessary steps to live a happy, fulfilling life. We all have had our ups and down in our lives, some more than others. But, how we end up in the end, determines how we actually see the storms. The storms help us to change to a better and stronger person.


BPM: How did the title of your book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle, come about?
RW: I was searching for a word that would express the idea of change, so I came up with four different titles that embodied that concept and I sent them to friends, family members and colleagues I trusted. With their help, I came up with the word” Transformations”, as I thought, that really got to the core to the message I wanted to share. I added the “Give UP The Struggle because I wanted the reader to know in order to transform, one must give up. Thus the title, ” Transformations: Give UP The Struggle’ was born.


BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write Transformations?
RW: As a diabetes educator, nutritionist, and personal trainer, I hear a lot about the struggles my client’s experiences. And as I’ve listen to them over the years, I soon began to realize that many of these men and women were in unpleasant, unhealthy situations because they were unable to break bad habits and unable to realize that making simple changes in their lives could make the difference they desired. So I wrote the affirmations in this book as a way of teaching people that their chain can be broken and that they I wrote Transformations” Give UP The Struggle as a way to let people know that just as a caterpillar grows wings and transforms into a butterfly, they too, must also be open to similar evolutionary process in their lives.


BPM: Are the affirmations a representation of your life?
RW: Yes, some of these affirmations come deep within my soul, while others were birthed from the experiences men and women have shared with me regarding their own personal struggles.  I want to reach men and women from the ages of 18 years to 92 years of age, who are entering a storm or going through a storm. The affirmations presented in this book can be a turning point in the reader’s life.


RW: The central themes of my book revolve around encouraging and empowering my readers to embrace their struggle as life lessons that they can move from their current situation toward greatness. I ‘m happy to have these themes in the form of affirmations because research has shown that people who recite and /or live by affirmations have a more positive attitude.


BPM: What is your best advice to anyone who wants to be a writer?
RW: I encourage writers to take classes, workshops, travel to seminars, connect with other writers, join groups and most of all, and help other writers without hesitation.


BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
RW: I am currently writing part two of my current book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle. This book will be a collection of stories of people who successfully danced through some of life’s most turbulent storms. It s my hope that these stories will provide the strength and guidance others may need to change their lives for the better.


BPM: How can readers reach you online?
Readers can find more info on me and purchase the book at:  http://www.resultsbyrenee.com/.  Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/giveupthestrugg for diet tips, health tips and more.


Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/  

The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women

The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women
Written by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood and Rhonda Joy McLean

Little Black Book is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon in the “Management and Leadership” category!

In this engaging and invaluable “mentor in your pocket,” three dynamic and successful black female executives share their strategies to help all black women, at any level of their careers, play the power game—and win.

Rich with wisdom, this practical gem focuses on the building blocks of true leadership—self-confidence, effective communication, collaboration, and courage—while dealing specifically with stereotypes (avoid the Mammy Trap, and don’t become the Angry Black Woman) and the perils of self-victimization (don’t assume that every challenge occurs because you are black or female).

Some leaders are born, but most leaders are made—and The Little Black Book of Success will show you how to make it to the top, one step at a time.

Praise for The Little Black Book of Success“Good counsel comes to us in myriad ways. The Little Black Book of Success clearly qualifies as one. It’s chock full of sound and thoughtful advice on how to build a successful business career. I commend it not just to black women, but to anyone seeking wisdom on leadership and success.”—Richard Parsons, Chairman, Citigroup

“The Little Black Book of Success is, without a doubt, one of the most comprehensive and relevant books that women can read to achieve the job success they desire. It answers the tough questions, offers experience-based insights, and outlines strategies that are sure to make you a front-runner in the race to workplace excellence.”—Elaine McCollins Flake, Co-Pastor, Greater Allen Cathedral

Excerpt from Chapter Three- The Little Black Book of Success

Racism Is No Excuse, but It Can Be a MotivatorAs a Black women in America, you will be confronted by or exposed to racism, but instead of getting angry, letting it defeat you, get the best of you, keep you down, prevent you from growing, exploring, realizing your full potential, and manifesting your dreams, use racism as a motivator to accomplish your goals.

Allow the racism that exists to move you in a forward direction and make you all the more determined to achieve your goals so that no outside forces throw you off balance and make you lose focus on what it is you set out to achieve. In this case, your objective is to acquire the skill sets necessary to become a good leader, a better leader in the workplace.

A recent Harvard University study reveals that while most fair-minded managers judge you according to your merits, there are some who judge you according to unconscious stereotypes and attitudes. It’s the kind of prejudice that is not overt. It’s prejudice that’s subconscious and made through associations that are learned early on. Things commonly associated with each other like thunder and lightning, or gray hair and old age, don’t always coexist.

###

Excerpted from The Little Black Book of Success by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean Copyright © 2010 by Elaine Meryl Brown. Excerpted by permission of One World/Ballantine, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ELAINE MERYL BROWN, former VP, Special Markets and Cinemax Group at HBO, is an Emmy® Award-winning writer and producer who has won numerous awards in the broadcast industry. In 2007, Brown was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” A favorite of Black Enterprise, she was featured in the magazine and at their Women of Power Summit. A Wheaton College Alumni Trustee and member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women (Bergen/Passaic Chapter), Brown is also the author of two novels published by One World. She lives in New Jersey.

MARSHA HAYGOOD is a powerful motivational speaker and a dynamic career and personal coach. She is the founder of StepWise Associates, LLC, a career and personal development consultancy that represents the culmination of her 25+ years experience in human resources. She was the EVP of Human Resources and Administration at New Line Cinema and at Orion Pictures, among other companies. Haygood has won numerous awards including the YMCA Black Achievement Award and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources Trailblazer Award. In 2005, Haygood was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” She and her husband live in New York and Florida.

RHONDA JOY MCLEAN is Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc. and former Assistant Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission. A graduate of Yale Law School, she served as chair of its alumni association, which has more than 10,000 members, and was recently elected to its fund board of directors. In 2007, McLean was chosen as one of The Network Journal’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” Born in Chicago, IL and reared in Smithfield, NC, McLean is a classically trained pianist and mezzo-soprano. She performs sacred music with chorales throughout the New York metropolitan area, where she resides.

Book: The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women

by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean
Foreword by Essence® Magazine editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray

Visit the Author’s Website: http://www.littleblackbookofsuccess.com

Book Intro: Chocolate High by Mika Barnes

Meet Author Mika (Barnes)
Chocolate High is Mika’s debut novel. She resides in South Florida with her family. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University and her M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently hard at work on her next project. For the latest news on Mika, please visit http://www.mikabarnes.com

Book Intro: Chocolate High by Mika Barnes
How do you say goodbye to the one you love? Is this even an option when you’ve invested your body, mind, and soul into your relationship? Charisse Farrell is a successful, beautiful corporate attorney who has it all, but when the love of her life David Richards betrays her, she has to reevaluate her future. Tempted by the desire to love again and her need for revenge Charisse is haunted by a demon from her past that turns her life upside down. When love knocks her down, Charisse has to get back up fighting. Fighting for love.

Read the First Chapter Excerpt here: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=42496404

Q:: Introduce us to your main characters. Who are your favorites and why?
A:: My main characters are Charisse Farrell and David Richards, your modern day perfect couple in appearances. She is a beautiful, successful corporate attorney and he is a handsome, strapping CEO of his own financial firm. They were best friends growing up who loved each other for as long as they could remember, but now giving their relationship a try isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Charisse is torn after David’s betrayal. David, on the other hand, doesn’t feel his betrayal was severe enough to jeopardize their relationship.

My favorite characters are actually the supporting characters: Terry Wright, because he epitomizes the true definition of a good man, and Kyla Donaldson, Charisse’s best friend, because she keeps you laughing with her over-the-top personality and all-about-me swagger.

Q:: Take us inside Chocolate High. What are two major events taking place?
A:: The first major event is when Charisse finds out that David has betrayed her. The second explores what extreme a woman will go to get her man.

Q:: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
A:: I’ve always been a person with something to say. Moreover, the purpose of my message has changed the lives of many within my community. I am only one person but I understand my actions can effect positive change. I pay it forward as often as possible and I try to reflect this same philosophy through my writing. Yes, it’s drama in my writing but there is also a message for the reader to walk away with. The general premise of my writing is: Sometimes you have to go through something to get something.

Q:: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
A:: Jessica Tilles has been an invaluable mentor throughout this process. A lot of times in this industry other authors or industry insiders aren’t willing to share what they’ve learned in their journey, but Jess was the exact opposite. Her guidance exposed me to the business without the high-priced lessons a mistake can cost you. My Mom, a gifted writer in her own right has also been my mentor and biggest supporter from day one. Watching her craft a story or poem has inspired me to strive to create great stories and memorable characters.

I find inspiration in everyday life. Everyone has a story to tell and I try to breathe that life into every character that graces the pages of my book. I always try to put a twist or something extra special into my characters to remind my readers of people they know or have met in passing or in their own lives. Creating this connection is inspiring.

Q:: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from Chocolate High?
A:: I want my readers to understand their “self-worth.” This is important because before a person can tackle relationship issues or any issue affecting their life, they must know and understand their true worth. Having this understanding sets the limits to what we will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. It’s okay to let go. Society has us so convinced that it’s better to have a piece of something than nothing at all, so it seems at times in relationships we lose the true essence of who we are as a person to hold on to a love that was doomed from the start.

Q:: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
A:: For the latest news and information, readers can reach me at my Web site: http://www.mikabarnes.com or by email mika@mikabarnes.com.

Other online sources are:
facebook.com/tamikabarnes
twitter.com/mikabarnes
myspace.com/mikawrites
http://www.authorsden.com/mika
Visit my Chocolate High Fan Page on Facebook

Chocolate High by Mika (Barnes)
Purchase from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-High-Mika/dp/0984425802

Meet Author and Publisher Wahida Clark

Meet Author and Publisher Wahida Clark




Wahida Clark was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She is no stranger to the hard work and the sacrifices that breed success. This Trenton native owned and operated L.M. Clark Printers & Publishers Inc., a printing and publishing company in Trenton.   She is crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters.

Her Essence and Black Issues Book Reviews bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, and her latest anthology with Kiki Swinson titled “Sleeping With The Enemy.”
 
She has just completed her latest Novel ‘The Golden Hustla’ which will be released August, 2010. Coming in May is ‘What’s Really Hood?’ Part 1 an Anthology featuring, Wahida, Lashonda Teague, Victor Martin, Shawn ‘Jihad’ Trump and Bonta. She is vice president of the non-profit organization based out of East Orange, New Jersey, Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services, a re-entry program for convicts and ex-convicts. The organization also provides support groups and mentors for at-risk youth.

Today, Wahida operates her printing & publishing company out of East Orange, New Jersey, Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. Her first releases include: Trust No Man 1 & 2 by Cash, Thirsty by Mike Sanders, Cheetah by Missy Jackson, Karma With A Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne and The Ultimate Sacrifice by Anthony Fields.


 


Interview with Conversations Bookclub of Mississippi

Meet Wahida Clark, she is a remarkable woman, grounded by her knowledge of who she is and what she represents. Wahida is first wife and mother, but she excels as a businesswoman in all she does. The writing career that has taken the literary world by storm only began in 2002 or 2003, yet you would think by the accolades she has received that she has been in the game for over a decade.
 
What led her to writing while in prison? Her answer was simple: “My husband was locked up, I was locked up and we needed money. People don’t realize it, but it takes money to live even in prison, and I also needed money for my family on the outside.” While in prison she worked in the law library, normally by herself, and she would do a great deal of reading during that time. It was during one of these occasions that she was reading XXL Magazine and read about an author who also had their beginning while incarcerated. “I said to myself that if he could do it then I could as well.”
 
There was a literary agent who was also in prison that decided to teach a course on writing, and Wahida signed on. She wrote on legal pads and let others read it for input. They devoured the pages and were always asking for more. I asked her if she ever worried about not being able to make it in the business. “I knew I would get published,” she said confidently. “My work was going to see the light of day.”
 
At that point we had to reflect on the career that she has which is still foreign to her. “I have only been out a few days. I’ve never done a booksigning or met with fans. This (the interview with Conversations) is the first thing I have done. To me it is like I am just getting started.”
 


Who inspired her before she wrote what became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM? “I read everything from Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim to James Patterson.” When asked who she was initially writing for, she answered that it was the hood market. “My husband told me that if I was going to do this that I had to do my research. He told me what was popular: thugs, drugs and pimping.”
 
Not long after writing her book, Wahida happened to read “Married Men” by Carl Weber. She noticed that he was getting praise from critics and writers alike so she decided to reach out to him. “I wrote him and told him that I had just finished writing a book and wanted to know what I should do next. He asked me to send him my manuscript. It was from there that he submitted the book to Black Print Publishing. They told me it was too big so I would have to cut it down. The publisher ended up splitting the book, and that manuscript became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM and EVERY THUG NEEDS A LADY.”
 
Wahida told us that she can still remember the first time she saw her name on the cover of a book. “I was in Lexington, Kentucky and it was mail call. Some of the ladies on lock down with me had ordered some copies, and they had come in a big envelope with about seven or eight books in there. It was like ‘Wow, this is my book.'”
 
Little did she know that readers all over the world were wowed by her as well.
 
After her relationship ended with Black Print, Wahida—with the help of her literary agent—-was signed to a deal with Dafina, an imprint of Kensington. Ironically, becoming a label mate of Carl Weber, the author who helped her get started in the industry. Her other titles include PAYBACK IS A MUTHA and THUG MATRIMONY.
 


Today, Wahida’s focus is not only her own career as an author, but helping others as well. She has begun her own literary agency to groom new authors, and she is now signed with Warner Books. I mentioned to her that in one interview she said that her writing is meant to entertain. She stood behind that, but added that her agent likes the fact that there are consequences to the things that her characters do. “Once I start writing and get in their heads, they take on a life of their own sometimes. If you get a message from what I write,” she said, “then that’s wonderful.”
 
A workaholic in every sense of the word, Wahida is working on the 6th book in the THUGS series as well as what she calls her “crossover” book. “I want to get some of those James Patterson” dollars,” she told us with a laugh. Also in the works is an anthology with author Kiki Swanson and her novel PAYBACK WITH YOUR LIFE. Robin Garder, a member of the book club asked Wahida if she had thought about writing her autobiography. “People have asked me that,” she answered, “but I honestly hadn’t thought about it.”
 
With everything that she has been through in the last decade, Wahida related that she can’t even look at her jail time as a bad thing. “I can’t say it was a negative. Without it there is no way I would’ve written a book.”
 
When asked what authors have been on her reading list, she told the group that they are diverse as the rest of her life: James Patterson, Guy Johnson, Maya Angelou, Omar Tyree, Dean Koontz and Nikki Turner. Ironically, it was Turner who gave Clark the title of “Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” I asked her was there any pressure with titles such as that or “bestseller.” Wahida’s answer was short and to the point. “I really don’t think about that, not as long as I can back it up. It’s flattering, but it just means that I have to stay on top of my game everyday.”
 
As we wrapped up the discussion, Wahida was asked what advice would she give those who say they have a story in them. “I would tell them to write. I have had people tell me that they have five books in their head. What I tell them is they need to put them down on paper, because they aren’t doing you or anyone else any good while they are just in your head. Do your research and make sure it is the best it can be.”
 
And what did Wahida have to say to her growing legion of fans? The bestselling author actually became emotional before answering. “Thank you so much for your support. Thank you to everyone who wrote me, telling me how much they enjoyed the books. It meant so much for me to get that encouragement.”
 
The future is bright for the author who had no intention of being a writer, but whose literary star is one of the brightest on the market at this time. She has a fan base that at this point is hard to fathom, and has made an impact that will probably take some time to wrap herself around.
 
One thing that is clear at this point, however, is that Wahida Clark is a fighter in every sense of the world. She is not one to allow her circumstances to define her, but the lives she has introduced us to through her characters will remain with us for years to come.
 
You can also visit her at: http://www.wclarkpublishing.com   or  WCP community at:  http://wclarkpublishing.ning.com
 

 



 

Intimate Conversations with Author Marc Lacy

 

Meet Huntsville’s own Marc Lacy, a graduate of Alabama A&M University.  He is a nationally renown, award winning poet/author and spoken word artist.  He has performed all of over the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues.  Marc is a contributing writer to RADAR
and The Grove Magazines.  He is also a writer for Blogginginblack.com.

In The Summer of 2009, Marc met up with the co-founder of HBO’s  Def Poetry Jam, Mr. Bruce George and Poet Rene Reyes in Los Angeles to serve on the panel at The Annual “So you Think you can  Spit?”poetic symposium for youth.  Lacy credits his faith in God and love of family for providing energy to succeed.
Ella:  Let the party begin!  Marc, what makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
Marc:  I would not necessarily deem myself as a powerful person; but I do think that there is power in the written word.  The more we learn about the craft and our abilities, the better off we will be in positioning ourselves to get the message out to the people. Thus creating a powerful force in the act alone.
Ella:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
Marc:  I have several mentors (who actually do not know that they are my mentors)…too many to name.  But they are fiction, non-fiction writers as well as poets/spoken word artists. My hunger to become a better writer and a voice for the people, with faith in God, keeps my engine churning.
 

 

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Marc:  A creative instinct which is the by-product of a hunger to always be the best that I can be…no matter what. Write better…and write the best. 
 

 

Ella: Before we go too deep, Marc, I would like to take a minute to shine the light on your fabulous co-author.
Assuanta Howard was born and raised in New York City. Howard is known for her dynamic and innovative persona. She began her career in higher education, serving over 17 years in various leadership roles. She managed grant funded programs with budgets over 3 million dollars.

Howard is qualified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Howard took her extensive literacy and ESOL experience, leadership and program development expertise and established several business entities within the literary industry.

She is the proud founder of Asta Publications, LLC, a mainstream and self-publishing company and Asta Public Relations Services, a public relations firm that focuses on brand management and marketing campaigns for literary professionals.
 

 

Ella:  Introduce us to Wretched Saints and the main characters.
Marc:  My book is a fiction short story collection which touches upon very sensitive matters…mainly “so-called” good people who call themselves walking the righteous path; but living an unrighteous lifestyle.

Wretched Saints provides a literary window through which we may possibly see traits of ourselves within one or more of the characters as they learn the hard way to listen when God is talking. Thus His signal, when digested properly allows suppression of sinful urges opening up the door, for spiritual growth.

Are you a Wretched Saint? Open the covers…and see.

Of course our desire is to walk within The Kingdom’s Neighborhood, but it can be very difficult leaving the alluring amenities of home. We have the protocol down pat; especially when others can witness us witnessing.

However, when backs are turned and the sun has set, the righteous hotness of the self-proclaimed saint can suddenly turn lukewarm. Although the tongue can no longer house rationalizations, we still find a way to verbally cover spiritual deficits…thus casting us further into a pit of unrighteous debt surrounded by several unused shovels.
 

 

Ella:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Marc:  Self-righteousness, reactionary, impulsive, arrogance, and hard-headedness just to name a few.
 

 

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Marc:  I honestly feel that saints, sinners, churched, un-churched, educated/uneducated, young/elderly professionals, and people of all races can identify with this book.  However, if I had to choose a specific demographic, it would be those who want to “do right,” but seriously struggle with it.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, Wretched Saints?
Marc:  God never stops working on us or others.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Marc:  I (Marc Lacy) have been nominated as AAMBC Poet of the Year for 2010.  Also, there are several spoken word products coming out during the summer and fall of 2010.  

Ella: How can our readers reach you online?
http://www.marclacy.com
http://www.avopublishing.com
http://www.facebook.com

Hostage of Lies by Dr. Maxine E. Thompson

 

Book Spotlight:  Hostage of Lies by Dr. Maxine E. Thompson

The story is a vivid portrait of Reverend Godbolt’s family and his forebears. The family’s secrets set the stage for a profound and provocative debate about black identity and destiny in America’s past and present. We see the saga of Reverend Godbolt, who has always ruled his family with a steel glove, and who is questioning his faith, near the end of his life. A secret has kept him from truly trusting his wife and even loving one of his children.

We see his spirited daughter, Nefertiti, who harbors a secret of her own, which keeps her from being able to actualize as a woman. We have the love triangle of the two men who loved Nefertiti, Pharaoh Curry, her first lover, and Isaac Thorne, her first husband, who both are trying to win her back.

This situation is compounded by Nefertiti’s current interracial marriage. It was this last act of insurrection against the family’s mores which has ex-communicated Nefertiti from her insular family for the seven years preceding her father’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration. At the opening of the novel, Nefertiti has returned from Santa Monica, California to Shallow’s Corner, Michigan. In her return as the prodigal minister’s daughter, the scene is set, as past and present ghosts of hidden sins come home to roost.

Although the kernel of the story takes place from a Wednesday through a Sunday, the story is told out of sequence, in order to reflect the way that the memories of past regrets haunt the characters.

As the formerly owned chattel of white America, there seems to be a propensity among the characters in the novel to own people, places, things, (lucre). In one instance, this is exemplified where the character goes so far as to steal heir property from his brother. Throughout the Godbolt family’s struggle for upward mobility, there co-exists the denial of their violent ancestral history, fraught with lynchings, murder and fratricide. The family’s violence can be seen as a microcosm of the larger society, yet at the same time there is a kind of self-hatred turned inward, a social implosion of sorts, going on with the Godbolt family. The denial of their ancestral past reflects the denial of an entire nature of its historical past. That is, this country’s refusal, one hundred years later, to deal with the lingering effects of the cancer of slavery.

The title and the theme are intertwined. The characters, in their search for wholeness, whether through materialism, classism or religion, lose sight of the main issue. Just as they will carry nothing out of the world with them when they die, they can not own one another’s soul. They can only love one another freely. It is the ability to connect, therefore redeem, one another, which determines the success, or lack thereof, of the characters in the book.

In addition, through out the novel, there is an adoption search which operates on two levels as an allegory. The search of the Diaspora of Blacks for wholeness in America (in that they were torn from Mother Africa) is mirrored by the search of one of the characters for her family tree. The novel deals with the issue of adoption which often runs counter to African American culture due to the history of children being sold away from their mothers. At the same time, the struggles a mother faces who has given a child up for adoption faces, is universal.

 

 
Excerpt from Hostage of Lies by Dr. Maxine E. Thompson

Nefertiti Searches for Her Adopted Child
Nefertiti turned to the back of the Bible and found the family tree.  From what she saw this was her father’s side of the family. Killsprettyenemy, the youngest son, had been Reverend’s father. Bryce had been Rev’s and Tiger’s paternal grandfather, and Theo was one of his older sons. She took her finger and traced the family tree. If Bryce was her father and Uncle Tiger’s grandfather, he would have been her great-grandfather.  Shilo would have been her great-great grandfather.  Samson would have been her great-great-great grandfather..

 Nefertiti’s hands trembled and an electrical current coursed through her blood. It was too mind boggling to absorb all at once! This was a page from a piece of her unknown history.  A piece of her ancestors.

Then Nefertiti began to dig some more. Underneath the bottom layer of the trunk was a quilt. Patterns of horses had been stitched on it. Nefertiti lifted the quilt in her hand, feeling herself tied to something valuable, something of the past. The material was so old some of the rotting threads began to fray in her hand. 

 She now knew the taste of victory the archaeologists from Ike’s Internet assignment must have felt when they discovered a fossil.  This was even better. This letter was a fossil from her bloodline. Nefertiti returned to digging through the trunk.  Finally, she found what she was looking for when a folded piece of paper fell out of the Bible.  Nefertiti unfolded it.      

She was thinking of  the “great secret,” which Isaac had alluded to, and now here it was.  It was just a piece of paper, but its power made her fall to her knees.

It was the original birth certificate for her little girl. The certificate did not name the father of the Negro baby girl. Because she was underage at the time, and the laws for statutory rape were more strictly enforced, Nefertiti remembered never naming the father. Yet Rev and them had known. During those days, the baby was called “illegitimate” and the father’s name was not put on the birth certificate if you were not married.  Other than the first name, Desiree, her daughter had no name. 

Nefertiti was surprised she did not cry anymore. She didn’t  know what she felt. Still, the years came rushing back to her with a  sharp jab. The “secret” she’d harbored all these years, until she sometimes didn’t even speak it in her most inward parts. And the horror of her choice began to sink in like an underground river.  

Besides being her baby, this wasn’t just any baby she’d given away. This was a  baby of African  descent. Born in  America. A baby with a legacy of children being sold away from their mothers.  A baby with a history of an ancestor being beaten to death while her infant was still in the thick harbor of her womb. A baby who had a deep connection to her ancestors. She had to find Desiree, no matter what happened.  Even if Desiree spit in her face.  Nefertiti knew she had to try.  She knew then that she was about to embark on the deepest journey of her life.

The words, “It’s like a curse on your family when you don’t know where your kinfolk is,” seared an indelible brand into her brain.

Meet the Author
Dr. Maxine E. Thompson is the owner of Black Butterfly Press, Maxine Thompson’s Literary Services and Thompson Literary Show, and Maxine Show. She hosts an Internet radio show on www.artisfirst.com. She is the author of novel, The Ebony Tree, Award-winning Hostage of Lies, A Place Called Home, The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sells, How to Publish, Market and Promote your Book Via Ebook Publishing, The Hush Hush Secrets of Creating a Life You Love, Anthology, SECRET LOVERS, (with novella, Second Chances,) and Summer of Salvation.

SECRET LOVERS made the Black Expression’s Book Club Bestselling list on 7-8-06 (after a 6-6-06 release date.) A new anthology, All in the Family, (her novella, Summer of Salvation) came out in April 2007). Another new anthology, Never Knew Love Like This Before (her novella, Katrina Blues,) was published in June 2007. It was #13 on Amazon’s top 100. Is now a Kindle choice and on their bestsellers list and has been on there many times as a multicultural and romance anthology.

Novel, Hostage of Lies, came out in December 2009 and was voted a Best Book on EDC Creations/Black Pearl Magazine.

You can sign up for her free newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com

 

 

 

 

Black Pearls Magazine: Meet Nikkea Smithers

Nikkea Smithers is a spoken word artists and Essence Magazine Best Selling Author She has performed on stages in front of thousands.

Her literary work often speaks to issues in the community that are often under-discussed. Her readers have fallen in love with her ‘tell it like it is’ approach to writing making her readers lifelong fans.

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry, CEO of EDC Creations
Ella:   Hello Nikkea!  Introduce us to your book, On The Flip Side.
Nikkea: On The Flip Side deals with a situation that many men face but little light is shed on. We often hear the story about the single mother doing it for her kids on a daily basis. While I would never want to take anything away from them, what we don’t often hear about is the single father who is standing up to his responsibilities and being burdened with social issues beyond his realm of control.

What if the mother is not the one holding it down? What if the father has the kids but the mother has the greed? On The Flip Side deals with a different kind of baby momma drama and show that real men are fathers and not just baby daddies.

Ella: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?
Nikkea: Tavares was on the path to be a very successful young man. A one night stand turns his life up side down and he finds himself in a position where he has to be accountable. As he struggles to be a respectable father the mother of his children does everything in her power to break him down. The twist to this tale is he just isn’t just a single father, he is also paying child support as if his kids don’t live with him and in two different states.

Danica is a very interesting woman with a serious God complex. She truly believes that she is better than everyone around her. Not only does her complex cause her to throw stereotypes around like they are going out of style but it causes her to play the role of karma. The problem with playing karma is that it’s bound to come back on you if you aren’t living right.

My favorite is Tavares because he is the epitome of real man. He immediately steps up to the plate and makes things happen. As you read the book you genuinely feel for him. His kids come first, plain and simple. Who doesn’t love a man like that?

Ella: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? What inspired you to write this story?
Nikkea: The characters aren’t based on real people but are influenced by conversations. I love talking to people and my husband and I often throw these parties where there are debates on different topics. Of course one of the most popular topics of debate is child support. The men thought they paid too much. The women thought it wasn’t enough.

One man talked about how he was paying support in both NY and VA. He talked about how neither state would take into consideration the order in the other state. This blew my mind! My mother was even present and shared her views on the subject which opened my eyes even more. I see story lines in the strangest of things so I thought, what if was the other way around? What if the man had his kids and was still paying child support? So I wrote the poem On The Flip Side and was surprised at the response it got from men that were going through this very thing. Then a friend of mine and I were talking after she saw me perform the poem and was telling me about a friend of hers going through this only his child’s mother left the kids at the hospital after birth! I immediately thought oh this needs to be a book! I then took the poem and turned it into this book.

Ella: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in the book?
Nikkea: Child support is the obvious issue addressed in the book but there are several subliminal messages. I love dealing with subliminal messages and try my best to place a few in every novel I write. One issue is accountability. Society is really hard on women in regards to promiscuity but men don’t always get the same scrutiny. I want to show young men that they have to be responsible for their actions as well. That one night of passion could mean kids with a woman you don’t know or worse, a death sentance of H.I.V. Another issue that is addressed is karma. We really need to understand that what we throw out into the universe will come back to us pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Ella: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
Nikkea: I love to break down barriers and talk about things that no one is talking about. At least not in this sense. I wanted the roles to be reversed and stretch my imagination. Especially with Danica’s character, I had to dig deep for her because she is so far from me and what I would naturally do. I wanted this book to be true to the characters and show them for who they are regardless of the outcome. I love being able to uplift my brothers and say kudos to those doing the right things. Through Tavares I get to connect with readers and share with them the story of a good man.

Ella: Thousands of books are published each year. What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
Nikkea: It’s all about the message. My work is educational but entertaining. I want to enlighten people. I want them to finish one of my books thinking about the subject matter and want to take action. How can we change things if we don’t start by talking about them? I actively strive to write away from whats popular and get to the bottom of social issues that need to be addressed.

Ella: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Nikkea: When I’m not writing I love to read! I’m the biggest book worm. My husband and I joke that our house looks like the Library of Congress. I don’t discriminate. I have poetry from Langston Hughes to Nikki Giovanni. I have nonfiction from George Jackson to Steve Harvey. I have fiction from John Gresham to E. Lynn Harris. With me being a self published author I am also a huge supporter of self published authors because I understand their grind. I also enjoy culture. I love museums, art viewings, jazz clubs, and poetry readings. I love the movies too!

Ella: What does your family think of your writing?
Nikkea: My family is very supportive. My husband has a prized collection of all of my books in his ‘man room’ that he shows off to all his friends. He gets the first copy in every edition of all of my works. When he sees something has discouraged me he tells me to shake it off and keep doing what I do. My mother buys my books in bulk like she doesn’t know me! They are my two biggest supporters. I appreciate being surrounded by positivity and they keep me inspired to keep on writing.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Nikkea: I was excited to find out that two of my books (Keith’s Story and Attitudes of a Woman) were awarded with the Literary Hallmark & Legends Top Books 2009 award by your Magazine. That honor was one of the highlights of my year! Within the next year I have three more books that will be released. I also look forward to touring and performing. I want to dedicate my time in the new year connecting with my readers. Book clubs who select my book as their book of the month can reach out to me so that I can make plans to either be present or available for a teleconfrence.
Email: info@nikkeasmithers.com  Website: www.nikkeasmithers.com  

Purchase the book at:  Amazon Online

Purchase the book at:  Barnes & Noble Online

 

 

 

Even Sinners Have Souls Too

Even Sinners Have Souls Too
Introduction by National Best selling author, K’Wan, with four stories by Darrell King and Essence Magazine bestselling authors, Michel Moore, Tysha and Victor L. Martin.

Meet author and editor E.N. Joy
E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, which was her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly a secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, this author has fully dedicated her writing to Christ. She is currently working on the “New Day Divas” series as well as completing the “Sinners Series” project.

 

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry of EDC Creations

Ella: Introduce us to the book, Even Sinners Have Souls TOO.
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls TOO is book two from the “Sinners Series”. As editor and publisher of this project, it was my goal to share with the reading audience well written and compelling stories by some of the industry’s most respected and authority authors in the Urban Lit genre.
 

 

Ella: Why was it important to produce this work today?
E.N. Joy: Books and authors of books that are categorized as urban, erotic, street, ghetto, gangster, Hip-Hop fiction, or whatever else they are being labeled, are taking hard hits in the industry, especially by these so-called “literary writers”. Why is it that whenever black people bring the life they live front and center and turn it into art, society goes crazy? Are we that afraid and offended of the ghetto and the projects to the point where we ridicule those who talk about it? Is growing up in the hood that taboo?

E.N. Joy: Despite popular belief, everything that comes from the ghetto isn’t all bad. There are some good products of the ghetto. It produces great individuals, some even authors. But because of the type of genre that these authors choose to pen, they are stigmatized and rumored unable to create literature without glorifying a trigger happy, drug dealing thug, or a burgundy micro braid wearing, gum poppin’, promiscuous gold digger, or a television stealing crack head (in addition to at least two curse words per paragraph).
 

 

Ella: Will this book change how Urban Lit is protrayed as a industry?
E.N. Joy: There is a huge misconception that authors who write Urban Lit, referred to as Street Lit by many, can’t pen a decent story that doesn’t include foul language and explicit sex scenes. These authors are even often accused of glorifying street life. The “Sinners Series” forces critics and skeptics alike to take a different stand when they read the storylines contained in the “Sinners Series.”

Ella: What are some unique aspects of the Sinners Series?
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls Too offers more of Urban Lit’s finest take a walk on the other side in book two, Even Sinners Have Souls Too, of the three book Sinners Series. Darrell King and Essence Best-Selling authors, Victor L. Martin, Tysha and Michel Moore bring you four smashing tales, but not before National Best-Selling author, K’Wan, hits you with the powerful introduction, “Oh Sinner Man.”

E.N. Joy: The authors bring to life the same raw and gritty characters found in some of their other works. There are the dope boys, the hood rats, the promiscuity, homosexuality, the gang bangers, abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc…; all the things that exist in real life on the streets. But what makes these tales so phenomenal and unique is that in the midst of it all, just like in real life on the streets, there is also, God, prayer, and sometimes a praying grandmother. What pleased me the most about each and every story is that they never, for one moment, lost their authenticity. The authors still walked away from this project with their street credit, so to speak.

Ella: What impact with the Sinners Series have on the community?
E.N. Joy: The “Sinners Series” is going to shatter the myth about urban and street literature and its authors once and for all. This project is not so that authors have to defend their work, or even compromise it.

The purpose is to show that they are multi-talented with a natural gift to pen what flows through their spirit and not just what’s selling, and at the same time to add a creative twist on their already original writing styles. In doing so, we pray that readers will be touched and moved by every single character; every single story…that they won’t be the same person as they were before reading these works.

Website: www.enjoywrites.com

ISBN-10: 0970672659 | ISBN-13: 978-0970672650

Pick up a copy at Amazon

Color Me Jazzmyne By Marian L. Thomas

 


I would like to introduce you to a fantastic new book, Color Me Jazzmyne. Readers of Color Me Jazzmyne have been captivated by the depth of the emotional journey that the book takes them on. It digs deep into what it takes for women to embrace who they are no matter what size, color, educational background or social status. Sisters will learn to love themselves despite what society says or the voices that surround them!


Author Marian L . Thomas
not only delivers her first novel but takes on real-life topics that are affecting society today. The topics that are discussed throughout her book are ones that are often rejected by mainstream publishing houses. She cuts to the core of serious subject matter: rape, the mental health of young women, self-esteem issues with women and the cutthroat world of the music business and lands the reader into the thick of a good story.

Color Me Jazzmyne – By Marian L. Thomas
Listen to Chapter 1 and tell us how you feel about this topic.
http://www.hudsonaudiopublishing.com/player.php?file=Chapter1.mp3

“Color Me Jazzmyne” is an unconventional, yet fascinating first novel by Marian L. Thomas.  At the frighteningly young age of thirteen, Naya Mona (later to be known as the famous jazz singer Jazzmyne) is raped by her own father and eventually gives birth to her son who is taken from her, his whereabouts unknown for many years. At seventeen, she escapes the intolerable household of her father to live in the city where her voice is discovered by the wrong people.

She meets struggle after struggle; people take advantage of her talent nearly wrecking her spirit, people she thought to be friends use her to get ahead in their own lives. But she does not break spirit, in spite of her many hardships. Later in life, as the story opens up, Jazzmyne meets her adult son for the first time since his birth. Many surprising facts are revealed about her past and her son’s past.

Jazzmyne likens her existence to a box of crayons. Each color expresses a different emotion, strength or weakness that makes up the essence of Jazzmyne. Thomas’ writing is so reflective and interesting.  But this is the purpose of the novel, to find out what color is Jazzmyne, which I still do not know or maybe do not understand her completely. Perhaps honesty is her color. In a world of hiding behind fame and from a past of deception from those who were supposed to be the closest, she wants only to be honest and real, especially concerning her son.

Thomas definitely cuts to the core of serious subject matter: rape and incest and the cutthroat world of the music business. The shocking reality of it all mixed with Jazzmyne’s relaxed and melodious voice makes “Color Me Jazzmyne” a true reading pleasure. The book is written in a kind of free flow, stream of consciousness style that one can hear her melody singing through the pages.

ISBN-10: 0615270670;  ISBN-13: 978-0615270678

Pick up a copy from Amazon , Barnes & Noble.com , or a Kindle download

Email: larrita@lbpublishingco.com ;  Website: http://www.marianlthomas.com

Snippet of a Review by Hudson Audio Publishing
http://www.hudsonaudiopublishing.com/featured.html

SOMEBODY’S SINNING IN MY BED by Pat G’Orge Walker

Pat G’orge Walker on Gospel Interviews with Larry W. Robinson

Pat G’orge Walker, author of “SOMEBODY’S SINNING IN MY BED” shares with Larry W. Robinson, host of http://www.gospelinterviews.com about her latest book which EXPOSES a Mega Church Pastor CAUGHT “In the Act!!!”
For more visit http://www.gospelinterviews.com

SOMEBODY’S SINNING IN MY BED by Pat G’Orge Walker
ISBN-10: 0758235402 | ISBN-13: 9780758235404
Available wherever books are sold

Pat G’Orge-Walker delivers a wickedly funny, uplifting novel of love and betrayal…good karma and bad karma…sin and redemption

Chyna and her sister Janelle are always moments away from a catfight. They love each other, but Janelle has never forgiven her sister for swiping her first love, Cordell. That was ages ago, and now Chyna is showing off as the First Lady of New Hope Assembly, a church that’s caught between the old ways of Holiness and new ways of serving its community. New Hope’s leader, Reverend Grayson Young, is also caught…in the infamous Sweet Bush lounge, an establishment well-known for adult pleasures.

With the church congregation running wild in the aftermath of her husband’s scandalous behavior, Chyna turns to her sister Janelle for guidance. But if Chyna thinks she’s getting sympathy from Janelle, she’d better think again, because Janelle’s got her own crisis. And when Cordell suddenly comes back into the sisters’ lives, what follows are squabbling, chaos, and surprises that show just how hard the road to salvation really is…

“Author Pat G’Orge-Walker is a comic genius! She’s woven a brilliant netting of both comical and loving characters that will cause readers to ‘spill their guts’ with ‘out loud’ laughter.”

-Dawn Carter, Fox Pictures Diversity, Executive Producer, Contradictions of the Heart, Donlyn Pictures

I Need More by Kimberley White

 Meet Multi-Award Winning Author… Kimberley White
Kimberley White resides in metropolitan Detroit where she is a nurse practitioner during the day and a writer of steamy romances at night.  Visit her website at www.kwhitewrite.com.  Write to her at P.O. Box 672 Novi, MI 48376. Email: kwhite_writer@hotmail.com

I Need More by Kimberley White – New Release Blog
http://edcmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/10/all-way-by-kimberley-white.html


I Need More by Kimberley White

Paperback; ISBN-13: 9780758222107; ISBN 10: 0758222106
 

She Has Everything She Wants. . .
Dr. Erika Johnson’s life couldn’t get any better. Her practice is flourishing and her hunk of a husband Brock can’t keep his hands off her–until the day he suddenly leaves her without a word of explanation. Stunned, Erika has no choice but to cobble together a new life on her own. When she serves Brock with divorce papers, Erika is certain he’ll sign them so they can both move on. But that’s when the surprises really begin. . .

Except The Man She Loves…
Brock is sure he did the right thing. All he ever wanted was to bring joy into Erika’s life, not pain and sorrow. But when rumors reach him that Erika is seeing another man, he’s torn between what he thinks is right and what he feels is right. Despite everything, there’s no denying the fierce attraction she and Brock have always shared is burning hotter than ever. And when Erika finally learns Brock’s secret, they must decide if they will face the uncertain future together-or apart. . .
 

Preview Chapters from the book here.
 
Buy the book today!

In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

The Making of In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

Hello Martha!  It is such a pleasure to have you on The Black Authors Network author’s tour. The Give the Gift of Knowledge tour is used to expand the variety of books that our readers receive each month. Your book is a welcomed edition. Tell us a little about you and your passion for writing.
MAT:  I am a sixty year old grandmother of four. My writing career, until the last few years, has been one of those “don’t quit your day job arrangements”. I am a  tax professional who discovered early on that my creative writing skills came in handy when writing client letters to the IRS.  My passion for writing becomes evident in my books. It is a blessed opportunity to give birth to a character and watch them grow throughout the development of the story.

 Introduce  us to the story behind  the book, In the Land of Cotton:

IntheLandofCottonlgMAT: As a child growing up in Memphis I could not have known that the Boyd family, the main characters in In the Land of Cotton, would have such a haunting effect on me. Last fall, their indelible personas became overwhelming. They were all I could think about. I sat down one afternoon and the book began to flow to paper. I still had vivid memories of Cypress Grove, a primitive farm the Boyd family had lived on since the days of the Civil War. They had no electricity, no running water and certainly no refrigeration yet they wanted for nothing. It was a step back in time but, as a child, I wanted to be part of that. As the reader journeys through the 1960’s, they travel along side the Boyd family as they experience the historic events of that decade. You will find as a reader that you will become immediately vested in the characters. The Boyd’s have the voice for every Black American that lived through those turbulent times.

We would like to explore some of the Intimate moments in the book. Read on as Martha takes us inside.

Martha, in your own words, tell us why this book was meant to be written.
MAT: In the Land of Cotton is a provocative and emotional chronicle of a young, inquisitive white girl coming of age in the color divided South of the fifties and sixties. My story places you smack dab in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a heart-felt journey through American history that weaves a tale of forbidden friendships, misconceptions and human nature… human nature at its best and worst. 

 After all of these years I suddenly became compelled to write the story of Silas and his family. I wanted this new generation to know that it hasn’t been that long since black families lived in seclusion with no electricity…no running water or sanitation…no telephones or refrigeration. My heart is always in my words as I define that sole-mates are forever and true love..really is colorblind.  I wanted to remind the people of my generation of how long this journey has been; and to the younger generations, I wanted to present a time capsule of events so they would never forget the anguish, fear and tremendous sacrifices of their ancestors. In light of this year’s Presidential Election, In the Land of Cotton defines a beacon of hope for any individual, who has ever felt different or longed for more out of life.

Beside Lucy, the part-time maid for the family,  what made you so drawn to the woods? MAT:  It was the “not knowing”. It was the excitement of going somewhere no white person had ever been. It was the wanting to belong to something bigger than myself.   (Snippet From Cotton) Not smoke like the woods was on fire but smoke like came out of a fireplace; soft, mesmerizing smoke that called you to come explore the woods, smoke that carried your imagination and made promises of a different life, far far away from the one you were living.  

 

When did you know you were in love with Silas your childhood friend? MAT: One evening after Silas walked me back to the “white neighborhood.” We were always terrified someone would see us. It would have been tragic. Silas, who was an African American male, could have been killed but, we always took the chance.   (Snippet  From Cotton) I stood there holding my bike like some anchor that tethered me to the ground I was standing on. I watched Silas until he completely disappeared into the woods then waited a few more minutes after that, in case he returned.    

 

At the peek of the Civil Rights Movement when did you realize there still remained tension between the North and the South? MAT:  When martial law became the order of the day. When southern Governors stood chained to university doorways. When buses were bombed and almost daily we heard about some southern Black school that had been burned.   (Snippet  From Cotton) Martial law was declared in the South. Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General got involved and once again, Walter Cronkite had a television camera in every nook and cranny, capturing every slur and clubbing. For days he regurgitated the entire travesty right into our living rooms. The majority of country was enraged but here in the south, it was just another day in Dixie.    

 

Did Silas share your feelings and deep emotional bond? MAT:  Silas always appreciated the unspoken line in the sand. Inter-racial marriages were against the law in most states and prejudice ran high. “The Dream” was spoken of often by everyone; trouble was it was totally out of everyone’s reach and we all knew it.   (Snippet  From Cotton) We finished our picnic with small talk about his daily routine and the friends he’d met. Even Silas used color as a first descriptor. We were a long way from Martin Luther King’s dream. We were certainly a long way from mine.  


Was there a sense that time was short for you and the Boyds? Did you feel complete racial equality would ever be realized

? MAT:  The country had come so far in such a short period of time I knew we had reached the point of no return. Civil Rights and racial equality were marching through the streets of the South. At the same time, I felt it would be generations before racial equality would become the way of life.   (Snippet  From Cotton) I thought about what Lucy had said about poverty being generational. I thought the advancement of civil rights would most probably be generational also.

I thought that the Wallace’s (Governor of Alabama) of the world would eventually die off and each generation that followed would be raised to be less prejudice. I thought surely at some point all the seedlings that had been planted would eventually grow into strong trees and under their branches we would all live in harmony. I hoped that would be in Silas and my lifetime.  

Thank you Martha for sharing with us!  How may the readers contact you?
Martha A. Taylor, Author, “In the Land of Cotton”
Email: Taylortsg@Aol.com ISBN:978-1432734718

Purchase is In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor from Amazon

 

Meet Author Monique D. Mensah

 Monique Mensah Tour l

Join Author Monique D. Mensah on a virtual tour…

EDC Creations and the Sankofa Literary Society announces the official virtual book tour of Monique D. Mensah, the award-winning author of the dramatic fiction, Who Is He To You. From September 1 to October 30, 2009, follow Monique D. Mensah on an interesting journey all over the Internet from the comfort of your home. Readers will be intrigued by the intelligent exploration of sensitive issues such as cutting, emotional abuse, depression, and drug-addiction.The first page which is filled with intense emotion and a descriptive setting that pulls the reader right into the scene. This virtual book tour is brought to you by EDC Creations Media Group. To learn more about our virtual tours, visit  www.EDC-Creations.com.


Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign

EDC Creations announces the launch of the 2009-2010 Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign, bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy and change lives through the gift of books. A sincere thank you to all of our tour hosts, wonderful readers and book club members who continue to support us and our authors and business owners. During our travels, we meet so many wonderful people and we look forward to meeting more of you, and getting to know you and providing what you need to satisfy your literary appetite. If you have not done so already, please sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of new literary events and the latest book news, reviews and author tours. We select 4 newsletter subscribers each week to review newly released books for us. Register here for the  Sunday News from EDC Creations.


Prizes for Bloggers and Reviewers

We offer special gifts for those who support the authors during our Intimate Evening reading series on BAN Radio and to those who respond to the posts! To become eligible to win 1 of 5 copies of Who Is He To You by Monique Mensah, follow author Monique Mensah on her virtual tour and leave comments at the blog stops and interviews. The lucky winners will be announced on EDC Creations’ Black Pearls magazine blog on November 7, 2009!    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network

Read Chapter 1 Who Is He To You by Monique Mensah 

How to Join the  Who Is He To You Book Tour

If you would like to follow the Who Is He To You virtual book tour, visit theonline media center frequently at http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/moniquemensah.htm  for the tour schedule. Meet her on the sites listed and add your comments or reviews. If you would like to host author Monique Mensah on your site, blog, radio show or magazine, please visit the online media center and select promotional material that will Give the Gift of Knowledge to your network.
 
Thank you all for Giving the Gift of Knowledge! Make sure to check out our bookshelves for gifts and books that change lives!

EDC Creations- Book Stores
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20
http://astore.amazon.com/sanklitesoci-20

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
Website: www.edc-creations.com

The Ministry of Motherhood

CLD_MinistryMotherhood high res Meet Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Cheryl Donovan is a native Houstonian who is walking in her destiny as she ministers the word of God all over the country. Her captivating messages are delivered in a no nonsense transparent dialogue with her audiences.

Cheryl believes in the Psalms 11:25 which says, She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed; therefore, she tries to be transparent as she speaks and writes about her valley to mountain experiences.

 Cheryl resides in Houston with her husband of 16 years. She has two grown sons and a step-daughter who has a son of her own.

To learn more about Cheryl or to have her speak at your next event visit http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com

About the Book

In a time when teen pregnancy is on the rise once more and single mothers are being blamed for all of societies problems, Cheryl Lacey Donovan presents a view of single motherhood that tears down all the excuses for why single mother’s can’t succeed.

Cheryl Donovan shares her valuable insight into the spiritual and biblical principles associated with being a good mother.

A former single mother herself, Cheryl shows readers that through the abundance of God’s grace and love along with determination and perseverance, children don’t have to become statistics.

Cheryl identifies key biblical principles and displays practical life lessons that can help to establish solid foundations upon which to rear happy, well rounded, productive children.

Cheryl provides insight the will assist the reader to look inside themselves for change. It will help them identify the strongholds of poverty, lack of education, and abusive relationships and help them tear them down with the help of the creator.

Cheryl’s powerful testimony about her journey from teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and single parenting, to award winning author, educator, and inspirational speaker is sure to empower, enlighten, and inspire mothers everywhere.

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Create a safe Loving Home Environment

Psalms 133: 1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

 Kids who don’t feel safe will suffer. Children exposed to parents who fight and argue may become depressed and withdrawn. Remember to respect your kids.

 Unity in the home is called precious and a blessing. Too many outside commitments can lead to little time spent with your children. A family cannot experience wholeness until each member is willing to put the other first.

 Though many life situations are beyond our control, parents can still establish homes that are peaceful and secure. Start by rejoicing in the accomplishments of others. Encourage your children to voice honest doubts and real struggles. A consistent walk with God, established routines, clearly communicated boundaries, and traditions when consistently applied create homes that are free of volatility. Such homes become retreats; safe places of comfort and renewal.

 Our families can be a powerful witness to others for good. We can either point to God or away from Him. When our homes are havens for peace and respect for one another, people take notice.

 Make your home a place where disagreements are fair, different opinions are respected, and words are loving.

 Who is the power behind your family? What do people see when they look at your family? What traits do you admire about other families? How can you incorporate those traits into your family? What positive aspects are being built into your own family?

 Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of The Ministry of Motherhood. Order your copy today. She is also the founder and chief visionary officer of Worth More Than Rubies Ministries. To learn more click here

A New Conversation with Men by Michael Taylor

A New Conversation with Men by Michael Taylor

Paperback: 189 pages
Publisher: PublishAmerica
September 29, 2008
ISBN-10: 1605635804
ISBN-13: 978-1605635804

Listen to a Intimate Conversaton Interview with Michael Taylor
Ella Curry and Michael Taylor discuss the new book.

“Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they are often separated from each other.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 Is it possible to: Teach men to become great fathers? Encourage men to become better husbands? Teach men to live with passion and purpose? Get men involved in improving their communities? Join entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and radio-show host Michael Taylor as he shares how creating a new paradigm of masculinity can help heal America. This book is written to inspire men of all ethnicities, ages, socio-economic levels, and religions to come together to redefine manhood and to eradicate the multiplicity of challenges facing America today. Its intention is to remove the separation among men and remove the hatred, fear, and distrust that too many men feel about each other. It is a powerful, inspirational document written to educate, motivate, and inspire all men to reach their full potential. Join the conversation, and become a part of the revolution!

View the spirit filled message from author Michael Taylor


Finally, a 21st century guide has been created to help men eradicate fatherless-ness, domestic abuse, high divorce rates and senseless acts of violence. Michael shares with his readers his own experiences in achieving a new found confidence in being a strong male leader. Michael Taylor is an entrepreneur, radio show host and a recognized motivational speaker. He can discuss life changing topics, targeting men who seek change in their lives, including subjects such as:

* How men can have a better self outlook- increasing their passion, joy and creativity
* How men can eliminate the Five Illusions of Manhood
* How men can recognize the Five Masks of Masculinity
* Learning what Spirituality really means for men
* How men can transform their relationship with their families and associates

Michael is available for literary events, virtual seminars and as a keynote speaker. For more information about A New Conversation with Men or the companion social site, please contact Michael Taylor via email at: info@ancwm.com. Visit the website to purchase the book and to view the many resources for men at: http://www.ancwm.com.

To everything there is a season(the Bible)

In the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3- it states, “There is a time for everything, a time and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…”
I say now is the time to tear down and rebuild.  During this historic election, it is time we as a nation, as a people under God, as a people who have power and authority, as God’s children, to take a stand for our beliefs.  It is time we stop talking about rocking the vote, but it’s time that we actually do rock the vote!

I can’t and won’t even attempt to tell you who to cast your vote for.  All I ask is that you get up, get out and exercise your rights to vote, to choose, to decide, to help make a change.  We cannot continue to live, or ever think to thrive rather than merely survive if we don’t do something to stop the madness of the last eight years.  I know that there are some of you who say that your vote doesn’t count or that the presidential election is not decided by the people but instead by the electoral college.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  God doee not want us to be slothful in anything.  In all things we should be who He has called us to be.  That means that He has blessed each of us with talents, with gifts with power and a sound mind.  We must not rest on our laurels. 
I proudly announce my support of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Is it because Barack has skin like mine that I’m voting for him?  YES that’s one reason.  Is it because Barack Obama stands for change?  YES that’s another reason.  Is it because Barack seems to identify with people of all classes, races, socioeconomic status and religion?  YES that’s still another reason.  Is it because Barack and Michelle look like the perfect couple who supports one another?  YES, that’s a reason for me too.  Is it because he is a Harvard Graduate, a Community Organizer, a people person, a man of many colors, races, and one who has had to wear many hats?  An Astounding YES.  Is it because he is a man who exemplifies what it means to be a true leader?  Oh Yes, Yes, and Yes again.
There may be some who read this blog and disagree with my choice for president of the United States.  That’s fine.  That’s the beauty of living in a world such as this.  That’s the reason it is of utmost importance for you, and you, and you, and me to go to the polls whether it’s raining, sleeting or snowing.  Whether the sun is shining or the clouds are hanging low that day.  Go to the polls whether your stomach aches or your head hurts.  Go, be obediet to the law of the land – Vote.  One person CAN change the world.  My Jesus Christ did it.  Now go forth and make a difference in the world.

Award winning NY Times Bestselling Author
Shelia E Lipsey
www.shelialipey.com
http://twitter.com/shelialipsey

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Domestic Violence shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t think you could ever become a victim – Think again! Who can be a potential victim, you may wonder?

 

Your family member

A neighbor

A close friend

The single mother
A married woman

The strong and independent woman

Your child

 

and

 

YOU!

 

Join Authors Supporting Authors (ASA) on Saturday, October 18th at 9:00pm ET as Tinisha Nicole Johnson, Allyson M. Deese and Linda R. Herman discuss their new book, Somebody Prayed For Me. Amongst other issues that affect our society, domestic violence will be addressed on this Radio show. Although a fictional book, some of their stories are based off true stories.

 

Call into this LIVE show to listen or ask questions and share your stories. You can stay anonymous. Or you can also log into your computer and listen and chat online.

 

Date:    Sat., Oct 18
Time:    9:00pm ET

Call in number: (347) 838-9985

Log into your computer and listen/or chat live: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ASA-Blog-Talk

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available in all 50 states www.ndvh.org
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

 

Visit Authors Supporting Authors (ASA)

http://www.asanetwork.webs.com

Visit the Authors Behind the Book
http://www.somebodyprayed4me.webs.com

 

PassionScape by Hazel Mills: Is Monogomy An Unrealistic Expectation?

September greetings,

You know, it seems that more often than not, we hear of relationships vanishing because one or both of the partners are seeking love and affection elsewhere. Nowadays, celebrity break-ups due to infidelity are the norm. We even take bets on how long the marriage will last from the moment we get wind of the news. Sadly, this does not only apply to celebs. The same is true for everyday joes. What happened to the sanctity of the once honorable institution of marriage?

PassionScape poses the question: Is monogomy an unrealistic expectation? All month long, you will hear from some of today’s most talented authors and poets on this issue.

Author NANETTE BUCHANAN:

It is my belief that no one who truly loves is expecting anything other than a monogamous relationship.
Anyone Who Loves

Anyone who truly loves, loves with their heart and soul
Loves totally, it never grows old.
Anyone who truly loves, knows from the very start
Of all the ups and downs
Of how love can be turned around
Of how true love is hard to be found
Anyone who truly loves, gives of themselves unselfishly.
Putting their wants and desires behind those they love
Praying to God above,
for patience and understanding
and support for that undying love.
Anyone who truly loves
learns not to break, just bend
Learns who they love are also friends and will remain to the end.
Anyone who truly loves
will hurt from time to time
Looking for the signs of total peace of mind
Anyone who truly loves
will look back on the past
realizing that true love will last

For to understand true love
Is a life long task.

Copyright 2000
Thoughts & Reflections
Author Nanette M. Buchanan
visit my site: www.myspace.com/ipendesigns
                    ipendesigns.blogspot.com

 

AUTHOR TINISHA NICOLE JOHNSON:

In this day and age, the question makes you wonder, it makes you ponder on if a man can stay true and not run astray from his woman, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, and if a woman can stick by her man faithfully. I believe less people are getting married and more seemed to be getting a divorce or separation. We are in a different era of lifestyle, personality, control and obsession. There is a lot of temptation in the world. And in the twenty-first century where more and more of us our are gaining our individual independence, networking more, socializing more, running our own business and even working more, this adds to the stress and sometimes lessens our priority on maintaining and keeping up with a healthy relationship.
 
What ever happened to true love? What ever happened to black love? Is it unrealistic to think black love is slim to none and that staying monogamous is nil? Sometimes it really does make me wonder.
 
But back to the point – If a man and woman care about each other, I mean truly love and find passion in each other than I would say monogamy is realistic. But honestly, I’m going to tell you what I really think. I think monogamy is even more realistic if you put God and prayer in your life and in your relationship. Without God in a relationship it just leaves too much room for Satan to enter and cause disruption and confusion. So there has to be some type of spiritual connection and then yes, I believe monogamy is realistic.
 

Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Author, Writer and Poet
http://www.TinishaNicoleJohnson.com

CNN Black in America- Andrea Version

 

CNN’s Black in America

My Version of That Story

by Andrea Blackstone

 


    Last night, I met with some friends in a cozy spot, chatting about business and life. To the right of our booth, a flat screen commanded our attention. In my between laughs and brainstorming, the majority of patrons paused when the segment began. In fact, nearly everything ceased. Forks rested on plates, and robust chatter quieted. Most of the patrons of the quaint spot in DC, were people of color who stopped by to unwind after a long day at work. If someone is speaking about a group to which he or she belongs, most people instinctually take interest in wanting to know exactly what will be said about them. In this case, “them” was “us.” You know, black folk.  My eyes followed a few scenes that included a glimpse of a neighborhood, then a shot of black hands clenching steel prison bars. I can’t speak to the entire show, since I couldn’t manage to stomach the entire presentation, but when large images of the stereotypical black inner life city met my eyes, I sighed with sheer disappointment. I expected something else that could make me feel like someone with the power to bring issues to the public would tell more about us…this time. Initially, my heart was filled with hope, but my attention span soon waned in a familiar way. I also observed several other patrons resume conversations and continue eating. My neighborhood doesn’t look like that, nor the one where I grew up. I don’t know anyone in jail, although I’m not saying that I’ve never known anyone who hasn’t been incarcerated. With that said, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t truly say that I couldn’t relate to those images. 

 

    I was sitting in the presence of a young woman who has been a business owner since 18, and a former DEA agent who is highly respected, not just in The District, but all around the world. Both are females–African-American females. I consider the stories that my father told me of wearing under clothes passed down from white troops, when he was a young man in the military. They were patched up to inspire a second life. He also explained that worn out shoes were repaired and given to black troops to use. These examples are only the beginning of the discourse that dovetails with equality. There were countless substandard conditions, before integration. Nevertheless, many African-Americans persevered, and proudly served and made great contributions to the United States. I also consider someone else who came to sit at our booth–a witty black surgeon who worked at Howard University Hospital. He wasn’t stuffy or arrogant. He greeted me like any other person would. When his friend revealed who he was, and what he’d done, he waved her off, as if his accomplishments were nothing special. Always “the smart kid,” it turned out that he broke some sort of age record, but I won’t spend all of my time name dropping here.

 

    In the midst of that conversation, the series continued to play. An avid people watcher, I felt dizzy with mixed images. One played on TV, while others continued to unfold in real time. The ironic thing was that CNN’s story of being black in America was nothing like the story that had been written in the place where I was seated. I soon noticed a small business owner slumped over, feeling tired. He sat down on a padded stool to take a break from standing on his feet all day. He obviously put in a hard day’s work, where people stop in to unwind and enjoy home cooked victuals. His wife continued serving customers as he wiped his face. I watched him drift off, until someone said goodbye. When he heard his name called, he perked up and answered, lively and warm. My imagination ran wild in that little dive. Everyone there had a story. The kind of story each patron owned probably won’t ever make it TV, yet they too are black people living in America. And for the record, affirmative action was not relevant to any story that I heard that evening. Each individual worked hard to qualify, and press forward, just like any other American. We have a history of overcoming obstacles, yet all too often, the ills of a certain segment of our population becomes the focus of what gets dissected and discussed at length. Here we go again, but do most of “us” expect anything other than the status quo? When one person makes a mistake or commits a crime, does society hold it against our entire race?

 

    I learned to have faith in more than what the media tells me, during my formative years. I read so much news online, and listen to so much talk radio, I often forget to power on the bube tube. My father raised me to value news and business programming like CNN. He always told me that watching certain programming, and listening to certain types of discourse, provides insight regarding how to prepare for tomorrow. As a result, I quickly grew eager to find out what was going on all around the world. By age nine, I was addicted to The Diane Rehm Show on 88.5. I soon learned that Rush Linmbal’s views could make me heated in a hurry. Nevertheless, my father, who was a single parent, taught me a lesson in something far bigger. The media is a powerful force. Within the structure of it, viewers or listeners will enjoy the manner in which a given topic was explored, while others will leave segments feeling the sting of the power to inform. Opinions are just that, yet interpretations of social ills, and how various people rise and fall, are a part of the grand presentation. How we deal with life, and how we interact with others in this world, gets jammed into segments, which will also undergo editing. Every angle can’t be covered. In fairness, that’s just an impossible task. Although most of us are well aware of the aforementioned, the final product is at the heart of the matter. Thus, my version of CNN’s Black in America Series connects with the issue of responsible journalism. Do journalists have a moral obligation to explore both sides of any issue? That premise can’t be enforced, but lately, I’ve been questioning what I feel “good” journalism entails. I’ve grown weary of recycled issues with stale presentations. Some conclude that the lack of diversity in presenting stories is an intentional endeavor, while others chalk it up to the way media works, because it’s just too hard to change their game. You choose; I’m just here to give you yet one more version of my feelings of being black in America. I too can’t cover it all in one opinion piece. What I can do is offer food for thought, based on my experiences living as a black citizen in America.   


    After my time with my friends came to a close, with a sheet of plastic over my head, I ran toward my door, my mind twisted with introspection. I wondered how I’m going to get to the next level in my life, and what the world could assume about me, just because I’m black. All I can do is put in time and effort, hoping that a substantial door will open some day. To date, much of my life has been spent in school, or trying to find one solid job where I can put my skills to use. With that said, something is better than nothing. Life is not a perfect experience, whether you’re black, white, or other. I thought of the story I’ll soon be penning about my father’s relatives. It doesn’t involve gossip, sex, scandal or drugs. It’s just a human interest story that speaks to humanity–to people of all colors– as well as the reality of an ultimate sacrifice. I also consider role models like every black man who goes to work wearing a suit and tie, or blue jeans and a crisp T-shirt. All of them are gainfully employed. Professional or blue collar, they are not sitting in jail, or taking advantage of sisters or the system. Would someone please remind us of the number of black men who do hold degrees, own a business, or did fight for custody of their children? If the goal is to educate others about black people, these stories exist too, so why do producers often neglect to include more of their stories? 

 

    In the coolness of the night, I sprawled out on top of my comforter, realizing that my mother’s birthday is quickly approaching. What am I going do to this year? Somehow I’ll find a way to celebrate. This will be my fourth trip of remembering my best friend for life, the best way I can. I have no husband or kids to soften the blow, but that’s okay. Wait a minute–I don’t fit the mold either. No kids, no baby daddies? I spent so much time in school, taking note of broken marriages, and kids going through hell, I’ve walked on eggshells, trying to dodge pointless drama. I could’ve teetered on the edge of living a good or settled life, but I opted to keep striving for myself, on my own. The road has been difficult, but it is what it is. And as far as mom, I now choose to focus on the good times, not the manner in which I lost her. When life got rough, mom lifted me. “Don’t worry about it. Keep trying.” That was her mantra. I had a strong bond with my mother, and I always will. Now a motherless black woman, I didn’t lose my mother to drugs or violence. I lost her to cancer. My brother, a black man who holds an advanced degree in divinity, stood by her side, until the very end. Would a story like ours make it to a segment or a show? I doubt it. It probably wouldn’t make ratings soar, not even the part about my brother being attacked for recording our mother’s last few days of her life. Pardon me, I do know someone who has been to jail. My brother was arrested for doing that. A jury of his peers were all white men from our hometown. Nearly four years later, my brother called to inform me that he lost his lawsuit, thanks to police immunity, and more details that illustrate the other side of  black life in America. His story was brushed under the rug.  I was left feeling that any time we look at Mom saying hello to her friends and family on tape, the memory of that experience will resurface. My brother never even had a speeding ticket, but he soon found out what it felt like to be locked up, or go through the trauma of getting his record expunged. A few days after that experience, our mother died. Despite this occurrence, my brother hasn’t changed or become a bitter man. He finds strength through his faith in God, just as many African-Americans do in America. Many black people don’t hate white people, nor do a great portion of us judge people we don’t even know. Our mother was our best example. She still reminds me how much love can carry you through anything. That’s not a black thing; it’s a people thing. I suppose that’s why people of all colors and races loved her so much. In turn, we too embrace those who embrace us. 

     

    I recall a time when my first book was nestled inside of her tote bag. I sat next to her in a treatment room for cancer patients. Some accused me of being a gold digger, not realizing fiction was just that. I have no interest in taking advantage of a man who cracked the code. I want mine by earning it. The reason why I attempted to try my hand at writing urban fiction was rather simple. I couldn’t land a job in my field. As a reward to myself, I took matters into my own hands. Whatever people were reading most, I decided that I was going to try to write it. As an English major who attended a historically black college, I wondered if attending another school would’ve given me more clout in corporate America. I tried the other side, since things seemed to be more about strategy than if you’re trainable. I earned my M.A. in a year and a half, in a rare program, where few blacks rarely enrolled. After I finished graduate school, I recall sitting in interviews, qualified, yet chided for what I’d done. “What made you pick that program?” I’ve been told by recruiters to remove some of my credentials, just to land a so-so job. I worked hard for them, so why should I? My counterparts are praised for finishing the very same program. I crack open newspapers and magazines, and I never get an inkling that the majority thought it was a bad thing. I hear catty remarks all of the time, and get the brush off from both sides of the fence.

 

    Most recently, one person told me that she was looking to hire someone right away, yet her behavior indicated that I wasn’t even in the running to be considered. “Do you have an A.A. degree?” she asked. “Yes I do. I have a Master’s and two years of law school,” I explained. “Well, I’ll take your resume, but I’m still looking.” She floated over toward the coffee area, nearly rubbing in her ability to help me pay off my student loans, or keep me in misery. “Oh this coffee is perfect,” she crooned with a smile. Her co-worker stood next to her, sipping mocha, as they both indulged in office gossip. By the way, this woman was not white. (Figure it out.) Not to sound like a pessimist, but sitting in the lobby nearly an hour, then experiencing that little dig already told me I shouldn’t wait by the phone for her call. Been there, experienced that. How many years have I been through his? In a who-you-know-town, a degree can justify people being in the loop, while other qualified applicants would never be welcomed there. Deep down, I thought of throwing my hat in the ring to try to earn a PhD. If I did, it wouldn’t be for the right reasons. It would only be to gain a little more respect in this world, as well as this town. I want to be the head cheese, primarily because of cheesy people, and the possibility of better job security. Is another student loan bill worth it? Maybe so, maybe not. I’ve done all of the things I was supposed to do to live a normal life, yet recruiters yawn when I remind them of my degrees or student loan obligations. What they often are willing to pay is no less than insulting.

 

Even so, (repeat after me), something is better than nothing. I’ve held jobs that didn’t require a college degree, and taken trips to South East, shaking as I left work at night, as police escorted staff. I’ve also felt the sting of working for years with no benefits. Still, I reminded myself that many people out there had it far worse than I did, and still do. I often let the sun warm my face, crank my easy listening music, then slide up the highway. I had chains on me, and yes, they’re still there. I can’t find the groove I was groomed to like, so I fake it and hustle hard where my heart is happy. The writing profession is undervalued, and in my opinion, it’s much too hard to make a living solely by writing, at least for the average author. I contemplate returning to law school with mixed emotions. All of those things cross my mind, many days. It all comes back to someone who did embrace me with unwavering faith.

 

    I recall sitting next to my mom, trying to ease her worried mind, as she sat in a special recliner. Her veins were filling with bone strengthener, and all I could think was “I’ve got to sell these books for her.” Realizing success is of our own making, completing one little task for “us” would make me feel like I’d done something kind of cool before I die. But along the way, I promised I’d clean up the content and talk about things like this, in a book. 

 

I want to weave tales of my grandparents, two modestly paid professors in the South, at a time when mostly anyone didn’t have a degree. Mom’s wisdom planted that seed, and it has sprouted over the past few years. I’m fighting to officially pen those stories, as well as others that can reach young adults. I’m working hard to earn the right to take that ride, even if landing a book deal of that nature will prove to be extremely difficult. CNN’s special reminded me that more stories of the other side of black life should not only be told, but also supported. Our people have suffered various realities that some feel we should forget. How can we forget something if equity is lagging in 2008? That’s my biggest question about being black in America. 
    

    My first taste of that reality was getting the shaft in law school, simply because I picked the wrong school for the color of my skin. Although I grew up in the suburbs, Cinderella I am not. Now that mom’s gone, I have to face something else too. Where is the rest of her family? Some are lightly kissed by the sun, while others have faded into the trenches of white America. Even more complex, some are white, and our relation is very close. And where is the tiny little town in Virginia where my other grandmother grew up? Her mother raised a crew of children alone, so I understand. Native American ties, this time. 
What does it feel like to be black in America, knowing that blood of other races flow through your veins? Some of us still won’t mention it, even if that reality hits close to home, and some people regard mixture as a point of interest or disdain, so you’re not supposed to mention it, unless people pry. Most of the time, if people shoot a “high yella” joke your way, you’re supposed to laugh it off. At the other end of my gene pool, I consider my other grandmother who died when I was an infant. She was a maid, faithful church member, and part-time cook in her daughter’s popular soul food restaurant. My dad, the cashier in that establishment, from the age of 11, became a graduate from one of the most prestigious institutions around. He completed homework in the backroom, on top of a crate in between breaks or before his shift. Many of his siblings made it too. He also pulled groceries in wagons, and shined shoes to pay for his school clothes, during The Depression. Many other kids from the old neighborhood, who shined shoes, in brick-filled streets of a sleepy town, are now at the top of the heap. Once again, these people are black in America, too. Will someone ever interview more black people like them?    Lastly, my mind shifts toward two young people. One is nine, and was attacked in the inner city, by fellow students. It was a simple case of bullying the kid who was behaving as a normal student–no frills or wild antics in tow. The school did nothing but brush the event under the rug. Hearing that my niece had to endure many stitches, just for being the soul she is, auntie now has to plan a day to be with her, in hopes of doing a little damage control. I don’t want her to hate school because of what was done to her. The other is barely 21, battling a heart condition. I root for this young black man who is fighting to make his life better. Last year, he struggled through summer school. “Did you ask your professor for help?” I asked. I was informed that his mathematics professor wasn’t too helpful. He repeated the course, and began moving ahead after transferring to another community college with a mixed population. Now his health is failing, due to the stress of simply trying to make his start better than his beginning. Every day he took the bus in the city to get to college in the county, he navigated past gangs where wearing the wrong color shirt could get him killed. He too has been picked on for trying to make something out of himself. Should we not consider why things have spiraled out of control, and how such instances can impact our youth?  Some of them want to be saved. Will the world see their plight?    In closing, black life is not perfect, nor are people. Every race has its share of issues to overcome, and all of us are capable of making mistakes. Nevertheless, we should be judged as individuals, not as a group. Considering all that we have endured, I still feel that there’s more good to celebrate than bad to emphasize. I encounter so many people of color, struggling to make life better for their families and themselves. Some have been on the bottom of the totem pole, and vowed to sit at the top some day. Others are in mid-stroke, simply trying to stay afloat like most of us. Another segment may fall into the categories of those scenes I initially spoke of, during the beginning of this piece. Nevertheless, African-American people are diverse. All too often, we’ve been placed in one box. For those of us who are tired of sitting there, it’s time to take ourselves out of it, and expose our eclectic experiences, in this thing called black life. We’ve been there for too long, and I’m not sure if the average mainstream media outlets will ever give us a chance to set the record straight. To me, the most logical thing that some of us can do is hold hope near, making adequate efforts to distance ourselves from whatever statistics say. Personally, my inspiration comes from something simple and free. It comes from all of the positive black people who I observe doing great things in America! 

 

 
 
Andrea Blackstone majored in English and minored in Spanish at Morgan State University. After a two-year stint in law school, she later changed her career path. While recovering from an illness, she earned an M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland ahead of schedule and with honors. Andrea self-published her first two urban novels, and recently completed her first book deal with Q-Boro Books. Her nonfiction debut can be found in Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul. A lover of all genres and outrageous characters, Andrea aspires to write a wide array of stories. Her future work will range from inspirational nonfiction to unconventional plots written under one of many pseudonyms. You may contact her at dreamweaverpress@aol.com.

 

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Andrea Blackstone was born in Long Island, New York, and moved to Annapolis, Maryland at the age of two. She majored in English and minored in Spanish at Morgan State University. While attending Morgan, she received many recommendations to consider a career in writing and was the recipient of The Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship Award.

After a two-year stint in law school, she later changed her career path. While recovering from an illness, she earned an M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland ahead of schedule and with honors. Afterward, Andrea became frustrated with her inability to find an entry-level job in journalism and considered returning to law school.

Jotting down notes on restaurant napkins and scraps of paper became a habit that she couldn’t shake. In 2003, she grew tired of waiting for her first professional break and decided to create Dream Weaver Press. A short time later she self-published  Schemin’: Confessions of a Gold Digger, and the sequel, Short Changed.  Andrea is also a finalist in  Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul , and some of her original work will also be included in an upcoming urban fiction anthology. A lover of all genres and outrageous characters, Andrea aspires to write a wide array of stories. Her work will range from inspirational nonfiction to unconventional plots written under one of many pseudonyms. Andrea recently signed her first book deal with Q-Boro Books and looks forward to having a new work released under a publishing house.  

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Inspiration plus Mystery


What would you do if after your loved one died, you found out they were living a double life? A life that could possibly get you killed. That’s what happened to Rahkel Williams, in the mystery novel, Searchable Whereabouts by Tinisha Nicole Johnson.

Rahkel’s beloved uncle who she treated as a father was mysteriously killed. However, afterwards she began finding clues into his life that had her thinking he wasn’t the man she thought he was. In fact, he may have been hiding a horrible family secret that affected three generations of her family.

After hiring private investigator Darrin Miller, Rahkel begins her search to find the truth aside from the police. Soon she will find she’s in over her head and it becomes evident somebody does not want her to know the truth, and they may even kill her in order to stop her from finding the truth. 

 

Searchable Whereabouts by Tinisha Nicole Johnson is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and at bookstores everywhere. Visit the author: www.tinishanicolejohnson.com

 

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Have you ever been in a situation where you were on bended knees because of a situation you were in? Have you ever felt alone in this world and thought no one could understand or cared about your circumstances?

 

Well there is always hope through prayer. In Somebody Prayed For Me by literary sisters, Allyson M. Deese, Linda R. Herman and Tinisha Nicole Johnson you will witness awe inspiring stories, poems and letters that may hit home and cause your emotions to filter. The power of prayer is just that: POWERFUL!

 

Somebody Prayed For Me is an inspirational book for any age and is the perfect gift for any occasion. Visit www.somebodyprayed4me.webs.com to learn more. Pre-order your copy at www.tinishanicolejohnson.com and receive a free DVD of the book trailer and personalized signed book marks.

 

Cool Calvin Teaches the Meaning of Being Gang-Free

Thanks to my mother for her voracious reading appetite and her willingness to let me tag along on her library trips.  Due to that experience, reading books became part of my life at an early age. Before I could even read, we would checkout books with records so I could follow along. When I became of reading age, I feasted on books about kids like me doing amazing things. I enjoyed Encyclopedia Brown’s mysteries and appreciated the Sweet Valley High twins as they took the fear of the unknown out of attending high school.

 

While I grew up in a New Jersey suburb, safe from the gangs of inner city Newark, New Jersey, I didn’t feel a deep relation to the stories I read. Luckily, with gang messages and the allure of grabbing a quick buck constantly bombarding today’s youth, Ralph Burgess and his creation, The Learning Adventures of Cool Calvin, are now on the scene. The literary adventure getting the most attention these days is Cool Calvin’s No Bandanas for Me: Staying Gang Free. Instead of being preachy, a tactic sure to turn-off young readers, Burgess allows young Calvin to carry the message of gang dangers to his audience. The peer-to-peer learning model not only encourages children to read but it allows them to learn valuable lessons about belonging. Burgess attracts readers with a likeable character and a positive message.

 

Cool Calvin not only makes an impact on his young readers, he also makes a mark on the New York City Department of Education and the self-publishing industry as a whole. Ralph Burgess, a self-publisher, recently landed a huge purchase order for 9,500 books through a distribution deal with Sussman Sales. The NYCDOE will distribute the books throughout the New York City school system. This major coup adds one more success story to the self-publishing roster, thereby removing it even further from its vanity press perception.

 

Known for its high gang population, Burgess hopes Cool Calvin can reach the Chicago and Los Angeles school systems as well.

 

For more information, about Cool Calvin and his adventures check out http://www.coolcalvin.com/.

 

Courtesy of : http://www.sablelitreviews.com

Romance Author, Victoria Wells: PassionScape by Hazel Mills

This month, PassionScape catches up with Xpress Yourself Publishing’s romance author, Victoria Wells, to discuss her bestselling contemporary romance novel, A Special Summer. I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria in May during Afr’Am Festival held in Norfolk, Virginia. She is a remarkable woman who is very passionate about her work. Victoria is not shy when it comes to talking about her latest release or about sharing her experiences in the publishing industry.

VICTORIA WELLS is a Philadelphia native. In 1991 she graduated from Community College of Philadelphia under her legal name Gaye Riddick-Burden with an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences majoring in Nursing. She furthered her education and went on to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing from LaSalle University.

Wells (Riddick-Burden) is employed as an adult nurse practitioner at a center city hospital. She has dedicated her fifteen year career as a nurse to taking care of patients with sickle cell disease.

In 2005, Wells was nominated for the Nursing Spectrum’s Nursing Excellence Award in the category of Clinical Care for her work with sickle cell patients. On May 10, 2005 Wells became the regional winner of the 2005 Nursing Excellence Award in Clinical Care. On October 24, 2005, Wells was awarded the Nursing Spectrum’s National title, “Nurse of the Year” in Clinical Care at the Chicago Ritz-Carlton. Nursing Spectrum wrote, “Riddick-Burden is a strong advocate for patients with sickle cell disease. She was instrumental in designing and implementing the outpatient Sickle Cell Day Treatment Unit for these often underserved patients. The program is driven by Riddick-Burden’s desire to provide timely and effective care to patients with sickle cell crisis, decreasing long waits in the ED and avoiding inpatient stays that separates patients from their families.”

On March 19, 2006, Wells was awarded the Movers and Shakers Award presented by the American Women’s Heritage Society, National Association of University Women, National Association of Phi Delta Kappa, Top Ladies of Distinction and Two Thousand African American Women. This recognition was bestowed upon Wells because of her dedication to the nursing profession and community outreach.

Wells has been a lover of books since childhood. As a child she would spend hours reading. To this day reading remains a favorite pastime. Wells’ favorite genre is African American romance.

While taking a creative writing course in college, Wells became interested in writing. The final assignment for the course was to rewrite the last chapter of The Color Purple. Wells received not only an A for the assignment, but for the course as well. Professionally, Wells has written and lectured extensively on sickle cell disease. However, in 2005 after being encouraged by family and friends, she decided to pick up her pen and write her first romance novel.

A Special Summeris Wells’ first novel which she self-published and will be re-released by XYP in 2008. Wells is married with three children, she and her family live in the Philadelphia area.

HM: I have just finished reading your book, A Special Summer and it is wonderful. Tell us a little about the book.

VW: A Special Summer is a romance about a love that is all consuming. It’s also truly a story of redemption and forgiveness. The heroine of the story Summer is experiencing her first encounter of being in love with Nick who happens to be a much older, powerful, successful businessman. Because of demons and unresolved family issues from Nick’s past life, Summer is literally flung into a world of pandemonium when he believes she’s betrayed him. When he finally sees things as they really are, Nick is in jeopardy of losing the only woman who has ever truly loved him unconditionally. 

HM: What inspired you to write A Special Summer?

VW: I loooove African American romance novels. After reading so many great stories over the years I wanted to write my own story about us being in love. With so many negative stereotypes floating out there I wanted to create African American characters that were strong, positive and self-sufficient. My desire was also to be another voice in this genre that let it be known we are capable of loving and respecting each other. We do work through our relationship issues and take our responsibilities seriously. Speaking from the perspective of an African American woman it was important for me to say loud and proud that our men do know how to cherish us and love us. In addition, we as women do love and support our men when all isn’t perfect in our relationships.

HM: How long was the journey from concept to publication?

VW: The process took me about a year and a half. Initially, I toyed with the idea of writing a romance novel. I got up the courage after numerous friends and family told me. “Girl, you go can do it.” After writing my story I decided to self-publish it. After receiving overwhelming positive feedback I submitted my manuscript to three publishing houses, two were interested. In August of 2007 I accepted an offer from Xpress Yourself Publishing.

HM: Who are a few of your favorite authors?

VW: I have several! LOL My all time favorites are Francis Ray, Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Leslie Esdaile, J.D. Mason, Rochelle Alers, and AlTonya Washington. Gwyneth Bolton and LaConnie Taylor-Jones are also authors that I’ve recently begun reading this year that’s pretty good.

HM:  What three pieces of advice would you give an aspiring author?

VW: First, I would tell them not to let anyone steal their dreams. There will be a lot of folks who may pretend to be happy for you one minute and then the next discourage you in every way possible. Second, I would advise them to do research on the genre they wish to write. Finally, stay true to who you are as a person and as an author.

HM: What can we expect in the future from Victoria Wells?

VW: By God’s grace a ton of exciting romance novels! I’ve just recently completed my second manuscript, When Love Comes Around which is due for release early 2009 by Xpress Yourself Publishing.

 

Ten Victoria Wells Quick Facts

1. Hometown: Philadelphia

2. Favorite Color: Black

3. One item you can’t live without and why: My bible. I need God’s strength everyday of my life. God speaks to me through His word.

4. Last CD you purchased: Robin Thick

5. Favorite department store: Macy’s

6. Best childhood memory: Spending time with my grandmother.

7. Teen celebrity crush: Michael Jackson

8. Favorite snack: Pepperidge Farm Cookies

9. Favorite holiday: Christmas

10. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: Stay in bed alternating every few hours between reading and watching Lifetime .

Visit Victoria Wells online at www.victoria-wells.com

Victoria Wells has set a new standard for contemporary romance with “A Special Summer”. I was drawn instantaneously into the lives of the two main characters, Nick and Summer. The storyline is dramatic and captures the essence of the joys and pains of love. I laughed and I cried with each turn of the page. This book is not the usual “cute” romance novel. Wells has artistically sculpted a very realistic view of relationships. I eagerly await her next creation.  Hazel Mills, author

2008 Prom Pictures-Are You Laughing or Crying

Here’s my opinion. We (parents and the adult society) accepted the rules of those who didn’t have or never had children years ago. Today we are reaping what we’ve sown. I by all means do not agree that we all fit into this category but enough of us do. Bear with my thought. There was a time when schools held account to everything that went on with our children in school including attendance and discipline. Yes, there were cases of abuse reported and for that we allowed the court system to make the rules that governed not only discipline in the schools but in the home, the church and just about everywhere. Children are literally hands off. Today due to years of this type ruling there are no rules for them to abide to. They say anything, wear anything, and do anything to everyone. The parents can’t control them in the homes, they don’t control them in the school and we don’t let them and church is a fairy tale in the homes where there is more fear of the system then fear of losing the child.<br style=”display:none”/><br />
You might ask yourself what am I saying. When we as parents neglect to monitor our children in the home we assist in the failure of their growth and productivity. This is what these prom pictures present. What parent monitored them in the home? I knew what my daughter’s gown was going to look like. I paid for it so of course I knew what was being made. When we as parents don’t monitor them in the schools we assist in the failure of their growth and productivity. When we go to the school and threaten to beat, cuss, and abuse the very people that are hired to educate and monitor our children. Threaten them with violence. The same violence our children display. Why would we expect them to stop them from wearing the gowns or outfits we let them leave from home in. We want everyone else to be responsible for the children we are the parents of. As a teacher why should they look out for our children when we neglect to look out for them. Yes they look like they’re going to a pimp’s ball. What do they look up to in the video’s? What are the women wearing, how are the men treating them, and what do they see in the movies, the streets and in some of their homes.<br style=”display:none”/><br />

You reap what you sow!!!! What’s your comment?

Nanette M. Buchanan
Author, Family Secrets….Lies & Alibi’s