Monthly Archives: March 2009

Poetry: The Literary Step Child

Poetry: The Literary Step Child

Once regarded as a sport during the ancient Greek Olympics and a literary genre that has seen golden ages of renaissance, poetry has become a literary step child, relegated to the rear of establishments, often slammed to the ground, and shoved into dark corners.

Before we continue this disastrous cycle of ignorance, there must be an understanding of the presence and the power of poetry. Ask any poet for their definition of poetry and the answers will vary. Even the denotative meanings found in the dictionaries vary. But to all persons who claim: “I don’t like poetry” or “I’m not a poet,” think again. The truth is that poetry means beauty. If you are a beautiful being, you are a poet. Everyone has poetry. We showcase our poetry in different ways. Know that poetry is beauty.

Poetry consists of all persons, places, things, and ideas that are beautiful. Poetry includes all beautiful sights, sounds, feelings, tastes, and movements. Poetry is inner and outer beauty, spiritual and physical beauty. There is poetry of sight in the form of attractiveness. There is poetry of sound in harmony. There is poetry in the fragrance of a rose. There is poetry in the gentle back massage with hot oil. There is poetry in the bowl of hot and sour soup with extra shrimp. There is poetry in a spiritual experience. More than a literary genre that is screaming to be respected, poetry is the handy-work of beautiful beings. No longer shall we disrespect poetry by slamming it to the ground. The poets of the day, like the musicians, are the voices of the day. Allow the poets to be heard by opening the doors of opportunity. Celebrate World Poetry Month in April.

To learn more about World Poetry Month, visit

by John D. Evans, Founder
Empowered by Poetry,

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First Class Treatment by Karyn Beach

First Class Treatment by Karyn Beach

I was in Montana for work all last week and I flew back to Charlotte last night. It had been a long day and by early evening, the only thing separating me from home was the four hour flight from Salt Lake City to Charlotte. I sat on the aisle in the first row of seats in the Coach section.

I had a perfect view into First Class where there were two very pleasant and attentive flight attendants for the handful of VIP passengers. Those in First Class had drinks before take off and just in general seemed to be having a good time being showered with extra attention. Meanwhile, just one row and a flimsy blue drape away, I sat in Coach among the crying children and cramped seats. I watched while they had snacks in First Class, more drinks and a nice hot meal with real silver and glassware.

And I waited in Coach, with over 70 people, who were also being served by two flight attendants, for almost two hours just to get a soda and pay top dollar for a cold fried chicken sandwich. When I asked for one of the Margaritas they’d been promoting, I was told they didn’t have time to make one for me.

It occurred to me as I sat there eating my sandwich that we tend to treat our loved ones as if they are riding in Coach. Like those Coach flight attendants, we are often spread too thin with too many things to do and too many people to serve. No time to do anything extra.

Yet every once in a while, it would be great if we could treat those we love to a little first class treatment. Run a hot bath for the hubby after a hard day. Give the wife a day off and treat her to dinner (or cook it yourself). Spend an evening with the kids doing something they absolutely love. Go get manicures with your best friend.

Believe me, a little first class treatment can go a long way.


Karyn Beach is a success coach and corporate trainer. She specializes in eliminating excuses and getting people to take action.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and is a member of The American Society of Training and Development and the National Association of Professional Women.

Currently, she is completing her Core Coaching Certification with Coach University. For more information, visit Lose the Excuses.
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AMERICAN VIOLET opens in theaters on April 17 starring Alfre Woodard, Michael O’Keefe, Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton, Charles S. Dutton, Xzibit and newcomer Nicole Beharie.

Based on true events in the midst of the 2000 election, AMERICAN VIOLET tells the astonishing story of Dee Roberts (critically hailed newcomer Nicole Beharie), a 24 year-old African American single mother of four young girls living in a small Texas town who is barely making ends meet on a waitress salary and government subsidies.

On an early November morning while Dee works a shift at the local diner, the powerful local district attorney (Academy Award® nominee Michael OKeefe) leads an extensive drug bust, sweeping her Arlington Springs housing project with military precision. Police drag Dee from work in handcuffs, dumping her in the squalor of the womens county prison. Indicted based on the uncorroborated word of a single and dubious police informant facing his own drug charges, Dee soon discovers she has been charged as a drug dealer.

Even though Dee has no prior drug record and no drugs were found on her in the raid or any subsequent searches, she is offered a hellish choice: plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon or remain in prison and fight the charges thus, jeopardizing her custody and risking a long prison sentence.

Despite the urgings of her mother (Academy Award® nominee Alfre Woodard), and with her freedom and the custody of her children at stake, she chooses to fight the district attorney and the unyielding criminal justice system he represents. Joined in an unlikely alliance with an ACLU attorney (Tim Blake Nelson) and former local narcotics officer (Will Patton), Dee risks everything in a battle that forever changes her life and the Texas justice system. AMERICAN VIOLET also stars Emmy Award® winner Charles S. Dutton and Xzibit.

For more information –


Intimate Conversation with Kim Barnes, RN, MHSA

Intimate Conversation with Kim Barnes, RN, MHSA

Kim Barnes is the founder of Focus-Link providing workshops and personal training in communication strategies. Kim’s workshops have been called “energetic and motivating”. Kim has also written articles on communications and women’s health issues. Kim received her Masters in Health Service Administration from St. Joseph’s College and her Bachelors in Nursing from Hunter College.

Tell us about your new book.
Construct Your Conversations: Strengthening Relationships is a powerful, motivating, easy to read book that magnifies the complex intertwining of interpersonal communications and relationships. Communication and relationships are often treated as separate entities when if fact they are Siamese twins. They are distinct entities joined forever! It is not the words, but the affect of the words on our feelings that determine if relationships are developed or destroyed.

Ella: Finish this sentence for us-I am powerful because…
I am powerful because I have the ability to affect others by just being me.

Why is it important to celebrate Black History 365 days a year?
It is important to celebrate Black History every day of the year because every day of the year Blacks make remarkable achievements in every arena. The media focuses on what make sensational copy, but there are so many more dynamic achievements occurring that does not get the same attention. As a people, we are remarkable 365 days of the year!

Conversation with Ella Curry and author Kim Barnes, RN, MHSA
Q. How did my writing journey begin?
A. At one point in my tenure as a senior manager, I realized that much of my time was spent on resolving conflicts. After researching and observing, I concluded that it all boiled down to the affect of words on our feelings that often determine our messages and responses. From this came training workshops that expanded to the book because I believed I had something powerful and important to say. From the time we are born, we are part of many relationships and I hope to be able to help someone keep theirs healthy, positive, and strong.

Q. What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
A. Construct Your Conversations is full of information explaining what happens in emotion filled conversations and provides strategies for deterring negative conversations that can damage or destroy relationships. Absorbing this information and putting it into practice can drastically improve personal and professional relationships.

Q. Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from the book?
A. I would like readers to understand variables that affect our communication hence our relationships. Variables such as understanding that we are in relationship because they have value to us: love, money, power, or information. Sometimes we do not speak up for fear of losing what we hold valuable so we hold our true feelings in failing to realize there is a negative price to pay for suppressing rather than expressing.

Another variable is anger. If you understand that anger derives from either an expectation not met or something we did not get, then we are able to manage anger because we realize it is not personal. The negative conversations are a displacement of feelings about our expectation not being met. We yell at the waiter because the food is cold. Yelling at the waiter is displacement. We are really upset that the food is cold. We yell at our children for getting a bad grade. It is not the child, but the lack of meeting our expectation which we placed on them to get good grades.

Choosing the best time, tone, and text when needing to address a potential or actual emotion-filled conversation is important in maintaining valuable, important relationships. Knowing how to have a “critical conversation” is key to addressing a situation without destroying the relationship. Developing “rules of engagement” prior to emotion-filled conversations can result in a win-win rather than a win-lose encounter.

Q. What advise would you give a new writer?
A. Three required tenets for a new writer is passion, patience, and perseverance. To be a good writer, you have to be passionate about your subject matter or characters. Lack of passion will be evident in your writing. The more passionate we are as writers, the more we let the reader into our world.

You must be patient with your self and your work. The devil is in the detail. Being impatience can lead to losing the small details that will enhance your subject matter or characters.

Perseverance is necessary when writer’s block sets in, others are negative about your venture, or there seems not to be enough time in your day to get the writing done. Overcoming these deterrents is necessary to becoming a good writer.

Q. What can we expect from you in the future?
A. My plan is to continue to write and about interpersonal communication and relationships; a series of Construct Your Conversations with your teen or your spouse. Each relationship require skills that will strengthen the relationship and save if from destruction.

Kim Barnes, RN, MHSA

The book can be purchased from:

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


Intimate Details with author Rickey Teems II

Intimate Details with author Rickey Teems II

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
My passion for writing can best be understand by turning a few pages of my latest novel, Regression. The attention to detail, the intensity, the intrigue and ability to keep my readers glued to the story, it all lends itself to the evidence of my passion.

Ella: Introduce us to your new book, Regression.
Regression is a one of a kind rollercoaster. Many stories and books may keep you entertained, but none will command your undivided attention like this social thriller. It offers the reader a chance to experience the ultimate “what if” scenario.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because I am fueled by the wisdom, understanding, and Spirit of the Most High God!

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m from the land where Lucifer fell when God gave him the boot, and now it’s the birthing ground for every untruth. The city of Lost Angels. My writing journey Started well before my recognition of it. Childhood poems matured to rap lyrics, and then rap Lyrics transpired to novels in 2006. But I was blessed with a gift of the pen.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
The main character in, Regression, is easy, my main man Aeneas Mayes. I love Aeneas. Because he has the street savvy from his past, but is smart enough to know there is so much more beyond what we think we know. He’s resilient and a man of his word. I’m not sure what character would win the silver. They are all running neck and neck!

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
Regression stands out because it is the culmination of every racial conversation, joke and fear across America. I was just bold enough to put it in a book. It is a creative blend of entertaining education.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Realization. Life has never been, nor will it ever be, as simple as we would like.
So lets be real.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
How much mutual respect there is amongst talented authors. With such a saturated market, you would expect more cutthroat antics. But as we say in the hood, real recognize real.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
My most significant achievement was my grandmother saying how much she liked my book. She hates everything!

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
1) Bold Creativity
2) An honest corner
3) God’s patience

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
In addition to the short story, Soldier Surrendered, that will be on the upcoming Bended Knee Anthology, by Hollygrove Publishing, I will also be partnering with Hollygrove to publish an insane Suspense/thriller next year. Hold onto your chest!

Contact Info for Rickey Teems II, LA’s Hottest Author:
Rickey Teems II
PO BOX 30675
Los Angeles, CA 90030

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


Meet the Author Nishawnda Ellis

Nishawnda Ellis was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. After, graduating from Boston Latin Academy with honors, she attended Hampton University in Hampton Virginia. There, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree and went on to practice as a Registered Nurse. She left her “home by the sea” in Virginia and returned to Boston in May of 2000.

Nonetheless, Nishawnda’s passion and imagination led her to pursue another dream, writing. Her debut novel, Snowed A Lesson In Love, was inspired by a love letter written to herself, after reuniting with a past love, encouraging her to love herself more before she could love anyone else. Little did she know that letter would lead to the birth of her first, long awaited

Hence Snowed blossomed into a story of love, betrayal and finding one’s self-worth to love again. With little experience in the publishing world and after submitting Snowed to one publisher with no reply, Nishawnda decided to self-publish. Creating her own publishing company, Kindle Eyes Books and juggling full-time and part-time jobs, Nishawnda financed her life long goal of becoming a published author.

Available April 2009

In 2005 Nishawnda published Wives and Girlfriends which became a so popular amongst readers that in 2006 Nishawnda received the African American Literary Awards Show “Self Publish Author of the Year” Award and signed a two book deal with Urban Soul an imprint of Kensington Publishing House in New York.

Nishawnda currently resides in Massachusetts with her daughter, Niaomi and continues to work as a Registered Nurse. She is working on three upcoming novels, Mr. High Maintenance, Street Anthem and the sequel to Wives and Girlfriends. Nishawnda is also the founder of the Boston Book Bazaar, an annual book fair supporting literacy and authors of color.

If you have any questions or would like to contact the author for any comments, email her at

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Intimate Conversation with Earl F. Betts Jr., Author

Intimate Conversation with Earl F. Betts Jr., Author

Tell us about your passion for writing.
I feel that writing is not something I do, it is who I am at the core. God has given me this talent and I will not waste it.

Finish this sentence:I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because…my words will echo through my writing far beyond the sound of my voice.

Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I was born and raised in Altadena, California. Over the past few years I have lived in Arizona as well as Hawaii with my wife. I have been writing ever since I learned how to write, although it has only become my sole career recently. My wife told me to stop working in careers that only pay the bills. She told me, “Do what God has put you here to do.”

Tell us about your book. Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
“My Own Hurricane,” a fictional novel- This narrative tale, told by Zeke Alexander, chronicles a terrible relationship wrought with addiction, mental illness and the dark side of codependency. Zeke explains his experiences to a friend who seems to be on the same dark path in hopes of his friend saving himself before it is too late.

In my most recent book, My Own Hurricane, the two main characters are Ezekiel “Zeke” Alexander and his friend Eli. What I like most about Zeke is his poise and humility. He is such a compassionate person, he shared the darkest part of his past with Eli just to give him a glimpse of the future Eli was creating for himself. It takes great courage to be so transparent and open. Although it was working against him in the story, Eli has this huge heart that sees everyone for who they could be at their best.

What makes your book, My Own Hurricane, stand out and would entice readers to pick it up?
This book deals with the things society only whispers about. Topics like mental illness, addiction, abuse and violence. It is a no holds barred account of the main characters’ lives from the outside in. There are many books written about mental illness and addiction which are written from the perspective of the ill or addicted. This book is written from the perspective of the people who are the willing victims of the ill and addicted.

Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I would like the readers of this book to know they are not alone with their secrets, whether they are similar or not to the characters in the book. Knowing you can get through a horrible situation and come out better for the experience is powerful medicine.

What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The end of the writing is only the beginning of the life of a book. I have learned things that amazed me to discover. Being an author is far beyond the written page. I chose to self publish my book for the experience I would gain from having my hand in every aspect.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
My most significant achievement has been writing, designing, laying out and then publishing my books myself. More research was done on that process than the book itself. The story of the book, for me, writes itself. I am as excited as any other reader to see what happens on the next page. Creating an actual book was a journey all by itself.

What advice would you give a new writer?
Self publish your first book. Learn every aspect of the process. The education received will be worth all the pain, frustration and learning since you will know what it takes at each step to complete. There are dishonest people in every industry and you will be better prepared to spot them if you have an intimate working knowledge of the process. The other piece of advice I can give is to remain excited about your work. Each one is your baby. When you write new books they do not replace the previous works, they add to the collection.

Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Faith, talent and perseverance.

What can we expect from you in the future?

There are innumerable stories inside of me, so as I always have, I will continue to write. My dream is to turn my publishing company, Betts Creative Media, into a mentor driven business to help other new authors turn their thoughts into books. I want to teach writers how to become authors and give them a platform from which their voices can be heard.

Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
I have two books currently available on, and of course I am a featured contributor and have articles in The Chocolate Voice magazine that can be found at .

Thank you for your time,

Earl F. Betts, Jr., Author
Betts Creative Media
1447 Kewalo St.
Honolulu, HI 96822

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Intimate Conversation with author Raven Starr

Intimate Conversation with author Raven Starr

Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I have faith.

Ella: Why is it so important to celebrate Black History 365 days a year?
I believe it is important to celebrate who we are as a race and a nation. I don’t believe that only in the month of February should black people get the recognition they deserve in the shortest month of the year. Especially now with our new president this is a joyous and momentous time we all of us to overcome our differences and love and respect one another fully.

Ella: Where are you from? What type of books do you write?
My name is Raven Starr and I write Interracial Romance. I’m published with Red Rose Publishing I was born in Paris… Ha I got ya, not Paris, France but a little town in Tennessee.

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a pencil in my hand. I started with poetry and then after the death of a high school friend I wrote two plays. After writing the plays I started but never finished my short stories.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
In my book Thieves in the Night, I love my female character Femi. She is a strong, feisty woman who isn’t afraid to be herself. She’s a fighter and I can totally relate to her. King Hansani is a strong and fearless leader. When he sets eyes on Femi she melts her ice heart. I love the King Hansani way isn’t afraid to love and share his emotions with the woman he loves.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
I am a true believer in love and romance. No matter if the story is Contemporary or Paranormal the reader will always find an enticing love story.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want my readers to gain an aspect of love. I’m a true believer in love. I want to be able to capture that feeling and past it on.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
I’ve learned that writing and creating a world, characters and above all a believable plot is not as easy as some may think. :o)

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
How did you do it? To date my most significant achievement is just to be blessed with my books. My very first e-book Fan-tasy is now in print and I’m very excited.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Read, Write and repeat. But the most important thing I could tell a new writer would be, don’t be afraid to ask questions. No matter what the question, just ask, if you don’t ask you’ll never know the answer.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?

Dedication, Drive, and Faith.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
More books, of course. I’m working on Vampire’s Embrace, a story about a shape-shifter who falls in love with a vampire. There are lies and untruths surrounding Kia, so together I plan on trying my hand at writing a few young adults books. I love creating worlds and characters. I truly love my job and I can’t see myself doing anything else.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I found out at the beginning of this year that I had won an award for Sweet Contemporary Author of 2008 from Romance Erotica Connection. As for what I’m working on now, I have a shape shifter falls in love with a brooding vampire in Vampire Embrace. I have a loving sister rivalry that ends in murder in Twisted and then I have a woman who loses her mother and her sanity but finds strength and love in To Start Again.

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


Nuggets for all Couples by Jewell R. Powell

‘Happily Ever After’ Newsletter March 2009
Sex & Intimacy in Your Marriage

Nuggets for all Couples

Engaged Couples
The engagement time is the perfect opportunity to prepare yourself for marital intimacy. During this time you can be filling your mind with the truth of what love and marriage is all about (1 Corinthians 13) and working through any personal issues you may have, so that you can be completely present for true intimacy with your spouse on the wedding day. If you have experienced premarital sex or abuse or emotional wounds, now is the time to take these issues to God and ask for His healing in your life. Without healing, you bring these struggles into the marriage, which can hinder intimacy. So instead of focusing all of your attention on the reception, DJ list, or the honeymoon itinerary, take some time to work on your personal intimacy issues and give you and your spouse the best start possible.

Each newlywed experience is so unique, especially when it comes to sex and intimacy. While one couple may be intimately in-sync immediately, for others it takes time and effort to make things click. Regardless of where you start on the intimacy chart, all newlyweds are just beginning the journey and have a lifetime together to increase intimacy and experience the marriage union the way God intended it to be.

How can you keep yourselves on track during this journey? By making an effort to put the other person first-this includes sexually and emotionally. In doing this you are fulfilling one of God’s callings to regard one another as more important that yourself (Philippians 2:1-4). Also, to have a great sex life, couples must talk with one another about their desires, needs, and what pleases them. And both should be in agreement.

Couples Being Challenged
When times get hard, sex and intimacy are among the first to go out the window. There’s something about stress and hardship that can suck the life out of a marriage, starting with intimacy and what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the marriage bed.

Instead of giving in to the stress and allowing life’s difficulties to create a wedge in one’s intimate relationship, we must work hard to cling to our spouses and make the times together a safe haven-an escape away from it all. God will support your efforts and give you the strength to persevere in your relationship. After all, he has told us not to worry (Philippians 4:6) and to cling to our spouse (Genesis 2:24), so we can trust that in doing these things we are honoring God. Instead of going into separate bedrooms or going our separate ways when feeling stressed, come together in unity and love and strengthen your marriage even when times are tough. Although this may seem very hard to do, try and see how with the help of the Holy Spirit that it will destroy the works of the enemy working against you because love conquers all.

Seasoned Couples
As you approach the “golden years” of your marriage, the potential for intimacy increases, right???. After all, you have known each other longer and are much wiser. Well, this may not be the case for all seasoned couples. There are still many challenges that may come our way that create road blocks for intimacy. For example, physical limitations for some couples call for the need to be creative when it comes to sexual intimacy. However, there is no reason that increased age should be an excuse for decreased intimacy.

It’s possible to experience the most intimate years of your life as you grow old together, slow down and take the time to really enjoy one another. While you can reflect on the good memories of the past, create new ones together and strive to add spark to your relationship by communicating openly about your desires and needs when it comes to intimate issues. As the Bible puts it, “Rejoice in the wife (or spouse) of your youth!” (Proverbs 5:18).

Sex & Intimacy takes time that most of us don’t have because of the cares of this world. However, that is the trick of the enemy to steal time away from one another, to kill the intimacy between our spouses, and to destroy our marriages. My prayer is that you will take baby steps to rekindle the love affair, even if it is 10 minutes out of your day to spend only that time with them to help strengthen your marriage. For those that are doing well in this area, keep it up! Continue to be consistent.

God Bless,

Jewell R. Powell
Author & Marriage Coach

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Sex & Intimacy in Marriage by Jewell R. Powell

From the ‘Happily Ever After’ March Newsletter

Without a doubt one of the most sensitive and provocative discussion areas when it comes to marriage is sex and intimacy. It is a topic that can easily offend and anger, but it is also a topic that can enrich relationships when discussed in the right context.
Although in the past people have had a tendency to avoid the subject altogether, marriage experts agree that healthy discussion about sex and intimacy in the marriage can lead to a closeness and honesty that make the marriage stronger and more fulfilling for each spouse. We can take hope in the fact that God created sex and intimacy between a man and wife to be a pure expression of unity and love.

What is Marital Intimacy?
Ask this question to married couples and you will get a variety of answers. Responses like “feeling close” to “having great sex life” are common, but are not entirely accurate. It makes sense that husband and wife long for true intimacy in a marriage, but if we can’t even define it accurately, it is going to be difficult to achieve! Thankfully, we can look to God for the definition of marital intimacy.

As God is the creator and designer of the marriage union, we are going to have the best chance for success if we follow His blueprint and call on Him to guide us. For example, if you are building a home, you don’t ask an interior designer for advice on the foundation. No, you go to the writer of the plans-the architect-who has the plan in his hand and can tell you everything you need to know about building your home. View the rest of the article here.

Unleashing the Power of Intimacy in Your Marriage
Looking for emotional closeness with your spouse? Better sex? Improved communication? Intimacy the way God intended it to be is the path to each of these goals. There may be no other aspect of one’s marriage that has the potential to refresh, enrich and heal like true intimacy between husband and wife. But how can you achieve this level of oneness in your marriage when life seems to get in the way?Jobs, children, friendships, hobbies, and even church ministry involvement can hinder one’s ability to truly connect with a spouse. Life is hectic. Life is full. And too often our marriage relationship is the one part that gets short-changed. Step number one for achieving intimacy in marriage is to make sure your priorities are lined up correctly. It is stated clearly in the Bible that we should…
View the rest of the article here.

Bible Verse of the Month
“The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality, the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to stand up for your rights. Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.” -1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (paraphrased in The Message)

Sex & Intimacy takes time that most of us don’t have because of the cares of this world. However, that is the trick of the enemy to steal time away from one another, to kill the intimacy between our spouses, and to destroy our marriages. My prayer is that you will take baby steps to rekindle the love affair, even if it is 10 minutes out of your day to spend only that time with them to help strengthen your marriage. For those that are doing well in this area, keep it up! Continue to be consistent.

God Bless,

Jewell R. Powell
Author & Marriage Coach

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Intimate Conversation with author Zhana

Intimate Conversation with author Zhana

Ella: Hello Zhana, tell us a little about you and your work.My work focuses on the healing of humanity and our planet, with a particular focus on the healing of the people of the African continent and Diaspora. Individual and collective healing. Physical, mental and emotional healing. Healing our families and our communities. To that aim, I have written several books including Black Success Stories and Success Strategies for Black People, and I edit the More Black Success free ebooks. I also lead workshops to support the healing of our communities, the healing of our history, the healing of the legacy of enslavement and the Maafa. To do this work, I draw on ancient traditions as well as modern methods. By healing our past, we can move forward into the future we deserve.

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
I wrote What They Don’t Want Us to Know as a follow-up to Success Strategies for Black People. Both books came out of my healing journey. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and I have suffered from low self-esteem all my life. I have taught personal development courses for many years and both books contain material based on this work. With Success Strategies for Black People, I sat down to write and the writing just flowed. I had a similar experience with What They Don’t Want Us to Know – I had planned to write a very different book. But what came out was what was in my heart.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am powerful because I was born into a mighty race and I am part of this glorious universe! My potential is boundless!

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I am originally from New York City. I live in London, UK. I’ve been writing since I was nine (more than forty years).A lot of my work comes out of my own healing journey, as I am a survivor of childhood abuse.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
My books Success Strategies for Black People ( and What They Don’t Want Us to Know ( stand out because they are full of practical suggestions that anyone can do. They are very accessible.

I focus on writing for an African American audience and helping us to heal our individual and collective past wounding and traumas, to create the fabulous future we deserve. I emphasise the importance of celebrating our cultural heritage as people of the African Diaspora.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to not just read these books and think “how interesting”. They are meant to inspire you, but I have written them to help you change your life. That means you need to DO what it says in the book, and see the results you gain. I also offer free ongoing support at:

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The thing that surprised me was how much I had to say.With both books, I started writing and the information just flowed.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
To be a successful author, you need to 1) have something to say that’s of value for people; 2) be a good writer, be able to communicate well; and 3) most importantly, keep going! The writers who are most successful are the ones who did not give up.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I am setting up workshops for Black parents and families in London. African Americans are also welcome. For more details, visit:

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Intimate Conversation with author Linda Wright

Intimate Conversation with Linda Wright

Ella: Hello, tell us a little about you.

I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. I made and lost my first million by the age of forty. I blasted through life at warp speed searching for inner peace. I finally found it. I discovered all things are possible with God. I’ve gone from renovating houses—to renovating lives.

Ella: Where are you from?
I am originally from Chicago, but now live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia with my husband and over twenty adopted stray and orphaned animals. .How did you start your writing journey? I was absolutely overwhelmed with the desire to tell my extraordinary story.

I AM…The Power Within By Author Linda Wright
Ever wondered why you are never able to succeed at anything you attempt?

It’s because you’re trying to do it all alone!
Maybe it’s time to ask for some divine assistance.

With God all things are possible!

I AM is a collection of inspirational short stories filled with positive attitude tips. Learn how to empower yourself through the use of positive words to attain not only success, but inner peace and divine happiness. Stop quitting and learn how to finally surrender it all to God.

The biggest difference between this book and the rest of those positive motivation, spiritual, self-help books is that I AM will lead you straight to the truth, the existence of an all loving Creator. I AM is an instruction manual on how to renovate your life and overhaul your spirit. Unite with a divine support system through the use of positive words, and literally start walking with God.

This is a well written and extremely entertaining book, revealing the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction (spiritual science) for what it really is…the power of God! Start experiencing God by finally gaining the freedom of salvation. Discover how I restored my soul through a spiritual house cleaning by accepting this simple truth—with God all things are possible!

We are all born with an internal power cell; we just need to learn how to turn it on and charge it up. Be among the first to plug in and get energized through these inspirational insights into co-creating your new improved reality.

The plain and simple truth is that we had better start thinking about what we’re thinking about, and more importantly what we’re saying. Begin to realize the incredible power of positive thoughts and positive words, as well as the devastating repercussions of focusing on negativity through worry. Learn how to become accountable for the results of your focus, by taking responsibility for the consequences. Become empowered through understanding the effect of thoughts and the significance of words. I am happy, I am sad; I am healthy, I am sick. No matter what I choose, I am right. I literally decide what I AM.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
I am not afraid of being open and honest. I’m willing to expose my biggest secrets and worst failures so that others might gain from them. Everyone in the world is searching for happiness and success, as well as physical health and inner peace.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want everyone that reads I AM to gain a true understanding of who God really is, as well as the deep spiritual freedom and satisfaction that I now possess.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
That an ordinary person, like myself, can not only write an entire book but can produce something good enough to be published!

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Being inspired to produce over 300 pages of insightful information in less than two months and then going on to be published in less than a year. How did you do it? I decided to finally surrender to God’s plan for me, and then I started to listen to his endless inspiration.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Never give up. If I can write a book as interesting as I AM, anyone can!

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion? Tenacity, tenacity, and tenacity!

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on several new books with Tate Publishing, also inspired works.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
My recently aired radio interview on THE READING CIRCLE with Marc Medley will be featured on my author Web site, , as well as some absolutely phenomenal reader reviews. I will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Atlanta Woman Magazine.

Check out my newly released book at…

Linda Wright Books
P. O. Box 64
Ellijay, GA. 30540

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Meet the Author


Miracles in Action by Angela Alexander

‘Miracles in Action’

On April 1, 2000 while I was in Japan on military duty, my husband and our four children were involved in a fatal car crash. My family’s car fell twenty-five feet off the highway, landed upside down in the Salvation Army’s parking lot on top of two other parked vehicles with people inside. The people in the parked vehicles were extremely shaken up, praise God they were all right. My husband, and our two daughters survived, however, Murice and Roger, our two sons, died instantly at the scene.

One of the many miracles was that, God allowed Murice and Roger, both only eight-years-old at the time, to independently write and leave behind incredible good-bye letters. In the letters my sons wrote, I received the peace from God that I so desperately needed to survive. Each letter answered specific questions that I would have wondered about for the rest of my life.

While I was writing my children’s memorial program, God revealed to me that the letters were written to soothe my soul, but more importantly, to share.

This moving powerful testimony has strengthened the faith of believers and helped turn non-believers into believers. After listening to this story, you too, will see that no matter what your situation may look like on the surface, God is in control, and miracles are always in action. Get ready to hear and see Angela share the Glory behind the story of this fascinating, supernatural testimony from the living God we serve.

Angela Alexander, national speaker and author of “Miracles in Action:
Turning Pain Into Power and Grief Into Peace
Visit website

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Black History and the BAN Network

TITLE: Black History and the BAN Network

Black History
These are the ancestors of choice;
And when things were not right
They lifted up their voice;

They sacrificed in times of struggle
Took the bill in the hustle;
Made a dream for the country to wonder
Moves these people made struck like thunder;

More opportunity was open,
The chains on minorities broken;
No more limits no pressure,
From King to Obama now we go get the measure;

Black History I still treasure,
Ancestry held out in pain;
Just to make more opportunity
For minorities to do more things;

See we cannot blame,
Our peoples struggled thru some times;
And I was not even alive when they were
But I can vibe it in this rhyme;

Black History
allowed opportunity to make it thru college,
That was the reason
I got good wisdom and knowledge;

And Black History was motivation
To be a great person for the nation;
And change was already done in a sense,
President Obama hey that’s no coincidence;

Black History leaves rights open in spots,
Success is on the rise we must always keep that hot;
Yeah this heritage yes this is for me,
I am so grateful for our month in BLACK HISTORY;

Written by Math Man, Author and Poet Stanley Pitchford
Copyright 2009; All Rights Reserved!

Author of books DESTRUCTION via THE MIRROR IMAGE parts 1 and 2
Note: part 1 is red and part2 is orange and includes poetry
Readers can catch me at my

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Intimate Interview with author I. B. Freeman

Intimate Interview with author and speaker I. B. Freeman

I. B. Freeman was born in the Bronx, New York. At the age of thirteen, he begin to hone his writing skills while recovering from hip surgery. He later moved to New Jersey as a teen to only move back to New York City a short time later.

He later attended Touro College and studied Audio Engineering while pursuing a career as a songwriter. He is a self-taught pianist, lyricist and all around renaissance man. Author’s Myspace Page:

Ella: Tell us about your book.
My book Mr. H.I.V. is about an heterosexual professional black male who is infecting women with H.I.V. on purpose. He is mad at the world because he is H.I.V. positive and he wishes to pass his misery on to others. The book offers readers a chance to see how people react to certain things. It gives reader a chance to see how crazy some people are and most importantly it educates black women.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because…I write what i want to write and I dont care about being ostracized.s

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. My journey as a writer started from me reading so many books. After a while people suggested that since I read so many books I should write a book. I took the suggestion and just ran with it.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
There is one main character. His name is Darren Wade. He is H.I.V. positive and intentionally infecting women. The thing I like about him is that he is not your usual suspect. He is an professional man and he has a loving relationship with his mother. People wouldnt expect a man like that to be infecting women on purpose. He is also a complex character. That is why some of my readers feel sympathy for him, while others hate him. Some people tell me that they even cheer for him and condone what he is doing. The best thing about Darren is that he grabs the readers attention and can trigger emotions in people who read Mr. H.I.V.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
The title Mr. H.I.V. stands out. Its pretty raw and straight to the point. Plus there arent alot of fiction books based on the subject of H.I.V. so the plot and subject alone makes the book unique. Also the cover is scary. Its all white with the words Mr. H.I.V. in black. My book cover is my myspace picture on my webpage, and some people have blocked me on myspace just because of my book cover. So the scary cover itself entices people to pick it up, and once that is done the sale is halfway complete.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Knowledge of H.I.V. and awareness. People have become complacent with the thought of catching H.I.V. and its not cool when society is ok with the thought of contracting an terminal disease. Some people are also nieve. Some people I have come across actually cant believe that their are people infecting people on purpose.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
How easy it is to publish a book. Most people don’t have enough money to go to a major printer and that prevents people from publishing there novel. I found out about companies that print books at such a cheap price. There are printers who print books at $5. a copy with no minimum to print. So someone with $40. dollars can order 6 or 7 copies of their book, sell them and reinvest there money. Anyone who is interested in this method of printing should google on demand printing.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? How did you do it?
Publishing my book before the age of 30 is my most significant achievement. I ended up publishing my book just based on determination. I know in my heart Mr. H.I.V. is a great novel so I constantly look for ways to get my work published till I eventually found the right print on demand company.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Send reviews of your book to book review companys. As a new writer people may overlook you work to purchase work by a veteran author. So I suggest you send copies of you work to book reviewers then you have someone to validate your work. If a book reviewer gives your book a great review a person may be willing to spend there money on your work. The only thing I could say is that I would have send out many more copies to book reviewers and editorial writers before I started selling my book.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Being unique, writing what makes you happy, be honest with yourself and give a criticial analysis of your work.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now im working on my new book. Its a play entitled Can I Live. Its about a suicidal man pursuing his dreams.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
I have some upcoming interviews lined up with a few radio stations. Right now im in the process of confirming my show dates. You can keep up to date on interviews that im doing by going to my webpage

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Intimate Conversation with author Katrina L. Burchett

Intimate Conversation with author Katrina L. Burchett

Katrina L. Burchett is the third born of her parents’ six children; the shy, quiet one who, to this day, expresses herself better with the written word. As far back as she can remember it felt natural to have a piece of paper and a pen or pencil in hand. In grade school she wrote a play or two that her classmates acted out for teachers and their students.

During her middle and high school years creating poems was what she loved most, and a couple of them were printed in the local newspaper.Burchett launched a small book publishing company in 2007, naming it after her teenage niece, Kapri. Choices is Burchett’s debut novel. She wanted to go deeper than the teen sexual activity and teen pregnancy statistics, so she wrote an emotional, thought-provoking read exploring the reasons why some young people make the choice to become sexually active, and why others choose to abstain…

Shauntice, Angel, Bridgette, LaKeeta, and Hope are teenage girls making decisions about boyfriends and premarital sex. Choices is the first of a trilogy. The next novel will explore teen parenting and the relationships Shauntice, Angel, Bridgette, LaKeeta and Hope have with their parents. It will also delve more into the lives of the guys in Choices. And the third novel will focus on teens and drinking.Once the trilogy is complete, Lord willing, Kapri Books will publish the works of aspiring authors.

Ella: Introduce us to your new book, Choices? What subject does it examine?

Choices is a story about five girls making decisions about boyfriends and premarital sex…

Shauntice Johnston has faith in God but the world of domestic abuse she lives in has left her with very little faith in the male gender. Angel Nichols doesn’t know her earthly father, doesn’t care about the heavenly Father and feels neglected by her workaholic mother. She has had numerous sex partners since she was thirteen, trying to fill the void inside of her.
LaKeeta Wilson is a Christian, but instead of doing it God’s way and waiting for marriage she purposefully becomes pregnant out of wedlock. Bridgette Anderson practices abstinence in obedience to God and no matter what she will not compromise her beliefs. Hope Patterson is a plain dressing, soft-spoken, timid Christian girl who’s living a very sheltered life because of mother’s strict rules. The word sex isn’t in her vocabulary until she suffers a loss.

Ella: Where did you pull from to write the book?
I could write the domestic abuse scenes so well because I grew up in that same situation. I still remember that I had to get away from the story for a little while once I finished, because I was angry at Grant, tearing up for Elaine, and feeling so bad for Shauntice and Shannon. So with Shauntice’s situation and the issues Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgette and Hope are dealing with, Choices is a story that will evoke just about every emotion. And with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the mix there is a message of hope and new beginnings for the reader.

Ella: Finish the sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am powerful because I am a walking miracle with life-changing stories to tell. On August 3, 2007, a few days before Choices was released, I was admitted to the ICU suffering from severe dehydration, a staph infection in my bloodstream and failing kidneys. I was dying. Actually, I was feeling sick during the entire self-publishing process. By the grace of God I’m still here today and I will use my writing talent so that He can bless others through me.

Ella: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the city of York , Pennsylvania.

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
I began writing in grade school. I still reflect on how classmates and I would take toy dishes and other props to different classrooms and act out plays I wrote.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
There are five protagonists in Choices; however, I consider Shauntice and Angel to be the two main characters. I like Shauntice’s name. I came up with her twin brother, Shannon’s, name first and when I was trying to figure out what hers would be there was a Shanice (remember the song I Love Your Smile?) cassette sitting on the stereo, so I added to her name.

I also like Shauntice’s Christ-likeness in dealing with the domestic abuse situation she’s stuck in; the way she never ceases praying, the way she stands by her mom when she’d rather run away. And Angel – plain & simple, I love her spunk! She’s not afraid to speak her mind, she means what she says, and if anybody gets in her face she will not back down. She might not make the best choices when it comes to guys, but who am I to judge? Angel is my girl!

“Young readers will identify with Burchett’s realistic characters,who are true to life and spare no one, not even themselves, of their imperfections. Hip, hip, hooray to Burchett for not trying to create unbelievably perfect characters, but making a choice to give us real characters we can cheer on instead!” 4 STARS Rosalind Stormer, RAWSISTAZ REVIEWERS

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
I was searching for an image to use on the cover and I came across this guy and girl sitting on the couch talking. He looked like he was pleading his case, whatever it may have been, and it reminded me of the scene in Choices where Terry stops by Shauntice’s house and tries to get her to give him a chance. The book designer got creative and changed the image. She took away the background and made the girl the main focus. I’ve received quite a few compliments on the cover. I believe the unique image along with the earth tones catches a reader’s eye.

Quick Overview of Choices for Parents
Choices tackles the issue of teen sex in a realistic way, so some characters do have sex in the story. However, when consensual sex happens the scenes are not graphic, but left to the reader’s imagination. Sadly, there is an acquaintance rape and it is vivid. The author had a difficult time writing this scene in detail, but she wanted every girl who read this to learn from the mistake made by the character who is raped. Burchett didn’t think anything would be learned unless the reader could really feel this character’s pain.

To feel her pain, the reader needed to know everything this girl went through. The character’s mistake: She felt something was wrong. She felt she should ask this guy to leave her home, but she didn’t because she didn’t want to offend him. The domestic violence scenes are also vivid and intense, and there is a little profanity – the “d” and “b” words are mentioned once or twice.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I wrote the first draft of Choices many years ago. At that time, I was regretting choices I had made… Okay, I’m gonna tell a little bit of my personal business. I allowed myself to be used more than once because I didn’t know how to say no. It was good to know that God loved me, but still, I didn’t start making better choices until I learned to love myself.
My story shows that consensual premarital sex isn’t always about the sex; life’s circumstances, low self-esteem, peer pressure – there are many reasons why teens make this choice. I hope that what I wrote will help young women to make better choices than I did. There are quite a few messages in Choices for parents as well as teens, but the main message is that when we girls mess up it’s never too late to begin again.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
Well, I thought about self-publishing for a long time before I actually stepped out and did it. There was fear because I really didn’t know if I could do it. The surprising thing was that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual, Rob and Terry Adams’ Start Your Own Self-Publishing Business and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross were all very helpful. And there are plenty of talented book designers and professional editing services out there. All it took was a little research to find the ones I felt at peace about.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
There was a reader -a teen reviewer, actually – who said something like ‘I appreciate life more after reading Choices’. I knew immediately what she had read to make her feel that way. I don’t think I should elaborate, because my answer would contain a spoiler, so I’ll just say that through me God sent an important message to this teen. Glory to God!

Ella: How did you do it?
I wrote the story and then found the courage to make it available for this girl and others to read.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I’d like to advise new writers to be open to “constructive” criticism. We can be so close to our work that we don’t want to change anything, but flaws that we can’t see seem to jump out at others. A writer needs a few pairs of fresh eyes to read their work. Once the manuscript has been written and then rewritten as many times as need be, let others read it, get feedback and then there may be more rewriting. After that, it’s best to pass the manuscript on to a professional editor.

Ella: Would you change anything about your journey?
I sure would. I was trying so hard to make Choices perfect that I was making changes during the interior design process. A manuscript should be ready when it gets to that point, but I always found something I just wasn’t satisfied with. I ended up paying a bit more for the service because of the changes.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
If an author writes a story with a message that can change a person’s life for the better in some way, whether big or small, that’s a success story. God wants us to use our gifts to serve others (1Peter 4:10). Entertaining the reader is great and necessary to gain a readership, but, in my opinion, there should be more. A lesson to be learned, some kind of knowledge to be gained, something meaningful. Sorry, that’s the only thing that comes to mind.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Choices is the first of a trilogy, because this premarital sex thing isn’t the only issue I have in my heart to write about. The next book will focus on teen parenting and the third will focus on teens and drinking.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
I have started the second novel. I’m hoping for a release date at the end of this year, but I can’t say for sure right now. When I have a date, I’ll be sure to have it posted on my website.

Kapri Books

Katrina L. Burchett, YA Fiction Author
Choices: Five teenage girls make decisions about boyfriends and premarital sex.
Shelfari Bookshelf:
Shoutlife Profile:

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


The Next Best Thing by Deidre Berry

My name is Deidre Berry, and my debut novel The Next Best Thing would be perfect for your next book club selection. It is a humorous contemporary novel, which asks:

What do you do when the life you planned, is no longer part of the plan?

Tori Carter is a sassy, multi-tasking diva who prefers for her life to run as smooth and hitch-free as the events she coordinates. No drama, no problems—that’s Tori’s idea of the good life. Her tendency to plan everything to the max has made her the most successful event coordinator in the business—and the number one problem solver for her family and friends. But when her perfect fiancee, Roland, chooses their wedding day to run off with the woman he previously claimed was just a good, “platonic friend”, Tori is left without a Plan B-through-Z…or any idea what to do next.

During a period of post-traumatic breakup blues, Tori suddenly has the epiphany that the best way to mend a broken heart is to simply: “Get back out there.”

Against the advice of a personal Life coach, Tori dives headfirst back into the dating pool where she suffers through one dating disaster after another, while also dutifully tending to the never-ending needs of her zany, high-spirited group of family and friends; as well as a hectic career where her senior position is in jeopardy due to backstabbing and blatant sabotage.

Then there is Nelson. Tori’s handsome, widowed neighbor who could possibly turn up the heat in ways she never imagined, if only he could somehow manage to get past the emotional baggage he still carries years after the tragic death of his much beloved wife.

Told candidly through the pages of her journal, The Next Best Thing chronicles Tori’s daily struggle to pick up the pieces of her once perfectly ordered life, while also learning to accept that no amount of planning can prevent the curve balls that Life sometimes throws your way.

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation Pub. Date: April 01, 2009; ISBN-13: 9780758238320; Price: 14.00

1) Would you allow your man to have close friendships with other women?
2) Is it possible for a heterosexual man and woman to have a strictly platonic friendship?
3) What are your thoughts on prenuptial agreements?
4) What do you think is an appropriate amount of time to mourn the loss of a spouse before moving on and dating again?
5) Is it ever worthwhile to reunite with an ex, or should past relationships always stay in the past?
6) Tori’s DSWYE rule prohibits dating neighbors and co-workers. Is this a good rule to live by, or should everyone be considered fair game?
7) With the divorce rate being over 50%, are lavish weddings ultimately a waste of money?
8) Did Tori place more importance on planning her wedding to Roland rather than the relationship itself?

The Next Best Thing will be available in bookstores on April 1st, but you can take advantage of steep discounts, and pre-order the book via Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. I would love to discuss my novel with your book club in person, via phone, virtual chat, blog, or radio show.

My schedule is filling up quickly, so please contact me as soon as possible at: or via Facebook where you can get additional author information, news, and other updates.

Best of everything,
Deidre Berry

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Intimate Conversation with Karen Thompkins

Intimate Conversation with Karen Thompkins
Author of Double Insanity & a Domestic Abuse Survivor
For seven years Karen Thompkins was the victim of domestic abuse. In 2002, she sought the assistance of The Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County (DAP) to change the tides in her life. Karen is a psychiatric registered nurse in Philadelphia and is focused on increasing public awareness for domestic violence nationwide. Double Insanity is based on her personal testimony.

Ella: Introduce us to your book and why you wrote it.
Double Insanity is inspired by some of your personal adversities from dealing with an abusive partner.

Ella: Why did you want to write a book on the subject of Domestic Violence?
My best friend told me that I had a story and should begin writing it down in a journal every day. When I began writing, I realized that not only was it self-healing, but it was a story that needed to be told. Domestic Violence is a national problem that needs awareness.

Ella: Why did it take you 7 years to get out of the abusive relationship, especially with children in the home?
It took years for many reasons. But the main two reasons are hope and fear. I kept hoping that my husband would change, and I feared that he would kill me if I left. Also, I would feel sorry for him because I thought he needed me, and guilt would make me stay. Plus, I was afraid of failure and did not want our relationship to fail.

Ella: Each chapter is headed with a fact about Domestic Violence in the United States. Why did you opt to introduce each chapter this manner?
Knowledge is power. I want readers to know how serious Domestic Violence really is by being aware of the alarming statistics.

Ella: Who is the audience for this book?
Domestic violence has many faces from different races, nationalities, religions, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It also occurs within teenage relationships and among same-sex partners. This book is for everyone who is in a relationship whether you are making six-figures or minimum wage, whether you have a law-degree or a GED. Double Insanity will shed light and bring the much-needed awareness to a variety of readers about the need to combat domestic abuse in households across the country.

Ella: You give a resource guide in the back of this book, what is the strategy behind this?
Domestic Violence Awareness month is October, but as a survivor of spousal abuse I know that there are many who do not have until the month of October to seek the much-needed help they require. I added the resource at the end because I want this book to truly help save someone’s life. So I decided to discreetly give victims another outlet to gather the information and help they need to reclaim their lives before it is too late. Domestic Violence is a two-way street, the abused and the abuser.

I am hoping that seeing the information in the back of my book and knowing that I was a victim as well, will motivate all abused readers to make the call or even go to the agency office directly without hesitation and get help. I also hope that any one who is a guilty of being the abuser will seek help as well.

Ella: What was the hardest thing you had to overcome from your abusive relationship?
The hardest thing I had to overcome was forgiving myself for allowing my children and myself to live so many years with the abuse.

Ella: How long did it take you to get your life back in order after you contacted DAP?
Although I attended the self-help group and had individual counseling, I am still healing. The aftermath of Domestic Violence is a healing process that can take many years.

Karen Thompkins is available for interview regarding what people should know, what victims and abusers can do and what the general public can do to bring awareness to Domestic Violence. Contact: Dawn Michelle Hardy Office: 347-715-4921; Email:

Interesting article from author and activist Karen Thompkins

Philadelphia Author and Survivor of Domestic Violence
Karen Thompkins Speaks On Chris Brown Assaulting Rihanna

Philadelphia, PA (February 11, 2009) — Because of the recent allegations of assault by Grammy® Award Winning artist Chris Brown on his pop-star girlfriend Rihanna, discussions of domestic violence are rapidly spreading throughout the media and among fans. Philadelphia author Karen Thompkins speaks out on the importance of Rihanna and other victims seeking help and support immediately without hesitation. From Hollywood to Harlem, Domestic Violence is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial or age group and knows no geographic or educational boundaries. It also occurs within teenage relationships and among same-sex partnerships.

Recent reports say that Rihanna fears for her life after being choked and threatened by singer Chris Brown who turned himself into the LAPD after an investigation was launched into an alleged domestic assault on a woman in Los Angeles on Sunday February 8, 2009. “I know how scared she is right now. I stayed in a relationship with my husband and received a broken nose, and beat in the head until I passed out. Rihanna has to move on and under no circumstances reconcile back into an intimate relationship with Chris. From my experience if a man/boyfriend hits you once, he’ll do it again.” commented former domestic violence victim Karen Thompkins. Karen Thompkins, a psychiatric registered nurse at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital was a victim of domestic violence from 1995 to 2002. For seven years, she battled with her own emotions and the unstable temper of her boyfriend turned spouse.

The cycle of making-up to get beat up, is all too common in domestic abuse relationships. Thompkins describes this as the “sick dance”. After accepting numerous apologies and pleas from her abuser Thompkins eventually married and had a child with him. Even post baby, life still did not improve for her, there was no peace in her home, mind and heart. After infidelity entered the mix, Thompkins began to see things more clearly and filed for a protection of abuse (PFA) and shortly thereafter a divorce.

Brown and Rihanna both canceled last minute on Grammy appearances Sunday night. In the U.S domestic violence cases cost businesses nearly $1 billion in lost productivity. “I can only imagine how much was lost on the night of the Grammys with all the last minute changes and scrambling to keep things as silent and discreet as possible. I too missed days of work and was embarrassed to tell my family and friends, so if the rumors are true, I pray she seeks help immediately. I’ll be praying for her peace of mind” Thompkins states.

While coverage from The Los Angeles Times and Us Weekly report that Rihanna was the victim and TMZ claimed that Rihanna filed the crime report under her birth name, Robyn Fenty, Thompkins hopes these outlets and tons of others will shine more light on the awareness of domestic violence in all communities and help save other domestic assault victims.

Inspired by President Barack Obama’s call-to-service Karen Thompkins will begin a 10-city book tour in April spreading Domestic Violence Awareness. Thompkins will release her first book Double Insanity: A Novel (Karter Publishing Trade Paperback; Pub Date: April 21, 2009; $14.95; ISBN 10: 0-9820674-9-6 ) which will contain a Domestic Violence Resource Guide of national agencies and hotlines along with her personal letter to abused women. A true read that brings awareness to domestic violence among working class women, Double Insanity by Karen Thompkins is the drama-filled, reality-inspired, contemporary debut that will surely stir readers up and have them wanting to make a difference.

Excerpt from Double Insanity by Karen Thompkins: In the morning, the Domestic Abuse Project was my first stop. I was tired of the “sick dance” and wanted Tony out of my life. While telling the counselor my story, tears poured down my face and my voice cracked. She was consoling and gave me information on their self-help group for abused women.

Karen Thompkins is available for interview and discussion on what men and women should know regarding domestic abuse.

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Intimate Coversation with Daphine Glenn Robinson

Intimate Coversation with Daphine Glenn Robinson

I am a writer at heart. I’ve been writing since I was a child. I was an only child until age 10, so I had to find ways to entertain myself. A pen and a piece of paper always provided me with a way of escape from boredom. I also enjoy writing poetry, reading, and cooking (when I have time.) The introvert in me enjoys finding a quiet spot, pulling out my journal, and writing until my heart is content.

My extroverted side enjoys meeting new people, talking to complete strangers in the grocery store line, dancing, and engaging in group discussions. I promised God and myself that when I got published, I’d share what I learned along the way. I want to encourage others to achieve their dreams, whether it is to be a published author or something else.

DO NOT LET YOUR DREAMS DIE! GOD GAVE THEM TO YOU FOR A REASON! I am a witness that God does hear and answer prayer. Take the first step towards your destiny! Daphine acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Winthrop University and a Master of Business Administration degree at Charleston Southern University. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I take the gift God has given me and turn it into stories to bless and entertain other.

Caring What People Think

Russell Brown is the most eligible bachelor at Outreach Fellowship Church. He’s career minded, has his own money and is successful. He’s tired of dating and has vowed not to casually date, but to find Mrs. Brown. Battling depression since her father’s death, Dannica Rawlins sees nothing good in her present or future. *******

At the end of her rope, she meets Russell in the nick of time. After dating for only a few months, Russell is sure she is the one to take his last name. Will Dannica allow God and an upright man to love her pain away? If you liked Robinson’s first novel, Brotherly Love and Betrayal, you’re sure to love Caring What People Think.

Ella: Where are you from?
Spartanburg, South Carolina but I currently reside in North Carolina.

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
Being an only child until the age of ten, a pen and a sheet of paper always provided a way of escape from boredom. While other children were outside playing, I spent time in my room playing with dolls and creating stories where they were the characters. Elements of those stories have now evolved into full-length novels.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Russell and Dannica Brown are the two main characters. I love Russell because he is a strong Christian man. He stands up for what he believes and his heart is always in the right place. He’s worked hard to get where he is, and he won’t settle for anything but the best. Dannica, on the other hand is a hurt woman. She does and says things most people only think about. I like her because she’s edgy-very edgy, but deep down she just needs to be loved unconditionally. She’s never known that kind of love and it isn’t until she has an encounter with Jesus, that she’s able to love herself and her husband.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
My first book was a huge hit, especially among “church folk.” I’ve found my readers like reading books that are edgy. I take them right to the edge, then they realize its fiction and Christian at the same time!

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
The characters will be identified as someone you probably know. Readers say it is very conversational and they swear I’m talking about someone they know.Christian fiction authors write differently. Yes there is redemption, yes there might be scripture quoted, but it is for all people. If someone reads my work and they are not a believer, they might be inclined to check out this Jesus afterwards. I don’t hit them over the head with a lot of religion. But you know where the characters and I stand by the time you finish. I want readers to be entertained as well as changed by the time they get to the last page.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on Jailhouse Religion, a story about three friends whose lives change drastically the night of their high school graduation fifteen years ago.

Daphine Glenn Robinson
Caring What People Think (2008)
Brotherly Love & Betrayal (2007)
Momisms (2006)

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


Intimate Conversations with Donna Deloney

Intimate Conversations with Donna Deloney

Donna Deloney earned her B.A. from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. She is also a freelance editor and writer, with her works appearing in The Wall Street Journal and Epitome Magazine. Donna was a second-place winner in the 2007 Black Expressions Book Club Fiction Writing Contest. Her first novel, Journey to Jordan (Hollygrove Publishing) debuts in May 2009.

She is also a contributing author to the Christian fiction anthology Bended Knees (November 2009, Hollygrove Publishing). In addition to being a workshop presenter at the 2009 Black Writers Reunion Conference, she will be a featured author/panelist at the 2009 Faith and Fiction Retreat in Orlando, Florida. Donna resides in Chicago and is a married mother of one and a member of the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. Visit her blog at or on Facebook (Donna Dickson Deloney).

Ella: Donna, tell us about your passion for writing.
My passion for writing stems from my love of reading. I’ve been reading since I was three years old. I read everything I could get my hands on and writing was a natural extension of that. In grammar school, I was enrolled in a gifted program at Chicago State University. We were taught skills in research and creative writing. It was during those years that my desire to write – anything – was fully realized. I’ve written skits, plays, poems, short stories and a novel. I’ve also written non-fiction pieces for publication.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new book, Journey to Jordan. What does it offer the reader?
My first novel, “Journey to Jordan” tells the story of Jordan, a successful attorney who has decided that she has no use for God in her life. But it’s her struggle to reconnect with the people that mean the most in her life that takes her on a parallel journey of emotional and spiritual rediscovery.

This story speaks to all those who have lost things in life and question why God allows things to happen and how we react to those events. It’s a story of reconciliation, healing and most of all, forgiveness. Jordan’s journey is not easy because forgiveness isn’t easy. Whether you’re a Christian or not, you will be able to connect with Jordan’s story.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I am a child of God who is fearfully and wonderfully made! I am Powerful because I know I am a conqueror in Christ who knows that all things work together for good and nothing can separate me from the love of Christ!

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m from Chicago; I’ve lived here my entire life. I’ve been writing for most of my life, mostly for church and myself. It was only in the last ten years that I seriously considered becoming a “real” writer. When I started the novel, it was only an idea. I had no idea that I would wind up writing an entire novel!

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
There are actually four main characters, but I’ll focus on Jordan and Evan. What I like about them is that they are successful but they are flawed.

Jordan’s whole life has been a series of losses, but she doesn’t play the victim. She’s strong and determined, but she’s not so hard that she doesn’t feel.

Evan is what I call a strong, black man. He lets his faith guide him, even when the rest of the world would call him crazy. In fact, Jordan thinks he’s a bit crazy too, but she’s reluctantly drawn to him because of his faith, whether she’ll admit it or not!

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
If you look at the cover, two things immediately come to mind: first, the minute I saw the cover, I thought, “Footprints in the Sand.” If you know that short parable, you’ll have an inkling of where the story is going. Second, who doesn’t love a walk on the beach? You know that someone is going on a journey, but to where and why?

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Besides the message of healing and forgiveness, I hope that those who aren’t saved will be willing to accept the message of salvation. For those who are Christians, I hope they will understand that even in our darkest hours, God is still moving and he’s still real.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
It’s hard and time-consuming! Just finding time to get your words on paper is a chore in itself. But when you add in time to revise/edit, search for agents/publishers, market and promote the book, it can be years between books! I admire those writers who can get a book out each year, and the ones who do two or more a year are my heroes!

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I think coming in second place in the fiction writing contest with Black Expressions Book Club. When I got the call from Carol Mackey, I nearly died! She was so effusive in her praise for my submission, it just blew me away.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer? Would you change anything?
Don’t give up! If you’re going to be in this for the long haul, give up your dreams of fame and fortune and get down with nitty-gritty of writing every day. Write because it’s what you love to do. The only thing I’d change about my journey was becoming more disciplined about writing. It’s something I still struggle with. When I started the novel, if I had written every day, I’d be on my 4th or 5th book by now. Then again, I may not be where I am today if I hadn’t traveled this route.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
First, learn your craft. There are classes, books, magazines, websites, etc. that you should take advantage of. Go ahead and start writing, but learn how to write as you go along. Get into a critique group, in person or online. Just because you know how to get words on paper doesn’t mean you’re a good writer. Learn your craft!

Second, learn the business of writing. By that I mean learn about agents, editors, publishers and all that goes into it. Learn about promotion and marketing. First time authors will have to do all the work into getting the book sold, whether you self-publish, go with an independent publisher or land a contract with a major house. If you go through the trouble of getting your work published but nobody reads it, you’ve just wasted a lot of time and effort for nothing.

Third, hire a good editor! Authors will self-edit, but we tend to be very biased about our work. A good editor will take a critical eye to your work and help you do what it takes to get your work ready to be published. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been excited to read a new author’s work only to slam it down because it was poorly edited. You get only one chance to make an impression on a reader; don’t blow it because of poor editing.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m contributing to the “Bended Knees” anthology coming in November from Hollygrove Publishing and I’m currently at work on my second novel, tentatively titled, “A Decent Proposal.” I have several story ideas that I’m working on, including a children’s mystery novel that’s in its infancy.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
“Journey to Jordan” will be released by Hollygrove Publishing in May 2009. “Bended Knees” will be available in November 2009. And look for “A Decent Proposal” in 2010!

Journey to Jordan, May 2009 and Bended Kness anthology, November 2009!!! (

Visit my blog:

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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Author Interviews


Intimate Conversations Brian W. Smith

Intimate Conversations Brian W. Smith

Brian W. Smith is the author of “The S.W.A.P. Game”, “Mama’s Lies – Daddy’s Pain”, “Donna’s Dilemma” , “Final Fling” (the sequel to The S.W.A.P. Game), and the recently released “Nina’s Got A Secret”… which is now a Best Seller. Brian is also the owner of Hollygrove Publishing, Inc. The company specializes in producing books that cater to a predominantly African-American audience in the Contemporary Fiction, Christian Fiction, Erotica, and Business genres.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m from New Orleans. I started writing in 2005 after experiencing a personal incident that really hurt me deeply. Writing was a form of therapy.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
In my book, “Nina’s Got A Secret”, the two main characters are Larry and Nina Dennison. Larry is a kind man. Unfortunately, he’s taken advantage of by his new bride. Nina is REAL. She’s no different from any man or woman – her primal instinct is to survive…by any means necessary.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
This novel is unique. I doubt if there has ever been more than a handful of books written by African-American authors that have tackled this scenario. If you had to make a choice between saving your biological child’s life or your step child’s life, which one would you choose? If you chose your own child, would you tell your spouse you let his/her child die?

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to see the pain that can be caused by putting money before everything else AND how one lie leads to another and another.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
I’ve learned that there is no such thing as the perfect book. No matter how well the cover is designed, it’s written, edited, or even reviewed by the masses…someone will always have something negative to say. So, the same class you when you get compliments, you have to show when someone is being critical…even if yoy think the criticism is unwarranted.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I’ve made a few Best Seller list, but I’d have to say that my most significant accomplishment came two weeks ago when I was notified that Nina’s Got a Secret made the Oprah Book list. God is good!

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I would tell a new writer a couple of things: work hard at developing a unique story; have VERY thick skin; be ready to get your GRIND on; and don’t expect to write a book and then suddenly get rich…it doesn’t work like that.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Skills, Humility, and the willingness to HUSTLE. You don’t necessarily have to have all three of these things, but you will definitely need some combination of at least two of them.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect me to keep GRINDIN’! As an author, I will continue to focus on writing thought provoking, steamy books, with surprise endings. Several of my books, “The S.W.A.P. Game”, “Mama’s Lies – Daddy’s Pain”, “Donna’s Dilemma”, and “Nina’s Got A Secret” are all being converted into screenplays and being shopped to production companies. As the owner of Hollygrove Publishing, I will continue to seek and sign talented authors with unique/marketable manuscripts.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
I will be releasing two books at the same time in June 2009, “My Husband’s Love Child” and “Donna’s Comeback” (the sequel to my 2007 book, Donna’s Dilemma). I will also appear in three Hollygrove Publishing anthologies this year (Bended Knees, Bedtime Stories 1 & 2).

Brian W. Smith
Hollygrove Publishing, Inc.

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Author Interviews


Intimate Conversation with author Elaine Flowers

Intimate Conversation with author Elaine Flowers

Elaine Flowers is the author of two Dallas Morning News bestsellers, “It’s Morning: Torn Lovers and Their Stories” and “Black Beauty.” Flowers is new to the Hollygrove Publishing Imprint, and resides in Dallas, TX.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because…I know exactly who I am, and exactly who I am not.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new book.
“It’s Morning: Torn Lovers and Their Stories” is a compilation of two novellas and one short story, each involving a love triangle with two men and one woman. This particular book makes for fast reading because of the three stories and the drama helps it to move really quickly.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
The love triangles in each story are different from the traditional two women fighting over one man. It’s rare that we see women in the positions these female characters find themselves in. Also, the reaction from my female readers has been very surprising for me. I have found that the female readers have been much harder critics on the women in the book than I have found the male readers to be.

Ella: Would you change anything about your journey?
Yes! I would’ve started earlier in life preparing myself for this career.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
1) Respecting the craft of writing. 2) Learn as much as possible about writing. 3) A true love for the written word.

Elaine Flowers

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The House on Monroe Street by Jacquie Bamberg Moore

The House on Monroe Street

As a child, Norma Jean (Gina) Booker was told she was too dark, too ugly, and too nappy-headed to amount to anything. And she believed it. The kids in school teased her, a family member had molested her, and nobody liked her. She hardly liked herself. By the time she got to ninth grade, she had figured out how to at least make the boys like her. She was sneaky and daring and there was nothing sexually off limits.

Now in her mid-thirties, married, and a mother of two, Gina is reflective on the emotionally troubled childhood that left her scarred, insecure, and hating the house in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn where she was born and raised. In search of closure, Gina talks to her mother, Margie. After listening to the stories of abandonment and growing up poor in Cottonville , North Carolina , Gina’s views of her mother–and herself–slowly begin to shift.

Margie reveals some of the family’s deeply buried secrets, twisted truths, and the shameful course of events that led them to the house on Monroe Street . But is knowing her history enough to heal old wounds? And can the Booker women stop the vicious cycle of generational dysfunction that burdens them?

Author’s Bio
Jacquie Bamberg Moore self-published her debut novel, “All I Need” in September 2001. The following year, she contributed the short story, Possessive Passion to the erotic anthology, “Twilight Moods.” She has reviewed books for Quarterly Book Review and several e-zines.

In addition to writing, Jacquie is very active in autism awareness and advocates for her daughter who has special needs.

She majored in Journalism at Long Island University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She lives in Brooklyn , NY with her husband and two children.

The House on Monroe Street by Jacquie Bamberg Moore

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Intimate Conversation with author Jamison Davis

Intimate Conversation with author Jamison Davis

Jamison Davis is a graduate of both William Paterson University and Lincoln University. She holds a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Human Services. For the past eleven years, Jamison Davis has worked in the social services field working to assist people whom have made mistakes in their lives. She lives in New Jersey with her husband.

Ella: Finish this sentence for us-I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful…because I believe in my gift. My gift can shape decisions that people make in their lives. My gift can assist with making my community knowledgeable about the danger of bad choices.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new book.
Fatal Mistakes: The First of a Trilogy
depicts the story of four people: Morgan, Leila, Jackson and Sean as they all face life’s challenges and make fatal mistakes. The problem is they don’t know they’re making the mistakes. Fatal Mistakes takes the readers on a journey of love, lust and revenge. It will dare to share with readers a life lesson about choices.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
I offer the readers a story about everyday people making some of the worst mistakes in their lives but also putting a humanistic outlook on those errors.

I want readers to be able to understand that even though the characters are fictional, the errors in judgment are real and can land people in a lot of trouble if we don’t wise up to some of the things that we are doing to destroy the black community. The thing that makes my book stand out and entice readers is the story line. It is action pack from the first page. Something is always going on in the book that will keep the reader wanting more. My book brings a face to real life challenges that people face today. Sex, drugs and revenge. At some point, many people can and will relate to something that is going on in the book. My book is realistic!

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to ultimately gain a understanding of the choices that we make in life. Not everything that we do is bad but just because it feels good doesn’t make it right. We have to all be accountable for our behavior and no that there is always a cause and effect to it. I also want readers to understand that people are affected by our actions and to be mindful of that when we make impulse decisions without thinking them through.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The most surprising thing that I have learned from writing books is that as you write, the characters come alive by themselves. You may have the idea in your head or on paper about what you want to happen but as the words are being typed, the characters make their own story. I have also learned that self publishing is one of the most challenging task that I have ever encountered. There is so much to learn about being a successful publisher that I haven’t even enjoyed being a author. Actually having my words down on paper for all to see is such a exciting experience that I want everyone that wants to do to try it, at least once. They will be happy if they do!

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
The greatest piece of advice that I would give a new writer is to be true to your craft. Don’t take no as the only answer. If you are passionate enough about your work, make it happen regardless of any negative feedback that you may have gotten from others.
Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
Some of the projects that I am working on in the future is part two to Fatal Mistakes. Many of my readers are already knocking down my door for more. That makes me so happy that people are enjoying what I have to offer. I call my self the sophisticated writer because I talk about real important topics but I give it a twist so that everyone can enjoy the story.

Contact info for Jamison Davis:
All inquiries can be directed to or

Book are sold at:

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12 Brown Boys by Mr. Creative/Omar Tyree

12 Brown Boys by Mr. Creative/Omar Tyree

Best-selling author Omar Tyree makes his children’s book debut with 12 Brown Boys, a collection of short stories for middle readers that focus on the lives of Black pre-teen boys. Readers will connect with Tyree’s engaging characters.

There is Red Head Mike who hates his nickname, but hates his red hair even more, and Chestnut, who is sent to live with relatives down south to keep him out of trouble in his Brooklyn neighborhood. There is Santa Monica super kid William, whose status as a scholar and entrepreneur has even his best friends hating him, and Wayne, who resents his role as the oldest child until a tragedy strikes the family. Tyree has assembled a wide range of characters that reflect the diversity of experiences of Black boys – characters that are funny, serious, edgy, street-wise, studious, and all unforgettable.

About the Author
A New York Times bestselling author of books for the adult market, Omar Tyree is a winner of a 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and a 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award. He has published 16 novels and five anthologies. 12 Brown Boys is his first book for young readers.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
ISBN-10: 1933491124
ISBN-13: 978-1933491127

Let’s teach all of America’s children the important of READING, WRITING, THINKING, VISUALIZATION, and APPLICATION through the wonderful life skills of LITERACY!

Omar Tyree @ (

Urban Literacy Project
Is a non-profit 501(c)(3) company conceived in February 2005 by Omar Tyree, a New York Times bestselling author, a 2001 NAACP Image Award recipient for Outstanding Work in Literary Fiction, and a 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Prize Winner for Body of Work in Urban

The mission of the charitable company is to raise funds for the goal of increasing the overall literacy rate among urban and other disadvantaged youth and citizens through informative lectures, panel discussions, performances, presentations, enrichment opportunities, workshops,
book donations, and special events that provide access to resources that will foster achievement
and utilization of higher literacy.

Specific Instruction

***) Enthusiasm – The number #1 Technique of inspiring literacy is through
the instruction of Reading, Writing, Thinking, Visualizing and Applying the
following methods with energy and excitement. Kids and adults alike must be led to
understand that literacy is exciting. And without Enthusiasm, even the best
programs can fall on death ears. Therefore, all instruction, lectures, writers,
illustrators and artists must begin with full understanding that the Urban
Literacy Project strongly encourages Enthusiasm in all of its programs. And the
lack of Enthusiasm will not be acceptable.

#1) Reading – Reading includes the 5 Senses. Reading is seeing, hearing,
tasting touching, and smelling. The questions to ask then become: What does it
look like? What does is sound like? What does is taste like? What does it feel
like? What does it smell like? And each sense has a multiple set of follow up
questions that can be asked for the purpose of description. That’s what we do
when we Read. We Comprehend and Decode all of the information that is right in
front of us. Reading is a description of the 5 Senses and more. Reading gives
us a description of everything in the universe. Kids and adults need to
understand that clearly.

#2) Writing – Writing includes plenty of courage to Express. One cannot
express himself or herself if they are afraid of their own voice, afraid of public
opinions, afraid of peer pressure, afraid to be different, afraid to make
mistakes, or insecure about their appearances. No one is perfect, and our
differences are what makes us all unique. Therefore, children and adults alike must be
encouraged to accept their own perspectives, get over their personal fears,
and Express Themselves with confidence. This is what we do when we Write. We
Express ourselves regardless of the various fear factors. And once we become
fluent with our Expression, we never lose it.

#3) Thinking – Thinking is mental activity and honesty. We are always
thinking about something, but we are usually not honest about those thoughts. We
generally keep our thoughts to ourselves. In fact, we get used to it. And once we
get used to our thoughts being overly private, those Creative thoughts become
trapped in our minds and are no longer valuable to the world. However, people
who are given the credit for Thinking are those who learn to express or act
out on those thoughts with zeal and Passion, and acknowledge their thoughts
with honesty. This is what is means to Think, to acknowledge ones mental
activities and bring those ideas into the world. But in absence of the acknowledgement
of Thinking, humans would have no Creativity. So we much encourage the Passion
, the activity, the acceptance, and the honest expressions of thought.

#4) Visualization – Visualization is an additional skill used by humans who
move forward toward progress. Seeing is believing. So when we Read, we should
Visualize what it is that we are Reading. When we Write, we should Visualize
what we are Writing. When we Think, we should Visualize what we are Thinking
about. Visualization makes it all work. So we must learn to Visualize everything
about our future, and work to make those visions a reality. This is what
successful people do in every field of humanity. They imagine what they want in
their minds, they develop it, they learn to describe it, and then they go about
producing it. Visualization is a very powerful tool that all children and
adults should learn and be taught to utilize in every facet of their lives. And to
become literate, without developing the use of Visualization is unacceptable.

#5) Application – Application is using what we have learned effectively.
Application is the Implementation and use of the Product and Service of the
lesson. But it is indeed naive to assume that everyone will use the same amount of
education, knowledge or skill to move forward in life. However, we must
encourage at least an acceptable level of Application from everyone. To learn and to
not apply the lessons effectively, is again, unacceptable. This is why school
systems have developed testing. The Urban Literacy Project and it’s
representatives will all be taught and trained to apply the methods of success in their
instruction, lectures, events and programs, but it will ultimately be up to
the teachers, students, parents, and adults to Apply what they learn to life.
Nevertheless, is the mission of the ULP to make these successful methods of full
literacy available to as many undeserved and economically limited areas as

Prepared by Founder & Chairman – Omar Tyree

Words From The Chairman

“I will not stop pushing literacy until I’ve done all that I can personally do to improve the reading, writing and thinking skills of each and every child and adult, and that includes financial literacy.” – Omar Tyree

Readers, Writers & Thinkers Rule The World!


Phn (704) 549 – 0370
Fax (704) 548 – 8985

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Book Spotlights


Brenda L. Thomas on Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is no stranger to Essence best-selling author Brenda L. Thomas who, after having success with several novels decided to pen her memoir, Laying Down My Burdens. After ending a violent marriage of 15 years, during which her husband threatened her with death if she were to ever pen her story, Ms. Thomas is speaking out on the recent violence that erupted between Rihanna and Chris Brown. “It is important that individuals in the public eye stand up and make it their priority to see domestic violence awareness become as much a part of public efforts as breast cancer and other ills,” says Ms. Thomas.

There is a long list of celebrities whose lives have been affected by domestic violence, either as a victim, an abuser or simply as a witness. Celebrity or not, most victims have chosen to remain silent because of its mere shame and embarrassment. Currently the U.S. Justice Department reports that 1 to 3 million women are physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends each year. However, those statistics are even clearer when you read the papers and see that over the course of a recent weekend (PA-MD) in March three women were violently murdered by their abusers, leaving one victims 11-year old daughter hospitalized with stab wounds. What more statistics do we need?

To give those who might be hesitant to speak out for themselves a voice, Ms. Thomas has been committed to touring the country and sharing her message of L.O.U.D. (Living Out Your Dreams) which is about the importance of never giving up, no matter what the obstacle. Please share your thoughts or comments on the Brenda L. Thomas blog, by clicking here.

© 2008 Brenda L. Thomas

For speaking engagements please contact Kelisha L. Rawlinson at 215-331-4554 or

Laying Down My Burdens

Essence best-selling author Brenda L. Thomas presents a departure from fiction as she ventures into the difficult reality of her own past. Laying Down My Burdens is a gritty and deeply moving depiction of the author’s struggle with domestic violence and its threats to her self-esteem. Laying Down My Burdens tells a frighteningly familiar tale that takes a positive turn as Thomas overcomes a number of obstacles to become an independent, successful woman.
Since self-publishing Threesome in 2001, Thomas’s literary skills and unique perspective have caught the attention of major media outlets. Whether it’s TV or print, she isn’t one to shy away from giving her opinion. After working as a personal assistant to an NBA athlete, Thomas become an expert on their culture, later appearing on CNN, NBC’s Dateline, and Entertainment Tonight, to name a few.
Since then she has penned three best-selling novels (Fourplay, The Velvet Rope and Every Woman’s Got a Secret), as well as two anthologies (Four Degrees of Heat and Kiss The Year Goodbye). Brenda lives in her hometown of Philadelphia, where she is surrounded by family and friends. Order an Autographed Copy Now!!! Click to read the prologue



April is World Poetry Month

April is World Poetry Month
Poets from Around the World Unite on Blog Talk Radio

Poets around the world call for a World Poetry Month. Fifteen poets from such places as Saint Paul, Minnesota; Rye, England; and South Africa, Johannesburg will unite and discuss the need for a World Poetry Month. Fifteen talented poets from the E-community – Empowered by Poetry – will be interviewed on April 13th and 20th from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time). Ella Curry of EDC Creations, John D. Evans, Dominant Muse of the E-community and founder of The Evans Poetry Collection, and select poets from around the world will unite and call for a World Poetry Month designation for the month of April.

The poets will engage in educational, inspiring, and meaningful discussions on poetry and they will explain how poetry empowers. All visitors can chat live in the chat-room during the show live at: . Let’s make this epic event an exciting and unforgettable one.

“When we take a stand for poetry, we take a stand for beauty. When we take a stand for beauty, we take a stand for peace. Celebrate World Poetry Month and get one step closer to World Peace…” says John D. Evans, Empowered by Poetry group leader.

The theme for the show is a statement of declaration: April is World Poetry Month – A Discussion of Poetry with Poets from Around the World.

If you should have questions about the guests or about the World Poetry Month effort, contact John D. Evans at 877-4MY-TEPC (877-469-8372).

If anyone is interested in calling with questions for the guests during the show, please call (646) 200-0402. Continue to shine my talented friends.

John D. Evans, Group Manager
Empowered by Poetry

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Book Spotlight: Daughter of the Sun by Clayton W. Oliver

Intimate Conversation with author Clayton W. Oliver

Ella: Clayton tell us about you and your journey?

My name is Clayton W. Oliver (there are at least one other author by that name), author of the “Pharaoh’s Clan” series, volume one “Daughter of the Sun.” I was raised in East Baltimore where after high school I entered the U. S. Army 82nd airborne division. When my service ended I returned to Baltimore to raise a family and to further my education. I attended a trade school to learn to drive semi-tractor and trailer trucks to support my household and then once employed I attended night college for 17 years to receive my AA, BS, and 46 MPA credits from the University of Baltimore.

Sitting here re-reading my synopsis of my life I realize there’s a great deal of living missing from the story.

Whenever a person tries to explain their success or achievements to this point within their lives we must realize there are great and ultimately important gaps missing that would explain the “who,” “what” and “why’s” that occurs to get them to this point. I’ll try to sum it up for me like this: I’ve been lucky! Not lucky in the sense that I was discovered by someone to have some special talent for hand-to-eye coordination in placing a ball through a basket, or swinging a bat to hit a ball, or even the ability to aim a weapon at a target with accuracy or the military would have kept me.

I was lucky to have extraordinary common sense and people around me throughout periods of my life who recognized that I was someone they could share their life experiences with and that I would take heed and learn from them–no matter their status in life.

I was lucky enough to understand that “voice” within my head and my heart that warned me of danger and wrong-going and I heeded that warning (for the most part). I was lucky in that I learned at an early age to lead or step aside but not to follow unless I believe enough in the cause and the leader of the cause to allow myself to be led. I think back to so many of my friends and peers, both male and females who were lost. Lost because they made the wrong decisions in life that cost them their lives either through incarceration, murder, or drugs, or simply following the wrong leaders. I’ve been lucky!

Ella: Please finish this sentence for me- I am powerful because…
I am powerful because I am an independent thinker. I may allow others to make their arguments for a specific idea but I make up my own mind and I do my own research to discover my truths. I learned at an early age to not follow the group, or to buy into the “group-think” mentality. I stand separate from the group, making my own decisions, charting my own path. When someone yells fire in the theator I don’t rush out with the crowd but stand back and access the situation to find a better route out or choose not to flee at all.

My way may not prove to be the most successful means of achieving my goals but I accept the consequences of my own choices and do not allow my life to be manipulated by the decisions of others. I couldn’t live my life say “doing life” in prison because I allowed a so-called friend to talk me into an arm robbery. I already know I couldn’t do that kind of “stupid time” so I don’t allow myself to be put into that situation. Therefore I am powerful because I refuse to allow someone else to have authority over my life’s decisions.

Ella: Why is it important to celebrate Black History 365 days a year?
For Black people it’s important at this time and place to reaffirm within us that we are more than just physical beings capable of dribbling a basketball, or running through a line of heavily padded men trying to stop us. Competition is fine but we’re a cerebral people too. We’re capable of magnificent achievements of the mind. I mean think of the dedication it took Doctor Carver to experiment with peanuts that empowered others to think, “Wow…if he can do all of that with a peanut what could we do with other plants, organic and inorganic materials?” And now we have plastics, and cell phones, miracle drugs.

I take some artistic leisure with the historical facts but my finer point is that creativity should not be subjected to a limited set of goals. We’re not all meant to be Michael Jordan, we may be meant to be a Doctor Ben Cardin, world renowned neurosurgeon or a Clayton Oliver that’s driven millions of miles of American highway delivering goods to thousands of people safely. Black history, 365 days should celebrate all our achievements and make us aware of who we are truly to ourselves.

Ella: How did you start writing? What types of books do you like?
I started my writing journey in college when I had a professor who would not accept a substandard term paper from me–or any student for that matter. I can’t recall his name at this writing although I can see his face just as clear as I can see my own. I have this saying, “Not everything Black is my Brother and not everything White is my enemy.” And that essentially means that there have been influential Whites in my life who have corrected me on my path in life despite the fact they weren’t obligated to do so. I always hated English it was one of my worst subjects in High School but this man recognized my determination to succeed and earn my degree and he challenged me in a subject area that he was not obligated to help me achieve in.

The lessons I learned from that gentleman have been utilized repeatedly throughout my life. What he shared with me was the “power of the pen” and what it meant within his world (White America) and the respect that comes from being able to use the written word to express one’s self. Now I only started to write the “Pharaoh’s Clan” in the summer of 2002 when I decided I needed a serious career change other than driving a truck for a living. I had always been an avid reader. I find I’m incapable of sitting for prolong periods without having something to read to occupy my idle time.

And I love to read mainstream fiction such as works by Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin, and I began to realize two things in my reading that became clear to me. One: there was very little action adventure being written by Black authors. With the exception of Ms. Octavia Butler, I still have discovered very little written works by Black authors in the mainstream fiction genre. Two: there’s very little if any written works with female leads or heroines. Those I could find usually relied on some male lead for support and I thought this rather odd as the women I’ve encountered within my life were nothing like the women I read of within these books. The Black women I grew up with and that I’m accustomed to were fighters in their own right not these victims within the books I was reading.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Doctors Deidra Jones is my main character and Doctor Choe Lee Chang is my main supporting character. What I most like about these two women are that they are fiercely independent and have a strong sense of their self-worth. Deidra is the product of a mixed black/white marriage and she’s had to struggle with the fact that she’s neither one or the other in a world where people are judged first by their appearances and then by their potential.

With Choe Lee, being Deidra’s senior by some years, the struggle has been more gender based–she’s had to break through the glass ceiling and make a reputation for herself within the “Good Ole Boy” system that sought to keep her from career advancement. They both are successful bio-researchers with the CDC in Atlanta Georgia who now find themselves facing the greatest challenge to face any “Man” let alone two ordinary women. They must become werewolf fighters.

Ella: What do you want you readers to gain from your work?
What I want readers (young women especially) to gain from my books are that they too can achieve extraordinary goals against extraordinary odds if they believe in themselves and not allow some other to define who they are and what their worth. Both Deidra and Choe Lee are chosen to confront obstacles that they themselves were not trained to handle but confront them they do because that’s how they have always lived their lives. They have always stepped up to the challenge and they did not allow someone else to determine what they could or could not achieve.

On a broader note the entertainment industry needs to pay more attention to how they portray our young women in the media arts. Women are rarely seen as the heroes or the leads in a role unless she’s more manly than the men within a role. I believe women can be the lead and still be a woman and not some helpless airhead victim that can’t scream and run from the monster at the same time or that has to have some man with a “really big gun” come to her rescue. There have been some strides taken to remedy the situation like Halle as Storm in the X-Men, or as the Catwoman, and Cherlize as Aerion Flux, Mila kicking butts in Resident Evil, but it’s a sad commentary that the most recognizable and reoccurring American action hero for women in the movies is a man in drag i.e. Tyler Perry’s Madea.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
When I initially wrote the “Pharaoh’s Clan” it was titled, “The Pharaoh’s Clan, The Lycanthrope Wars” and it had at its center a plot that glorified a male soldier that had to save the world from werewolves. Yeah I know–boring. When it was rejected repeatedly I had to do some soul searching and I listen to that inner voice that had served me so much throughout my life and it asked me the question: “Would you buy this?” What I came to understand is that writing is a business.

And unless you can somehow pay for everything yourself with you own money you have to create a product that other people would want to purchase. As a writer I came to realize that “I” (because I wanted control) had to from the front cover to the back create a product that was marketable. I therefore went back to the drawing board, discarded all the crap from the story and recognized a niche in the market for a Black action adventure writer and the need for female heroines.

Whether this proves to be reasonable revisions remains to seen but I did it my way–the way I wanted it done. I produced this entire novel with the exception of the cover and the model for which I searched extensively until I found someone with the talent I wanted to represent the cover art and Mr. Tood F. Jerde of IMagus Digital Fine Art hit it right on the head with his first attempt. This total package is mine and God’s to succeed or to fail on and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Clayton W. Oliver author,owner
Four Deuces Entertainment
The “Pharaoh’s Clan” Series, “Daughter of the Sun”
P.O. Box 2542
Covington, GA. 30015
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Posted by on March 21, 2009 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with author Patti Wicklund

Intimate Conversation with author Patti Wicklund about Jane McCormick

Jane McCormick is called a sex-trade survivor, and was a “high-class call girl” and former prostitute. But what she really was and still is today, is a successful entrepreneur, a true women’s advocate, and born to be a natural marketing/business major from the college of life. Jane’s played a big part in our American history during the 1960s and today is an inspiration to all women who seek e quality and want to fight against women’s violence.

When I met Jane McCormick fifteen years ago, I immediately knew that she was a unique and wonderful person just by the way she walked into a room. While everyone was busy, trying to have a good time, Jane was busy “working the room” just like she’d done in Las Vegas years before, except, this time she was simply trying to meet new friends. Assertive, selective and smart she methodically worked the room eventually meeting me, an educated artist being laid off from a major corporation.

Teamed together, we formed a successful cleaning service. As time past Jane, entertained me with her Las Vegas celebrity stories, but I had to understand why Jane, had to live such a horrific life. And that developed into this book.

Ella: Patti, tell us about your passion for writing and about your book.
Jane’s life stories motivated me to write “Breaking My Silence” because I needed to understand how and why’s of prostitution.

Breaking My Silence : Confessions of a Rat Pack Party Girl and Sex-Trade Survivor
by Jane
Mccormick Patti Wicklund
ISBN-13: 9781604614770

Vadnais Heights great-grandmother Jane McCormick lets down her hair about her days as a “party girl,” and companion to the rich and famous—her induction into the Rat Pack Circle (Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra; crooner Dean Martin; actors/singers/comedians Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop). For those of us of that ’60’s era, it’s a backstage, women’s-eye view of Vegas and its high-rolling denizens.
But glamour and glitz don’t come cheap or easy. Starting out in rough circumstances, McCormick used her beauty and personality to parlay herself into a life that she found in time had too many of the trappings of her childhood years. The book is, in the author’s words, “not meant to titillate, but to educate,” particularly regarding stricter prostitution legislation—for the men, not the prostitutes. Obtain this hard-hitting memoir—cowritten by McCormick’s partner, Patti Wicklund—at

Intimate Conversation with Patti Wicklund and Ella Curry of EDC Creations

Ella: Where are you from?
My name is Patti Wicklund, and lived in a modest North Minneapolis home during the 1950s with two loving parents, a big brother, and loyal grandparents and with neighbors who were family to me.
After graduating from high school, I worked for five years then, after my father died, decided to get a college education. I completed an AA degree in Fine Arts from North Hennepin Community College. Then I went on to finish a BA in Fine Arts from Metropolitan State University and at the same time graduated with a BFA in Visual Communications Design from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
“Breaking My Silence”, Confessions of a Rat Pack party girl and sex-trade survivor was an eye opener for me. At first I didn’t believe Jane’s stories, then one day I found a photograph of her on the internet with “The Rat Pack” at the Sands Casino in Las Vegas . After that, I needed to understand how Jane got there! So I started writing and kept writing.

Ella: Who is my main character?
Jane McCormick is a brave and caring individual who had to struggle through life surviving many horrifying obstacles and is still alive to help others stay out of the business.
Ella: What makes the book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
The honest reality of this book is a must read for parents, teachers, preachers, officers and anyone who needs to understand the cruelty of prostitution and the men behind its corruption.
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
The main message to the girls is “Don’t Do It!” Change the laws. Arrest the child molesters, johns and pimps.
Patti Wicklund, Author Breaking My Silence
Buy the book here today!
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Meet Author Ayana Eintou Wade

My name is Ayana Eintou Wade. I am 24 years old born September 30, 1983 in Dothan, Alabama. I am the youngest of 4 children, 2 girls 2 boys. I am the proud mother of a 4year old, Iysis Jai. My dad passed when I was 17 years old and my mom just passed November 13, 2008. They are now my sole reason for completing this journey of self-discovery and creativity.

I’ve always been a lover of books. When I was in 6th grade my best friend and I wrote a book together called, “I didn’t think it could happen to me.” It was a story about 2 high school students in love and end up HIV positive. I know that’s a pretty heavy subject for 2 young girls, but we were actually in school with a guy who contracted the disease and we felt inspired by it.

Shortly after, I began writing poetry. Poetry is actually my first love, but having an opportunity to bring forth a voice that explores the sensual and often frowned upon exotic side of humans keeps me moving forward. My book “Loud Secrets” is a must read, because I touch on the raw sexual energy we all walk around with daily.

I chose to become an erotica author after wanting to channel the passion & lust contained inside each and every one of us. I aggressively attack the subject of male and female sensuality and form an understanding that doesn’t disgust my readers, but entice them to find themselves once they let go all inhibitions.

“Loud Secrets” will leave my reading audience breathless, but allow them to ride the wave of bravery. Secrets are kept everyday many are silent, many are not. It’s necessary for me to open the door and show the world that erotica isn’t nasty, contaminated, or unsafe. It’s the untold secrets behind sex that create chaos.

I will also be featured in Bedtime Stories 2 along side several other wonderfully talented authors. Look for my short story “Icing on The Cake.”

I AM POWERFUL because I’ve surrounding my self with nothing less than inspirational energy. My spiritual growth has allowed me to stand tall, exude strength, and push forward even when the odds were against me!

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Posted by on March 21, 2009 in Meet the Author


Birth of a Dream by Cheryl A. Pullins

The nation has finished celebrating the dawn of a new era in the history of the United States of America. On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama was bestowed with the title of Mr. President. As millions of people watched this historical event there was something taking place unseen to the natural eye – the shift. With a few words recited by President Obama his entire life changed. Of course his life had already taken a shift in some areas; however, this day symbolized a shift in power!

There is always a natural example to explain or demonstrate a spiritual truth and this scenario demonstrates that the power of life is in the tongue. Once President Obama finished reciting the oath of office people across this nation erupted in cheers, cried tears of joy and pride. The dream of one translated into the dream of many. The reality of what the world witnessed were words spoken over forty-five years ago by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC – another dreamer! If these dreamers can speak their dreams and they become reality, why can’t we as believers speak into existence our very own dreams? Why can’t we speak life to our dreams in order to make them a reality? Here are some steps to help birth your dream:

1) Be sure that your dream is God’s will for your life. Your dream should be embedded in God’s purpose for your life. This is a conversation between you and God. Spend time with God so that He can reveal to you the plans He has for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11)

2) Speak the Word of life to your dreams so that they may live.

3) Write the vision for your dream and prepare yourself in the area of your dream (school, business classes, networking, etc).

4) Surround yourself with “dream cheerleaders”. These are the people who support and encourage you along the way.

5) Guard your dream. Do not allow anyone to speak against your dream. Protect it at all cost. It is your dream!

6) Don’t expect everyone to embrace your dream. Some people will think you are talking crazy when you share the dream you have been given. You are the nurturer of your dream.

7) Have a couple of mentors. People you can go to for guidance, counsel and wisdom. These are people who have charted the territory before you and can help you to avoid rough waters along the journey. But remember to not only have them in your life, but listen to them. If you chose them that should mean you also trust them.

8) Build covenant relationships. The covenant connections you make are potentially the covenant relationships you build. These relationships are most often the ones who help you move from one place to the next during your journey. Covenant relationships are the people who connect you through your transition points.

9) Stay faithful. Things don’t happen overnight. It may take you years to see the realization of your dream, but stay the course.

10) When your dream becomes a reality ALWAYS remember to thank the people who supported you through this journey. Never ever forget them!

Written by Cheryl A. Pullins
Editor/Author/Entrepreneur/Purpose Coach

Cheryl A. Pullins is a native of Philadelphia, PA where she began serving pastors and their ministries on the executive level. Having served in a myriad of capacities at several ministries throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware she has used her spiritual gifts and natural abilities of administration, leadership, teaching and encouragement.Cheryl is the Founder/CEO of Pullins Enterprise LLC which holds several companies including Pullins Media Group (PMG), Pullins Publishing, PMG by Design and several companies under development including a data collection service and consulting companies. Cheryl is currently in the process of preparing to launch a life purpose coaching company. Cheryl also serves as the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of LIVE Magazine published by the Suber Media Group.

Cheryl has several books in the development stages. Confessions for a Victorious Life which is scheduled for release in late 2009 by Suber Media. She is also a workshop presenter, speaker and purpose coach. Cheryl majors in Psychology with an emphasis on Health Management and Administration.

Her life verses are Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD’, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” and Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Cheryl is the proud mother of two daughters, Valerye Marie and Julianna Christyne and has recently acquired two additional children, Zachary, Jr. and Deardra along with three granddaughters. Cheryl resides in Columbia, Maryland with her husband, Zachary.

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American Dowry by Mozell Fleming

American Dowry by Mozell Fleming

Stentorian love songs

Black again to shatter the lies
they told to discourage you…
truth lies.

Beauty that they failed to see
failed to recognize.
Lost in Pandora’s eyes.

Be wary

When fools become wise
the truth is set free.

No longer can Styx run over me

only when…. I look into eyes.

Eyes that are ready to see.

One fell away


The other shunned

Self-esteem, pride, and the dreaded past
was then, is again …at last

The truth set free

Hidden behind the lies
of the carrion that came to devour me… mine
to prick my soul to bleed my eyes

The tears that ran like rain
and I swore to God that I would not fall
I’d never love again…

Then, I looked at you.
Your skin so smooth and fit so tight
I could scarcely attempt to breathe.

I asked myself if you
were there with me
now as well as then… again I look

Again I see
The forbidden fruit that grew

From the lies

From the death
Life found

The seed of all the good
that they have overlooked
I’m delivered a child from gorgons’ womb

A peach…from history…. Hymeneal race

All one need do is see.

by Mozell Fleming January 9, 2009

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GOD ONLY KNOWS by Xavier Knight

Intimate Conversation with author Xavier Knight

Xavier Knight is the Christian fiction pseudonym for C. Kelly Robinson. He is a native of Dayton, Ohio and magna cum laude graduate of Howard University and Washington University in St. Louis.

Robinson is a marketing communications manager by day and has a long record of volunteer experience across organizations including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mentor St. Louis, and Student Venture Ministries. Author of six previous novels including the best-selling No More Mr. Nice Guy and the critically acclaimed Between Brothers (Random House), he lives outside Dayton with his wife and daughter. He is hard at work on his next novel and on a nonfiction project.

GOD ONLY KNOWS by C. Kelly Robinson writing as Xavier Knight
Julia Turner, an ambitious educator in her mid-thirties, leaves a high-profile job in Chicago to return to Dayton, Ohio to serve as superintendent of Christian Light, the K-12 private school system from which she graduated two decades earlier. A single mother with an ugly divorce and a complex childhood in her rearview mirror, Julia views her mission as a chance to contribute to her hometown and conquer the demons from her past. But she never expects to confront the one sin she and her childhood friends agree to bury as teens – the accident that left Eddie Walker hospitalized and incapacitated.

Meanwhile, Detective Peter Whitlock, Eddie Walker’s older bother, is still determined to find the person(s) responsible for his brother’s condition. When Whitlock’s investigation leads him to the front door of Cassie Gillette, Julia’s best friend and fellow Christian Light classmate, the lifelong friends must decide whether they will keep their dark secrets, or tell the truth and let God decide the outcome. With so much at stake, is their faith strong enough to risk everything?
“Knight masterfully weaves compelling characters and suspense that keeps you turning pages.”—Victoria Christopher Murray, author Too Little, Too Late

ELLA: Please tell us about your writer’s journey. What’s new?
I first dreamed of writing a novel when I was a pre-teen. Throughout my childhood, high school and college, my writing skills were praised by English and Literature teachers, but I never viewed writing as a viable career due to a speech impediment that made me think I couldn’t be an “author” or media personality.

I thank God for eventually showing me that I needed to throw off shackles of fear and pursue my dream and calling. I began writing short stories as well as my first novel in my mid-twenties while working as a corporate financial analyst. I have since been blessed to have 7 novels published by major companies, some of which have been bestsellers and all of which have received favorable reviews in major publications.

GOD ONLY KNOWS, my latest release due in March, is a suspenseful Christian novel about four grown women who must confront a shared childhood tragedy, a tragedy whose legal consequences today could put them in jail or endanger the safety of their families.

ELLA: Why is celebrating Black History 365 days a year important?
We should celebrate the accomplishments of our people in order 1) be empowered and reminded that we can build on past successes in the present and future and 2) to inspire youth and others who might otherwise think that their futures are limited to the more negative and disadvantaged plights of those around them.

ELLA: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am powerful to the extent that I rely on God’s Holy Spirit power to guide my actions and efforts. He has shown a consistent ability to overcome my personal weaknesses, both real and imagined.

ELLA: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I am a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a graduate of Howard University (BBA Finance) and Washington University in St. Louis (MBA). My professional training is in finance and business administration. See the “passion for writing” section for the rest.

ELLA: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Julia Turner and Cassie Gillette are the two lead characters of GOD ONLY KNOWS. They are best friends in their thirties, who bonded over a shared tragedy in their teens involving a white male classmate who attacked Cassie. Today they are both admirable women in their own right. Julia has overcome the pain of a divorce and a childhood being told she was not as beautiful as the “white ideal,” and is now a PhD who serves as superintendent of the school system from which she graduated. Cassie, a biracial woman who grew up isolated from both white and Black children who spurned her, overcame a teenage pregnancy to build a solid marriage with three well-behaved children and a prosperous career as a realtor.

ELLA: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
The central question faced by Julia and Cassie is one that everyone can relate to – what would you do today if an act from your past suddenly came home to roost? Julia and Cassie had what they thought were very good reasons for not confessing to their role in the injury of Eddie, their classmate (who is still in a vegetative state decades later). Now a police detective has done some new digging and is pointing fingers in their direction, in effect placing their livelihoods at risk and threatening their families if they do not confess. It’s a situation with no good answers, one that would test anyone’s faith.

ELLA: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I hope they are inspired to reflect on the role that their childhood experiences – good and bad, blessings and scars – may still play in their lives today, and whether there are issues there that should be faced down and dealt with once and for all. And hopefully they see from Julia’s and Cassie’s example the benefit of doing that while relying on faith in God’s word and guidance.

ELLA: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
How did you do it? Honestly, the biggest achievement to me is each time a reader contacts me to say that a book touched their life. To see the pursuit of my calling bring encouragement and inspiration to others is the ultimate blessing.

ELLA: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
I think the key qualities for a successful author who can build a sustainable career are self-discipline (to put in the regular time writing, re-writing and editing), creativity (in figuring out how to affordably but effectively market your work) and patience (because unless you’re very blessed and highly favored there will be times when this industry makes you want to tear you hair out).

ELLA: What can we expect from you in the future?
My wife and I are expecting a baby with an early May due date, so I expect that keeping up with him and our toddler daughter will eat up most of my schedule for the foreseeable future! Ask me in 2010 and I’m sure I’ll have more clear book plans.

ELLA: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
GOD ONLY KNOWS hits bookshelves and Amazon on March 23 – please pre-order your copy today and tell your friends!

C. Kelly Robinson, writing as Xavier Knight

“C. Kelly Robinson just keeps getting better and better.”
Zane, New York Times Best-Selling Author

“C. Kelly Robinson is a wonderfully talented writer.”
—Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times Best-Selling Author

“Robinson is truly one of the most gifted new writers in the industry today.”
—Victoria Christopher Murray, Essence Best-selling Author

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Posted by on March 20, 2009 in Author Interviews


The Obama Impact on Young Women

“How much the Obamas Being in the White House Will Mean to Young Women Today”

One of our most influential, most poised black female influences of today is Mrs. Michelle Obama. Now, with all of the “Hoopla” in today’s black church about whether it is “Biblical” to call the pastor’s wife the “First Lady”, our First Lady Michelle Obama goes without question.

She is truly an inspiration to every woman, young and old. The older women look at her, and they just know. They know how strong one has to be to handle all of that pressure. They know the struggle of juggling household, career and children, trying to hold it all together and still squeeze in some time for self.

Women such as myself, we can see it in her eyes. The ‘chin up, shoulders back, put God first, give a little but not too much’ aire about her that we all practice everyday. The young girls, however, in this election, really got to see family in action. Being the mother of a 10 year old girl, I found it easier to say, “Look at what you can do, if you put God first, and apply yourself.” I got to tell her that it is okay to use correct diction, and you will be alright if you decide to dress appropriately.

So often our young girls find themselves too early in their lives becoming mothers, forcing themselves into adulthood. The result of this is broken homes, sometimes with no father figure- often without a good one. But the Obamas stand as proof that whatever your situation is…it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our president has a strong black woman supporting him, lifting him up when he’s down and softening those blows.

Young women today see that it’s okay to encourage your man instead of standing by watching him do it all by himself, or in some cases, pulling the foundation from beneath him. The society of black women today see that they can be supportive, without losing self. It’s time for our young women to start back being the strong backbone of society that our mothers and grandmothers used to be. Sure they raised us, but think of all the successful ‘others’ that they raised as well.

Our young black women can rise up and take lead with dignity and stature and now the respect of a whole nation like never before, and its because of Mrs. Obama. We certainly thank her for standing in that spotlight.

Selena Winston
author, “Butterfly Kisses”

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Raising Him Alone Campaign on BAN Radio

Listen to the encouraging interview with authors Matthew Stevens and David Miller. Special guest Sheron Smith (mother of Grammy nominated actor and rapper Mos Def) Hosted by Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations.

Raising Him Alone Campaign features thought-provoking workshops, series of community forums addressing a variety of diverse topics (legal resources, financial literacy, mental health support, health & nutrition & educational advocacy). The Kick Off also features workshops, resource fair and an intimate panel discussion featuring several celebrity mothers who have raised boys become men. The mothers include the following: Dr. Mahalia Hines (mother of rapper Common), Dr. Brenda Greene (mother of rapper and activist Talib Kweli) and Sheron Smith (mother of Grammy nominated actor and rapper Mos Def). Other featured speakers include: Meshelle, Cassandra Mack, Richard Rowe, Adeyemi Bandale, Kenneth Braswell and Joel Austin.

The campaign focuses on four areas identified as key benchmarks in addressing positive outcomes for single mothers and their sons. The campaign’s approach to provide greater advocacy and supporting parents gaining access to community based services. The following are the four key campaign areas:

Health & Well Being (Mental Health)
Black males have the worst health status of any other race-sex group.
Black males have the second lowest life expectancy at birth second only to Native American men. Black males have the highest death rate from all causes and the highest death rates from cancer, cardiovascular disease & homicides.
Black male have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections.

Educational Support & Advocacy
Black males account for 8.62% of total enrollment in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools, but account for 21.69% of total expulsions.
Forty-two percent of all Black boys have failed an entire grade at least once.
The national average high school graduation rate for Black boys is 47%.

Financial Literacy (African American Community)
Nearly six of 10 children living with only their mother were near (or below) the poverty line.
Of the 19 million children of single parents, two thirds live in rented homes.

Reconnecting Fathers & Sons
Children From Fatherless Homes More Likely To:
Commit Suicide (5 Times)
Have behavioral disorder (20 Times)
Drop out of school (9 Times)
Abuse drugs (10 Times)
Go to prison (20Times

Visit the main website to purchase the book and for more information:

The Renaissance Group, LLC
Marketing Consulting · Extraordinary Events

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Karyn Beach The Excuse Eliminator!

Karyn Beach The Excuse Eliminator!
As a life-long goal setter, I have experienced the motivating power of goals and the importance of having a plan for achieving them. As a corporate trainer for over a decade, I’ve worked with a wide variety of major corporations, government agencies, and universities. I’ve trained everyone from entry-level professionals to CEOs and all levels in-between. I feel blessed to have been able to make a living doing something I truly enjoy.

My passion for life has led me to have a variety of incredible experiences. I’ve traveled internationally, written a provocative short film called P.N.O.K. starring Danny Glover and even won big on Who Wants to be a Millionaire! Along the way, I have developed a number of rich and fulfilling relationships with friends all over the world.

I love working with people and live for those ‘Aha!’ moments that students and clients have when something finally clicks. I’ve found that helping people learn new concepts is very rewarding. However, I’ve found that helping people learn more about themselves and what empowers and motivates them is even better!

As a life coach, I’m excited by the possibilities that exist for all of my clients and I am honored to help them achieve their goals. With enthusiasm, humor and insightfulness, I look forward to helping you be wildly successful in your own way and on your own terms.

Karyn Beach is a life coach who’s got a true passion for life! She’s traveled internationally, written a provocative short film called P.N.O.K. starring Danny Glover and even won big on Who Wants to be a Millionaire! Along the way, she’s developed a number of rich and fulfilling relationships with friends and colleagues all over the world.

First as a corporate trainer and now as a life coach, Karyn loves working with people and lives for those ‘Aha!’ moments that students and clients have when something finally clicks. Although she’s found helping people learn new concepts to be very rewarding; she’s found that helping people learn more about themselves and what empowers and motivates them is even better!
As a coach, Karyn is excited by the possibilities that exist for all of her clients and is honored to help them achieve their goals. With enthusiasm, humor and insightfulness, Karyn looks forward to helping them become wildly successful in their own way and on their own terms.

Ella: What exactly does a personal coach do for the client?
It’s similar to an athletic coach but without the sweat! An athletic coach works with the team or the individual player to help them reach their potential. They are there to help them strategize, to practice, to hold them accountable and to encourage them when they want to quit and to celebrate with them when they succeed.

My job as a life coach is very similar. I work with my clients to help them maximize their potential and reach their goals. Through questioning and conversation (usually via phone), I work help them determine what they want and how they intend to get it. I also help them by holding them accountable for their actions.

Currently, I have clients who are writing books and business plans and others who are looking for jobs. I also have several who have hired me to help them organize their time better and clear the clutter out of their space. There are about as many reasons to work with a coach as there are people working with coaches.

The beauty of what I do is that it isn’t about me. It’s about what each individual client wants and helping them to use their talents and their resources to get it. Like the athletic coach, I help train and condition my clients, but they are the ones on their field and winning the game!

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I can help people by giving them the tools they need to live their dreams.

Ella: Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
As a coach, helping people change their thought patterns and habits is a critical part of what I do. I also help them see their successes and what they have already accomplished. Many times, we have done a lot more than we give ourselves credit for and it takes an independent third party like me to hold up that mirror and show them all the good they’ve already accomplished.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
With a background in corporate training, I got tired of trying to explain to people the value of what I do. I’ve actually been in a bathroom stall before a class and overheard people saying how training was a waste of time! Talk about an empowering moment!

Now, as a coach, I work with people who are motivated to make changes and who are hungry to learn new things about themselves and how they can be better versions of themselves. It’s amazing to help people help themselves and it’s wonderful to work with people who appreciate learning and personal growth.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
If you want people to invest their hard-earned money in working with you, the least you can do is invest in yourself and get some formal training. A lot of people think that just because they give good advice they can be good coaches but there is a lot more to it than that. I’ve just completed my core certification with Coach U and it has made all the difference. I plan on continuing to invest in my coaching education because the better I am, the more I can offer my clients. I would advise other new coaches to do the same.

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I offer them the tools they need to create the life and the successes that they want for themselves. As I coach, I don’t do that for them, but I can help them to do it for themselves. Plus, a lot of the work I do with clients on specific issues, they can then take and apply to other areas of their lives. Success can be contagious and it’s fun to watch it spread!

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
I think most leaders have the right idea about setbacks and challenges. While a lot of people let those things derail their dreams, leaders learn from them, pick themselves back up and keep going. Second, leaders realize that they simply cannot do it all so they surround themselves with good people and they are willing to share the credit. Finally, a leader is a doer. Leaders don’t just talk about what needs to be done or complain about what someone should do, they just do it.

Ella: What’s new in your company for 2009?
As a new coach, 2009 is the year that I am going full-force into launching my coaching practice. In addition to offering one-on-one coaching, I am also offering group coaching which is a more affordable alternative to one-on-one coaching. I also just completed my first teleseminar, Feelin’ Fine in 2009 which helped participants work through a process I designed to set and plan for their goals. I’m also going to expand my blog ( and my web site (

Karyn L. Beach
10105 Orchard Grass Court
Charlotte, NC 28278

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Fruits of Christian Writing by Shelia E. Lipsey

Fruits of Christian Writing
To All the Christian Writers, Poets, Speakers and Authors
by Shelia E. Lipsey

1) Be Filled
I believe since we are Christians, and if God has indeed truly blessed us with the talent of writing, or being authors, then we must be filled in our spirit, our mind, our thoughts, and our actions with the presence of the spirit of God. We do have some Christians who are writers/authors but there is no evidence of their faith and acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior when you read their works. It’s easy to get caught up in the world and its trappings. Just look around.

We see everyday the grandeur and success of actors and actresses and speakers and writers, who profess to be one of us but it isn’t evident in the things they do with their talents. I really am not the one to say that they are not, because each of us fall short of the mark, we are all sinners, it’s just that the Christian is saved by Grace. But this further upholds my belief that in everything we do, it should lead back to Christ. In everything we write, God should be seen in it.

With my first inspirational novel, entitled Always, Now and Forever, I was told over and over again that if I added some raw sex and profanity throughout then I would be sure to have a bestseller! I would probably be touring the United States as I speak. But I’m not. I’m not going to tell you that I didn’t contemplate what I was being told, but I knew that I just couldn’t go this route. I had to write in the manner in which God led and leads me to write.

I am filled with God’s presence in my life and I want to always seek and obey His will and His way in my life. Would I like to make lots of money? Sure I would? Would I like to achieve financial gain and wealth from my writing? Sure I would. The fact is that it is more than possible for me to achieve earthly treasures while carrying out the will of God. But these earthly treasures are not my priority. My priority is to allow God to speak to me and through me whether I am speaking before audiences or whether I’m sitting down working on my next novel. I desire to store up eternal treasures. I desire to travel the roads that God has for me. I don’t know always know where the roads lead, but I know that God will not lead be astray. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. So I can rest assured that as He continually fills me, he continually blesses me and opens up doors for me and closes the doors that are not for me. So remember, “Be Filled.” Next:

2) Be Faithful
Don’t be swayed to give in or give up. If you have truly been given this talent, then use it. You can only call yourself a writer if you’re writing. If you’re going to become a Christian author, you must start out as a Christian writer. I have come to believe that there is no such thing as a person who says, “I want to be a writer” but then he/she is not. All I have to say to that person is “write.” Whatever God has blessed us with, whether big or small, we should remain faithful to that calling.

I have often said that I write to share with others. I write because God has seen fit to bless me with this talent. I write as a means of sharing my innermost thoughts, the faithfulness of God, and the desires of my heart with others. I remain faithful to this calling. Being faithful like being focused doesn’t’ require that you write everyday. You will hear many authors or writers tell you that you should write something every single day. I don’t fall into this category. There are times that I write everyday, but it’s only when the Holy Spirit tells me to do so. I have gone weeks without writing per se, and then the Holy Spirit speaks to me and tells me “its time.” He is telling me, Shelia, my servant, my speechwriter, I have something I want to say and then my fingers, my thoughts, and my thinking process goes into drive.

I am faithful about doing what God wants me to do, however He wants me to do it and at the level He wants me to do. I believe I touch a lot of people because of my writing. God tells us that the just shall live by faith. He reminds me that His word does not come back void. And because I am His child, then what I write touches people’s lives and changes people in the manner in which He sees fit.

3) Be Focused
Writing takes time. Good writing takes lots of time. You must study your craft. You must read your craft. You must pray about your craft. What kind of writer are you? What are you seeking in your writing? Are you writing as a hobby, a source of relaxing? Maybe you are writing to share your thoughts, your feelings, and your dreams with other people. You must know why you write or why you are desirous of becoming a writer. Then you must focus on the gift you have been given. Use your talents and your time to edify God.

4) Be Fearless
We must be fearless in our pursuit. We must not allow the enemy to instill a sense of failure and doubt within us. I know that we will face moments of uncertainty, especially when we are trying to get our works published and placed on bookshelves throughout the country. I know that I have allowed fear and doubt to creep into my life many times, and not just when it comes to my writing.

Yet, each time Lucifer places His negative thoughts into my mind, thanks be to God He does not allow me to be destroyed. There have been periods of failure I have faced, but God always picks me back up, bestows his glory on me and lifts up my head. He tells me to dust myself off and keep on with the journey of life. He reminds me that He alone is sovereign and that I have no need to fear. 2 Corinthians 4 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We must keep running the race that is set before us by the hand of God. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but he has given us power and a sound mind.

Isaiah 11:1-3 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD

When you write, Be Filled, Be Faithful, Be Focused and Be Fearful!
Shelia E. Lipsey
is an award winning Christian fiction author of five books, a copyeditor, literary expert and inspirational speaker. She resides in Memphis, Tennessee with her son and two Siamese cats. Shelia is also the founder and Executive Director of Living Your Dreams Now Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps others learn how to identify, capture and live their dreams now!,

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Be A History Maker by Pam Perry

Black History Month: Be A History Maker
By: Pam Perry (

There are those who watch what happens, those who make things happen and those who don’t have clue to what happened!

African Americans once had a lot civil rights giants among us: Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King. They were people who “made things happen.” We miss these heroes.

But we must make and celebrate new ones. How? We must do more than just teach our children about history, but teach them how to be history makers and world changers! We must motivate the next generation to make an impact on the lives of others.

When we inspire youth to dream, to visualize a better world, to be action oriented and to help others – we will all have success. This generation must impart strong values into the next.

It’s good to highlight the achievements and applaud the milestones in Black history month – but it’s time we get serious about training up leaders for the next generation and look at what our legacy will be to them.

Have we done our part? Are we just watching what happens, complaining about what’s happening, or making plans to make some things happen! Make it your mission to be a history maker, world changer and inspire others to do the same.

Bottom Line: “Remember that our cause is one, and that we must help each other, if we would succeed” Frederick Douglas. The millennium version: Teamwork makes the dream work!

Pam Perry ( is the author of “115 PR Tips to Brand Your Ministry” and “Synergy Energy: How to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business, and Brand Your Ministry.” She can be reached at or at 248.426-2300.

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Joan Gosier CEO of HBCU kidz, Inc.,

Joan Gosier serves as the CEO of HBCU kidz, Inc., she is a loving wife and proud mom who spent over a decade climbing the corporate ladder in the pharmaceutical industry. Her first book, “Cotton Pickin’ Paycheck-A 21st Century Journal of Escape from Slavery” which chronicles her life lessons learned.

Tell us about your passion for writing.
I am passionate about completing this very unique book of memories of the early formations of a modern day African American family owned and operated internet business. Rarely revealed, compiled, practical and easy to explain book of 21 LIFE LESSONS LEARNED that will be passed down to future generations as a survival guide to “avoid the boiling pot that seems to capture so many crabs”.

Finish this sentence:I am Powerful because….
I am Powerful because I have proven that I can dream and fight to achieve my goals without concern of the naysayer or without taking my eyes off my prize for my future generation of dreamers, leaders and achievers.

Why is it important to celebrate Black History 365 days a year?
There is just waaaay too much to learn and review in 28 days! I have been fortunate to have taken several courses in college and graduate school on African and African American History. There is more to being black than slavery and Jim Crow. Many people forget about reconstruction and early African civilizations are a part of our history too.

Where are you from?
I am a native of Mount Vernon, NY as explained in my book I moved twice during my childhood. Typically, I claim Baltimore, MD as my hometown because that is where I proudly graduated Class President of Milford Mill High School. After graduating undergrad from Hampton University with a BS degree in Business Management, I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana and later relocated to obtain my MBA in International Finance and Marketing from the Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was blessed to do internships and assignments that took me to Johannesburg, South Africa, New York, Racine, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and ultimately to the plantation of my ancestors in Urbanna, Virginia.

How did you start your writing journey?
My journey as a writer really began through my daily diary entries as an early teenager. I felt the urge to compile a book of lessons when I had a near death experience at age 14 years old. I did not get the motivation to act upon this goal of writing “Cotton Pickin’ Paycheck-A 21st Century Journal of Escape from Slavery” until last year. Living back in my ancestors’ hometown on a 40 acre parcel of land seemed to inspire me to hurry and finish while we were living in a historical moment of time.

Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Well because this book is truly like a memory book of life lessons there are tons and tons of characters painted in the book. The main characters are of course me and God.

What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
I think people will see that my book is like looking at a colorful mosaic artwork. Each person reading it will find a little bit of themselves deep down but rarely will two people see the exact same thing in my stories and the respective lessons. I have been told by many different readers that it has indeed inspired them to DO something with the lessons and stories swimming around in their subconscience. It is like reading a love letter to my great great great great grandchildren that I am allowing the world to share.

Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to be compelled to relook at their own lives to gain tips on how to avoid distractions, petty behaviors, “crab mentality” urges and step out on faith that there is a greater purpose in their lives and have a reminder that they have a limited time on earth to enjoy it. I want folks to DO vs. YAP. I want them to fall in love with their lives and livelihoods. I want them to fall in love with their own personal heritage.

What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
It is a whole lot of work. I have had days where I have pretended NOT to be in the middle of writing a life changing story. Days where I have admittedly did very little towards it at all because the thought of completion was so overwhelming. Yet, I have also had nights where I could not sleep until I could actually print out the finished thoughts and feel the paper in my hands. Achievement was seeing a chapter on my nightstand.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Just making the plan of action to DO IT. How did you do it? A lot of prayer. Hearing from various readers all giving me their personal testimony truly motivated me to keep on going.

What advice would you give a new writer?
Follow your heart. Get started.

Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Keep the reader engaged, write the way U would tell them in a conversation, enjoy weaving your story.

What can we expect from you in the future?
There will probably be more books from my munchkins because they are inspired to see me write. My 6 year old has a manuscript already called “My Timeline About Me” that she finished the other day. It contains 5 chapters and she has illustrated it herself!

Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Our family business is launching a new educational campaign this year that is spearheaded by my 6 year old called, “We ALL start small” and there is a new website I am working with an illustrator to create a book that will be the first in a series that pay tribute to our rich cultural legacy of dreamers, leaders and achievers.

Most of all, I invite everyone to join my site at
Anyone interested in gaining a 50% discount from the price book’s launch price once released. I am offering this only to the first 100 customers. I know they will love the final product, but I want to have a mailing list of people who “get” what I am trying to do for the world with this book. So please check out the site and make it one of your favorites as I am always updating it with something inspiring and motivating.

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My Creator, My Love by Irma L. Williams

My Creator, My Love
Irma L. Williams – 6/2000 ©

I’ve fallen in love with You
I’m not sure of what to do
My heart is swollen with adoration
Filled with awe and gratification
I know now that this has happened
I won’t be able to live without You

You touch me in places
I didn’t know existed
Parts of me that will yield only to You
Areas that are “off limits” to man
Pit holes and pot holes that no one can
Reach but You

Your Words shine light in those places
As they are spoken they fill the spaces
That once were so void and so neglected
Because most of my life I had been rejected

You say I’m fearfully and wonderfully made
More beautiful than a star lit night
And more priceless than shade
On an August day in Atlanta

None else is allowed where I let You go
No one else can get close
To the me that I give to You
Only Your Hands are Big enough
Yet gentle enough to hold me without
Dropping me and saying,
“Oops, I was just playing”

Yes, Someday I’d like to be married
But I’m not sure there’s a Tom, Dick or a Harry
That I will love as utterly as You

My God, how I love You!

Irma L Williams – 6/2000 ©

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1 Comment

Posted by on March 18, 2009 in Poetic Expressions

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