Monthly Archives: July 2009

A Storm is just what you Need

When a Storm is just what you Need

Minister Cheryl Lacey Donovan on iLike – Get updates inside iTunes

Since its first release of The Triumph of My Soul, Peace in the Storm Publishing Company has worked to consistently deliver books that encourage, inspire, uplift, and entertain readers. Both the premium quality of these books and the stellar talent of PITS authors have been recognized by several nominations across several categories in the 2009 African American Literary Awards Show.

At Peace In The Storm, our first priority is to give readers what they deserve and desire as well as to show our appreciation for their support by continung to offer enjoyable experiences through literary journeys.

Peace in the Storm Publishing recognizes that we need our readers to be purposed and driven writers, if not for them, who would we be? PITS would like to thank you for your continuous support and ask for your help in acknowledging the art and the peace that has been introduced to the literary world through the creative and collective storm of talent that is Peace in the Storm. We humbly ask that you please help us by placing your vote at for your favorite Peace in the Storm authors in the following categories:

African American Literary Award Nominees

Jacqueline D. Moore – Serving Justice

Cheryl Lacey Donovan – The Ministry of Motherhood

Break-out Author Of The Year
Ebonee Monique – Suicide Diaries
Lorraine Elzia – Mistress Memoirs
S. D. Denny – The Bakers Dozen

Short stories/Anthologies
Elissa Gabrielle (editor) – The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology

Independent Publishing House of the Year
Peace In The Storm

Let your vote reflect that your soul has found Peace in the Storm
Thank you for being there when we needed you most
Please cast your vote today


Lutishia Lovely’s Contest

Will You Do Me A Favor?
Help Support Black Book Stores & Make Heaven Right Here a Bestseller!

On Tuesday, July 27-August31, 2009, you can help our community and hoist Heaven to bestseller status by entering for your to chance to win the entire autographed Hallelujah Love Series & $50 cash! How? In 3 simple steps:

1) Click on one of the Black Bookstore links below,
2) Put Heaven Right Here in their search engine & purchase your copy,
3) Forward a copy of your email confirmation to:

Participating Book Stores for the HRH Contest!
:: Precious Memories Bookstores (VA):
:: Mocha Readers (OH):
:: Pyramid Books (FL):
:: Kana CDs & Books (OH):
:: Jokae’s Books (TX): 800.749.7725 (yes, call, Til will take your order and forward me your information!)

If you’re in the following areas, you can purchase in person, but due to demand, it may have to be ordered! (Receipts can be mailed; visit my website for address)

:: EsoWon Books ( Los Angeles ): 4311 Degnan Blvd. , 323-290-1048
:: Da Book Joint, (Chicago): 9527 S. Jeffery, 773-978-3555

(Note: Orders MUST be placed between Tuesday, July 27th – August 31, 2009 to be eligible to win. So mark your calendar, place your order, and get ready to win the ENTIRE autographed series & cold, hard cash!!!)

Head on over to my website and read an excerpt now: Follow me on Twitter: Enjoy!

Order Heaven Right Here by Lutishia Lovely
ISBN: 0758229437
ISBN-13: 9780758229434
Format: Paperback, 320pp
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pub. Date: August 2009

Praise for Heaven Right Here
When it comes to being fruitful and multiplying, the members of Kingdom Citizens Christian Center are on it—and no one tells their sexy, scandalous stories like Lutishia Lovely…
4 ½ stars…Fantastic! — Romantic Times on Heaven Right Here
Literary Hallmark & Legends 2009 Award — Black Pearls Magazine on Heaven Right Here
Celebrating Heaven Right Here and the re-release of Sex In The Sanctuary! You won’t want to miss this party! Tons of prizes given away!

Heaven Right Here Synopsis
When Stacy Gray meets friends for lunch, the last thing she expects to be served is legal papers suing her for custody of her son, Darius Jr. As far as Stacy’s concerned, when Darius Sr. chose to be with his male lover, he lost his chance at fatherhood. But when an unexpected crisis strikes, and an obsessed fan threatens more than Darius’s music career, the battling parents may have to grow up…

Cy and Hope Taylor are struggling to conceive, so when Hope sees her former nemesis, Millicent, talking on television about life as a wife and new mother, jealousy rears its ugly head. Then Cy rekindles his friendship with Millicent and needless to say, Hope is definitely more peeved than pleased. As baby mama drama shakes up the saints, everyone better pray for mercy…

“The scintillating brew of sex, faith and sharp humor will have Lovely’s fans breathless for more.” —Publishers Weekly on A Preacher’s Passion

“Lutishia Lovely brought Passion to church and set it on fire!!!”
—Pat G’Orge-Walker, Essence bestselling on A Preacher’s Passion

“Filled with drama, consequences, double-standards and plenty of life lessons to go around.”
—Naleighna Kai, author of She Touched My Soul on A Preacher’s Passion


Meet Author Pat G’Orge-Walker

Meet Author Pat G’Orge-Walker
The First Lady of Gospel Comedy Writing and Performing

Somebody’s Sinning in My Bed
by Pat G’Orge-Walker

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

Reverend Grayson Young and his wife Chyna have the perfect marriage. Perfect, that is, if you believe Reverend Young is walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

For while the Reverend preaches about the evils of infidelity, both he and his wife are having so many affairs, you’d think the day of reckoning was at hand. And when Reverend Young catches his wife in the act at the fittingly named Sweet Bush Lounge, his faith and love for his wife are put to the ultimate test…

Distraught, Chyna turns to her sister Janelle for guidance—the same sister whose man she stole years ago. But if Chyna thinks she’s getting sympathy from Janelle, she’d better think again. Cordell was Janelle’s first love. And even though Cordell and Chyna eventually divorced, Janelle still feels the sting of their betrayal. As far as Janelle sees it, what goes around comes around, so it’s now Chyna’s turn to be hurting. What follows are squabbling, chaos, and surprises that show how hard the road to salvation really is…

Praise For Pat G’Orge-Walker

“Ms. Walker pens a tale so funny that you’ll fall out of your chair laughing, and so poignantly realistic that you’ll wipe tears from your eyes… a must-read.” —Angela Benson on Cruisin’ on Desperation

“One of my favorite writers of all time.” —Zane, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Christian comedy fiction at its best.” —Library Journal on Mother Eternal Ann Everlastin’s Dead

Order your copy today: ISBN-10: 0758235402 ISBN-13: 9780758235404.

Read more on the author and the book at:


Carbon Copy by Azarel

Carbon Copy by Essence Magazine Bestseller Azarel

Click here to read the interview with Azarel

Watch the new Carbon Copy Video

Carbon Copy by Azarel
Life Changing Books:

Have you ever craved someone so badthat youd be willing to do anything?

What happens when “swagger jackin” becomes deadly? Dominique Lewis spent most of her days as a high maintenance wanna-be. Although she had the perfect physique and facial features, she studied the charming behaviors of women who successfully landed pro-athletes, and mimicked the money-hungry ladies who were able to get into the pockets of hustlers. Her life-long dream was to become wealthy, and a house-hold name. By any means necessary, she vowed to get what she wanted.

As Dominique’s mission unfolds, she manages to only rub elbows with the elite, and those who could get her to the top. Soon, after the tragic murder of her sister, all hell breaks loose, and Dominique’s cover is blown. Armed with revenge on the brain, and a status goal in mind, she lands a position as Rapheal’s woman, the most sought after millionaire Atlanta has to offer. Raphael’s lavish status in town puts her on a new level, right where she always dreamed. It was all about money, sex, and power. There was only one problem; Rapheal had always been faithful to his former girlfriend, and had especially been off limits to Dominique. Unfortunately for, Dominique all rules remained the same. In an effort, to hold on to Rapheal, and all the elaborate material possessions, Dominique sets out on a deadly mission to remove anything that stands in her way.

ISBN-10: 1934230677
ISBN-13: 978-1934230671


Azarel, CEO of Life Changing Books is a former teacher and native of North Carolina. She received her BS degree from University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and earned a Masters of Arts in teaching degree from Bowie State University in 1999. Her love for writing sparked a career change in 2002. She resigned from her teaching tenure in the Prince George’s County public school system to fulfill her dream of becoming an author. After writing her first novel, “A Life to Remember,” written in an attempt to help change lives of young men, Azarel launched her own publishing company, Life Changing Books (LCB). Now with over twenty-one titles published to date, LCB is one of the most well known and successful African-American publishing companies in the publishing industry.

Many titles produced by Azarel have continuously topped the charts on the national Essence Best sellers list and many national book store chains.Although Azarel publishes a wide variety of adult fiction, her title roster includes “Teenage Bluez” an urban series of books for teens. Teenage Bluez is designed to capture the hearts of teens across America by providing them with entertaining stories in a positive manner.

As a wife, and mother of two Azarel enjoys spending time with family and friends and lending support to those in need. By mentoring teens and speaking at shelters for abused women she continues to achieve that goal. Azarel’s greatest wish is for every able body to reach out to a teen. Visit her foundation, Spreading Literacy and Love and lend your support to youth in need (




Reflections Of A Quiet Storm

Author on Book Tour, invite her to your next radio show, chat session, blog-affair or online party!

Reflections Of A Quiet Storm by Patricia A. Bridewell

As CEO and owner of a new nursing registry, Pauline Bridges is striving to reach the height of success, and then unexpectedly tragedy strikes. After a near fatal automobile accident, she climbs from the wreckage unscathed. Shortly thereafter, God begins to reveal her past. Chronicled in a series of stories, her life unfolds through a long journey; a pathway that unveils many secrets that not even her children had been told.

Memories, dreams and flashbacks of her mother’s abuse at the hands of her stepfather, a rape during adolescence, her brother’s stormy lifestyle, and the agony of a marriage that was destroyed by her ex-husband, Naman’s infidelity and substance abuse, all return to torment her. Then there is the shattering memory of the unsolved murder of her former boss, a vice president for a major recording company. The ditch grows much deeper as she struggles to help her children through their crises, and also learns that her friend, Vangie, is having an affair with her best friend, Bethany’s husband, Darryl. Keith Maris steps into her life and opens her heart to feelings and emotions that she didn’t know still existed. His strong support and her faith bring resolutions that pave the way through a chaotic triangle of family issues and an illicit love affair, in Reflections of a Quiet Storm.

ISBN: 0977939863
ISBN-13: 9780977939862


About the Author
Patricia A. Bridewell is a native of Los Angeles, California. Reading has always had a certain magnetism in her life since childhood. Journaling life experiences as therapy led to her passion for writing. Her notes transcended into the novel, Reflections of a Quiet Storm, to be released by Xpress Yourself Publishing LLC on March 10, 2009. Patricia has multifaceted careers as a registered nurse, adjunct college professor, and CEO of her own company, Bri-John Nursing Services, Inc. She is currently working on her second novel and is a guest writer for two new online magazines-Step Up Sista and


Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down

Author on Book Tour, invite her to your next radio show, chat session, blog-affair or online party!

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down by Anita Ballard-Jones

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.

ISBN: 0972945539
ISBN-13: 9780972945530



Lies of Blue by Lynne Forde

Author on Book Tour, invite her to your next radio show, chat session, blog-affair or online party!

Lies of Blue by Lynne Forde
What is the price for fulfilling your dream?

Lies of Blue is the story about Lynne Forde, a young woman who tries to reach her dream by making sacrifices. Somewhere along the line, the wrong sacrifices get made. It’s Training Day meets OZ with a twist of Set It Off.

When Forde gets tired of her dead end job in the City Courts, she embarks on a career in the belly of the beast. With a degree in hand and a little bit of street sense, she decides to try her hand working in River’s Edge Jail Complex. From day one at the Academy to her last day at Prison, Forde evolves from your average “rookie” into something other than just a woman. To make matters worse, if you put a sexual being in the midst of some of the city’s most conniving men and women, you are bound to come up with something a little kinky and very destructive. The more dangerous the game became, the more erotic the encounters became. She goes from Officer, to Hustler, to Victim, to CEO in a matter of 8 years.

Lies of Blue is an expose of what goes on in the belly of the beast, through the eyes of one woman. Lies of Blue teaches you that there are so many people you may come across in life, you never know who is real and who is fake, but that the journey can become a battle of life or death. Choose wisely. What is the price for fulfilling your dream?

ISBN: 1604023783
ISBN-13: 9781604023787


Visit Lynne’s Website:

You may download an excerpt of the book below. Share it with a friend.

Lynne Forde’s Media Kit for interviews and book signing invitations:


Support Xpress Yourself Publishing

Voting for the 5th Annual
African American Literary Awards Show

The voting process is now underway for the 5th Annual African American Literary Awards Show to be held September 24, 2009 in Harlem, New York. This event showcases some of the most talent people in the literary world. We are putting our full support behind several people on this ballot! Xpress Yourself Publishing is one of the main organizations we support.

If you believe in Xpress Yourself Publishing as well as their authors and support what we do at EDC Creations, please be sure to cast your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing for the Independent Publisher of the year, along with your other favorite authors. We appreciate your consideration.

For your convenience, here is the link to cast your vote today:


I hope this email finds you all doing well. If I could have a quick moment of your time, I have a HUGE favor to ask of you.

Last year, Xpress Yourself Publishing was nominated for and won the 2008 African American Literary Award for Independent Publisher of the Year and we’ve been nominated AGAIN this year. I have to admit, we REALLY want to win again this year! We, along with our wonderful, talented authors, have worked very hard this year. Currently, we have over 60 titles in print and an author roster of 30 that’s growing rapidly.

Just like last year, in order to win, we are asking you to cast your vote for Xpress Yourself Publishing and its authors. Last year, the turnout to vote for us was phenomenal!

So, I’m asking you to PLEASE, PLEASE, pretty PLEASE, with sugar on top, go to and cast your vote for the following:

Independent Publisher
Xpress Yourself Publishing

Victoria Wells, author of When Love Comes Around (and A Special Summer)

Short Stories/Anthologies
Somebody Prayed For Me by Linda Herman, Allyson Deese and Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Author of the Year (Female)
Linda Herman, author of Consequences

As an author, it is a wonderful feeling to have your body of work recognized and nominated for an award. It truly makes the long nights writing and the struggles with re-writing all worth it! We are so very excited, and we congratulate all nominated artists, authors and publishers.

Thanks so much for your continued support of Xpress Yourself Publishing, and we look forward to showcasing our 2010 releases, and bring you some of the best in the world literature!

Warm Regards,

Jessica Tilles
Publisher, Xpress Yourself Publishing
P.O. Box 1615
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20773
Phone: 301.390.3645
Fax: 202.478.3447


Black Pearl Top Seller Campaign

Black Pearl Top Seller Campaign– this online promotion includes a virtual book signing on
BAN Radio-complete with trivia contest and treasure hunt, catalog ad for 2 months, eblast to 133,000 readers, front page interview in Black Pearls Magazine and book cover on sidebar of major pages. We will syndicate your written interview to 8 social networks. The author will be mailed the full details after payment. Book added to our BP Amazon online store. Custom graphics created for program. Exposure on the front page of EDC Creations. Fee: $375.00

::: Custom graphic of book cover displayed on 10 high traffic sites
::: EDC E-blast to 133, 000 subscribers
::: Submission to 3 Radio Stations and 3 Magazines
::: Audio book presentation
::: BAN Radio Virtual Book Event
::: Book Club Webcast
::: Full page on Black Pearls Magazine
::: Product Placement on main website of EDC Creations (Front page)
::: Full page in the EDC Creations Event Catalog

Black Pearls Magazine has 38,000 readers, the EDC Creations database has 133,000 readers, EDC Creations has created a relationship with over 50 reader’s groups and bookclubs, we have an award winning radio program, The Black Authors Network Radio Show, to provide an author with premium promotional services. We would love to make you the next big star!

Make your payment below then email Ella the following material to the
intern’s mailbox.
Put these words in the subject line: “Black Pearl Top Seller Campaign.” We accept books to be released later in the year and ebooks. Show off your new book to real readers! The book clubs are especially looking for Kindle books and eBooks to add to their collections!

Email the following material to this email account only:
Please make sure your information is correct before sending. No revisions or refunds after the promotion has started. We reserve the right to refuse service to X-rated material. Your promotion will last for 30 days, but the material will stay on our site for 3-4 months. Your interviews will remain on the web for up to 6 months.

Note: A EDC Creations representative will email you at the PayPal address that you made the payment from with further instructions. If this PayPal address is not your main email address, make sure you check out that account for our message. We will be sending the interview questions to the address you used to pay us at Paypal.

–Title of Book and Author’s Name
–ISBN# and Author’s Website Address
–Book Synopsis and Book Reviews
–Author’s bio and personal photo
–Links to video book trailers or audio interviews
–Link to one book seller website or the author’s website

–2 articles written by the author in regards to the book
–5 talking points from the book
–Black Pearls Interview Questions

Purchase your slot today by visiting this link:

Share this with any author who has a new book released. We are here to spread the word…..


What Elements Make a Great Book?

Hello Black Pearls Family,
We are off and running with the new Give the Gift of Knowledge program. I want to give you a little background to use when reviewing books. First you need to know what’s in a good 3-D read. Begin the article below to get an idea of what to look for in a professionally published book or ebook. After reading the entire article, you will have an idea how to rate future books. Does the book you are reading now address these elements?

What Makes a Great Book?
Posted on 25 August 2008 by Wordpreneur

Before You Send Out Your Manuscript, Be Sure These are in Place.
According to National Public Radio, 291,000 books were released in 2006. That’s up from 172,000 in 2005. Seems like everyone wants to write a book. But so many books get unread, unseen, unloved by the readers who could enjoy them. Most people who set out to write a book never do. Why?

Because unlike writing a story, poem, essay, or article, completing a book-length manuscript takes real stamina.

Compare it to a marriage-versus a blind date. You have to work on the relationship, you have to have persistence and belief in what you’re doing. And in today’s competitive publishing arena, books demand more upfront time — even with novels, first-time authors need to know their “platform,” or why the book is unique and publishable and will sell copies for its publisher. It demands getting to know the book concept, even planning and exploring that concept long before the first draft.

Few good books nowadays are written by someone just sitting down at the computer and letting it rip. (Unless they have already written 10 books and know how to do it.)

Over my years of teaching over 2,000 writers how to plan, write, and develop a book, I’ve distilled nine elements that every book must contain to succeed. These are things the writer may not be conscious of during the first draft or even during early revision of their manuscript. But by the end of the process, before they start submitting it, they need to have these elements in place. They are:

— A solid premise
— A compelling triggering moment or need (established early) — something that makes the reader want to keep reading
— A single visual concept or image that evokes theme and repeats or echoes throughout the manuscript
— A believable location in time and space
— Real stories
— A good balance of showing and telling
— Some crisis to be overcome, a crisis the reader will care about
— Some resolution or lesson learned
— Universality — so the reader gets why this book is pertinent to her life, not just the writer’s

What do these mean, and how can you achieve them? Read the article here for full details:

This is an important article for new authors. I am finding so many books not reaching 4 of these areas! We want to support new authors and to showcase great books, step up your game people…step up your game!

Mary Carroll Moore is the published author of over 300 articles, short stories, poems, and columns and 12 nonfiction books in memoir, how-to, medical, food and health, and inspirational genres; her novel will be published in 2009. She teaches book writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center, The Loft Literary Center, The Studios at Key West, Borders Books’ Author Series, and American Penwomen.


EDC Creations Review Team Policy

Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign

Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of the EDC Creations book review team! I would love to add you on the roster as a reviewer. We do not pay our reviewers cash , but we will keep your reading supply up with new releases and will give Amazon Gift Certificates for the reviewers with the most printed reviews per month.  I don’t require any contracts and you can start and stop at your leisure. However, if we don’t get written reviews back within a reasonable time, we will ask why.

This is about unity, expanding our reading selections and just having fun! The only thing we want from you is to tell at least 10 people about a great book and a written review. You do not have to be a professional writer, just become a reader who wants to express their appreciation for books!

Reviewing Printed Material
Before becoming a reviewer I need to know these things. You can send your answers to the following email address:

1. Full name, photo, email address, home mailing address and a cellphone number.
2. Favorite genre to read; least favorite genre; will you read ebooks and mass markets?
3. Do you have a Amazon account? Are you willing to provide written reviews?
4. How often, per month, will you be willing to participate?
5. Will you host authors on your blog, website, radio show or social network?
6. Your website or blog address; brief 50 word bio to give you credit for the reviews.

Stay Connected
Please go to the reviewer news site today and sign up for the mobile bookclub, so that we can notify you when new reviewer contests start. We will also notify you of exclusive author interviews and literary games. You will have a chance to enter drawings for great books and gift bags. Sign up here:

We will send you books to review monthly. All that we ask is for you to submit the written reviews and answer our 5 questions in relation to the book. After approval of your written review, we ask that you post the reviews to our blog and/or Amazon. Once we mail you the books, we would like a review back within 15 days. If you will email me your home address, we will start sending you books and galleys. The questions will be sent to you via email. You will receive an entire review packet once you agree to come on board as an official EDC Creations Reviewer.

Sharing the Reviews
As a EDC Creations Reviewer, we would love to have you come on the BAN radio show and the conference calls to tell us about your book and any good books that you have read.  Our goal is to always introduce our readers to the next great read. Authors, you are welcome to become reviewers too! Tell your network about the books, as well as direct others to where they can buy the book. EDC Creations has a bookstore and most books will be carried for the readers. The Black Pearls Reading Room will also host most of the books.

Digital Book Reviewers
Book-clubs and readers groups, if your book-club members would agree, we would like to add them on as our ebook reviewers and audio book-club. They would read the books on the Nook, Kindle or over the PC as an ebook,  then prepare their honest comments about the book. We ask that the digital reviewers answer 5 questions about the book on our Black Pearls blog. We will host weekly live readings from books, the digital reviewers would listen to the call, then blog about it the next day on the Black Pearls Blogs. Free books will be given away quarterly to the digital reviewers based on their contributions. We need the following information:

1. Full name, photo, email address, home mailing address and a cellphone number.
2. Favorite genre to read; least favorite genre; will you read ebooks and mass markets?
3. Do you have a Amazon account? Are you willing to provide written reviews?
4. Will you host authors on your blog, website, radio show or social network?

You can send your answers to the following email address:

Feel free to share this post with as many avid readers as you can.
We need people to host our blog tours, review our books and to join in the Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign!

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations MediaBlack Authors Network Radio-Founder
Black Pearls Magazine -Founder



By Andrea Blackstone

This morning I consider an oxymoron at its finest. President Obama made his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, and last night, I witnessed a mother’s pain. The accomplishments that have been made by a man of color make me ponder why Kyle, a twenty-five-year-old black male, had to say goodbye. He was a new father, someone’s son, and a village helped to raise him to become a man.

My phone rang at approximately 11:30 pm. I’d already spoken to my cousin earlier. I found it strange that she called me back not even ten minutes later.

“Would you ride with me? My sorority sister’s son was killed,” she said.

She explained to whom she was referring. I remembered her from a cook out, during the 4rth of July weekend. An earthy, warm woman with an infectious smile stood out in my mind. She hugged me with a welcome, although I didn’t know any of my cousin’s friends. It made this reality feel so much uglier, and so much more unfair.

I scurried around my room grabbing keys and incidentals. I felt anxious, sad, and confused. Floored.

When we finally reached this young man’s mother, the door opened. My cousin called someone else to sit with her, until she arrived. He was seated on the far left with a quiet, yet strong presence.

An incense was burning. The room was still, until my cousin’s arms opened.

Tears flowed. They poured from her eyes and Kyle’s mother’s. The male friend began praying, calling on Jesus in a calming fashion. I sat in a chair across the room feeling like I knew Kyle, although I never met him. As I heard various sounds and words of someone’s mother in pain, my eyes grew glossy. My cousin just stood in the floor and held her friend for what seemed like an eternity.

“They killed Kyle. My only child,” she kept repeating.

My cousin consoled her with quiet words and warmth of a true friend. I dabbed my eyes wondering how things have come to this. Why are so many black mothers forced to endure unnecessary pain? A young black male, shot in the head in cold blood represents so many. Kyle’s mother ranted about how careful she’d been with him, and how she told him that he couldn’t go just any place, solely because he was a black male—a target of sorts. She guessed that he had a lot on his mind that day. After spending the weekend with his child, he took her to her mother, then stopped to clear his head in the park. He spoke of visiting her that weekend, but he ended up having visitation instead. This fact affirms that Kyle was a real father, too. It just doesn’t seem right to lose any of those. Forget stereotypes. Kyle wasn’t living a thug’s lifestyle; he was merely living his life in this world.

I was told that Kyle was known to be soft spoken and mild mannered. His mother placed a small stack of recent pictures in my hands. Instantly, I believed what was said about his personality. As I sipped on ice water, I felt honored to review snapshots of his life. A handsome young man who was adopted had been given a chance to live a better life, by a strong, loving woman. It was obvious that she loved Kyle, and Kyle loved her.

His mother’s college classmates rallied around her and took Kyle in. He was a part of the fold, being tutored, sitting in church pews with various families in a tight network, walking through various doors with a back pack and a smile for adopted aunts and adopted uncles. A village did raise him. So many members of that village will surely miss him.

When I reached pictures of Kyle’s beautiful daughter, my heart sank again. She will grow up without him. She only had him for a short time—an even shorter time than his mother.

“I’m okay. It’s going to be okay, everyone.” That’s what his mother kept telling us. “You all leave now. You have a long drive. I appreciate you coming. I appreciate you all so much. I’m not going to sleep. I’ll be up all night.”

We ignored her assuring words. No one moved. We knew and felt the truth. Her pain was layered, and it was just beginning. I sat on her couch, not in the position to say much. I was merely prepared to sit until the time to leave had come. In between fidgeting with the vacuum cleaner cord, talking about the cat she adopted, and trying to remain optimistic, I knew that she’d break down. She even held it together through a call to find out where his body would be transferred, and her other friend asking for information that would be needed for his obituary. Finally, she relented. Ironically, she works to help other mothers in similar standing. Now she has become one of them. What a cruel twist of fate.

When the last knock on the door came, we knew our time there had come to a close. Another mother had been through the very same pain. Her son was murdered too. We left knowing that she’d know what to say best. Kyle’s mother was in good hands. These women now share an unsettling bond.

I’ll be thinking of this mother all day, as well as beautiful little black boys who are robbed of life. Kyle’s mother is en route to another state to see about her child. Regardless of whom perpetrators are, I wish those who inflict violence on others could see and feel the after math. It’s ugly. It’s cold. It’s purely heartless and rooted in hatred, as far as I’m concerned. Black men have a legacy of descending from Nubian strength and power. So many have forgotten that. Complacency should have no place. The call for change is growing.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Not even the person’s mother who did this. I will never be the same again,” she commented.

I walked away from the experience feeling that everyone’s life has value, and everyone belongs to someone. When someone is slain, an entire village mourns that loss. Not only must we do what we can to invest in youth, but we also should remind them that a plethora of chaos is generated, because of one single violent act. Real life lessons are relevant for them and us. Peace be unto you, Kyle. Heaven gained yet one more angel, but you are gone too soon.

*The victim’s name has been changed to protect the mother’s privacy.

Written By Andrea Blackstone; All rights reserved. Copyright 2009.

Your comments are welcomed.


Michael Jackson: Wealth, Fame, & Corrosive Friendships

Michael Jackson: Wealth, Fame, & Corrosive Friendships

When rap burst on the scene, many people thought it was a passing fad. In the 1980s, the New York-based group Whodini emerged with hard-hitting lyrics that imitated life. One of the classic Hip Hop hits was a song called Friends: “Friends. How many of us have them? Friends . . . And if you ask me, you know, I couldn’t be much help. Because a friend is somebody you judge for yourself. Some are okay, and they treat you real cool. But some mistake kindness for being a fool.” Unfortunately, many people have not developed the instinct to know true friendship.

On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died at the age of 50. Everyone started absorbing this tragic reality. The radio stations had already begun playing Michael’s famous hits. Cable stations had already begun dissecting his life. In fact, in less than 24 hours, Michael’s so-called “friends” were coming out with innuendos about him. Search the Web and you will see headings such as “Jackson’s Advisors Speak Out.” Michael was a very talented entertainer. Yet, many people will only remember his miscues. Jackson was associated with (a) child abuse, (b) criminal allegations, (c) debt, (d) drug abuse, and (e) body alteration by plastic surgery and medication.

Like so many stars, Michael was surrounded with wealth and fame. Yet, there is something that even the most common of people can understand. A person must surround themselves with genuine friends. Some individuals may wonder why no one reached out to Michael. The answers may revolve around the fact that he was surrounded by some corrosive friendships. CNN analyst Jeff Todbin noted, “He was surrounded by thieves and jackals.” Unfortunately, many people will profit dearly as a result of his untimely death. This article examines Michael’s life as it relates to his corrosive friendships so that readers can gain valuable lessons from his story.

Personal Background
Michael lived a life most people could only fantasize about. Born in 1958 in Gary, Indiana, Michael emerged from simple beginnings to become a mega Superstar. He and his four other brothers formed The Jackson Five, which became a Motown Records icon and a landmark for teens across the world. In fact, Michael took his stardom a step further by embarking on a solo career. In 1982, his album Thriller sold 21 million copies in the US (27 million worldwide). Michael has received 13 Grammy Awards and numerous professional awards. His lifetime record sales are estimated to be over 750 million. Michael had become the King of Pop. He was also one of the most generous celebrities in Hollywood. He raised millions of dollars through his Heal the World Foundation.

Yet, the storyline of the King of Pop is disturbing. His eccentric ways, transformational looks, spending sprees, and financial troubles gave fuel to his critics. Additionally, his continual battles regarding child sexual abuse severely damaged his public image. In an interview Jackson admitted, “There is a lot of sadness about my past.” To individuals concerned with this image, Michael was an individual to keep away from, even if you were supposed to be his friend. Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton denounced Michael’s fair weather friends that praised him now but had abandoned him during the bad times: “It’s amazing in the last hour to see how many people are praising him, that wouldn’t go near him in the last several years and condemned him. He [Michael] talked about how many people had let him down . . .” Michael understood better than anyone the isolation of being a child superstar.

The Friendship Definition
Many people have not developed the instinct to know true friends. According to the
Urban Dictionary, a fair weather friend is someone who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. At the first sign of trouble, these capricious, disloyal people will drop their relationship with you. An enabler is someone who allows another person to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences.

Within minutes of Michael’s death, individuals seized this opportunity to attract media attention based on their past relationships with him. For example, Michael’s mother Katherine Jackson and his family are fighting for control of his empire. On July 6th, a Los Angeles judge gave temporary control of this estate to Michael’s long time associates, John Branca and John McClain. This action was done contrary to Michael’s family wishes. Katherine’s attorney argued, “To award unfettered control to the other side wouldn’t serve justice.” Therefore, the greater the media hype, the greater the financial gain.

Furthermore, enablers were also a part of Michael’s life. According to varying reports, Michael took a host of prescription drugs to ease his pain and anxiety. Some drugs were considered narcotic. Several former friends and employees spoke out that Michael was surrounded by medical staff that enabled him. Grace Rwaramba, former nanny to Jackson’s children, also suggested that individuals who attempted to intervene about the drug abuse were fired or isolated from Michael. Lisa Marie Presley, Michael’s first wife, acknowledged the reality of Michael’s corrosive friendship: “I became very ill and emotionally/spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.”

Many superstars surround themselves with “yes” people. Who wants to hear opinions that may contradict his or her own? In this regard, celebrities are not alone.

Few people can deny the special abilities of Michael Jackson. Surprisingly, even in death, Michael manages to break records. Just a few weeks after his death, Michael became the first artist to hold 8 of the top 10 slots on a Billboard chart. Michael sold a combined 422,000 albums (241,000 were downloads). Therefore, his star power has proven immortal. Even so, the tragic truth remains, as his brother Jermaine Jackson stated, “Michael became the victim of his own success.”

Even the King of Pop could not escape the connection with negative influences. This darker side of his reality places him alongside other high-profile celebrities such as Anna Nicole Smith. Jackson’s critics may use this opportunity to tarnish his legacy. In spite of his oddity and miscues, Michael Jackson remains a music genius. However, he is also an example of what can happen when an individual surrounds himself with corrosive friendships. Let’s hope we can heed this lesson from the King of Pop. © 2009 by Daryl D. Green

Dr. Daryl D. Green writes on contemporary issues impacting individuals, businesses, and society across the globe. With over 18 years of management experience, Dr. Green’s expertise has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to or

Photo Credit- Michael Jackson website:


EDC Book Club Partners

Congratulations New Book Club Partners!
I am proud to announce the creation of 9 new book clubs in the EDC Creations network. I had the pleasure of setting up all 9 bookclubs with private blog websites, newsletters, email accounts and gave them their first suggested reading material. This was such an awesome project! The readers range from age 19-77!

Each bookclub was given a “Book club to Go Bag”, filled with books, bookmarks, promotional material, EDC Creations hat, EDC Creations Catalog, and Godiva Chocolates. Each bookclub was given a folder with all kinds of suggestions for rules, setting up meetings and how to select the book of the month. EDC Creations has a book club reading room, created for all book clubs to find new books to explore.

Here are the names of our new book club partners:

1. MLK Blvd Readers from Atlanta, GA (27 male and female readers; no Urban Lit)

2. SapphoAngel Sisters from Hattisburg, MS (reading only Erotica and Urban Lit)

3. Garrett Swain Legacy from Annison, AL (reading only Faith based books)

4. 7th Ward Reviewers from New Orleans, LA (42 women and 3 groups;largest of the 17 Wards of New Orleans)

5. Delta Divas Wine and Books from Tuskegee, AL (hosting formal gatherings every 3 months; no online meetings)

6. Mocha Sister Runners from Jackson, MS (exercise club of plus sized sisters; prefers Romance novels)

7. SCLCC Reader’s Group from Marietta, GA (all over 40; no Erotica; no poetry)

8. Mt. Moriah Reading Rainbow from Clanton, AL (only reaing Black Authors; no Urban Lit)

9. Daughters of Toni and Maya from Houston, TX (9 teen readers; 14 adult readers; Faith based books)

All 9 bookclubs and 5 groups would like to have reading conference calls with authors. If you are interested in contacting any of these groups to review your books, email Ella Curry at: with a pdf of your first chapter EXCERPT and your professional email coverletter. I am the sole public relations person for these groups and they will select all reading material from EDC Creations magazine, radio show and personal newsletters. Each group will be given a choice of 3 books to read each month. They will discuss the books on their private blogs as well as monthly conference calls with me. I will pull the best of their blog post out and put them in Black Pearls!

Enjoy and tell at least 10 people about this wonderful list of leaders!

Ella Curry, founder of the Sankofa Literary Society
EDC Creations Website:
Email me at:


Sankofa Literary Watch 09

Sankofa Literary Watch Summer 2009

The Sankofa Literary Society Review is focused on the issues and lifestyles that define the avid American Reader — what they read, what they want out of their careers, how they connect to each other, what motivates them and how they feel about the community as a whole.

Many have stated that “there is no African American village…it’s dead,” we don’t feel that way. The Village is here, the village in now! Expand your horizons!
Join us today to add your voice and experiences to our union. While showcasing our heritage, our experiences and delivering our voice–we remain anchored to the spiritual, emotional and practical realities of our entire global community, supporting all races. We are not limited solely to AA authors; we hope to educate our readers by offering a variety of literature and resources. We are offering you the best in literature period, from our perspective. Come on in and join this movement to Give the Gift of Knowledge!

Listed below are some of the best community forums, blogs and websites representing the literary world and the arts. Please take your time and expand your reading territory by saluting the literary greats and leaders listed below. This list is not in any certain order of importance, all the sites listed below are 5 stars! If you are on the list below, please tell us your latest news. Make sure you tell any of your friends if they are listed too. We will post new lists every 3 months.

Best New Book Covers
01. The Birthday Storm (Sassy) by Sharon Draper
02. The Listeners by Gloria Whelan
03. In the Land of Cotton by Martha Taylor
04. America I AM Legends by Smiley Books
05. Prize of a Lifetime by Donna Hill
06. Snapped: A Novel by Tracy Brown
07. Another Memory by Pamela Ridley
08. Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad by Clarence Nero
09. Kissing The Man Next Door by Devon Vaughn Archer
10. Hideaway (Jammed Up) by Stirling Noh

Books to Watch
01. Raising African American Girls by Linda Ellis Eastman
02. Junebug by Alice Mead
03. November Blues by Sharon M. Draper
04. Coming Across Jordan by Mabel Elizabeth Singletary
05. Naughty 2 by Brenda Hampton
06. Holy Seduction by Jessica A. Robinson
07. Somebody’s Sinning in My Bed by Pat G’Orge-Walker
08. A New Kind of Bliss by Bettye Griffin
09. Lovers & Liars by Teri Denine
10. Unsigned Hype: A Novel by Booker T. Mattison

Authors You Should Know

01. Anthony Asadullah Samad
02. Bernice L. McFadden
03. Candice Poarch
04. Angela Nissel
05. Angie L. Jennings
06. Nikki Jenkins
07. Christine Pembleton
08. Jacquelin Thomas
09. Sherri Lewis
10. Hank Stewart
11. Rochelle Alers
12. Rachel Kramer Bussel
13. Marie Mutsuki Mockett
14. K’wan
15. Gail McFarland
16. Stacey Covington-Lee
17. Diane Martin
18. Lisa G. Riley
19. Valerie Joyner
20. Bette Ford

Best Author Websites
01. James McBride
02. Miasha
03. Hank Stewart
04. Noel Jones
05. Tomi Akinyanmi
06. Lamar Ariel
07. Omarosa
08. Wahida Clark
09. Donna Hill Fanclub
10. Pamela Samuels Young

Best Social Networks
01. Sistah Faith
04. The GOOD GIRL Book Club™
05. ISeeColor
06. Essence Community
07. Tyra Banks Community
08. Shepreneur
09. Black History 365 Network
10. Real Urban Fans

Best Amazon Reviewers and Listmania Creators
01. Sistagirl
03. Sistahs on the Shelf
04. ABookGroupie
05. Cydney Rax
06. PrinceLuva
07. Urban Fiction Queen
08. RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
09. Yasmin Coleman
10. OOSA Online Book Club
*** Note: EDC Creations CEO Listmanias

Top EDC Creations Networks
Sankofa Literary Society Bookclub
01. EDC Creations Billboard
02. Black Authors Network
03. EDC Creations Sunday News
04. Ella at Twitter
05. Ella at BlackPlanet
06. Black Authors on Facebook
07. SLS Bookclub Center
08. EDC Creations Bookstore
09. Ella at Myspace
10. Ella at LinkedIn

Literary Blogs to Watch
01. The Crime Sistahs
02. The Book Slut
03. Black Book Blog
04. Tayari’s Blog
05. Profiles in Black (BAN)
06. The Lo Zone
07. Cortney Gee
08. Chocolate City Blog
09. Black Voices Blogs
10. Kaye’s Book Blog

Bookclubs and Reader’s Groups to Watch
01. African American Book Clubs
02. Divas Inc.
03. OOSA Online Book Club
04. DrumBeats Book Club
06. Forbidden Fruit Book Club
07. Books of Soul
08. Books And Beignets
09. Sankofa Literary Review
10. Sistahs on the Shelf

Best Online Magazines
02. Black Singles Magazine
03. Black Pearls Magazine
04. Faithwebbin Online Magazine
05. Affair de Coeur Magazine
06. Emerging Minds, Inc
07. Black Wealth and Fortune Magazine
08. Words without Borders
09. Faith Filled Stilettos
10. Chocolate Singles Magazine
***Note: EDC Literary Magazine

Best MySpace, Twitter and Facebook Sites
01. Azarel and Life Changing Books
02. LifeCoach2Women
03. Joey Pinkney
04. Sassy Stilettos
05. Tweet Bookclub
06. FB African American Books
07. FB African American Authors
08. FB African American Fiction
09. Peace In Pages
10. Dynah Zale

Best Community, Family or Literary Forum
01. Raising Him Alone
02. Commute Reading Co-ed Book Club
03. Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program
04. FB African American History
05. Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation
06. Open Society Institute
07. A New Conversation with Men
08. Daughter, Sister, Friend
09. ESpiritE Radio Broadcasters Network
10. Kenneth E. Pollock

Best Literary Resource Site
01. Publishers Marketplace
02. Hurston/Wright Foundation
03. Urban Reviews
04. Romance in Color
05. Black Writers On Tour
07. Book Reporter
08. Reader to Reader
09. Black Writers On Tour

Enjoy and tell at least 10 people about this wonderful list of leaders!

Ella Curry, founder of the Sankofa Literary Society
EDC Creations Website:
Email me at:

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