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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Intimate Conversation with author Dawn James

Intimate Conversation with Vibrational Healer Dawn James

Dawn James is a vibrational healer, teacher, speaker and writer. Her parents discovered she was an empathic intuit at age three. Later, as a teenager, she began having precognitive dreams that continued into adulthood. Dawn conducts workshops and speaks throughout Canada and the U.S. on matters relating to holistic health, vibration and healing with sound. She is the mother of three young adults and resides in Ontario with her husband. For more information, visit  http://www.raiseyourvibration.ca/.

Introduction to Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life

In my book Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life: A Practical Guide for Attaining Better Health, Vitality and Inner Peace, I share some simple yet profound ways to reduce stress, remove toxicity and regain balance in an unbalanced world, where people may feel overcommitted, run down and dissatisfied with life. I explain the laws of vibration and how to use them to increase vitality, improve health and cultivate inner peace! We are vibrational beings designed to be healthy and happy!

Based on 20 years of research, interviews and experience, this timeless book illustrates that by learning the laws of vibration and how to raise your personal vibration, you can enjoy improved health, increased energy and stress-free living! Enjoy personalized advice from Dawn James, one of North America ’s leading vibrational practitioners!

Order online by June 15th and receive an autographed copy by author Dawn James!

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
Dawn: My thoughts create my reality, in other words, if I can think it, I can be it. My parents instilled the idea in me that your mind can make you—or break you—so I set out to learn as much as I could about everything that interested me, and to spend time with those older and wiser than I am to gain priceless knowledge that cannot be found in school or in a book. I have a lot of respect for my elders, ancestral knowledge and ancient teachings from cultures around the globe. This is the knowledge that I now share with others through my writing, public speaking, teaching and mentoring programs. I am dedicated to sharing knowledge with those who are willing and ready to transform their life in a positive way.

BPM: What inspired you to write this book?
Dawn: My inspiration to write about vibrational frequency, health and well-being came to me as a message in a dream—from a woman I had never met or spoken to—Sylvia Browne. Her message set me on a quest to assimilate my experiences, teachings and observations about energy, consciousness and our innate intelligence into what has now become my first book, Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life. Sixty days after I wrote the dedication in my book to Sylvia Browne, I had the good fortune to meet her in person in Toronto , present her with a copy of my book and express my gratitude to her for inspiring me to write.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Dawn: My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: It reminds readers that we are creative, intelligent, powerful and loving beings capable of manifesting the very best of ourselves when we tune up our vibrational frequency—we can transform our life!

BPM: Introduce us to the primary message in your book.
Dawn: When we understand that all life is vibrating strings of energy—and that we can affect the flow and quality of this energy within us and in our life experiences—then we will understand how important every choice we make in life is to our health, well-being and perception. By raising our vibration, we will begin living in the flow of life—without resistance, without stress and equipped with the knowledge that we can handle any circumstance that comes our way.

BPM: Share with us 2 or 3 life enhancing sections from the book.
Dawn: The chapter entitled “The Vibration of Food and Drink” explains which foods and beverages are compatible with our energetic and physical body and which foods are not. The reader learns how high-vibrational foods can help reverse certain diseases and provide vital nutrients to our cells, blood and organs. Readers obtain valuable information on how to de-stress their internal systems and enjoy improved health.

The chapter entitled “Making Conscious Choices” introduces the reader to three aspects of Self and how these aspects influence our life choices. By understanding the dynamics of these aspects, we can begin to develop our authentic, innate, intelligent Self and make positive conscious choices in our life.

The book closes with the chapter “Living in Love.” Providence begins when we are committed to action. Act on the knowledge acquired from Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life and begin to live in Love—the highest vibration of all!

BPM: Who should read this book and why?
Dawn: Anyone who is feeling overcommitted, stressed and/or run down will find actionable information to turn their life around. As readers practice the exercises and techniques presented in this book, their mind will become tranquil, their physical body will become stronger and healthier and their energy systems will become more fluid and balanced. In the end, they will become unmovable and untouchable physiologically by lower vibrations, including emotions such as fear and pain, as well as by unpleasant people and situations. The reader will also gain insights on the connectivity between thoughts, attitudes, stress and health, life experiences and consciousness.

BPM: What issues in today’s society do you address in the book?
Dawn: Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life fundamentally teaches how to break the pattern of behaviors that create negativity, dissatisfaction, toxicity and stress. These are issues that are prevalent in North American society today.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
Dawn: I am a teacher first and foremost—it is my raison d’être, my passion. Writing articles, books and newsletters allows me to reach a wider audience around the globe. I enjoy teaching others new and simpler ways of doing things, and how to live in a positive, conscious and peaceful manner.

BPM: What message in your book do you want readers to share with others?
Dawn: All you need is within you!

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Dawn: By joining my Facebook fan page “Raise Your Vibration,” you’ll automatically be eligible to attend FREE Webinars and Tele-classes that will be offered later this year.

I am also pleased to announce my newest book distributors, Quanta in Canada, New Leaf in the U.S. and HR Distribution in the Caribbean . Their information is available on my website. Books will be made available at Canadian and U.S. holistic bookstores by the end of the summer, and are currently available online at http://www.raiseyourvibration.ca/.  (All online orders are autographed by author, and shipped same day!)

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
Dawn: Readers can reach me through my Contact page on my website at http://www.raiseyourvibration.ca/.

Author Dawn James – new title Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life
Learn more at http://www.raiseyourvibration.ca/

Publisher: Lotus Moon Press
Pub. Date: May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9865378-1-3
Illustrations, Glossary, Action Plan
Retail : $21.95

Lotus Moon Press
P O Box 713
Uxbridge ON L9P 1N1
CANADA

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EDC Creations "Top Books" — 2010 First Quarter

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, “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! We are a community of 10 bookclubs, 4 social networks and 20 nurses who want to enrich our community with books and the written word. Listed below are the books we have read from traditional publishers and self-published authors. Join us today to add your voice and experiences to our union.

While highlighting 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 African American (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 a few of the best books representing the literary world and the arts. Each book created an impact for readers and the Sankofa Literary Society network. Our literary hallmarks indicate excellence in writing. Here are the books we want to showcase to the world. Please take your time and expand your reading territory by saluting the literary greats and leaders listed below. The books are NOT listed in any order pertaining to the quality of the literature—they are all 4-5 star reads. Spreads the word…share this listing with at least 10 people!

Authors, if you see your book listed, please leave a comment with your website address, bookseller links and any news about you and your books! Ask your network to stop by and share their reviews of your books too. Make sure you tell your friends if you see their names listed. Follow this blog on the right hand side of the site, to keep up with the comments. Leave all news, reviews and comments here.

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

Visit Black Pearls Magazine
http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

Shop at our Book Store
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20

EDC Creations “Top Books” — 2010 First Quarter

*SLS Power Reads — Fiction from all genres

EDC Creations Pick: Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

1. Till You Hear from Me by Pearl Cleage

2. How Clarissa Burden Learned How to Fly by Connie May Flowers

3. Nappily Faithful by Trisha R. Thomas

4. Damaged by Kia DuPree

5. His First Wife by Grace Octavia

6. From Cape Town with Love by Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes

7. Snapped by Tracy Brown

8. Secret and Lies by Rhonda McKnight

9. Trouble Down The Road by Bettye Griffin

10. A Second Helping by Beverly Jenkins

*SLS Power Reads — Non-fiction from all genres

EDC Creations Pick: The Black Girl Next Door by Jennifer Baszile

1. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

2. I’m a Piece of Work! Sisters Shaped by God by Cynthia L. Hale

3. Jantsen’s Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue and Grace  by Pam Cope

4. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

5. All About Love by Susan L. Taylor

6. Put On Your Crown by Queen Latifah

7. Stop Being Niggardly by Karen Hunter

8. The Black Male Handbook by Kevin Powell

9. Secrets of a Skinny Jean Queen by Carolyn Gray

10. Step Out on Nothing by Byron Pitts

*On the Shoulders of Giants — Christian Fiction/Faith-based/Women Issues

EDC Creations Pick: Still Guilty by Pat Simmons

1. Selling My Soul by Sherri Lewis

2. Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman-Bellamy

3. Farther Than I Meant to Go by Tiffany L. Warren

4. The Last Woman Standing by Tia McCollors

5. Dreams That Won’t Let Go by Stacy Hawkins Adams

6. Samson by Jacquelin Thomas

7. Be Careful What You Pray For by Kimberla Lawson Roby

8. Yesterday’s Promise by Vanessa Miller

9. Shaking the Tree by Editor Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

10. Nothing is too Hard for God by C.M. Jones

*Our Literary Legacy —Our History, Experience and Heritage

EDC Creations Pick: Unburnable by Marie-Elena John

1. Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper

2. The Sacred Place by Daniel Black

3. Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

4. Porch Stories by Jewell Parker Rhodes

5. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

6. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

7. Wife of the Gods by Kwei J. Quartey

8. Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense by Otto Penzler

9. Darkness and the Devil Behind Me by Persia Walker

10. Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

*Our Passions— Erotica/Urban Lit/Gay Lit/Alternate Lifestyles

EDC Creations Pick: Diary of a Stalker by Electa Rome Parks

1. Consequences by Skyy

2. Bedtime Erotica by Lexy Harper

3. Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women by Rachel Kramer Bussel

4. Gutter: A Novel by K’wan

5. Flexin & Sexin Vol. 2 by Erick S. Gray, Ashley & Jaquavis, Treasure E. Blue, and J. Tremble

6. Where There’s Smoke by Terra Little

7. Karma Part 1 by Sabrina Eubanks

8. Trickery by Christine Racheal

9. Pitbulls In A Skirt 2 by Mikal Malone

10. Trife Life To Lavish Part 1 by Deja King

*Lift as We Climb Leaders — Independently Published

EDC Creations Pick: Bruised Love by Nanette M. Buchanan

1. The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose by Nakia R. Laushaul

2. Colors of a Man: Tribute to African-American Men by Tia Stewart

3. Wretched Saints by Marc Lacy and Assuanta Fay Howard

4. Inside Danica’s Closet by Nikkea Smithers

5. Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life by Erica Goodridge

6. Chasing the Avatar by Jovan Jones

7. Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us by Donna Michele Watford, RN

8. Love Found Me by Vanessa Richardson

9. Family Pictures by Rachel Berry

10. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down by Vernadine A. Merrick

11. Ever Changing by Rhonda Dent Herring

12. Color Me Jazzmyne by Marian L. Thomas

13. Sunny Rain by Ci Ci Foster

14. Let My People Go by Wanda Currie

15. 1878: The Life and Times of Henry Forest by R. Jenkins-Oliver

*Recommended Reading List Submitted by Faith’s RN Bookclub

1. That Mean Old Yesterday by Stacey Patton

2. Cheetah by Missy Jackson

3. Plenty Good Room by Cheri Paris Edwards

4. Jump at the Sun by Kim McLarin

5. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

6. Don’t Play in the Sun by Marita Golden

7. Dynasty by Dutch by DC Bookdiva Presents

8. Chocolate High by Mika

9. Masquerade by Denise Jeffries

10. Betrayal by Dwayne S. Joseph

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Book Video: Yesterday’s Promise by Vanessa Miller

Book Video: Yesterday’s Promise byVanessa Miller

Melinda Johnson has always felt called to ministry. So, when her father, Bishop Langston Johnson, decides to step down after thirty years of leadership at Omega Christian Center, it seems only natural for her to take his place. But Bishop Johnson feels led by a God who has other things in mind, and to succeed him, he appoints Steven Marks-a man who is opposed to female pastors, not to mention the fact that he is Melinda’s ex-fiance.

Feeling defeated, Melinda nevertheless maintains her position as the church’s Missions and Community Outreach Director. Frequent interaction with the new bishop incites bitter sparring-and rekindles long-suppressed attraction, which grows only stronger when Melinda develops a relationship with Steven’s precious daughter, Brianna, who’s still struggling with the death of her mother.

Can Steven and Melinda set aside past pains, forgive each other, and learn to love again? Or will their opposing positions regarding women preachers keep them forever at odds?

Read 2 Chapters from Yesterday’s Promise

Excerpts from Yesterday’s Promise by Vanessa Miller

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Whitaker House signs fiction writer Vanessa Miller to multi-book deal

 Whitaker House signs bestselling fiction writer Vanessa Miller to multi-book deal

(New Kensington, Pa.) – In an effort to meet the growing demand for Christian fiction in the African American book market, Whitaker House has signed Essence bestselling author Vanessa Miller to a multi-book deal. Miller, known for her redemptive themes and colorful characters, is releasing Yesterday’s Promise, in April 2010, the first of a three-book series.

 “Vanessa brings with her a reputation not only for excellence as a writer, but also as a woman with strong spiritual roots and a heart to reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Whitaker House Vice President Bob Whitaker, Jr.  Miller’s work has received numerous awards, including the Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction and the Mahogany Award for Best Christian Fiction. Her novels with Kensington/Urban Christian and Abingdon Press have appeared on Essence Magazine’s bestsellers’ list.

Miller is also a playwright, motivational speaker, and founding members of the “Anointed Authors on Tour,” seven bestselling authors who travel to various cities in support of literacy and the arts and to encourage aspiring authors. A native ofDayton, Ohio, she graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication.

Yesterday’s Promise is the first book of a series entitled, Second Chance of Love. Whitaker House plans to release the next two books in October 2010 and January 2011. Yesterday’s Promise is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold including Christian Bookstores and on http://www.Amazon.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/  and http://www.whitakerhouse.com/

Yesterday’s Promise by Vanessa Miller
FICTION; ISBN: 978-1-60374-207-8
Fiction/Christian/Romance

Melinda Johnson has always felt called to ministry. So, when her father, Bishop Langston Johnson, decides to step down after thirty years of leadership at Omega Christian Center, it seems only natural for her to take his place. But Bishop Johnson feels led by a God who has other things in mind, and to succeed him, he appoints Steven Marks—a man who is opposed to female pastors, not to mention the fact that he is Melinda’s ex-fiancé.

Feeling defeated, Melinda nevertheless maintains her position as the church’s Missions and Community Outreach Director. Frequent interaction with the new bishop incites bitter sparring—and rekindles long suppressed attraction, which grows only stronger when Melinda develops a relationship with Steven’s precious daughter, Brianna, who’s still struggling with the death of her mother.

Can Steven and Melinda set aside past pains, forgive each other, and learn to love again? Or will their opposing positions regarding women preachers keep them forever at odds?

To learn more about Vanessa Miller, visit her online: http://www.vanessamiller.com. For further information, or to schedule interviews, please contact Cathy Hickling, Chickling@whitakerhouse.com,  800-444-4484.

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Foxy: My Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier

Foxy: My Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier
Some may know her as hot, gutsy, gun-totin’ Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, Coffy, and Jackie Brown. Others may know her from her role as Kit Porter on The L Word. But that only defines one part of the legend that is Pam Grier.
Foxy is Pam’s testimony of her life, past and present. In it, she reveals her relationships with Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Freddie Prinze Sr., among others. She unveils her experiences as a backup singer and a blaxploitation star. In particularly candid and shocking chapters, she shares-for the first time-her view of those films and the persecution that blacks, especially women, needed to endure to make a name for themselves . . . including how it felt to be labeled one of the most beautiful women alive, yet not be permitted to try on clothes in a department store because of the color of her skin. And in words sure to inspire many, she tells the story of her ongoing battle with cancer. From her disappointments to her triumphs, nothing is held back. With FOXY, Pam wishes to impart life lessons to her readers-and hopes to touch their hearts.

This book is broken down into Three Parts: The Early Years, ‘Fros and Freaks, and Finding the Balance.

Chapters include:
Chapter One: ARMY BRAT
Chapter Two: MEETING MONSTERS
Chapter Three: ANIMALS OVER PEOPLE
Chapter Four: THE SUMMER OF FAILED LOVE
Chapter Five: MOVING TO THE PULSE
Chapter Six: LEW AND ALLAH
Chapter Seven: BLAXPLOITATION BREAKOUT
Chapter Eight: THREE STRIKES AND I’M OUTTA THERE!
Chapter Nine: TRIAL BY LOSS
Chapter Ten: FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE
Chapter Eleven: NO MAN’S LAND
Chapter Twelve: GOING BROWN: FROM FOXY TO JACKIE
Chapter Thirteen: THE L WORD
Chapter Fourteen: HEALING AND HORSE SENSE

Purchase your copy today at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Foxy-My-Life-Three-Acts/dp/0446548502

About the Author

Pam Grier started her career in the early 1970s, starring in a string of moderately successful women-in-prison films and blaxploitation films, and has generally remained in the public eye, starring in movies such as Coffy, Foxy Brown, and Jackie Brown.

After taking a short break from Hollywood, Pam returned to films in the 80s, like Fort Apache the Bronx, Something Wicked this Way Comes, and Above the Law. She also made a guest appearances on Miami Vice and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Pam also played Kit Porter on the controversial hit show “The L Word” on Showtime. She occasionally guest-stars in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where she plays a recurring character. She spends her free time on her ranch in Colorado.

Meet Pam Grier on Book Tour

* Thursday, May 6, 2010
African American Art Museum
of Philadelphia
701 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
6:00 pm
215-574-0380

* Friday, May 7, 2010
Harvey B. Gannt Center/ Real Eyes Bookstore
551 S. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
7:00 pm
704-547-3700

* Saturday, May 8, 2010
Situations Lounge/Real Eyes Bookstore
7801 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28213
6:30 pm
704-547-3700

* Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Denver Press Club
1330 Glenarm Place
Denver, CO 80204
6:00 pm
303-571-5260

* Thursday, May 13, 2010
Barnes & Noble
189 Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
7:00 pm
323-525-0270

* Friday, May 14, 2010
Eso Won Books
4331 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
7:00 pm
323-290-1048

* Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Tattered Cover Bookstore
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202
7:00 pm
303-436-1070

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Intimate Conversation with author R. Jenkins-Oliver

Intimate Conversation with author R. Jenkins-Oliver

R. Jenkins-Oliver was born and raised in McIntosh County Georgia . She is the oldest of four children, and is a graduate of Todd-Grant High School , Margaret M. Washington, and Brunswick College . She has worked for the FBI, as a health care professional, and was an entrepreneur. She has appeared in several industrial and feature films.
BPM: What make you powerful as a person and as a writer?
I think what makes me powerful as a person is that I’m proactive, an empathic listener, respectful, I’m willing to support and network with others. I plan ahead and I always have more than one plan. I welcome criticism because there is always room for improvement. And most of all I commune with the Holy Spirit every day of my life.
I consider myself a powerful writer because my writing was inspired by a higher power. I would have never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have ever written a book and become a published author because I have never challenged myself to be a creative person.
BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find you inspiration for writing?
I find my inspiration in my faith. My mentors are people who encouraged and inspired me to trust in my faith and to stay focused on my goals in life.
BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future readers?
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: My writing offers the reader a glimpse of what life was like for so many African Americans before us, and what they had to endure in their lives to survive the injustice they received.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes it stand out?
The main characters in the book are Henry, John, Joe, Viola and Hettie. 1878 is based on the life of Henry Forest , who lived during the late 1800’ until the mid 1900’s. The fourth son of a farmer, Henry was born in 1878 on a farm in Georgia . He and his brothers were raised to be hard-working and responsible men, to marry and raise their own families.
Henry married a young woman named Mollie, with no farm of his own; he decided to work for another farmer in Dexter. Shortly after Jack Johnson won the heavy weight championship of the world in July, 1910, racial tension ignited around the country. Henry gets involved in a fight with a number of white men who made racist comments about blacks with the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. Wanted by the FBI and afraid of getting killed, he moves to Eulonia and assumes the name Robert. He spent the rest of his life living in fear for his life and the life of the family he left behind.
The book is written in a mixture of Geechee and Gullah dialect which is still spoken in the area today and almost entirely in dialogue.
BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write the book?
The Holy Spirit placed it in my heart to write the story. I think the reason the Holy Spirit gave the vision to me to write the story was because there were whispers about Henry’s life as a young man, but in later years at a family reunion, the secrets came out that he had a different life and identity before he came to Eulonia.
Once I received the missing parts to the story, I had no idea where to start the story. That’s when I started having the dreams about people that I never knew. In the dreams I heard their voices and saw their faces. That’s why the story is written almost entirely in dialogue and in dialect.
BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place in the book?
The main event: Henry’s distrust of the justice system, and his fear that he and his family would be killed.
The book depicts what life was like for Henry and his family in both the early and later years of their lives. The stories talks about faith and the trials, tribulations that the family went through, and how they pulled together to survive the hardships in life.
BPM: Who were your favorite characters in 1878 The Life and Times of Henry Forest?
My favorite characters are Henry, Ben, and Joe. Henry was a hard working man who lived for his family; he was determined to survive. He made a decision that haunted him for years, but through it all he never lost his faith in God.
Ben grew up before reconstruction, and he knew that a colored man only chance for survival was to keep his opinions to himself and to stay out of trouble. He loved his grand children and he told them stories about what could happen if they didn’t stay in their place.
Joe was a man who opened his home to Henry while he worked as a sharecropper to earn a living for his family. Over the years Joe became fond of Henry and treated him like a son.
BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Yes the story was based on facts. Most of the characters are the families’ real names, however, there are a few fictional names in the story used to portray real characters.
BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I think the story sends a message to Americans that we as a people have made many achievements together in racial relations and we have freedom of speech in the 21st century especially when compared to the era when this event happen in the early 20th century. However, we can be encouraged that improvements are being made in spite of what’s going on behind closed doors.
BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers life?
I think the story invites the reader to experience a vivid and engaging bird’s eye view of what life was like for African America during the dark period in American history. The experience can stir up personal feelings of joy, pain, suffering and despair as the reader enters in to the world of the characters.
BPM: What is the most powerful chapter in the book, 1878 The Life and Times of Henry Forest?
The most powerful chapter in the book is when Viola and Hettie met while working at a motel in Eulonia, and the two of them discovered that they grew up hearing the same story about one of their family members.
BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I think that Henry’s story is unique because there were so many who found themselves in a similar situation and didn’t survive because they were murdered before they could get their day in a court of law to tell their sides of the story before a jury of their peers.
BPM: How can readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me via email:  l_rolivercorpllc1@yahoo.com

Book: 1878 The Life and Times of Henry Forest
by author R. Jenkins-Oliver
Book seller link: http://www.blackbookplus.com/  or web page  http://www.authorsden.com/  
Also, readers should be able go into bookstores and order the book.
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Intimate Conversation with author Marlon McCaulsky

Intimate Conversation with author Marlon McCaulsky

Marlon McCaulsky, originally from Brooklyn, New York, is the best-selling author of The Pink Palace and the novella Love & Life and contributing author on the anthology Romance For The Streets. His goal is tell entertaining stories and to become a full-time novelist. His new book From Vixen 2 Diva is his second full-length novel. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? Who are your mentors?
Wow… I’m not sure I’ve reached the level of being called a powerful writer yet. But I do have a unique voice and point of view when I write and I try to express that with every story I create. The author I think I look up to the most is Eric Jerome Dickey. I admire his work and his career as an author.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… of my generation. I mean my generation wasn’t really thought to read books for enjoyment. That’s why we had TV, video games, and movies. There weren’t to many books that spoke to us or that we could relate to so we didn’t read. People say to me “I don’t like to read books” but that’s not true. They just haven’t found something they would enjoy reading. And I hope with my books I can relate to not just book lovers but folks who have never considered reading a book for enjoyment.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, From Vixen 2 Diva and the main characters.
My new book “From Vixen 2 Diva” is what I consider to be a Hip-Hop love story. It stars Beata Douglas an up and coming video model from Harlem with desires to get into the music industry. She runs into a familiar man from her past called Kane who’s trying to get a record deal. Because he’s not already successful Beata disrespects and dismisses him until he actually gets a record deal and becomes a multi-platinum rapper. Beata tries to seduce Kane in order to get a record deal but ends up getting played. Without giving too much away she finds away to get on and now these two music stars are on the same label and can’t stand each other.

BPM: What specific situation prompted you to write From Vixen 2 Diva?
The situation that prompted me to write “From Vixen 2 Diva” happened while writing “The Pink Palace”. Beata and Kane had a small part in that story and I knew that they had a story to tell as well. Plus I always wanted to write a story that had Hip-Hop as a backdrop and FV2D provided me with that perfect setting.

BPM: Take us inside the book, From Vixen 2 Diva. What are two major events taking place?
The first major event is the murder of a main character by Beata’s ex boyfriend Roc. Roc is also a friend of Kane who becomes an unwilling participant and witness to the crime. This starts a rift and rivalry between them that plays out until the end of the book.

Another major event that takes place is with Beata making a sex tape with her boyfriend that comes back to haunt her later on. I think a lot of young women do things when they’re young and don’t think about what the long term affects of their actions will be on their lives.

BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? Do you have a favorite?
Beata was my favorite character to write. She was based on a few people like Ashanti, Karrine Steffans, and Beyonce. But I also gave her, her own flavor. Beata being a video model automatically makes folks judge what type of person she is and in some ways she does live up to those stereotypes. But I also wanted to dig deeper into her character and show she has layers like an onion that you have to peel away to see the real person she is. She really grows a lot from the little girl she is in the beginning to the grown woman she is by the end of the story.

BPM: How may our readers contact you for events and book purchases?
Email: mccaulskymarlon@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.abednegosfree.com/
Buy books: http://www.amazon.com/Vixen-Diva-Marlon-McCaulsky/dp/1934195677

From Vixen to Diva by Marlon McCaulsky
ISBN-10: 1934195677
ISBN-13: 978-1934195673

Click below to read a preview.
http://abednegosfree.com/1934159677%20-%20Sampler.pdf

Beata Douglas is a Harlem born girl pursuing her dreams to be rich and famous by any means necessary. With the voice of a diva and looks that can make a supermodel feel insecure Beata took the video model scene and Rap world by storm. By using sex to seduce lustful men into giving her what she wants Beata becomes the games #1 vixen. It’s not until she runs into a familiar man from her past named Kane that she finds out her sex appeal isn’t enough to manipulate him to get her ahead. Kane goes on to become a hip-hop mega star and leaves Beata behind humiliated.

Beata decides there’s more then one way into the game and tricks her way to her own record deal on Flip Set Records and ends up being featured on Kane’s number one chart topping remix. This starts a bitter war between the two music stars. The only problem is that they’re attracted to each other.

Trouble for both of them comes home when Roc, Beata’s ex boy friend and Kane’s ex partner in crime gets out after three years in prison. Roc becomes obsessed with Beata and starts to stalk her. Roc also starts extorting Kane for millions for a crime they committed years ago that ties directly to Beata’s past. But when Kane refuses to pay, thing’s turn deadly as Roc comes after both of them with a vengeance. Will Beata be able to stay alive long enough to enjoy her fame?

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Three Necessary Elements to Maintain Good Mental Health

Three Necessary Elements to Maintain Good Mental HealthWhen You Face Financial Problems
By Connor R Sullivan

David O’Malley owned a construction business that specialized in building new houses in what had become a well liked area of Texas known for the unique way it was designed to attract young families who wanted to be close to schools, shopping and beautiful natural surroundings. When builders in the area began to experience a sharp drop off in clients seeking their services it became apparent that the poor economy was taking its toll on new construction. When David found it difficult to pay his employees he discovered that he was unable to pay health insurance premiums also. It was not very long before he had to contact legal expertise to see how he could best salvage what was left of his business.

He first looked for a Houston bankruptcy attorney through the normal sources; the phone book and online. Seeking to find someone who was familiar with his community he soon decided to contact someone who was a member of The Woodlands Bankruptcy Attorney law firm. The Woodlands bankruptcy lawyer who was assigned to his case was quite sympathetic to the situation but he also laid the ground rules for David to follow in order to attend to closing up his current business and pave the way for a completely new start when the time came.

Economic failures such as the one described in the above story are always hard to deal with and are never a welcome interruption to life. In fact, there are many repercussions when dealing with insolvency and a poor self image and low confidence are chief among them. Depression is also a likely result when a person is confronted with losing everything he or she has worked for by failing to meet payment deadlines and contractual obligations. Some helpful habits are sometimes undervalued but they can actually aid a person who is undergoing such a stressful time.

1. Exercise – This is such a simple but effective tool that can keep a person physically active, take up time that would otherwise be given to excess worrying and be a health benefit as well. Incorporating exercise into a daily routine is a wonderful means of building physical and mental well being.

2. Reading – This is a great aid in the fight to maintain focus and concentration when fighting depression or low esteem. There are many uplifting non-fiction books to encourage a brighter outlook on life from people who have been through trying times themselves. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with losing oneself in a good mystery or a daring adventure novel to take your mind off of your own troubles.

3. Time with friends – Staying connected socially is vital to good mental health and will go a long way in helping a person feel he or she is not alone as they fight to regain a positive perspective. It also never hurts to keep your friends informed regarding your job search, etc. as they may be of help when it comes to networking with others they may know who could use your services.

Connor Sullivan recently spent time researching law firms with The Woodlands bankruptcy attorney on staff. He hired The Woodlands bankruptcy lawyer to join his legal staff.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Connor_R_Sullivan  

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Intimate Conversation with author Pat Bertram

Intimate Conversation with author Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Daughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret. This is a story of quests: a quest for truth, a quest for self-discovery, a quest for meaning even at the end of one’s life.

Q: Tell us a little about your main characters in Daughter Am I. Who was your favorite? Why?
A: Mary is a bit naive about life, a bit lost, and very straightlaced, but when she meets up with her grandfather’s friends –all people who have spent their long lives on the outskirts of the law — she learns what is important: that one must do anything to protect those she loves. And she does come to care deeply about the elders in her care. How can Mary’s journey be anything but fun with companions such as these:

Kid Rags, a dapper forger, seems to have two interests in life — drinking bourbon and eating copious amounts of food.

Crunchy, an ex-wrestler, threatens to crunch anyone who doesn’t treat Mary well.

Teach, a con man, tells Mary more than she ever wanted to know about gangsters, Wyatt Earp, and life.

Happy, an ex-wheelman for the mob, is ready with his gun though his hands shake too much to aim, let alone shoot.

Iron Sam, a dying hit man just released from prison, has his own, secret agenda.

At various times during the writing, each character became my favorite. I especially liked Happy, because he offered so many opportunities for humor, and Iron Sam, because he offered so many opportunities for spookiness.

Q: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
A: I borrowed the name “Kid Rags” from a turn of the 20th century gangster, and I borrowed some of the characteristics of Iron Sam from a real killer of the same era, but for the most part, I created the characters from scratch. Or from various parts of my own psyche, perhaps.

Q: What inspired you to write this story, Daughter Am I?
A: A friend used to regale me with tales of early gangsters, debunking the myths that surrounded them, and I wanted to write a book using the truth as a backdrop to a modern-day gangster tale. Also, I wanted to write a story of a quest using the hero’s journey format. The two desires come together in Daughter Am I.

Q: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in the book?
A. Though it was never a goal when writing the book, I did touch on the issue of the elderly. We forget that they once were young, once were vibrant, once perhaps were great lovers or great heros. Even when one is old and forgotten, one still needs love and more importantly, a reason for living.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
A: A book begins with a single word. Many novice writers get intimidated by the thought of writing an entire novel, but all you ever need to write is one word. I know that’s not much of a goal, but in the end, it is the only goal. That’s how every book all through the ages got written — one word at a time. By stringing single words together, you get sentences, then paragraphs, pages, chapters, an entire book. After that, who knows, you might even reach the pinnacle and become a published author. All because you set your goal to write one word.

Q: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
A: My fourth novel, Light Bringer, will be published later this year by Second Wind Publishing. The hero of Light Bringer, Becka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

Q: Where can people learn more about your books and events?
A: I have a website — http://patbertram.com/  — where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my books, and my events on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/

All of my books (A Spark of Heavenly Fire, More Deaths Than One, and Daughter Am I) are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing — http://secondwindpublishing.com/Amazon,  and Smashwords — http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/patbertram.  And from Amazon, of course.

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SLEEP NO MORE by Felton Perry

“SLEEP NO MORE”  by Felton Perry



A joint production by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Ebony Repertory Theater, the African Marketplace, Inc, and the Inner City Cultural Center

It’s time to reacquaint ourselves with …Inner City Cultural Center and it many contributions, artistically and talent, to the world.

“SLEEP NO MORE” by Felton Perry will be directed by Felton Perry and read on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 8:00pm at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.  The staged reading of this delightful musical will help kick off a series of quarterly readings of the best of Inner City Cultural Center during its day.

Artists reading will include many of the plays original artists including Hawthorne James, Art Evans, Felton Perry, Phyllis Bailey, Marvin Elkins, Vance Valencia, Wren Brown, Rosa Maria Marquez, Debra Sellers, Ted Lange, Louis Price, Leslie Bee, Maoco Elkins, and Dr. Sandi Sheffy. The one night event should be fun and a chance to reacquaint yourself with old friends, and if you recall the antics of Sleep No More, laugh until you can not stop.

Please forward this notice to your list of friends, the media, and those sensitive to the arts. We will do this every quarter this year. We want to thank Felton, Wren Brown, Gaye Hooks, and Ebony Repertory Theater, and Ernest Dillihay of the Department of Cultural Affairs for working with us to create a forum for Inner City Cultural Center.

James V. Burks, Producer

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Hollywood Deception by Sheila M. Goss

Hollywood Deception by Sheila M. Goss
Two friends, one woman, and one deranged fan.
Former supermodel and talk show host Hailey Barnes has a knack for catching her guests off guard with difficult and personal questions. Her tough interviews have earned her a Daytime Emmy, but while her professional life is at its peak, she’s not satisfied with her personal life.
Hailey wants what she can’t have, and that’s her ex-college sweetheart’s hand in marriage. Her on again/off again relationship with Trevon keeps her name in the tabloids, and that works for her, until she receives a wedding invitation in the mail—inviting her to Trevon’s wedding to another woman. He’s ready to settle down, just not with Hailey.
Besides dealing with a broken heart, the ex-supermodel is dealing with a deranged fan who has resorted to sending her disturbing mail at her Hollywood studio and her home. Hailey decides to use the opportunity as a quest to convince Trevon she should be his bride.
Trevon and childhood friend Garrett Morgan are co-owners of GT Securities, a security firm that caters to celebrities. Hailey’s plan backfires when Garrett heads her case instead of Trevon. When ex-playboy Garrett starts developing feelings for Hailey, Hailey’s life becomes even more complicated. As Garrett investigates, all evidence points to the person Hailey least suspects.
With fans like this, who needs enemies?   Read an excerpt here.
Intimate Conversation with author Shelia M.Goss
Shelia M. Goss is the national best-selling author of six women’s fiction novels: Hollywood Deception, His Invisible Wife, My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and three young adult books: The Lip Gloss Chronicles series: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, and Paper Thin. 
BPM: Introduce us to your latest book Hollywood Deception. 
Hollywood Deception is a fast-paced romantic thriller about Hailey Barnes, a talk show host, whose dealing with a broken heart and a deranged fan. Hailey wants what she can’t have, and that’s her ex-college sweetheart’s hand in marriage. Her on again/off again relationship with Trevon keeps her name in the tabloids, and that works for her, until she receives a wedding invitation in the mail—inviting her to Trevon’s wedding to another woman. He’s ready to settle down, just not with Hailey.
Besides dealing with a broken heart, the ex-supermodel is dealing with a deranged fan who has resorted to sending her disturbing mail at her Hollywood studio and her home. Hailey decides to use the opportunity as a quest to convince Trevon she should be his bride. Trevon and childhood friend Garrett Morgan are co-owners of GT Securities, a security firm that caters to celebrities. Hailey’s plan backfires when Garrett heads her case instead of Trevon. When ex-playboy Garrett starts developing feelings for Hailey, Hailey’s life becomes even more complicated. As Garrett investigates, all evidence points to the person Hailey least suspects.
BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
Hailey Barnes first appeared in my book Double Platinum. She’s also a character that I used in a web series. She was such a lively character, that she begged for her own story and that’s how Hollywood Deception was born. 
 
BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place? 
Hailey is dealing with a broken heart as she attempts to be the number one talk show host in the nation. She’s also dealing with a deranged fan who stalks her at work and at home. 
BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Hollywood Deception addresses two issues in the book: stalking, which affects over 3 million people a year and a mental disorder known as bipolar.
BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
I’m excited to announce that my next book, Delilah, will be Christian Fiction. I’m currently working on the edits. Its scheduled for a 2011 release. Where ever Delilah goes, drama is sure to follow. She wreaks havoc on the lives of every man she comes in contact with. Will her luck change when she meets the man of her dreams? 
Besides writing for adults, I write young adult fiction. I’m honored to be the recipient of the 2009 EDC Creations Author of the Year for my teen series – The Lip Gloss Chronicles.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online? 
To keep updated on any of my new projects or learn more about my old books, please visit me at http://www.sheliagoss.com/.  
Shelia M. Goss – Author of Hollywood Deception & 5 other women’s fiction novels & 3 YA Novels

 
Contact Information for Shelia M. Goss
 
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Book Spotlight: Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us

Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us

Donna Michele Watford, RN was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has degrees in Sociology and Health Studies; and currently attends Drexel University Graduate School.
She’s married and resides in the Metro Atlanta area.
Donna realized a void in her life after the loss of her mother; it was then she asked God’s permission to share her experiences to offer others encouragement. Embarking on a new journey involving a closer walk with Jesus the Christ, she now shares her journey with Him through writing poems, songs and books. Donna’s goal is to first and foremost give God glory, provide hope in the face of despair, and be encouraging.
About the Book
Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us  is the author’s memoir. It’s a spiritual journey of a mother and daughter; the conclusion is peace, be still. A journey anointed with the potential to revolutionize the thoughts of mankind. This inspirational book focuses on social challenges including senseless killings and substance abuse. It has a subtle political twist that considers the sacrifices of Martin Luther King; unforgettable change. Their time together echoes the sentiments of President Barack Obama by depicting the effects from helping; circumstances change. A story offering the only love capable to change lives: John 3:16.
Author Donna Michele Watford shares an excerpt from Amazing Grace
CREDIT:  “Amazing Grace” is sung by Hazel Miller.
Book Review
If you have had a chance to read Amazing Grace, please include your book review here. Also, please include your book review on Amazon and/or BN.com.  For more information, view the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/AmazingGraceBlogTour.
This love story written for Christmas: Amazing Grace, A Tribute to You, The Story of Us, depicts the Sovereign in the lives of two individuals; mother and daughter. You are taken on their spiritual journey, and as a result of their experiences; hope is unveiled through the careful guidance of the Holy Spirit. Their time together reveals love in its greatest form: John 3:16.
It is the story of an only child who loses her mother who was also her best friend and sister in Christ. The story-line is based on a low middle-class single-parent family. This inspirational book focuses on many social issues involving the poor. It describes several common social challenges that are often hushed societal realities. It has a subtle political twist that encourages helping one another. It is a story of great faith and it offers an everlasting hope: Jesus.
Read an Excerpt: Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us
by Donna Michele Watford
Amazing Grace by Donna M.Watford (Excerpt)
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Intimate Conversation with Nakia R. Laushaul

Intimate Conversation with Nakia R. Laushaul

Nakia R. Laushaul is employed as a Finance Administrator. She is a poet, novelist, and inspirational blogger. In her free time she enjoys performing her poetry and hanging out with her teenage son. Nakia serves on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, KCCP, that was created to encourage arts participation in youth. Nakia is committed to challenging everyone in her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all.  Help support her new book by sharing this link  and blog post.

Ella: Nakia, introduce us to your book of poetry, The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose. 
My book is called, The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose. It’s an inspirational collection of poetry and essays about everyday life from my point of view. Although I absolutely love poetry, I am a storyteller to the depths of my soul. So, you will see a complete story in every poem. Every chapter tells a poetic story about You and Me, Love, God, Life, and how I came to be free in a way that every reader, no matter their favorite genre, will enjoy.

Ella: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
The God in me makes me feel powerful. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life that tried, yet failed each time to break me. I woke up one day and felt like yeah I finally got this, I got me. I am no longer ashamed of where I come from, who I am, what I lack, what I have, or where I’m going. All I know is that I am writing with the authority of God and that makes me a powerful woman.

Ella: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… 
My hope is to inspire for generations to come. I want future readers to know— if you follow the hollow ground I’ve walked on, it will take you generations to be free. Learn from the past and take the shortcut, young one — here, take this shortcut.

Ella: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book? 
I have been (and still am) working on a novel for many years. I won’t even tell you exactly how many years it has been, not just yet (smile). All those years, I was afraid to write because I feared what I would come out of my pen and the impact it would have on others. I knew that whatever I wrote would be so drenched in truth that some people were bound to get their feelings hurt.

In the process of avoiding what I was born to do, I was disobedient to God’s purpose, and my life was a mess. I woke up before dawn one day feeling distressed because God fills my head with so many thoughts, I don’t sleep well. I found underneath my desk, a beautiful journal that I had never opened. Inside was an inscription by Picasso that read, “Everything you can imagine is real.” I wrote underneath, Then I imagine I love myself. I turned the page and wrote down all the reasons I loved myself. Those reasons turned into the first poem I wrote for this collection, “I Am A Tree.” By that evening I had a title for the entire book, The Truth As I See It. It was all poetry in the beginning, but I got hooked on blogging; hence prose entered the book.

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Initially, The Truth As I See It was God’s attempt to reach me. God was calling out to me through my own voice, God to Nakia. Come in Nakia. I discovered so much about myself during the writing process. Now I know I can’t force anyone else to change. However, my goal is to encourage a positive and willing acceptance of what is true and right.

Ella: How will reading your book shape the readers lives? 
When my readers put my book down, I want them to imagine me saying personally to them, “You are strong, you are beautiful, you can make it, and you are uniquely fashioned in His image. You are A Tree!” I want my readers to concentrate more on being who they are and not what others want them to be. I would like them to feel empowered enough to break away from generational curses and self defeat, find their purpose, and truly live.

Ella: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book? 
The thing with writing poetry is that others always assume every poem is about the poet. I can’t tell you how many poems are actually about you and what you are going through in your life, what I’ve read, or what I’ve overheard. I am a thief of juicy conversations. I wrote a poem about abortion, “Liberated,” that spawned from reading a Gwendolyn Brooks poem called “The Mother.” I heard the testimony of a famous gospel singer and wrote “Happy Mother’s Day.” I wrote a poem that deals with what will surely happen to our future if we don’t do something called, “Deuteronomy.” Many of my messages are a bit taboo and I wrestled intensely with writing them, but either I stand up for what I believe in, or I should have called my book, The Lies I Tell Myself. That was not going to happen because I’m done with lying to myself just to make someone else feel comfortable.

Ella: What was the most powerful poem in the book? 
I cannot pick a most powerful poem as each one tells a story that is special to me. I would very much appreciate if my readers would send me an email letting me know which poem affected them the most and why. On the other hand, my novel, Running From Solace is my baby waiting patiently to get here. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the excerpt I included at the end of The Truth As I See It.

Ella: What do you think makes your book different from others? 
Ecclesiastes 1:9   What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Since there is nothing new to be done, the only difference between my book and others’ is the way I choose to offer my poetic stories. I give them in a page-turning, here’s the truth, now deal with it—in a plain and simple sort of way. You will not need a decoder to decipher the message because I give it straight up—no chaser, so be ready.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
Presently, you can purchase and autographed copy of The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose on my website. It will soon be available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through other Internet sources where books are sold. I am currently working on my novel, Running From Solace.

Ella: How can our readers reach you online? 
I am a real life Social Butterfly, so I welcome you to rant it up with me on my blog, Random Rants of Truth of a Social Butterfly: http://nakialaushaul.blogspot.com/

Friend me and get chatty on FaceBook, or stop by my website anytime you like to see what I’m up to and what’s new: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com . You never know, I may be headed to your town very soon! I also welcome your emails, so share your thoughts about my work: Nakia@nakiarlaushaul.com

The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose by Nakia R. Laushaul
Listen to an audio presentation from the book

ISBN-10: 0984368264
ISBN-13: 978-0984368266

Purchase today: http://www.amazon.com/Truth-As-See-Poetry-Prose/dp/0984368264

Nakia Laushaul…is making the best of today!
Author of The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose
Website: http://www.nakiarlaushaul.com/  

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Book Spotlight: Forbidden: A Ben Blaze Tragedy

Forbidden: A Ben Blaze Tragedy

Ben Blaze is a new author born in Lake City, Florida and raised in Live Oak, Florida. He is featured in the anthology Romanace For The Streets with Marlon Mccaulsky and K. Roland Williams. He will also be featured in the anthology Try A Little Tenderness due out on Black Friday.
Q:: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
I feel I am a powerful man because of my drive and determination. My personal experiences have molded me into that type of man. I’m powerful as a writer because of the creativity I bring when I pick up a pen and the fact that I am a huge fan of literature. During my writing process I wear the hat of a writer and a fan, as I am my biggest critic.
Q:: Who are your mentors?
My publisher Jarold Imes pretty much took me under his wing and showed me the game. He’s been very helpful and I thank him for the opportunity. My inspiration comes from hip hop and my family. For a while, that was all I had and they will be with me until I’m gone.
Q:: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Forbidden?
The inspiration came from my love of tragedies and my love for hip hop. I discovered Shakepeare in junior high listened to rappers like Biggie, Nas and Big L tell stories in their raps. I was always intrigued by them and continue to be. Also, real life situations shaped my thoughts and inspired me to use my creative license to mold this tragic tale.
Q:: Who were your favorite characters? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
My favorite character is Block, the villian. He’s my favorite because I could go anywhere with him. I could take it anywhere I saw fit and I did just that. Block was not inspired from anyone in particular though. He came straight out of my active imagination.
Q:: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want the reader to be fully entertained from start to finish. I didn’t write this story to teach a lesson or even educate anyone though I’m sure there are people out there that will take something away from this novel. My main purpose was taking the reader to this world of hip hop, sex, forbidden love and greed and making sure they get their money’s worth. I think I accomplished that goal.
Q:: What are the keys to your success?
As a rookie, I know I have to pound the pavement and get my name out there. I’m a virtual unknown at this point in the game. Right now, it’s all about the hustle, and I’m prepared for it. I’m confident that I have a well-written novel that readers will enjoy, so promotion is the key. From passing out flyers to the internet, I’m on it.
Q:: What’s next for you?
Myself, K.Roland Williams and Marlon McCaulsky had some success with Romance For The Streets. We’re coming back with another anthology that I think people are going to feel. It is entitled Try A Little Tenderness. The anthology will be more sensual this go round. I have other solo projects that I’m going to be hitting you with on, so please be on the lookout for me.
Q:: How can our readers reach you online?
I can be reached at  benblaze5050@yahoo.com.  I’m on facebook (Ben Blaze), and twitter (BenBlazeWrites).
Purchase your copy of Forbidden today: http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Ben-Blaze/dp/1934195634
Forbidden by Ben Blaze
ISBN-10: 1934195634
ISBN-13: 978-1934195635
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Book Spotlight: Inside Danica’s Closet by Nikkea Smithers

Inside Danica’s Closet by Nikkea Smithers
Nikkea Smithers is an Essence Magazine best-selling, author and spoken word artist. She has released several novels and poetry compilations in nearly every genre. Her writing style is unique as she uses her ability to play on words throughout each project. She is also the president of the award winning Readers With Attitude Bookclub which has been recognized as a force to be reckoned with in the literary industry.
Q:: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
I have the ability to write on nearly any subject and make it real for my readers. That level of diversity in my subject matter has really assisted me in growing as a writer. I always push myself to explore new ways to express my characters while enhancing my writing style. Doing this has pushed me to not write only what’s comfortable for me. As a person, being able to be versatile has caused me to be very open minded which is an absolute need in todays society.
Q:: Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything around me. It always amazes me how no matter what people go through, they always find ways to make it through and find a lesson in it. That makes me want to tell their story. The underdog has always interested me. I wonder what causes them to follow the paths that they have gone down? I love feeding off of the energy of the world around me and making it live through my writing.
Q:: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…the ability to entertain, educate and inspire.
Q:: Introduce us to your favorite characters within Inside Danica’s Closet. What are two major events taking place?
Danica is a fan favorite from On The Flip Side. She is like a guilty pleasure. She has done some really crazy things that make the readers question her motives but in this book the readers can really see where it’s coming from. I was asked so many times with the last book, what made Danica the way that she was. In this book some of those questions are answered. I say some because Danica’s character will always leave readers craving for more!
Danica is taking extreme measures to search for redemption. She changes her scenery and moves several states away from her home to find out what’s really going on in her head. Even though she is a therapist she seeks the help of a spiritual councelor and digs up some repressed memories that almost brings a breakthrough. Her only mistake is that she hasn’t covered her tracks very well.
Throughout the book there is mention of a threat on the city where Danica has moved to, but she doesn’t take it serious. Even when Patrice is introduced to the drama that is causing many to stay in doors after dark, she looks over it. Neither one of these women pay attention to the signs that are spelled out very clearly. I thought about how everyday, things are happening to people and we think it can never be us. But what if it is you? What would you do? The hard truth is that you may never know until it happens however hopefully this book will help to open some eyes to know that anything can happen to anybody.
Patrice is another complex character. In On The Flip Side she had so many tricks up her sleeve that she was just down right grimy. Even though her dirt was exposed before the end of the first book, in this book she deals with the fall out. Every action has a reaction, therefore a chain of events are set into motion that cause her to have to really pay the piper.
Q:: Who were your favorites in Inside Danica’s Closet? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
None of the characters in this book are from the portrayal of real people however I’d have to say that Danica was my favorite character. I’ve been pushing her character more and more to really play out some of the things that I would never do. Danica has that type of edge to her where she justifies every action and in her mind she makes it right even if she is dead wrong.
Q:: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
This book was slated to come out later next year. There were some questions from On The Flip Side that my readers just had to find out and I wanted to feed off of that raw energy. This book was written a few months later after I collected the main feedback of what people wanted to know. I added some twist and turns along the way to make it unpredictable and interesting so I’m anxious to see how my readers recieve it.
Q:: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
This book has drama, suspense, it’s edgy, it’s unlike any of my other books. I wanted to go places that I’ve never went before in my writing. This is the first book that I have written with entertainment as first priority. Everything builds to a climax where you think you know what’s going to happen but you have no idea until it’s revealed.
Q:: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I’m in tour mode. I’ll be traveling all over featuring at poetry venues, meeting with bookclubs and signing books! My upcoming title is Domestic that deals with the after effects of domestic violence on a family which is scheduled to release in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Q:: How can our readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me by email at info@nikkeasmithers.com  via my website: http://www.nikkeasmithers.com/
Purchase from Amazon today!
ISBN-10: 097793876X
ISBN-13: 978-0977938766
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Author on the Move! Follow Me by Nikkea Smithers

Author on the Move!  by Nikkea Smithers

I never expected…a feature at the Federal Pen would change and inspire me so much…
Take a trip with me…
I’ve had a busy week of spoken word performances. As I’ve posted what I’ve been up to all week many have asked how did things go. My week started off great as I hosted and performed at Virginia State Universities National Poetry Month Slam. The energy was great and flowed over into the next night as I had a wonderful time with my family over at Tuesday Verses. On Wed, I had no idea that my life would forever be changed with a feature at the Petersburg Federal Pen.
Now this had been a long time coming. I did a show about a year or so ago for a very good friend whose Adult Education Program uses my books Gold Diggin and Sweet Dreams as required reading to qaulify for the GED program (Thanks Denise). At that show I met a new friend who asked me if I do shows for the community, my repsonse? Of course I do! One of the reasons I do what I do is because I want to help change lives. I write books that have messages behind them because I believe that those stories can help someone in a need. I’ve performed at highschools, colleges and even juvinile detention centers. We haven’t seen each other until I performed at the Chocolate Dip and Sip in February where we revisited her request to have me perform at her job. I knew that it was a prison but when I got there it blew my mind!
As I got off of the highway and traveled down the road to get to the institution, it didn’t hit me that this was a Federal Prison until I read the sign as I entered the road to the facility. At that point it got real for me. I knew I was performing for men who were locked up but silly me flashed back to the only visions of a federal institution that I have seen on televison. I desperately fought the butterflies that began to swarm as I went through the various security procedures to enter the facility (you know, metal detectors, take off your shoes, etc.). The staff was friendly and exhibited pride in what they were doing. I loved that fact. When someone really has pride in what they do it shows and I felt very welcomed.
As we began to walk through the prison I was suprised because it was alot different than anything I had seen. Everyone was polite, the facility was extraordinarily immaculate and the inmates were alert, ready to recieve from not only me but also their own. The event was very orderly. They had programs made with images of my books along side of Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou, I was grateful. There were about two hundred brothers sitting anxious to enjoy the poetry night.
They had a seven piece band setup that could easily back up any Neo-Soul artists flawlessly and played behind everyone as they performed. They were very professional and the the talent was amaing! One of the head Correctional Officers opened up with a poem about manhood and the perception of being a thug that was outstanding. He then introduced the M.C. for the evening which was one of the inmates. Everyone present was respectful and not one time did anyone have to make sure that the crowd was orderly. I loved the fact that the M.C. gave ettiquette to his peers letting them know that in open mics you snap when like what was said and then clap when the poet is finished. The inmates followed these instructions to the T and was gracious with the love and energy that they threw out into the enviornment.
Seven inmates performed and I must say, they made me laugh, cry and even stand to appluad the courage to speak out on many of the things that were ailing them. One guy had a poem where he talked about how all of his friends turned on him as soon as he was got locked up but ended it with how he found the love of Jesus and made him his bestfriend. The way he performed the poem was brilliant! Another guy talked about his friend who was denied health care while locked up and died of a heart attack before the start of the year. The poem from the inmate that brought me to tears however was entitled A Mothers Love for a Two Time Loser. This guy talked about how his 71 year old mother has been through brain tumors, two comas and everything else imaginiable and still visited him everytime she could. Her love for him despite his faults kept him going and I was taken aback.
This is the point that changed me personally alot. My personal views when I was growing up and loved ones got locked up was that I wasn’t going to be visiting, writing or putting money on my phone for anyone them. I had an ex-boyfriend who did something stupid like steal a watch or wallet and got locked up (in jail, not prison at that) and I meant that I wasn’t going to write him or visit him, etc. He always asked me why I was so cold to him during that time and I simply replied that if he loved me like he said he did he wouldn’t do something so stupid to get himself locked up and since I had no intentions of doing his time with him he had better get it together. Last night, as I sat in the back of that chapel with all of those men and listened to their poems about how they felt so alone when their loved ones didn’t even accept their phone calls made me really rethink somethings. I’m not as strict as I was back when my ex made his mistake but these revelations really made me think…what if? Then I thought of that Kirk Franklin song ‘It Could Have Been Me’. How would I feel if I made one bad choice in my life and everyone I loved turned their back on me?
By the time it was my turn to perform I knew I had to bring it. This crowd really deserved the best I had to give because I was placed there to bless them as much as they had blessed me. I was choked up as I stood infront of that room of attentive inmates, CO’s and federal prison workers. I started with my new concious poem entitled ‘Have We Forgotten’ then went on to perform ‘On The Flip Side’, ‘I’ve Got’, ‘Venus’, ‘In the Morning’ and ended with ‘Love Poems’. As I wasn’t sure what I could bring into the building to give to the inmates I had chapter excerpts from several of my novels and poetry books and flyers. Every single item I brought was well recieved and they even asked if I could send more. At then end I signed over a hundred (just from the top of my head) authographs and everyone was respectful.
I am so grateful for this experience because I got back as much as I gave. I’ve been inspired in many ways. I know this was a mouthful but if you took the time to read this note, thank you and I appreciate you.
Bookclubs who would like to connect to me simply email me at info@nikkeasmithers.com
Happy Reading,
Nikkea Smithers, Essence Magazine Best Selling Author
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Book Spotlight: Colors of a Man by Tia Stewart

Colors of a Man: Tribute to African-American Men
Colors of a Man: Tribute to African-American Men is poetry about African-American men and the women who love them. In this book, to truly love someone entails not just sensual love, but emotional love, spiritual love, psychosocial love, and mental/physical love and health/wellness love.
African-American men are compared to the great masterpieces paintings. “All of the poems are my own intimate fictionalized reflections about the men in my life and our world community,” says noted new author, Tia Stewart.
Colors of a Man: Tribute to African-American Men, definitely delivers as the title would suggest. It is a book that speaks to all black women, and to the generations. All of the poems are specifically “engineered to be multiple metaphors,” with various meanings depending on the individual reader. The way the author weaves hip-hop like poetic rhythms, with poetic techniques such as alliteration, hyperbole, personification, echopation, and onomatopoeia and then combines the poetic rhyme rhapsodies into the final poetic masterpieces, is pure poetic genius. Available Now!
Intimate Conversation with Tia Stewart
Tia Stewart is an award-winning African-American writer whose penchant for verbiage started in the fifth grade when her teachers thought she was passing handwritten notes about boys, but she and her best friend were editing each other’s books and magazine articles. Her first publication, Colors of a Man: Transgressions and Hope was published in April 2009 as an eBook on Amazon. She writes in several genres, but poetry is her passion.
BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
God gives me the power. Writing is a gift from Him. I write in numerous genres. One day I may write a poem. The next day I can write a prayer. Most people fail to realize that the Books of Psalms, Proverbs, and Songs of Solomon are the poetry and romance books of the Bible. The next day, I may write something more sensual and erotic. I love literary devices such as alliteration, echopation and metaphors. African-American writers have a mandate to teach the craft of writing as well as entertain. My writings are meant to educate as well. The Colors of a Man series of poetry books and novels excites, entertains, enthralls and educates.
BPM: What literary legacy do you leave our future readers and leaders?
I want my great-grandchildren to remember that at one time, we, African-American women were property, and bred like horses. We were legally forbidden to read and write. Education gave me the foundation to dream. My legacy is that I am my great-grandma Rebecca’s wildest dream; college-educated, writing about love, faith, and everyday struggles of being a woman, and living in the suburbs with weekly manicures, spa days, hair salon days, monthly massages, health club membership, shopping trips, fine dining, international travel, and paid help occasionally.
From playing croquet with my writing colleagues at the Country Club of Virginia, to doing poetry open-mics with the rappers to hanging out with Virginia’s most notorious bounty-hunters, I will write about it all in my series of books, Colors of a Man.
BPM: At what age or point in life did you unlock your gift for poetry?
I discovered my ability for writing in fifth grade. I wanted to write magazine articles for Ebony Jr at age eleven. One of my girlfriends was working on a novel in fifth grade and I use to edit her writings. A few years ago, I worked nights on a 24 hour Nurse Advice line for an insurance company, and a fellow poet, encouraged me to start writing poetry. Working the night shift, gave me the solitude to delve into poetry, and I rediscovered my dream of writing. “Black” was my first poem, that won critical acclaim. All my clients and friends loved that poem. I performed “Collateral Damage” at an open mic summer 2009 at The Canal Club, in Richmond, Virginia, and people started asking about my book. So I collected all my poems and Colors of a Man, Tribute to African-American Men was published for Christmas 2009.
BPM: Introduce us to your latest published work, Colors of a Man. What style is it?
Colors of a Man, Tribute to African-American Men is a sexy, romantic freestyle poetry collection that entertains, excites, enthralls, and educates. Men are compared to colors. This book comes with an accompanying neo-soul, jazzy, hip-hop poetry CD.
BPM: What moved you to begin writing?
The best of the poetry came out of the worst of personal tragedy. I ran a successful bail bonding company, in Richmond, Virginia called Big Momma Bail Bonds. One of my fellow bail bondsman, James Woolfolk and good friend was murdered. Really wonderful person, always smiling and his family ran a soul food restaurant within walking distance of Richmond City Jail. Most of my bail bonding business had me in more rural, country parts of Virginia, and I spent most of my time shopping and eating fried chicken with my cousins. We had a funny, competitive rivalry between the city bondsman and the country bondsman. He cooked at the restaurant, and was always trying to feed me (Smile).
As a bondsman, you spend alot of time with the magistrates, police officers, judges, and court officials, and between them and my family, everybody really wanted me to stop because of safety issues after his death. I started writing poetry to deal with all the loss. My mother was the first female African-American police office in Virginia, in the seventies, so I grew up around law enforcement all my life. Many of my college friends and family were DEA, ATF, CIA, FBI and Secret Service, so I know many people in criminal justice. As a military brat, I loved the adventure of being a bail bondsman. I attended high school and college in Detroit and Chicago. I even attended medical school for one year at Michigan State University, before becoming a full-time mommy. My writings, for the poetry and the novels, come from all these experiences.
BPM: Does your work offer a glimpse into your philosophy of life?
Colors of a Man, Tribute to African-American Men the title came about because I thought the brothers were getting a bad rap. I had finally learned the lesson that my grandmother was trying to teach me; Men are not God, they make mistakes. Most men just need you to spotlight the good points. God makes each of us a wonderful masterpiece, somewhat flawed. But still each of us is an artistic masterpiece. Barack Obama had just been elected President and the time seemed right to publish a book about African-American Men.
I starting comparing men and woman to colors in my poetry. We all start out just like the simple colors on an artist’s palette, like white, yellow, red; and end up irreplaceable like a priceless painting hanging in an art gallery.
Most men, whether judge, criminal or preacher, want to be a good father and take care of their family. It is time to solidify the family. You cannot have it all as a woman. You have to set your family as your priority, but not lose yourself. It is a delicate balancing act for most women. Men and children require your attention. Setting a firm boundary for family time is essential. Taking me time is critical for self-preservation for all women. We love to cook pastries and home-made pizza at my house. Cooking and working out at the YMCA together are our family activities. My “me time” is time spent at the hair and nail salon, massages, and shopping.
BPM: Does your writing offer refuge or healing in its form of expression?
Healing and refuge. I tried to capture the experiences of African-Americans from a female perspective. In my writings, I give a glimpse of being African-American and what that truly means. My paternal great-grandmother, Nellie Coleman, was born a slave, and she died when I was nine. She was 88, blind with diabetes, but this brilliant, gentle force. She had never learned to read. My paternal grandmother, Annie Mae Stewart worked as a domestic and seamstress. She loved everything and everybody. “Mae-Mae” as we all called her, had only completed fifth grade. Amazingly, she was an excellent reader. Her heartfelt desire was that I attend college and get all the education that she never had an opportunity to get.
My writings are an amalgamation of this multi-generational experience of being an African-American woman through the centuries. My children have been afforded the luxury of public, private, and home-schooled education, and even have family ties to Kenya and Nigeria. So we seemed to have come full circle, and I am excited about taking the children back to the African continent to truly understand their African ancestry. I love to travel and my writings take you to many different countries such as Kenya, Brazil, Bahamas, London, Tanzania, Thailand, Jamaica, South Africa, and St. Lucia.
BPM: What has been the main literary or cultural influences on your poetry?
The Harlem renaissance writers such as James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Zora Neal Hurston gave me a foundation for literature at an early age. I am avid reader. Writers Claude Brown, Lorraine Hansberry, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and Ntozake Shange influenced my poetry in high school. They made me proud to be a “colored girl.” Terry McMillan, Alice Walker, and Bebe Moore Campbell influenced my writings in college, because they spotlighted the difficulties of balancing work, family, and your dreams. Hometown writers, Nikki Turner and Stacy Hawkins Adams are polar opposites in writing, but give me exposure to the totality of this experience as an African-American female. My poetry has references and hidden metaphors to many of the entire genre of African-American writers.
BPM: Does your writing depict the struggles of our people or show the world how we love?
(Laughing) I am the love poet. I “make rainbows out of rain” it what one of my reviewers said. My father died when I was five from complications of diabetes, so I have always been able to retreat into this fantasy world, where I get to make my own characters. Fiction writing and especially poetry lets you write about all the different types of love. Love between a man and a woman. Love between a brother and a sister. Love between a mother and a child. Love of country. Love for God. Love for mankind.
I write from how I view the world. I am a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, cousin, nurse, entrepreneur, girlfriend, sister-friend, neighbor, poet, novelist, and world citizen. I value faith and family. My grandmother and her sisters were close. I have at least 500 second, third and fourth cousins. I have cousins who graduated from Harvard University and Princeton University, and cousins selling drugs on the corner, as a means of economic survival. I have been in the housing projects as a bail bondsman and a visiting nurse, and the country clubs as a writer. But somebody struggled so that I could go to the country club and attend universities such as Northwestern University, and University of Michigan. So I write about struggles also.
Additionally, I also have a concealed weapon permit. I have a book about healing prayers that I used as a nurse. I am the new millennium African-American woman. Gun-toting, and praying. See why they call me Big Momma?
BPM: Do you feel as if poetry is a performance art?
All poetry is meant to be heard. When I write my poetry, I decide if it is going to be a performance piece or not. Performance pieces have a message, they are meant to be spoken out loud. Performance pieces must possess “swag.” Some the Richmond rappers are helping me develop my “poetry swag” and poet’s bravado. Shakespeare was the original rapper. His writings had rhyme and rhythm. Jill Scout at her concerts does the blending of music and poetry, so well. My poetry is meant to be played on your MP3 or CD player. The words of the poem should intoxicate and hypnotize you to a different space. A good poem has some signature words or uses a new expression.
My poems that I write for publication come from a different space. I make sure that each letters makes love to the paper, as I write it down. Each letter has a place and a purpose, and needs to be doing something in order to stay in the poem. Poems tell the story. Paper poems have a typography and symmetry of word and a different type of literary purpose.
BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Colors of a Man, Tribute to African-American Men won the Readers Views 2009 Literary Awards, and Reviewers Choice first place poetry and the Book Hitch Award for Most Innovative Book of poetry.
I will be at National Black Book Festival in Houston and also Book Expo America in May 2010.
“Green Caviar”, my first romantic suspense novel is due for release late summer 2010 about my heroine, Angela, a well paid tobacco lawyer, her rapper boyfriend, Nick and her best friend Big Momma, the bail bondsman.
BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Drop by my website and listen to some of my poetry: http://www.tiastewart.com/
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/colorsofaman  
Subscribe to my blog: http://colorsofaman.blogspot.com/
Be my friend on Facebook: http://facebook.com/colorsofaman
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Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

POWDER NECKLACE chronicles the seminal years in the life of a teenage girl as she is shuttled both physically and emotionally from London to Ghana to London again, and finally Long Island.

What happens to sheltered, horny Lila Adjei when her mother sends her packing on an indefinite “vacation” to her unfamiliar homeland, Ghana?

Suddenly thrust into the Third World nation’s alien reality of water shortages, petty corruption, and intense religious faith, Lila turns her shell shock into an adventure of cultural, spiritual and self discovery. But when her mother finally allows her to return to England, it becomes clear that her globe-spanning quest to find herself has only just begun.

Inspired by a true story, Powder Necklace explores what happens when cultures, generations, and powerful personalities collide in one family. Like Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake it mingles laughter with bitterness, community with loneliness, desperate preservation of culture with the rebellious ache to assimilate in a fresh, sharp, and powerful new voice.

Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
ISBN-10: 1439126100
ISBN-13: 978-1439126103
http://www.amazon.com/Powder-Necklace-Nana-Ekua-Brew-Hammond/dp/1439126100

 

Intimate Conversation with author Kwame Teague

Intimate Conversation with author Kwame Teague aka Dutch

Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Kwame Teague is the award winning, critically acclaimed, and Essence #1 bestselling author of the street classic Dutch trilogy. His other novels include The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and the Glory of My Demise, and Thug Politics under the pseudonym Dutch. With a passion for writing, Kwame is hard at work on his next novel.
BPM: Introduce us to your new book Dynasty.
Dynasty is a urban soap opera series that follows the life of Guy Simmon[s family. What is unique about the series is its set in both the past and the present. It deals with drugs, lust, betrayal, jealously and inner family relations.
BPM: What inspired you to write this story?
A. I wanted to write a book that was based on a gangster crime family similar to the Soprano’s. I wanted to deal with some of the issues that come with the lifestyle and how it affects the family structure.
BPM: Who did you write this book for? Why?
A. I wrote the book for myself first. Whenever I write, I have to be first interested in the subject matter myself or I can’t write the story. After that, I give it to my readers, I say reader in a wide context because weather you’re a 34-year old woman, a 22 year old man incarcerated, or even a 50 year old college professor I want to intrigue you. I don’t aim for the “urban” audience but I do write about the urban experience. So in a nutshell, if you can relate, then I write for you.
BPM: Urban literature should present a “cautionary tale”. What issues do you bring to the reader’s attention?
A. Who says that urban literature should present a cautionary tale? I don’t believe that’s true. The first priority is writing a good compelling book. Hannibal Lecter eats people; Mario Puzo wrote the Godfather, where’s their cautionary tale?  Let the urban voice be free to express their selves, and as the reader grows, the genre will grow.  Don’t hold us to standards you don’t propose to Teri McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey or Joan Collins.
BPM: I, Ella Curry, says that Urban Literature should have a cautionary flair to it. My reason? Because in this hiphop generation, our children are reading material too old for them to grasp. They need to understand that there is a consequence for every action.  Now, that’s just my opinion, this interview is about you!  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A. I like to listen to music, that is what inspires me the most.
BPM: What is the best advice you would give to an inspiring author?
A. Stay true to yourself. Don’t try and be street if you’re not just because you may have grown up in the ghetto. Also, if you’re from the street, don’t try and water it down just because mainstream wants to belittle you. Be true to yourself.
BPM: How may our readers contact you online to purchase book?
A. Purchase books here from my publisher: http://www.dcbookdiva.com/
Follow me online for more news and book excerpts.
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BPM Article: Women Power in Today’s Organizations

Women Power in Today’s Organizations
by Dr. Daryl Green

America has continued to learn how to deal with strong women during the great demographic shift in history. Corporate America celebrates media moguls like Oprah Winfrey. According to Fortune Magazine, 15 Fortune 500 companies are run by women. In fact, women of color are showing others how to break traditional barriers. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice transformed how powerful women can lead major government sectors. In fact, there is a long list of successful women in all types of institutions.

Yet, the road to success for most black women isn’t easy. Many women’s dreams of a successful career have come to reality. Strangely enough, some women have been trying to have it all. This marks the clash. There are women who focus on the primary care of their families while delaying their personal dreams. Others dedicate their lives to their careers while compromising the stability of their families. In the middle, there are millions of mothers who attempt to do it all out of necessity and attempt to chase the great American Dream. This article focuses on the issues facing professional women and provides solutions. Several professional women were interviewed. However, their real names are not disclosed, to protect them since they work in small industries.

The Problem
According to the 2005 Census Report, there are 82.5 million mothers in the United States , and there are 10 million single mothers living with children under 18 years old. Working moms make up 55 percent of mothers with infants. Feminists celebrate the liberation of working women while traditionalists postulate the merits of home-bound mothers for institutional stability. In fact, some people blame the moral decay of the country on mothers abandoning their families for professional careers. Many women try to maintain a healthy balance of work and family life, but this balancing act leaves some of them “burnt out.” Therefore, there is a growing problem for women in particular and society in general in understanding consequences of women’s power in the near future.

The Trend
Women stand at the fore front of disruptive change in the political, social, economic, and technological sectors of most counties. Dr. James Canton’s The Extreme Future notes “Women will comprise a high percentage of new workers and leaders, forever changing the politics of boardrooms and markets.” According to a US Census report, nearly one-third of all married women in the US make more than their husbands. More than 25% of working wives earned more their husbands in 2007 (up from 20% in 1983). Furthermore, women are earning college degrees at a faster pace than men. Between 2000 and 2001, women earned 57% of all undergraduate degrees.

Woman power is also being flexed in the corporate world. In 1983, women held 34% of all US executive and managerial positions. However, women held more than 50% of these positions in 2003. Futurist John Cashmen predicts women will forever change the landscape of all institutions: “The number of women in the primary breadwinner role will likely grow in coming decades, driven by social change and the fact that women’s educational achievement is outpacing men’s in many parts of the world.” Therefore, executives must consider how the changing roles of women in organizations will impact their corporate strategies.

The Career Strategy
Progressive women need to develop critical career strategies in a holistic fashion. Balancing work and family is difficult. In general, some men are already taking this transition personally. Some men are opting for the domestic life while their wives become the principal breadwinners. Therefore, society watches gender role reversals and wonder how it will end…relational success or failure?

For working women, any results are often problematic anyway. Yenissee Alonso and Vickie Brint, authors of the article Women in the Workplace, argue that women still deal with institutional barriers that keep them from being successful. For example, women in general are making less than their counterparts doing the same job with the same experience.

Alonso and Brint note, “Since nearly half of the workforce is comprised of women, it stands to reason that woman should be enjoying the same success as their male counterparts in terms of advancement opportunities and earning capacity.” Princeton researchers in a 2003 study concluded that college-educated women who hold higher expectations for their potential mate may lower their chances for getting married. In fact, some men may be uncomfortable with having a woman who has more education and makes more than them, postulate some theorists.

Sue Means is a professional engineer in a highly competitive consulting industry. She sees challenges for professional women. She notes that men are treated differently. Means explains, “Some of my colleagues talk about how pretty I am. They comment on my clothes and make suggestions regarding what I should wear. That would not happen to a man.”

Liza Fuller is a government program manager with a decade of experience in handling difficult environmental issues. She exists in a mostly male dominated industry. Fuller notes, “Women are still expected to work harder than men to prove themselves and avoid criticism. Attractive women still get grief about being promoted for reasons other than their own merit and it’s not fair.”

Furthermore, Canton suggests that the most educated, skilled, and experienced employees will be in high demand. Therefore, professional women need better strategies. Means recommends prioritizing what’s important: “I let go what’s not important. Most women get overwhelmed with trying to manage all of the household and family responsibilities while working at the same time. You need to be realistic about what you can do. It’s a balancing act.” Some women feel that they can have it all without any drop off. Fuller disagrees: “There is always a sacrifice because you spend more time away from your family.” Although there will be an ever increasing number of opportunities for women in the workplace, women must analyze every career move in a holistic fashion if they want to keep that delicate balance.

Conclusion
The future is bright for working women as never before. In fact, women will drive most institutions toward major changes in the near term. However, this article demonstrated that the road to success for most professional women isn’t easy. They must deal with sexism to a certain degree. However, the demands of their professional life have not kept up with the heavy demands of a family and personal life. Therefore, women must develop career strategies in a holistic manner that maximizes their efforts. Black women continue to excel against tremendous obstacles. In turn, society must learn how to embrace women’s power in the future if America hopes to continue to compete.

© 2010 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 http://stores.lulu.com/darygre  or   http://www.darylgreen.org/.

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SistahFaith: Real Stories of Pain, Truth, and Triumph

SistahFaith: Real Stories of Pain, Truth, and Triumph
by Marilynn Griffith (Compiler)

Ashamed No More
Every woman needs a safe place to bleed…a quiet place to scream, and friends to dress her wounds. She needs the support of sistahs who won’t cringe at the honest truth, who are willing to walk by her side, who will listen to her stories, and who will offer balm to heal her wounds.

This collection of poignant, true stories honestly reflects the humiliation that countless women experience every day at the hands of people who are supposed to love them. Drawing from the biblical story of Tamar, who was raped and disgraced by her own brother, spiritual truths of hope, healing, and new beginnings are highlighted in every story.

Among the women who have shared their stories of truth and triumph are Bonnie DeBarge of the famed Motown group the DeBarges, award-winning novelist Sharon Ewell Foster, and author Claudia Mair Burney.  Most women endure in silence — afraid to tell the truth, held captive by their disgrace. But here, in these pages, they have told the truth, they have lifted their skirts to show their scars, and most important of all — they have found redemption, hope, and new life.

Create Your Own SistahFaith Circle: In addition to sharing beautifully written stories and poems, this book shows you how to gather your own group of sistahs, and each chapter includes discussion questions that will help your gathering of sistahs journey past the shame, beyond rejection, and straight to the heart of God.

Author the Founder
Marilynn Griffith is the author of eight novels including the Shades of Style series and the Sassy Sistahood series. Her novels have been featured in Charisma Magazine, Black Expressions Book Club, and Black Issues Book Review. Other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and Momsense Magazine. She also serves as president of the recently formed SistahFaith Communications, LLC.

Raped at the age of thirteen and a first-time mother at age fourteen, Marilynn was all too familiar with secrecy and shame. But after becoming a Christian and marrying a good man, she now encourages women to lay aside the shame of secrecy and shares a message of hope and healing.

ISBN-10: 1439152772    |    ISBN-13: 9781439152775    |     Buy Now from Amazon

What Readers Are Saying

Circle of Sistahs of Great Faith, May 1, 2010

By Sharel E. Gordon-Love, Author

This review is from: SistahFaith: Real Stories of Pain, Truth, and Triumph (Paperback)

Author Marilyn Griffith, along with other sisters, in search of sisterhood, healing, unconditional love and deliverance, have come together in SistahFaith to share their stories that glorify God, lift one another, and other women who will be encouraged and enlightened, and can ultimately experience all that God has for them divinely through their testimonies.

Each story in Sistah Faith is true, as these women of faith lay bear their hearts to help not just themselves, but other women who may have gone through what they have, or may be in the midst of the same pain…the truth is, they can experience triumph despite their horrific circumstances. Stories detailing the pain and the poetry that flowed beautifully within the chapters were wonderful and uplifting. The structure of each story was woven drawn from the Biblical character, Tamar. Readers are taken on a journey from the pain, the shame and the scars to forgiveness and healing.

The poem, Let Me Laugh, by Wanda J. Burnside asks the Lord to laugh no matter what we have been through or may be going through. Dr. Gail M. Hayes’s chapter, Perfection, touched my heart, yet she shared how God intervened in her plans to end it all, comforting her with the promise that He will perfect all that concerns her. Stephanie L. Jones shared, What If… I Had Never Been Sexually Abused? It is not unusual to ask, “what if” questions, but God answered with love, forgiveness and His Word.

Sistah Faith begins with the search of sisterhood, something I believe most women consider to be valuable in their lives, and so Author Griffith takes us through the selection process, making suggestions so that we can experience God’s precious deliverance together as sisters in Christ. Each chapter has discussion questions that will be a tremendous help to any sistah circle.

I enjoyed Sistah Faith immensely and recommend this book to women everywhere, as well as to women’s groups, particularly in the household of faith.

This book was provided to me courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
Review by Sharel E. Gordon-Love,  APOOO BookClub


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