Monthly Archives: April 2009

Women, Don’t Forget Your Worth

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take “no” for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends..
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

Note: the author is unknown to me. This came to me as an email forward. If you know the author, please have them contact me for an interview. This was a brillant poem!

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Summer Romance Selections

Happily Never After by T. Wendy Williams
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pub. Date: April 2009
ISBN-13: 9781933967813

To family and friends, Dorothy and David Leonard’s marriage appears to be one made in heaven. While David is one of Houston ‘s most prominent physicians, Dorothy is a loving and carefree housewife. It seems as if life couldn’t be more fabulous for this couple who appear to have it all: wealth, social status, and a loving union.

However, looks can be deceiving. Happily Never After tells the story of what really happens behind closed doors when the eyes of the community aren’t watching. Find out what happens when the flawless veneer begins to crack. Buy the book here.

The Last Prejudice by David Rivera Jr.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: April 2009
ISBN-13: 9781593092351

From the bestselling author of Playing in the Dark — an erotic and romantic novel about how real love is measured by the size of your heart and not the size of your hips.

The three plus-sized women in The Last Prejudice find support in one another during the ups and downs of their juicy romances and chaotic lives. Noreen Klein is more than comfortable inside the smooth curves a size-24 frame enables. She’s an empowered diva who gets what she wants — including hot men.

On the other hand, Dahlia Ortega is a beautiful woman who is extremely insecure with her thick body. Recently coming out of an abusive marriage, the docile Dahlia is left with a raging thirst for dominance. Kat Davis once had a perfect body, but now has to contend with the additional sixty pounds she put on during her tumultuous pregnancy. She wrestles with releasing herself from a self-imposed emotional prison, to embrace the love she deserves. Follow these three women as they fulfill their insatiable sexual appetites and overcome the disheartening emotional challenges that trouble many full-figured women.

Fresh, thoughtful, and endlessly provocative, The Last Prejudice proves how biases against voluptuous women don’t exist when love and lust is in the air. Readers will be riveted by Rivera’s fast-paced and passionate writing style — a must-read for women of all sizes. Buy the Book

A Private Affair by Donna Hill
Publisher: Kimani Press
Pub. Date: July 01, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780373831623

A successful business woman in the New York world of publishing, Nikita Harrell refused to settle for less than a picture-perfect life. This decision had cost her the only man she had ever loved, because Quinn Parker was a man struggling against poverty and despair. Now, he’s back–the author of a hot new novel that could propel Nikita’s company to unimaginable success. But unexpected rivals and a sudden crisis will force Nikita and Quinn to gamble for one last chance to reconcile their dreams. Buy the book here.

Fools Rush In by Gwynne Forster
Publisher: Kimani Press
Pub. Date: August 01, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780373831654

Justine’s search for the daughter she placed up for adoption leads her to a divorced journalist, who happens to be looking for a nanny. It isn’t long before Duncan Banks realizes something’s not quite right about his daughter’s new nanny. Things get complicated when passion consumes the new relationship between father and nanny.
Order the book here.

Intentional Mistake by Michele Sudler
Publisher: Genesis Press, Incorporated
Pub. Date: July 01, 2009
ISBN-13: 9781585713479; 288pp

Synopsis: Sometimes in life we make what we believe to be the right choice when in fact it turns out to be our most dreadful decision.Tia Avery comes face to face with her past when her ex boyfriend Jeff Daniels comes to town after five years to manage her cousins’ bar. Jess and Tia rekindle their relationship but everyone except Jeff knows that his is the father of Tia’s son.Tia must decide whether to confess her past sin or face pushing the man she loves away. But before she could decide her course of action destiny takes over and Jeff discovers that he is a father.Hurt and betrayal and love and passion do tug of war with their hearts until the fate intervenes. Can their love survive life and death? Buy the Book here.

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Book Spotlight: Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies

What would you do if the secret you were keeping could set you free, yet ultimately devastate the ones you love?….

Victoria and Ted are the ultimate power couple. She’s a beautiful, business savvy sister who owns one of Atlanta ’s most sought after event planning companies. Ted’s a powerful, blue-eyed CEO who knows how to take care of business in and out of the boardroom. But their seemingly happy life begins to unravel in the blink of an eye when long-held desires and decades old secrets come back to haunt them. As they journey down a road filled with uncertainty, they’re forced to take a hard look at themselves and confront their hidden fears. Can they repair the damage before it’s too late, or will they follow a path headed for destruction?

Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies, is filled with interesting, three-dimensional characters and a juicy, thought-provoking storyline that will have you discussing it long after the story ends!

Title: Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies
Author: Trice Hickman
Publisher: Platinum Books
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
ISBN: 9780979561818
Paperback: 285 pages

Book Trailer URL:

Buy the Book:

Trice Hickman, author of Unexpected Interruptions

Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies….Available June 23, 2009!

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Intimate Conversation with author Recha

Intimate Conversation with author Recha G. Peay
At the age of five, the gift of a Barbie Doll typewriter from a family friend sparked Recha’s interest in the written word. For hours she’d sit in front of her toy typewriter and peck away occasionally stopping to greet the public and sign autographs. Throughout her childhood and early adulthood she held on to her dream even though career choices lead her in a different direction.

In 1996, The Mystery of a Woman was born and manifested as a small collection of poetry. To no avail, and many rejection letters later they were never published. Recha didn’t stop there and asked herself what would make her poetry unique. During a moment of meditation the answer was clear, a novel. In 1997, the collection of poetry became the premise of her first novel. Just like so many aspiring authors she worked tirelessly then packed it all away.

In 2003, the unfortunate news of a job closing inspired Recha to ‘think outside of the box.’ So she did just that. With the encouragement and support of two children she unpacked her storage box and breathed new life into her project. Her steps were ordered as God allowed her to make contact with Kimberly Matthews of Kissed Publications, who tirelessly assisted her through several edits finally seeing it through to completion. The rest is a ‘Mystery’.

Recha wants all of her readers to know with God’s divine guidance dreams do come true. So remember the three P’s prayer, persistence and patience.

Ella Curry of EDC Creations sits down for a one-on-one chat with Recha

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m a native Memphian. I smile whenever people ask about my journey as a writer. Since the age of five I’ve been pretending to write and sign autographs. My love for the spoken word began in church as I recited the work of others. Two poems in particular that come to mind are William Herbert Brewster’s ‘I’m Determined To Be Somebody Someday’ and Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’. Having to recite their work only sparked my creativity and prompted me to write my own.

Ella: Recha, tell us about your book and the characters.

Illusion of Love Synopsis: At an annual Christmas party an image of perfection stepped into Tatiana’s life. From the outside looking in, Courtney McAdams appeared to have it all; career, good looks and charming personality. Nine months later they were married, moving into a suburban dream home and planning to start a family. His request for her to quit teaching art at the elementary school to become a full-time wife and mother seemed ideal when he revealed plans to convert an extra bedroom into an art studio. With all they’d accomplished she felt obligated and realized a child would be the most perfect gift any wife could give a husband. Courtney, on the other hand had a different agenda. Overcome by greed, Courtney and his best friend record sexually explicit adult videos and sell them on the internet. Having children was never in his plan and marrying Tatiana was only a cover to protect his image.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
In ‘Illusion Of Love’ you see that ‘everything that glitters ain’t gold’. We have to acknowledge our gut instinct as woman’s intuition and pay attention to the signs no matter how impressive the physical package.

How many times have we been approached by someone who appeared to have it all then find out a few weeks or months later you met the representative? Sistah’s may I hear an ‘Amen’! It has happened to me and I’m certain it has happened to you. Whether we choose to admit it or not I feel that the entire plot is realistic.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Being successful in this business shouldn’t be measured by your financial gain but by the lives you touch. Many people have this false perception that you write a book and overnight you’re a millionaire! Hmmm…? Well that isn’t my testimony. For me writing is a passion. I’d rather write than eat a meal. Now that’s serious.

My advice to other writers/authors–hang in there and don’t let go of your dream. All of us have a story and whether through traditional/non-traditional publishing it needs to be told.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m excited about “Losing 4 Literacy” a twelve week weight loss competition/literacy awareness project originated by C. Jay of The Risque Cafe. Being involved in a project of that magnitude is giving me the opportunity to promote weight loss/healthy living, encourage literacy and reiterate the importance of education. As an author I feel obligated to give back to my readers and the community.

I’m also very excited about the release of my fourth novel ‘Table for Three’ in October 2009.

‘Table For Three’ is a fiction novel that explores the lives of three women with three very different personalities and three lifestyles. You may ask when did their paths cross and how did they manage to become best friends?

Shiquanna Alize Jenkins, A.K.A. Fantasia is an exotic dancer, performs at a local gentleman’s club but prefers private audiences. She has no morals, is alcohol dependant and curses like a sailor.

Yvonne Miller, Certified Public Accountant never married and has no children. She’s a devout Christian waiting on God to deliver her soul mate who she believes to be her minister.

India Rasheed, the earthy spiritualist of the trio, is a full-time student who finally declared a major after ten years. Her self-appointed purpose in life other than persistent unemployment is to make a global impact by spiritually awakening lost souls.

Is Shiquanna happy showcasing her body to pay the rent? Despite hours of Bible study and prayer does Yvonne really have a dark side? Is India as spiritually grounded as she portrays? Other than a weekly girl’s night out what is the tie that has bound three apparently different women together as friends for so many years?


Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you and your readers. I want to thank you for the support and encouragement. Please feel free to email any comments/questions to me at Stay encouraged and keep in touch.

Recha G. Peay, Author

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Posted by on April 30, 2009 in Author Interviews


Intimate Conversation with author Matthew Aaron Goodman

Intimate Conversation with author Matthew Aaron Goodman

Matthew Aaron Goodman earned a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA from Emerson College, and benefited from the tutelage of Dr. Derek Hyra, Jay Baron Nicorvo, Arisa White, and asha bandele. Working hand and hand with formerly incarcerated men and women, he helped to create The Leadership Alliance, a community empowerment project with The Doe Fund that unites recently freed people and volunteer partners.

In 2006, he had the privilege of writing about the painter Clintel Steed’s work as well as study the artistic process and share summer corn with the visual artist Michael Dopp. His brother Joshua Goodman is an expert fly fisherman and habanero horticulturist in Colorado. His brother, David Goodman,is an artist and writer whose most recent work and writing has been exhibited in conjunction with Human Rights Watch’s Red Hand Day Campaign. Matthew now lives with Nadia, his wife, in Brooklyn, New York. Currently, he leads a literacy program for exalt, a nonprofit organization that assists youth on the spectrum of criminal justice involvement. You can visit their blog:
Ella: Matthew tell us about your passion for writing.
I write because I don’t know how to play an instrument; writing is my outlet. I’ve got a trumpet and a guitar, and I’ve taught myself how to play the piano a little by planting myself in music stores and picking at the plastic keys of synthesizers and keyboards, but to date, writing is the only place I can make music, sit down and play a song so to speak. Of course, as with playing a song well, writing requires one to sit down and rehearse the song again and again, manipulating the phrasing so how I feel is conveyed in the notes as much as the harmonious intentions of the composer. So I also love the depth and precision writing affords. Writing is an act of refining, of sculpting and discovering ways of speaking, creating connections between perceptions that cause visceral reactions. So it’s the pursuit of writing, of composing that phrase in a song, that succession of notes that makes you nod your head and say “hmmmm…” that has captured me and that I am passionate about.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new soul stirring book, Hold Love Strong.
Born to a thirteen-year-old in the bathroom of his family’s small apartment, Abraham Singleton enters a world laden with the obstacles inherent in an impoverished community. In spite of the crack epidemic and the HIV crisis that ravages his neighborhood, his family, the Singletons—cousins, an uncle, and aunt, Abraham and his mother—are held together by Abraham’s heroic grandmother, whose deep faith and stoic nature have always given them a sense of wholeness and hope.

But when the family goes through several harrowing losses, not even his grandmother may be strong enough to lead them through. At the center of this story is Abraham, the youngest of the Singletons. Deeply intuitive and cerebral, he is determined to thrive in a place that has destroyed the dreams of so many around him. College means opportunity, yet it also means leaving those he loves behind. Abraham’s journey into adulthood will break his heart but ultimately offer the possibility of redemption.

In this haunting, lyrical, and evocative novel, Matthew Aaron Goodman composes a paean to the power of family and belonging in the African-American community. Hold Love Strong is a spellbinding coming-of-age tale about love, hope, and the will to survive, and a stunning universal story about the incredible capacity of the human spirit.

Ella: What does Hold Love Strong offer the reader?
Hold Love Strong offers the reader an opportunity to invest themselves in the championing of a young man’s innate potential as he navigates and overcomes the harrowing conditions of his community. It is the chance to cheer for someone, to cry for them, to be reminded that all things are possible through love and hope.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am powerful because I question my power, because I know that individual strength, my independent capacity—be it to love or to lift or, god forbid, to hate.. I am powerful because I believe in our innate, universal potential to be humane. I am powerful because I understand that every day is a blessing that I share with everything that breathes air. I am powerful because I am not afraid to speak my truth.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I grew up in a small town an hour north of New York City which because there were only a handful of Jews was, for all intents and purposes, the very far reaches of the Jewish Diaspora. This experience made me understand my difference, my otherness. It also afforded me the chance to love and appreciate people who—culturally, ethnically, and religiously—were unlike myself. Then, when I went off to college—at Brandeis University—I learned how important it is to be proud of my culture and identity. These two lessons, both forms of isolation because of difference, took time to navigate and unite into one formed identity and so had a tremendous amount to do with my journey as a human being and thus, this journey of writing. As for how I began writing, I don’t know. I do know that when I was a child I was very, very quiet, and to get me to talk, my mother would sit me at the kitchen table and have me tell her the stories of the people in the pictures in the magazine opened before me. So, I think it was there, participating in the oral tradition of storytelling, that I first began to write.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
For me, the two main characters in Hold Love Strong are Abraham and his cousin, Donnel. How much they love each other, the lengths they will and do go to fortify and champion each other cannot be measured or described.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
Writing a novel is something you must pour your heart into. Afterwards, it becomes a business. I think a writer must never lose sight of writing as an art form, and accept that the business related to creating a book is not their realm of expertise.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Although the quick answer is the publication of Hold Love Strong, the truth is my most significant achievement is the fact that I have loved and remain very much in love with writing. It’s like a marriage. What is more significant? The day one gets married or all of the years one remains faithfully wedded?

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
Never let doubt infect you. Never let yourself think that what you are writing is more important than those you live and love with.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
The. Belief. In Love.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or recent book reviews.
“Matthew Aaron Goodman’s Hold Love Strong is a powerful and poignant story of the gallant Abraham who struggles on the night side of American society yet exudes a light of genuine hope…” -Dr. Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters

Book Reviews for Hold Love Strong
“The urgency of reading Matthew Aaron Goodman’s work is that he complicates what is too often made unrealistically simple: our understanding of ourselves and our neighbors. That he does so with such profound beauty only makes the experience of Hold Love Strong ever more incredible…” -asha bandele, author of The Prisoner’s Wife and Something Like Beautiful

“What a poignant book. The younger generation offers a wonderful writer!” -Nikki Giovanni, Poet

“Matthew Aaron Goodman writes with tremendous heart and gorgeous lyricsm. He loves the characters whose lives he chronicles, loves them in all their flaws, through all their missteps. He’s with them, celebrating their glories in ecstatic, ebullient riffs, and mourning their defeats with an unflinching compassion…” -Thisbe Nissen, Author of The Good People of New York and Osprey Island

“Goodman delivers a commanding investigation of love, family and freedom set in a New York City housing project…” –Publishers Weekly

Matthew Aaron Goodman,
author of HOLD LOVE STRONG: A Novel

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Business Spotlight: Rhonda Crowder, freelance editor

Intimate Conversation with editor Rhonda Crowder

Offering developmental, content, and copy services to authors and publishers, Rhonda Crowder is a freelance editor who has worked on seven novels in less than three years with two appearing on the Essence bestsellers list. Currently, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is a general assignment reporter for the Call and Post Newspapers as well as a contributing writer for magazines and trade publications. Rhonda is also an aspiring novelist and has been featured in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland.

Ella: How did you get your start in this business/industry? After interviewing and writing an article about Triple Crown Publications CEO Vickie Stringer (which she loved), for the Call and Post Newspapers, she asked me if I edited manuscripts. I said yes, submitted my resume, completed a sample edit, and went on to work on three novels. Two became Essence bestsellers. After that, I signed up on myspace and found there was a huge market for this service. From there, I established myself as a freelance editor and authors began to reach out in need of my services.

Ella: Did you have any formal training?
Yes I do. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing, editing, and publishing from Cleveland State University.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I believe I have the ability to view a manuscript from four different perspectives: as the average reader, a student of literature, writer, and editor. Then, when it comes to street or urban lit, I got some ‘cred.’ LOL. Also, I understand psychology and logic. That’s important when reviewing stories because stories must make sense.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as a entrepreneur?
One word, chal-len-ging. And, that’s because I’m a one woman show. There’s so much to be done other than the actual work. Records and taxes. While, I enjoy doing the actual work more so than doing the business. There’s a difference between the two. But, I refuse to give up. My goal is to perfect the business. I’ve finally got the work load under control.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
I enjoy reading. I love working with words. And, although I may sometimes become extremely frustrated during the process, I get a rush when witnessing a story come together in the end. Also, it’s a shear pleasure to hear the sound of an author’s voice or see the look on their face once that book is in print. I love helping people make their ideas and dreams come to life.

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
Transforming what I do as a side job into a company. But, this year, I plan to use the resources available through organizations such as the Urban League and others to ensure that the business aspects is in order and can thrive.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
You have to do this work for the love, the passion, not the money. It’s a slow grind in the beginning. But, if you love it, never give up. The rewards will eventually come!

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
In addition to a well-edited manuscript that will sell forever, the tools they need as to survive as writers with or without me.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
An ability to listen, generate ideas to solve problems, and communicate effectively.

Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
By helping others communicate effectively, the have a better chance at stay in business. With that, I remain in business!

Rhonda Crowder can be contacted at her on-line at Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Intimate Conversation with author Eugenia O’Neal

Intimate Conversation with author Eugenia O’Neal

Eugenia O’Neal is a true woman of the Caribbean – her mother was from the Dominican Republic and her father was born in Cuba. She, herself, grew up in the British Virgin Islands and went to high school in Barbados before studying journalism in Philadelphia. She’s currently living and working in London while working on several manuscripts.

Three of her short stories have been published in The Caribbean Writer and, in 1995, she participated in the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami. One of her more recent short stories appeared in the Black Expressions Anthology, The Heart of Our Community. Her first book was From the Field to the Legislature: A History of Women in the VIrgin Islands, which was based on her master’s thesis for the University of the West Indies and was published by Greenwood Press in 2001. Her first contemporary romance received rave reviews as has Dido’s Prize, her latest offering. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and From The Heart Romance Writers. Her Website is

Ella: Introduce us to your new book, Dido’s Prize.
Dido, a slave on a Jamaican sugar plantation, runs away to join Henry Morgan’s privateer fleet and find the treasure that will allow her to buy her family’s freedom. What she doesn’t bargain on is falling in love with El Negro, a pirate captain with no particular yen for a long-lasting relationship. As Morgan sails the Spanish Main, sacking first, El Puerto del Principe in Cuba, and then the great city of Porto Bello in Panama, Dido becomes a valued member of El Negro’s crew. After the ships return to Jamaica, Dido thinks she will never see the pirate captain again, but he comes to her rescue when she is in peril. They flee deep into the Blue Mountains, but El Negro knows he will never be safe on the island. Together, Dido and her pirate, head back out to sea to find a place where they can live and love in freedom.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I started writing when I was very young – I love writing as much as I love reading. I started my first manuscript before I finished college but I never completed it, I just shelved it and didn’t bother trying to polish it up. Then when I was in my early thirties I thought about it and decided to have another go – the manuscript that became Just an Affair looked very different after all my revisions than it had when I first wrote it. I hadn’t known anything then about conflict and dark moments and those sorts of things.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Dido’s Prize tells the story of a young slave girl determined to find freedom for herself and her family who runs away and joins a pirate ship. Dido and El Negro are the two main characters of Dido’s Prize. Dido is great – very determined, very resolute, very brave. She also doesn’t pay much attention to her looks even though she’s a beautiful woman, that’s one of the things I like about her.

El Negro is the perfect match for her – a man’s man – also very brave, he doesn’t take s–t from anyone. He was once a slave but he fought his way out of that condition while not losing his compassion for others.

Dido finds the treasure she dreamed of and more, but can she and her pirate lover escape the violence and turbulence of their times? You have to get the book…LOL

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
Dido’s Prize is set in an era and in a region that many people don’t know a lot about yet it’s completely based on facts – Henry Morgan was a real privateer and the raids on Cuba and Portobello that Dido and El Negro participate in really happened. There have also been black pirates in the Caribbean, probably ever since there was piracy – not too many were captains but el Negro is a plausible character. Many readers have told me that they love the history – love learning about pirate life, about the Maroons (free black communities), about the Tainos (the indigenous people).

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
A sense that they’ve learned something about the lives of people who lived just a few hundred years ago who had to surmount incredible odds just to be together and to live their lives as they wanted.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
It’s advice you hear everywhere but that’s because it’s so useful – to read a lot and to write a lot. The more you read the better you become at understanding what works and what doesn’t and the more you write, the better you will be at incorporating what you’ve learned in your own writing. I’d also add to get out there and experience as many new and different things as you can – taste new foods, travel to new countries or communities, attend different festivals and fairs – keep your mind and your eye open to different and learn how to describe what you’re seeing so others can see it too without being there.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Persistence, hard work, lots of patience!

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve sent in a new historical novel that I’m very excited about. It’s set in two different eras and tells the story of two women who appear to be very different on the surface but who have more in common than you might first think. And I’m working on a couple other manuscripts as well so I’m trying to keep busy while taking my own advice and enjoying life.

Ella: How may readers connect with you online:


My Facebook page

My Shelfari page

Book Reviews:

Eugenia O’Neal author of Dido’s Prize, Parker Publishing

“an exciting, fast-paced story with runaway slaves, swashbuckling pirates and a slave uprising…” Leslie Frohberg, Romantic Times BookClub
“[Dido’s Prize] is full of history, an excellent love story, humor in the face of adversity and some really well done suspense…”
Dee Dailey, The Romance Studio

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Intimate Conversation with Terri Schlichenmeyer, Book Reviewer

Intimate Conversation with Terri Schlichenmeyer, Book Reviewer

The Bookworm Sez is a book review column for newspapers or magazines of any size or market. Over 3 million readers around the country and internationally read The Bookworm. You can, too! Just contact your local newspaper or magazine and tell them, “I want to read what The Bookworm Sez!” The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

Ella: Hello Terri, how did you get your start in this business/industry?
My then-husband was loudly complaining about my “book habit”. I was working at a radio station at the time, so I thought maybe I could put my books to good use. I asked if I could do radio reviews. A couple months later, a friend-of-a-friend asked me to do a newspaper article. I saw that there was a market for low-cost, reliable book reviewers so I started marketing myself and here I am…

Ella: Did you have any formal business training?
I spent 5 years as the copywriter at that radio station. Because I was considered a part of the sales dept., I was expected to attend all sales training (even though it had no direct use for my job at the time). After I started writing my column, I took what I learned from my former job and applied it to my own business.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I have a style all my own. I’m reliable and professional. I can churn out four or five quality columns each week, ON TIME and within word count, spell-checked and ready to go. Because I offer so many options, editors can choose what they want to run. And I’m inexpensive.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart, but I’ve learned to think so far outside the box that I can’t even SEE the box sometimes. Being an entrepreneur often means nudging your brain in a different direction and pouncing on small things that nobody else notices.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
A couple things: I work with some fantastic people! Every one of my editors knows I’m approachable… and they approach me. I love that. I also like working at my own pace and setting my own hours. Oh, and I love working barefoot… it’s one of the better perks. (grin)

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
I’m an impatient person since birth (I was born 6 weeks early, so….) I have a few close, trusted friends who remind me all the time that things are cyclical and that I need to remember to breathe deep and hang loose. They ground me and make me see real.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Failure should never be an option. Always be prepared with a Plan B, but never give up on Plan A. And remember that freelancing is HARD WORK. Don’t kid yourself by thinking you’re going to skid by; you’re going to work harder than you ever have before, but you’ll love it twice as much.

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I am FIERCE about literacy!! I hope – through my column – that I can entice someone to read more, which will enhance her life, teach him something, give them something to share.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
Perseverance, tenacity, and the ability to switch gears when the situation warrants.

Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
I get really excited when I can tell someone about my product. THAT is what wakes me up. When I’m having a not-so-good day, I know I need to make some cold-calls. It really gets me revved because I know there are people who share my enthusiasm and it’s up to me to find them.

Ella: What’s new in your company for 2009?
I’m branching out! I now work with several different niche markets and am always on the lookout for new ones. This year, I’ve added parenting publications to my client list, as well as medical publications and more.

Always Double-Booked…
Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Bookworm Sez, LLC
Twitter ( @bookwormsez )

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Black Book Clubs Rock Awards, June 20, 2009

The Black Book Clubs Rock Awards is the only show of its kind that honors excellence in the literary community for book clubs and other literary entities.

Hosted by the Sistah Confessions Book Club and radio show, # 1 in Inspirational and Christian Fiction, this event will take place in the beautiful Radisson Hotel in Largo, MD June 20, 2009. Be a part of this wonderful event by purchasing your tickets today!

What to expect:
· Featured author discussions and signings
· Book Club awards
· Door prize drawings
· Catered lunch
· And More!

When and Where:
June 20, 2009
Radisson Hotel
9100 Basil Court
Largo, MD 20774
Ph. 301.773.0700

There is still time to register! Get your tickets today! A special discount will be given to those who register before May 1, 2009. Contact for more information.

Tifany Jones
Founder and Coordinator
Black Book Clubs Rock Awards
(Ph.) 641- 715-3900 ext. 76644#

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Black College Sabbatical: Fall Quarter

The Black College Sabbatical: Fall Quarter
by Tracie E. Christian

The Black College Experience: Underrated, Underestimated and Unappreciated. Venture on a journey with an Angel to feel the real ‘Tricks behind the Bricks”. See why H.B.C.U’s should be Forever Celebrated!

About the Book
BLACK COLLEGES: Underrated, Underestimated & Unappreciated until NOW! The Black College Sabbatical – FALL QUARTER is a new school, coming of age story chronicling the experiences of four young ladies of different cultural, economic and social backgrounds, each beginning her first year at Heritage State University.

Kyla Mansfield, is attending Heritage in line with her family’s long-standing tradition. While somewhat bourgeois, Kyla’s Integrity and warmth will show all that this prim and proper, young woman is more than just the younger sister of the most popular girl on campus.
Ananda Harris, is academically gifted with natural athletic abilities. Growing up with an overbearing father, this over achiever is no stranger to hard work. Her Perseverance is put to the test as she works to live up to her father’s high expectations, while embracing the freedoms of college.
Tina Hutchins, a Home Girl full of attitude and quick wit; attends Heritage on a full Journalism scholarship. A loner by nature, her Courage is challenged as she works to smoothly blend her fly girl style with her non-African American descent and new surroundings.

Cierra Folsom, is a chocolate angel in disguise that grew up dirt poor, with an addict mother and a huge sence of Loyalty. Grandma’s guidance and love finds Cierra trail blazing through Heritage on a partial Dance scholarship with the HSU Marching Band family…Cierra’s first.
I am the Guardian Angel sent here on a quest to protect. I have Courage, Integrity, Loyalty and Perseverance for survival. I also brought bits of Betrayal, Drama, Secretes and Sex just to keep things interesting. Now, all I need is a traveling companion. Someone to help figure out which of our ladies needs me most! Why not YOU? Together, let’s bask in the truth’s light reading The Black College Sabbatical * FALL QUARTER.

348 pages; quality trade paperback (softcover)
catalogue #07-0988
ISBN 1-4251-2836-X
Tracie E. Christian is the Founder and President of KTE Foundation for Literary Discovery Incorporated – a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the concept of Revitalizing Excitement Around Literacy for youth throughout the metropolitan Detroit area through innovative, entertaining, as well as, creative programming and special events celebrating exposure to the Literary and Communication Arts. She attended Central State and Wayne State Universities respectively. A wife and mother, Tracie resides in her home town of Detroit, Michigan with her family.

Tracie E. Christian, Author of: The Black College Sabbatical – FALL QUARTER (

The Black College Sabbatical – WINTER QUARTER (
Urban Verses: Poetry To Make You Say Hmmm…. (
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Watch Me by Brenda Novak

Watch Me (Last Stand Trilogy Series #3)
by Brenda Novak

Teenagers Sheridan Kohl and Jason Wyatt were parked at the lake in Whiterock, Tennessee, when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot them both. Sheridan lived but Jason died—and the stranger was never caught. Even though Sheridan’s family moved away right afterward, she’s never been able to put the crime behind her.

And now that someone doesn’t want her to come home. Because of a new development in the case, Sheridan returns to Whiterock. But when she’s attacked a second time, it’s only because of Jason’s stepbrother, Cain Granger, that she survives—and Cain’s the last person she wants to face. If not for their history, if not for her, Jason wouldn’t have been in that parked car.
Cain knows that whoever killed his brother probably isn’t a stranger at all. But figuring out that person’s identity is easier said than done—especially since the killer seems to be taunting them both: watch me.
ISBN: 0778325261
ISBN-13: 9780778325260
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 440pp
Publisher: Harlequin

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Parenting: Miracle of Me: From Conception to Birth

Miracle of Me: From Conception to Birth
by Amy B. Pedersen, Betty Hood (Designed by

Discover life in the womb from the babys perspective!

The news of a baby on the way can bring a range of emotions! For some immense joy and happiness, and for others mixed emotions. Because not all expectant parents are inclined to pick up technical manuals and brochures about fetal development, the author uses simple language and poetry to help foster an early bond between mother and child. While the book is written in a way that is both entertaining and educational, the real brilliance of this work is that it is relevant to a variety of audiences it’s simple enough for children, and informative for expectant parents as well.

Written from the unborn baby’s point of view, The Miracle of Me underscores the reality that life begins at the moment of conception and gives the child a voice. It features a weekbyweek account of how the baby grows and develops using rulers and scales as well as real inutero photography, including famous photos from Lennart Nilsson;s collection to visually mark the baby’s progress making it easy for the expectant parents to connect with their baby. And because the contents of the book are medically sound, it has been endorsed by many in the medical field, including Dr. Gerry Sotomayor, OBGYN and Founder of Babies for Life Foundation.

The Miracle of Me is an entertaining yet educational resource that captures the wonder of human life in the womb.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 1598727389
ISBN-13: 9781598727388
Format: Other Format, 40pp
Publisher: Marian Press

Amy B. Pedersen Biography
Amy B. Pedersen received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Georgia and a Master’s degree in Marketing from Georgia State University. She has worked at several advertising and promotional agencies in Atlanta. She is an active member and volunteer of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Marietta, Georgia. She has been married to Jonathan Pedersen for eleven years and they are the proud parents of their own two young miracles.

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Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Jack Travis leads the uncomplicated life of a millionaire Texas playboy. He makes no commitments, he loves many women, he lives for pleasure. But no one has ever truly touched his heart or soul. Until one day, a woman appears on his doorstep with fury on her face and a baby in her arms.

It seems Jack is the father and this woman is the baby’s aunt. The real mother has abandoned the child to her more responsible sister. And now, Jack is being called upon to take responsibility for the first time in his life. With delicious romantic tension, characters so real they walk onto the page and into your heart, Lisa Kleypas delivers the kind of novel that makes you laugh, love; cry and cheer.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0312351666
ISBN-13: 9780312351663
Format: Hardcover, 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: March 2009

Publishers Weekly
Ella Varner grew up with a troublesome mother and an insecure sister, but she has managed to come out of it reasonably sane, with a good (if vegan) boyfriend, Dane, and a job as an advice columnist. All of this gets turned upside down when her sister disappears and sticks Ella with her newborn, Luke. Determined to find Luke’s father, Ella tracks down a likely suspect-millionaire playboy Jack Travis. The encounter results in Travis and Ella unexpectedly engaged in an irrepressible attraction. Meanwhile, Ella grows fond of baby Luke and fears what will happen when Tara returns. As Ella grapples with conflicting desires, she learns some important lessons about love and trust. Though Kleypas has trouble breaking her male characters out of archetype and the arc is familiar, Ella’s familial dysfunction distinguishes her from other heroines, and her self-awareness draws her out of a stereotypical shell. This will please romance fans, even if it hews a bit too closely to genre conventions. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Lisa Kleypas Biography
Lisa Kleypas is the RITA-Award winning author of 20 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.

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Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl

Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way
by Ruth Reichl

Bestselling author Ruth Reichl examines her mother’s life, giving voice to the universal unarticulated truth that we are grateful not to be our mothers

In Not Becoming My Mother, bestselling author Ruth Reichl embarks on a clear-eyed, openhearted investigation of her mother’s life, piecing together the journey of a woman she comes to realize she never really knew. Looking to her mother’s letters and diaries, Reichl confronts the painful transition her mother made from a hopeful young woman to an increasingly unhappy older one and realizes the tremendous sacrifices she made to make sure her daughter’s life would not be as disappointing as her own.

Growing up in Cleveland, Miriam Brudno dreamed of becoming a doctor, like her father. But when she announced this, her parents said, “You’re no beauty, and it’s too bad you’re such an intellectual. But if you become a doctor, no man will ever marry you.” Instead, at twenty, Miriam opened a bookstore, a profession everyone agreed was suitably ladylike. She corresponded with authors all over the world, including philosophers such as Bertrand Russell, political figures such as Max Eastman, and novelists such as Christopher Marlowe. It was the happiest time of her life.
Nearly thirty when she finally married, she fulfilled expectations, settled down, left her bookstore behind, and started a family. But conformity came at a tremendous cost. With labor-saving devices to aid in household chores, there was simply not enough to do to fill the days. Miriam—and most of her friends—were smart, educated women who were often bored, miserable, and silently rebellious.

On what would have been Miriam’sone hundredth birthday Reichl opens up her mother’s diaries for the first time and encounters a whole new woman. This is a person she had never known. In this intimate study Reichl comes to understand the lessons of rebellion, independence, and self-acceptance that her mother—though unable to guide herself—succeeded in teaching her daughter.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 1594202168
ISBN-13: 9781594202162
Format: Hardcover, 128pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: April 2009

Publishers Weekly
The slender size of Reichl’s memoir of her late mother’s life belies its powerful tale of a young woman, Miriam Brudno, who bowed to societal and familial pressure to become a wife and a mother over pursuing a fulfilling career. While Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, is well known for writing about her culinary adventures (Tender at the Bone; Garlic and Sapphires), this beautifully crafted homage follows a more personal path as she pushes past “Mim Tales”-stories she told about her mother to entertain her readers and friends-to dive deep into her mother’s diaries and letters, paying tribute to a woman who was raised when “good women didn’t work if they didn’t have to.” So Miriam Brudno struggled to fit the mold of the perfect housewife, until she finally told a friend, “Who cares about menus… when there are so many more interesting things to think about?” When Reichl discovers an unopened letter to herself, she reads that her mother “was cheering me on and pointing out that I had an obligation, both to myself and to her, to use my life well.” Reichl has created a masterful portrait of a mother-daughter relationship that will resonate with readers across generations. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ruth Reichl Biography
Take equal parts family history and food history, simmer with humor, and you get Ruth Reichl’s irresistible, self-styled genre: the culinary confessional (recipes included). In her two bestselling memoirs, Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples, renowned restaurant critic turned editor-in-chief at Gourmet magazine Ruth Reichl proves she understands herself — and human nature — as well as she does food.

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Blind Fall by Christopher Rice

Blind Fall by Christopher Rice

From three-time New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice — whose novels have been called “bold and ambitious” by The New York Times, “chillingly perverse” by USA Today, and “shocking, sexy…intricate” by Glamour — comes this startling psychological thriller about an Iraq War vet who seeks redemption and revenge when a fellow Marine he failed to protect during the war is brutally murdered.

John Houck became a Marine to become a hero. But his life changed when he failed to notice an explosive device that ended up maiming the captain of his Force Recon Company, a respected Marine who nearly sacrificed himself to save John’s life.

Home from Iraq, John pays a visit to his former captain, only to discover the captain has been gruesomely murdered. John pursues a strange man he sees running from the scene, but he discovers that Alex Martin is not the murderer. Alex is, in fact, the former captain’s secret male lover and the killer’s intended next victim.

When it becomes clear that local law enforcement has direct connections to the murder itself, John realizes that to repay his debt of honor, he must teach Alex Martin how to protect himself, even if that means teaching Alex to kill. In the process, John confronts the painful truth about the younger brother he was unable to protect and the older sister he always felt he failed.

Blind Fall is a story of honor and integrity, of turning failure into victory. It is a stunning departure for Christopher Rice: the story of two men, one a Marine, one gay, who must unite to avenge the death of the man they both loved — one as a brother-in-arms, one as a lover — andto survive.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0641946031
ISBN-13: 9780641946035
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group

Christopher Rice Biography
Christopher Rice is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Density of Souls and The Snow Garden. The son of author Anne Rice and the late poet Stan Rice, he lives in Los Angeles.

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Pursuit by Karen Robards

Pursuit by Karen Robards

New York Times-bestselling author Karen Robards weaves a complex tale of political conspiracy and a steamy love affair, in her sizzling new novel Pursuit.

W hen rookie lawyer Jessica Monaghan gets the call from John Riordan, the senior partner at the illustrious law firm for which she works, she thinks the plum assignment he offers her might be a life-changing moment. And she’s right, it is-only not in the way she hopes. It’s late on a Saturday night, and Riordan is busy-and, Jess can tell, well on his way to being drunk. He needs Jess to meet First Lady Annette Cooper, for whom Riordan is a personal lawyer, at a Washington, D.C., hotel. Jess is thrilled: This high-profile assignment must mean she’s on her way to bigger things. But bigger isn’t always better.

Jess doesn’t remember much; only that in the course of the meeting with Annette Cooper she ended up in the backseat of a speeding car. All she knows is that the car crashes en route, killing the First Lady. Badly injured, Jess is the only survivor of what is trumpeted around the world as a tragic accident.

Although she has no memory about the events leading up to the accident, Jess still wonders: Was it really an accident? The FBI agent on the case, Mark Ryan, senses Jess is hiding something. As Ryan’s suspicions grow, Jess’s world starts falling apart. Riordan suddenly dies of a heart attack, and his personal secretary also dies in a car accident on the way to his funeral. In fact, everyone who might possibly know the details about the First Lady’s meeting is dead. And then Jess understands: if she remembers that night, she’ll be dead too.

Terrified and certainthe First Lady’s death was no accident, Jess has only Mark Ryan to turn to. . . .

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0399155422
ISBN-13: 9780399155420
Format: Hardcover, 384pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: March 2009

Publishers Weekly
Jessica Ford is a young lawyer trying to rise in a powerful Washington, D.C., law firm. Her life gets thrown for a loop when she gets into a car accident that kills the first lady. Jessica wakes in the hospital to find someone trying to kill her as well-tipping her off that the crash wasn’t just an accident and she never should have survived it. In steps Secret Service agent Mark Ryan, the head of the first lady’s security detail. As bodies start piling up around Jessica, she and Mark have no one to turn to except each other, and as the conspiracy begins to point to some very high places, the duo begin to realize the key to saving their lives is locked away in Jessica’s memories. Jessica and Mark make a superb team, and even if their romance feels tacked on and the big twist contrived, Robards’s fans will enjoy this fast-paced and action-packed romantic thriller. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Karen Robards is the author of more than twenty-two novels, most recently the New York Times bestseller Guilty.

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What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America’s favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.

What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas . . . not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.

It’s a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie’s nonsupporting cast doesn’t help. There’s Bram’s punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie’s own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband’s new wife, who can’t get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world—the bitch. As for Georgie’s leading man, Bram’s giving the performance of his life, but he’s never cared about anyone except himself, and it’s not exactly clear why.

Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0061351504
ISBN-13: 9780061351501
Format: Hardcover, 400pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: January 2009

Publishers Weekly
Phillips (It Had to Be You) makes old Hollywood gossip new again in this over-the-top, hot-under-the-sheets rom-com. Sitcom Skip and Scooter co-stars Georgie York, who like her character exudes spunky charm, and Bram Shepard, whose upbringing couldn’t be more different from the nice boy he plays, hate each other even before Bram’s offscreen sexual escapades lead to the sitcom’s cancellation. Flash forward eight years: his career has cratered, and her biggest accomplishment has been briefly marrying hunky star Lance Marks, who abandons her for sex-goddess-turned-international-do-gooder Jade Gentry. So when Bram and Georgie wake up from a Vegas bender and find themselves married to each other, they make the most of it: Georgie aims to undo the damage Lance has done to her heart and her public image, while Bram is gunning for a second chance at life, love and stardom. It’s a blast to watch the hate-each-other-yet-made-for-each-other couple as they duck paparazzi or spar before falling into bed. In this massively entertaining romp, redemption is always possible, and even a fake Hollywood couple trapped in a pretend marriage might find true love. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Biography
Called “the crown jewel of romantic comedy writers” by Book Page, Susan Elizabeth Phillips has become famous for her sparkling plots, colorful secondary characters, and protagonists’ obstacle-ridden paths to true love in books like This Heart of Mine and First Lady.

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Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr

Paradise Valley (Virgin River Series)
by Robyn Carr

Marine corporal Rick Sudder is home early from Iraq—his tour ended abruptly on the battlefield. The carefree boy is gone, replaced by a man who believes his future is as bleak as his mirror image. But can the passion and commitment of a young woman who has never given up on him mend his broken body and shattered heart?

As the people of Virgin River rally around Rick, another recent arrival tests the tightly knit mountain town’s famous welcoming spirit. Dan Brady has a questionable past, and he’s looking for a place to start over. He’d like it to be Virgin River…if he can find a way in. But he never expects to find it in the arms of a woman who was as much an outcast as himself.

For a favorite son returned from war and an outsider looking for a home, Virgin River offers them a chance to make peace with the men they once were…and to find the dreams they thought they’d lost.

Kristin Ramsdell – Library Journal
Lance Corporal Rick Sudder returns from Iraq missing a leg and his sense of perspective. Angry and not wanting to be a burden, he tries to drive everyone away-especially Liz, his high school sweetheart and the girl he had planned to marry. But Liz is not about to give up on him, even when he breaks her heart all over again. As compelling as Liz and Rick’s story is, it is just one of many woven into the rich tapestry of the tightly knit Virgin River community. Seventh in the warm, realistic, Northern California-set series, this complex story revisits familiar characters in a town that both welcomes fans and invites new readers to stay a while. Las Vegas-based Carr (Temptation Ridge) has hit her stride with this captivating series.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0778326640
ISBN-13: 9780778326649
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416pp
Publisher: Mira
Pub. Date: April 2009

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The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music
by Steve Lopez

From the Publisher
A moving story of the remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musician-destined to be a major motion picture from DreamWorks, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles’ skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard-ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans-until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there.

Over time, Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers’s life. Lopez collects donated violins, a cello, even a stand-up bass and a piano; he takes Ayers to Walt Disney Concert Hall and helps him move indoors. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. In the process of trying to save Ayers, Lopez finds that his own life is changing, and his sense of what one man can accomplish in the lives of others begins to expand in new ways.

Poignant and ultimately hopeful, The Soloist is a beautifully told story of friendship and the redeeming power of music.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0641997051
ISBN-13: 9780641997051
Format: Paperback, 304pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: September 2008

The Washington Post – Daniel J. Levitin
Lopez is a natural storyteller, giving us a close-up view of the improbable intersection of musicianship, schizophrenia, homelessness and dignity. The result is a surprisingly lively page-turner, propelled by the close friendship developing between these two men and filled with eloquent passages…The Soloist goes a long way toward explaining the workings of the musical mind, albeit one tragically touched by madness. It doesn’t shy away from exploring the failures of governmental programs and mental health services for the needy, but it does so without preaching and finger-pointing. It doesn’t editorialize; like good music, it just is.

Buzz Bissinger
Written with elegant spareness, there are no punches pulled in this portrait of Nathaniel Ayers, but God do you root and hope and pray for him. Many books claim to be about redemption and the affirmation of the human spirit, but they are false gospels. The Soloist is singularly and unforgettably true in all respects. (Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights)

Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the fact that William Hughes is an accomplished musician and a political science professor allows him to slip so easily into both the voice of free-associating, schizophrenic, homeless musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, and the more professional voice of LA Times columnist Lopez. Lopez stumbles across Ayers playing his violin on the street a few blocks from his downtown office and writes a column about him that piques the public’s interest. This begins an inspiring tale of a friendship rife with triumphs, disappointments, and human kindness. Hughes reads Lopez’s narration with the casual authority of one telling his own story. When the dialogue is Ayers’, Hughes makes a subtle but effective vocal shift to make him sound more loose and free, but also more anxious. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 18). Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Barry Zaslow – Library Journal
By turns harrowing, winsome, and inspiring, this work by novelist (In the Clear) and Los Angeles Times columnist Lopez relates the first two years of his friendship with Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. A budding string genius at Juilliard in the early 1970s, Ayers succumbed to paranoid schizophrenia and became homeless, yet he continued to play the violin as a way to keep the demons at bay. With the help of Lopez and others who responded to his columns, Ayers took steps to recovery, residing in a group facility, making trips to Disney Hall for concerts, and achieving the dream of having his own music studio. The tangle of mental health policies and government priorities comes in for a thorough drubbing, as does the callous disregard for students’ personal situations at many elite institutions, at least at the time Ayers was enrolled. Lopez’s newspaper experience serves him well, and both he and his subject come across as fully developed individuals. A deeply moving story; highly recommended for all collections and of special interest to those dealing with the intersections of music and psychology or therapy. [See Prepub Alert, LJ12/07; The Soloist is being made into a DreamWorks film starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.-Ed.]

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Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend

Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend
by Bill Russell, Alan Steinberg

In the tradition of Tuesdays With Morrie and Big Russ and Me, basketball legend Bill Russell pays homage to his mentor and coach, the inimitable Red Auerbach; it’s the story of an unlikely and enduring friendship set against the backdrop of the greatest basketball dynasty in NBA history.

When Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics in 1957 as the nation’s first prominent black basketball star, he was not expecting much from coach Red Auerbach. Despite two national college championships and an Olympic gold medal, Russell’s previous coaches-all whites-had barely spoken to him. Russell’s style was unorthodox, redefining the meaning of defense and offense, and many scouts dismissed him.

Yet Auerbach, the Jewish outsider in Irish Boston, immediately took to Russell, the African American from Louisiana and Oakland, and he was a coach like no other. Auerbach listened to his players, experimented freely, and knit together a team based only on results. Together they made sports history, winning 11 championships in 13 years. Along the way, Auerbach elevated Russell to player-coach, the first African-American coach in league history. Together, they battled prejudice both on and off the court, and created a team chemistry for the ages.

Even this glory is surpassed by another, little known aspect of their relationship: they became lifelong friends. As Russell explains, they were prepared for each other by their fathers, both strong men who loved their sons unconditionally. They both intuitively understood the dynamics of male friendship: there are many things left unsaid, but there is always understanding and respect. Over the many years since Russell retired from the Celticsand moved to the west coast, they saw each other rarely but spoke on the phone regularly. They were always there for each other. As Auerbach fell ill and declined, Russell was there, knowing how to reach out while respecting his former coach’s privacy. When Auerbach passed away in October, 2006, Russell refused to speak publicly about a relationship that was so deeply personal. Here, he offers a tribute greater than any speech.

This is a book not just for sports lovers, not just for fathers and sons, but for male friendships of all shapes and sizes.

Buy the Book
ISBN: 0061766143
ISBN-13: 9780061766145
Format: Hardcover, 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: May 05, 2009

Bill Russell Biography
Bill Russell has had a Hall of Fame basketball career. He won eleven championships in thirteen seasons with the Boston Celtics and coached the team to two of those championships. He was named the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Champion by Sports Illustrated, and is the subject of an HBO documentary.

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Posted by on April 27, 2009 in Book Spotlights


Straw: Finding My Way by Darryl Strawberry

Straw: Finding My Way by Darryl Strawberry

Publishers Weekly
From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Strawberry was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball, a perennial All-Star who was dubbed “The Black Ted Williams.” Sadly, his effortless production on the field belied his troubles off it. Growing up in South Central L.A. with an abusive, negligent father left Strawberry unsure on “how to become a man,” and playing pro baseball provided the foundation and means to become an alcohol and drug addict. Thanks to Strawberry’s hard-living lifestyle, his attempts at domestic stability are colossal failures, and his halfhearted attempts at rehab lead to jail time and a damaged reputation. At his lowest point, Strawberry turns to God, leading him to redemption. The sheer turbulence of his life-which also includes two bouts of cancer in his 30s-certainly makes for a readable book, though not a probing one. The clichéd writing and Strawberry’s refusal to delve deeper into his past (a troubled older brother; his strained relationship with pro athlete son, DJ) make it hard to bond with Strawberry, and his newfound spirituality provides only another barrier. 16-page photo insert not seen by PW. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Buy the book
ISBN: 0061704202
ISBN-13: 9780061704208
Format: Hardcover, 256pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: April 28, 2009

Kirkus Reviews
A former major leaguer’s paint-by-numbers story of redemption. Strawberry-a New York Mets icon (he also played for the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees), eight-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion-was an enigma. Blessed with limitless talent but frequently injured, often standoffish with the media and occasionally at odds with teammates, he spent his potential hall-of-fame career logging more time in the trainer’s room and the courtroom than the outfield. Highly publicized legal drama-fueled by his addition to drugs, alcohol and women-followed him constantly. Twice divorced, Strawberry admits to following in his delinquent father’s footsteps and assaulting his first two wives-unlike his father, however, he never turned his wrath on his children. A career spent battling addiction reached its nadir with a colon cancer diagnosis in 1998. Forced to retire, Strawberry continued to self-destruct, squandering his fortune and serving time behind bars.

After blaming everyone from his abusive father to the vindictive media to his ex-wives, Strawberry finally began to take responsibility. He admitted his mistakes and, after finding God, got himself clean and on the path to recovery. He dedicated his life to his third wife, his five children and charitable causes, such as the Darryl Strawberry Foundation, which aids children with autism. Unfortunately, Strawberry won’t garner much sympathy from readers. His angst-filled insistences that he’s a good person with a bad addiction problem quickly wear thin, and his monotonous relapses are so predictable that one begins to wonder why so many people continued to aid him. There’s nothing original in this tale of woe, but it’s unlikely that thesporting public will ever tire of seeing its fallen heroes repent and make amends. Author appearances in Los Angeles and New York City.

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Business Spotlight: ESpiritE-Inspiration

Intimate Conversation with the founder of ESpiritE-Inspiration, Nesheba

Welcome Nesheba! Please tell us a little about your and your career path.
My evolutionary journey initiated with the following gifts writing, singing and dance. At some point I ventured into an IT / Telecommunications career for over 20 years. I consider IT / Telecommunications another gift but in the mist of this the first gifts lay dormate. Upon reflection at the end of 2006 I felt urged to return to the first gift writing and began writing What’s It All About Nesheba?

Ella: What exactly does your company do for the client?
Essential Spirit Enterprises, Inc. consists of the following divisions IT / Telecommunication, B2B Networking, and Entrepreneurial consulting services. Despite the competitive nature of these divisions I’ve incorporated spirituality and inspiration as a critical component thereby in fusing what normally isn’t associated with corporate business models. Our company assists clients by filling the gap and/or enhancing project objectives with internal and external teams.

As an example our company does consultation, project management, implementation and analysis for the best plan of attack on PBX to VOIP migration, IT / Telecommunication remote technical and software support, and Telecom Billing and more. Business analysis like call center transitions and operational management. Our B2B Networking consults on the benefits of networking and offers information, inspiration, resources, affiliate marketing associates and more. In addition we are an Amazon Associate.

Entrepreneurial services assists in directing and consulting entrepreneurs with information, resources, inspiration, encouragement, and motivation. In addition ESpiritE-Inspirations is the creative division for self-published book What’s It All About Nesheba? which is a 3 titled book collection series Purpose of the Journey, Ever Evolving, and Pressing On available formats Hardcover w/dust jacket and ebook available at Lulu and Color paperback, Amazon Inside the Book feature, and Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device available at Amazon and CreateSpace an Amazon Affiliate. The book is available as the complete collection and has individual books i.e. by title. I’m also in the process of having an enhanced ebook, CD and/or DVD version made.

Also, under ESpiritE-Inspirations, Nesheba of ESpiritE, Host on BlogTalkRadio

Ella: Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
My companies goal is to change the way consumers think by setting an example that a competitive nature isn’t and shouldn’t always be the rule of thumb. Spirituality, inspiration and encouragement, and collaboration should be the rule of thumb. Establishing good customer services and ethics are other components within this formula lead to what can set a company aside for others despite them being within the same industry. No more crabs at the bottom of the bucket seeking to eat the other company’s destruction, instead maybe sometimes reach out to co-venture to meet a common goal…

Ella: How did you get your start in this business/industry?
I’ve been apart of this industry for over 20+ years at various levels help desk operator, help desk & quality assurance team lead, transitional team lead, remote software technical support, to project manager.

Ella: Did you have any formal business training?
I’ve had a combination of OJT, training, and school.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
As noted above I seek to incorporate spirituality and inspiration at the base of whatever I do. People and clients have been draw to this nature by default.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as an entrepreneur?
It’s been very rewarding because you really get to establish the tone and vision without the red tape, policies, and/or politics. In addition a great deal of freedom to establish a trend, Statement, and vision.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
As it relates to IT / Telecom technology is constantly evolving daily by seeking to enhance our way of life which can ultimately leads to a better quality of life.

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
Realizing and admitting you can’t do everything and when you’re faced with a potential opportunity knowing that co-venturing and/or co-marketing is a very good option and resource to resolve this issue. Thereby, allowing you to take the opportunity for the benefit of all.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Pray first and know that God gave you the gifts to succeed and implement your dream and vision that HE gave to you. Let the Holy Spirit guide your hand in every step, place you’re unique edge to whatever it is. Know that God is with you every step of the way, allow your spirit of discernment to guide your path it’s very important as it relates to decisions. Check out the market place for a moment, don’t become over analytical if you do it can paralyze you. Keep things motion and if you become discouraged seek God and/or someone who understands your journey. Also, know there are times you may feel alone and when you have those moments know that God is with you.

ESpiritE-Inspirations, Nesheba of ESpiritE

Skype#: (630) 395-7826
Primary Website:
Ning Business Social Network:
Radio Broadcasters Network:

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Eradicating Domestic Violence by Michael Taylor

Eradicating Domestic Violence
by Michael Taylor

As the story of Chris Brown and Rihanna’s domestic dispute continues to make headlines, it brings attention to a very important challenge facing America today. Although the primary issue appears to be about men abusing women, the real tragedy is that men are abusing children in addition to abusing each other as well.

The real issue here is how do we eradicate violence all together? What can be done to keep men from killing each other and hurting the people they are supposed to love?

These are complex questions with no simple answers but I do believe that there are solutions to these challenges. It is my opinion that the first thing we must do is begin A New Conversation With Men. In this new conversation, men will recognize that what is needed is a new paradigm of masculinity. In this new paradigm men will begin an internal dialog that will assist them in understanding the origins of their behavior and how to change it. It will teach men the importance of understanding their emotions and how their emotions drive their behavior.

The primary message in this new conversation is that only a hurt person will hurt another person. This is the foundation of all violence. Hurt people hurting other people. Men hurt and unfortunately most of them are unconscious of the hidden pain in their hearts. Until we acknowledge this very simple fact we will never eliminate violence from our society. Some will interpret this as making excuses for the perpetrator, but the reality is, if we want to rid ourselves of violence we must address the emotional and psychological origins of that violence. At the core of all violent acts is the emotion of anger and to resolve violence we must understand it’s foundation. Men must learn that they can have unconscious hurts that cause them to hurt others and it isn’t until they heal that hurt that they can break the cycle of violence. This hurt is oftentimes generational and has been passed down from father to son. It is what is meant by the quote “The sins of the father will be passed on to the son.”

To break this cycle we must begin this new conversation. Men must be made aware of the fact that there is never justification for a man to physically hurt the people he is supposed to love and protect. They must hold themselves accountable for their actions and the only way for them to stop hurting others is to stop the pain that is hurting them. This means that they must engage in healing their emotions and coming to new understandings about what it means to be a man. As men gain these new understandings they must also learn the meaning of forgiveness and how forgiveness is the catalyst for their healing and transformation. Men must be willing to first and foremost forgive themselves for their shortcomings and secondly they must seek forgiveness from the people they have hurt. This does not mean that the victim will accept the men back into their lives, it means that the victims will be able to let go of any emotional pain that is left over from the initial physical pain. Forgiveness does not condone the act of violence it simply sets the victim free from it.

Violence is learned behavior, it isn’t genetic or biological. If it is learned, that means it can be unlearned. The key to this new learning is a new conversation with men.

Michael Taylor Biography
Michael Taylor is a self-educated entrepreneur, author, personal coach and radio show host. He is President & CEO of Creation Publishing Group, a company that publishes and promotes books and seminars that empower men to reach their full potential. He has been facilitating workshops and seminars for over fifteen years and he has inspired thousands through his books, seminars and radio program. He is a proud father of three grown children, is happily married and resides in Houston, Texas.

Book: A New Conversation with Men

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

Is it possible to: Teach men to become great fathers? Encourage men to become better husbands? Teach men to live with passion and purpose? Get men involved in improving their communities? Join entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and radio-show host Michael Taylor as he shares how creating a new paradigm of masculinity can help heal America.

This book is written to inspire men of all ethnicities, ages, socio-economic levels, and religions to come together to redefine manhood and to eradicate the multiplicity of challenges facing America today. Its intention is to remove the separation among men and remove the hatred, fear, and distrust that too many men feel about each other. It is a powerful, inspirational document written to educate, motivate, and inspire all men to reach their full potential. Join the conversation, and become a part of the revolution!

Buy the Book:

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Book Spotlight: Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down
by Anita Ballard-Jones
ISBN: 978-0-9729455-3-0

Josey was pregnant, struggling to overcome her cocaine addiction, and determined her baby would not be born an addict like her second daughter, Kelly. After three attempts to clean up, Sabur, Josey’s husband continued offering her an endless supply of cocaine to keep her under his control. Finally, Josey ran away and with the help of Sabur’s mother, Sadie, she entered a long term rehabilitation facility and vowed never to return to Sabur. The only problem was Sabur was a powerful and anonymous drug financier and Josey loved him more than she feared him. Did Josey want what Sadie wanted for her and her children? Did she just want Sabur to love her and change their way of life, or did she have a choice?

Dr. Pearson, Josey’s psychologist at the Springwood Rehabilitation Center , had no knowledge of Josey’s husband’s involvement in her repeated relapses. He had Josey seek the underlying cause for her substance abuse by having her return to her early years and relive her past by analyzing her old memories. Josey begins thinking back to her childhood, to when the horrors began; to a time when she and her brothers and sister had to fight most of their young lives for survival while their parents were strung out on heroine and had turned their apartment in a Brooklyn, New York housing project into a junkie’s hangout.

Josey faced many trials in her present life while struggling to overcome her addiction to cocaine. She became stronger each day and most of her strength came from the survival skills she developed in childhood. She tells a gripping story how everyone in her family had fallen down; of how her mother sliced her wrist in a suicide attempt and her six children had to try to save her until help arrived. How she and her baby sister delivered their baby brother on the living room sofa while their mother was high on heroine; then eleven years later they had to bury him after his death from AIDS. Josey tells how she prevented her own rape by a junky that frequented their apartment, and how she had to kill him. Josey pours her heart out telling of her horrific childhood and how drugs and the consequences of the drug culture destroyed her family.

While Josey was still at Springwood Rehab she decided to return to Sabur. She said he had changed and agreed to move the family from New York . He said he was leaving the business and Josey, his mother, their girls and their son would be safe. But before he could pick Josey up rehab he was killed in a suspicious car accident. Josey was devastated, but was left with millions of dollars. Finally, Josey, Sadie and Josey’s sister, Kim and the children moved to the northern suburb’s of New Orleans . Almost a year later Sabur returned. His identity had been surgically altered and his name had been changed. Josey was elated, and although Sadie was happy her son was still alive, she remembered what the real Sabur was like. She told him that she had set a plan in place that would destroy him should he hurt Josey again.

This novel tells the story of ten people who fell down and only seven of them got up again.

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The SISTAHS Ministry Video Showcase

About The SISTAHS Ministry International
The S.I.S.T.A.H.S. Ministry began in August, 2006 in Michigan and now has six other State Chapters (Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Tennessee) , as well as International Chapters in Nigeria and Italy. The S.I.S.T.A.H.S. Ministry is a women’s ministry whose main objective is uplift God through encouraging and edifying sisters to move forward in the blessings of the Lord.

The Ministry seeks to combine the gifts and talents given to women and teen girls of God (through the written Word, journalistic gifting, businesses and fellow ministries) in the upbuilding of God’s Kingdom and be a viable Christian women’s resource when one can find food for the soul, hope in the difficult times, and network to support the ministries of other women of God. As of October, 2008 the enlightening force of God’s Word through The SISTAHS Ministry stretched internationally into Torino, Italy and Nigeria, Africa.


Click on the link and upload your videos on our new website link:

EDC Creations Promotional Video

Enter the SISTAHS Social Network
Click Here

Peep the Blog entry entitled:
“Meet Patricia A. Bridewell author of Reflections of a Quiet Storm”

Peep the Blog entry entitled:
“Black Pearls Business Book: Let Go of Worry and Grow in Confidence”

Peep the Blog entry entitled:
“Black Pearls History: Freedom By Any Means by Betty Deramus “

Peep the Blog entry entitled:
“Custom Church Miss You Postcards”

Peep the Blog entry entitled:
“Exorcising the Writer’s Block Demon”

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Intimate Conversation with author Barbara Mix

Intimate Conversation with author Barbara Mix

Locks & Handcuffs by Barbara Mix
ISBN: 1592321135
ISBN-13: 9781592321131
Format: Paperback, 160pp
Pub. Date: February 2009

This is a wonderful novel about a successful woman of compassion and moral principles who happens to work for a prestigious law enforcement agency based in Chicago, Illinois who has found love under the most unusual circumstances. Imagine you are working for a federal law enforcement agency within the busy lockup unit. You view prisoners (some high profile individuals), marching by in orange jumpsuits all day and you hear the chatters of their dialogue, the smell of their daily stench as they all wait to appear before the judges in court. It is all second nature to Diamond Jackson, who works for the U.S. Marshals Service as a criminal specialist. Chicago s tough person, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force Deputy, Charles Laurent is Diamond s new boss.

Under Charles leadership as her supervisor, Diamond found Charles distant, rude and Unfriendly. Diamond is fascinated with the criminal justice system so she buries herself into her work by working late hours five days a week to keep up with her demanding workload. The attraction and tension between the both of them was becoming obvious each time he was explaining the different techniques to her. Charles placed his big masculine warm hands over Diamond hand. Diamond felt an electric pulsating shock all over her body as she focused on his sexy full lips as he spoke. Charles on the other hand found Diamond’s interest in learning the basic of Locksmith fascinating and unusual.

Locks and Handcuffs shows us by all accounts one woman who is successful, compassionate, caring and most of all her humanitarian ways tamed a man who was willing to following her around the world. The twist and turns unfold from Chicago, Georgia, Philadelphia, Paris andthe Principality of Monaco and all the way to the prestigious halls of the U.S. Congress. The magic of compassion, wit, intelligence and the difference that make all women unique and special brings two people together in the name of love.

Intimate Conversation with author Barbara Mix and Ella Curry

Author Barbara Mix Biography
Barbara Mix wrote her first manuscript at age sixteen. She is a devoted Christian and gives God all the glory for her creative ideas and talent. In addition, Ms. Mix is focused on charities, family, art, decorating, and traveling. Ms. Mix is currently working with and providing assistance and compassion to our country’s Veterans who have served this country with great pride and dignity. Ms. Mix resides in a suburb of Chicago and is currently working on her second novel.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I am from Chicago, IL. I began to write as a hobby as a teenager growing up on the westside of Chicago.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
My two main characters are Diamond Jackson and Charles Laurent. Diamond is a no-nonsense workaholic and a caring soul. She is also smart, intelligent and has a sense of humor. What I like about Charles is he appears to be this arrogant, high-ranking tough- guy law enforcement supervisor, but he really is a nice person who is unhappy.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
My book is informative and give a good inside glimpse of everyday life working in a law enforcement environment. And in addition, it is very detailed leading up to the dramatic romance between the two main characters.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
What I want my readers to gain from my book is that you never know where love will find you in life. If we are patient in waiting for love, it will come. God has someone special for each and every soul on earth. There is no such thing as a shortage. There is no shortage in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
It takes dedication and clear thinking to write a book. You need to be focused without any negativity in your life in order to create a novel.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? First I would say when I received my contract. Second when I had the final product in my hands. To see your name on the book cover or to type your name on the internet search engines and your name appears all over the world is really spectacular.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I would say think about the genre you are interested in writing. Be creative but original, have your own signature style of writing. I also would add that you should write everyday if you can and please do your research.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
A creative and brilliant mind

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
Well I am finishing my second novel. I hope my audience will enjoy my next book as well as the first one.

Contact Information: Email:

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Intimate Conversations with author Bonnie Hopkins

Intimate Conversations with author Bonnie Hopkins

Bonnie Hopkins is a mother, grandmother, mentor, and writer, who resides in the Houston, Texas area where writing is her second career. She is surprised that God has called her into a writing ministry, but knows why, and her books poignantly reflect that. Bonnie also mentors a group of aspiring writers.

Bonnie’s debut novel, “Seasons”, has blessed countless readers – many who admit to reading it over and over. She is prayerful that her subsequent books will have the same effect.

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
I basically stumbled into writing after retiring to pursue a new venture. Since I started writing, I am now convinced that writing is God’s purpose for my life. I am joy-filled, peaceful and enthusiastic as I write – filled with the same emotions my characters are experiencing, and asking God to equip me with the capability to express those emotions through the story. My prayer is that readers will be blessed with an enjoyable, encouraging, inspiring and satisfying story.

Ella: Bonnie, give us the synopsis of the book being discussed today.

The title of the book is “Now and Then, Again”. Just as Savannah Sinclair begins to savor her new beginning, which includes taking a chance on a new relationship, a devastating demand from the past sends her reeling with shock. She is challenged to WALK her Christian TALK.

But strongholds of hurt, unforgiveness, anger and fear, – hidden in the rut of her soul, – hold her captive and Vann admits defeat to these rut buddies when she fails the ultimate Christian tests of love, forgiveness and faith. I offer this story to readers who need to escape their own ruts and discover God’s power to reach into the past and bring restoration and renewal into the present.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I write from a foundation of Christian principles from the Word of God, life experiences and observations. My stories are centered around real, relative life issues that readers can easily identify with. My heartfelt desire is for my books to encourage, inspire and motivate readers to keep looking to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of their faith. My books ring with the fundamental message and assurance that when a chapter closes in our lives, we can trust God for a new beginning because in Him there is always a hope and a future.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
My two main characters are Savannah and Mitch, both of whom are Christians, but are struggling with failures in their Christian walk and in relationships. I like their willingness to admit their failures, repent, and apply their strength, wisdom and determination to their desire to please God in all they do.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I would like readers to turn the last page of my books filled with encouragement and the assurance that God never forsakes His children; as well as the renewed trust that nothing is ever over until He says it is over.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I would advise a new writer to remember 3 things: (1) A call to any vocation is a call for preparation in that field; (2) Seek God’s direction; (3) Learn everything you can about the publishing industry.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I am overjoyed to share that my second book, “Now and Then, Again” has finally released, and is available at book retailers as well as on-line.

Ella: What has been your most rewarding experience since publication?
My most rewarding experience(s) is when readers tell me how much my books blessed them, drew them closer to the Lord, or motivated them to make a Godly decision about a situation they were dealing with. This assures me I am fulfilling God’s purpose, and nothing is more joyful.

Contact Information:

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Intimate Conversation with author S.D. Denny

Intimate Conversation with author S.D. Denny and Ella Curry of EDC Creations

S.D. Denny, a native New Yorker, began writing short stories and poetry at a young age and has never stopped. She also enjoys traveling, history, cooking and photography. In addition to her debut novel, The Baker’s Dozen, she also authored an erotic anthology and is a contributing author to the forthcoming The Breakthrough: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology.

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
Writing is a way for me to “empty out” my emotions when I become full. It’s also therapeutic and a way for me to challenging myself daily. It has been an outlet for me since the moment I was able to form a sentence.

Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
…I have a voice that I’ve chosen to use for healing.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m from Brooklyn , NY . My writing journey began as a means of escape from the harsh realities I faced as a child growing up in a Brooklyn housing project. Short stories and poetry were my break away from reality.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new book.

Breanna Baker felt as though her life was under control as long as she was in control of her life, but the moment she makes the startling discovery that she’s five weeks pregnant, things start to spin out of control for sure. To add fuel to the fire already burning in her life, her grandmother passes away and she returns home where she’s compelled to turn her attention to issues other than her untimely pregnancy.

Breanna feels obligated to save everyone from themselves, but when she uncovers the dark secret that had been hidden by her family for years, she is forced to face herself in the mirror to discover a truth that must be reckoned with before she can go any further in her life.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
The cover art jumps out at you and intrigues you to pick it up and see what it’s all about. You look at the face of the girl and the puzzle pieces seem to fall away as though she’s breaking apart, but after you read the story you find that she’s coming together.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I wish to entertain as well as to inspire someone with hope and possibly motivate someone to take the first step toward healing a deeply rooted hurt in their life.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I would tell a new writer that the value of networking is beyond measure. Make as many contacts and resources as possible and learn as much as you can from them. Also, never give up on your dream – being a writer requires a great deal of hard work, but it’s rewarding if you truly love to write.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I hope to begin my next literary project as the new year rolls in. I’m eager for my next main character to be a bi-racial female. It’s going to be something very different that is sure to raise some eyebrows. I can’t wait!

Contact information for S.D. Denny

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Posted by on April 22, 2009 in Author Interviews


Part 1: The State of African American Relationships

Black Pearls Community Discussions: The State of African American Relationships

Part 1: Hosted by Dr. Niama L. Williams

Just some brief thoughts after crying while watching President Obama grace Ottawa. I love the way this man is received and loved the world over!!!!!

You’ve asked about the historiography and spirituality and the meaning of black womanness in the Americas. Let me begin by defining that huge word:

historiography: the writing of history ; especially : the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods (

Selecting particulars from the “authentic materials” and synthesizing those particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods is the primary work of a scholar.

My hypothesis, my belief about the rifts, gulfs and chasms that separate Black men and Black women are number one, those gulfs don’t really exist. We as Black women have been accused of emasculating our men, of raising them to victimize other women, of the ills and social maladies they perpetrate falling at our doorstep: we raised them so we are responsible for what they become.

Such thought simplifies the issue, the vast machinery at work to emasculate our men and victimize our women, and denies the fact that we as Black women have often, consistently and to our detriment, stood beside and defended our men.

Let’s go way, way back and look at the psychological dynamics at work when the journey of African people began in the Americas.

Point one: Many believe the history of Blacks in this country begins with enslavement. I demur: look at those Mesoamerican stone faces. African people beat the Vikings here. Those Mesoamerican stone faces have braids, wide noses and thick lips. AFRICAN!

Point two: Lying about the above and telling us that our history begins with enslavement is part of the dynamic at work to further enslave us and coddle our brains, trick us into enslaving ourselves.

We as Black women have walked a difficult minefield, mental, emotional and psychological, and we and our men have often been victims of what the enslavement system tried to do to us as proud African people.

We as a people were forced into a system in which an African man defending his woman or his children or his family members from any sort of brutality stemming from a white hand RISKED HIS LIFE or the lives of those he cared about or someone else in his community. DEATH could be the result, death or maiming or being separated for life, all lay at the end of the road of resistance.

Such a situation creates an incredible minefield the mind must walk. How defend those you love when they may not want you to because they know it could mean your death? How look into the eyes of those you love knowing that day in, day out, you must live with what is happening to your woman or your daughter or your son because resistance, as the Borg say, is futile?

A minefield for the male and for the female. She may say she does not want him to resist–because she knows it will mean his life or hers–but deep down, some part of her wants him to cut master’s manhood off and hang it from a spindle. How live with that rage and anger and pent up fury? The both of them?

A rift between Black men and Black women? Not all of the time. Many times we stayed together, fought to be and remain together, despite the odds, the weights, the tragedies, the sacrifices. We knew what it cost and we did it anyway. The rift occurred sometimes because we hurt and were angry and we couldn’t help blaming and wanting vengeance. Why didn’t he act ANYWAY, we Black women sometimes asked, even if it was only to ourselves. Even if he could only see the question in our eyes, screaming from deep within our souls.

This is why there will be no real healing of the African American or White soul in this country until the PSYCHOLOGICAL WEIGHT AND LEGACY for BOTH RACES of enslavement is dealt with on a MASS level. Until we deal with it psychologically, AS A NATION, there will be only a closing over of the wound (Obama), but no deep and necessary cauterizing and cleansing.

Now let’s bring this forward.

Enslavement ends, somewhat violently. Reconstruction. The rise of Black colleges. The rise of the Black female domestic. Black men are still a threat in the eyes of White America. Black women are still perceived as desirable and not as big a threat as Black men. Black women are able to be educated. Black women are able to work. Black women, in many instances, are able to provide for their families because they are seen as not as huge a threat, when their men find much more dehumanizing and much riskier work–riskier emotionally, and psychologically, especially in terms of self-esteem and behavior that might get one killed. Ever the threat of harm, ever the perception of “uppity nigga.”

Women can get away with more, but women have to put up with the constant threat of sexual attack, assault, innuendo, et cetera. For every domestic with a good relationship with “her white people,” there was another who had to put up with unwanted advances and/or plain old racist white behavior.

Resentment on both sides? You betcha. Women could always earn. It is even moreso the case now. More female Black college graduates even today. Black men needed more than ever in elementary and secondary schools, but school teaching still seen as “women’s work” unless you are in administration.

Is there a rift? I look at behaviors. Black women still, in large part, prefer Black men. The numbers of available, viable Black men are shrinking and shrinking criminally, so many Black women choose outside of the race because they want marriages and families and there are simply not enough Black men to go around.

White America has also done its bit to emasculate on several fronts. My wonderful significant other tells me (he is 77 years of age) that a significant element of that emasculation was LYING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF BLACK MEN AND WOMEN. “We,” he says, “were made to believe that we as Black people had contributed NOTHING to history. We were,” he says, “WRITTEN OUT OF HISTORY.” When he was growing up, they were convinced that Blacks had contributed nothing to world civilization. NOTHING.

A people with no history can be easily controlled. His generation was told nothing of what Blacks had contributed to the prosperity and greatness of THIS nation. Washington, D.C.? Designed by a Black man. The stoplight? Designed by a Black man. The first open-heart surgery, the first Blood transfusion? Black men.

The pyramids in Egypt? Egyptians were white, remember. Charleton Heston and Elizabeth Taylor remind us of that.

Black men of my significant other’s day were TRAINED to tip their hats to even WHITE CHILDREN and were called boy. Whites wanted to CONTROL African Americans and they contributed by writing us out of history and further emasculating our men.

How do we begin to heal the rift, imaginary though it might be?

Read some books, people; read some books!!!! Learn about your people; follow your history; understand where you came from; discover what people did to combat these dire historical circumstances so that you can look beyond what we are facing right now. So that you can look beyond with hope, plans, an agenda based in right, not criminality or subservience.

In this day and age we are a global economy and the fight is a global one. We can no longer fight on just one front; it is a multi-layered fight and one that has room for both genders. We need to help our Latinas deal with the misogynistic elements of their cultures just as we deal with the racist-imposed elements of our own and the misogynistic elements of Asian cultures popularized by the media–anyone see that episode of Numbers about brides for the dead?

Whites have begun to recognize the browning of realms of power and their children have already largely defected. Anyone see that episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent where the rich kid kills someone just to get his demanding English teacher fired because he’d heard his father complain that in a few years their elite prep school was going to look like National Geographic? It was compelling, watching this kid confess. He was proud because he’d accomplished, he thought, what his father and his father’s cronies had not–a strike toward keeping the school elitest and white, very white.

It was painful watching this kid’s father deny the words he’d said in private as they came spouting out of his son. I know many saw that story and thought twice.

In my classrooms, toward the end of my 15+ years as an adjunct professor, I began to see more and more children obviously of biracial descent. The tides ARE turning, but Black babies are still being born to Black parents, Black women and men are still finding and loving each other, and discussions still fill the airways aimed at discerning how, when, and why we can heal this imagined rift between the genders in Black America.


Dr. Niama L. Williams

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Intimate Conversation with author Steven Jackson

Intimate Conversation with author Steven Jackson

Prior to becoming an author Steven Jackson ventured into background acting landing work with Universal City Studio’s Production of “Friday Night Lights” directed by Peter Berg. He also worked on director Roland Emerich’s Production of “Day After Tomorrow”. As a writer Mr. Jackson worked for a local newspaper called, “Visions Metro Weekly” hired as a columnist.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey? A: First let me introduce myself. My name is Steven Jackson and I am a published writer with AuthorHouse Publishing Co. I was born in Harlem Hospital, I’m a Leo and I was raised in New York City. I first started writing screenplays while practicing as a license real estate broker and part time security investigator. At that time a good friend mentioned to me that he managed people who wrote stories for a living. Believing I had a story to tell, I decided to challenge myself and take on the task of writing about my experience with online dating. During that time people were meeting other people in Yahoo and AOL chat-rooms. Then there was a website called Matchdotcom. This website required you to fill out a profile of yourself and the website would match you up with a potential partner with a similar profile for you. That is where my story begins!

Ella: Steven, introduce us to your book. Is this a true story?
INSTANT MESSAGE (IM);ISBN: 9781420824902;non fiction
Based on true events, INSTANT MESSAGE (IM) – is filled with sex, lies and hatred! It will take you through the lives of an interracial couple who met online and fall in love. This interracial couple is faced with public prejudice and family persecution in a small southern hick-town called Cullman, Alabama!

Ella: I am from Alabama and very much aware of Cullman. Tell us about the your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
A: My first main character, MALIK, is a young man from New York City. He’s a professional agent who owns a real estate firm. Unhappy with his social life and believes his soulmate can’t be found in the local bars, his gym class or at his church, he wants to look else where. One day a commercial appears on the television advertising an online dating website called Matchdotcom. From there Malik decides to use this website and the internet chat rooms to find his true love. Not knowing how far he had to travel or if his quest for true love will lead him into danger.

My second main character, ELIZABETH, is a young woman from a small confederate town in the state of Alabama. She’s a stay at home mom with a husband and three children. Somewhat content, but bored with her everyday living, Elizabeth ventures into a chat room just to pass time. Her quest for entertainment leads her into a unique situation outside her normal social encounters.

What I like most about these two characters is the fact that they are perfect examples of real life people who thirst for change and opportunity to fill a void in their love lives. These two characters are willing to sacrifice everything they have for the sake of true love.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
A: Look! I believe all people share some form of social commonality and can identify with personal needs, wants and desires in others that they themselves may crave for. Most human beings thirst for love and affection and some will do just about anything or go just about any where to get it. I believe people love to see others get what they want in life. This book will share with your readers how two individuals ventured into the unknown just to satisfy their pursuit for happiness. You will also experience the pros and cons of online dating through the eyes of my main characters and real life individuals who give their testimony. Like I said this book is based on true events.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
A: People who haven’t found their true love or better yet their soulmate should explore outside the box of normality with carefulness. People who use online dating as a means of connecting with others should do so in a safe way just as they did when they went into public places like the bars, clubs and laundromats. The difference here is that life threatening situations can hide behind a screen name just like it does with a face-to-face smile encounter. Over all there are millions of singles who have actually found true love from online dating and most people are not aware of how deep this is.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
A: The dimension of words is incredible.

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer? A: Doors have opened up to me in many forms. Because of my this book I was hired as an “Arts and Entertainment” columnist for a local newspaper, interviewing artists in the entertainment industry. The book is being considered as a book to film project. So I believe hard work brings about positive results.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
A: Write from the heart and stay true to yourself. Write about things you know and don’t listen to negative talk from people who say you’re wasting your time trying to become a writer. Use that hate talk as a form of encouragement to succeed and do what they say you can’t do!

Ella: Would you change anything about your journey?
A: There is always room for improvement but at this stage in time…I would change nothing!

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
A: (1) Being a good story teller, (2) Devotion to writing, (3) Effective marketing along with perseverance and prayer.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: A best seller and my work being created for motion picture.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, events or upcoming book releases.
A: Right now I’m working on a long over due book titled, “Numbers…A Gangsta’s Child”. Something like a book form documentary on a gangster from New York who happens to be a woman. A very interesting story based on true events. Lastly, I’m scheduling book signings for the summer book fairs, book expos in New York, Tampa and Oakland.

I really want to thank you for this interview, your time and patience! I really had a good time with you!

Published Author: Steven Jackson
ISBN: 9781420824902

Myspace page:

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Intimate Conversation with author Martha A. Taylor

Intimate Conversation with author Martha A. Taylor

Ella: Hello Martha! Tell us a little about you and your book.
My writing career has been, until the last few years, one of those “don’t quit your day job arrangements”. Having made my living as a tax professional, I found early on that my creative writing skills came in handy when I had to write client letters to the IRS.

Ella: Answer this for us: Why am I powerful?
I am powerful because I never once accepted there were things in this world I could not overcome; I could not conquer; I could not embrace.

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


Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha’s natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone’s life changed forever.Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times – a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color. The year was 1956.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
I hope the cover represents the book well. I wanted it to preview the contents and draw the reader inside. It makes the reader curious.

Ella: Do you think we should celebrate Black History 365 days a year? Why?
Black History should be a daily celebration. Everyone should celebrate the sacrifices that have been made for the sake of freedom. Black History has rich roots that have woven the very fabric of equality. It has positioned every Black American to make history and not just be a part of history.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Ultimately, if you lived through the 60’s, I want you to revisit all the history that decade produced. If you weren’t alive in the 60’s, you need to learn about that decade from someone who had a ringside seat.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The most important thing I have learned from writing books is that its not just words on a page. It becomes a creation from your heart. With my first book I discovered it could be a very personal journey that you shared with only your readers.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
There are so many things I would share with a new writer but these are my top three.

#1- Pick a topic you know well or that you have enough interest in to do the research.
Most new writers write on subjects that are mostly autobiographical in nature. There’s a reason for that.

#2-Don’t write and rewrite your work. Complete it, start to finish, then go back through it with fresh eyes. You won’t loose your chain of thought and you won’t loose your momentum. This tip will really improve the flow of your work.

#3- You have to be true to your characters- even the ones you do not like. Your readers have to be able to relate to them on some level. You want someone to be able to “see” your characters and think, “Yeah, I know someone like that.”

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I am very committed to the Boyd’s and bringing the various family stories to life. The next book, Dixie, will begin right before the Civil War and end at 1900. I can hardly to see how the historical events of those years will unfold and how they will effect the Boyd’s.

Buy the Book:

Martha A. Taylor, Author
“In the Land of Cotton”

Racism from the perspective of an innocent white girl who learns firsthand how absurd it is. Book Review by; See all my reviews (TOP 50 REVIEWER, Amazon)

The innocence of youth is a beautiful thing, it is refreshing to witness and gives the world so much, except when it is a young white girl being exposed to a poor black family in the southern United States in the 1950’s. In that context, it could have meant the death of some of the participants.

Martha was a young white girl who bonded with her black maid when her parents were generally absent. Her natural curiosity and openness led her to an enclave of an extended black family living in primitive conditions. Martha was quickly “adopted” by the family, as they allowed her to be a part of their activities and she responded in kind. Martha’s parents were racist and she maintained her relationship with the black group in secret for many years and even over great distances.

Martha also fell in love with Silas, first a playmate from the black family, then a companion and eventually a fiance. Silas was extremely intelligent and handsome and when he was old enough, he went off to school in Chicago and then joined the military, becoming a helicopter pilot flying rescue missions in Vietnam. Silas is seriously injured and Martha rushes to his bedside to take care of him.

One simple, yet significant scene is when a white soldier in the hospital wing with Silas objects to the black-white relationship. Another white soldier immediately responds, telling the white soldier, “That man saved my life, he can have whatever girlfriend he wants.” The history of the civil rights movement, from the Rosa Parks refusal through the assassination of Martin Luther King is chronicled and placed in context.

Therefore, the story has two significant and complex tracks. The story of two people who grow to love each other within the bounds of a truly extended “family” and the broader context of the segregation of the south and how it was finally and thankfully forever broken. Given that the names of the title character and the author are identical, it seems clear that the book is an autobiography, which increases the power of the depiction of the events.

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Having Babies By Bums: 10 Rules Every Woman Must Follow

Intimate Conversation with author M.R. Webb

M.R. Webb is a self-described “bastard child” who spent his formative years growing up on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. “When my mother had me she was a young 20 year-old, no high school diploma, unemployed and on welfare. My father was 19 years-old; at the time of my birth he was sitting in a prison cell awaiting his fate for nearly killing a man.” These were the dismal set of circumstances that served as the backdrop for the portrait of Webb’s life.

Webb says that it was only God’s grace that allowed him to escape the pitfalls of drugs and street violence, earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications from a top ranking university, and then go on to obtain his Juris Doctor of Law Degree. Today, Webb is a senior executive at a consulting firm in the Northeast.

Ella Curry of EDC Creations chats with M.R. Webb

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because…
I am Powerful because… I realize that there is a power greater than myself.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I’m from Brooklyn, New York. My writing journey started as a child in elementary school. Writing became my medium for expressing my thoughts. I started competing locally and nationally in original oratory, poetry, and essay contests in junior high school. The rest is history.

Ella: Please introduce us to your fantastic new book.
My new book Having Babies By Bums: 10 Rules Every Woman Must Follow To Avoid Choosing A Terrible Father For Her Child is a meaningful conversation and exchange of ideas between myself and women. The writing of this book was prompted by two life-changing events that occurred almost simultaneously last year. In August, I almost lost my life in a near fatal car accident. Several weeks later my 15 year-old niece gave birth, took her baby, and ran away with the father who was a much older man. I felt that I needed to record these thoughts that would outlive me and possibly help my niece and other women make better decisions about the men they choose as partners and fathers for their children.

This book draws upon my life’s experiences as the son of a BUM, my friendships with many men who are BUMS, and my relationships, conversations, and observations of the many women that have been my friends, “sisters”, confidants, teachers, and even lovers over the last twenty years.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
The honesty and relevance of the subject matter of this book makes it a must-have. Every day women are recklessly having children by “BUMS” who are mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and financially incapable of caring for those children. It’s become an epidemic in our society. This book offers very sincere and candid advice to women about “Recognizing Bums”, “Staying Single and Not Settling”, and “Recognizing the Bum Within Themselves.”

Having Babies By BUMS snatches current events from today’s headlines such as the Chris Brown-Rihanna domestic violence case, Octo Mom (Nadya Suleman), the Cassie Anthony case, and even First Lady Michelle Obama’s relationship with her daughters to share powerful life lessons with both women and men.

Having Babies By BUMS is a unique and powerful book because it offers women honest, practical, and life changing guidance on how to choose a quality man to have a child with. The book details characteristics in certain men that women should see as WARNING! signs, offers sound advice to women who have children about “Raising men not BUMS” and “Treating their daughters like children and not their girlfriends.” Most importantly, this book empowers and encourages women to engage in self-reflection and self-evaluation of their own lives in order to identify, deal with, and get rid of their habits and characteristics that attract BUMS!

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
My only goal in writing this book was to provoke thought in women regarding why and how they choose the potential fathers of their children. If the book inspires women to be more cautious, concerned, and careful when selecting their partners- then that goal has been accomplished.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The amount of dedication it takes to make the journey from a having a concept for a book in your head to holding that book in your hand. It’s an amazing trip!

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I believe that Having Babies By BUMS is my most significant achievement thus far.

Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
I often encourage new writers to be like Virginia Woolf. I tell them to find a “room of their own” and create writings that express their true inner voice.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
A passion for writing.
A desire to be heard.
A comprehensive knowledge of the literary business.

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
You can look for more books from me that offer readers a different literary experience. You can also expect other outstanding authors to be published by King of Kings Publishing.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I’m looking forward to meeting readers, fellow authors, and publishers at the National Black Book Festival in Houston and the Harlem Book Festival in New York.

Contact Information:
M.R. Webb, Author

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Make The Dream Happen by Pamela Samuels Young

Make The Dream Happen by Pamela Samuels Young

Do you ever fantasize about leaving your current career behind and pursuing something totally different? Perhaps you’ve thought seriously about it for a day or a week, but then the fear of leaving the virtual security of your current job floods your head with dozens of sound reasons why you should stay put. Whether your dream is to write a novel, start your own business or go back to school, you can make it happen. Here are five tips that will help you begin your journey.

1. Find Time To Plan Your Career Move
With the demands of work, family, church and community activities, you may feel you don’t have a spare moment to even think about, much less pursue, your dream career. You’re wrong. It may not be easy, but you can find free time where you least expect it.

The next time you’re taking a neighborhood jog or walking on the treadmill, use the time to mull over the plot for that book you’ve been wanting to write or to think about possible locations for the day spa you’ve dreamed of opening. Instead of listening to your favorite CD during your morning and evening commute, use the time to work on the business plan for your catering business. Even if it’s only an hour a week, use it.

2. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
You may not realize it, but you have a multitude of resources all around you – family, friends, colleagues, church members, sorority sisters, and even strangers. Don’t be afraid to request an informational interview. People love to talk about themselves and many will be flattered to have someone asking them for advice. The Internet is also an invaluable resource.

3. Join Professional Organizations
It’s a good idea to surround yourself with others who share your interests and passion. There are dozens of professional groups whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and realize their business goals. Find the organizations that can be most helpful to you and join them.

4. Understand That It Won’t Happen Overnight
Achieving your goal will take time. I recently read an article in Writer’s Digest about a writer who received more than 400 rejection letters before getting his first book deal. Now that’s what you call perseverance! There will no doubt be disappointments when things don’t happen in accordance with your time schedule. But if you remain faithful and focused on your goal, it will happen.

5. Ignore The Naysayers
We all know people who believe you should find a good job, work as hard as you can for 30 years, then retire and enjoy life. For them, the thought of leaving a secure, well-paying position for the uncertainties of entrepreneurial life is unthinkable. That kind of limited thinking won’t help you realize your dream. You have decide what you want to do and go for it. And don’t be surprised if you turn out to be your biggest obstacle. When that happens, just look your self-doubt squarely in the face and command it to go away.

So don’t just dream your dream, make it happen!

Attorney Pamela Samuels Young is the author of the legal thrillers Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit and Every Reasonable Doubt. Visit her website at


You, Too, Can Write a Novel by Pamela Samuels Young

You, Too, Can Write a Novel

Have you been wrestling with the idea for a novel or non-fiction book for months, maybe even years, but just can’t seem to find the time or the motivation to get going? Well, it can be done.

Here are Pamela’s top five tips for not just starting your novel, but finishing it.

Plan a Writing Schedule and Stick To It
Schedule your writing time the same way you would plan any other important engagement. Write it down in your day planner and stick to it.

Master Your Craft
Pick five great writers in your genre and study the elements that make their books an enjoyable read, such as pacing, story structure and writing.

Outline Your Entire Book
Spend a month or more outlining your story before you begin writing. Once you’re ready to start writing, you don’t have to stick to the outline. Simply use it as a roadmap to get going.

Concentrate on Finishing a First Draft
Write your first draft from beginning to end without making any extensive revisions. Once you finish, go back and revise your manuscript until you are satisfied with the final result.

Seek Support and Ignore Rejection
Share your goals with those closest to you and ask for their support. Above all, ignore the naysayers. Most successful writers have faced rejection and conquered it.

Attorney Pamela Samuels Young is the author of the legal thrillers Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit and Every Reasonable Doubt. Visit her website at


Expressions Book Club Literary Event, Maryland

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. I am Jennifer Robinson and I am the President of Expressions Book Club. Established in 2006, we are a group of seven ladies of various ages raging from late 20’s to mid 50’s.

We would like to take a moment to share some information with your book club in reference to a wonderful literary event that we are hosting on May 9th, 2009 in Maryland.

If you think that you and or members of your club would be interested in attending please contact me soon through email Tickets for this event are selling quickly.

Tickets are $20 to attend the day event only, which consist of book signings, and panel discussions… or $50 to attend both the day portion as well as a dinner banquet with our stars (the authors) at 7:30pm EST.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Jennifer Robinson, President Expressions Book Club


Book Review: The Ex Files by Victoria Christopher Murray

Book Review: The Ex Files by Victoria Christopher Murray
4.5 Stars
EDC Creations Review Team

What if you were unhappy with your sexuality, yet married to the one you confess to love? What if you were dating a married man and thought you had it on the low-low? What if life was so difficult for you that you didn’t want to live any more? Even worse, what if you caught the one you love, your spouse, in bed with your sister.

The Ex Files is like being on a cloud nine experience and falling to ground zero in no time. There are four different lives at stake here and they all seem hopeless. When all else fails you should read the instructions (The Holy Bible). Nothing and no one is hopeless when faith becomes the main factor and all trust is put in GOD.

Right from the start you think that things will all be about revenge. But give it a chance and you will see that “Vengenance is Mine” says the Lord. The Ex Files is entertaining, exciting, and inspirational.

Carolyn Morrow, EDC Creations Reviewer

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Book Review: The List by Sherri Lewis

The List by Sherri Lewis
Review by Tavares S. Carney
Rating: 5

Prepare Yourself, Choose Well and Be Realistic

The List by Sherri Lewis is the tale of best girlfriends, Michelle, Angela, Lisa, Vanessa and Nicole, on a search for “The One”. All but one of the group has experienced what she believes to be intimate love and the loss that occurs as a result of the relationship ending.

This novel has a storyline that is sure to appeal to women waiting for their perfect mate. With true-to-life characters, and a rawness that is sure to speak volumes to some readers, the author does a good job with her character development and plot, inviting us into the world of these girlfriends, their struggles, as well as their triumphs, as they search for “The One.” While reading this selection, supporting characters Jason, Isaiah and Rayshawn enabled me to experience a myriad of emotions ranging from empathy to disgust. The characters are relatable. Readers will probably know someone similar to or just like each one.

The overall message conveyed is not just for single women, but to all women – prepare yourself, choose well and be realistic. Whether single or married, any reader will contemplate their relationship after having read this book. Are you or were you ready? What is or what was on your “list”?

Review by Tavares S. Carney
Tavares is a marketing and promotions specialist, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. She is also a journalist and has had articles and reviews published in several online publications, blogs and websites including, Exodus Magazine, Key of Gee E-zine, SISTAH Talk, Motown Writers Network, Sankofa Literary Society and more. Preferred genres are Christian fiction, Christian nonfiction, African American literary fiction that has an overall inspirational, motivational or encouraging theme, some African American historical fiction, memoirs and biographies.

Authors and readers may contact Tavares at or check out her blog, The Pleasing Spoon – Get Fed The Good Stuff!, at Network with Tavares on Myspace at .

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
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Book Review: That Devil’s No Friend of Mine by J.D. Mason

That Devil’s No Friend of Mine by J.D. Mason
Review by Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating: 4

What Lies Beneath

Author, J.D. Mason, brings readers into the lives of characters Kristine Fontaine, Lamar and Rhonda, Cole and Nora, Rayne, T. Diggs, and Cash. That Devil’s No Friend of Mine is a story of a trail of secrets, lies and family ties left behind by a strong-willed man, Bishop Fontaine, with convictions that influenced his family and those he cared for to still be concerned with what he’d think of them and their actions, even
after his death.

Upon Bishop’s passing, the author weaves a tale with characters whose
lives are, unknowingly, intertwined by Bishop Fontaine. Kristine,
Bishop’s only child, is the heiress to a million-dollar business owned
by her father and family-friend, Lamar. Kristine’s vulnerability and
innocence is tucked away when she finds new life in being able to make
her own decisions, as well as come to terms with secrets of the past.
Finding new love in Tauris Diggs helps Kristine to process her emotions,
deal with her past and face the future. Supporting characters, Cole and
Nora, Cash and Rayne add a twist to the story by offering subplots of
volatile marriage and drug addiction.

The novel is a relatively fast-read. I did want to know what would
happen next. I did close the novel, however, with a sense of not knowing
if I was happy with the ending, only because I’d like to know how things
turn out for Kristine and T. Diggs. Then again, that’s what sequels are
for. I liked this story. It read well for me and I would definitely consider
other titles by this author. –Review by Tavares S. Carney

Tavares S. Carney is a marketing and promotions specialist, as well as an avid
reader and book reviewer. She is also a journalist and has had articles
and reviews published in several online publications, blogs and websites
including, Exodus Magazine, Key of Gee E-zine, SISTAH Talk, Motown
Writers Network, Sankofa Literary Society and more. Preferred genres
are Christian fiction, Christian nonfiction, African American literary
fiction that has an overall inspirational, motivational or encouraging
theme, some African American historical fiction, memoirs and

Authors and readers may contact Tavares at or check out her blog, The Pleasing Spoon – Get Fed The Good Stuff!, at Network with Tavares on Myspace at .

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center Twitter with EllaBlack Pearls Mag


BOOK REVIEW: Talk To Me by Pat Simmons

BOOK REVIEW: Talk To Me by Pat Simmons
(Review by Tavares S. Carney)

Talk to Me by Pat Simmons
Review by Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating: 4

Silence is Golden
In the novel Talk to Me by Pat Simmons, the author introduces readers to Noel Richardson, an independent, wealthy and spiritual businessman with strong family values. His only perceived setback, and to varying degrees, according to supporting characters Mackenzie and Valerie, is Noel’s inability to hear. The author intertwines themes of faith and equal opportunity as the main character deals with challenges of acceptance, societal inclusion and developing even keel relationships.
After reading Talk to Me by Pat Simmons, I became more enlightened to the challenges and everyday experiences of members of the Deaf population. Reinforced messages throughout the novel are “accept people as they are” and “never make assumptions”.

Author Pat Simmons has a great platform with this novel. Readers will close the last page with a sense of understanding and perhaps a more open-minded view of the challenges faced by the Deaf population. The author does a great job of bringing the issues of an underserved population to light, while at the same time delighting readers with an intriguing romance between Noel and Mackenzie. I would definitely read another novel by Pat Simmons. —Review by Tavares S. Carney

Tavares S. Carney is a marketing and promotions specialist, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. She is also a journalist and has had articles and reviews published in several online publications, blogs and websites including, Exodus Magazine, Key of Gee E-zine, SISTAH Talk, Motown Writers Network, Sankofa Literary Society and more. Preferred genres are Christian fiction, Christian nonfiction, African American literary fiction that has an overall inspirational, motivational or encouraging theme, some African American historical fiction, memoirs and biographies.

Authors and readers may contact Tavares at or check out her blog, The Pleasing Spoon – Get Fed The Good Stuff!, at Network with Tavares on Myspace at

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center Twitter with EllaBlack Pearls Mag

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