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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Meet Monda Webb


About 7:33 am

In a city where power struggles take place daily on Capitol Hill, another power struggle is taking place beyond the monuments; namely between Damion Eric Cross, his girlfriend Crystal Renee Leonard and his girlfriend, Madison Paige Robinson. You can only juggle so long before you drop a ball, and eventually, in a town as city slick and country cool as Washington , DC , the two women are bound to discover one another.

But how do you manage the truth once you know it? Is it possible to love two people at once? Is it possible for one man to stay faithful to one woman in a city bursting at the seams with beautiful, professional women and an obvious shortage of good brothers? Read 7:33 a.m. , and judge for yourself.

The story takes place during the course of a year, from 1999 to the millennium, as the plot grows along with the main characters. 7:33 a.m. paints Washington , DC as a character among a cast of rich and memorable characters who range from simple to complex to somewhere in-between.

7:33 a.m. is funny, honest, unflinchingly real, and sure to make you run the gamut of emotions, from laughter to anger to tears. You will definitely hollar out loud, as this story touches you in only ways you can relate to with your own personal experiences.

I briefly wanted to share why I feel my novel, 7:33 am is different. The age-old story of a love triangle is not new. However, the story is told in a refreshing and lively manner, and the focus on love is not actually between the two women and their man, but the love they have to find within themselves and the journey it sometimes takes to get there. Both women suffer and sacrifice the consequences of putting someone before themselves.

The novel is distinctive because it contains a companion CD with songs written exclusively to match particular scenes in 7:33 am. My friend Hermond Palmer wrote the lyrics, and a local DC artist sang 7 tracks with the hope that we can make reading an interactive experience. Book Soundtracks will become my signature, and will feature new artists and original lyrics and music for each project. My next book (Short Stories – Red Clay Dirt and Mountains – will feature at least 4 new songs to accompany the theme of the stories.)

Finally, for many of the book signings I have, I give a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit organization or charity. The non-profit is chosen by the Host of the city I’ve traveled to.

Monda Webb, Author and Poet
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

Meet Kendall Publication

 
 

From Kilos to the Kingdom

Contact: Faith Camp (717) 557-1197
Visit our website at: http://www.jgministries.net/

From Kilos to the Kingdom

When a former drug addict is given a second chance he finds the true meaning of life
Harrisburg, Pa- So often people wander through life not knowing their purpose and they go to the grave without ever fulfilling their destiny.

Joe Green, author of From Kilos to the Kingdom takes us through an in- depth journey of his life and transition from an empty life filled with drugs, a promiscuous lifestyle, and failed relationships to becoming a community leader, a loving husband and father, a savvy business man, and the first African-American to own an FCC licensed radio station in Central PA.

Although Joe was raised in the church and baptized at the age of nine, there was a deep void to fill. After trying to find his value in money, drugs, and women, this lifestyle left Joe discontent, frustrated, lonely, broke, and homeless. After several near death incidents, Joe finally decided to return to his first true love, The Lord, and has not looked back since.

With God’s promises comes no remorse, and Joe’s current family, community, and business successes are reflective of this. God gave Joe a second chance at life, love, and happiness and he considers it a blessing to share his testimony, time, effort, and money with others.

Joe’s transparency in this book allows others to see just what God can do with a heart that surrenders to him and how forgiveness is truly possible. From Kilos to the Kingdom is a story of God’s grace and mercy and how He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). See how God can turn a spirit full of poverty into one of prosperity. For with God all things are possible to those who believe and He desires to bless his children.

Biography of Joseph L. Green
Author of From Kilos to the Kingdom

Joe Green was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in Harrisburg, Pa. He is a 1985 graduate of Harrisburg High School and attended University of Pittsburgh and Towson University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications. He spent four years in the U.S. Navy as an electronic technician.

He is the President of Hensley Broadcasting Inc., a media company. Joe is also the Chief Financial Officer of Trustworthy Radio LLC. Since January 2005 Joe has been the manager, production engineer, and on-air personality for radio station WWII 720 am “THE ROCK”. In June of 2007 Joe purchased the station and became the first African-American to ever own an FCC licensed radio station in Central Pa.

In 2007, he received the MLK Jr. Achievement Award and was featured in the May 2008 issue of Pittsburgh’s Talk Magazine and in Harrisburg Magazine’s 2008 “movers and shakers” section. He has also been published on Christian Post and featured on the American Family Network. In addition to being interviewed on several media stations, he has also interviewed Jesse Jackson and Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former presidential candidate, John Edwards.

Joe is on the board of directors of Rejoice Inc. Adoption and Foster Care Agency in Central Pa and he is also on the board of advisors for the Piece of the Bridge Ministries in Mechanicsburg, Pa and Miracle Word Network in Chennai, India .

Joe is the author of two books, “From Kilos to the kingdom”, an autobiography of a life transformed and “What is wrong with the church?” a book that discusses some keys to recharge a dying church.

Joe is married to Gwendolyn Green and together they have four children. Joe is also a member of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church in Harrisburg, Pa, where he is the chairman of the trustee board, an associate minster in the church and he and his wife also help with the church’s youth ministry.

Joe grew up in the church and was baptized at the age of nine. As a teenager, he indulged in a life of world of sex, drugs, and violence. The fast life came to a head when in the year 2000, he returned to Harrisburg homeless and broken. But in 2007, when he became the owner of radio station 720 AM, he became a living testimony who proved that through God all things are possible regardless of any failures, setbacks, or disadvantages an individual has faced in life.

In January 2008 Joe Green started Josiah Generation Ministries (2 Kings 22). JG Ministries is an International ministry dedicated to strengthening the body of Christ by restoring the teaching of the Word and the feasts of the Lord.

Joe believes in the importance of investing time, effort, and money into the future of others and is grateful that God has given him a second chance to be a blessing to others.

From Kilos to the Kingdom
Joseph L. Green
Impact Communications
ISBN# 978-0947229775
Paperback/$14.99
http://www.amazon.com/

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

75.00 EDC Creations Magazine Promotions

Hello,

Allow me to introduce myself, EDC Creations is a marketing and branding firm in Maryland, founded by Ella Curry. As the president of EDC Creations, I have made it my mission to introduce readers to the best in African American literature.

EDC Creations is celebrating the holidays by Giving the Gift of Knowledge to our entire network! We are interviewing network groups, community leaders, book clubs, community leaders, editors, authors and business owners for our holiday issue.

Today, I write to you, offering you a chance to feature your written interview on the front page our new online magazine and to interview you on our popular Black Authors Network Radio Show. There is a small admin. fee of $75.00 for the coverage.

Please take a moment and check out the new online magazine and let me know if you would like to be included in the November-December Holiday Issue.

Magazine Site: www.edc-creations.com/EDCCreationsMagazine/index1.html

Articles Showcase: www.edc-creations.com/EDCCreationsMagazine/emagarticleshome.html

Thank you in advance for considering a spotlight in the all new EDC Creations Online Magazine.

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
Email: elladcurry@edc-creations.com

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in EDC Creations

 

Ella Curry had a Great Summer, how about you?

Hello,

Please check out a new slideshow of my fabulous Summer touring literary events. I have to say the For Sisters Only Literary Cafe was the best of all!

http://www.edc-creations.com/EDCCreationsMagazine/emagevents.html

Vickie Stringer and Triple Crown Publications made my Summer by presenting me with a special basket! I want to thank Vickie and the entire TCP staff. The photos are in the slideshow. TCP is one class act!

EDC Creations Book Ads available for $40.00 in November
http://www.edc-creations.com/audiobookad.htm

EDC Creations eMagazine Front Page- Showcases Authors
http://www.edc-creations.com/EDCCreationsMagazine/index1.html

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder
Email: elladcurry@edc-creations.com

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in EDC Creations

 

Meet Author Dwan Abrams

Meet Author Dwan Abrams

Dwan Abrams is a full-time novelist, freelance editor, publisher, speaker and radio show host. She’s the best-selling author of Divorcing the Devil, Only True Love Waits, The Scream Within and Favor (a short story appearing in The Midnight Clear anthology).

Her fourth novel, Married Strangers, will be released by Urban Books/Kensington in December 2008. She’s also the founder, publisher and editorial director of Nevaeh Publishing, a small press independent publishing house.

Please visit her on the Web at http://www.dwanabrams.com/ and http://www.nevaehpublishing.com/.

Divorcing the Devil, ISBN 978-1601629609, http://www.jamesprgroup.com/dwan

Tell us what motivated you to write this book, and start your business.
While attending a birthday party for a friend, one of the guests sitting at my table happened to be a psychoanalyst. After speaking with her, I was so impressed that I told her I wanted a character in my book to be a psychoanalyst. That’s when I started writing my third novel, Divorcing the Devil. Not long after completing the manuscript I received a traditional publishing deal. I was so happy that I was going to be mainstream published that I started Nevaeh Publishing, a small press independent publishing house, to give new authors the opportunity to become traditionally published.

How do you spend your free time?
I wish that I could spend more time relaxing and vacationing; however, that’s not my reality. I actually spend the bulk of my waking hours writing, editing or reading. Even still, I try to spend quality time with my family every day.

How did you feel when you saw your book on the shelf for the first time?
I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was very happy and excited.

Could you image your life without writing today?
Absolutely not. Writing is my passion and my purpose; I could not imagine doing anything that would take me away from writing. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

What are you doing next?
When can we expect to see you touring on-line or on the road? I’m currently on a ten-city book tour. To find out my tour schedule, please visit http://www.dwanabrams.com/. Also, be sure to pre-order a copy of my upcoming December 2008 release, Married Strangers, from Amazon.com.

Dwan AbramsNovelist/Editor/Publisher
Latest Novel: Divorcing the Devil
Available wherever books are sold!
Looking for an editor or ghostwriter?
Look no further.

Author site: http://www.dwanabrams.com/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/dwanabrams
Got a masterpiece and need a publisher?
Visit: http://www.nevaehpublishing.com/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/nevaehpublishing

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

2009 Plans for Ella Curry and EDC Creations

Hello Literary Family,
Wow, this year is almost over! I can hardly believe we have come this far in 2008. EDC Creations has been blessed with record growth throughout 2008. As we move into New Year, I want to give you a break down of the projects we have in place. The publishing industry is growing leaps and bounds, due to advanced technology used to market and promote books. EDC Creations takes pride in being an industry leader in online marketing, branding, and promotions. To further lead the marketplace, we have great news to share with you. Please read on to celebrate with us as we prepare for 2009.

Many of you already know EDC Creations is under going revisions. The old website is being rebuilt and a lot of the older sites are being deleted. Please bear with us as we create the foundation for our literary explosion coming in 2009. If you have links on your site to EDC Creations that are not functioning, please do us a favor and replace them with our home page link: http://www.edc-creations.com Readers and authors will be able to visit our entire network from the main site. If you do not have EDC Creations listed on your site or blog roll, please add us. We appreciate the support from each of you. We could not be where we are today with out your continued support and empowerment!

EDC Creations will officially become EDC Creations Media Group, LLC in 2009. We will provide authors, poets and community leader’s global exposure, via three mediums; cable, internet television, radio coverage with BAN Talk Show; AM-Radio; In addition to the newly created EDC Creations eMagazine. You may view the foundation site for the magazine by clicking here. This is a work in progress. We will publish the subscription based magazine in February 2009 in time for Black History Month. The website will offer book previews, event videos, and author resources, in conjunction with the SLR Magazine. Please check often to stay abreast of the latest news and events. If you are a new author or have a newly released book, now is the time to contact us.

EDC Creations’ main site will be the control center for all operations. This is where you will contact Ella Curry and her team to help you with your book promotions. We will showcase our active clients and ebook publishing house from the main EDC Creation site. In 2009, the EDC Creations team will include graphic designers, book cover artists, virtual assistant, an in-house literary event planner, a video production team, a professional photographer, publicists, and other marketing consultants. The new staff for EDC Creations has been hand picked and will astound the literary world. The official announcements will go out December 31, 2009.

The Sankofa Literary Review site will be home to the magazine, and the Sankofa Literary Society Book club. We are actively seeking 10 book reviewers and professional bloggers to become part of our team, preferably authors, freelance writers or avid readers are what we seek as book reviewers. Contact Ella Curry today if you are interested in becoming a professional reviewer and blogger for EDC Creations. Only the serious need apply.

The EDC Creations Literary Guild will host our literary speaker’s profiles, upcoming event listings, classified ads for literary providers, printed event catalog and membership association. We will offer full scale virtual media tours through the EDC Creations Literary Guild. As part of our Give the Gift of Knowledge program, the literary guild will promote non-profits organizations on the site.

Coming soon… eBook publishing from EDC Creations! We will begin to publish ebooks in the spring of 2009; selling them from our main EDC Creations site. We are now gaining increased interest in the EDC Creations Bookstore; we will offer bestsellers lists of the titles that move through our store and off our sites. We will also reach out to other online book retailers to send us their bestseller lists. Each month we will showcase the authors who are moving books online! If you are interested in getting your work published as an eBook in spring 2009—start writing and editing your work today! We will start the submission process in early 2009. Email Ella Curry for the submission guidelines.

The Black Authors Network (BAN) will continue to be home to our radio/talk show and all multi-media produced by EDC Creations. The Black Authors Network will carry the streams from the AM-radio show and broadcast our Internet TV shows. All of the EDC TV segments will be filmed live in Washington, DC, Prince George’s County, MD and literary events around the country.

As you can see, we have a lot on the table for 2009! Just look at how remarkably we were able to carve out our place in the literary community in 2008—this gives you a glimpse at what we will do in 2009. Our email database increased to 133,000 subscribers because of our network affiliations and consistent service to our readers. In the future, we hope to speak with at least 30% of that list on the air, in person at events or through email feedback. Join us today to be part of a revolution in publishing. We are giving the independently published authors as much of the spotlight as the traditionally published houses!

The EDC Creations Media Group, LLC is looking forward to networking with each and every one of you—reach out to us to promote your books or business. Community Leaders, we care about your projects, let us help generate the buzz you need for your events to take off. Book Clubs, would you like to meet or speak to a particular author, let Ella Curry and EDC Creations bring them to you. Just ask us! Event Planners, do you need speakers for your next workshop or conference? Contact Ella today, to help you find the right speaker to astound your audience. Email questions and comments to Ella: elladcurry@edc-creations.com

Check out the magazine and show some love by leaving comments here afterwards.
Wishing you much success,

Ella Curry, president of the EDC Creations Media Group, LLC

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in EDC Creations

 

Writing Tips from Pamela Samuels Young

Finding Time To Write
When You Have No Time

With the demands of work, family, church and community activities, you may think your goal of becoming a published author is a pipe dream. Well, you’re wrong. I know from experience, that no matter how busy you are, you can find time to write if that is truly your goal.

Get into the habit of waking up early to squeeze in an hour or two of writing time.

Stop complaining about the two to three hours you spend at the beauty shop and take your laptop or notepad along with you to work on your book.

You can also use your lunch break to revise your manuscript and you can probably write a few pages while waiting for your kids at soccer practice. Buy an inexpensive tape recorder and instead of listening to the radio during your morning and evening commute, use the time to “talk through” your novel. With your family’s support, you might even find an evening or two to run off to your local library or a nearby Starbucks for some writing time. Even if it’s only an hour a week, use it.

Remember that you don’t actually have to be writing to advance your novel. The next time you’re in the shower or taking a neighborhood jog or walk on the treadmill, use the time to mull over the plot for your book. While you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or stuck in a grocery store line, do a little people-watching. Somebody is bound to resemble one of your characters. Jot down a few notes about their appearance. This is a great way to hone your character descriptions.
Try to make a commitment to write a set number of hours or pages per week. Whatever goal you set, just make sure it’s realistic. Start out small and once you get into the flow of things, increase your goal. And if you fall short one week, don’t beat yourself up. There’s always next week. You’ll have a finished novel in no time!

Pamela Samuels Young is a Los Angeles attorney and author of Murder on the Down Low and the Essence best-sellers, Every Reasonable Doubt and In Firm Pursuit. Pamela wrote her first two novels while working full-time as an attorney. Visit Pamela’s website at http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/.

 
 

FREE Author Podcast Promotions

FREE Author Podcast Promotions

Call the number below and make 2 recordings. Limit the recordings to 2-3 minutes at the maximum! Do not say HI nor BYE.

Do not just hang up when finished. Press the 3-key and save it, or people will hear your phone drop!

Recording 1: Talk about your book (stress your five talking points)

Recording 2: Talk about you, your mission, and business(214) 615-6505 ext. 4272

No charge to call (long distance may apply)

 

He Saw the Future- One of Obama’s Best Speeches

 
 

President-Elect Barack Obama in Chicago

Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4th, 2008 in Chicago

 
 

Rice especially proud of Obama victory

 
 

Why I Cried by Péron F. Long

Why I Cried by Péron F. Long

It may sound strange to some, but I honestly never thought that at the young age of 38, I would witness an African-American leading the world’s most powerful country. But this historic moment carries more significance than the fact that a black man won. It even carries more significance than just a mere mention of the men who marched, fought and died to help pave the way.

This moment of Ourstory (not history) has given a new meaning to the phrase “Yes We Can!” Let’s face it, we always knew we could, but we have always allowed barriers to block us from actually arriving to our wealthy place. Some of you may remember the piece I wrote last week entitled Dancing To The Beat Of My Own Drum. I spoke of not allowing society to dictate my destiny. I discussed how once I chose to step out on faith, I found solace. Little did I know that less than 15 days later what I wrote would actually carry more significance for me in the form of someone only 9 years my senior. Someone who definitely danced to his own beat.

As I watched CNN the entire evening, I became more and more enchanted at what was about to happen, not just for African-Americans, but for Americans as whole. This election was watched by the world, dissected by the world and even wooed by the world. Many people thought it would not happen. For months, I was one of them. But it happened. And regardless of what the naysayers think, it’s something that is good for the world.

Many have shown their frustrations and some have even been so bold as to lash out at the African-American population, but let’s be real, we DEFINITELY did not do this without the help of others. America understood that change is sometimes needed. America understood, without a doubt, that it was time for a change.

Tuesday night, or shall I say early Wednesday morning, I went to bed proud. I fell into my slumber with a smile on my face. I continued in joy upon waking up, when I opened the local paper and saw our newly elected First Family for the very first time. I recognized them. I knew them personally. I saw my family. I saw my friend’s families, I saw my neighbors. I saw America and I cried.

I Now Welcome Us All To The New America . I Welcome Us All Into The United States Of Yes we can!

Be sure to visit my website http://www.peronflong.com/ and leave your thoughts on the section “Let’s Talk”

Be Blessed All,

Péron F. Long
http://www.peronflong.com
www.myspace.com/lilsouthernboy36

 
 

Black Authors Network Talk Show

Black Authors Network Talk Showhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network
Meet us at: 8pm-10pm EST Mon., Wed., and Friday nights
Authors dial-in number: (646) 200-0402

The Black Authors Network (BAN) is dedicated to providing information to help black business owners and authors gain access to the black consumer and to helping promote the growth of black businesses and literature. The Black Authors Network, is here to bring people together, to create a dialogue, and share valuable resources. Our goal is to be the most informative networking group, serving the unique needs of African American authors, businesses, organizations, and concerned parents who wish to improve literacy and strengthen the African American community.

The Black Authors Network Talk Show was formed to immediately address the need for quality African American literature being made available in our bookstores, libraries and other mediums where our literary works are showcased. We want to combine our talents, true determination, and multitude of resources, in an effort to develop a literary networking system for our members and literary partners, who support the freedom of speech and the right to take back the PRIDE in our communities. Join us in this global movement to improve literacy and our image!

We will encourage, inspire, and empower our members, as they strive to fulfill their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs, published authors, and community leaders.

Chat live with the guests in our chat room during the show
www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network

Warmest regards,
Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Community News

 

Meet Author Bettye Griffin

Meet Author Bettye Griffin

Bettye Griffin’s first novel was published back in 1998. Since then she has written 14 novels. A native of Yonkers, New York, she now makes her home in Southeastern Wisconsin with her husband.

ONCE UPON A PROJECT
ISBN: 0-7582-1672-6
Buy the book at Amazon
Buy the book at Black Expressions

• Tell us what motivated you to write this book,ONCE UPON A PROJECT.
I had just turned 49, and naturally started thinking that I’d be 50 in another year. It’s quite a milestone, and I thought about where I was in life vs. where I thought I’d be and thought it might be nice to write a book about how life brings us places we never thought it would. The characters and their situations quickly came to life. It was actually an extremely easy book to write.

• Who did you write this book for?
Most characters in popular fiction are in their twenties and thirties, a fewer number in their forties. I thought that women over 40 might enjoy reading about characters closer to their own age.

• Bring your 3 main characters to life. Tell us who they are and what you love about them.
Pat, from a poor family even by public housing standards, gave up the love of her life to ease her parents’ pain at having lost their sons. She went to college and law school with help from school loans and became a prosecutor . . . but she entertained romantic fantasies about her lost love and never married. Then she gets a second chance with an old law school crush when he returns to Chicago. I love the fact that she’s a dutiful daughter, but it was a mistake for her to let her parents run her life.

Susan felt forced to walk out on the love of her life when she was in her mid-20s, after he and his brother, her former boyfriend, came to blows over her, infuriating their mother. She picked up the pieces, married a millionaire and had two kids as an older mom. Now breast cancer surgery is destroying her marriage, and then she sees her old love at a reunion. I love her strength, the way she tried to do the right thing, whether it was giving up the man she loved so as not to interfere with his family, or to try so hard to hold on to her marriage and to fight the pull she feels toward her old boyfriend.

Grace was one of the so-called “nice girls” who got pregnant at 17. A brilliant student, she took her scholarship, raised her daughter largely alone after her divorce, while simultaneously working and going to school. She ultimately became quite successful, but she has two failed marriages and has no romantic prospects. I love her determination to make something of her life after becoming a teen mother.

• Where are you from? What is your favorite book, music, movie, play?
I was born in Yonkers, New York, and lived there for over 30 years. After spending 17 years in Jacksonville, Florida, I now live in Southeastern Wisconsin, 50 miles north of Chicago and 30 miles south of Milwaukee.

I can’t really say I have a favorite book, piece of music, movie, or play. I have many favorites and cannot choose just one.

• How do you spend your free time? Do you write poetry or sing?
Poetry, no. I sing all the time, although not for an audience. I’m quite fond of show tunes. I usually sing a few verses of “I Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night” from Annie Get Your Gun. (“Got no diamonds . . . got no pearls . . . still, I think I’m a lucky girl . . .”) I also like jigsaw puzzles, the kind with 1,000 pieces or more. And I’m a great fan of old movies on the Turner Classic cable channel.

• How did you feel when you saw your book on the shelf for the first time?
It was a wonderful and exciting time, the realization of a lifelong goal. Even now, ten years later, I remember my joy.

• What is your process for creating a novel? Do you plot out the story or do the characters speak to you?
I plot out the story. I know writers are supposed to be a little nuts, but no, my characters don’t really speak to me.

• Could you image your life without writing today?
No. I’ve been dabbling in writing since I was ten, abandoned it for some time and then picked it up again on January 1, 1983. I’ve been writing constantly for 25 years.

• Do you feel writing is for those trained to write or for anyone who has a story to tell?
I doubt that most of today’s novelists have English degrees, which is the main “training” I can think of, so no. But nor is everyone who has a story to tell a writer, either. It takes work to develop the skill, and quite frankly, most of us aren’t as good at writing as we think we are.

• What is the best thing about being a published author?
Seeing my books in print and hearing from people who’ve enjoyed my work. The pay isn’t half bad, either, but I must add I am not motivated by money.

• As a writer, what are some of the most important things you try to convey to readers through your books?
I’m not interested in preaching or trying to get people to see things my way. I just want to entertain them.

• What are you doing next? When can we expect to see you touring online or on the road?
Right now I’m trying to finish my next book, a first-person novel with plenty of attitude, still untitled, due out May 2009. I haven’t looked into online tours. As for book tours, I often drop in at bookstores when I’m traveling for personal reasons. Unless you have the backing of a publisher, book tours are financially impractical – and my publisher isn’t going to send me anywhere.

No reflection on me, of course, but the fact is I’m just a writer telling stories, a little fish in a big pond. Getting the publisher to back you requires you to either have a marquee name with huge sales or be an author the publisher is willing to build up. Personally, I don’t think any publisher is going to be much interested in building up grandmothers in their 50s when they have much younger writers to work with.

CONTACT: bettye@bettyegriffin.com

Brought to you by Ella Curry of EDC Creations
www.edc-creations.com

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

National Christian Writers Conference

National Christian Writers Conference
http://www.nationalchristianwritersconference.com
Saturday, Janurary 10, 2009

“Stir Up The Gift That is in You”
Write, Publish and Market Your Book, Today!

Publish Your Book Online FREE
We will show you how. . .

Event Date: Saturday, Janurary 10, 2009
Event Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Registration begins at 9:00 AM)

Event Location:
Anchors Catering and Conference Center
2375 Recreation Way, Bldg 3210
San Diego, CA 92136-5518

The Registration fee will include breakfast, lunch, expert support and conference materials.
• Early Registration (before December 1st, 2008) $ 59.00 attendees must pay the full cost.
• Full Registration (after December 1st, 2008) $75.00
• On-site Registration January 10th, 2009 $75.00

Antonio L. Crawford
NCWC SD
P.O. Box 1458,
National City, CA 91951-1458
Telephone: (619) 791-5810
E-mail: ncwcsd@yahoo.com

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Community News

 

Meet author Alicia Williams

Alicia Williams is a gifted actress, writer and motivational speaker. The Detroit native received a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in African-American Studies from the University of Kentucky . Alicia immersed herself in college life and formed Circle of Imani, a collegiate woman’s support group. Using the support group as a platform, Alicia facilitated workshops, retreats and performances which addressed concerns involving self-esteem, abstinence and family issues. Dedicated to using her talents to affect the lives of many, Alicia was inspired to write Up From Rock Bottom to encourage and strengthen people who have experienced or are experiencing their darkest hours.

Up From Rock Bottom
ISBN 0741443368
Bookseller http://www.bbotw.com/, http://www.amazon.com/

Alicia Williams
http://www.bigdoorllc.com
www.myspace/aliciawilliams_bigdoorllc.com

EDC: Tell us what motivated you to write this book?
AW: I am a natural encourager. I try to see the best in people. Given my backgroung as a performer, I was over the drama ministry at my church. I strayed away from safe skits and plays, I always wanted to push the buttom to provoke people to think, act, and feel so uncomfortable that you start reacting.

At the time, I started working on a series of skits called “Testimony Series” where I’d re-enact the lives of people who have gone through some dramatic situations. I thought, “Whoa, this is heavy. I need to share this with people beyond my church.” The book was birthed out of that. I wanted to inspire, encourage and touch people to realize that they have a purpose regardless of their past. Besides, I can’t sing and move people through song, and this was the next best option. 🙂

EDC: Where are you from? What is your favorite book, music, movie, play?
AW: I hail from Detroit, MI! But, I’ve been all over the place. I live in Charlotte, NC, went to college in both Kentucky and Kalamazo, and went to acting school in NYC.

It is so hard to pinpoint one particular favorite of anything. I know that as a youth, reading Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” really spoke to me, especially when she spoke about the molestation. And, Claude Brown’s “Man Child In the Promised Land” was another. And now that I am an adult and a writer, I look for different things…I love the flow of words in “The Bluest Eye”, the characterizations in “The Kite Runner” and even the layers and depths of character in “The Coldest Winter Ever”. But, no favorite one.

Movies? Hmmm…The Wiz! I love that musical. Oprah presents: Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, I can watch that movie over and over again.

I love plays: Bring in da noise, bring in da funk! I love the energy! The Delaney Sisters…Gosh, that is a toughie…Wine in the Wilderness. I’ve never seen it, but I enjoyed reading it, plus I cast myself in the role, so there!

EDC: How did you feel when you saw your book on the shelf for the first time?
AW:
My book isn’t on the shelves yet, but to see it available online or on my table at a festival…wow. That is like having a child again. I carried that book in my spirit, labored over it, prayed about it, it kept me awake at nights, made me cry over the journey and changes taking place within my body and when it finally birthed…wow! amazing. To see it…I just look at the cover and it reminds me of how i used to stare at my baby thinking, “Wow, I did this?” And, to receive words from readers about how my book has blessed them, helped them and encouraged them…it makes me forget the birthing pangs just like I forget the pains of birthing my own baby.

EDC: Do you feel writing is for those trained to write or for anyone who has a story to tell?
AW: Initially, I felt writing was for those who were trained, and that thought paralyzed me for several years and prevented me from writing my own book. I felt inadequate! “Oh, I don’t know the proper usuage of the comma, what’s a preposition?” However, when I felt the urgency of God pulling my coat tail, I decided to finish the book to completion. I knew the right people would come along to edit and proofread it.

However, I took action and picked up some grammar books myself and made sure that my grammar, word usuage, punctuation was accurate. So, now, I believe yes! Everyone has a story to tell. People will come and edit it, just write the story, be proactive in finding the appropriate ways to write.

EDC: What is the best thing about being a published author?
AW: The best thing is proving to myself that I can break through limitations that others and myself have placed on me! The biggest thing in my life is starting projects. I am a great starter, but a horrible finisher. However, when I finished this book through to completion, that has been the greatest thing about being published. I can now say, “Yes, I can do this!” And, I can break the doubts of the naysayers and say, “If I can do it, you can, too..” And, if I want to let my ego get in the way, I think another best thing is letting my managers know that I am not an idiot destined to make copies, as they may think, but I am a published author! LOL!

Warmest regards,
Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

Complete Your First Book with 9 Writing Habits

Complete Your First Book with these 9 Simple Writing Habits

Source of Article

Your first book isn’t going to happen by itself. If writing a novel or non-fiction book is something you’ve dreamed of, the only way to make that dream a reality is by putting it into action — day by day. And the best way to do that is to develop some simple habits that will make the dream a reality, one step at a time. Here is a summary of the habits to help you get started; click the image for full details by the author.

1. Writing time. The most important habit you can form is the daily writing habit. Even if you only write a page or two in a day, that’s OK. The important thing is to do it.

2. Simple tools. Get into the habit of focusing on the writing, and not the tools. You need to block out all distractions, especially Internet and email.

3. Writing log. This can be as simple as how many words you wrote today. Check your word count when you finish, and log it in.

4. Idea time. You will probably be thinking about your book all day, if you’re engrossed in it, but it’s good to make it a habit to think about your book at certain times of the day.

5. Capture ideas. You will have ideas at different times of day, in different places. You will overhear dialog that you want to remember.

6. Just start. There will be days when you don’t feel like writing. That may actually be every day. But if you let that stop you, you’ll never write a thing. Instead, you need to make it a habit to just start writing. It doesn’t matter what you write,20or whether it’s any good. Just start. Make your fingers move.

7. Write when inspired. In addition to the routine writing time you designate (in Item #1 above), there will be other times when you’ll want to write.

8. Revise. The dreaded word for many a writer, but revision is one of the most important aspects of the writing process. No one gets it right in the first draft. No one. If you aren’t willing to revise, you might as well not write.

9. Book bible. Most writers won’t bother with this, but that’s a mistake. If you are serious about your writing, a book bible is a must-have. However, you can work on that last.

10. Research.

Now this comes from Ella of EDC Creations! Before you spend one dollar on publishing your book or hire one person to work with you—go online and purchase a book about self-publishing. Even if you are going to be carried by a publishing company, you need to learn more about the industry.

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder

 
 

Read Love’s Redemption

From Dusk to Dawn

 
 

Meet Chloe R. Discovering Love

Chloe R is a published author and poet. Her debut novel Discovering Love (XYP Publishing) will be released in March 2009. Her sensual short stories can be found in Mocha Chocolate (Shanibooks, Inc.), Erogenous Zone (Xpress Yourself Publishing) and Mental Seductions (Diva Books Publishing).

Chloe’s Articles include Hiding From Erotica?, featured in Noire Magazine and What Turns You On?, in the February 2008 edition of PassionScape. Forever riding the vibrant flow of lust and love, Chloe’s short story Beyond My Reach is featured in the Spring 2008 Nubian Chronicles, Nubian belles lettres.

Discovering Love
ISBN: 978-0-9818094-5-8
ISBN10: 0-9818094-5-6
Xpress Yourself Publishing; On Sale: Spring 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
http://www.xpressyourselfpublishing.org/book_dl.htm

EDC: Bring your 3 main characters to life. Tell us who they are and what you love about them.
CR: Trina Long has been silently suffering for a long time. Her relationship with her father is drained, her husband has failed her, and she has failed herself. When she finds a way to get the spark back, she can’t control herself, she is like a child discovering ice cream for the first time. And one sample leads to indulgence in the most sensual way. I love Trina’s innocence and her inability to control herself. I love that she lets herself have new experiences, although she feels guilty about them. I think, in some way, I am proud of Trina, for deciding to take some control of her life, even if it is not in a traditional way.

Deidra Velsi is impetuous. Free spirited and enjoyable, she is also oddly selfish and narrow minded. As long as life operates within her narrow confines and everyone in her world comports to her value system, she treats them well. But she is not the friend you can reveal the entire truth to, nor is she the type of love you without judging. I love Deidra, but I don’t like her. I love Deidra’s boldness and inner fight, but I don’t like how neglectful she is of the ones who love her most.

Most people who read this book didn’t like James Long. They think he is a dog. I always find that to be amazing, when I wrote it I did not intend him to seem that way. I wanted to lessen Trina’s wrongs by giving the reader a graphic analysis of James. But it may have been too truthful a look, because so many readers dislike him. I don’t have any negative feelings against James, I think he is a powerful man who is trying to get all that he can get. And, on some level, he has little self control. After all, he began as a nerd who nobody wanted, so it is only natural he would abuse his new found position.

EDC: How do you spend your free time? Do you write poetry or sing?
CR: Whenever I can get a moment to myself, I write poetry and draft stories. I also play the piano and enjoy playing tennis (or trying to play). I also love to cook and experiment with different flavors and recipes.

EDC: Could you image your life without writing today?
CR: For a long time, I didn’t write. I would think of interesting stories and let them pass without bothering to capture them. During that time period, I was also miserable and easily frustrated. I would often feel as if the world was crumbling in on me and I was helpless to stop it.

I began to write when a story planted itself in my mind and didn’t fade away. After a week or so, I sat down and gave it a try. And writing is my long exhale. I am more calm, more amenable, more patient when I write. Writing is so therapeutic for me, that I cannot imagine living without writing.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

Touching Hearts…Changing Lives

As the founder of a women’s ministry, magazine, author and publisher, I look back over the years that led up to this and I realize that through everything I experienced, the biggest battle that I had overcome was fear. Fear had begun to contaminate my spirit. Like a wound that I had already treated, there was a fresh scab on the surface, but there was still a process of healing that needed to take place underneath. I was the sore. In the public eye, I seemed to have it all “together” but inside I was an emotional wreck. I needed to heal from my past and just be
still long enough to know that God had – and still has – His armor of protection around me.

Even though I had always been the one who masqueraded around as though I was strong and fearless, that very thing which I prided myself on not possessing was actually eating away at me. I feared that I would never be successful. I feared not ever being loved or accepted. I
feared that I would never be sure of who I am or what I need in my life. I even feared my own fear, if that even makes sense.

In the last four years, I suffered so many things continuously and simultaneously that I’m still in awe of God. I went through serious illness, a divorce, the loss of my father, and humiliation amongst other things. I feared that the Lord did not hear my prayers; that my labor was in vain! It was not until 2007 that I felt the Lord’s presence in my life.

The Lord took me out of my comfort zone to restore, rebuild, and renew me. Those three key elements became the headline for my ministry! My mind had to be transformed. I greatly feared that I was
not being all that God wanted me to be, not living up to the image that I portrayed and what others perceived me to be… I even feared that I wasn’t in line to be what I expected myself to become.
All I ever wanted to do was help others and that always seemed to backfire. I could not understand how God could call me to be a leader to help other women heal and live victoriously when I could not get over my own fears and it seemed impossible for me to heal!!

I eventually realized that, like many women, many of my fears came from comparing myself to my predecessors. My fear was that I would not be able to speak like other female leaders. Here I am a woman with a past of anger, hatred, and lies. I asked daily, “why me?” Here I
am down to nothing… and You want me? But, after fighting the calling on my life, I finally surrendered to God’s purpose in my life. Just like Jeremiah, I too asked God to touch my mouth and allow me to do His will. I started walking in my calling. That is when I began to realize that my fear began to diminish and my strength and confidence began to grow!

Today, I’m walking in my purpose. Touching Heart Ministries, Victorious Magazine and my career as an author are just as much of a blessing to me as I intend for them to be in the lives of other women. All are well on their way to my goal for them – reaching out in ways previously unimaginable to me! I may not be where “I” want to be but I’m where God needs me to be and ultimately that is all that matters!

It’s when we surrender our fears to the Lord that He comes and delivers us from ourselves! Why do I say from ourselves? Because it is our own minds and our own apprehensions that hold us back – it is our own willingness to lay down and be dormant while the world whisks by around us that causes us to fail. I am here to encourage other women not to allow that to happen in their lives the way I allowed it for so long in my own. My goal? To help just one. To help many would be a wonderful blessing, but if I only touch one life for Christ, it is all worth it.
About the Company
Touching Heart Ministry
was founded 2004 by Brooks J. Young after experiencing and overcoming tumultous tribulations, disappointments and adversities in life. After being introduced to the saving power and forgiveness of God, her ministry was birthed. The ministry is comprised of several organizations including Victorious Voice Magazine, Master’s Hand, Inc., and Victorious Voice Radio Broadcast. Young uses her company as a ministry to fulfill her purpose that she fully believes has been ordained by God.
About the Book:
Bryce is a beautiful, young, intelligent up-and-coming African American female attorney who finds herself in a situation more difficult than she could have ever imagined. Haunted by her dreams and feeling herself losing control over her life and afraid her grip on sanity might be slipping away as well, she wages war against herself on a battlefield unlike any she had ever stood on before: struggling to come to terms with herself through a tug of war with her emotions, her goals, her memories, and her heart! Will she grab hold of her destiny or will she let life as she knows it slip away? You don’t want to miss Where God Took My Soul.

About the Magazine:
The Christian based magazine will focus on establishing a readership base of women from all walks and stages of life. The bi-monthly magazine will feature articles written by highly qualified individuals centered on inspiration, health and wellness, fashion, work and wealth, love and relationships, book reviews as well as other informative articles.

About the Visionary
Brooks J. Young is the author of Where God Took My Soul and Executive Director of Touching Heart which was established in 2004. In addition, she is the Founder & Publisher of Victorious Magazine, Host of Victorious Voice Radio Show, and also serves as a Motivational Speaker.

Contact Brooks J. Young
brooks@brooksjyoung.com
http://www.brooksjyoung.com
PO Box 922
Mount Clemens, MI 48046
(757) 320-2617

 
 

Intimate Conversation with The SistahFriend Book Club

Intimate Conversation with The SistahFriend Book Club

Family, allow me to introduce you to this month’s bookclub spotlight– The SistahFriend Book Club is a live and online reading and networking group for women that focuses on reading and discussing books by or about African-Americans and promoting unity through women empowerment and fellowship. Founded in November 2004 by Tasha Martin, the sisterhood began with four members in Columbia, SC. Once a month, members bond as sisters and discuss literary works in settings designed according to a theme, place, or character in a selected read.

In March of 2007, the SFBC opened its membership online, adding an interactive dimension to its website, http://www.sistahfriend.com/ . Online features include: book reviews, literary spotlights, book features, author and reader chats, and a message board for both readers and writers to stay connected. The group also publishes an online ezine to highlight authors and women leaders in the community. In 2008, the SFBC opened three new branches in Raleigh, NC, Greenwood, SC, and Spartanburg, SC. The SFBC will celebrate its fourth anniversary in January 2009.

Join Ella Curry of EDC Creations in an Intimate Conversation with SistahFriend president Tasha Martin.

EDC: Tasha Martin, what does your bookclub offer the readers and visitors to your site?
Tasha: Wow, this is a loaded question! The ultimate goal is for website goers to experience our group’s intimate nature and sense of womanhood. We also hope they’d see our pride in African-American literature.

Here’s our list of website features:
1. The Sistah Profiles: a peek into the lives of our fabulous members
2. Book Reviews from our dedicated members that go above and beyond
3. The Author Spot : an elite author directory
4. Literary Spotlights and Features: we highlight authors and literary groups monthly
5. Women’s Space : a directory for women-owned businesses
6. Forum : a message board for sistahs, readers, and authors to chat
7. Chats: scheduled online conversations with authors and literary groups
8. Meeting Photos: glam shots of our fabulous meetings

EDC: Tasha, what do you define as Quality Literature.
Tasha:
A piece of work where the author takes the time to clearly write with proper story elements, edit, and properly package his work. It’s always refreshing to order a book or receive one for review that you can tell the author and his team spent time putting it together.

EDC: How did your organization develop? How many members are in the group?
Tasha: We developed as a very small group who were family and friends. In fact, there were three family members and one friend. The group grew by one person bringing another to a meeting. And, once that person became a member, she bought another . . . and the pattern continued. We’ve been fortunate to have some of our new sistahs join through our website. Currently, we’re 35 members and four branches strong!

EDC: What does a typical meeting consist of for the members?
Tasha:
Good food, relaxation, and intimate sister chat. Of course, our #1 rules is no drama! We also have a surprise factor, where a sistah or group of sistahs design meetings according to a theme, character, place, or anything from the book of the month.

For example, one sistah transformed her living room into a night lounge, we’ve graced restaurants in 70’s attire, and we’ve had a private “Sexy in Black” masquerade with author Janet Stevens Cook. The latter was my favorite because we actually held the event in a semi-private room in a bar. It was semi-private because huge windows encased the room. Needless to say, in our sexy black outfits, men stood right outside the windows and watched us the whole night, LOL!

Also, with every meeting, the host sistah gives members tokens of love (favors). These are small gifts from the heart, and boy, our Sistahs are really creative! For example, with Donna Hill’s Rhythms, we’ve received compilation jazz cds; with Brenda Thomas’ Threesome, we’ve received handmade jewelry; and with Cydney Rax’s My Husband’s Girlfriend, we received cheeky pants :-), just to name a few.

All is done in the spirit of sisterhood!

EDC: Do you have an open membership? How can one join your network?
Tasha: Right now, our membership is open. Potential Sistahs can request to join by submitting an online form through our website, http://www.sistahfriend.com. Shortly after, a member will contact them. Sistahs, authors, and other literary groups can fellowship with us 24 hrs a day on our website’s forum.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want members to gain from your union?
Tasha: A sense of connection to other beautifully-minded women who have a love and appreciation for African-American literature. Overall, a sense of true sisterhood.

Tasha Martin, Founder/President
http://www.sistahfriend.com

This community leader interview was brought to you by EDC Creations Media Group. http://www.edc-creations.com/

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Francis Ray

Intimate Conversation with National Bestselling Author Francis Ray

Meet national best-selling author Francis Ray who is a native Texan. She is from Corsicana, Texas, home of the Golden Bears and Collins Street Bakery. Yes, the bakery that makes those famous fruit cakes that are sold worldwide.

A graduate of Texas Woman’s University she was twice nominated for the Distinguished Award. Francis has written over 30 novels. She is the recipient of the Romantic Time Career Achievement award, EMMA, Golden Pen and Atlantic Choice award. Her next scheduled release is UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, Book One in the Grayson of New Mexico series from St. Martin’s Press August 26, 2008.

Today we are discussing her new book released, Until There Was You.

Introduction to Until There Was You (The Graysons, Book 1)
Essence bestselling author Francis Ray reminds us—with this captivating novel featuring the life and loves of the Grayson family—that there’s nothing like the first time…

All he was looking for was some peace and quiet. Instead, what ex-FBI agent Luke Grayson finds in the secluded cabin in the woods is a gorgeous, smoky-eyed woman…who just happens to be pointing a gun in his direction.

Dr. Catherine Stewart is relieved that the handsome stranger she encounters is not a dangerous intruder. But how is she supposed to relax in her woodsy hideaway with stubborn, intense, brooding Luke around? A woman could get into a lot of trouble with a man like that—and trouble is exactly what each of these two lost souls came here to avoid.

CAN THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THEM
All he was looking for was some peace and quiet. Instead, what ex-FBI agent Luke Grayson finds in the secluded cabin in the woods is a gorgeous, smoky-eyed woman…who just happens to be pointing a gun in his direction.

BRING THEM CLOSER TOGETHER?
Dr. Catherine Stewart is relieved that the handsome stranger she encounters is not a dangerous intruder. But how is she supposed to relax in her woodsy hideaway with stubborn, intense, brooding Luke around? A woman could get into a lot of trouble with a man like that—and trouble is exactly what each of these two lost souls came here to avoid…

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU
“Tenderness and passion that smolders between the pages.”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews

EDC: Francis, who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
The two main characters in UNTIL THERE WAS YOU are Luke Grayson and Dr. Catherine Stewart. Luke is what my mother would call a man’s man. He is the oldest of five and takes the responsibility seriously. He is tough when he had to be and fiercely protective of those he loves. Catherine is a noted child psychologist who puts the welfare of children above her own. Although she comes from a wealthy family, she’s unpretentious and down to earth.

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would make a reader pick it up?
Tough question. I hope my books stand out because the main characters always have strong moral values. Readers tell me they continue to pick up and read my books because they feel connected with the characters, and feel a strong sense of place.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to walk away with a sense that, although life can knock you down, if you have the courage to stand up and fight, you’ll emerge triumphant.

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
No character is ever minor. I found this out in my second book, FOREVER YOURS, when I casually wrote about Matt Taggart and his distrust of women. Readers demanded his story just as they have with Richard and Naomi, two characters from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

EDC: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
My most significant achievement as a writer would have to be the establishment of The Turning Point Legal Fund to assist women of domestic violence. While doing research for THE TURNING POINT, I was saddened to learn the high number of women in abusive relationships and was compelled to help.

EDC: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
My advice would be to read widely in all genres, study the market, join a writing organization, write daily, be patient, don’t compare yourself to anyone, and before you sign the contract, have a good agent or entertainment lawyer look it over for you.

If I could change one thing it would be that I wouldn’t have given up each time I received a rejection letter. I would have taken it as one person’s opinion and continued to write. Instead, I wouldn’t write for months – until the desire to write would become stronger than my fear of being rejected again.

EDC: Francis, what can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully, more books. Out now, of course, is UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. Coming in March 2009 is Book #2 of the Grayson Friends series, NOBODY BUT YOU. July will see the release of AND MISTRESS MAKES THREE, and in December, ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, Book #3 of the Grayson Friends series.

Visit with author Francis Ray online:

Website: http://www.francisray.com/
Yahoo Fanclub: readersoffrancisray@yahoogroups.com
MySpace: myspace.com/francisray

Brought to you by Ella Curry of EDC Creations Media Group
http://www.edc-creations.com/

 
 

Meet author Seth M. Ferranti

Meet author Seth M. Ferranti the Gorilla Convict Writer

Seth M. Ferranti, federal prison register 18205-083, is the Gorilla Convict Writer. In 1993, after spending two years as a top-15 fugitive on the US Marshal’s most wanted list, he was captured and sentenced to 304 months under the federal sentencing guidelines for an LSD Kingpin conviction and committed to the custody of the Attorney General.

A first-time, non-violent offender, Ferranti has served 15 years of his 25-year mandatory minimum sentence. His case was widely covered by The Washington Post and Washington Times, and his story was profiled in the pages of Rolling Stone and Don Diva magazine. His current release date is October, 2015.

During his incarceration Ferranti has worked to better himself by making preparations for his eventual release back into society. Ferranti earned an AA degree from Penn State, and a BA degree from the University of Iowa through correspondence courses. He is currently pursuing his Masters from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Along with his studies, Ferranti writes about the prison experience. Numerous magazines including “Don Diva, Slam”, “Vice”, “FHM”. “King”, “Feds”, “The Ave” have shown love, publishing Seth’s articles. His work as a prison basketball journalist has led to international recognition in Spanish, French, Italian and Mexican magazines and his articles on prison ballers appear on www.hoopshype.com and http://www.prisonerlife.com/

EDC Creations interviews Gorilla Convict Writer, Seth M. Ferranti.

EDC:: Seth where are you from?
I was born and raised in Southern California, but I lived overseas in England and Germany as a teenager too. I ended up in Northern Virginia where I caught my case. I am now in FCI Loretto in PA, my 6th federal prison. I am finishing up a 304 month sentence I started in 1993.

EDC:: What makes your books stand out and would make a reader pick it up?

My first book, Prison Stories, is a recent take on prison life. It describes life in the feds as I experienced it. I wrote the book in emulation of the classic prison books like Soledad Brother by George Jackson but the book fell into the urban fiction genre. My second book, Street Legends, is a one of a kind compilation of six of the biggest street legends of our times. I cover the life and times of the gangsters your favorite rappers rap about. And the stories my book depicts are the ones you could only hear from the inside of a prison cell.

EDC:: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I think the reader can gain insight on prisons, criminals and the death b4 dishonor street code from my books. They can journey into worlds they might not want to really enter. They can walk on the dark side with me as their guide and experience prison life and the real life myths of street legends.

EDC:: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? How did you do it?
My books, website gorillaconvict.com, publishing company Gorilla Convict Publications– all of which I started from prison are my most significant achievements as a writer. By doing all this from here I am working for my future and eventual release, so that I can be a productive member of society upon my release.

EDC:: What can we expect from you in the future?
I will keep writing and putting out books. I have a lot of ideas. I’m working on Street Legends vol 2, Prison Stories II, a Supreme Team book and more. I will keep writing for www.urbanbooksource.com, my blog on www.gorillaconvict.com and Don Diva. I will keep doing what I have been doing to get my name out there through my brand Gorilla Convict.

Prison Stories is a real-life look into the life of prisoners confined in the Bureau of Prisons. Short story vignettes interwoven throughout the pages offer readers a vicarious, personal experience of everything prison is…the power-tripping of guards, gangs, prisoners getting turned out, killings, and more.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

Intimate Conversation with author Zuri Day


Intimate Conversation with author Zuri Day

Recently Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations, had the opportunity to sit down and chat with new author Zuri Day. Zuri Day is a hopeful romantic who believes in happy endings, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. She resides in Los Angeles with her family and when she isn’t writing loves to travel the world, cook vegetarian food, work out, watch sports, attend concerts and theatre and enjoy the simple things in life.

“Many people have given up on love, much less romance,” Zuri says. “I’m hoping that somehow in the love-filled pages of my romance novels, they can ignite the desire to believe again. Anything is possible, when we believe…”

Readers, please join us as we explore the world of Zuri Day! Lies Lovers Tell, interesting…

Ella: Zuri let’s get serious: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) Was there ever a point in your career, when how your life didn’t match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
Zuri: Very much so. It was 2004, and I was faced with going back into the corporate world of marketing, sales or public relations. But I wanted to be a full-time writer! I stepped out on faith, quit sending out resumes and posted my writer/editor credentials on Craigslist. It was a scary moment: I didn’t have a huge savings account and the bills weren’t going to stop while I pursued by dream. A month later, I got my first client, a former Palm Beach socialite who wanted to write her memoir. I’ve written full-time ever since.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Zuri: Maya Jamison and Sean Wynn are the hero and heroine in Lies Lovers Tell. What I love about Maya is her loyalty to family and strong desire to succeed, to live her dreams. When unexpected challenges came her way, she faced her fears and tackled them one by one. And she stayed true to who she was.

What I love about Sean (besides his being a fine piece of chocolate) is how he takes care of Maya after falling in love with her. He finds himself in a tricky situation with her, one he could never have imagined, and as much as he was determined to do the job for which he’d been hired, he was determined to protect her at all costs.

Ella: What makes your book, Lies Lovers Tell, stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
Zuri: Lies Lovers Tell
has a bit of everything: love, sex, mystery, intrigue. There’s drama, comedy and never a dull moment. This novel is realistic enough for the reader to relate yet edgy enough to provide the perfect literary escape.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
Zuri: …I believe I am.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Zuri: Body By Night
comes out in March, ’09. Ella, I know I’m biased but I absolutely love this story. It’s about a woman who after being used, abused and confused…decides to take back her life. One of the issues she tackles is her weight. That’s how she meets Night Simmons, a personal trainer at Bally Fitness. One look at this mass of muscles and the gym isn’t the only place she wants to work out with this brotha!

While providing ample steamy love and crazy conflict, this novel also addresses Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure, two diseases that are at epidemic proportions in the African-American community. So it was rewarding to cast a light on these issues even as I hopefully entertained.

Ella: Thank you Zuri for joining us to day. Readers you can find out more about Zuri by visiting the links below.

Website: http://www.zuriday.com/
email: zuriday@ymail.com

Brought to you by EDC Creations Media Group
http://www.edc-creations.com/

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Author Interviews

 

Meet Author and Playwright Dorothy Phaire

Author and Playwright, Dorothy Phaire releases Romantic Mystery Novel

Dorothy Phaire
author/playwright/educator
latest novel, Murder and the Masquerade
ISBN number­­­­­­­ 978-0-595-44787-9
iUniverse Publishing, Inc.

Visit Author at website for more information: http://www.dorothyphaire.com/

Set under the backdrop of our nation’s capital, Murder and the Masquerade by Dorothy Phaire is a story of self-discovery for an attractive yet lonely psychologist who feels trapped in an unfulfilling life; she then goes through an emotional and sexual awakening to reclaim her inner strength and passion for life.

Packed with drama and intrigue, Murder and the Masquerade opens up the details of an intense love triangle, woven around a murder plot that is anything but typical. When Dr. Renee Hayes is suspected of involvement in a murder case, she becomes conflicted about her ethical oath as a psychologist.

Torn between her professional loyalty to a patient and her young lover, who is investigating the case, Renee is forced to do whatever it takes to clear her own name and rethink her purpose in life. But the most shocking secret of all is unlocked in the end, and will change all their lives forever. This book is for readers who want to be swept away in the lives of characters that seem so real you can almost hear and see them.

It is a book for readers looking for suspense, excitement, and real-life experiences as portrayed by characters you won’t want to let go even after the story ends. If you are a reader who wants a story that offers hope, new discoveries, and new beginnings, you will want to read Murder and the Masquerade to find out if two ill-matched lovers can overcome the odds and realize their love for one another.

Where to get the book:
Murder and the Masquerade is available for $18.95 directly from the publisher at http://www.iuniverse.com/ (or call publisher toll free at 1-800-288-4677, ext. 5035 to order) or through http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.barnesandnoble.com/.

Books are also being sold at University of the District of Columbia Bookstore, located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Wash. DC 20008.

You may also ask for it at your local bookstore or purchase from other online booksellers: http://www.cushcity.com/ and http://www.mosaicbooks.com/.

To arrange a book signing or interview with the author, send email to: assistant@dorothyphaire.com

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Book Spotlights

 

Meet author Rasheed Clark

Meet author Rasheed Clark

Rasheed Clark is the author of “Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God” and “Cold Summer Afternoon.” “Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God” has already been optioned to become a major movie. Clark is currently in negations to also bring “Stories” to the theater as a stage production.

Ella: Where are you from?
Rasheed: I am Philadelphia, PA born and raised. I work in Philly. I went to college in Philly. It’s nothing like coming home when I am traveling. I have been to places like Florida, Georgia and New York, but Philly has a style of all its own. Say what you want, Philly is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?

Rasheed:
In “Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God,” my two favorite characters are Sista and Nikki. I love the character of Sista because she is strong, smart and funny but her insecurities about her weight still broke through. With Nikki, Sista’s best friend, she is more in control. She has been hurt and she lives her life never allowing herself to be hurt again. We all know people like this. But, these characters show us that it’s not what happens to us but how we deal with it that counts.

With “Cold Summer Afternoon,” my favorite characters are Brian and Renee. Here are two characters that know what it is like to love and lose. They show you in their own way what it takes to find true happiness. For one, it’s learning to let go and for the other, learning to hold on to what you believe in. As with everything I write, they are both based on real people that I know, so you walk away feeling like you know them.

Ella: What makes your books stand out and would make a reader pick them up?
Rasheed: It’s the story itself. Love. Loss. Family. Betrayal. Trust. These are things people can relate to. The stories in “Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God” and “Cold Summer Afternoon” are at the heart of everything. Contrary to popular beliefs, neither book is filled with short stories but instead, each book is one big story filled with great characters.

When I sat down to write these books, I didn’t set out to write the great American novel. I just wanted to tell a good story that about real people in real situations. I wanted to make you laugh, make you cry and make you mad at times by telling the truth about the lies we tell ourselves. But, above all, I wanted to make you think about the things in your own life and how you addressed these things.

When writing these books, I kept coming back to the same question of “How many stories about strippers and drug dealers can people write about?” I wanted a book that could read almost as if the person was sitting there talking to you and telling you their problems. In my first book, I think Nikki’s story is what blows readers away from beginning to end. In the second, it is the idea of discovering what kind of secrets would drive a woman to commit murder that keeps people turning pages.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your books?
Rasheed:
Again, everything I write about is often based on real people in real situations. If anybody reads my books, I want them to walk away knowing that they are not alone in what they are going through and things do get better. Everybody goes through something at some point in their lives. But, it’s not what happens but how you handle it.

I’m not saying that everybody will face the challenges that Nikki faced in my first book or go to extremes of a character in my second book, but we all have issues from family, friends, relationship or even financially. But, things do get better. Of whom God gives much, much is often required and it often comes down to the question of what are you willing to do to make things right.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
Rasheed: I talk to a lot of people via my Myspace page, new writers, established writers and people that want to write. I encourage them to tell the story that they want to tell, especially stories that are based on the truth. If people didn’t want you to tell the story they wouldn’t have done it. Tell your story, you never know who you could be helping. Also, write the book the way you want to write it. You can’t please everybody.

What makes it so interesting is that I had some people try to take me to task for how both books were written with things like grammar. The writing style was deliberate. With anybody who does anything, I soon realized people will find every reason to knock you, but again, you can’t please everybody. It’s the story that you should focus on. Then again, maybe I am hitting too close to home for some people in what I talk about in my books.

Despite all, for three years, my sales have remained strong from my first book, so I feel blessed that so many people have embraced this book the way that they have. So I know that my job of telling a great story was done. If I had to change any part of my journey, I wouldn’t have waited six years to finish my first book. But everything happens in time. Anybody that wants to write, they have to trust that all things will come in time. That’s how I feel about both books. They are my blessings along with the thousands of readers who have read my books and expressed their love of them. Thank you.

About the books:

Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God” is the long awaited, emotional story of four friends, Brian, Sista, Day and Nikki and the roller coaster ride that they call their lives. Critics have called “Stories I Wouldn’t Tell Nobody But God” the book that not even Oprah Winfrey was ready for.

Cold Summer Afternoon” is the highly anticipated story of four women, Renee, April, Loretta and Blue and the explosive secrets that will drive one of these women to commit murder.

Both books are available at Amazon.com. Barnes and Nobles (BN.com), Target.com. Blackbooksplus.com, Borders.com and can be requested wherever quality books are sold.

Contact information:
Official website: http://www.rasheedclark.com/
Myspace Page: www.Myspace.com/RasheedClark
Contact email: nobodybutgod2@yahoo.com

Brought to you by Ella Curry of EDC Creations Media Group.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Meet the Author

 

Spotlight on the Distinct Ladies Book Club

Intimate Conversation with The Distinct Ladies Book Club

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations, has a Intimate Conversation with Tiffany Rainey President of The Distinct Ladies Book Club a.k.a DL Book Club about the workings of a well formed bookclub. Readers, enjoy a inside look at the DL Book Club.

The Distinct Ladies Book Club is located in Memphis, TN. It was started in October 2006 with just 4 members. Today the Distinct Ladies has 10 members and they just celebrated their Two Year Anniversary. The DL Book Club consists of Women from different professional fields, which share the yearning to develop spiritually, mentally and socially through writings of all genres.

DL has bonded with many authors such as Brian Smith, Sheila Lipsey, Alisha Yvonne, Jihad, and etc. Even though they are a sisterhood, the group opens their hearts to brothers as well. If you would like to meet the Distinct Ladies please feel free to drop us a line at distinctladies@yahoo.com.

EDC: What to you defines Quality Literature?
TR: Quality Literature is something that is well written from beginning to end. Our club likes literature that catches our attention from the moment we lay eyes on the cover of the book.

EDC: How did your organization develop? How many members are in the group?
TR:
Our club started with four ladies with the passion for reading and socialization. We quickly grow to a large club with men and women. Everyone came from various economic backgrounds with the same common interests and love for reading. We currently have ten ladies in our club.

EDC: What is the primary mission of the group?
TR: To share our passion for reading, to fellowship with each other, and introduce the world to up and coming new authors.

EDC: Do you have outreach programs or events that we can support?
TR: We currently support The Wake-Up Everybody Foundation which is headed by author Jihad. You can visit http://www.jihadwrites.com to find out more information about this organization.

EDC: What does a typical meeting consist of for the members?
TR: We tend to discuss new and old business before we discuss the book. Sometimes we find ourselves caught up into hours of discussions when it comes to discussing books. I have noticed lately that our meetings tend to be more relaxed and more sociable. We have grown to be so much more than just a book club who just reads.

EDC: Do you have an open membership? How can one join your network?
TR: Our membership is currently open to men and women. If anyone wishes to join they may email us at: email address 1 or email address 2

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned from a novel?
TR: I think the most surprising thing that we have learned from a novel is that we as women can overcome abuse. We can survive anything with the Grace of God by our side.

EDC: What advice would you give a new organization forming a network?
TR: We would tell anyone to make sure you have your guidelines set in place. Try to read all genres, including authors you may not know. Introduce yourself to the world, however you can.

EDC: Would you change anything about your journey?
TR: I wouldn’t change anything about our journey, because I have learned many things about my members that I didn’t know before. However, there maybe a few things they may change. I feel that we have had a long journey and it may have been rough for a minute, but it was well worth it.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want members to gain from your union?
TR:
Friendship, Unity, and the love that we have for each other. We aren’t just a book club; we are a sisterhood.

Distinct Ladies Book Club
http://www.distinctladiesandgents.com
http://www.myspace.com/distinctladiesandgents

Email: distinctladies@yahoo.com
P.O. Box 271415
Memphis, TN 38167

“Blest be the Tie that binds and Our Hearts in Christian Love”

Blog: http://distinctladies.blogspot.com
Website: http://dlbookclub.webs.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/distinctladiesandgents

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Bookclub Spotlight

 

Intimate Conversation with Lori Johnson

Intimate Conversation with author Lori Johnson


Lori Johnson spent the first seventeen years of her life as a “military brat.” Even though she has lived in a total of eight different cites/communities in the U.S. and one abroad (Wiesbaden, Germany), she has always considered Memphis, TN (her birthplace and where most of her extended family lives) home. Currently, she resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband their young son.

Johnson (Lori) holds a master’s degree in Urban Anthropology from the University of Memphis. Her stories and essays have appeared in Upscale Magazine, The Commercial Appeal, The Tri-State Defender, The Emrys Journal, The Best of Memphis Anthology 2003 and Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review.

EDC Creations interview with Lori Johnson author of After The Dance

Ella: Describe the book and what you offer the reader.
Lori: After The Dance is a romantic comedy about two neighbors who stop their bickering and game playing long enough to fall in love. The story is set in my old home town of Memphis, TN and is told from both the male and female perspectives.

Among other things, I think what After The Dance offers readers is a funny, light-hearted, up-close and personal look at one of those couples who sometime make us ask ourselves–how in the world did those two end up together?

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
My passion for words dates back to my childhood and I can barely recall a time when I wasn’t reading and/or writing. According to my mother, when I was baby she and other relatives would routinely get a kick out of handing me books, ones without pictures and turned upside down. Inevitably, I’d cry until someone turned the book right side up again. My folks always wondered how it was a baby who couldn’t read still seemed to know something wasn’t quite right about all of those upside down words (smile).

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Lori: In After The Dance, readers are introduced to 34-year old Faye Abrahams, a chain-smoking and extremely cynical pharmacist, who describes her efforts to resist the charms of her next-door neighbor.

Carl, the neighbor who has every intention of sweet-talking and slow dancing his way into Faye’s heart, is also a 42-year old divorced and financially struggling father of three. I tend to view Carl as a good-natured, hard-working, old school romantic, who, when he meets Faye is making a sincere effort to make amends for the “man about town” rep he earned while married.

Even though he’s broke and not on the best of terms with one of his baby’s mamas, Carl is a loving, attentive father, who makes spending time with his children one of his top priorities.
While on first glance, Faye typically comes off as little more than a hard-nosed, tough-talking, chain-smoking cynic, a closer inspection will revel she’d much more complex. Besides her soft spot for children and her willingness to volunteer her time and talents in both her church and her community, what I like most about Faye is her unwillingness to be used, play victim or settle for the “okey-doke.”

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would make a reader pick it up?
Lori: I was extremely pleased with the artwork chosen for the cover of After The Dance and visually, I think the cover alone is capable of making a reader stop and say, “Hmm, what is this?”
As far as the actual story is concerned, I think what makes my book somewhat unique is that it’s a love story told from both the male and female perspectives. Not only did I allow the protagonists (Carl & Faye) to tell their own versions of the story, I also invite readers to feel as if they are eavesdropping on the private conversations of these characters.
Finally, I hope the humor and the old school sensibility sets my work apart from some of the more “urban” tales currently on the market.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Lori:
Besides a good time, mainly what I’d like folks to gain from their reading of After The Dance is an appreciation for what deep down, most of us know to be true–that whether male or female, being a “player” won’t necessarily keep you from getting hurt or falling in love. In fact, sometimes it’s better to dispense with all of the “game-playing” as well as all of the rules and barriers we often erect in our efforts to shield or hearts and egos from harm. Sometimes it’s better to take a chance on being vulnerable and real and open to the possibility of love.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Lori: My first piece of advice is to Read.
More to the point, I strongly encourage writers to read work that challenges them. If while you’re reading you’re constantly telling yourself, “Oh, I could write better than this or that author,” chances are you need to be reading more challenging material. But do keep in mind that a lot of good writing appears effortless. So, don’t fool yourself. It’s not always as easy as it appears.

My second piece of advice is to Write. Everyday, when possible. I like to tell people, writing isn’t a spectator sport. You can’t just talk about it, you have to be about it. Writing is an art, a craft and perhaps most important of all, a discipline.

Third, make a serious commitment to work on your craft. Learn to critique your own work and strive always for improvement. Develop a sense of your own unique voice and style. Know your weaknesses and strive to increase your efficiency in those areas. If possible, join a group of like-minded writers who meet on a regular basis and for the purpose of sharing information and critiquing each other’s work. Subscribe and/or regularly read writer magazines and journals.

For anyone who is truly serious about writing and publishing, my fourth piece of advice is to educate yourself on the business of writing. It’s never too soon to start reading up on things like, how to get published, how to write query letters, how to go about marketing what you write and how to work with agents and editors. There are a number of books on those subjects, as well as numerous internet resources (blogs, websites, articles and the like).

Ella: Lori thank you so much for giving oour authors and readers such powerful encouragement!

For additional information about Lori and/or to read an excerpt from her debut novel, After The Dance, visit her website: www.lorijohnsonbooks.com

Lori also maintains an interactive blog, “Lori’s Old School Mix” at
www.loridjohnson.blogspot.com

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
http://www.edc-creations.com/
EDC Creations now seen on The Black Men in America blog!

 
 

This is truly an American moment…

WINDS OF CHANGE – 11-04-2008

When Sam Cooke was born…

He was born by a river

A river whose current

was propelled by the winds…

Winds of change…

– Strange how seasons

via no reason

make pretty leaves of high altitude

fall to the earth…

– Funny how

life’s stages

rage in growth

and in decline

after birth…

– Crazy how we realize

that if one keeps living

they will be elevated by the better

and reduced by the worse…

– Eerie how

a prospering human body

potentially leads

a promising life

with a guarantee

that it will eventually see…the dirt…

No matter how traditional…

Regardless of how hardheaded…

Rigid

Stern

Common

Proverbial

Cliché…

All things MUST and WILL change…

No rationale needed

Signals are obeyed

as growth warnings are heeded…

When a warrior is born…

automatically

is he sworn

into the kingdom (his battle theater)

With God given

ability to move heavy masses

flipping 180’s to 360’s and vice versa

sending students to teach

and teachers to classes…

Mountains are chopped in

half with his hands edges

Wedges are driven between

various forces of evil…

When he speaks

your spine feels a sensation…

When he moves

there is no sign

of trepidation…

Warring with heavenly weaponry

hurling battle cries while rocking many nations…

Getting down and dirty

when duty calls in the trenches

but immaculate are appearances during celebratory occasions…

Change for the better

alleviates all excuses…

Change for the better

tends to replace

engines with cabooses…that should have been engines in the first place…

Change for the better

means that buses had to be boycotted

Change for the better

sees 400 years of steps

‘cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge, as feet trotted…

Change leads to new vision

but should not erase the character earned via

9-11, Vietnam, Katrina, Pearl Harbor, and so many others…

Change should help heal division

but should not discount nor reduce

strides made to unite black, white, red, yellow, brown as sisters and brothers…

Change truly does exist in AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
Betsy Ross tossed and guided the threads of Old Glory

Rosa, Martin, and Barack, to name a few…

helped change the game as God commanded and still oversees our story…

.and the story by no means is over…as the work has just begun…

This is truly an American moment…11-04-2008

…and I am truly proud to be an American…

God bless the world…and God bless The United States of America…

©2008 Marc Lacy

 

Everybody’s Favorite Vegan Recipes

Everybody’s Favorite Comfort-Food Recipes
Vegan-Based and Fabulous
By Venetta G. Kalu

Maryland-based Venetta G. Kalu, ND is the owner of Path of Life Wellness Center and a member of the Good Life Wellness Center. The featured recipe(s) are taken from Dr. Kalu’s book entitled: Start Here: A Practical Vegan Diet, Lifestyle, and Recipe Guide. Dr. Kalu promotes eating healthy without sacrificing taste and fun.

Macaroni & Cheese A la Kalu
Serves 6 / 30 min or fewer / gluten-free possibility / vegan

Familiar and user friendly–macaroni is an all time favorite of children and adults alike. This is a vegan substitute with all the zest, aroma and robust flavor of the real thing. This recipe was tested on teenagers and it passed the test with flying colors without a snarl or question. The finished product will taste and smell so much like the real thing, you will not believe your taste buds!

1 box whole grain elbow macaroni
Celery seed
Paprika
Soy Non-hydrogenated butter substitute

Cashew Cheese Ingredients/Order
1.5 cups cashews
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic or 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
1.5 tsp. onion powder
1 roasted red pepper
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. olive oil
6 tbsp. fl our

1. Cook macaroni al dente (keep firm).
2. To get this recipe correct and tasty, you must add the items to the blender one at a time in the order listed above. Smell the aroma of the mixture before and after you add each ingredient. Starting with the garlic, it begins to smell like cheese. As you add each item, it will smell more like cheese.
3. To begin with, blend the cashews with the water until it is very fine and smooth. Start with 1.5 cups of water. Then add water by the half cup until you reach your desired consistency before you add ingredients 2 – 8. The cheese should be fine, not lumpy, thick yet pour at a good rate, but not runny.
4. Oil baking pan. Mix macaroni and cheese well in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
5. Sprinkle with celery seed and paprika. Dot the top of dish with soy butter. Bake at 425oF for 25 minutes until golden brown.

By Venetta G. Kalu, ND

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Pignola Walnut Burgers
Serves 6 / 30 min or fewer / vegan

You can use this recipe to make meatballs, burgers or meat loaf. One time, while eating dinner, I had to stop and think, did I put some beef in this? It tasted like beef. On another occasion, I had to convince my guests that there were no animal products in the meat loaf I made for their enjoyment.

1 cup walnuts
½ tsp. basil
1 cup pine nuts
½ tsp. sage
1 clove garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup Kalamata or black olives
½ tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. water (if you soaked nuts for 4 – 6 hours, then omit the water)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup spaghetti sauce (flavorful)
½ cup grade b maple syrup

1. Place all of the ingredients in the food processor except for the bread crumbs.
2. Process ingredients until a crumbly or pasty consistency (depending on the textures you like in your mouth).
3. Scrape into a mixing bowl and add bread crumbs. The mixture should hold together well. If the mixture doesn’t hold, add some water a little at a time until it holds.
4. Wet your hands and keep them wet to form thick patties, balls, or a meat loaf. With either shape you choose, brown each side. Yes, it is possible to brown a meat loaf without breaking it. It takes some skill getting it into the pan and turning it. Just take your time.
5. Combine spaghetti sauce and maple syrup in a bowl.
6. Place some of the sauce on bottom of the pan. Place patties, balls or loaf into baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over the meat and bake at 400oF about 25 minutes until sauce is thick glossy and bubbly.

By Venetta G. Kalu, ND

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Bejeweled Greens
Serves 4 / vegan / 30 min or fewer

Try this very colorful and flavorful collard green dish! It delivers a new twist on an old favorite.

1 bunch collard greens
½ cup onion chopped
1 clove pressed garlic
½ cup assorted bell peppers chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
cayenne pepper (to taste)
juice of one small lemon
chicken style seasoning to taste

1. Cut collard greens into bite-sized pieces. Put a little fresh water in a pot, add collards, and let steam over a medium flame.
2. Sauté garlic, onions, and peppers.
3. After collards cook down, pour sauté and seasoning into collards.
4. Pour lemon juice into collards and cook about 20 minutes until flavors marry.
5. Greens should be jewel green and slightly tender when done. Do not overcook. Gone are the days of melt-in-your-mouth greens.

By Venetta G. Kalu, ND

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Maple Ginger Pineapple Salad
Serves 4 / vegan / gluten-free

What a delightful, sensuously aromatic fruit salad. You cannot eat just one serving. The fruit and juice is always coveted by everyone down to the last sip.

1 whole pineapple gold
1/4 cup maple syrup
1½ inch long piece of ginger root

1. Clean, peel and slice the ginger root into small pieces. In a pot, warm the maple syrup over medium heat for 10 minutes.
2. Add the ginger and bring the mixture to a boil to extract the flavor of the ginger. It will smell very nice.
3. Clean, core and cube the pineapples. Pour liquid over the pineapples. Mix to blend.
4. Refrigerate to cool. This works well cool or at room temperature.
5. You can keep the salad raw by mashing the ginger root into the syrup and then pouring the sauce over the pineapples. Let flavors marinate and before serving.

By Venetta G. Kalu, ND

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Sweet Cornbread
Serves 4 / vegan

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup fl our
1 cup sweet corn
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
½ cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup corn oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. vanilla essence

1. Process corn just long enough to break kernels, about 30 seconds.
2. Mix all ingredients.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until done.
4. A knife stuck in the center of the cornbread should come out clean.

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Neo-Italian Feast
Fabulous Vegan-Based Recipes
By Venetta G. Kalu

Very Creamy Vegetable Lasagna
Serves 8 / 30 min or more / vegan / gluten-free option

To make this lasagna gluten-free use millet, corn, potato, or spelt lasagna noodles. As I just love this lasagna you will too. It is so creamy; you will not miss having cheese. Spread each layer as thick or as thin as your taste and texture preferences allow. I like it thick!

1 box lasagna noodles
2 jars chunky garden spaghetti sauce
2 bunches spinach
2 large zucchinis, sliced into rounds
4 medium carrots, shredded
2 cups sour cream (a vegan brand or homemade)
2 tsp. stevia leaves
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
Sea salt to taste

1. Sauté the zucchini and carrots with half the onions and 1 tsp. stevia.
2. Sauté the spinach with half the onions and 1 tsp. stevia.
3. Mix the spaghetti sauce with the sour cream.
4. Spread some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Place one layer of the noodles down. Spread some spinach over the noodles. Pour some sauce evenly over the spinach.
5. Place a layer of noodles down. Spread some zucchini and carrots over the noodles. Pour some sauce evenly over the zucchini. Continue to alternate the layers until done.
6. Pour the remaining sauce over the top layer.
7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 3500F until bubbly.

By Venetta G. Kalu

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Zesty Italian Dressing
Vegan

Serve this dressing drizzled over a hearty vegetable salad.

½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ cup lemon juice
½ tsp. sea salt to taste
1 tsp. onion powder
1. Chop the garlic very fine.
2. Shake all the ingredients together in a cruet.
3. Let seasonings marinate to improve the taste.

By Venetta G. Kalu

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Bruschetta
Serves 6 or more / Vegan / 30 min or less

Bruschetta is a nice appetizer and can be eaten with any topping. Included are a few tasty toppings.

Bruschetta
1 loaf wholesome French bread
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1. Cut bread in ½-inch-thick horizontal pieces.
2. Heat oil.
3. Press garlic through garlic press.
4. Toss garlic in the oil, stir constantly. Do not let the garlic burn.
5. Dip both sides of the bread in garlic-flavored oil.
6. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

Olive Dip
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice
1.5 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp. capers (optional)
½ cup green olives
½ cup Kalamata olives
1 clove garlic (2 cloves optional)
1. If there are any stems on the capers or pits in the olives, remove them.
2. Process all ingredients until fine.

Bean Dip
1 cup cooked northern, navy or cannelli beans
3 tbsp. olive or sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½ onion
1-3 cloves garlic
4 fresh spring onions
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground marjoram
1. Cook beans, if not already done.
2. Process all ingredients in food processor until fine.
To Serve Bruschetta Spread olive or bean dip on the bruschetta.

By Venetta G. Kalu

By Venetta G. Kalu, ND

Dr. Venetta Kalu
Owner, Path of Life Wellness Center
Member, Good Life Wellness Center
http://www.drkalu.com/
http://www.good-life-wellness.com/

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Community News

 

Start Here: A Practical Vegan Diet and Recipe Guide

Start Here: A Practical Vegan Diet, Lifestyle and Recipe Guide
by Venetta GeVena Kalu, ND, MPHA

ISBN: 9781420812893

Start Here is a step between where you are and where you want to be. Start Here is about helping you make simple changes to improve your health through lifestyle tips one path at a time.

The focus of Start Here is on taste and quality. Dr. Kalu promotes that to eat healthfully you do not have to sacrifice taste and fun. You can still have the pleasure and joy of eating a tasty meal well prepared.

Twelve years in the making, Start Here brings to you a creative, familiar cuisine in a relational lifestyle guide. If you’re like Dr. Kalu, you tried many ways to improve your eating habits. Therefore, she knows that good intentions will not build health. So, Start Here is her baby and a better eating plan for being a vegan and loving it.

With Start Here you will learn to:
Practice healthier habits
Learn how to eat on a schedule
Learn how to be a vegan successfully
Learn how to prepare traditional favorites in a healthy way
Learn how to eat in a manner that will help you lose weight without sacrificing taste

About the Author
Venetta G. Kalu, originally a New Yorker, is a naturopath currently in Hyattsville, Maryland. As a teenager, she showed a high aptitude for cooking. After teaching herself how to cook, she earned the title of natural born chef. A naturopath, lover of good food, and promoter of eating food as medicine, she had to find pleasant ways to make this medicine go down. So, with her love for experimentation, this natural born chef has accomplished this goal in her latest innovative task of publishing Start Here.

Start Here has solved two problems: helping people eat better and feel better with food they can really enjoy, and recognize reaching as wide an audience as possible. She wrote Start Here, a practical vegan diet, lifestyle, and recipe guide drawing on her work as a naturopath. After several years of inquiries for putting her recipes in a book, she decided to take that challenge.
Then she turned to AuthorHouse for editing, cover design, back cover copy self-publishing. Family and friends call her the vegan Martha Stewart. Critics called the book “A TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL AND USEFUL GUIDE, a rare practical guide and user friendly introduction to the vegan lifestyle.”

Dr. Kalu (director Path of Life Wellness Center, president of Ghova Institute, Inc., and creator of Dr. Kalu’s Oyls & Sope) is a health speaker, educator, lifestyle coach, and inventor with fifteen years of professional experience. She regularly speaks on a variety of topics including lifestyle skills, detoxification, nutrition, and women’s issues. Dr. Kalu is available for book signings, large and small lectures, and cooking classes. You may reach her by writing, calling, e-mailing, or faxing her office.

Dr. Venetta Kalu
Owner, Path of Life Wellness Center
Member, Good Life Wellness Center
www.drkalu.com
www.good-life-wellness.com

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Community News

 

Inside the Star Struck Foundation

Intimate Conversation with Colette R. Haywood

Allow me to introduce you to our Business spotlight of the month. Star Struck Foundation (Star Struck) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of youth at risk of not “making it” in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett is the 9th fastest growing county in the nation and has at least quadrupled in the number of African-American and Hispanic people in the last 10 years. This diversity forces higher costs on human services and public education that the county is unable to meet.

Star Struck Foundation was formed in an effort to address the county’s failure to provide quality affordable programming for youth. In 2005, Star Struck trained its first class of 11 volunteers. Since that time, Star Struck volunteers have provided comprehensive mentorship and advocacy services to over 200 high risk youth and proudly boast a 98% success rate in helping students turn their lives around.

In FY 2007-2008, Star Struck volunteers served over 190 client children and provided approximately 1,000 logged hours of comprehensive mentorship and programming to address the emotional, physical, and educational needs of youth. We are the only organization in Gwinnett County providing free programming to disadvantaged youth and their families.

For a more intimate look at our spotlight business, the Star Struck Foundation, we will be chatting with Colette R. Haywood, Assistant Director. Join me in saluting this fabulous company.

EDC: Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” – Nicolo Machiavelli.

Colette: My organization, Star Struck Foundation deals with high risk youth, our primary goal is to teach our youth how to change their behavior from negative to positive. The youth are our clients. People may think of them as problem kids…but they aren’t. Star Struck research shows that the majority of the youth that we work with want help, they just don’t know or trust enough to ask for it.

EDC: What got you started in this business/industry?
Colette: My mother was a social worker and I grew up going to work with her. She used to work in the ombudsman’s office in Flint Michigan. From there, she began working at a community based organization. I still remember the name…”Heart in the City.” She is one of those people who doesn’t think twice about going the extra mile for someone else. My father recognized my love of reading. He had me reading Edgar Allen Poe in the 4th grade. That was the same year that Mildred D. Taylor came to speak at the Sarvis Food Center. It was like a light went off in my head…oh black women can be writers. I decided then that I wanted be writer. Now it seems that the two things just go together, writing and helping people.

EDC: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
Colette: What separates me personally from the competition is the fact that I am not afraid of hard work and I don’t like to fail at anything. Research is my friend, I have a strong desire to learn. Star Struck is different from the competition in that the curriculum that we use is exclusive. It was developed by Larry Veal, a gentleman who has over 10 years of experience working with high risk youth. He used to be a troubled teen, so he understands where they are coming from. Star Struck works to couple Larry’s behavior modification program with mentoring, and academic remediation activities for students and parents. Star Struck doesn’t just treat the youth, we treat the entire family. Star Struck is the only organization in our local community offering these free services to our clients.

EDC: What one thing would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Colette: I am doing it, raising my kids to be good citizens and have a deep and abiding love of GOD.

Colette please finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
Colette: I am powerful because I choose to be. I am made in the image and likeness of God, I have no other choice.

EDC: What is your biggest challenge in business?
Colette: My biggest challenge in getting people in d to “buy in” to what Star Struck programs. Any business is only as strong as the weakest link. I tend to be a person who focuses on solutions not problems. 6. What advice would you give someone just starting out in your business? I would tell anyone that is starting out in business that they need to have a fundamental understanding of what it is they do, what the competition does, and what the marketplace demands. 7. What do you enjoy most about your profession? Knowing that all of my hard work is helping someone change their life from negative to positive.

For more information about Star Struck Foundation and our wonderful programs please visit our home online, http://www.starstruckfoundation.org/

Colette R. Haywood
Assistant Director
Star Struck Foundation
4000 Five Forks Trickum
Lilburn, GA 30047

Colette, I want to thank you for joining us today and giving us the gift of action, community action. We all need to reach out to our youth and empower them!


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

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Community News

 

Change Has Come… Lutishia Lovely

Change Has Come… by Lutishia Lovely


It all started at a dinner party. That’s where I met Valarie Kaur, a fiery, Sikh American whose passion for positive change matches my own. She’d produced a film, Divided We Fall (www.dwf-film.com) about life for diverse America in general and Sikh Americans in particular in the aftermath of 9/11. We began talking about our country, its problems and possibilities. That rambling and lively conversation during the course of a wonderful evening sparked a lifelong friendship, and my beginnings in politicking for Barack Hussein Obama.

Valarie had been a precinct captain for Obama during the primary and after receiving an email from her requesting volunteers, I found myself, along with thousands perhaps millions of others, phone canvassing for Obama from the privacy and comfort of my home.

The campaign’s astute use of the internet made it as easy as the click of a mouse to log on, get a caller list, and join the process. I called citizens across the country, and was encouraged and inspired as I talked to, at that time, Clinton, Obama and McCain supporters. What struck me was not how different we were, depending on our political preference, but what we shared in common: a desire for change, a right to our ideals, and the American flag.

From that first phone call in late 2007 until election night, I engaged in the political process: phone calls, knocking on doors, talking to friends and fellow citizens about why I felt Barack offered positive change that transcended politics. I believed then and know now that what was happening was not a campaign, but a movement: a response to the collective consciousness’s desire to see the glass half full instead of half empty, to believe that we can turn poverty to prosperity, hate to love, enemies to allies, “no we can’t” to “yes we can”.

Words can’t express my gratitude in participating in the TX elections, winning a small, suburban community called Pflugerville for Obama and helping him to win the very important caucus vote in that state. Words can’t describe being at the Democratic Convention, and at Invesco Field, as a microcosm of America : every race, age, religious affiliation, military branch, and socio-economic background imaginable came together with a shared sense of purpose. Not a campaign but a movement…to change the world. Eighty-five thousand strong, with millions watching, we shared the historic moment when our next president accepted the Democratic nomination for president of the United States of America .

Millions of us across America continued to campaign for change until the last possible moment. My final push was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Los Angeles , at a mega phone bank where hundreds of us dialed frantically to secure swing state voters. I made my last call at 6:00 pm PST, which was 7:00 in Colorado , the time their polls closed. Afterwards I followed the sound of cheering and screaming, which led me to the hotel lobby where the state-by-state results were coming in. Vermont was first, then Maine , New Hampshire , etc. Pennsylvania : a big one. Ohio …oh my. Can this be real? Yes, it’s really happening. At 7:59 Obama had 207 electoral votes. We knew he’d win, but I wanted to see a Virginia/Florida security blanket before I celebrated.

The last poll closed at 8:00 PST and we counted down a momentous election day: 10, 9, 8…3, 2, 1! And then something happened that I didn’t expect: the announcement that leapt onto the MSNBC screen: Barack Obama Elected President. That’s when life became a high from which I’ve yet to come down. Change has come to America , and to the world. And when the 44th President of the United States stands on the White House lawn and accepts the oath of office…I’ll be there.

I am an American who has African, Native American and European blood flowing through my veins, with friends of almost every ethnicity spread across almost every continent. Under the cover of darkness, my great-great-grandparents used cloth to muffle their horse’s hooves and fled slavery in South Carolina . They settled in Arkansas and continued to struggle against racism and economic disadvantage. One day a White man called my great-grandfather the n-word. It was the wrong day to do so. After enduring this and other indignities his entire life, he’d had enough. A fight broke out between the two men and when it was over, the White man died as a result of his injuries. A posse came looking for my great-grandfather and he ran to save his family from harm. They never saw him again.

My grandparents were sharecroppers, and while my grandmother didn’t have a college education, she had common sense. So when the landowner kept promising to upon his death, give them the land that they farmed for a pittance, my grandmother insisted the promise be put in writing. As a result, more than one hundred acres of rich Arkansas land is now our inheritance. (We got more than forty acres, but we’re still waiting for the mule. 🙂

My mother pulled us from working to middle-class America by getting first an associates, then two bachelors and finally a masters degree in the areas of nursing and social work. My father, who never finished high school because he had to help work the farm, told me that I could go anywhere, and could be anything. And I have. I am the person Barack speaks of when he talks about the parent that didn’t achieve their dream, but believed if they worked hard, their kid could.

In short, I am an embodiment of the American dream; one who is standing on the shoulders of the people who’ve come before me. I’ve seen much of the world, its warts and its wonders, and continue to do so as I live my life as a full-time, published author. All because millions of people before me of every religion, age and race believed the words President-Elect Obama has once again made our positive mantra: a new message for a new day…yes we can.

And today, November 5th, a day after the earth has shifted into a positive paradigm, I am grateful to have witnessed this firsthand, to have been a part of creating a world as it should be, and to participate in a democracy that is unparalleled. Last night, when a woman began singing the national anthem and the television station went to commercial, thousands of us at the Hyatt Regency continued singing. With hands over hearts and tears in eyes, we embraced America as it should be: The land of the free, and the home of the brave. Yes.

If you are on my mailing list, that means you are my friend. So whether you voted for McCain or Obama, I love you. And I ask that you consider this woo-woo vibe to usher in a brighter tomorrow, for all of us. I ask you to believe in yourself, our country and the world’s ability to live in peace, love and Light. I ask that you embrace this one simple word…YES. I ask you to believe in the world as it should be, divinely ordered and permanently perfect as Spirit ordains. Change has come to America, because we believed.

PS: A complete photo album of my “Obama Experience” can be viewed on myspace, at: http://www.myspace.com/lutishialovely

Bestselling Author…
LutishiaLovely.com
http://www.myspace.com/lutishialovely

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Bonnie Hopkins

Intimate Conversation Interview with author Bonnie Hopkins

Bonnie Hopkins is a retired Community Relations Consultant who resides in Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of Arkansas A.M.&N. College, Pine Bluff, Arkansas (which has since become the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). In addition to writing, her time is spent with family/friends, volunteer work, reading, travel, and as needed, God ordained rest, relaxation and restoration.

The Good Girl Reviewers of Seasons
“Seasons is a wonderful, heartwarming book that reminds us all that God is always present no matter what season we are in. The characters and the situations they endure will stay with you long after the book has ended!”

Hello Book lovers, today we will meet author Bonnie Hopkins . She will introduce us to her book Seasons. ‘Seasons’ which is currently on Black Christian News National Bestseller list, effectively demonstrates the presence of God in our recurring seasons of circumstances, as life comes full circle and the characters collide in an explosive turn of events.

Past relationship failures have convinced Jaci Winters she is destined for a life of singleness. But had she been aware of the change of season storm blowing her way, perhaps she would have been better prepared to deal with the virulent battles about to take place for both her present and future seasons.

Maxie Jackson arrogantly returns from the past, confident of his ability to recapture Jaci and the child he callously abandoned two decades ago. But is he prepared for the changes single parenting and survival struggles have made in present day Jaci?

Successful businessman, Jason Gilmore is accustomed to winning, and Jaci is now directly in his sights as his future wife. And no one – not Jaci, with her relationship issues, and certainly not Maxie Jackson with his ridiculous plans, or the vicious stalker and her devious sister, with their threatening actions – will interfere with what Jason believes is God’s plan.

‘Seasons’ offers a compelling, exciting and entertaining story, which encourages and inspires readers to never give up, but to trust God who controls all seasons, and always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus.


Bonnie please tell us about your journey into writing.
BH:
I am a late bloomer on this writing journey. I took an early retirement a few years ago with the desire to do something different; however, my plan was not God’s plan. He had, without my realizing it, charted the course of my life to prepare me for this purpose. (My entire testimony about this is on my website: http://www.bonniehopkins.com/)

So, unlike many authors, who have always known they wanted to write, it has only been in recent years that God filled me with that desire. Now, I am driven by a deep desire to be a channel of blessing as God sends enjoyable, but redemptive and relevant stories through me to inspire and encourage others. The consistent message that will always be woven through all my books is that God is a God of second changes, new beginnings, and hope for the future.

Bonnie that is a powerful testimony! What is your favorite scripture?
BH: My favorite scripture or quote is found in Romans 8:28, that says: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

EDC: Where are you from?
BH: I live in the Houston, Texas area, but my roots are in Arkansas.

EDC: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
BH: Seasons’ main characters are Jaci and Jason. I like these characters because although they are faced with many challenges and adversaries, they consistently pray and rely on God’s power to deliver them.

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
BH: The eye-catching front cover of Seasons effectively illustrates the message of the book – that whatever season you may be in, the presence of God covers you; I would then direct the reader’s attention to the book’s reviews and comments (found on Amazon.com, my website, etc.), where this message will be confirmed through statements made by those who have already read Seasons.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
BH:
My sincere desire is that every reader will be encouraged and inspired through this story, and indeed, readers seem to receive different messages that uniquely blesses them.

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
BH: I continue to be surprised by how faithful God is to provide wherever He guides. I now realize just how diligently He navigated circumstances throughout my life to prepare me for this writing ministry, and now graciously provides whatever is needed to enable me to continue to write relevant stories with encouraging, redemptive messages. – Awesome!

EDC: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? How did you do it?
BH: My most significant achievement on this writing journey is that the first publisher I submitted the manuscript to offered me a contract on Seasons, as well as the second book. Remember, I was a complete novice to writing novels, and hadn’t ever given it much thought. Again, all Praise to God.

EDC: What advice would you give a new writer?
BH: My advice to a new writer is to pray and prepare. Pray for God’s direction and purpose for your life, then prepare by learning everything you can about the industry. Trust me, you will avoid lots of pitfalls! Would I make changes in my journey? Yes. I would have done more of what I advise new writers to do.

EDC: What can we expect from you in the future?
BH:
So many readers have requested a follow-up to Seasons, and indeed, that was my plan. However, my publisher nixed it in favor of Now and Then, Again. But not to worry, readers! Remember the character, Ron, the devilish (but lovable) playboy in Seasons? Well, he has a story that is shouting from my spirit to be told, and I am working on it because it needs to be told. Other stories are also in various stages of completion.

Visit Bonnie’s website: http://www.bonniehopkins.com/

EDC: Thank you Bonnie for giving our reader’s a gift of encouragement.

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations

http://www.edc-creations.com/

 
 

Intimate Interview with Jennifer Baszile

Intimate Conversation with author Jennifer Baszile

Welcome readers! Today we will meet author Jennifer Baszile. Jennifer will introduce us to her new book as well. The Black Girl Next Door offers readers a candid insider’s look at America’s greatest challenge: integration. Jennifer Baszile speaks for the generation of children who, in the 1970s and 1980s, sacrificed their childhoods to make integration a reality—one soccer game and school dance at a time. It describes the uncharted territory of intimate race relations that children had to navigate for themselves because adults, raised in the era of segregation, could not understand.

The Black Girl Next Door adds a new dimension to the story of the Black American Dream as it explores one family’s attempt to create a new kind of girlhood out of nothing but their best hopes.

Like many other African Americans, I grew up in a family who believed that if you survived painful experiences, it was best not to look back. But I discovered tremendous healing and freedom in confronting those experiences. I write to understand where I’ve been and where we have been as a people. Writing is my calling and my divine purpose. I write to inspire, uplift, and encourage my readers.

EDC: Jennifer, finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
JB: I am Powerful because I have grown into loving acceptance of myself which allows me to love others with willing heart.

EDC Discussion Question: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) Was there ever a point in your career, when how your books were perceived, didn’t match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
JB:
As a black girl next door, the facts of my black experience didn’t match the theory presented in my textbooks and on television. I am a writer to transform both the facts and the theories of black girls, black women, and black people.

EDC: Where are you from?
JB: I was born and raised in southern California. I spent most of my youth in the predominately white suburb of Palos Verdes Estates.

EDC: Who are your two main characters in The Black Girl Next Door and what do you like most about them?
JB:
Although I say funny things, I’m not a character. My book is a memoir, so I am the main figure. The Jennifer in the book is brave, sad, and speaks her mind. My father, Barry is a towering figure in the book. He is extremely complicated and I connect most with his emotional honesty.

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
JB: The Black Girl Next Door is the untold story of America’s greatest transformation: integration. We all know that black women have always performed mighty work, but the black girls of my generation made a set of sacrifices that have been mostly invisible. Readers should pick up this book to embrace a difficult but transformative moment in the struggle for freedom. Readers should pick up this book to celebrate ourselves and see how far we’ve come.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
JB: I want readers to understand the lived experience of integration from the inside out .I would like readers to see that we can engage the most challenging parts of our past and be uplifted, rather than undone, by them.

EDC: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? How did you do it?
JB: My most significant achievement as a writer has been completing this book. I birthed this book in the trenches of my life. For the first six months, I worked full-time as a college professor, had a young child, and was in the midst of a crumbling marriage. On top of that, I learned that my father had a rare an aggressive form of cancer.

I cried at the computer on many occasions but drew strength from the hope that maybe the finished book would make readers feel less isolated in their own lives. Through the roughest days, I remained focused on my story. I wrote in the mornings before work, after I put my son to sleep and whenever I felt overwhelmed, which was nearly all the time. I also discovered several trusted readers and friends who encouraged me.

EDC: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
JB:
I’d give new writers the same advice my father gave me: “Tell your story.” Mine was a painful, but transformative journey. I’m a braver woman for having taken it, so I can’t wish that it had been different.

EDC: What can we expect from you in the future?
JB:
I am working on the sequel to The Black Girl Next Door.

Thank you Jennifer for stoping by EDC Creations and sharing the news about your new book with us.

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

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Author Interviews

 

Intimate Interview with new author Frankie Nicole

Intimate Conversation with author Frankie Nicole

Scratches is a page-turner and a fictional book for ALL – young, old, male, female, rich, or poor. The storyline is a series of interesting and dramatic episodes that are real to everyday people. Charlie Carrington, the protagonist, unexpectedly befriends the characters, which are woven throughout the book, to help them deal with their emotional scars of a failed professional sports career, abandonment, incest, cheating, job termination and so much more.

The inspiring message is to help you understand your purpose and empower others to have healthier lives by overcoming pain or “scratches” that occur in life. We do this by forgiving others, loving unconditionally, becoming responsible, facing adversity, learning life lessons, and understanding that “this too shall pass”.

Scratches is a thought-provoking book and is written as a series of episodes intended to initiate discussions about predicaments in life – because books and life are meant for sharing. Also, I want to promote a clean message for young and adult readers; therefore, this book contains NO explicit material or profanity.



EDC: Frankie Nicole, tell us about yourself.

FN: I am an author, who has aspirations of writing as a living or creating a short film and/or writing for a major network or studio. I believe that God has equipped me and everyone with spiritual gifts that we must cultivate in order to live a full and rewarding life. I am a graduate of the Maryland University, College Park with a MBA. And I am an experienced healthcare and marketing professional, who has served in roles in a consultant and manager capacity. Also, I believe that we all should volunteer and help others and I love to travel and meet new people.

EDC: Where are you from?
FN:
I was born and raised in New York City and in a small town called Rose Hill, North Carolina. I currently reside in Washington, District of Columbia.

EDC: Tell us about your passion for writing.
FN: My interest of writing came when I was young and privately read W.E.B. Dubois and Judy Blume’s books with several classmates; therefore, as a hobby, I would create and write in my spare time about fictional and non-fiction subjects. Then, after high school, I began writing for The Wallace Enterprise – a small newspaper company in Wallace, North Carolina, as a correspondent. I’d realized early on that my paid writing experience and its limited source of income was not conducive to making a living, especially since I was beginning college out of state.

However, readers would request additional articles and complement me on my writing style and stories, yet I choose to put writing on the back burner and to keep it as a hobby, despite its therapeutic effect and it relaxed nature. But then, I submitted a rebuttal to Essence magazine and they published it in their article section, when Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston were on the cover. Then, my hobby started churning my desires to write and create stories again for the newspaper. Nonetheless, writing is a gift that I will keep on honing; and telling stories is a talent that is part of my growth and learning curve. I welcome and love to know that my stories have made a difference because it is to be shared with others.

EDC: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
FN: Charlie Carrington, the protagonist is a main character, who interacts with the other characters throughout the book. I like Charlie because she is a good-hearted person who believes in helping others and improving her life after adversity – she’s resilient.

EDC: What makes your book stand out and would make a reader pick it up?
FN: A few things, the title itself, “Scratches” because it’s sounds intriguing. Secondly, the book cover design is vivid and eye-catching because its representative of people. And at last, it’s a book that everyone can relate to at some point in life because we all have been through episodes in our life that have left scratches from a verbal, physical, emotional, social, or etc …. situation. Scratches is also a book that contains no profanity or explicit material.

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
FN: I want readers to understand that scratches in your life can transcend across all barriers, regardless of your sex, ethnicity, affiliation, or background. You could be the bum on the street or the one living in a million dollar home and have scratches in your life that have hindered your growth. However, overcoming these atrocities is possible with the help of God, faith, therapy, and a positive will.

EDC: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating novels?
FN: It can be a lonely journey that requires a lot of work, discipline, tenacity, and dedication in developing the characters and the storyline to create the final product – your novel/book.

EDC: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
FN: How did you do it?Introducing my voice and message, by turning pages of notes into a finished, published book. I’d completed my task by just being persistent and never giving up in what I believed would be a good book for prospective readers.

EDC: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything about your journey?
FN: My advice is to approach this task as a business, so research, network, promote, write daily, and be open to the unexpected that can delay the development of your project. No, I wouldn’t change anything about my journey because my do’s and don’ts have been a learning process to allow me to become a better writer and author.

EDC: What can we expect from you in the future?
FN: Promoting the rise of Scratches in 2009 with different ventures, so that I will not limit my market and readers; another book or possibly a sequel to Scratches; and to expect the unexpected with stories and subject matter. I look to become a voice in the industry and to enrich the lives of others.

Mail/Email inquiries to: info@FrankieNicole.com

ANESCO Enterprises
Frankie Nicole, author
Post Office Box 29513
Washington, DC 20017

Website: http://www.frankienicole.com/

 
 

Live, Love, Laugh — READ!

Here’s what one reader said about “An Act of Love”

“Just got back a few days ago from vacation. Read your latest book on the beach,it was the bomb, couldn’t put it down. I really like your style and it’s a great read.” Robert
Check out more reviews: www.dionnellison.com/reviews.html

Get copies now at www.dionnellison.com

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2008 in Book Spotlights

 

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The Last Have Finished First

[Straight From The Maverick] The Last Have Finished First


From slavery to civil rights, the message of hope was something that could not be seen, but it was embraced from afar. It was the reason for comfort and assurance by those who valiantly fought for a better tomorrow.

I certain to say that what I saw today was the application of another spiritual axiom that was made clear by the presidential victory of Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., symbolizing for him and black people in this country: the last shall be first.

Better yet, the last have finished first.

For once, blacks have to say that they crossed the finish line victoriously, and the detractors and critics can’t deny it.

I personally took a deep breath when I recognized that Obama had already compiled 200 electoral votes, and the western states voting polls had not closed, knowing that he was a lock to sweep Califorinia, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii to give him at least 272 and the presidency.

I was also slow to exhale. Perhaps it was a moment taken to enjoy the significance of what this nation had just exercised. Then again, it might me taking in a moment to make a quick reflection of my life while being mindful of those who have come before me.

It’s easy for me to go on a mini-diatribe of how blacks in this country have been seen to be among the first to die, the first to be fired, among the first to drop out of school, to experience economic and social hardship, and among the last in almost everything else. To sum it up in one word: fail.

Many of us grew up facing such a gruesome reality and struggle. I would be remiss to say, however, that there were also people in my life who were much wiser and sober minded that often told me better days were ahead. They were like the apostle Paul. They chose to have a different perspective by being resolute to affirm that in no matter what situation they were in that they learned how to be content and rejoice.

Even for their optimism for my future, these same people reminded me about the chilling reality that no matter how far I got along in life and no matter how much I might succeed there would always be people in this world that will choose to see me only in terms of black and white.

I have experienced more than my share of situations in which my race may have been a factor in preventing me from realizing certain aspirations. But I’ve never allowed it to stop me. I’ve always chosen to believe that I would be a participant and not a spectator; a winner rather than a loser. Now I hope the same for my daughter, and I’ve conveyed to her my expectations that she achieve more than I’ve achieved.

If there is anything that is most symbolic of Obama’s victory it is that blacks can no longer be seen as also-rans. He executed a campaign that was twice, even three times better than all of his rivals over the past two years; it is my belief that it will be the paradigm that future elections for this half of the 21st century will be run.

Obama has now become this nation’s face to the world. It would not surprise me that nations abroad are probably saying that it’s about damned time that the United States finally showed its diversity by electing somebody of color to its highest office.

This is truly a time to celebrate, but the hard work also begins. Blacks now have to be vigilant to stay ahead of the pack, for there are no more excuses.


Posted By Sam B. Redd to Straight From The Maverick

 
 
 
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