Join us on the Black Authors Network Radio Show (BAN Radio) in June and July with host Ella D. Curry to discuss your new business, books and any other adventures you want the world to know about.
The Black Authors Network Radio Show (BAN Radio) is a weekly online radio show that features authors, entrepreneurs, influencers and literary leaders twice per week to give the listeners a blast of knowledge, wisdom, and empowerment.
We are dedicated to promoting the advancement of multicultural, diverse genres of books in all aspects of business and social networking.
We welcome all new authors, community leasers and business owners to our radio show to showcase quality products, provide insightful information and to share in the power of our collective voice.
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LoLo Smith is a children’s book author on a mission to positively reshape the way children of color see themselves. As an elementary school teacher, she was dismayed with the lack of children’s books with characters of color on the market.
So she established Do The Write Thing of DC (DTWT), with two other like-minded individuals. This 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit publishes books by, about and for African Americans to address the lack of diversity in books. “I’m filling diversity gaps in children’s literature and doing my part to normalize the appearance of African American and Hispanic girls and boys in books,” she says.
LoLo has written 10 books for children. Her books feature anime characters, American Girl dolls, superheroes and even dogs! She writes on topics such as kindness, bullying, community workers, and the COIVD-19 pandemic. She has taken her commitment a step further by developing a literacy program, Living Storybook, through which she re-issues her original books with photos of African American and Hispanic children that participate in DTWT’s after-school and summer programs.
“When children see photos of themselves in a book, it becomes a powerful incentive for them to read,” she says. LoLo Smith is pleased to announce the release of the following books which are available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/LoLo-Smith/e/B01LDWYAEK
I Know My Community Workers by LoLo Smith
This picture book exposes young children to 17 different occupations, some of which they may not have considered for themselves such as being a chef, astronaut, or politician. Many are playing important roles during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the doctor, nurse, teacher, grocer, chef, construction worker, fire fighter, police officer, train engineers and the mayor.
The 4 pages of JUST FOR FUN facts are a very creative way for parents to determine if their child understands the information in the book. Beautifully produced books like this will get the children off the internet.
For children age 4-7. Teaches young children the titles, tools and workplaces of community workers and encourages them to set career goals. Four pages of activity sheets are available to delight and excite the children. Watch the Living Storybook Program: https://youtu.be/nLb1u6gGTMM
Community Workers & COVID-19 by LoLo Smith (A Children’s Book About Coronavirus)
Looking for an engaging book to teach children about the coronavirus and explain what community workers do? This is it! In Community Workers & COVID-19, kids are introduced to a special town called Share-A-Lot where a doctor, nurse, teacher, construction worker, grocer, chef, emergency medical technician (EMT), police officer, and a mayor all work together to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout this engaging story, children will learn about the role each community worker plays in the town while learning the virtue of sharing. From the teacher who reminds students to wash their hands, to the research doctor working on a vaccine for COVID-19, to the grocer and chef providing nutritious fresh food and vegetables to keep the body healthy, each worker plays an essential role in the town and they are all happy to do their jobs to help the community get through a difficult time. But what happens when the mayor decides to offer a special prize to the most essential worker in town?
How will they ever decide who plays the most essential role? You’ll have to read to find out. By the end of the book, children will have a greater understanding of how each community worker helps combat coronavirus pandemic and a newfound appreciation for the community workers keeping them safe in their own community.
Meet Max and Bo, two fun-loving dogs that like to celebrate the holidays including New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Young children will enjoy seeing the illustrations of the dogs in their different hats, ties and costumes.
This is a delightful book with rhymes on every page to engage young kids. JUST FOR FUN facts help parents determine if their child remembers the information in the book. But it is not all fun and games for Max and Bo.
At the end of the book, they are shown in face masks. This illustration can be used as a springboard for parents to discuss COVID-19 with young children. Max and Bo are in face masks since it’s not too much to ask, to help prevent COVID-19, and avoid being in quarantine!
If I had to make 4 suggestions to new authors or business owners it would be:
Social media profiles are not as good as having your own website. Everyone in business…needs a control center, your website! That website will house the options to purchase your product/services, samples of your work and it should provide visitors with a way to connect with you. Audio and video are a must.
Get a newsletter or an opt-in to capture the email addresses of your followers. Start a newsletter that really pours into your audience! Entertain, educate, empower, and most of all nurture the people you care about. Let your audience inside your world and invite them to be a part of your team. Give, give, give!
You can not do this alone! Create your team as soon as possible. Find those go to people, create a plan and activate it together. The key is having a plan and working it. You will feel lost and un-accomplished if you can’t measure your results and it won’t always be about money.
If you are launching a new product or service in 2020, you need to pick up one of our packages today!
The Crown Holders Transmedia team of contributors are a network of writers who are strong, intelligent and driven! Their mission is to uplift, support, and encourage the Morning Tea and Sankofa Lit community.
They are Believers! With their combined wisdom, they give a perspective on life from all ages and from all walks of life.
If you would like to submit your story or inspiration for the online magazine, monthly newsletter and our blog, please read the entire page and submit your material to Ella D. Curry, the editor.
The Writing Sisters Summit was born in 2019 with the intent of bringing together writers, male and female, who want to hone their craft with and learn from other writers.
In 2020, The Retreat will take to the Sands of Taos, NM, featuring workshops by Seattle based NAACP Image award nominated writer, playwright and filmmaker, Nina Foxx, along with several of the writer-friends that she met through the course of her twenty years as a published author.
Nina created the summit with the intent of spurring creativity and creating community among writers that want to deepen and expand their craft and learn how to prepare their work for publishing.
Foxx says “When we used to get book tours, I’d cross paths with other writers on the way to the independent bookstores and we had a community to help encourage us and learn. They felt like a family of close coworkers in an otherwise solitary occupation and we helped each other be more creative. The death of the indie bookstore has basically killed those bookstores and that connection, too. I want to re-create that.”
This year’s summit adds a wellness component reflecting Nina’s belief that strengthening the mind-body connection will help one focus on craft while understanding the underlying motivations for what is put on the page.
Other faculty members include Foxx’s writer-friends, Kwame Alexander the author of 32 books and New York Times best-seller and winner of the Newberry Medal. Kwame is also the founding editor of Versify, an imprint of Houghton-Mifflin.
They will be joined by Carmen Green, Romance Novelist and Georgia- based writing professor. Several of Carmen’s works have been made into TV movies.
Wellness faculty include Jami Jones Ervin, Columbus, OH based Life Coach and pastor, and Albina Rippy, yoga instructor and owner of the Blue Sky Retreat Center, where the summit will be held. “I was so moved by what Nina was trying to do and it spoke to my own writing journey. I took a chance and reached out and asked if I could be the Yoga Instructor for the retreat.”
Originally from Kazakhstan, Albina and her husband Roger taught yoga at the US White House twice as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative and is a teacher of Yoga Studio owners, based primarily in Houston, TX.
Seattle- resident Nina Foxx is the author of over 17 works in multiple genres. She has won multiple African-American Literature Awards, is an NAACP Image Award nominee and was short-listed for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.
As a filmmaker, she has produced works that have been selections at numerous film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, HBO’s Run & Shoot Film Festival and The Urban MediaMakers Film Festival. She has produced several plays based on her books, with the help of grants from the City of Seattle. She and her husband Barry own Clever Vixen Media. Together they produce literary events.
An Engineering psychologist by trade, she works at a major media company in User Experience and is a frequent speaker at technical conferences. She volunteers her time on the local and national level promoting STEAM careers for under-served youth, often focusing on the value of storytelling in technology occupations.
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Hello! Come on in, have a seat! I would like to invite you to create an audio presentation for the Crown Holders Sisterhood.
We are looking for uplifting, motivating stories of over-coming obstacles or lessons that will empower women! We want to learn from 100 women who inspire, motivate and entertain audiences with their stories…their voices!
Your presentation will be posted on the Crown Holders Transmedia website. Also, I will play your podcast on BAN Radio Show. The recordings will become part of our Crown Holders web-series that will be live-streamed to Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
There are NO fees for this service. But, this can not be used solely to promote a product or service. We are truly seeking to pour into and uplift the women in our community.
I understand we are all busy women, so I created a simple way to share your story on the webinars. Here’s a way for you to pre-record your message on your own schedule. Listed below are the details on how to create the audio campaign and the materials needed. We look forward to showcasing your service, company or your book. Read this entire page to answer most of your questions.
I will need your recording back as soon as possible. This page is long, but I want you to have all of the information to make the process seamless. This email breaks down the process of recording to the finest detail. After the recording is made and you have submitted all of your material, I will email you with the link to the presentations.
You can speak on any subject that is important to you. The topics can range from parenting, caring for aging parents, being a empty nester, to how to create a product or service. You are free to speak on whatever moves you and will educate others!
Here are my suggested Topics for Your Women of a New Sisterhood Podcast:
Becoming a Visionary Business Strategy Career Development Care-giving for Terminally Ill Caring for Aging Parents Coping with Depression after Losing a Child Diversity in the Workplace Empowerment for Divorced Women Entrepreneurship Inspiration & Tips Finance & Money Management Finding Hope After Losing a Child Harnessing the Power of Prayer Health & Wellness Tips & Advice Helping Women Return to Work after 50 How Did You Start Your Business How to Survive Domestic Violence or Adult Bullying Living a Vision Driven Life vs. a Condition Driven Life Living an Intentional Life Recovering from Addictions Relationships for Single & Saved Social Media Influencing Starting Online Brands & Business Surviving a Cancer Diagnosis
Practice or plan what you want to say before recording. Do not mention a time- sensitive offer or discount because this recording will be re-purposed several times over the next few months.
HOW TO CREATE THE PODCAST 1. Select a topic that’s important to you and prepare a speech for our audience. Create your webinar in the TED TALK fashion of presentation. You can record up to 20 minutes. Do not go over this time.
Introduce yourself, give the title of your session. Next, explain what we will learn today. Give a 1-minute intro into how you can serve the Women of our New Sisterhood Community and what your company/book/wisdom offers the audience. Let the audience be sold on your expertise!
Next move into your planned speech. Imagine them right before you! Ask them questions. Give them a call to action. Pull them into this ‘conversation’ and really show them how much you care about their success.
2. Try to keep it entertaining and informative. Do not use this like a sales advertisement. The first 10 minutes are crucial to holding the online listener’s attention for the entire session.
Please do not make multiple recordings. If you make a mistake simply STOP the recording by pressing the (#) pound key. You can re-record as many times as you like, just don’t hang up to stop recording. Multiple recordings will slow down the entire process for ALL of the other speakers.
3. At the end of your lesson/speech feel free to discuss your products or services and include ways to reach you. Please keep your advertisement to 1-2 minutes at the very end. At the end of your presentation, share your websites, blogs and all your social media info.
You can gently promote your services, charity, book, product or signature program. If you have a book, please tell the audience WHY you wrote it and HOW it shapes their lives.
4. Please do not mention any dates, times or any events. Do not advertise any events or special occasions! If you mention release dates or events it limits what I can do with the recordings. It limits your presentation’s visibility on future programs.
DO NOT MAKE MULTIPLE RECORDINGS. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
Hit the (# key) to STOP the recording and re-record. You can keep re-recording the same session over and over until it’s correct. Do NOT hang up to start over. If you need a do-over, immediate press the (# Key).
Create Your Crown Holders Sisterhood Podcast Call this number: (201) 283-9143 PIN: 158-535-351#
— To record message, select option (1) when prompted.
— Press the (# Key) to STOP and SAVE the recording when you are finished talking and reading.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM
I need your information back as soon as possible. Email me if you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit all of your information in the body of ONE email. Do not send any type of text file, Word document or PDF file. My assistants will not open any text related files for security reasons. You can attach images as .jpeg or .png files only!
1. Give me the title of your session. Email me the title of your session and the promotional material. You are free to discuss any topic that will educate, entertain and uplift women. You do not have to query me to see if this is a good topic. We would like to shy away from topics on politics, violent crimes and disciplining children. Other than that…go for it!
2. Submit your bio written in 3rd person, 200 words, no more. Include your website address and other information about your company, book or service. Select ONE service or product and submit the material needed to promote it.
My goal is to drive people to you with the interviews/podcasts. I will promote your product or service online for 7 days in 2020. Submit your confirmation and promotional material as soon as possible.
3. I need the following information about the speakers: — Title of the presentation and subjects discussed — Recorded podcast and the promotional text for your product or service — Bookcover art or eFlyer (Large: at least 360 x 504 pixels) — Speaker’s personal head-shot only (Large: 300 x 300 pixels)
4. Please share inks to connect with you on social media websites. List any that fit your brand. They are all optional. Give the full URL:
Website: Twitter Link: BookBub: Instagram: Facebook: Anchor: Youtube: Snapchat: Blogtalkradio: SoundCloud: Zoom, Loom, Live Leap or Expertise.tv:
Thank you in advance for joining us. I will do my very best to help increase your exposure and to provide the community with tools to better their lives! Our goal is to keep this to a bare minimum of emails.
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations About Me: http://about.me/elladcurry Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder Black Authors Network Radio-Founder Social Media Expert – Internet Publicist – Brand Strategist
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Interviews for the Black Pearls Magazine Book Club Edition
Hello All Social Clubs and Readers,
Black Pearls Magazine is celebrating the rise of social clubs, book clubs, author circles and literary groups! We would like to showcase all member, presidents, social club creators, and book reviewers on the front page of Black Pearls Magazine!
Bi-Monthly, we will publish a printed version of Black Pearls Magazine! It would be an honor to include you in the next edition. If you do not belong to a specific group, you can still answer the questions as an avid reader! We want to hear your story as well! We are dedicated to the promotion of quality literature.
This email seems long, but it includes the interview questions too. There is still time to get you and your club on the front page. There are no deadlines; submit the interview when you have the time.
Please send photos of the group AND of the president alone, so that the readers can really enjoy the organization. Feel free to share this interview with as many readers or bookclubs that you know!
Book Club Questions for Legacy Book
Please select at least 6-7 of the questions to answer. You may answer them all if you like. Submit the actual questions AND the answers back in the BODY of a email. Include the names of all the officers in the interview.
Q:: Give us the history on your organization or blog. Share with us your leader’s name and any other officers in the group. What year did you start? Where are you located? How many members do you have?
Q:: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the year or provide services for the community?
Q:: As a loyal reader, what are some of the things you want to see more of or less of in books?
Q:: Has there been any books that helped shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life? Q:: What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?
Q:: Are you satisfied with the legacy black books will leave our future generations? Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? If so, who?
Q:: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in the books you read?
Q:: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? Does the price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
Q:: What are some of the changes you have seen in the last 5 years, in publishing, that you dislike?
Q:: Speak directly to the writers of the world, what advice would you offer them on capturing a reader’s attention and keeping it?
Q:: How may we find out more about you or your group? Please share your FB link, website address and public email address.
*** We Appreciate YOU! ***
Let us share a new book with you! To show our appreciation, we will provide all the people who share their story with us a book gift. Please email us your home mailing address and we will send you a new book for review purposes! Books are mailed out each Saturday via media mail, arriving to you in 10-16 business days. The books are from all genres and all types of writers and poets.
*** How to Submit the Interview ***
1. Send the interview questions AND the answers back in the body of ONE email. We will send back all interviews that do not fit these requirements! Do not send any type of text or Word document. The only thing you need to attach are photos. Send all interviews to this email address ONLY: email@example.com. Follow all of the instructions please.
2. At the beginning of the interview, include a bio written in 3rd person, 80 words or less. At the end of the interview include your email address, Facebook, Twitter and website information.
3. Spell and grammar check the interview BEFORE sending it to EDC Creations. Make sure all hyperlinks are correct.
Thank you in advance for considering a spotlight in the Black Pearls Magazine. We look forward to promoting you and your group to our 165,000 opt-in EDC Creations Newsletter readers too!
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations Media
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Black Pearls Magazine Online -Founder
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Strumming My Pain by B. Love has 184 Starred Book Reviews! Check out the excerpt: https://a.co/2HW6bqg
Nurse, Elise Waters, has been shaken. After witnessing the murder of the man she loved, anxiety had become her relaxed state and trust is a fair-weather friend. Forced into witness protection while awaiting her moment of testimony at the murderers’ trial, she meets someone who provokes her truth. Her spirit, searching for soothing, cries out. But claiming healing isn’t so easy.
Izeah Moses is a guitarist with a head for business. As owner of an apartment complex, the presence of his new tenant sends his fingers into a melodic frenzy. Easily, she captured his heart, but grief and fear have overtaken her mind. Fulfilling her needs takes more than a serenade.
In this Spiritually Street Romance, will Elise and Izeah become their very own love song? Or will the past forever haunt, leaving them plucked to pieces?
Read more about Strumming My Pain by B. Love African American Women’s Fiction
B. Love, an author who focuses on African American romance, urban romance, and non-fiction genres, is celebrating five years as a published author on November 5, 2020.
Often called the ‘Prolific Pen Pusher,’ B. Love has achieved much in just five years as a published author. She has released more than 110 award-winning novels that have received both critical acclaim as well as financial success. To mark her five years of successful novel-writing, the author is set to release five new books.
B. Love has been writing ever since she was 12, and her stories stand apart from regular love stories in that they focus on self-growth, self-awareness, compassion, and gratitude. Her stories have more to do with transforming the life and approach of the reader, rather than providing them with merely a gripping plot. With a sizable fan following in all parts of the world, her stories are characterized by compelling content that explores the many colors of human emotions such as love, passion, and devotion to life.
B. Love’s books focus on encouraging inner growth and elicit deep inner exploration in her readers. She focuses on continuous learning and self-reflection and encourages her readers to take the same path to unravel a beautiful life that each one of us are bestowed with.
In addition to writing, B. Love is a writing coach, editor, publishing sage and consultant, and has founded a publishing company that helps talented authors publish books. She also provides mentoring for new authors and guidance to current authors as well as story ideas and summaries for those who need inspiration to start writing. Her company has helped publish more than 300 books by about 50 authors.
Mira is a troubled soul living in the sphere of toxicity. With heartbreak and rejection being too heavy of a cocktail to continuously digest, she turns to drug use in order to dull her reality. Unfortunately, her spiral leads to homelessness and a need for rescue. Desperate for cash, she finesses her way into an underground casino. Taken in by the action, it’s clear this is a place she doesn’t belong. However, a meeting with a powerful man causes her to lose her potential marks and gain a path to healing that just may let her heart tag along.
Smoke is suave and charismatic, and he knows his business. As the owner of an underground casino, his eyes and ears are always open. Dollars don’t get played or paid without him knowing about it. Faces become familiar after first glance. When a woman, less made up and more run down, enters his establishment, Smoke instantly recognizes her as out of place. Yet, there’s something about her that draws him in. He wants to care for her… help her reclaim her light. If only the task was that simple.
Will Smoke and Mira find themselves in the mirrors of each other? Or will the truth of circumstances fade the promises of the future?
A connection has been established between Smoke and Mira, but decisions on both their parts create cracks within their foundation.
As Mira’s life spirals out of control, she finds herself in desperate need of an anchor. Smoke’s need to save the damsel in distress causes him to protect and connect with Mira in ways neither thought was possible. The closer they get, the less Mira feels worthy of the love and care Smoke provides, and that only makes him want to pursue her more.
When an enemy threatens both their lives and budding relationship, Smoke realizes just how detrimental they are to one another. Instead of providing one another with reasons to be better, they continuously bring out the worst in each other. One final test has Smoke ready to avoid his reflection in the mirror of Mira… and he can only hope she’s strong enough to handle it.
Oakland was once the baby sister kept under her brother’s thumb. Now, she’s a woman determined to take care of herself, and that includes licking her own wounds. Fresh off of heartbreak, she’s sure being alone couldn’t get any worse… until she finds herself in jeopardy of losing her job. Reflexes would have her call her big brother to save her, yet she reminds herself that she wanted this independence and she must fight to keep it. Entering a competition with a fellow journalist looks like a plausible solution. However, the nature of the competition, steeped in pretend dates and getting-to-know you questions, puts a lot more than her employment on the line.
Azriel is mighty with words. A talented journalist, he’s no stranger to proving himself. When he’s offered an opportunity to enter a challenge to showcase what he’s made of and stamp his name on the magazine industry, he confidently accepts. His competition not only matches his savvy, but her allure is enough to make the world stop moving. In a romantic whirlwind dubbed as research, he finds discovering her truths shifts his perspectives and steadies his heart. However, with his career on the line, love may have to be left out of the credits.
Will Azriel and Oakland let their hearts narrate the future? Or are they both sentenced to a life without love?
What do you do when the love is gone? The lies are revealed. You Fight.
Valerie appeared to have the perfect family life while suffering in silence to formulate her escape plan. When a past indiscretion is revealed will she have the courage and strength to move on and what will get in her way? How will she find the ability to trust anyone again?
Joy is a successful therapist who has helped dozens of addicts over the years. When she decides to take on virtual clients including Valerie, she gets a little more than she bargained for including having to learn to face her own past.
Love, Lies & Fight is an emotionally charged story of how helping others through their pain and issues is sometimes exactly what we need.
Book Reviews from Beta Readers
Erin Maiolino states: LOVE LIES & FIGHT is a raw, riveting, and authentic story of two women whose lives are interwoven by chance yet inescapably interrelated.
Rattled by her high-powered husband’s infidelity, Valerie plunges into the darkness of picking up the pieces while discovering who she is. Her aptly named therapist, Joy, must come to terms with the lies, secrets, and tragedies in her own life. The deep pain and suffering that these two women endure are shared by every woman who has ever endured a heart-wrenching loss or betrayal.
This novel deserves your attention—travel with them on their path to rediscover love, triumph over the lies, and fight for their self-worth.
Deanna Malfregeot states: LOVE LIES & FIGHT was a compelling and absorbing read from start to finish. It was two cleverly interwoven stories depicting the two main character’s struggles, journeys of healing, and eventually moving on with their lives. I would find myself rushing through each part to get to the other character’s progress. The fact that Joy, the therapist, and Valerie, the patient, were only professionally attached and never met in person made it even more interesting in this day and age of video calls, teleconferencing, virtual meetings, etc. I found it to be the same to my own work and personal relationships. As for each of their stories, they were different enough to keep me invested as they were from different backgrounds and had come through different traumas, but the common ground each found with one another was relatable and rewarding.
This book offered two separate great stories into one that showed how trauma impacts people differently but how healing draws each character together and forward. Without giving too much away, the first-person narrator got the storytelling aspect down and had me wanting to know how she would move on with her life and I enjoyed the richly drawn characters surrounding her. What was more nuanced but every bit as interesting was Valerie, who had told her story and made me want to hear more. For Valerie, it really was a voyeuristic view into one woman’s nightmare and fight back to some sense of normalcy during a crisis. I read this book over the course of two evenings since I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and was happy with the ending.
I’d like to see a continuation of each of their respective stories! It was a sliver of their lives during a time of transition and it leaves the reader wanting more after the book is over. Isn’t that what all great books do? I’d love to see a sequel as I felt uplifted by the ending and still curious as to how their stories continue to play out as I felt a connection with the characters. I would recommend this book to everyone as it evokes powerful emotions and relatable situations. It was very well done.
Julie Bellatrix – Love, Lies and Fight is her debut novel which is co-written with author Terri D. Julie cannot thank her enough for mentoring her through this experience since it truly helped her to positively move forward with life. Julie was never much of a fan of writing until recently when dealing with a challenging series of circumstances. Having made it through as a much stronger and self-confident woman she desired to write a book that would inspire other women. Visit Julie Bellatrix’s website: https://juliebellatrix.com
Terri D a.k.a Terri Martinez – Terri is a blogger and author who writes under the pen name Terri D. She published her debut novel titled Yesterday’s Lies in 2011. Terri has since released four more novels, a memoir titled Passport Wife, has published articles, poems and Terri’s most recent release titled, Journaling for Self-Care for Young Adults was inspired by and dedicated to the young women of Chatham.
Terri is happily married again since 2017. She has three children and four grandchildren. Terri is a member of Beulah Baptist Church where she has written and produced stage plays and she is an active member in the Choir. Terri is also a trained Chaplain assistant, Certified Recovery Specialist and Certified Life Coach.
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle? Love, Lies & Fight is available on all major outlets in paperback and ebook formats. It is a fictional drama that focuses on the lives of the two main characters, Joy who is a therapist and Valerie who is one of her clients. It’s a story about how sometimes while helping others you ultimately end up getting the help you need. It delves into the stigma of therapy in the black community especially the church community. It shows how having closure and resolving issues in our own way and time help us to heal and move on.
BPM: Who were your favorite characters to write? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? Terri D – My favorite character to write was Joy. I’m not a therapist but I’ve been to several in my lifetime. It was fun and at times challenging to come up with what a therapist might say in certain situations.
BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? Terri D – Yes I’ve always tried to focus on relationships and how to work through challenges. For this book I really wanted to focus on therapy and how helpful it can be. I guess the message is that therapy is a form of self-care and we all need to do whatever is needed to care for ourselves.
Julie – I wanted to establish awareness of what can happen in an unfortunate situation and showing strength by picking yourself back up and moving on.
BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book? Julie – I think Chapter 21 is the most powerful when Valerie finally gets the courage to describe her experience in the hospital.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Julie – I can now see the benefit of writing as a way of healing.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand? Terri D – When I am in the middle of a writing project I don’t read books by other authors. I’m an avid reader but once I start a writing project I have shut all of that down. I love using my computer to type my books but when I journal I prefer to write it out on paper. I often listen to classical music while I write. It is very soothing and relaxing for me. It allows my creative juices to flow freely.
BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips on self-care for creative folks? Julie – Re-visit looking at what is written the next day after a good night’s rest for making revisions. If not in the mindset to write when you start, take a break until you the words start flowing at a good pace. After writing something look at it again to see if it is a critical piece to the story or if it is just something that is personal that may not need to be included.
Terri D – There’s a thin line between connecting with your characters to the point of taking on some of their traits. That can be both good and bad. It’s good to maintain a healthy balance between your creative thoughts and feelings and reality. The best way to do that in my opinion is to take breaks, step away from the fiction and go back to your reality.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey. Terri D – At one point Joy states that she believes God sent clients to her to help bring the issues that she needed to work through to the surface. That resonated with me because I feel that God brings us to things in our lives to help us learn and grow through the process of getting through those things. I have spent the past two years waiting but my time spent waiting has been intentional because I needed this time to grow spiritually.
BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from reading your book? Julie – I want the readers to feel that it is possible to feel empowered and strong even through life’s struggles.
Terri D – Everyone struggles at some point in their life. There is no shame in seeking professional help to get through. It is possible to learn and grow through even the most painful experiences.
BPM: Do you have a Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookBub™ or Facebook community? Terri D – Here is our publisher’s website https://tdubpublishing.com and I am on Facebook, Goodreads and BookBub as Author Terri D.
Vivacious Niyana Nichols isn’t looking for love. Between the demands of work as a Wellness Clinic Administrator, recent widowhood, and being there for her two beautiful daughters, love has taken a back seat for the fifty-three-year-old. To complicate matters, she’s also suffering from Alopecia. Yet, when Niyana meets her daughter’s handsome professor, she is faced with emotions she thought she’d buried with her husband.
Divorced single father and African-American Studies professor, Omari Josef, is devoted to his career. When the forty-six-year-old grandfather meets the gorgeous and spirited Niyana, he’s forced to rethink his own happiness. Their age difference doesn’t matter to him. What does is making sure she realizes that she’s a woman worth cherishing. Will the sudden reappearance of Omari’s ex-wife wreak havoc in his life? Or will their undeniable attraction grow into something solid and abiding?
SNEAK PEEK INTO THIS TIME ALWAYS Hey Readers, meet Niyana & Omari from the new novel This Time Always by Suzette D. Harrison!
Lifting his head out of the water, he glanced in her direction. “Niy.”
“If you fall asleep I’m not carrying you. I will leave you there.”
Her drowsy smile was her only response.
He flicked water at her. “‘Ey, wake up.”
“No, and leave me alone.”
Scooping a handful of water, he mischievously tossed it.
“God of Zion, please get this man.”
He repeated the torment.
“Sir, I’ma need you to quit.”
“Not until you dip a toe in.” True to his threat, he played the role of pest, splashing her and smack-talking until she finally vacated the chaise and stomped towards him.
Lifting the hem of the spaghetti strap maxi dress flowing about her sensuous frame, she grudgingly complied with his wishes. “There. Happy?”
“Maybe.” Standing in the shallows, he grabbed her ankle before she could turn away.
“Come on, baby, sit with me.”
She stood a moment faux-glaring before advising, “Five seconds and I’m finished.”
“Fair.” He offered a stabilizing hand as she lowered herself to the pool’s edge. “How’d you get wet?” He feigned innocence.
She tucked her dress about her thighs with a smile. “This pool has obviously gotten to you.”
“Maybe it’s you.” Hands at her waist, he granted her a kiss that was sweet, quick before latching his legs about her and floating onto his back again, keeping his ears above water in order to hear. “Enjoy the day?”
“The day. Tonight. Dinner. Maestro Marsalis and that jazz. Absolutely, and yes. But I’m especially appreciating my Dr. Delicious in these swim trunks.”
His laugh caught in his throat, his abdominal muscles quivered as she slowly ran pedicured and polished toes up and down his naked torso.
“I’ll like these trunks even more when they’re off.”
He lifted his head and stared long and hard, finding nothing but pure desire in her eyes. Still, he was disinterested in a replay of last night. “Woman, don’t play with me.” His voice was gruff, unintentionally.
She needed to catch a Killer, She never thought she’d find Love instead.
Yasmina Iro is proud to debut her latest trilogy Dark Goddess and its first book To Catch A Raven.
Yasmina Iro has been praised for her first work, “Shroud” for her unique voice and style and be ready to see even more of that in her latest work!
To Catch a Raven is a paranormal romance set in the fictional future and the first book in Yasmina Iro’s new Dark Goddess Trilogy. It will appeal to readers of Jeaniene Frost’s “Night Huntress” series and Laurel K Hamilton’s “Anita Blake”, while exploring a new, futuristic take on paranormal romance. To Catch a Raven will astound readers with its relatable characters, unique setting and deep, erotic narrative. The story features characters from all walks of life and sexual orientations, helping to bring more representation into the paranormal genre.
To Catch a Raven follows the story of Raiven, an immortal with a twisted past and a dark future as she works to solve the case of a Supernatural serial killer. The case comes a little too close for comfort when her best friend Justina is injured and Raiven finds the withdrawn local Alpha Kisten assigned to protect her. The only problem is Raiven wants Kisten, and she’s not allowed to have him.
Dark Goddess Trilogy – Book 1, To Catch A Raven To Catch a Raven is the first in the Dark Goddess Trilogy. The novel follows the story of Raiven and Kisten as they fight for their future together while navigating the ghosts from the past and along the way, discover the truth about Raiven and what she is. That truth and what it means for the world as they know it, will be the ultimate challenge for this unlikely pair.
What Others are Saying:
“There are several big reveals that continue to shift the storyline in unexpected ways, something that even a jaded reader like myself can fully appreciate and still be surprised by.”
“I was in no way prepared for how totally addicting this novel would be, and the sheer magnitude of the new world, the compelling characters, the multi plots that break the mold… I was really impressed.”
About the Author When it comes to travelling, Yasmina Iro knows a thing or two about putting on the mileage. They can often be found exploring the world, travelling to learn about new cultures and experience our beautiful planet. From their home base in the United States, they enjoy creating new worlds and cultures for their readers to explore with them. When not exploring, Yasmina can be found decorating beautiful cakes in their kitchen while caring for their blooming family or sneaking some work on their webcomics. There’s also something new going on with them and that’s the way they like it.
If you would like to connect with her, you can visit her website at http://www.yasminairo.com or follow her on Twitter @murosakiiro.
When Mariah St. Cloud becomes a full-fledged member of the walking wounded, she shuts down. She’s learned that men are born heartbreakers, so work becomes her lover. It’s dependable and won’t leave the toilet seat up. But the untimely death of her beautiful, estranged sister Allegra kicks her predictable life to the curb and brings ex-cop Anthony Caine into her everyday existence-intense, protective, and far too handsome for her self-imposed celibacy.
Conflict is inevitable. Anthony wants to tumble Mariah’s reserve like the walls of Jericho and keep her safe. Mariah just wants him out of her hair–even as she stands in the deadly shadow of Allegra’s secrets.
About the Author Dana Sanders Hill has spent most of her life reading and writing romance that focus on family dynamics. Her current romantic suspense, Allegra’s Shadow, is no different. After years of dealing with New York winters that made her bones rattle like dice, Dana moved south. She lives and works out of her home in North Carolina with her family and hopes to get a female Shiba Inu soon, because it’s hard being the only female in the house.
Her first romantic suspense novel ALLEGRA’S SHADOW was nominated for an African-American Literary Award.
Seducing the Pen: Behind the Scenes in creating Allegra’s Shadow
Allegra’s Shadow is a romantic suspense set in Raleigh, North Carolina and Hackensack, New Jersey and targets African American women ages 18 to 50. It follows Mariah St. Cloud, who’s estranged, older sister Allegra dies in her North Carolina home. Allegra’s Shadow shows how family dynamics affect other relationships, especially romantic ones.
One central issue is the relationship between fathers and daughters and how they impact a girl’s self-esteem into adulthood. Mariah felt unpretty and unworthy because her father didn’t love her, and because Allegra was his favorite. The page before Chapter One is a dedication which reads, “To all the women and girls who feel unpretty, this is for you.”
The title of the book refers to Mariah growing up in the shadow of Allegra’s beauty, confidence and charisma while Allegra was alive and being surrounded by Allegra’s shadow after death, because of Allegra’s secrets and lies. Although Allegra’s death is ruled an accident, Mariah feels that something is wrong in Denmark.
As Mariah delves beneath the surface of Allegra’s life, she finds herself battling facing multiple issues: her painful past with Allegra; present danger; and unexpected love.
What’s Next in the Series I’m finishing up a prequel to Allegra’s Shadow, which delves into Mariah and Allegra’s childhood and shows why they never had a close sisterly bond. It’s entitled Prelude to a Shadow.
Allegra’s Shadow is the first in a related series of romantic suspense. I’m almost finished with the second book in the series entitled What Lies Beneath, which is set in the fictional town of Bowman Point, North Carolina. It’s somewhat different and darker than Allegra’s Shadow. The hero and heroine know each other. Back in high school, easy-going lawyer Max Bowman and Trina Carter, a feisty forensic pathologist, used to be secret first loves, until he dumped her without warning and left town for fourteen years. The only reason he returned is because his domineering father had a stroke.
In What Lies Beneath, Trina learns that her entire life is a lie. She always believed Cyrus, who just died, was her father. But after his funeral, she discovers that her parents’ blood types cannot produce a child with Type AB blood. All her life, Trina faced ridicule because she has a high IQ and her mother Sara, who suffered from postpartum depression and tended to wander, abandoned her.
Then, Max finds Sara’s remains in plastic and buried on abandoned land that he just purchased. Soon, Trina starts to suspect that her mother’s murder and her biological father’s identity are linked, and she searches for the truth. She doesn’t want Max’s help, but he wants to get justice for Sara and to make amends for reluctantly breaking Trina’s heart.
What Lies Beneath deals with feelings of abandonment and feeling alone because one is different. It also touches on the issue of mental illness, how people who suffer from it are perceived, and how it affects family members, too. I was compelled to include mental illness in this story, because I had the Baby Blues after my son was born, and even though it only lasted a few days, it was a powerful feeling.
Until recently, mental illness is a subject that was taboo in the Black community. I included the condition in What Lies Beneath as a way of doing my part to start discussions about it.
The third book in the series will also be in another fictional town in North Carolina. This book centers around the heroine and the murder of her baby sister. The heroine has lived with guilt, because she was supposed to pick her sister up from school and ended up in detention. The tentative title is Closer Than You Know.
Romance and romantic suspense are my first loves, but I’m also interested in learning how to write screenplays for TV and movies. I also want to start my own production company, because I want to see work by other marginalized authors on screen.
SWIRL GIRL: Coming of Race in the USA reveals how a hard-headed Mixed-race “Black Power Flower Child” battles society—and sometimes her closest loved ones—to forge her identity on her own terms.
As the USA undergoes its own racial growing pains, from the 1968 riots after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, to the historic 2008 election of the nation’s first Biracially Black president, TaRessa Stovall challenges popular stereotypes and fights nonstop pressures to contort, disguise, or deny her uncomfortable truths.
Stovall is a truth-telling “Black Power Flower Child” destined to resist the world’s attempts to define her.
“I am passionate about not allowing another Mixed-race child to grow up limited to the ‘single story’ that characterizes our lives,” Stovall says. “I wrote SWIRL GIRL to better reflect the diversity of people who are ‘And’ in a world of ‘Either/Or.’”
Early Praise for Swirl Girl: Coming of Race in the USA by TaRessa Stovall
Zjien Relician says: TaRessa Stovall, thank you for baring your soul, telling your story…and concentrically, the story of so many others…of us.
You grabbed our hands and hearts, and with unwavering and unabashed conviction, traversed the turbulent and often unrelenting waters of racial identity, racism, discrimination, self actualization, externalized self loath of others, forgiveness, and transparent self reflection. It was an emotional roller coaster; but it was so worth it! EVERYONE: If you have not read this book as of yet, I strongly suggest you click the link, and get you some. You will not regret it!
Ashalon is a professor of Egyptology at Cairo University in Egypt and he is none too happy to learn that another American is coming to his country to conduct a dig among the ruins of his ancestors. He vows to make it difficult for this foreigner, who has been given permission by the Supreme Council of Antiquities … at least until he meets the American, Corina Camden.
Professor Camden is searching for mummified remains from the Twenty-first and Twenty-second dynasties and is hard pressed to hear her every move in Egypt would be supervised by some professor.
Corina and Ashalon are each surprised by their reaction to each other as they set across the blazing desert, captivated by their love of antiquities and unknown passions.
Nights Over Egypt is a story of archeological digs, rich culture and buried passions.
Book Review from The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers 4.0 out of 5 stars In Search of an Egyptian Tomb or Egyptian Love
For years Corina Camden has been the baby everyone doted on and the geeky little girl of the family, with the exception of one night when she was transformed into a raving beauty to attend her high school prom. Her date was arranged by her older brother with plenty of threats and instructions. The date was magical a one for Corina considering the response she was getting from her classmates and her escort. She listens intently to him as he describes his Egyptian homeland and his desire to be an archeologist, echoing similar desires she herself has dreamed of doing.
Fast forward several years and Corina is all grown up and a well-known professor of archeology in the United States. She has been offered the chance to participate in an excavation in Egypt among the Royal Tombs of Tanis. The honor is one that hasn’t been granted in ten years and will establish her as a serious Egyptologist. It is of little consequence Dr. Ashalon El Asab will be supervising the dig; she only hopes they can get along.
Upon meeting Dr. El Asab, they each get a vague feeling of familiarity. There is one thing for sure; they are both instantly attracted to each other. However, Corina recognizes a personal involvement could only lead to trouble, so she resolves to fight the feelings. Working in close proximity with fireworks looming in the background, the dig may result in more then ancient artifacts to secure.
NIGHTS OVER EGYPT is an endearing love story that casts an African American woman in a very nontraditional role in a country rich in history and culture. I was captivated by the obvious research Barbara Keaton put into this project and the vivid imagery she used to bring Egypt, its people and its heritage to life.
If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought Keaton herself was of Egyptian decent. Her character development was excellent with even the secondary characters showing budding potential for an additional story or two. This is definitely a must have for the romance enthusiast. —-Reviewed by Brenda M. Lisbon of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
This book presents a powerful message that we can change the world one act of kindness at a time. Through this book, children will learn how easy it can be to spread kindness. From sharing toys to including everyone in a game on the playground, this book shows that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
A kindness slogan is found on every other page. This book is perfect for age 4-9.
If you value raising kids that make the world a better place, then this book is for you. Kids will love this book because they will feel empowered to change the world, one act of kindness at a time!
From the Author, LoLo Smith I do not mention the words bully or bullying in Ten Acts of Kindness. If we teach children to be kind to one another, then we don’t have to teach them not to be bullies!
I have the characters dressed in superhero costumes because I want children to feel powerful like a superhero and empowered to change the world one act of kindness at a time.
In The Little Town of Share-A-Lot, the egotistical mayor of a small town is in quite a quandary. The townspeople are in an uproar over her latest initiative. The business owners and community workers are on strike. The doctor won’t see any patients, the construction worker won’t build houses and the police won’t stop crime! Will the voters initiate a recall and oust the mayor?
Young readers see the mayor grapple with the question of who the most important citizen is in the town. Is it the doctor who cures the aches and cures the ills without collecting on unpaid bills? Or is it the mayor herself who has won elections for two decades, made speeches and led parades?
The Little Town of Share-A-Lot is a spirited and engaging story that uses repetitive language to teach career education to children under age 8, as well as the value of sharing and compromise.
Parents will love free companion gifts: download of 24 pages of spelling, reading and math activity sheets based on the names of the community workers and download of boy and girl paper dolls with paper clothing/uniforms for 6 community workers.
Crown Holders Master Classes – EDC Creations has more than 15 years of golden content and I’m going to re-purpose it to bring some light and love to your newsfeed! Look for the Black and Gold to be inspired, educated and entertained.
WE ARE ALL CROWN HOLDERS! We were always royalty and it’s time that people wake up, recognize and acknowledge the greatest we represent!
Like. Share. Repost. Your Friends Need to Stay Woke Too!
Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Live an Abundant Life by Janet Autherine
“DON’T WORRY, EVERYTHING IS IRIE.”
Island Mindfulness creates a path for transformation through self-empowerment, meaningful relationships, spiritual fulfillment and the creation of a purposeful life. Who you become and how you experience the world is a result of how you see everything that exists around you. When mindfulness is practiced, the mind has the ability to ride the waves of life and find calm in the midst of all the sun, wind, and rain that we encounter on our unpredictable journey.
Janet invites you to slow your pace, and in the spirit of the islands, mindfully and intentionally embark on a journey to nourish your mind, body and soul. Her “island mindfulness” journey is filled with heartfelt stories of navigating love, marriage and divorce, adjusting your sail in the face of financial and career challenges, and having an Irie time raising children.
EXCERPT – Honoring our Roots: The Strength of a Woman
I was raised by strong Jamaican women, strong because of the circumstance of their birth. They carried water on their heads, farmed the land, raised their babies and the children of others in the community; they worked as many jobs as they could get to make ends meet; they kneeled down to dig yam and climbed trees to pick mango and breadfruit. They didn’t have time to be vulnerable. If they cried, the tears were quickly dried because there was work to do.
Children had to be resilient and disciplined because there was no time to coddle anyone, no time to give time-outs or talk through “feelings.” Their men were often undisciplined; they could be relied on to work and fix things but they laid their hats at several homes. Point being, you were raised to be tough, to rely on yourself and to solve problems, instead of crying over them. Reflecting on their journey, I wrote this poem.
Strong. Black. Woman
Hold on to a shred of dignity. Scream inside. Let the tears fall behind closed doors. You are your mama’s child and she is a proud black woman.
She would be disappointed if she knew that your heart breaks so easily. That you blow in the wind when she raised you to be strong.
Strong. Black. Woman. Each word is non-negotiable, so swallow hard, steady yourself, and carry on.
I have never enjoyed being referred to as “strong” because it felt like that praise just took away my ability to show any signs of weakness or vulnerability. Many women are strong because they have had to gird their waists and sharpen their edges to survive. Sometimes, the person praising them for being strong was the one causing the challenges. Vulnerability should be a right because it is an intricate part of our humanity, but for many, it was and is a privilege.
ISLAND MINDFULNESS Many of us have mothers and grandmothers who have had to sacrifice so that we can be vulnerable, so that we can have a voice in this world. These women are our roots. Speak their names often. Learn their stories even though they may appear to be secretive. That generation believed that what happened in the house stays in the house, and that their lives may not be significant enough to write about.
Don’t make a fuss but stay close and listen and absorb the bits of wisdom that you will receive. For those that have passed, remember their names and speak their names to children and grandchildren. Mention their names with gratitude in your daily prayer or meditation.
Most importantly, gift yourself with the vulnerability and self-care that many of our ancestors could not. I recognize that my ancestors of Caribbean and African descent have already paved the way for me to live an abundant life. The same holds true for you. Remember their stories as you embark on a mindful journey to an abundant life.
About the Author Janet Autherine has a heart for storytelling and youth and women’s empowerment. She uses her extraordinary journey from a struggling Jamaican immigrant to a respected attorney, author and administrative law judge to inspire others to embrace their unique journey.
Janet is the author of Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters (youth), and Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul (poetry).
In her latest book, Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Live an Abundant Life, Janet invites you to slow your pace, and in the spirit of the islands, mindfully and intentionally embark on a journey to nourish your mind, body and soul.
Her “island mindfulness” journey is filled with heartfelt stories of navigating love, marriage and divorce, adjusting your sail in the face of financial and career challenges, and having an “Irie” time raising children. Her books are available on Amazon.
Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us by D. Michele Jackson, Book One of The Travels to the Promise Trilogy
How do you trust God will never fail you?
Lyrical and poetically-charged, “Amazing Grace” is a memoir of love, loss, and rebirth. As a farewell of sorts,
D. Michele Jackson, an only child, writes about how her life is forever changed after her mother’s death. A woman of great faith, D. Michele knew firsthand the power of prayer to overcome trials and tribulations. D. Michele always turned to God; she would pray, and God would answer. Nearly every prayer was responded to until one prayer—a prayer that wasn’t answered—led her to have a deeper, more meaningful take on things. With this new relationship, one with more give and less take, one where prayers aren’t answered, D. Michele discovers that the Lord has a plan and a path for her.
Book Reviews: Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us
Midwest Book Review Faith is simply a powerful thing. “Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us” presents Donna’s story of how her faith carried her through a dark time in her life and allowed her to move on after the devastating loss of her mother. Hoping to inspire faith and bringing light to Jesus’ greatest gift, “Amazing Grace” is worth the read for those going through a rough time themselves.
Praise from Grateful Readers
Carol Franklin says, “I received your book on Saturday and could not put it down…I just want to say thank you, and GOD has done great work through you.”
Carol Jones says, “We all have a gift given from God, and sometimes life has to take unforeseen turns before we realize our true talents…Donna, a registered nurse by trade, has, through an unforeseen turn, came across her GIFT. She has written and published a story that only she could.”
Val Parker says, “I can’t put this book down. It is so good with so many memories; it made me cry…excellent job…”
Retha Mae Farley says, “Wow. What a great book. I’m at a loss for words. You did a really good job. I know this is the beginning for you.”
Alberta Herde, RN, says, “I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book…I never experienced someone so in love with their mom and able to put it in writing. I never read anything like it before. It’s just beautiful… God bless.”
Zach Myers says, “This book is an inspiring story of a girl growing up in Philadelphia, PA, with her mother, who was her Rock and foundation in finding a strong bond with Christ. This book shows how in keeping Christ first, all things are possible. It takes you through how people can live with little and believe in Jesus and have so much; how if you put God first, He will make a change in your life. Mommie was a living angel who guided this young lady through the path of life, showing her the way to Jesus without pushing her.
If you love Jesus, this book will show you the faith you seldom see. It will inspire you to want to know Jesus more and want to become closer to Him. If you don’t know Jesus, this book will show you the love of Christ and how He can impact and change your life. This book reminded me or the relationship I had with my mother and how I coped with her passing and reiterated Jesus can and will see you through anything and everything, it shows Jesus is the light and the way to life and living.
Thanks for this production Donna, the book was an enjoyable read, and I am looking for more literature from you (the Writer) in the future! Highly recommended!”
Antoine Bailey AKA DJ Ant is one of the wealthy heirs to his father’s prominent real estate business. He enjoys his wealth, but life is not perfect. Antoine is ready to move past the drama of his family issues, and ex-girlfriend’s infidelity. Relocation from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles for a new position is a godsend. Within a year, DJ Ant’s ratings are over the top, and he’s one of the most popular DJs on the West Coast. Disputes with Jada Carson, a co-worker, becomes a challenge. Even more challenging is their conflict transitions into an attraction that he can’t resist.
Jada Carson’s life has not been easy. Thrust into the parenting role of teenage sisters, at age twenty-two she’s the head of household. Ten years later, she is the Traffic Director at a radio station where she did her college internship. After her love-life dives, so does her trust in men. Then along comes Antoine, who becomes the nail in her side. But he’s oh, so gorgeous. Although she’s attracted to him, she dismisses the notion of a relationship because she doesn’t want any part of that arrogant man. When Cupid steps in, a romance between Antoine and Jada ignites.
Will Jada and Antoine survive the turmoil that hovers over their blossoming love? Only God knows the answer.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER – Rapping on the radio station’s main studio window with a pen, Jada squinted. “Open the door,” she said in a tone one notch below a scream.
A cocky grin swiped Antoine Bailey’s mouth. He flat-out annoyed Jada, which was irritating. He lifted one hand with a scribbled note. FIVE MINUTES. Jada quickly jotted a note and pushed it against the window. NO!! NOW! He shook his head and swiveled the chair around to the microphone. Who does he think he is?
She shot the back of his head a daggered stare and watched him rock back and forth to the music, flinging both arms in the air like he was having muscle spasms. He just didn’t know. If she could do anything except go inside the studio and deal with his stuck-up egotistical attitude, she would. She huffed a long sigh. “Go ahead. Just keep ignoring me,” Jada said as if he could hear through thick glass windows and blaring music.
The door to Studio Two opened, and DJ Rocky Lopez exited. “Hey, how you doin’?”
“Oh, I’m okay. Trying to get in there.”
“You can’t get in?” he twisted the doorknob. “It’s locked. Looks like he’s busy.”
“I guess I’ll wait a while longer.”
“Yo’, hit him up on the red line. If it’s work-related, he shoulda let you in to see what you wanted.” DJ Rocky attempted to twist the knob again. Antoine wasn’t giving either of them a first or second thought. “Good luck.”
“I’m not worried, but thanks a lot.” She appreciated DJ Rocky’s advice, but she would not be the cause of any commotion. DJ Rocky already had a beef with Antoine and management about switching Antoine from nights to his dayshift.
Perched against the studio wall that was encased with glass windows, Jada tapped one foot, watched Antoine from the back, and waited for what seemed like forever to get his attention again. “Five Minutes? That’s what he said fifteen minutes ago,” she mumbled under her breath.
When the dance and the game are done, is there room for love?
Yazmeen Williams is a busy woman. The former professional dancer is a Church Administrative Assistant by day and the mother of three-year old twin boys, always. What she isn’t, is interested in love thanks to a monster of an ex-husband who’s a danger to the well-being of her children. When retired NBA player Tavares Alvarez enters her life looking “utterly orgasmic,” that disinterest is severely challenged as is her hold on celibacy. But he’ll need to gain her trust, or her phone number first. With Yazmeen, neither will come easily.
Tavares has had zero relationships, but more than his share of women. Now that he’s born-again, he’s no longer focused on the opposite sex. His attention is devoted to his five-year old daughter and being a venture capitalist. Meeting Yazmeen proves a delicious disruption. The attraction is instant, but clearly she’s disinterested. Tavares will need to work to secure her affection despite the drama caused by his unhinged “Baby Mama.”
Dive into this faith-filled, but sexy romance that will leave you rooting for Yazmeen and Tavares, laughing at their antics, and gasping at the actions of their questionably sane exes.
Basketball & Ballet (California Love Book 2) by Suzette Harrison Peek inside, read an excerpt: https://a.co/2KpBRn9
About the Author Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian and the middle of three daughters, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary “career” began in junior high school with the publishing of her poetry. While Mrs. Harrison pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as literary legends who inspired her creativity, it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. Literally.
Not only is Harrison a multi-award-winning author, but she is an avid reader as well. “I’ve strayed away from the practice, but years ago I made a concerted effort to always read a book from the Harlem Renaissance writers every time I read a contemporary piece of fiction. It was my way of reaching back and balancing my literary indulgences.”
Indulging her literary sweet tooth with works from her favorite authors Dianne McKinney Whetstone, Bernice McFadden, J.D. Mason, and Guy Johnson to name a few, Harrison is quick to proclaim McFadden’s Sugar as her all-time, absolute favorite novel.
In addition to writing, Suzette’s career has afforded her opportunities to share her gifts through public speaking, as well as author-mentoring. A wife and mother who holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking, Suzette is currently cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cookies.
Three Brothers, Three Mothers, One Father and whole lot of drama! “Charge it to the game cause everybody’s trying to score.”
Ten years ago, James Miller walked out of prison vowing to leave the past behind. That past included his sons and their mothers and though he told himself that he would return, he never did. Now, he has a new name, a new family, a new career and a best-selling memoir. Meanwhile, the sons he left behind navigated their way to manhood while dealing with the questionable choices of their mothers.
King relies on his looks, charm, and sexual prowess as he methodically plans to find the next successful woman to support his lavish lifestyle. Simply because he works only when he feels like it. When he finds the one, it is not business as usual. But will he reexamine his trifling ways when it nearly causes him to lose those he loves the most?
Darius has a penchant for pursuing the wrong women. However, his mind for business manages to keep him afloat despite his challenges to keep his emotions intact. Working for a stepfather he despises only builds resentment between he and his mother. What happens when the worlds of the two men collide unexpectedly, causing all to question their love and loyalty to one another?
Prince is awkward and highly intelligent. His hard-working mother is thrilled beyond measure upon receiving the news that her son has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. But Prince’s world is shattered by someone he and his mother trusted dearly. The secret is killing him. What will happen when the secret is exposed?
The sons do not know they are brothers but when they find out, they are determined to make James pay the price for leaving them behind.
Excerpt from Chapter 6 of King, Duke, and Prince
“Well King, what about that blonde chick at the end of the bar?” Darius asked.
“She keeps looking this way,” King looked briefly without appearing impressed. Her sequined, tank top and black, faux-leather, mini skirt was nice without being over the top. She continuously stroked and shifted her super- straight hair which fell just inches above her waistline. She flashed several, bright, alluring smiles from her crimson painted lips in King and Darius’s direction.
“Man, she looking for an athlete and we are not…I could pretend but I’m not in the mood” King said as Darius laughed. Again, Darius always got a chuckled out of King’s reasoning.
“Besides, I have decided that contestant number three is the winner.” King said with a mischievous smile as he shifted his glance back to the professional, well-coifed lady in the booth to signal Darius to look her way as well.
“Watch this brother work!” King said as he took a final swig from his beer and headed in that direction. He suddenly stopped short of heading that way when he noticed her waitress was now at the end of the bar. King beckoned for the young lady and proceeded to ask what contestant number three had ordered to drink.
“Oh, a Long Island Ice Tea,” she responded.
“Cool. Look. Put it on my tab, and let her know that I am paying” King directed.
“No problem, Sir. Will do,” the young lady said as she sauntered back to the booth.
“Imma wait a fewww minutes before heading that way.” King said in his signature cool and self- assured tone. Darius only laughed.
“Man, you need to be taking notes, so you can get that damn Porsha off your mind and in your bed,” King snapped back as he flashed a mischievous grin.
King and Darius watched in anticipation as the waitress delivered the Long Island ice tea and conveyed the message. The woman looked in King’s direction and nodded her head gracefully to indicate her gratitude as she placed her drink on the table. She took a few sips and looked down at her computer.
King strategically waited about 15 minutes before he casually strolled in her direction. By this time, the young woman was immersed in her computer, but she was suddenly consumed upon raising her eyes by an intoxicating cologne, and the pace of her heart suddenly increased as she took in this tall, broad-chest, dark-bronzed figure in front of her. Of course, she recognized him as the one who bought her drink, and she planned to make her way over to the bar, eventually; nevertheless, seeing him up close rendered her speechless, temporarily.
“Hi, I just came over to introduce myself. My name is King,” He said as he held out his tone, muscular arm in her direction to shake her hand. Still under his allure, she did manage to reach out her hand to shake his.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Lauren” she stated.
“Thank you again for the drink,” she said politely while looking intensely at his eyes.
“You are welcomed, Beautiful” He said with a deep voice resounding in her soul and making her tingle inside although she tried all she could not to show it. He followed up with the sexiest smile she had ever seen. This is one tall glass of chocolate milk better yet Kahlua.
“Do you mind if I sit for a few minutes?” he asked. “No. No. Not at all,” she responded while trying to contain her lust.
“I see that you are busy, and I promise not to take up a lot of your time. I just wanted to meet you,” King said with every bit of his voice dripping with honey and chocolate. Darius could not hear the conversation, but he was well aware of King’s methods.
Meanwhile, the blonde chick decided to place herself in the seat left vacant by King. Darius did not pay her any attention. His thoughts shifted between watching King score, thinking about the possibility of Porsha, and thinking about getting together with Shandreka after she gets off the pole. Truthfully, he was trying to get his thoughts together. He may not like the stuff King does, but he always seemed to have more confidence in Darius than he had in himself. Then again, Darius had more confidence in King than King had in himself when it came to taking on responsibilities.
Sheryl Grace is a contemporary fiction author and award-winning radio host of the internet radio show, The Authors Lounge. Her two novels, He Calls her Blue and King, Duke, and Prince are currently available at http://www.sherylgrace.com and Amazon. As a radio host, she has interviewed over 200 authors representing all genres. With the launch of SURA Literary Life Magazine, more authors and creatives will have the opportunity to shine.
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SURA (Savvy. Uniquely. Relevant. Authors.) Swahili word for chapter, feature, or expression.
SURA Literary Life Magazine is the premier magazine for promoting literary artists and other creatives. Although our primary focus is authors, we also highlight others in the creative community including but not limited to filmmakers, poets, artists, and screenwriters.
In addition to feature stories on authors of all genres, SURA also features book reviews, book excerpts, and poetry. SURA is is a resource for writing tips and advertising literary events.
About the Publisher Sheryl Grace is a contemporary fiction author and award-winning radio host of the internet radio show, “The Authors Lounge”. As a radio host, she has interviewed over 200 authors representing all genres. With the launch of SURA Literary Life Magazine, more authors and creatives will have the opportunity to shine.
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Anthony: Unshackled is a gripping tale of redemption, love and liberty. Join Joan Vassar, Black and the men on yet another nail biting, heart-pounding journey.
Joan Vassar’s captivating Black series picks up on the gritty streets of New York City during the height of the Civil War. Anthony, mired in pain and still reeling from the death of his best friend, travels to Manhattan on an errand for the legendary Black. Once the task is complete, he finds himself at a brothel specializing in dark women.
When circumstances lead Anthony to steal a young woman from the infamous Hen House, he forever changes the course of his life and the lives of the people of Fort Independence. Fresh out of options, Anthony is forced to seek assistance to right the wrongs his actions have caused. Black comes to his aid and the men ride out to keep peril away from the fort.
Intimate Conversation with Joan Vassar
Joan graduated from the High School of Graphic Communication Arts in NYC, which heightened interest in journalism. She has always had the in-depth ability to astutely relate, interpret and bring words to life. Joan works as a software analyst by day, but her true passion is storytelling. She enjoys writing narratives that bring to life the African American experience both past and present.
Joan is the author of Introduction to Love and Self and the Black Series, which are her latest publications.
“I love to hear from my readers. When a man tells me that my character made him feel a heightened sense of pride, or a woman shares with me that she enjoyed the romance rarely seen among African Americans in literature, I know I’ve done my characters justice.”
Joan currently resides in Georgia and is happily weaving great tales.
BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you. I love Gangsta Rap–it’s me.
BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? Writing is ME.
BPM: Is writing your full-time career? How much time do you spend writing? I am a software analyst and writer–I do both jobs full time. I devote 4 hours daily to writing and all day on the weekends. I never write at night.
BPM: Tell us about your first time being a featured author at the National Book Club Conference. I was featured at the National Book Club Conference July 2019. It was a wonderful experience connecting with readers. Seeing black artists being celebrated was music to my soul.
BPM: Tell us about your historical novels and the main characters. Available on Nook and Kindle? The Black Series is a historical fiction/romance piece that takes place just before the American Civil War. The main character in book one is the fictional son of Nat Turner. The novels Black, Elbert: The Uncaged Mind, Emancipating James and newly releases, Anthony: Unshackled, are available on Kindle and in paperback.
BPM: What topics are discussed? In the Black Series I attempt to personalize the stories of black folks living during the 1860’s. I unapologetically love black men and try to show it in my work. I explore black family, black love and black orgasm with no shame.
BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? I don’t want to write a story that belittles or tears Black people down.
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work in the 4-book BLACK series. Anthony Unshackled is book 4 in the Black Series. It is a story that showcases black thought, black family, black love, and black strength. All of my books are available on Amazon.
The Black Series is filled with Sexy Black Men in Love with Sexy Black Women
Black shares the appealing tale of a passionate love between a man and a woman bound together to change their destiny.
Elbert: The Uncaged Mind is a passionate story of love and healing despite the ugly backdrop of slavery.
Emancipating James reveals the complicated facets of the human soul exposed against the backdrops of Civil War, slavery, and romance.
Anthony: Unshackled is a gripping tale of redemption, love and liberty. Join Joan Vassar, Black and the men on yet another nail biting, heart-pounding journey.
BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? I considered ending the series with Book 3–I’m glad I listened to my readers.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? This series offers a look at black people that is rarely shown in books, TV or movies.
BPM: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? Black holds a special place in my heart because he makes all the other characters come to life.
Ernest was the owner and head barber at the King Cut Barber Shop. He could cut out the likeness of Barack Obama, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X with the words ‘By Any Means Necessary’ onto a client’s scalp with his straight-razor that would rival any accomplished artist. He’d done all right for himself and his family with a successful business on a rough corner in the hood, except he wanted more.
All he needed was a loan to make his dream of In Ernest Gentlemen’s Spa come true. When the bank said no, Eva, the attractive wife of Pinnacle Financial president, said yes. Giving Ernest more than he bargained for, his dream turned to a nightmare. When the volatile cocktail of passion, jealousy, and money are mixed together somebody is bound to end up dead.
The only thing Luke was sure of was that he didn’t want to be like his father, John. Raised on a one-way ghetto street in North Philly the odds weren’t in his favor. Nothing special had ever happened to him until he met Ruthie on the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. When Ruthie got pregnant, he finally had something to live for. Even being drafted into Vietnam wasn’t about to take that away from him.
Back home Ruthie did hair to help make ends meet and developed a cream that made kinky hair curly. Together she and Luke built a successful cosmetic company. Luke’s dream was to pass it on to his son, Daniel. Except Daniel doesn’t want it, he wants to box and be the next Mike Tyson. This is a story of love, loss, success, disappointment, redemption, and acceptance.
About the Author Dr. Karen Sloan-Brown grew up in Philadelphia, the daughter of a Civil Rights Activist. A scientist with a love of history, she earned her Bachelor of Chemistry, Master of Education, and Doctor of Education degrees at Tennessee State University. She is currently employed at Meharry Medical College.
She is the author of Reflection: What a Difference a Day Makes, What About 100 Years? She has authored The Fortunes of Blues and Blessings, A New Season, Searching for Everland, Daniel Luke, and John, and four other novels. She lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, Tennessee.
Meet Devin. He’s handsome, successful and has a beautiful wife, who is equally accomplished. Devin’s lifestyle is one any man would dream of but he’s not content. He has an appetite for women that his wife alone cannot curb. But soon, his playboy antics has him buried deep in a blackmail scandal and the only person who can fix it, is the one person who can destroy his life.
Taylor couldn’t ask for anything more. She has a wonderful life. From the outside, all seems perfect but Taylor is harboring a secret that could end her marriage… and his name is Kelly.
Kelly works for the family business with his brother Devin. As the older brother, Kelly has become accustomed to cleaning up Devin’s messes. But Devin’s latest scandal has Kelly torn between his love for Taylor and his loyalty for his brother.
Deceitful Secrets takes you on an emotional journey as you enter the minds and hearts of Devin, Taylor and Kelly.
Book Excerpt from Deceitful Secrets by Letrise Carter
The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. I hit snooze for ten more minutes. I see my husband Devin does not move. I know he heard that alarm clock going off because he just rolls over and pulls the comforter over his head. I lie here, thinking of messing with him, but change my mind. We had a gorgeous night last night of passionate lovemaking.
Besides, I cannot be late for work this morning. I have way too much to do at the office. I roll over and look at the clock; it seems like time is just standing still, for its only 6:05 a.m. So, I guess I will just get up. I reach over to turn the snooze off and get out of bed. I could leave it on. Maybe then Devin will be forced to get his tail out of bed.
I walk into our huge master bathroom, which any woman could live in for days, with a separate Jacuzzi tub equipped with the best vibrating, relaxing, high power turbo jets one could dream of. Let us not forget the shower with not one but two shower heads facing opposite walls. You can just stand there and let the hot water hit your body in all the right spots. I look back towards the bed, no movement from my husband. I gave it to him so good last night that I knocked him right out. I pat myself on the back with big smile for a job well done. I am going to have to tell him about this powerful knock-out sex when he wakes up. I wash my hands before I get into my morning routine of brushing my teeth and washing my caramel face.
Afterwards, I reach over to turn the shower on, still no Devin. He does not even moan with the shower going. Usually when I turn the water on, he comes right in to join me in the shower. This man cannot still be that sound asleep. So, I shower and take my time, hoping that Devin will wake up to the running water and join me. Hell, I have been in here for fifteen minutes and my husband does not make his way out of that bed. I reach over to turn the shower off and wrap myself in towel. I walk out of the master bathroom only to see Devin still asleep.
This man is so sexy while he sleeps that it makes you want to run over and mount him like the sexy stallion he is. I mean, he is light-skinned, with goatee and six-pack abs, standing 6’4 with that fine baby hair every woman desire. He is built right in all the right places. I think to myself, Damn, I did good. But I got to stop before I make myself late and him too. Lord have mercy on my mind this morning but thank you for my husband. I do feel blessed to have him and will do everything to keep him.
The Contempt Series including sequels Reasons and Sabotage, is a maze of mystery with twists and turns that will keep the readers on the edge. The character connections involve murder, suicide, deception, deliverance and salvation. The series is filled with the questions who, what, when, where and how. All three are available on Kindle.
Check out the book trailer for The Trilogy – Contempt, Reasons, & Sabotage by Becky DeWitt
Contempt is the riveting journey through deceit, death, and betrayal which was a way of life. It is the journey of the twists and turns of life, taking toil, leaving one in devastation. Only the arrival of a miracle just in time changes everything. Nothing just happens. Becky DeWitt leads the readers through a maze of mystery and intrigue capturing ones’ fascination.
Who is that girl? The intrigue continues the lives of Tristan, Arianna and Takeshi are exposed in the web of many secrets from their past through their children. Reasons answers the many questions of who, what, when, where and why that were left unanswered at the ending of Contempt. The truth is embedded in every page as the reader attempts to find the conclusion of this story. Contempt lured and captivated readers into a world of a thought-provoking drama. Becky DeWitt has responded to the unanswered questions of the destiny of many lives from Contempt with the sequel, Reasons. Is this really the end?
SABOTAGE, The Final Chapter pieces together the dark side of Tristan, Arianna and Takeshi’s lifestyle of murder, intrigue, contempt and lies, while experiencing God’s mercy, grace, eye-opening revelation and truth. The readers who have followed the drama in the previous books, Contempt and Reasons, will experience the conclusion in the maze of mystery that captured their attention. The story ends with answers to the many questions about the life of each character and their unfolding destinies. Your heart will skip a beat as you discover the answers to the truth.
Purchase the Contempt 3-Book Series by Becky DeWitt
Becky DeWitt is a prolific writer. Hear stories are riveting, challenging and written with depth. You cannot help but to scream, shout and venture to read the complete book in a day. “Contempt” takes you on the journey of a complicated relationship of love, lies and miracles. You really have to keep up with the main characters, because you will not BELEIVE the family dynamics! And, OMG…the “underworld” scenes that Becky takes you on is unbelievable. Who is this Author is my question? #getthebook — Dr. Cheryl Hill
I wanted to take the opportunity to share that the book Contempt is an amazing book. It is well written by the author Becky DeWitt as she bought the characters to life and kept us on a journey of so many different emotions. I am excited for the author and this amazing book and I can’t wait to read more from this author. Amazing job with this book! — Suzette Salandy
As a Christian Author, Becky Dewitt displays in this series a spell binding way to remember that Jesus is still on the throne. The twist and turns that each character displays, takes you on each journey with them. When you think you have figured out what may happen next, you are mistaken, because you are taken in a new direction that enthralls your sense of suspense, and you are left saying “Nooo!! it did not go the way I was thinking.” When I finished each book, I was ready for more intrigue and suspense. Even with the last book, I am ready for another journey into the lives of each of the characters. Becky Dewitt is an awesome writer who leaves you wanting more of the Intrigue and mystery of her books. — Elder Christine Mayers, “AKA” The Professor”
Each part of the “CONTEMPT” series is more riveting than the last!! Phenomenal Exciting! Edge of your seat SUSPENSE and GRIPPING anticipation of the NEXT unveiling of the family power struggle! Romance! Intriguing plot twists! Shocking family secrets! Such an exciting element of surprises in the story line. Each character peaks your interest in their role behind the deceptions, lies and dangerous, risk-taking schemes. I could NOT put these books down!!! — Melinda Grayson
From the first page of Contempt straight through until the final chapter of Sabotage, the author Becky DeWitt takes the reader on a suspense filled international thrill ride. Through the lives of Arianna, Tristan, and Takeshi, thi well crafted narrative tke the reader through a myriad of secrets, lie, murders and intrigue that grows into a multigenerational enigma that is saturated in evidence of God’s grace and mercy. Can the truth be found and will it be welcomed despite Contempt, Reasons, and Sabotage all within a family? You’ve got to read this series to the very end. — Viola D. Lawrence Carr
Chapter Excerpt from CONTEMPT
Just like years before, the limo was running late. She kept pacing and looked at her watch. She knew that she had to make it to the airport on time. This was one time that she could not afford to be late for a flight. Her life depended on it. She stood at the door with her eyes closed and pleading on the inside, ‘please God let them be on time, I can’t be late for this one.’ She heard the car in the driveway and immediately opened the door to run out.
For one instance, she turned to look back and continued to run. This time she was leaving it all. The money, the wealth, the position and the husband, all of it she just had to have. It was over. Arianna knew that if she did not make this move to step through the open door. She would be left behind to a life that would spiral out of control and take her to places that she could never imagine or even wanted to think about. The driver opened the door to help her with the luggage, she held up her hand to stop him. She opened the door for herself and threw the luggage on the back seat. “LAX and quickly,” said Arianna frantically.
“I’m sorry that I am late Ma’am,” replied the driver. “I have never been in this neighborhood before.”
“It’s ok,” said Arianna. “Just get me there at least an hour before the flight takes off. Tell you what; if you can get me there I’ll throw in an extra $250 tip.”
“Yes Ma’am,” said the driver. He was going to make that money today he thought to himself. Speeding down the freeway, she looked out of the window at the skyline of the city. This was it she was never coming back or even thinking about it. She had made a mistake and she just needed to admit it to herself. What was she thinking? She did it, and he was not the right one. She never even did her homework. She took the shortcut. Fast, fly, and easy.
Her mother warned her about that. She would always say, “Honey do the research, do the homework and that will tell you what is hidden.” She just looked on the outside, what he had and how good he looked. Never even imagined what his life was all about. Some days she could not even breathe because of the fear. As soon as she thought about it, that night would enter into her mind. She would relive it over and over. She did not even know how she got there or what happened to cause his anger to explode to that extent.
She began to question herself about herself. Sitting in the back seat, she was shaking her head. Not today. Not today. Today is my day of freedom from the past. When the driver opened the door, and she put her feet on the ground, she felt something on the inside. She did not understand, but she felt something and it was not fear.
Entering into the terminal, passing through the security checkpoint and arriving at the gate seemed like a whirlwind. It all happened so fast. As soon as she walked to the gate, they were calling for seating. She continued walking down the walkway. It all seemed like a stroll into the future. He would never see her again, ever.
Chapter Excerpt from REASONS
It had been a couple of years since Takeshi received Tarou’s letter informing him that the child that he had with Arianna was alive. Tarou’s cruel intention had taken its toll on Takeshi and his ability to function in the business. He thought that Tristan and Mahmood should run everything even though they were not well informed on the west coast operations.
Noburu was well aware of everything and was proactive by sending reinforcement to surround Takeshi. He was still functioning but not at his optimum. Takeshi needed and wanted to see his daughter, but he was fearful. His imagination ran all over the place. But basically, he wondered how she was alive all these years and kept hidden. There was only one person who could answer everything that he wanted to know truthfully and that was Noburu. He knew that his trust level would be limited because of the recent shock. He wanted to go home and see for himself, but when he found out it was too much too soon.
Now, he was ready to face whatever came. It was time to move. The first thing would be to call Noburu and set up a meeting. Suddenly, his phone was ringing. Looking at the caller ID, it was Noburu. Was fate already moving?
Chapter Excerpt from SABOTAGE
Tristan sat in his office looking out over the skyline taking time to ponder about some things that he had on his mind. Looking out over the skyline was one of his favorite things to do because it gave him a chance to think about things from an elevated perspective. He always needed to think big and higher than where he was. The skyline was his canvas to paint his thoughts.
He had been watching the family for the past seven years and saw that there was a possibility that he could let go. It had not been easy to establish the businesses turning them into a conglomerate. Years of profit from Kazukasai Technology had allowed him to make many moves in different markets and form the company, KJC Inc.
KJC was in real estate, mineral mining, publishing, the airline industry and even venture capital. All of their enterprises were global. Tristan had stretched and legitimized the technology company from their humble beginnings. It was time to get out and rest so that their heirs, Taiji, Tai and Sera could take over. He decided to call everyone in for a family discussion to outline the next decade of the business.
Meet Author Becky DeWitt
She is an inspiring author who captures ones’ attention as she writes from experiences and encounters of daily living. For over twenty years she has written about trials and tribulations from the ordinary everyday perspective.
A children’s short story, “Destiny’s Closet,” developed into a book, which teaches children the importance of developing a personal relationship with God. “Destiny’s Closet” inspired Becky to follow-up with sequels, “Circle of Friends,” and “The Wonder School.”
In 2017, Becky released her first novel, “Stolen Property,” which is an adventure into the supernatural from the Christian perspective, with breath taking experiences. Her vision will captivate the reader’s imagination into the mysterious.
The novel “Contempt”, book one in the series, was released in 2019, is the riveting journey through deceit, death, and betrayal, which was a way of life. Only the arrival of a miracle just in time changes everything. Entering into a maze of mystery, readers are left in wonder. “Reasons” and “Sabotage” complete the trilogy. A library of her writings are stored on the AuthorsDen website, www.authorsden.com/beckydewitt.
The vision of her company, Blood Drop Inheritance Group, is to pen those words of inspiration and revelation from the throne room for all generations. Author’s website: www.bdig-beckydewitt.org
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Alexis Woodford fled Charlotte, NC, stripping herself of mistakes and regrets holding her captive from the drama-free life she longed for. With her skeletons tucked discreetly in the confines of her new home on Bald Head Island, Alexis forges on, guilt free…and smitten with her neighbor – scrumptious actor Roan Carter.
Impossibly addicted to the benefits of bachelor life on Bald Head’s beachfront community, Roan Carter finds himself caught up in monogamy with feisty Alexis, quickly romancing and pledging forever to his stunning bride in a seaside wedding. When his past crashes the honeymoon, will Roan lose the love of his life forever…or will it be Alexis’s own indiscretions which pull them apart?
Excerpt from Kiss & Tell: A Novel by Shana Burton
The days and hours seemed to run together. Alexis now measured time by a new standard. If she cried to the point of having a headache, it generally meant that she’d been crying for at least an hour. Her clothes emitted a stench after three days of consecutive wear, which was her cue that she needed to bathe. Alexis knew that Lola could not go more than two days without hearing from her. Once the phone started lighting up with Lola’s name, it meant at least forty-eight hours must’ve passed.
Days were hard, but nights were nothing short of agony. She had yet to break the habit of reaching for the spot in bed where Roan usually slept in. Every time her hand was met with a smooth, empty surface in the place of where Roan’s warm body would be, the crying started over again.
“How can you call yourself my friend? Why didn’t you tell me? How could you let me marry Roan knowing the truth?” Alexis demanded to know after summoning Terrence to her house. She knew that lashing out at Terrence wasn’t going to change anything, but it certainly would make her feel better.
He trailed behind her into the kitchen. “You’re kidding me, right? I’ve been telling you since day one that you have no idea who Roan really is. I stood right in this very spot before you ran off and got married and begged you not to marry this dude, remember?”
Terrence wasn’t saying anything that Lola hadn’t said, nor was it anything Alexis hadn’t told herself. Her propensity for ignoring the obvious when in love kept her from listening.
“I may have had suspicions, but you knew, Terrence. You knew! You let him make a fool out of me. Your whole family did.”
“I’m not the enemy here, and neither are my folks. It wasn’t our place to tell you. It was Roan’s. I didn’t betray you. Roan did. Don’t forget that.”
She plunked down on the ottoman and sulked. She didn’t need Terrence rubbing salt in her wounds.
Smooth-talking talking Musician, Sanjay Thomas’ “hit it and quit it” past has caught up to him. Like a Mack truck, it will flip him and leave him waffling, wondering if Jesus was only kidding about forgiving him.
Falling in love with best selling author, Celeste Francois, was unplanned. That romance placed him in a situation where a ‘lie’ will force him to make another life-altering decision; if he leaves her, he will save Celeste’s fragile self-esteem and her amazing literary career from being destroyed, staying is no longer an option. Sanjay Thomas makes the sacrifice to abandon her …but for how long?
Celeste Francois, a single mother with a pair of ten year-old high-spirited twin girls, Jonnay and Jeannette, is on a mission. Celeste is seeking revenge on the man who told her he didn’t care if she thought she was overweight. He didn’t care if she was more successful in her writing career than he was as a struggling musician. He said he just wanted her for her. She knew he lied when he suddenly disappeared without a word.
Nothing has prepared her for the shock of learning the object of her hatred will return from the shadows fifteen years later until the church hires him to be the musical director for the Masterpiece she works hard to put in production. Now she’s mad and conflicted enough to think she can persuade Jesus to let her have revenge on the man who’s turned her world upside down, after that they can go their separate ways. Celeste brings her own brand of hell to Sanjay. Heaven help him, he’s going to need it.
Excerpt from Fire in the Water by Pat G’Orge-Walker
Sanjay was elated that Celeste had reached out to him after the Church paired them for the production of a fundraiser. No one in Landmark Assembly knew that twelve years ago, the two of them had been more than joined at more than just the hip. The love they shared was epic—until he was forced to disappear to protect her from an enemy neither of them saw coming.
Sanjay had suggested they meet at Pathos, an open-air Greek restaurant in Midtown New York. The place’s set-up gave ample opportunity to run, should either of them choose, or need to do so. The tension spread between them so thick it could’ve been cut with a butcher knife.
He’d arrived dressed to impress sporting expensive Armani attire from head to toe. His dark curly hair had just a few strands of early gray that made him look more distinguished than old. All of this had helped propel him to super stardom. All of it paled in comparison to the woman sitting across from him.
Journaling for Self-Care for Young Adults by Terri Martinez
Journaling for Self-Care for Young Adults is a interactive how to book for those interested in learning how to journal. It offers guidelines used in journaling and several interactive exercises to practice. Included are guided journal pages with prompts to get you started and dozens of blank pages to be used as your first journal.
This book is for all the young women who want a safe personal place to express their inner most thoughts and feelings. Being a young woman is a very exciting and emotional time. You have your entire life in front of you, but that’s both exciting and terrifying. So many decisions to make which will shape your future.
Many people live out loud via social media, but the person portrayed in public isn’t the whole person. Journaling is one way to connect with your inner self on the most personal level because it’s your thoughts for your eyes only unless you choose to share them.
Book Excerpt: Journaling for Self-Care for Young Adults
I’ve journaled or kept a diary since I was a young girl.
I have always enjoyed writing about my thoughts and feelings.
The good stuff and the not so good stuff.
I learned early on that expressing myself in this manner was good for my soul.
It’s easier and safer to share your inner most thoughts with yourself.
Writing things down helps me to process my emotions.
Having a record also allows me to come back to it later and reflect.
Sometimes it’s easy to get into the habit of journaling only when you’re feeling happy or when you’re feeling sad.
It’s best to try to have a healthy discussion with yourself on a regular basis no matter what your mood is.
Remember what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone. The key is to find what works best for you and stick to it.
In the pages that follow I hope to share with you some of the things I’ve learned about journaling and how doing so has helped me to stay on top of my emotions and it’s a regular part of my self-care regimen.
Benefits of journaling Helps organize your thoughts Improve writing Set & Achieve Goals Record Ideas Relieve Stress Self-Reflection/Expression Boost memory Inspire creativity
Types of Journals There are many types of journaling. People keep journals for a variety of reasons. It’s up to you what type of journal you keep and it’s completely acceptable to have multiple journals or use one for multiple purposes.
Here’s a brief list of some of the most common types of journals:
It’s not necessary to decide which type of journal you want to keep; in fact, my suggestion is just to start writing whatever comes to your mind. Once you get into the flow of it you can decide what the theme or purpose of your journal will be. You may also find that you start one way and then end up with something completely different. Your journal should be fluid and flexible, remember it’s all about you. This isn’t to be shared with anyone else unless you choose to.
The journaling process is therapeutic as you’re writing your thoughts, but it is also good to periodically go back and read things you’ve written. Some things will make you laugh, and others might make you cry. The point is to process your thoughts and feelings outside of the moment to process it. What did you learn from it?
Dating your journal is a good way to keep track of when you recorded your thoughts and feelings. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to keep a journal for goals.
About Dr. Severine Bryan, Bryan Financial Empowerment
Dr. Severine Bryan is a Financial Empowerment Educator who is passionate about financial literacy and has spent the last 17 years sharing her knowledge and educating her audience via presentations, newsletters, Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other media.
Her goal is to help individuals and small businesses with the day to day of their financial lives by offering financial education/coaching on debt management, credit, and basic money management. Dr. Bryan has always been a teacher at heart. As she tells it, she can remember at about age 8 lining up stones on her veranda and “teaching” them their ABCs.
After going through a divorce, walking away from the home she owned for 13 years, and rebuilding her finances, (including paying off $24k in student loans in 16 months) Dr. Bryan is determined to help as many people as possible. Another trigger for her wanting to share her financial knowledge is seeing predatory lenders taking advantage of those who are financially uneducated.
Her earnest desire is to help those who find themselves in a financial quandary become good stewards of their money. She is adamant that anyone can learn to manage their money. Her own financial journey has shown her that managing money, whether it is a small or large amount, is achievable.
Dr. Bryan earned a doctorate with an accounting focus from Walden University and tutored English, Algebra, Accounting, and Calculus throughout her college years; which speaks to her love of teaching/knowledge-sharing! She also has over 24 years of accounting and leadership experience; having worked in accounting and leadership positions with several major Fortune 500 companies.
Dr. Bryan has one daughter who attends Georgia State University. In her spare time Dr. Bryan loves to bake. She relaxes by dancing and listening to Jazz and Praise & Worship music. She is a voracious reader who is never without a book in hand or on her Kindle.
Bryan Financial Empowerment (#SevTalksMoney) is a financial coaching business helping individuals and small businesses with their day to day financial affairs such as budgeting and cash flow management. Striving for debt-freeness comes with many challenges. We are here to be your partner on this journey to financial freedom!
We aim to educate by sharing tips to increase our clients knowledge of financial topics so they can improve and strengthen their financial lives; on the road to financial freedom. Our goal is to challenge, expand, and increase our reader’s knowledge by sharing realistic strategies and workable solutions. Dr. Severine Bryan is available for speaking engagements and workshops.
D.Q.Enterprises has become a Fortune 500 Company. Darrell (‘Rell) Mince has managed to follow his father’s blueprint in building a family empire. The Mince men- Darryl, ‘Rell, and Derek are set in the wealth D.Q. Mince envisioned before his death. Life-changing events have caused them to become cautious.
Darryl and Derek have partnered to manage Quintech Designs, while ‘Rell continues to be the President of D.Q. Enterprises. Just as it seems that all the family secrets have been revealed and the lies have been dispelled, revenge finds them as targets.
There are those who have been watching as D.Q.’s true heir builds the Mince family empire. An empire that they felt should in part, be theirs. The question is who else feels the way Tonya Mince feels?
Tonya finds she is not alone in her quest to conquer, destroy, and finally take it all. A phone call and a visit have Tonya convinced she may need help. If she has help, she’ll have to share…and that’s not in her plans.
Excerpt from Chapter 1: Duplicity: The Mince Family Saga Continues
“Good morning, I didn’t expect to hear from you this soon.”
“As I told you, I would look at your assets and what you acquired from your ex-husband. I do see you have stocks that were sold….”
“Yes, without my knowledge!” Tonya firmly interjected.
“Ms. Mince, stay calm, please. Those stocks are doing very well. It may be an advantage.”
“It is no advantage to me if it is not connected to D.Q. Enterprises.”
“Ms. Mince. You have no claims to D.Q. Enterprises. Your agreement before the separation clearly stated you would not receive any other payments or be connected financially to D.Q. Enterprises after your husband’s death.”
“And was that told to me by you, or did you simply say it would be best if I signed the papers? Let’s not play games. You talked me into giving up what could have been mine today.”
Disgusted, Tonya threw back the covers on her bed. The clock read ten thirty. There was enough time to get dressed and meet the lawyer for lunch if necessary.
“Mr. Monroe, I’ll need to understand fully what I have. I also need to know what I gave to that bastard son and his mother.”
Four Seasons of Love is an anthology of poetry that separates the emotions of love into four chapters that covers the seasons. Both men and women can relate to their first kiss, being smitten, wondering if its real and the heartbreak of loss. The author writes each poem to have the reader visualize, feel, and remember those feelings.
Located in the deep South of Jackson Mississippi there’s a brown skin girl full of bitter and hatred determined to make a difference in a Jim Crow State.
Brandi has just been promoted to co-anchor for WBLT; she’s the first African American anchor for the station however she is meeting opposition when she wants to be radical instead of practical.
Everything Brandi touches seems to go bad including the love of her life Chase Ware because of her prejudices. Brandi is not trying to play by anybody’s rules but her own and if that means she has to sacrifice love, friends, and family she is willing to do that.
Brandi’s father was killed by a white man in the streets of Jackson, Mississippi when she was just five years old; that sparked a fire in her that she can’t let go of. Everywhere she goes trouble seems to follow her because she only sees black or white.
There’s change in her heart when an unexpected hero saves the day and touches her right in the center of her hatred, LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
Eighteen months into their marriage and ministry, Will and Rebecca Donovan are now faced with new challenges. Recession, sickness and stagnation hit the Grace Apostle Methodist church in a major way. With crippling doubt in his ability to lead his church community through this crisis, Will finds it hard to aid or even bring hope to his congregation when there is little hope in obtaining the one thing he desires most. He’s left to walk the thin line between hanging in there and hanging it all up.
There is no place to hide when the truth comes looking for Rebecca. She wrestles with infertility and the best time to reveal it to her husband. Her plans to be Super First Lady in an attempt to silence her husband’s cries for an offspring are thwarted when answers to the questions that have haunted her from childhood overtake her. Passions are ignited as old grudges with longtime rivals are dredged up and exhausted, but can they be laid to rest?
Can Will and Rebecca find what they need in one another when the Promised Land seems just beyond their grasp?
The Promised Land is the third stand-alone installment of the Land of Promiscuity series. Secrets, indiscretions and a crazy twist of unrequited love have taken these two best friends from promiscuity to promise in the first two installments. In The Promised Land they find the path is not a utopian road paved with gold.
One of the things I appreciate most about Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s work is her authentic portrayal of real people living out real faith, flaws and all. As an avid reader, particularly of inspirational fiction, I actively seek out great stories about characters I relate to and grow to care about. It’s an added bonus when I also come away with a thing or two I can use in my own life. Few authors accomplish this the way Sherryle does. In The Promised Land we see parts of ourselves and the people we know in the characters. We locate our own lives within their story and we receive a message of hope as well. If you are in the market for a compelling story, then The Promised Land is an excellent choice. — Isunji Cardoso, Author of “Faith Lifts: 31 Daily Boosts for Sagging Faith”
In The Promise Land, Sherryle Kiser Jackson illustrates the true meaning of spiritual growth, forgiveness and redemption. As a Pastor and First Lady live out his sermons, they face their own mistakes, weaknesses and doubts on the way to God’s revelation of their own “Promised Land.” Ms. Kiser-Jackson wraps faith and deliverance in realistic, imperfect characters in a writing style that holds a mirror to our souls; Giving the reader hope in the power of divine restoration and grace. — Norma L. Jarrett, Essence Bestselling Author of The Sunday Brunch Series, Sweet Magnolia and other novels
Whether they’re from the US, Caribbean, India, or the UK, all of the contributors to A Letter for My Mother share one thing in common: thoughts that have been left unsaid to their mothers and mother figures—until now. In this moving book, thirty-three women reveal the stories, reflections, confessions, and revelations they’ve kept to themselves for years and have finally put into words. Written through tears and pain, as well as joy and laughter, each offering presents the mother-daughter bond in a different light.
Heartfelt and deeply meaningful, A Letter for My Mother will inspire you to admire and cherish that special relationship that shapes every woman.
Excerpt from A Letter for My Mother
My ex-husband’s mother was dying. During the time I was married to him, our relationship had been at best, tenuous. I married her oldest son and she never forgave me for that, or at least it seemed that way in my head. I couldn’t seem to understand some of her ways and she couldn’t understand mine. I was from a different place than she and my life was different than both hers and that of her daughters. At times, she seemed to resent me for that. Some days, she went from insulting me, my family, my upbringing and lifestyle in one sentence to embracing me and trying to nurture me, all in the space of a twelve-hour period. It was infuriating. I retaliated, resisted, rebelled and refused to accept. I’d already had a mother. She’d died when I was six, and no one could replace her. Various female members of my biological family had given me all the mothering I thought I would need so I saw no need to accept any from a stranger.
Over the years, our relationship changed and softened, especially after the children came, but I’ll admit I was never comfortable with her. When I divorced her son, I thought I was walking away from her family too and struggled with the link that lay between us and the desire to do the right thing. I was more compelled to stay in contact with family than my ex-husband was, but didn’t want to overstep my bounds by staying in touch with his family for my children. Divorce was a relationship quagmire I had a hard time negotiating. I wanted my children to know and love their family, all of it, but I didn’t want to be the uncomfortable bridge that made that happen. My mother-in-law didn’t care what I felt. She was always going to be here, and though my last name had changed, she still offered her opinion, advice and whatever else she felt like when we spoke, making me still more uncomfortable.
I knew she was ill, but I still felt as if I’d been knocked off my feet when I received the call that she was dying. Tears and confusion flooded my brain. At first, I couldn’t understand why I was not emotionless. My sister, the main mother figure in my life, explained my reaction to me and encouraged me to tell my mother-in-law what I had to say to her before I no longer could. She assured me that even though I was unwilling to admit it, I was close to this woman and couldn’t avoid being unnerved. We had developed a relationship over the years. My sister encouraged me to write down what I wanted to say to the woman before she died if I was unable to speak the words. The result was the letter that led to this book.
As I wrote, I realized that although she and I were very different, my mother-in-law had been mothering me all along and didn’t care whether I wanted to accept it or not. Because I had been raised to do the right thing, I started out treating her with respect, and even though my respect was peppered with defiance, it didn’t stop me from loving her. Over time, I treated her with respect not because I was supposed to, but because I had come to respect her.
I finished my letter and my mother-in-law died three hours later. I was as devastated as if she had given birth to me, but I did feel some relief that I had said to the universe the things I wanted to say but hadn’t been able to for the fifteen years our families had been linked by my marriage to her son. In writing my letter, I discovered that I had been so stressed by our relationship because I wasn’t open to mothering and mother-wisdom of the kind that we receive from the more seasoned members of the female community. I don’t know why this was. Perhaps it was because my own wound from losing my mother so young had not yet healed, some thirty-plus years later. I read my letter over and over, and as I did, it occurred to me that I was not alone.
As females, we have a way of nurturing others, usually children and men, but we are often reluctant to nurture and share with each other. As young women, we are often mean girls (or the victims of them). We might make a few close friends as young adults, but throughout our lives, many of us are very slow to let new women in. Rather than embrace each other, we push away. We argue with and resent our mothers, and more often than not, fall prey to the idea that our mothers-in-law and stepmothers, all “outside women,” are evil rather than a source of support or knowledge. As we do so, we miss our lessons until finally we only see them in hindsight.
I invited other women to write a letter to a mother in their lives, someone who guided them when they didn’t want to be guided and perhaps someone they’d never thanked. In the letter, they were to tell them what they wanted them to know. The recipient of the letter needn’t be alive or biologically related, just someone to whom they had things to say to but lacked courage or foresight to be able to say those things, a thank you. Many of the writers I asked to participate agreed to do so right away. What I hadn’t counted on though were those authors that were my friends who would refuse to participate. They had no issue with the concept.
Instead, their reluctance was based on where they were in their own personal journeys with the mother figures in their lives. Some were not able to say anything positive so chose to say nothing. Others had no idea what they would say or they hadn’t worked through their feelings about that mother-daughter relationship yet and they feared the experience would be too painful for them. There are emotional wounds that only another woman can inflict on you, and theirs had not yet begun to crust over. I received many calls and notes from those who did choose to participate, often filled with apprehension and tears.
This task I was asking of them was harder than any of us had imagined, yet those who got through it reported experiencing a catharsis they had never counted on. The relationship that was closest to us proved to be the hardest to be honest about and the hardest to resolve. Writing these letters, love letters to our mothers, forced us to let go of the anger that had hung around our necks for years and let it float away from us. We had to give the bad memories to the universe and embrace the good and how that had shaped us into adulthood.
While I read the submissions, my love and respect for these women grew exponentially. I’d asked them to participate because I respected them and where they were in their craft and professional lives. I challenged them to look beyond the ordinary and find something positive in their relationship with their mothers. This proved to be harder for some than others, but once I was given a glimpse of their journeys and the women that had helped to shape them, they were all much bigger in my eyes. This process was like therapy for many of us, and as we navigated the murkiness of our childhoods, our paths through our womanhoods became that much clearer.
Charlenne T. Greer died on a Friday in May, 2012. Cigarettes killed her. She was not my mother or even related by blood. Still, I am thankful for her lessons.
A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx
Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Meet the Author Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at http://www.ninafoxx.com or her blog at ninafoxx.blogspot.com
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A Letter for My Mother and Momma: Gone A Personal Story
Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival.
Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at http://www.ninafoxx.com or her blog at ninafoxx.blogspot.com
BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book, A Letter for My Mother?
A year or so ago, I got a call that the woman who used to be my mother in law was dying. We hadn’t had a good relationship, but I was surprised because the news was very upsetting to me. I was across the country and couldn’t go to where she was encouraged by my sister to write a letter to her and tell her what I wanted to say. The idea was that someone who was there with her could share the letter with her.
After I was done, I thought I would blog it or try to have it published in a magazine. My agent suggested that I write this as an anthology instead; so many woman have interesting relationships with their mothers, mother figures and other women in their lives. So I asked my writer and filmmaker friends to contribute to what is now this book. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be for so many people. People caled me crying and struggling through. Others just couldn’t do it so they refused to be in the project. They weren’t ready to face whatever issues they had with their mother-figure. They are people who had things to say but chose to write under pseudonym to conceal their identities. Everyone that participated said the process was cathartic for them and the result are some amazing pieces.
BPM: Introduce us to your current work, A Letter for My Mother.
A Letter for My Mother is creative non-fiction and essays. It is available where ever books are sold and in all digital formats.
BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Every woman that participated wrote a letter and a short essay, to their mother or mother figure. They had to tell them something that they either never had the chance to, or something they coudlnt’ tell them before. My only requirement was that they had to focus on the positive that they had gained from the relationship with this person. My own mother died when I was a child, and I didn’t think I felt any way about that anymore. After I helped each person write their piece, I realized I had something to say to my own mother and sister. That is the last letter in the book.
BPM: What are your expectations for this book, A Letter for My Mother? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
After reading this, I would hope that readers tell a woman they love something they have given them; thank them for whatever that is. I also have related film project in my head.
Discussing Momma: Gone A Personal Story
BPM: What inspired you to write this book, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
I started writing this many years ago. I think it is actually the first thing I ever tried to write. I had a memory of going to a bar with my mother and wanted to put it on paper. She died before I was seven, so it was very hazy, but more things unfolded from my memory.
BPM: Is this a true story, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
Absolutely. This book is based on my childhood. It is embellished, of course. Sweetie (main character) had a story that needed to be told.
BPM: Introduce us to Momma: Gone A Personal Story.
Well, this book is literary fiction. If I’d had more courage, I would have written it as Creative non-fiction. This is a story about family and heartbreak as much as it is about loss and recovery. More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life’s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.
BPM: Tell us about your main characters. What makes them so special?
Sweetie is seven years old when this story begins. She is a precocious child that is very much aware of the things that are going on around her, even though the adults never tell her what is going on. She is aware of her mother’s illness and the effect it has on the family.
“Momma set me on the jukebox.” So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. As cultures clash, we see the family through a child’s eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever.
More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side. -Momma: Gone A Personal Story was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.
BPM: What are your goals for your writing career?
Momma: Gone is my 15th book. I just want to continue to tell good stories and make a few good movies.
BPM: What would you like for readers to do after reading Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
I want people to feel along with the main character as she grows, then go out and tell someone about it.
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