Monthly Archives: February 2013

Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Order of the Seers
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Order of the Seers poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, romance, and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Part one of the thrilling Order of the Seers trilogy will take you on a journey that fuses action, mystery, romance and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.  The story begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith’s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future.  Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. 

Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world.  But from within the organization, Marcus Akida, a captured Seer with powerful visioning capabilities, quietly plots his escape and revenge against the Guild with the help of three other Seers and a group of outlaws whose commune in Iowa provides a refuge for them.  When Liam, Lilith and the escaped Seers meet at the commune, they combine their resources and skills to begin rebuilding their lives.

As the escaped Seers recover from the drugs used by the Guild to control them, they learn that their visioning abilities have expanded beyond their former capacity.  Knowing the Guild will continue to pursue them, Marcus, Lilith and the others devise a plan to prevent the Guild from acquiring a pair of Seers whose powers will threaten their own safety.  In the process of executing their plan, they encounter new Seers who are mysteriously drawn to the commune and their cause by an unknown hand. 

In the midst of the Seers’ fight for survival, Liam and Alessandra, one of the Seers who escaped from the Guild with Marcus, struggle to find a way to share their love within the uncertainty and danger of their circumstances.  The book climaxes with a final battle as the escaped Seers return to the Guild’s US headquarters in Chicago and mount an attack and rescue mission that ends with heartbreaking sacrifices and shocking revelations.

Throughout the course of the series, Order of the Seers explores the strength of familial ties, the conflict between personal freedoms and the greater good, the limits of human potential and our connection to a higher power as the key to reclaiming the gifts that lie dormant in every human.  Books II and III of the Order of the Seers series will also examine the corrupting nature of power, how to cultivate individual potential in a world that is dependent on hierarchy and the true meaning of leadership. Part II of the series, Order of the Seers: The Red Order, is currently under development.    See the Power Within!

Order of the Seers Book Reviews

“With masterful storytelling and a brilliant plot that holds you in suspense from page-to-page, Order Of The Seers, is a well-written, gripping tale.”
Trice Hickman, Bestselling Author of, Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

“Order of the Seers is an interesting take to just what our world might be like with people who could see the future, complete with action, romance and thrills that will appeal to science fiction fans of supernatural powers. I look forward to reading the sequel to see what happens next.”
– S.J. Wist, Author of The Dragon Aster Trilogy

Excerpt Chapter 4: Run

As they cleared the restaurant doorway, Liam took in their familiar surroundings, looking for an escape route. Every corner of Chinatown was dense with colors, people, hot food carts, vendors, and a million other things he’d barely registered when he entered the restaurant twenty minutes ago. Liam and Lilli had come all this way, 4,458 miles total, and the Guild had finally found them. The two men who had come to destroy what was left of the Knight family were less than fifteen feet away.

In his peripheral vision, Liam could see the excitement growing on Jason’s face as he and Miguel remained locked in their stare, assessing each other as prey and hunter. Miguel knew enough not to underestimate Liam. Without any real experience, this young man had managed to elude or kill everyone they had sent to find them. In the course of his pursuit, Miguel had learned that Liam had become an exceptional marksman, with advanced training in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. Liam looked at Miguel with all the bravado of a young man ready to be tested and determined not to lose. If Miguel didn’t know his own strengths, he might have been intimidated, but the emotion just wasn’t in him. Liam was a boy; Miguel was a killer. In Miguel’s mind, there was no comparison.

Feeling confident, Miguel finally broke Liam’s gaze to assess the girl holding his hand. He noted with appreciation that Lilli had grown-up significantly from the pig-tailed photos he and Jason were able to piece together. Though her body had remained small and somewhat boyish for a girl of fifteen years, she had lost most of the plumpness in her cheeks. Her features had become sharper, but still lovely. Her hazel eyes were lighter than the pictures told. Wider, he thought, and hardened from a combination of time and loss. The dye that covered her long, naturally dirty blonde hair in shades of hot pink and pale yellow, along with the multiple rings and cuffs she sported on her hands and wrists suited her, he thought, in a punk-rock kind of way. Though he assumed she was afraid, he noted with curiosity that she was not holding her brother’s hand as tightly as he would have expected and that disturbed him. She’s only fifteen. Can she see the outcome? He wondered as he took in the lack of tension in her face. She feels safe, even now.

What they didn’t know was that she hadn’t seen them coming, couldn’t see a damn thing beyond her brother out of the corner of her eye. But she didn’t need to see more than him to know that this was the safest place that she could be. Whatever happened to them now, they would be together. They would either escape and survive, or fight and die. She would not be taken away from the only family she had left.  Liam’s grip was light and gentle as their fingers intertwined. They had practiced this. As soon as his pinky moved down the inside of her own, she knew what that meant. Run, Lilli. Run left.

“Now!” Liam shouted as he cinched Lilli’s hand tightly and sprinted left into the crowd. As they ran into the opening that Liam had been looking for, he could feel Lilli already beginning to lag behind. Though her heart and mind were willing, trying to keep up with him, her feet were slow, her legs incapable of matching his speed. As they cut right into the farmer’s market, Liam risked a glance behind him.  He could feel panic spreading through his chest as he realized that if they kept their current pace, they would be caught within seconds.

( Continued… )

Find out what happens next!  Get your copy of Order of the Seers on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ibooks.

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Cerece Rennie Murphy.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Genre: Fiction; Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-0985621001
Purchase from Amazon:


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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

Order of the Seers Trilogy
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

What would you do if you held
infinite power in the palm of your hand?

Thank you for sharing in the excitement of the upcoming release of The Red Order.  As the sequel to the topselling sci-fi thriller Order of the Seers, The Red Order gives you everything you would expect – heart-pounding action, a layered, sci-fi mystery, nail-biting suspense and yes, even a little romance.  The stakes are high as our favorite characters and couples return to fight for the freedom of all those who have the gift of seeing the future.  The next installment in the Order of the Seers trilogy will be released in June, 2013, but you don’t have to wait to get a sneak peek.  Click on this link to read the first 2 chapters of The Red Order for free and then head over to the “Buy the Book” page to pre-order your signed copy today!
Intimate Conversation with  Cerece Rennie Murphy

BPM:  Tell us about yourself, your family and how you began writing.  Did you write as a young person or in college?
My mother tells me that when I was a little girl, I would always ask for a book rather than a toy when I went to the store, but up until two years ago, I never considered that I could write a novel. As a lifelong lover of stories (bedtime and otherwise), I have enjoyed literary fiction and movies as a window into other worlds, perspectives and experiences.
Though I have written poetry since I was twelve years old, in my professional life my writing has focused on program design, evaluation and fundraising for community-based and international non-profits. Having grown up in what other people considered a “bad neighborhood”, economic development in poor communities is something I am very passionate about.  The first creative endeavor I ever wrote that was longer than two pages was an eight-page fan fiction piece for The X-files. It took me ten years before another awesome series (The Twilight Saga) inspired me to try my first short story, Spirit to Flesh. Two months after I finished that story, an image of a man named Marcus who could see the future flashed though my mind. Shortly after, I began to research and write what is now Order of the Seers.
I am currently a full-time mother of two children, a wife, and a part-time writer. In addition to completing the Order of the Seers trilogy, I have two other projects that are in varying stages of development: a children’s book series entitled Enchanted World: 5 tales of Magic in the Everyday and a book on understanding marriage/relationship advice for single women entitled More than the Ring.
BPM:  Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
When I first mentioned the story idea for Order of the Seers to my friend and mentor, Trice Hickman, she said “That’s a book, Cerece! You are writing a book!”  I was very skeptical.  Up until that point, I had never written a full length story based solely on my own ideas and I wasn’t at all sure that I could do it.  But she never doubted me.  That was my first step into a larger vision for this story, but it wasn’t until I was halfway through writing the book that I thought…maybe, maybe I could be an author.

BPM:  Introduce us to your book, Order of the Seers and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?  
Order of the Seers is a sci-fi novel about a group of people called Seers who are enslaved and exploited for their extraordinary ability to see the future and how they ultimately gain their freedom, and in so doing, change the world.  At its core the book is about unearthing your true purpose in life, not the one that is assigned to you, but the one you discover for yourself.  There’s a lot of sci-fi stuff that I think is cool, but at its heart, that is what Order of the Seers is about.

Now to the characters…Oh!  I love these characters so much and the extraordinary journey that they have taken me on.  It’s a privilege to be able to bring them forward into the world.  The story opens with Lilli and Liam Knight, a brother and sister who love each other fiercely through some pretty terrible experiences.  Watching them evolve and grow in their understanding of themselves and what their purpose is was really excited.  I love Liam’s courage so much throughout this book.  And Lilli – watching her become a woman in full possession of her power just blew me away.

Alessandra Pino is another character whom I love. She is such a dichotomy of vulnerability and iron strength.  To know the type of horror that she experiences and still stand upright is really something to be admired.  But my favorite character is Marcus Akida.  He is who I want to be when I grow up.  Powerful, humble, kind, smart, but open to learning and above all grateful for everything there is to be grateful for.  Yeah, he’s my hero.

BPM:What topics does your latest book address?  Why?
CRM: Order of the Seers addresses the fundamental question of why we are here and what our true potential and purpose is using the powerful (and fun) backdrop of a science fiction thriller.  It’s an edge of your seat adventure that (hopefully) makes you questions a few assumptions about yourself and the world around you.  I personally believe that understanding and fulfilling your purpose in life is the ultimate quest for any human being.

BPM:  What makes Order of the Seers unique?
What makes Order of the Seers distinctive within the science fiction genre is its exploration of the intersection between science and spirituality as it relates to understanding the evolution of human potential.

BPM:  What inspired you to write this book?  Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
You know, really, I consider this book a gift from God.  I was never supposed to be a story writer.  I’ve written poetry most of my life, but until 2 years ago, I NEVER thought I could write a full length story.  So yes, writing this story and the process of putting it out to the world has been nothing but an act of faith for me.  When I look at the themes in this book, I realize that many of them spring from questions that I have had my whole life.  Questions like why are we really here?  What is our purpose?  What is the full extent of my potential?  What was I made for? There are a lot of those questions in this book, as in many science fiction novels, which is why I love the genre.

BPM:  Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
Yes.  I love to travel and I love accents.  Many of the places, nationalities and languages that are featured in Order of the Seers and the sequel, which I am writing now, are borrowed from my own exposure to different places and languages.

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
If I could inspire readers to look at themselves and their own potential more openly that would be huge.  I think the best books and movies lead you to question your assumptions about the world.  I would love to have some small part in doing that.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online?
Thanks for asking!  Right now I am finishing the sequel to Order of the Seers called The Red Order.  I can’t wait to finish writing it and see how everything unfolds!  After that I have the final book in the Order of the Seers trilogy to write, plus a children’s book series called Enchanted.  After that I have a book on marriage advice that I am really looking forward to delving into.  So it’s going to be busy for awhile, but each one of these stories is precious to me, so I can’t wait to see them all grown up and out in the world.  If you would like to know more, please visit my website at where you can sign up for exclusive outtakes and previews for upcoming books or follow me on Twitter @cerecermurphy.  I also have a CRMurphy author page on Facebook.  Hope to see you there!

BPM:  Thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself, your journey and your book with our readers!

Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Genre: Fiction; Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-0985621001
Twitter: @cerecermurphy


Imani’s First Book Discussion of 2013 with Isabel Wilkerson

Imani’s First Book Discussion of 2013 with Isabel Wilkerson

Imani Literary Group hosted guest author Isabel Wilkerson to discuss The Warmth of Other Suns on Saturday, February 2nd–what a wonderful way to begin 2013!  If you haven’t read this insightful study, do so!

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glittering successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work.

Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. (From the publisher.)

We had a great meeting yesterday–what a way to begin 2013!  Thank you Isabel for joining us–great seeing you again.  Charlotte–thanks for being a perfect hostess–the food was amazing, as always!

Color Me Purple Literary Services
Books Are Precious; Open One!

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Angel Reid Reviews The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Angel Reid Reviews The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done. They left. (pg 15)–Warmth of Other Suns.

Reading like a great novel, this epic work of history chronicles America’s Great Migration, focusing particularly, but not exclusively on the lives of three participants who migrated from three different areas of the South to three different Northern cities in three different decades: Ida Mae Gladney in 1937, who left Mississippi for Chicago; George Starling in 1945, who left Florida for Harlem; Robert Foster in 1953, who left Louisiana.

Yet there are so many other captivating stories. What is most important about this volume is that it inspires readers to ask our elders to speak of our families’ stories: the whys, the hows, the whens, and the wheres of their leavings. What did they leave behind? What did they take with them? What did they face upon arrival in those northern or western cities? When and why did they return to land of their birth; did they return only to visit or to stay? So many stories, so many stories that we, their descendants need to hear. How ingenious!

Reviewed by Imani Literary Group,  Angela Reid
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

ISBN-10: 0679763880  |    ISBN-13: 978-0679763888

About the Author Isabel Wilkerson
Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the New York Times best-seller that tells the true story of three people who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

The book was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, O Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and over a dozen others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011.

The Great Migration
was one of the biggest under-reported stories of the 20th Century. It lasted from 1915 to 1970, involved six million people and was one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. It changed the country, North and South. It brought us John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Bill Russell, Motown, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama — all children or grandchildren of the Great Migration. It changed the cultural and political landscape of the United States, exerting pressure on the South to change and paving the way toward equal rights for the lowest caste people in the country.

Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. She has appeared on national programs such as “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “The PBS News Hour,” CBS “60 Minutes,” NBC “Nightly News,” MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the BBC and others. She has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as Cox Professor of Journalism at Emory University and as Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University.

Follow Isabel Wilkerson on Facebook.!/pages/Isabel-Wilkerson/140162739346559


The Red Order by Cerece Rennie Murphy

The Red Order by Cerece Rennie Murphy
The Quest to Control the Power of the Seers Continues…

After successfully destroying the Guild’s Purification Center in Chicago, The Lost Seers, led by Joel Akida and Lilli Knight, embark upon a world-wide mission to save their kind from the tyranny of the Guild and unveil their greatest weapon – The Restoration Project.  Developed in secret, The Restoration Project has the potential to awaken the supernatural ability within every man, woman, and child on earth and bring down the very foundation of the Guild’s power and authority. 

But the Guild has other plans.  Driven by the necessity for control, Crane Le Dieu creates The Red Order, a new league of clairvoyants whose sole purpose is to hunt down and annihilate the Lost Seers. 

Without the Guild’s mind-controlling drugs, The Red Order is able to develop its gifts far beyond the capacity to see the future, honing their skills to become the ultimate threat against the Lost Seers.  But the question remains – will the power of The Red Order be enough to defeat them?

The Red Order continues the epic battle for freedom which began in Order of the Seers, revealing the secret motives behind an organization that exists to exploit and a renegade movement that seeks to usher in the next phase in human evolution.  

What are you capable of?

Pre-Order Your Copy of The Red Order TODAY!

The Red Order by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Coming to Bookstores June,  2013
Sequel to the amazing sci-fi thriller Order of the Seers
Visit Cerece at her website:

Click on this link to read the first 2 chapters of The Red Order

Join the Facebook Order of the Seers Fan Page

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Actor and Community Leader LOU MYERS Joins the Ancestors

Lou Myers was so much MORE
than just “Mr. Gaines” from “A Different World”

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that a warrior, humanitarian, actor, father, grandfather and son, Mr.Lou Myers  has passed away. On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm at the Charleston Area Medical Center, Memorial Division in Charleston WV.  Lou became ill with pneumonia and after battling for months succumbed.

Lou’s family is coping well, his mother  Mrs. Dorothy  Jefferies (age 95), son Melvin Myers and two grandsons Brayden and Christian are grateful for everyone’s well wishes.  As his mother said this morning, “I am well baby, but not good.” This sentiment speaks for our hearts as well.

Lou completed his  fifth appearance  on  Broadway  in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” African American Style.  “Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple” marked Lou Myers fourth Broadway appearance.  He was the only performer in the play the audience recognized and applauded every time he appeared on stage and Lou said that was better than having his name in print. . Lou  is best known as the irascible restaurant owner “Mr. Gaines” on the, hit Television series “A Different World”.  Lou always remembered that he owes his introduction to Hollywood to Bill Cosby.  Lou’s TV credits include: NYPD Blue, EVE, E.R., The Cosby Show, Touched By An Angel, Jag, and The Jamie Fox Show to name a few. 

His movie credits include:  Heirlooms,  “Stains,” Life after incarceration,  Dreams, A Funny Way of Looking At Things The Fighting Temptations, Lakawanna Blues (HBO) Wedding Planner, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Bullworth, Friday After Next, Passions of Darkly Noon (Showtime), Cobb.  Tin Cup, Volcano, Everything’s Jake, The Stand In, All About You, …and Good bye Lover, ” “King Hedley II” represented   Lou Myers’ second appearance in this critically celebrated August Wilson play. 

He won the NAACP “Best Actor” Award and  off-Broadway Audelco “Best Actor” Award   for his role of Stool Pigeon in “King Hedley II.” He was recently awarded the coveted “Living Legend Award” from the National Black Theatre Festival.   Lou first appeared on Broadway with the   Negro Ensemble Company’s production of  “The First Breeze of Summer,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and the Lovable, suit selling, gambling, piano playing, uncle in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize Play, “The Piano Lesson.”    He previously won the off-Broadway Audelco “Best Actor” Award for the tap dancing bodyguard in “Fat Tuesday.”  

Lou also preformed at local New York concert halls, cabarets, night clubs, colleges and universities, Off-Broadway, American Place production of “Do Lord Remember me and a long list of Regional Theatres.   He wrote, produced and co-directed off Broadway his critically acclaimed one man show “Just a Little Bit Something” and his historical play “Foot Steps from Before.”

He was founder and director of the “Tshaka Ensemble Players,” who for eight years, during Black History month, continually performed the historical and educational play “Foot Steps From Before” which was written and produced by Lou.   They also toured in the acclaimed play, “Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,” set in AFRICA.  He served as the griot and dancer for several dance companies such as the Dinizula Dancers, Drummers and Singers.  He was a regular feature at the New York Museum of Natural History for (8) years. 

Lou was fluent in, French, German, Spanish and some African Dialects.  In 2005, the Appalachian Education Initiative listed Myers as one of fifty “Outstanding Creative Artists” from the State of West Virginia and featured him in their coffee table book Art & Soul.    He began singing Jazz and Blues with the touring company of “Negro Music in Vogue.”   His Cabaret show has been acclaimed in Berlin, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York, as well as Los Angeles at the Roosevelt Hotel..  Lou is Chairman and Chief Enlightenment Officer for Global Business Incubation (501c3) and Chairman of the Lou Myers Scenario Motion Picture Institute/Theatre. 

Lou was a futurist, historian, mentor, lecturer, trainer and has toured Colleges, Universities, and many other venues  performing, storytelling our ancestral history and speaking on panels with professors and business experts around the world about new trends in business and urban community economic development.
 LATEST UP DATE.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Tonia McDonald, President
Global Business Incubation, Inc. (GBI)
Bringing our Strengths together to model and simulate the “Corporation of the Future”


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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Featured Articles


Shaded By Love by Terry M. Walker

Shaded By Love by Terry M. Walker

Is love enough to keep Shayna Procton and Simón Ortega  together always?  Finding each other turned out to be the easy part.  Staying together is going to be their true test.  Shayna will find herself caught up in a whirlwind of lies and deceptions, as it becomes apparent to her that Simón is not the man she thought he was. 

Yet she can’t deny the feelings she has for him.  Will she allow herself to remain in a relationship that isn’t good for her?  Or will she listen to her inner voice, the one which is telling her something isn’t right?  Maybe the answer would be simple for her if she weren’t so…Shaded By Love.

B&N 5-Star Reader Review
Excellent Read – Highly Recommended!

“Shaded by Love” is well written and quite entertaining. The story is filled with action, love, deception, jealously, and manipulation — the kind of book I love to read!! Even though the main characters Simon and Shayna obviously love each other unconditionally, their relationship is an unhealthy, dysfunctional one. Simon has it all — he is very handsome, rich and powerful and could have just about any woman he want, but he strongly desires beautiful Shayna. His insecure ways make him appear somewhat monstrous. This helped make the story a great read because his love for Shayna makes him absolutely crazy! We can easily use the term “crazy in love!” His jealous, controlling ways is the very thing that makes Shayna question her love for him. You could feel the love they share with each other even when they are arguing and fighting. This book was very hard to put down. I couldn’t get enough of their dysfunctional love. It is an excellent, enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good love story.

Shaded by Love by Terry M. Walker


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2003

As Naldo waited for the arrival of his sworn enemy, he showed his girlfriend how
to work the video camera. “When you’re ready to film, just press this button okay?”
“Okay,” she said nervously. “Why do you want to video this anyway, Naldo?
What if the wrong person got hold of the tape somehow? They would be able to use it
against you.”

“I’ve been waiting a long time to bring this young punk down, Mami. He thinks
he can’t be touched, but I’m going to show him that he can. Besides, who’s going to be
gutsy enough to turn in evidence against me, huh?” He tenderly palmed her cheek.

“I’m scared baby. What if he sees me? What should I do then?”

“Keep videoing.” When he saw her worried expression he said, “Don’t worry,
everything’s going to be okay. What is he going to do? There are seven of us against just
one of him.” He chucked her under the chin. “If we include you it would make eight of
us.” He smiled to give her some reassurance. “I need you to hide behind that wall over
there.” He pointed to where he wanted her to go.

“Alright.” Worriedly, she said, “Naldo, please be careful okay? I heard he’s not a
person you would want to go up against.”

“Mamita, you worry too much.” Naldo gave her a kiss on the lips. “Now go hide
yourself and remember to be quiet. If by chance he does take all of us down, which I
seriously doubt, try not to bring attention to yourself by panicking, okay? I don’t want
anything to happen to you.” He kissed her again, and then gently pushed her towards the
hiding place.

The woman made her way over to the hiding spot just before the mystery man
appeared. “Naldo?” The younger man said confused. “What are you doing here?”

“What’s up young blood? Glad you could join us,” Naldo said cheerfully. “I’ve
been waiting a long time to get you alone.”

“Oh damn,” the younger man said under his breath. Immediately, he knew he had
messed up. It was all a lie to get him alone. How did he allow himself to be lured by this
punk ass? He should’ve known that it was a trap right off the bat. But he was told that his
aunt was being held against her will. He tried to reach her numerous times, but she didn’t
answer her phones nor was anyone able to tell him where she was. That caused him more
worry. Whenever the people he loves are in trouble, especially his family, he will risk
anything to save them. He would’ve brought backup. But to be honest, he wasn’t given
much time to round up anyone. Besides, they threatened to harm her if he did.

He looked at the men around him. There were six of them in addition to Naldo.
He knew each of their names…Alex, Antonio, Pedro, Miguel, Sergio, and Emilio. The
seven men had him surrounded with no means of escape. However, he wasn’t afraid nor
was he worried the tiniest of bits. What they don’t realize is that he has studied the
Martial Arts since he was three years old and has earned a solid red belt, the highest rank
there is, in defense. He is a master and unless one of them decides to shoot him, and it
would have to be in the head or his heart because the young man’s body is nothing but a
solid mass of muscles, he will have no problem doing fatal damage to each of them in a
matter of three minutes. That is all the time it will take for him to put them down and
walk away unscathed.

Naldo spoke. “Needless to say, we don’t have your aunt. As far as I know, she’s
lying around in some dudes bed making his night very special.” He laughed at his own
remark. “So what you gonna do now, nigga? You don’t have your boys with you this
time and we out number you seven to one; sounds to me like your ass is finally gonna
meet your maker,” Naldo smirked. The other men snickered and gave each other daps.
Naldo Santiago, a member of one of the younger man’s rival families, has always
been a thorn in his side. The Santiago’s have been coveting what his father created…a
colossal empire…since he can remember. Why the hell they think he would just lie down
and allow them to steal what his father and now he has worked so hard to build is beyond
him. Don’t they realize that he is his father’s child? That shit never happened while his
father was alive, and it sure as hell won’t happen while he’s alive either.

The younger man gestured to the men surrounding him. “Well first, I’m going to
snap the necks of all your hoodlum friends.” He hunched his shoulders before saying,

“Sorry fellas. It’s nothing personal. As a matter of fact, if you choose to leave now, I
wouldn’t hold it against you. Actually, it would be the wisest decision you ever made.”

Naldo shook his head. “See? That’s why I never liked your ass. And to be
truthful, that’s why no one likes your ass. You’re so damn cocky, man. You walk around
acting like you own the damn world or something…like you’re invincible. But you don’t
own the world, nigga, and you’re most definitely not invincible.”

“Well we both know that this has been a long time coming. So why don’t we just
cut to the chase and get this over with. I have things to do, places to go, people to see.
You hear what I’m saying?”

Naldo turned to his thugs and said, “See how this nigga roll? He cracks me the
hell up. I almost admire the damn man for real…almost.” Naldo faced his nemesis again.

“If things were different, we would probably be friends.” He shook his head and said to
his men, “Kill his ass. I’m tired of looking at him.”

The younger man, who stood well over six feet tall, calmly went into a Tachi
Waza (a judo standing position), bending his knees and relaxing his arms and hands. He
did this so that he will be positioned to react fast to his attackers’ assaults. He quickly
glanced at his watch. The time is now ten thirty-five. This shouldn’t take long, he thought
to himself.

As the first man came at him, he used both his arms to grab the man and toss him
over his shoulders. The man went crashing into the pavement of the roof, back first. The
sound of his spine cracking was enough to make you cringe. He won’t be getting up.

Two other men came forward to attack the young man. However, before they had
a chance to make contact with him, he grabbed the left side of one of his attackers and
swept the man’s feet from beneath him, causing him to fall to the ground. He threw a
huge fist at the second guy, connecting directly with the center of the man’s throat. He
felt the man’s Adam’s apple crumble. The poor guy grabbed at his neck, trying to gasp
for air before falling to the ground in spasms.

The guy that he had pinned to the ground was trying to free himself of his grasp.
However, he had a very strong grip on him. He turned to the guy and grabbed his head
between the palms of his hands and did a quick, but fatal yank to the right. He was
satisfied when he heard the bones snap. The man now lay lifeless.

From his peripheral view, he could see that another man aimed a gun his way. He
grabbed the lifeless body of the man he had just killed and shielded himself from the rain
of bullets that flew at him. He threw the lifeless body towards the man shooting at him,
catching the man off guard. He then moved at lightning speed to apprehend the gun,
which he used to shoot his assailant in the head. When he turned to the two remaining
goons, they both tried to run. But they didn’t run fast enough. He put a bullet through the
back of each mans’ skull and watched in satisfaction as they both fell to the ground
simultaneously. Six down, one to go.

The man turned to face his nemesis, Naldo. He always knew it would come to
this. As a matter of fact, he’s glad this day is finally here. Now he can get rid of this
nigga once and for all.

“And then there were two,” the younger man stated.

“Soon there’s going to be just one,” Naldo responded. That’s when the younger
man noticed the gun in his hand. Naldo already had it aimed and cocked.

“You ain’t lying about that brotha. Only one of us will be left standing. I can
assure you, it won’t be you.” The younger man smiled with cocky certainty.

“I can say this much about you, young blood. Your ass is cocky until the very

Naldo pulled the trigger and two shots rang out. He watched as his longtime
enemy fell to the ground face down. Naldo walked over to him cautiously. Everyone who
knows this bastard also knows that he is a sneaky son of a bitch. He kicked at the younger
man’s leg but he didn’t budge. Naldo let out a deep chuckle. Finally, someone has bested
the head of this rival family and that someone is him! He can’t wait to tell the other
families. This will make him the big man. Hell yeah! He is the man, damn it!

Naldo felt a powerful blow to his knee cap right before he crumbled to the ground
in excruciating pain. “Aaaaaaah, shit!” He yelled out. “What the fuck?” Naldo looked up
to find the younger man now hovering over him. “Oh shit!” He hurriedly aimed to shoot,
but the other man snatched the gun out of his grasp. How the hell did he move that fast?
Why isn’t he dead? Naldo knows he shot the damn man. He had to have…didn’t he? Yet,
Naldo saw no blood anywhere on the younger man’s body. All he saw was his murderous

Naldo tried to stand, but the pain was too unbearable. So he began to crawl away
as quickly as possible. Of course there was no use. The next thing Naldo knew, he was
being lifted off the ground and carried over to the edge of the roof. “Oh shit man! What
the fuck are you doing?”

The younger man never answered. When he got to the edge of the building, he
tossed Naldo over it like a sack of potatoes. All that could be heard was Naldo’s frantic
screams as he fell thirty stories to his eventual death. The young man waited for the
screams to end and then suddenly there were no more. He smirked at the quietness of the

Turning to the other men scattered around the rooftop, he shook his head. Theyshould’ve left when he gave them the chance. Moving away from the wall, he walked
over to where Naldo dropped his gun and lifted it from the ground. The younger man
then proceeded to put a bullet through the heads of each man lying around. He had to
make certain they were all dead. The last thing he needed was for one of them to try and
get back at him or his family in retaliation.

Once he was convinced that neither of them will ever breathe again, he decided to
head home. As he walked to the door leading to the stairs, he glanced down at his watch.
Damn! Five minutes…that took longer than he thought it would. It doesn’t matter. Today
was a good day.

The woman covered her mouth as tears rolled down her eyes. Oh my God! He
killed them. He killed every last one of them. She wanted to scream, but was too afraid
that the man would come after her next. It took all that she had not to yell out in panic
when she saw him toss Naldo over the roof. But she remembered Naldo’s last words to
her, “Don’t panic.” Fortunately, she got it all on tape and will be taking it straight to
Naldo’s father. Mr. Santiago is going to want that man’s blood for this. There is no doubt
that he will make that bastard pay for what he did to her Naldo!

(  Story Continues…  )

Copyright © 2012 by Terry M. Walker. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About the Author
Terry M. Walker
was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland where she still resides in the city of Upper Marlboro. She is a devoted Christian, wife, mother and grandmother.  Her favorite hobby has always been reading.  She loves a good novel and would lie on the sofa reading for hours at a time.

Terry has lived with a vivid imagination all her life.  As a child, she would write short stories during her leisure and read them to her siblings.  When people began to realize Terry’s talent for creative writing, they would ask that she compose poems, essays and speeches for their personal use.  This eventually sent her on a quest to write her very own novel which turned into a series of three books.  It became a proud moment for her as she set out to make her novels known to the world.  With the help of an old high school friend, one who happened to be in the publishing business, Terry watched as her dream of becoming an author unfolded.  From that moment, a whole new world was opened to her.

While Terry enjoys bringing characters to life on paper, she also loves spending time with her family and friends.  It is their love and support that has encouraged her to embark on this new endeavor of writing.  And with the love and support of her growing fans, Terry looks forward to taking her readers on a joyous ride of mischief, adventure, and drama.  But most importantly, she plans to lead them on an exciting journey of LOVE!

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Still Not Satisfied by SA Brown

Still Not Satisfied by SA Brown

Christian Goodman loves the ladies. So when an old girlfriend calls, it’s game on—until her play forces Chris to the sidelines. While there, his grandmother and best friend lose faith in him. With no one left, Chris turns to a psychiatrist and finds Dr. Devin Rainey in her own struggle.

Chris enters her life only to serve as a reminder of what she is missing, thus, creating tension between the two. She fights to remain professional but personal needs blur the lines. In the end, Chris turns to an unlikely ally as he learns why he is Still Not Satisfied.

Excerpt from Still Not Satisfied

Chapter 1  A Bumpy Night

Moonlight illuminated the room as Chris stumbled into his bathroom. He admired his silhouette as he walked past the mirror. Even his muscular frame was sexy in the darkness. Chris’ self-admiration was interrupted when he noticed a small figure reflecting in the corner of the mirror. His mind had always played tricks on him, and lately the occurrence had been more consistent. As always, when he looked over his shoulder, nothing was there. This time would be no different.

When he returned to his bed, he found himself alone. His lady friend had dressed and left without making a sound, but she left a note on his nightstand.

We really should stop this.

Chris chuckled. “That’s what you said the last time and the time before that.”

Chris spoke as if talking to her. He crumpled the note and lay back on his poster bed. Deep down, he knew she was right. As he stared into space, he hoped he would sleep peacefully this night. Just one night without the dream. Please, just one night.

Christian James Goodman was the epitome of a beautiful African-American man. Standing at six-foot-two and 220 pounds, Chris defined sexy. His chiseled body and broad physique got him a lot of attention from the ladies. His warm smile and mocha color added to his style. His hazel eyes simply perpetuated his swagger while his strong baritone voice made the women yearn with desire. Yes, Chris had several physical attributes that men would pay money for and the confidence to put them to use.

( Continues…  )

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About the Author
SA Brown
is a writer in every sense of the word. This literary journey started as a contributing author for Sugar and Spice: Anthology for the Grown and Sexy. Now it includes scripts for film and the stage. A short story, In The Dark, will be featured in Zane’s upcoming anthology.   With hopes of inspiring, encouraging, and entertaining readers with compelling characters and thought-provoking story lines, SA’s biggest desire is that everyone learns a life lesson every time they walk away from any of the stories.  The first solo effort, Still Not Satisfied, chronicles the journey of someone who might have to lose everything to gain anything. Stop by to learn more about SA Brown.

Still Not Satisfied by SA Brown
ISBN-10: 0984745505
ISBN-13: 978-0984745500

YOU COULD RECEIVE THIS BOOK TO REVIEW!  Repost this material on your Facebook page or re-Tweet the link. The first 5 people to host the author on their blog, Facebook pages or websites will receive review copies of the book. Email Ella Curry with the link to your post to be entered in the drawing for weekly book giveaways!

Submit your posts here: EDC Creations Blog Tours, email – edc_dg at Leave comments below to be randomly entered into a drawing to receive this book as a gift. US residents only can receive book in the mail. Must be 19 to enter. Void where prohibited. Winners are announced weekly on the Black Pearls Magazine Facebook page:

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Book Spotlights


African American Cancer Resources

African American  Cancer Resources

Forward this email to all of your friends today! 

Sisters Network® Inc. is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. Join the fight here:

Sisters Network® Inc. (SNI) is a leading voice and only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States. Sisters Network is governed by an elected Board of Directors and assisted by an appointed medical advisory committee. Membership is 3000, which includes more than 40 affiliate survivor run chapters nationwide.

The organization’s purpose is to save lives and provide a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting African American women around the country.  As a nationally recognized organization among leading medical establishments and breast cancer physicians, Sisters Network is also recognized as a critical information resource for African American women.

See the chapters:

African-American Breast Cancer Alliance

The African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc (AABCA) is dedicated to building and sharing awareness, connections, education, resources and support for African American/Black women, men, families and communities affected by breast cancer.  Founded in October 1990 by Linda Finney, Brenda Anderson, Theresa Davis, Mamie Singleton, Reona Berry, Elaine Elliott, Sylvia Beamon, Bea McFadden, Carol Fitzgerald (d) and Norma Collins (d).

is committed to spreading the word about breast cancer to Black women that have the highest mortality rate in the US, to promote the benefits of early detection and treatment. AABCA provides emotional and social support for breast cancer patients and survivors along with culturally specific information to help them have better rehabilitation experiences as they cope with this disease.

Know Your Facts…Your Action Plan

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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Featured Articles


Keeping Focus In Hard Times by Elder Paulette Harper Johnson

Keeping Focus In Hard Times

by Elder Paulette Harper Johnson  


“Distractions are designed to derail us, to sidetrack us, and to redirect our attention-ultimately causing us to miss our mark.   Distractions can create the illusion of being important issues, but in reality they aren’t? they’re merely illusions. A distraction can be anything from a previous issue resurfacing to perhaps an old boyfriend, girlfriend or business acquaintance fighting to recapture your focus. Have you ever experienced a former acquaintance calling you from out of nowhere? These kinds of distractions can trigger an emotional imbalance, causing you to entertain thoughts that are far from the truth. Distractions will take your focus from what God is doing, causing confusion.”

Excerpt from “Completely Whole”

We are all guilty of allowing distractions to get our attention, especially in hard times. In times of great pressure, life’s challenges, and difficulties is sometimes more of a task to stay committed and focused on your goals, visions, and dreams. It is a guarantee that everyone will face some type of storm, test, or trial. I have been challenged many times, particularly when I have believed God was telling me to do something. The moment I took a step of faith and acted on the Word, all opposing forces began to surface. People not only questioned me, but I begin to question, “Had I really heard from the Lord?” What looked impossible to the naked eye was in reality an opportunity for God to show up! Have you been there? Distractions will come; dream killers will arise; and vision haters will try to discourage you.

Nehemiah faced the same opposition when he decided to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem.

“And said to the king, Let the king live forever! Why should I not be sad faced when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lies waste, and its [fortified] gates are consumed by fire?”

When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard this, it distressed them exceedingly that a man had come to inquire for and require the good and prosperity of the Israelites.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was upon me for good, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up and build! So they strengthened their hands for the good work (Nehemiah 2:3, 10, 18).

Just as Nehemiah spoke to Sanballat, Horonite, and Tobiah by declaring and decreeing what God was going to do, so shall you do the same. Continue building and stay committed to what God has placed in your Spirit. When God has called you to do something large, expect opposition, haters, and those who will try to get you to come off the wall. Stay focused and continue to plant, write, sow, preach, and build for surely what God has called you to do shall be completed! May what others say push and drive you to succeed.

Elder Paulette Harper Johnson

is a speaker, mentor and the author of Completely Whole and That Was Then, This Is Now. She serves in ministry with her husband, Sr. Pastor Tony E. Johnson, at Word of Faith Worship Center in Bradenton and North Port FL.

© 2012 Paulette Harper Johnson. Find out more about her ministry visit:  
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Featured Articles


Working Mothers Enjoy Second Chance in Returning to School

Working Mothers Enjoy Second Chance in
Returning to School

Summary: Examine steps to assist working mothers who want to return to school.

Karen continues to work at two full-time jobs to care for her three children. As a single mother, she found little help from her family. Therefore, she acted as an independent woman, needing no one’s assistance. She realized that if she wanted to improve the quality of her family’s lives, she would need additional education. Yet, the more she thought about taking the first steps, the more excuses she would make for not taking action. Several days later, she found out several of her co-workers were laid off. She knew she would be next. She needed to make her move: Now or never. 

Economic troubles make career planning more difficult. Since November 2009, America has lost 7.2 million jobs, with the unemployment rate topping 10%. Companies have shed many employees from their payroll. State agencies have had to lay off or furlough workers.

Millions of Americans are now waiting longer for food stamps, unemployment checks, and disability payments. Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute notes, “The length of the recession clearly has put a strain on the resources that states bring to bear.” Therefore, our lives continue to unravel as things we depend on disintegrate before our eyes. This article shares practical advice for working women in their transition to higher education.

Today’s women comprise more than half of the labor force. According to the U.S. Labor Bureau, mothers with children from 6 to 17 years of age are more likely to participate in the labor force than mothers with children under 6 years of age. Furthermore, unmarried mothers have higher participation rates than married mothers.  Working mothers need practical, proven methods if they are to make a successful transition to college life. Yet, many working women find various obstacles that prevent them from reaching their dreams. Noriko Iwanaga Chapman, a Japan native, is a working professional with over 16 years’ experience in the automobile industry.

As a young, single-parent Baby Boomer, Chapman understands the demands of caring for elderly parents and raising a young family. Chapman was preparing to enter graduate school when she encountered a severe obstacle. Chapman notes, “In 2009, when being diagnosed with cancer, I was devastated by the life-threatening disease and unknown future. A year later I have survived and gained my health back for a second chance of my life.” Overcoming the health challenge, she was able to start graduate school at Lincoln Memorial University while balancing work and family life.

Her first book, Second Chance, fully utilizes Chapman’s “can do” attitude to assist others in her community. Likewise, the correct strategies can help encourage a working mother who is straddling the fence when considering returning to school. 

She provides the following advice for working mothers: (a) check out the latest college scholarship books at your library, such as Peterson’s Scholarship, (b) remove or limit negative people from influencing your personal decisions related to your goals, (c) build a positive support group that can assist you with the demanding lifestyle of returning to school with children, (d) get a good grasp on how you will finance your education by talking with financial aid officers, applying for grants and scholarships, or borrowing the money from non-traditional sources such as local community groups in your area, and (e) join a group that shares your values and beliefs in order to build your network.

With such a weak job growth outlook, many working adults are looking to sharpen their skills in order to be more competitive. Women comprise a large share of the labor force and an increasing proportion of those who are returning to universities and colleges. Yet, the hectic lifestyles of most working mothers stop them from pursuing this career strategy. Going back to school can provide the mechanism to assist them in improving the quality of their lives. Therefore, taking the right steps in this transition is critical for working mothers so they can be successful.

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:
Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to  or


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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Featured Articles


Top Ten Reasons Why African American Bookstores Are Closing by Gwen Richardson

Top Ten Reasons Why African American Bookstores Are Closing by Gwen Richardson

1. Book sales migrated to the Internet
Most Black bookstores failed to take advantage of this trend. According to WebPro News, books are the #1 item people purchase online. Other brick-and-mortar chains, such as Blockbuster, also were flanked by their online competition, so this trend is not exclusive to bookstores.

2. Price competition
The advent of Internet sales ushered deep discounting on books. Because large online sites like, Amazon and Wal-Mart, are able to take advantage of volume discounts, Black bookstores could not match these discounted prices and, if they tried to, they were unable to maintain profitability.

3. Failure to diversify
With the advent of price competition and Internet book sales, diversification into other product lines was the only way Black bookstores stood a chance of maintaining viability. Most did not make this adjustment fast enough and some didn’t make it at all.

4. African American sections added to stores like Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, WaldenBooks and Borders

Black consumers urged the major chains to include African American sections in their stores. Once this occurred, most Black consumers flocked to these stores for their purchases and kicked the Black bookstores to the curb. (See reason #5)


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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Featured Articles


Ella Curry Featured on Book Look

ELLA CURRY WAS FEATURED ON:  The Book Look,  Season 2, Episode 1, January 2013

The Book Look is back for Season 2 with new authors, celebrities and contributors! In Episode 1, host Monda Webb and contributors Kwame Alexander and Charisse Carney-Nunes cover Nicole Sconiers’ Escape from Beckyville and Walter Mosley’s The Gift of Fire while hearing from Rev. Bernice King on the new book about her mother, Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King.

Several emerging authors are put on BLAST (Book Look Author SpotlighT) including Trice Hickman, Stephany Greene and Jaunique Sealey; the AALBC Bestsellers List is presented; and EDC Creations’, Ella Curry is recognized for her ongoing contributions to the world of African American literature.

Charisse Carney-Nunes is the award-winning author of several children’s books including, I Am Barack Obama, I Dream For You A World, and Nappy. She is also a literary advocate, and the Executive Producer of The Book Look a webseries airing here on

The Book Look Social:
Join us on The Book Look – your online TV source for celebrating books and events relevant to the African American community.



JAN-FEB  2013


When Baldwin Loved Brenden by Electa Rome Parks

Don’t Tell a Soul by Tiffany L. Warren

God Don’t Make No Mistakes by Mary Monroe

Groove by Geneva Holliday

Taste of Insanity by Morenike’

Lost Daughters by Mary Monroe

A House Divided by Kimberla Lawson Roby

When Memories Fade by Tyora Moody

Somewhere Between Here and There by Jason Gilmore

Drop Dead, Gorgeous by J.D. Mason

Playing the Hand You’re Dealt by Trice Hickman

The Eleventh Commandment by Lutishia Lovely

Get You Good by Rhonda Bowen

Reality Check by Kelli London

Breaking all My Rules by Trice Hickman

Gangsta Divas by De’Neisha Diamond

Forces of Nature by Cheris Hodges

Hollywood High: Get Ready for War  by Ni-Ni Simone

Rumor Central by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Sweet 16 to Life by Kimberly Reid

My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid

Me and Mr. Right Now by Terri D.

Anointed by Patricia Haley (Christian Fiction)

Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

 A Blessing and a Curse by Andrea Clinton

Land of Promiscuity by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Flames of Attraction by Brenda Jackson

All I Ever Wanted by Francis Ray

Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers

The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby

The Abbey by Chris Culver
The Outsider by Chris Culver

The Ex-Wife by Candice Dow

The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson

Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman–90,000 Lives Changed by Dr. Hawa Abdi

Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle

The House Girl: A Novel by Tara Conklin

Calling Me Home: A Novel by Julie Kibler

The Man in 3B by Carl Weber

The Rich Girls’ Club by HoneyB

Mistress, Inc.  by Niobia Bryant

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson

The Middlesteins: A Novel by Jami Attenberg

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda

A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

What He’s Been Missing by Grace Octavia

Sinning & Sanctified by Amy Warren-Patterson

Dirty DNA by BlaQue

Black Diamond 3 by Brittani Williams-Moore

Still Not Satisfied by SA Brown

Just Make Him Beautiful by Mike Warren

And You Call Yourself a Christian by E. N. Joy

The Perfect Christian by E. N. Joy
Joylynn M. Jossel-Ross now writing as Author E. N. Joy

Five Days of Darkness by J.J. Michael

A Blessing and a Curse by Andrea Clinton

When Baldwin Loved Brenden by Electa Rome Parks




ELLA CURRY FAVORITES: EDC Creations 2012 Books of the Year

 EDC Creations 2012 Books of the Year

EDC Creations 2012 Books of the Year. Here are the books personally read and recommended by Ella D. Curry, publisher of Black Pearls Magazine. The list of my favorite 4-5 star books are below:

1.    An Angry-Ass Black Woman by Karen E. Quinones Miller
2.    Beautiful, Dirty, Rich: A Novel by J. D. Mason
3.    Beneath the Bruises by Dywane D. Birch
4.    Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
5.    Blackberry Days of Summer by Ruth P. Watson
6.    Dark Side of Valor by Alicia Singleton
7.    Freeman by Leonard Pitts Jr.
8.    Grace by T. Greenwood
9.    Hood Lawz by C.J Hudson
10.  Iconic: Decoding Images …. by Lakesia D. Johnson ( NF )
11.   If Sons, Then Heirs: A Novel by Lorene Cary
12.   Land of Promiscuity by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
13.   Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden
14.   Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
15.   My Soul to Take: A Novel by Tananarive Due
16.   Never Dead by Jumata Emill Jones
17.   Property by Valerie Martin
18.   Resurrection of Nat Turner: The Testimony by Sharon Ewell Foster
19.   Running from Solace by Nakia R. Laushaul
20.   Sister Citizen by Melissa V. Harris-Perry (NF)
21.   Sister of My Heart: A Novel  by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
22.   Some Wounds Never Heal by Rhonda M. Lawson
23.   The Butterfly Moments by S. Renee Bess (LGBT)
24.   The Escort by Carla Pennington
25.   The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
26.   The Loom by Shella Gillus
27.   The Six-Letter Word by Marissa Monteilh
28.   The Stalker Chronicles by Electa Rome Parks
29.   When Morning Comes by Francis Ray
30.   Yellow Crocus: A Novel by Laila Ibrahim

If you would like to add all of the books to your home library, they can be found at my online bookstore, go here:

Warmest regards,
Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Strategist – Internet Publicist – Branding Coach



Lies Unleashed by Tammara Mathews

 Lies Unleashed by Tammara Mathews 

Tammara Mathews, in her novel Lies Unleashed, takes her readers into the lives of colorful characters whose relationships are turned upside down when they can t seem to let go. Meet Niki, a partner at a law firm, who learns that her fiance Shawn had a little too much fun at his bachelor s party. She calls it quits, then meets Donte, who quickly sweeps her off her feet. But Shawn refuses to let go, causing Niki s new relationship with Donte utter chaos. Then to further complicate the situation, Shawn s brother James enters the picture, spinning a web of intrigue. Niki confides in her best friend, Charlene, who thinks she s found a winner in Mason until she receives a threatening call one day from his wife/baby mother, which causes a whirlwind of drama to unfold. Watch as lives are transformed as multiple plots overlap in the author s debut novel as the saga continues.

5-Star Book Review By OOSA Online Book Club
Forbidden Secrets

Niki is engaged to Shawn. Shawn, at his bachelor’s party, slept with two strippers. After Niki hears the news she dumps him and calls off the wedding. Shawn becomes obsessed and starts to follow her and destroy any happiness she tries to have in her life.

Charlene, Niki’s best friend, falls for Mason. She is very smitten with him until she gets a threatening phone call and cuts it short with Mason. He in return does everything in his power to try and get his woman back.

“Lies Unleashed” by Tammara Matthews was a real page turner and it leaves you wondering what is going to happen next. It’s hard to put down. It has characters that you can see yourself in and it truly does a great job of drawing you into the story.

About the Author
Tammara Matthews was born in Augsburg, Germany and spent most of my life in the Midwest in East St. Louis, IL and St. Louis, MO.  She currently resides in Maryland, which is where she decided to pursue a career in writing. She began reading urban fiction novels when she 15 years old and has been interested in writing one of her own ever since.  “Lies Unleashed” is her debut novel.

Purchase Lies Unleashed
Urban Fiction/ Drama
ISBN-13:  9780984692378

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


All I Ever Wanted by Francis Ray

All I Ever Wanted by Francis Ray
A Grayson Friends Novel # 8 – February 26, 2013

Naomi Reese is a divorced mother with a small daughter named Kayla, a new life in Santa Fe, and, finally, some distance from her abusive ex-husband. All she wants now is a home of her own where she and Kayla can finally feel safe. With one bad marriage behind her, she can’t even dream of falling in love again. Until she meets Richard…

A tall, handsome veterinarian with a warm smile and big heart, Richard Youngblood is the kind of man any woman could fall for. Not only does he have a wonderful way with animals, he’s great with little Kayla and—Naomi has to admit—he’s easy on the eyes. Richard definitely has his sights set on her, too. But first, Naomi has to free herself from her past—and learn how to love again—before she can have all she ever wanted with the man of her dreams…

Excerpt from Chapter One
Naomi couldn’t sleep. She jumped at every sound, even ice falling from the automatic ice maker. Finally, around 7:00 AM Saturday, she couldn’t stay in bed any longer. Throwing back the covers, she went to take a bath and get dressed.

In well-worn jeans and a T-shirt, she sat at the kitchen table and worked on lesson plans for the coming week for her students. She loved teaching and she loved her students. They eagerly returned the affection with hugs and smiles. They soaked up learning like little sponges.

She’d taught fifth grade in San Antonio, but at that age students could be defiant. After the past years dealing with her ex-husband, Gordon, she wanted as much peace as possible. She’d jumped at the chance to teach a lower grade level. Now, since Kayla was a kindergarten student, they were on the same hall and Naomi could watch over her. As expected, Kayla made friends easily and loved school. As Richard had said when they first met, Kayla was a loving and affectionate child.

Naomi’s fingers paused in making a notation. She often wondered if Richard ever realized the strong impression he’d made on Kayla. Almost from the moment they’d met, they’d become fast friends. Considering how her own father had yelled at her, it had surprised and pleased Naomi.

It was always Dr. Richard this and Dr. Richard that. Kayla had already decided to be a veterinarian and follow in Richard’s footsteps. She liked Luke and his brothers, but her face didn’t light up when she saw them the way it did when she saw Richard.

The phone rang on the kitchen counter. She tensed for a moment on seeing UNKNOWN on the caller ID, then chastised herself. Richard and Catherine both had unlisted home and cell phone numbers. “Hello.”

“Good morning, Naomi. Is Kayla ready for her big day?”

Hearing Richard’s voice, Naomi smiled and admitted her daughter wasn’t the only Reese female who enjoyed being around Richard. “She’s still asleep, which isn’t surprising. She could hardly fall asleep last night because she was so excited about today.”

“I wanted to be there, but I’m headed to a ranch thirty miles away. I don’t think I’ll be back in time.”

Concern knitted her brows. Richard knew how much the day meant to Kayla. He’d be there if he could. “What happened?”

“A rancher’s horse tangled with a mountain lion” came the succinct answer. “He’s usually a levelheaded guy, but he sounded frantic. I’m hoping it’s not as bad as he believes. You know how owners can be.”

“I remember.” The people who brought their beloved pets to the clinic were often overly concerned, but that was better than not caring at all. Richard understood that. His compassion and understanding were just two of the reasons he was such a great vet and in such high demand. He wouldn’t leave the ranch until he knew the animal was all right.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, but I’m not sure how long this will take” Richard said. “Please explain to Kayla.”

“You know I will.”

“Tell her to have fun. Bye.”

“Bye.” Hanging up, Naomi took her seat, leaned back in the cushioned, iron-backed chair and stared out the small window.

The morning haze had cleared and the sun was shining. Weather in Santa Fe could be unpredictable, but that was a small price for the beautiful scenery and the friends she and Kayla had found there. Kayla would be disappointed that Richard wouldn’t be there. He’d come to mean a great deal to both of them.

She glanced at the clock. It was almost nine. She needed to wake Kayla, help her with her bath, then cook breakfast. They had a busy day ahead of them.

Standing, she heard muffled footsteps on the carpeted floor and smiled as Kayla hurried into the kitchen, her arm around Teddy’s fat waist. Bending, Naomi kissed her daughter on the head, brushed her hand over Teddy’s. The teddy bear had been her companion since Catherine gave her the stuffed toy shortly after they met. Catherine was also the reason her daughter liked butterflies. “Good morning.”

“Good morning, Mama. The big hand is almost on the nine. Me and Teddy need to get our bath and get dressed so we won’t be late.”

“You won’t be late,” Naomi said, but she took Kayla’s free hand and started toward her daughter’s bedroom. Two months ago they’d moved from the second floor to the first floor because it was bigger, and Kayla had her own bathroom—which she loved. Naomi tried not to think that the back door also gave her ex another entry into their apartment.

“You can just run the water, Mama. I can do it by myself,” Kayla said. “Teddy can watch me.”

Kneeling on the rug with the butterfly appliqué next to the tub, Naomi turned on the water. “I know he can, but I’m sure he won’t mind if I stay.”

Kayla sighed. “I guess, but I can dress us by myself.”

Testing the water, Naomi turned off the faucet and stared at her daughter. She was growing up and becoming independent much too fast. The need to cling was difficult to control. “After you take your bath, we’ll see.”

Sighing again, Kayla placed Teddy on the top of the commode, then reached for the hem of her nightgown. Naomi resisted helping when the neck opening hung briefly on Kayla’s chin. Seconds later, Kayla’s face popped though and she was smiling. “See, I can do it.”

“I see. You did good.” Naomi brushed her hand across Kayla’s hair again. It was as thick as hers. “Richard called. He had to go out of town to take care of a sick animal. He’ll try to make it, but he’s not sure.”

Kayla’s head lowered briefly. “He told me that animals depend on him to help them get better. They don’t want to be sick any more than people do. When I grow up, I’m going to be a vet and help animals get well, too.”

No tears, no pouting, just simple understanding. Whatever she had done wrong by choosing the wrong man, having Kayla in her life had made up for it. “And you’ll be very good at it, just as Richard is. Now, let’s get you into the tub.”

Naomi helped Kayla get settled, then picked up Teddy and took a seat on the commode top. Her baby was growing up. More important, she was growing up happy. “Teddy and I will be right here if you need us.”

*   *   *

Thirty minutes later, Naomi was in the kitchen starting breakfast. After her bath, Kayla had wanted to pick out clothes for herself and Teddy. After her last birthday that wasn’t a problem.

Of course Kayla had invited Richard and Catherine. He’d given Kayla the rocking chair in her bedroom so Naomi could read to her at night. From Catherine there were several outfits for Kayla with matching tops for Teddy, and a complete set of her published books for children. Luke had given Kayla the practical gift of a savings bond.

There were also gifts from other members of the Grayson family that Kayla had met through Catherine. There was no way Naomi could have refused any of the gifts. They loved Kayla. She’d be forever thankful that her car had chosen Santa Fe to break down in.

A knock on the back door startled her. Despite her earlier chastisement, fear had her gripping the spoon in her hand as she whirled from the counter, only to relax seconds later. Placing the spoon back in the pancake mix, she went to the door. Gordon’s knock wouldn’t be that light, and after the last time, he’d probably bang or burst in. Still, she looked through the peephole Richard had installed for her.

Seeing Fallon Marshall, Naomi smiled. Naomi had few female friends. They’d want to talk about their family, ask you about yours. She hated it when she had to lie, and she was tired of evading. Just saying she was divorced didn’t always satisfy some women’s curiosity. Fallon, a travel writer, had moved in the apartment next door a month ago. Like Catherine, Fallon didn’t push or ask questions.

Fallon had knocked on Naomi’s door the day she moved in to introduce herself. Naomi, usually cautious even with women, had liked the warm and friendly Fallon immediately. They’d begun their friendship over coffee and the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies Fallon had brought with her.

Opening the door, Naomi smiled and stepped aside. “Good morning, Fallon.”

“Good morning,” Fallon cheerfully greeted as she stepped inside. She wore a shirt with SANTA FE in colorful letters on the front, slim black jeans, and flip-flops. “I was hoping you were up and still here.” She ruefully lifted her mug, decorated with a string of peppers, in one hand and a plastic cup in the other. Inside was a spoon. “Coffee, please.”

“Help yourself.” Naomi waved Fallon to the coffee carafe. One cup was all she needed. Like Fallon, she wanted cream and sugar in her coffee. Although she’d tried to dissuade Fallon from bringing her own, she continued to do so.

“Thanks. I was on a deadline and forgot to go to the store yesterday.” Pouring the coffee, then adding the cream and sugar mixture from the plastic cup, Fallon took a sip, closed her eyes, and savored. “Good coffee. I finished the piece this morning and sent it off, thank goodness.”

Knowing Fallon would need a couple of sips to be fully alert, Naomi continued stirring the pancake mix. The quietness in the kitchen didn’t make Naomi nervous. Another thing she liked about Fallon—as with Richard and Catherine, she didn’t need to fill the silence with conversation.

Fallon was easy to talk to and fun to be around. She and Kayla had hit it off immediately. Fallon had probably never met a stranger. It wasn’t just the incredible, long-legged beauty and body to go with it that attracted people; she genuinely cared about people, and it showed. She probably knew everybody in their unit, whereas Naomi only knew the elderly couple on the other side of her.

“Can you stay for breakfast?” Naomi asked, already reaching for the refrigerator door.

“You don’t have to ask twice. Thanks.” Fallon topped off her coffee cup, added more cream-and-sugar mixture.

“We like having you.” Removing the packages of pan turkey sausages and bacon from the refrigerator, Naomi added some to the skillet, then reached for the box of pancake mix.

“I’ll say it again, you’re my lifesaver.” Fallon picked up the spatula from a spoon rest to tend the sausages. “My last neighbor was a man who wanted to hit on me on one side, and a jealous girlfriend living with her boyfriend who refused to pop the question on the other.” She sipped her coffee. “The apartment gods were definitely smiling on me when I moved in next to you.”

“It works both ways,” Naomi said, adding more mix to her bowl. “I know they didn’t mind keeping Kayla, but Mrs. Grayson and Catherine are busy. You take good care of Kayla for me when I have to work late at school. I didn’t like having her stay at school with me. Now she doesn’t have to, and I can volunteer at the Women’s League.”

“She’s a sweetie and an asset to my business. That’s why I pay her,” Fallon responded with a grin, then tested the red potatoes frying in another skillet.

“The fun she has and the places you take her are enough. You don’t have to pay her,” Naomi protested, aware that it wouldn’t do any good. Just like it didn’t do any good to protest the coffee or food Fallon brought over. She said that way it didn’t make her feel like a moocher when she showed up unexpectedly wanting coffee or a hot meal. Fallon always paid for Kayla’s admission when required, purchased her food, plus gave her five dollars for each research outing.

Fallon shook her head, her long naturally curly hair brushing against her high cheekbones and slim shoulders. “My research assistant deserves every dollar. Because of Kayla, I’m able to write about local attractions for children. My travel blog got tons of hits and I sold more articles. One of these days in the far-distant future, I might have a little girl myself … after I snag a rich husband, of course,” she said with a laugh.

Removing the sausages to drain on a paper towel, she didn’t see the frown on Naomi’s face as she poured pancake mix onto the hot griddle. Naomi knew she was kidding. Fallon wasn’t the money-hungry type. Naomi just prayed that when she did find a man, he would love her and not use her as Naomi had been used.

“For now, I’m having too much fun traveling the world and getting paid for living my dream.” Fallon stirred the potatoes again. “Santa Fe, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the nearby Native American pueblos, are a virtual gold mine for me. However, I plan to be in Aspen for the first snow, then in New York for Christmas Eve, before flying to Austin to be with my family for Christmas.”

Naomi’s frown cleared as she placed the pancakes on the platter. Fallon was too smart to let a smooth-talking man use her. Lots of men had tried to pick her up while they were out, and she always effortlessly brushed them off in a way that didn’t offend them.

“We’re ready,” Kayla exclaimed as she rushed into the kitchen with Teddy under her arm.

“Good morning, Kayla. Teddy. He looks even more handsome this morning,” Fallon greeted, bending down to eye level with Teddy to touch his red bow tie, then the red ribbons securing Kayla’s two fat ponytails. “You both do.”

“Hi, Fallon,” Kayla replied with a big grin. “Me and Teddy have to look extra special because we’re going to be on stage with Mrs. Catherine when she reads the book I’m in.”

Naomi walked over to her daughter. She did look cute in the red-and-white sundress and red leather sandals. Teddy had on a red-and-white sweater. “She dressed herself and Teddy all alone.”

“I’m a big girl just like the one in the story Mrs. Catherine is going to read,” Kayla announced proudly. “She didn’t have Teddy when she got lost, but she was brave when the gray wolf came to help her.”

“You’re brave as well,” Fallon told her. “Who held my hand when the train at the fair went through the dark tunnel?”

Kayla’s smile broadened. “Me and Teddy.”

Naomi gazed lovingly down at her daughter, thankful that she was outgoing and ready to try anything. The book signing had been all Kayla had talked about for weeks. Catherine was a past UCLA professor of psychology, renowned child advocate, and New York Times best-selling children’s author. She lectured all over the country on child psychology. “Let’s eat breakfast.”

Kayla took her seat at the small table for four and placed Teddy in the booster seat that Brandon Grayson, Catherine’s brother-in-law, had given her along with a reloadable gift card to his restaurant, the Red Cactus. Kayla loved their hamburgers.

Naomi blessed the food then tucked a large napkin beneath Kayla’s chin while Fallon placed food on her daughter’s plate. “My nephew loves Catherine Stewart-Grayson books as well. He’ll be happy to hear I’m a personal friend of one of the book’s characters.”

Kayla grinned. “My teacher and some of my friends from school are coming today.”

“You and Teddy certainly look impressive.” Fallon picked up her fork. “You deserve to be chauffeured, and I volunteer.”

“That isn’t necessary,” Naomi said. “You must have things to do on a Saturday.”

“Nope.” Fallon forked in pancakes. “That’s why I worked so hard to finish. I plan to go to the signing and get my nephew a copy of The Guardian.”

“You can ride with us,” Naomi offered, watching to ensure Kayla didn’t pour too much syrup on her pancakes.

“Not on your life,” Fallon said, taking a bite of her sausage. “You cook. I drive. House Rule.”

Kayla offered a bite of sausage to Teddy, then took a bite herself. “Dr. Richard was coming, but he had to take care of a sick animal.”

Fallon grinned. “Emmm. The good vet with the Y factor.”

Naomi barely kept from squirming. The Y was for “yummy.” “You know he’d be here if he could.”

“I know. I just wish he was here with us.”

Naomi wished he was there, too. His presence seemed to make everything easier. She wasn’t as tense when he was with them. Not daring to look at Fallon, Naomi reached for her fork.

*   *   *

Richard loved being a veterinarian. It was the only thing he’d ever wanted to do with his life. Since he was single and not in a serious relationship, there were few times in his life when his profession had interfered with his personal life.

Today was one of those rare times.

He turned into the gate of the Bar S ranch and continued down the dusty road. He’d wanted to be there today for Kayla, but also for Naomi. There would be a lot of people at Catherine’s signing.

The citizens of Santa Fe had embraced her not only because she had married into the beloved Grayson family and she was famous in her own right, but because they could tell she genuinely cared about children. More than once he’d seen a concerned mother approach her while she was eating to ask a question or get an autograph. She always responded with a smile.

One day he hoped Naomi would be that free and easy with a smile. She was doing better, but she still didn’t like crowds. She had good reason for wanting to know who was near her. He hoped his presence helped. Until the unexpected phone call this morning, he’d thought he’d be there for her.

Seeing the ranch house, he continued around back to the barn. Several ranch hands were there. Their facial expressions warned Richard that Ted, the owner of the Bar S, might have reason to be worried. One came to the door of the truck before he stopped completely.

“The boss is inside with Foxtrot, Dr. Youngblood. He raised him from a colt. I’ll show you.”

“Thanks.” Grabbing his bag, Richard followed the short, wiry man into the barn. Sunlight streamed through the hayloft opening, but it was still dim inside. A short distance farther on, he saw Ted and his signature black Stetson.

Opening the stall door, the ranch hand stepped aside. Richard’s gaze went to the horse’s bloody flank first, then to the worried eyes of the owner. “’Morning, Ted.”

“’Morning, Doc,” the older man greeted, his voice thicker than usual. “Thanks for coming.”

“Thanks for the extra light and the blanket.” Placing his bag on the blanket, Richard snapped on a pair of gloves. “I’ll try to be gentle, but this is going to hurt a bit.”

Ted nodded. “Doc’s gonna help, Foxtrot, so don’t act up.”

Richard probed the deep lacerations on the animal’s flank, stopping occasionally as the horse shied away. Ted had been right. The lacerations would have to be sutured. There was no way he’d make it back to Santa Fe in time.

“Damn horse, she’s too old to be so stupid,” Ted growled, but his voice was as shaky as the hand that repeatedly brushed down the trembling horse’s blazed face. “You should have picked up the cat’s scent and run like the other horses.”

Richard snapped off the gloves, then clasped the older man on the shoulder. “I’ll be as quick and as gentle as I can.” He placed the soiled gloves into a bag and reached into his open medical bag. “I’m glad you found her or those lacerations would have become infected. She’s not going to like what we have to do, but she’ll be all right.”

The older man swallowed visibly. “You hear that, you old nag? Doc Youngblood is going to fix you up, and next time you better run.”

Richard sanitized his hands, prepared a hypodermic needle, then put on a fresh pair of gloves. Some wounds were easier to treat and heal than others. He couldn’t help but think of Naomi. He just prayed that one day she could put the past behind her and look at him as more than just a friend. He hoped it was soon. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could hide his feelings for her.

He pushed to his feet. “Let’s get this done.”

(  The Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Francis Ray.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

2013 Books by Francis Ray
All I Ever Wanted –  A Grayson Friends Novel # 8 – February 26, 2013
After The Dawn –      A Family Affair Novel # 3 – June 18, 2013
All That I Need –        A Grayson Friends Novel # 9 -June 25, 2013
All That I Desire –    A Grayson Friends Novel # 10 – October , 2013

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Francis Ray is a native Texan and lives in Dallas. Ms. Francis Ray will have five titles released in 2013. First up is her 50th book ALL I EVER WANTED, February 26, 2013, then a eBook ALL OF MY LOVE, May 14, 2013.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Winter Ramos of Love & Hip Hop Drops Tell All Book “Game Over”

Sneak Peek:   Game Over by Winter Ramos

Winter Ramos, one of the new faces of VH1’s hit reality television show, Love and Hip Hop New York Season 3 delivers a brazen and unabashed memoir of her life in the world of hip hop.

In Game Over Winter puts all of her emotions on the page—leaving no experience, emotional abuse, or former lover uncovered. From her days as assistant to Fabolous and “friend” to Jada Kiss, to appearing on Love & Hip Hop and being Creative Costume Designer for Flavor Unit Films, Winter delivers “a tell-all book on her roster of famous ex-boyfriends and her life in the music industry (”

As the chick that was always in the mix and “cool” with everyone, Winter was privy to the cray beyond the videos, private flights, and limos that the cameras caught for us. Her reality and theirs was no game. Game Over is Winter’s cautionary tale for the next generation of young women who believe that the fabulous lives of celebrities unveiled in blogs and on reality television shows are all FIRE! Stay tuned, because this GAME is about to get real.

Winter Ramos  hails from Brooklyn New York where she was born and raised. Introduced to the world of Hip Hop at an early age she has worked behind the scenes in the Hip-Hop industry for more than 10 years and has consulted as a wardrobe stylist for labels such as Ruff Ryders, Murder Inc., Full Surface, and Def Jam.

She is mostly known for her position as executive assistant to platinum recording artist Fabolous and executive assistant to the CEO of Slip-N-Slide Records Ted Lucas.   Her tell-all book, titled Game Over about her experiences in the world of Hip-Hop has both rappers and industry executives shaking in their boots, waiting for its release in April, 2013. In her spare time Winter enjoys speaking to youth about their life choices.

NEW 2013 RELEASE FROM LCB:   Winter Ramos, one of the new faces of VH1’s hit reality show Love and Hip Hop New York Season 3, delivers a brazen and unabashed memoir of her life in the world of hip hop.
Game Over is Winter’s cautionary tale for the next generation of young women who believe that the fabulous lives of celebrities unveiled in blogs and on reality television shows are all FIRE!  Stay tuned, because this GAME is about to get real!

Released April, 2013 – Game Over by Winter Ramos


Brought to you by Tressa “Azarel” SmallwoodCEO Life Changing Books

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Property by Valerie Martin

 Property by Valerie Martin

Disturbing story of a property owner in antebellum Louisiana!

Valerie Martin’s Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery’s venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.

Set in the surreal heat of the antebellum south during a slave rebellion, Property takes the form of a dramatic monologue, bringing to the page a voice rarely heard in American fiction:  the voice of a woman slaveholder.  Manon Gaudet is pretty and petulant, self-absorbed and bored.  She has come to a sugar plantation west of New Orleans as a bride, bringing with her a prized piece of property, the young slave Sarah, only to see Sarah become her husband’s mistress and bear his child.  As the whispers of a slave rebellion grow louder and more threatening, Manon speaks to us of her past and her present, her longings and dreams in an uncensored, nerve-wracked, and perverse confession direct from the heart of moral darkness.

Exploring the permutations of Manon’s own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerful.

Read a Snippet from the Property Excerpt

IT NEVER ENDS. I watched him through the spyglass to see what the game would be. There were five of them. He gets them all gathered at the river’s edge and they are nervous. If they haven’t done this before, they’ve heard about it. First he reads to them from the Bible. I don’t have to hear it to know what passage it is. Then they have to strip, which takes no time as they are wearing only linen pantaloons. One by one they must grasp the rope, swing over the water, and drop in. It’s brutally hot; the cool water is a relief, so they make the best of it. He encourages them to shout and slap at one another once they are in the water. Then they have to come out and do it again, only this time they hang on the rope two at a time, which means one has to hold on to the other. They had gotten this far when I looked.

Two boys were pulling the rope, one holding on while the other clutched his shoulders. They were laughing because they were slippery. The sun made their bodies glisten and steam like a horse’s flanks after a long run. The boy on the ground ran down the bank and off they went, out over the water, releasing the rope at the highest point of its arc and crashing into the smooth surface below like wounded black geese. He hardly watched them. He was choosing the next two, directing one to catch the rope on its return, running his hands over the shoulders of the other, which made the boy cower and study the ground. I couldn’t watch anymore.

They have to keep doing this, their lithe young bodies displayed to him in various positions. When he gets them up to three or four at a time, he watches closely. The boys rub against each other; they can’t help it. Their limbs become entwined, they struggle to hang on, and it isn’t long before one comes out of the water with his member raised. That’s what the game is for. This boy tries to stay in the water, he hangs his head as he comes out, thinking every thought he can to make the tumescence subside. This is what proves they are brutes, he says, and have not the power of reason. A white man, knowing he would be beaten for it, would not be able to raise his member.

He has his stick there by the tree; it is never far from him. The boys fall silent as he takes it up. Sometimes the offending boy cries out or tries to run away, but he’s no match for this grown man with his stick. The servant’s tumescence subsides as quickly as the master’s rises, and the latter will last until he gets to the quarter. If he can find the boy’s mother, and she’s pretty, she will pay dearly for rearing an unnatural child.

This is only one of his games. When he comes back to the house he will be in a fine humor for the rest of the day.

Often, as I look through the glass, I hear in my head an incredulous refrain: This is my husband, this is my husband.

(  Continued…   )

Read the entire excerpt on the author’s website:

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Fire Down Below by Gwynne Forster

Fire Down Below by Gwynne Forster

If you want spine tingling drama, passion, triumph, vengeance, love, erotica,  family turmoil, or dreams of a simple life, you want to read this book. Try it today!

Fire Down Below contains four short stories and one long novella. In the first story, a woman who knows her husband is crazy about her over-plays her hand, and her husband’s reaction stuns her, as it will stun the reader.

The next tale is about a woman who believes previous surgery has left her incomplete as a woman and unable to enjoy love-making. Her surgeon’s advice encourages her. She falls in love with a man who cherishes her, and she is never again the same. It is a tender story that will tug at the reader’s heart.

In another story, a psychiatrist departs from his own professional standard and takes a sex-starved married female client to bed, ostensibly to demonstrate technique. She wants and demands more, and on her terms, finally resorting to blackmail. What they experience entraps him, and he has cause to remember his father’s long-ago advice, that his penis and the problems it can cause could ruin his life.

The novella tells of the slow disintegration of a once upscale family when the father, an arrogant man who overestimates his own worth, loses his job. Chickens come home to roost when the verbally abused, browbeaten wife comes into her own, rising like a Venus from the sea. In the turmoil, the son, scorned and rejected by the father, triumphs, and the daughter whose father spoiled and pampered her heads toward a life of destruction.

Sneak Peek at Fire Down Below by Gwynne Forster

“Never declare war unless you mean to do battle.”

During the eight years that she had been married to Jeb Harrison, Lettie Harrison had spent practically every Friday and Saturday night with her girlfriends. Jeb had designated Friday night as “boys’ night out” and Saturday night as “girls’ night out.”   Naturally, he saw no reason to stay at home on Saturday nights by himself. At first, she had thought it a cute idea, but as the years passed, she saw it as Jeb’s way of getting for himself two nights every weekend to do as he pleased.

One Saturday night in late June, Lettie sat on her front porch, fanning the heat, slapping at mosquitoes and cursing the stench of magnolia blossoms that permeated the air. She had hated magnolias ever since she first heard Billie Holiday sing “Strange Fruit.”  It was hot for June in the small Maryland town of Hedgewood that embraced the Chesapeake Bay like a hollowed-out orange section and boasted as its chief advantage its nearness to Baltimore, fully eighty miles to the west.

The last thing she wanted to do on a Saturday night was play dirty hearts with Ethel and Roxie. After all, she had a husband; her girlfriends passed the time that way because they didn’t have a man. Perspiring from the heat and smoldering with anger at Jeb, she vowed to change her life. When it came to Jeb, though, her mind acted as if it wasn’t normal. She couldn’t count the times she’d sworn to Jeb that she was going to leave him; and just as many times, he’d grinned or winked at her and told her he wouldn’t last a day without her.

Lettie went inside and drew up a long list of grievances against Jeb so she’d be sure to get them all in before he started feeling all over her breasts and belly and messing up her mind. She wrote that he could have only one night out a week, and that he had to stay home on her night out. Along with that, she listed his habits of dropping his socks on the floor, tuning her out when she was giving him what for, not rolling up the tube of toothpaste, insisting on sleeping with the bedroom windows open on cold nights, and leaving the toilet seat up.

“I’ve got a thousand other complaints against you,” she wrote, “things that love don’t cover. And these days, love don’t cover much.” She pinned the note to his pillow, got in bed and went to sleep.

Calloused fingers skimming up and down her arms awakened her around one that morning. She slid further over to the edge of her side of the bed, but Jeb slid over after her.  Annoyance shot through her, and after nearly ripping the cover off him, she drew the blanket to herself and curled up with her back to him.

“Haven’t I told you, Jeb Harrison, that thoughts of sex don’t enter my head after ten o’clock at night? And wanting it is out of the question. My clock quits ticking.” She didn’t intend to let him manipulate her.

“Who were you out with?” she asked him. Jeb curled up to her back.

“The boys. You know I hang out with the boys.”

“Doing what? Talking about what?”

Jeb kissed the back of her neck. “Honey, you don’t expect me to remember all that, do you? Nothing. We just talk about…you know… Nothing.”

“Humph. Boys, eh? From what I’ve been hearing, they must’ve vacationed in Denmark.”

“What? What on earth does that mean?”

“I mean if they’re boys it’s because they had a sex change. You don’t expect to have secrets in a town this small, do you? It’s been fifteen years since Martha Brixton left her house, but I’ll bet she can tell me who called here today. You get your act together, mister. If you don’t, I’m hightailing it out of here.”

“What’re you talking about, woman? I was out with the boys, just like I told you.”

Lettie got out of bed, stuck her fists on her hips and glared at him. “Peaches Johnson ain’t no boy, Jeb Harrison. And if you think she is, I’ve got a bigger problem than I thought I had.”  Jeb rolled over with his back to her. “Honey, for the Lord’s sake, come on back to bed and quit all that drama. I’m sleepy.” She wanted to take her shoe to his behind, but controlled the urge.

“You just wait,” she grumbled. “This time, I’m not fooling.”

* * *

“What you so down about?” Roxie asked Lettie as they left church the next morning.

“I’m not down, Roxie. I just been makin’ up my mind about things. I’m gonna leave Jeb.”

“Oh hush, girl, you said that before.”  Lettie took a tissue out of her purse and wiped the perspiration from her forehead, pushing back the curls of her newly permed hair.

“This time, I mean it. First thing Monday morning I’m packing my bags.”

“I’ll believe that when I see it. You mean tomorrow?”

“I said Monday, didn’t I?”

Roxie slanted her head a little and looked toward the sky. “Yeah, you sure did. But tell you the truth, I don’t believe a word of it. You’re not going to walk out on what you said Jeb’s puttin’ down.”

“He’s not the only man who can put it down.” Lettie thought for a minute. “Maybe that’s Jeb’s problem. Maybe I’ve been making him think he’s Hercules in the sack.” A smile skipped like waves over her face, painting there an expression of sweet remembrance.

“Honey, if he’s not the real thing, I sure don’t want to traffic with reality.”

Remembering her vow, she quickly sobered. “Yes, indeed. First thing Monday morning.”

“I don’t understand you, Lettie. Don’t you remember what happened to Effie Strong? Reverend Lucas got engaged to marry her, and the whole town said she was a whore in her mini skirts and spiked-heel shoes, not fit for a minister’s wife. So he broke the engagement. She sued him, passed a court-ordered virginity test and won a bundle of dough for defamation of character. Don’t listen to everything that falls off the loose tongues in this town.”

“I don’t care what you say. He’s fooling around with Peaches, and I’m leaving him—”

“Yeah. I heard you. First thing Monday morning.”

(  Continues in the ebook on Kindle…  )

© 2012 All rights reserved. Fire Down Below. Kindle Edition.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Gwynne Forster.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offence. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase Fire Down Below
[Kindle Edition Only]

by Gwynne Forster

About the Author
Gwynne Forster
has many national awards for fiction. She is a national best selling author of forty-five works of fiction, including the latest of her ten mainstream novels, BREAKING THE TIES THAT BIND (winner of the RT Book Review award for best multicultural general fiction novel of 2011) , WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN, A CHANGE HAD TO COME and A DIFFERENT KIND OF BLUES. GETTING SOME OF HER OWN was nominated by RT Magazine for best book of its kind in 2009.

Her series of the Harrington brothers and their family is one of the most popular in romance writing. The fifth book in the series, A COMPROMISING AFFAIR, is in stores now. Ten of her romance novels have won national awards.
She is also winner of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the Affaire de Coeur Magazine Hall of Fame.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with Andrea Clinton

Intimate Conversation with Andrea Clinton

Andrea Clinton is the niece of legendary George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and is presently working on a biography featuring George and the Clinton family; she is a high school English teacher, Novelist, Poet, Essayist, and aspiring Screenwriter/Filmmaker. Andrea is a Montclair State University Graduate who’s achieved a degree in English, Film and Journalism. She’s the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People; Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper.

In  June 2011, the first novel in Andrea’s “Life Knows No Bounds” series,  “One Who Loves You More” was picked up by a producer to be adapted into a theatrical production. Presently, Andrea is gearing up to put many of her short stories that were published in magazines and newspapers, up on eBooks.

BPM:  Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
What drives me is my passion for story telling and entertaining the readers or listeners (I’ve been summoned to randomly make up and tell stories). I write to enlighten or to pull the readers coat tail to an issue or subject matter.

I pray the impact that my books has on readers is that: The upper class begin to learn and are introduced to the other classes and what they live and experience, why they make the decisions they make, etc.  and that the middle class learn to not look down their noses at the poor or lower class, but have a respect for their struggle and to recognize that they are being played in the game as well, and to not revere the upper class so much, as their problems are as great as their money; and for the lower class to reach for the stars by obtaining KNOW-HOW,  and work hard to maintain that sense of  “down-to-earthness” we posses that the other classes wish they had and seek but can’t find because of the airs they put on and their ongoing evil to maintain what they have.  I want to show the poor or lowered class that we really aren’t missing as much as we believe, and we’re much happier than we think.

BPM:  Introduce us to your latest full length novel, A Blessing and a Curse.
In “A Blessing and a Curse” Malika has the life every woman wants, a hardworking husband who makes it happen financially; kids, both adopted as well as biological; her career as an artist with partners who own an art gallery; nice house, nice neighbors and the gift of foresight. Malika couldn’t ask for much more, until her gift of sight and infrequent ability to read minds opened her up to her husband’s disgust, followed by his uncaring desire to leave her. She can’t figure it out, what has gone wrong? But a well needed vacation helps her find her worth but to what detrimental end?

BPM:  What sets A Blessing and a Curse apart from other books in the same genre?
The use of the abnormal, the gift of foresight is what separates this novel from others in the genre. I like using all the devices and qualities, etc., from various genres. I don’t want to be put in a box or be so confined that I don’t explore other ideas because they are ingredients for other genres.

I made sure that nothing about the use of the main character’s gift of foresight was scary. Instead, you get to look inside the mind and goings-on of a person who can see the future. Also, although you may not be able to relate to her blessing of seeing into the future, you will be able to relate to the issues that bombard her and her family. Lastly, I made sure to give the readers a few twists and turns in the read, a sort of, “Just when you thought it was all good….”

BPM: Tell us about your new e-short Red Dollar. What inspired this story?
Red Dollar is a story about a red dollar that many believe has been touched by the devil. It’s like bad luck money many hate to get and rush to get rid of when they get it because they believe so long as they have it in their possession, they’ll go broke in the worst way. An ex drug addict owes money to his old dealer and to rid himself of the debt and them taking advantage of him, he sets him, Low-Blow, up to receive the red dollar. Low-Blow who never heard of the red dollar, finds his life whirling into a kaleidoscope of weird, awkward happenings, leading him to believe he’s in a sort of twilight zone.

BPM:  Did you put a lot of time into thinking about Red Dollar or was this something within that was ready to go?
Have you ever seen on a movie, a 3D movie, like, “Inception,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, where something broke into a bunch of pieces, and then they all do like, a rewind and come back together as a whole? Well, once I thought about a world of people all dodging or loathing this red dollar, all the pieces of the story had surfaced and were surrounding me while I stood on line in the store. It was as if they’d been there, floating mid air, and finally, at the sight of the red dollar, the cashier’s awkward reception of the red dollar and so forth, something clicked, and when it did, each of those floating pieces circled and enclosed me. I snatched out my cell phone and began emailing the story idea to myself. Then, I raced to my car to pack my bags inside, and continued laying out the blueprint of this story via email from my phone.

Thirty minutes in, I emailed it to myself, raced home and while my son put up the groceries, I ran to my laptop and began filling in the gaps and within 24 hours, 90% or more of the story was written. Prior to seeing the red dollar, I just wanted to go home and eat breakfast. After seeing the red dollar, I swear, it’s as if the pieces of the story were there and had gotten permission for take off, and gravitated together to form the short story, Red Dollar.

BPM:  What would you like your readers to take away from Red Dollar?
Basically that we get what our hands call for. If you live hard, life will be hard and hardships will come to you in many ways. In my 2nd novel, A Blessing and a Curse, I named a chapter title, “How we Live is How we Cry” and I want readers to understand and accept this. If you live right, are doing good, when you cry, it will be good, happy cries. But if not, you will receive the adverse affect and it won’t be pleasant; and, you will feel the pain, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc., believe me. Life is for living, but living right, not foul. If we don’t change our ways, we will feel the fire here and in the hereafter. Also, we shouldn’t run from change and reform, it’s necessary throughout life. I’m still finding out that changing for the better never stops, it’s ongoing.

BPM:  Will there be a sequel to “Red Dollar”?
I’ve let five people read it and all five said, “That book is an intro to a full length, thriller based novel. Since they are avid readers, I have to consider that. But, thrillers are a serious thing. You are forever chasing the thrill, enhancing it, trying to top it with another, making sure it goes over as such and is exciting and captivating, and so on. So, I have my work cut out for me. Yes, I think it’s safe to say, Red Dollar will continue on, maybe via many shorts about it’s so called evil and impression upon numerous character’s lives.

BPM: How do you view the past 20 years of Black literature?
We have made a remarkable impact in literature: you see more African American authors published by traditional publishers or starting their own publishing companies; Urban Lit has kicked down the door, so to speak, with African Americans monetarily showing and proving Urban Lit.’s worth as well as setting the tone and the schematics of what the genre is about, contains, etc.; and much of our contributions are revealing our relevance in the industry and that we do have a voice and a huge audience.

I’m noticing other impacts we’ve made in Romance, Horror and other genres, where it is being accepted by publishers that the writing might be a little different in the African American’s world. I believe book clubs and avid readers of all races, etc. are showing via sales that African Americans DO read and that we love a good book like the rest–African American authors are exhibiting we have what it takes to make it happen in the industry and that we too play a vital role in publishing good and great books as well as contributing to great sales.

BPM: Where do you think Black literature is headed? Will ebooks change the direction?
Black literature is headed for greatness. I believe we are opening up the eyes of publishers and readers of various races and with books like, “The Color Purple,” and many others, we’re showing there is just as much interesting drama, mystery, etc. in African American books as it is in any other. I believe finally, you’ll begin to see more African American authors published by traditional publishers and respectfully with publishing contracts that are comparable to that of great non African American publishers.

eBooks, yes, they are changing some things but much like the Internet, but things will remain a little scattered before they are put into a perspective that is great for the author as well as the publisher and/or eBook company/service. Presently, a book sold for $.99 only offers the publisher 35% (35cents) per sale, with approximately 25% of the 35 cent going to the author. So, the publishing companies aren’t seeing much from the sales, nor is the author. This is one of the first issues that will be rectified as publishers have to deal with overhead and more. Authors at some point may not feel it’s worth it, which may become an issue for publishers and the eBook companies (and Print on Demand).

So, before it’s all said and done, big publishers being the survivors that they are, will form a sort of union or meeting of the minds and will put pricing into a better perspective that will find favor on all involved. Unfortunately, I don’t think the small publishers will have an impact unless they all band together and produce a united front. But, I’m no sure how soon that will happen.

BPM:  Looking back over the past 20 years of Black literature, what have you observed?
Wow!  I’ve observed so many changes. With people in general now able to easily become authors and self publish due to digital printing being more affordable, along with a few other things, I’ve seen more African American authors than ever. However, I’ve noticed just as many authors leave authoring. After writing, paying for editing, layout, book cover, printing, selling, placing books on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, etc. and then committing to book tours, these authors soon retire. With the industry changing in technology, pricing, and an antiquated industry totally flipping the script, nothing is settled and there are more innovations on the rise, changing the publishing industry every day. This is hard on the new self-published author. Whether or not this trend I’ve noticed will continue remains to be seen, but I believe we all learn to respect publishing and authoring books after the experience.

BPM:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Realness with an understanding that: Our upbringing/what and how we’re taught, our environment, innate qualities that we get thru genetics or are God given, instincts and drives such as Self-preservation and Desires all play a role in how we turn out, how we think and the decisions we make. We have to look at all of these things and decide who we will be, hopefully enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.


Purchase Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

Purchase A Blessing and a Curse by Andrea Clinton



Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

 Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

When Leo found a red dollar, his grandmother told him to get rid of it as it looked evil.  Red Dollar is a story about a red dollar bill that many believe has been touched by the devil.  It’s like bad luck money many hate to get and rush to get rid of when they get it because they believe so long as they have it in their possession, they’ll go broke in the worst way.

Leo, a ex-drug addict owes money to his old dealer, Low-Blow.  In order to rid himself of the debt, Leo takes advantage of his old dealer by setting Low-Blow up to receive the red dollar.  Low-Blow who never heard of the red dollar,  finds his life whirling into a kaleidoscope of weird, awkward happenings, leading him to believe he’s in a sort of twilight zone.  Low Blow learns a whole other meaning to the term, “Money is the route to all evil.”

Excerpt from Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

Leo did exactly what his mother told him to do. While all the kids were running in the room waiting for the pizza to come, he walked to the door and down the stairs to pay the pizza man. Knowing the guys downstairs who sold drugs robbed him on a regular basis to make up the money he stole from them in the past, he usually kept two batches of money and if he didn’t have it, he would come and go through the back door. But, when he heard his mother say that the money he had was evil money, and he knew all his problems came from those guys getting he and his friends addicted to crack when they were only fifteen years old, he decided to let them rob him of the evil dollar. So, the five dollars he usually kept for them, he swapped for the single dollar bills, including the evil red dollar.

When the pizza man came in the hallway, he quickly opened the door and when one of the guys saw it opened, they ran across the street to snatch Leo. Leo paid the pizza men and set the pizza on the step as he yelled for his nephew who always spied and followed him around to come get the pizza. Then, he came back down and pretended to attempt to close the door just after the pizza guy left. His struggle with the guys was such that any one with common sense would realize he wanted them to come get him.

“Don’t, please, you know my Mama don’t give me more than five dollars for myself.”

Snatching Leo by his shirt, Low-Blow, his ex-dealer, pushed him up against the wall, as two other guys came in and helped pin him to the wall. “You know I’m going to be robbing you for your five dollars for the next twenty five years until you pay me back my three thousand dollars. If it wasn’t for your mother and your cousin, I’d have killed you a long time ago!”

“Ok, let me get you the five dollars,” as Leo tried to go in his pocket.

“Let him go!” his nephew Beady said while standing at the top of the stairs holding the four pizza pies. He was ready to run into the apartment if they came after him. “Mama!  They got Leo again.”

“Mama know what time it is. Take ya butt in the house boy,” Low-Blow said, then he turned back to Leo, “I’ll get the money. I don’t want you holding out on me. ‘Cause if it’s six or even eight dollars, I’m taking it,” as he dug in Leo’s pocket and took out the single dollar bills.

The two guys began to walk out the door, Low-blow walked out the door behind them looking back at Leo with hatred in his eyes, hating drug addicts, even when they became so at his own hand.

After they all left out, Leo fell back against the wall. He looked up at his nephew and said, “He’ll have to do evil to get rid of that dollar and if he keeps it, it’ll drive him so broke, he’ll have to do evil to maintain a pocket full of cash, and he’ll go broke trying. Either way that evil red dollar will take him out my life,” Leo said to his nephew with a smile.

“Yeah, and he foolish enough to see the red dollar and admire it, and keep it for good luck,” he said while shaking his head at him. Both Leo and Beady laughed.

“I’m sorry he’s your father and doesn’t even recognize you anymore,” Leo said to Beady.

“I’m not. If he did recognize me, he’d be teaching me all about the drug game and not raising me proper like Mama. Then I’d be treating you badly instead of praying for you to get well so you can get back to being my uncle.”

( Continued… )

© 2012  All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Andrea Clinton.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

About the Author
Previously an English teacher and high school principal, Andrea Clinton is a novelist, poet, essayist, aspiring playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker. She is a Montclair State University graduate with a degree in English, Film, and Journalism and is presently achieving her Master’s in Theatre Studies. Andrea is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People, Inc., whose mission is to help citizens become independent and self-sufficient. She is also Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper; and, is presently working on a biography featuring her uncle, Rock and Roll Hall of famer, George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and the Clinton family.

Struck with Lupus in 2002, Andrea decided that if she were blessed to live, she would publish her countless stories for the world to read. Her first novel is one of five in the first volume of “Life Knows No Bounds” series. Andrea began this chronicle to exhibit to the world and address through fiction, the many directions life leads us in, regardless of which class we belong to. Andrea also set out to express to the world that life isn’t after anyone in particular, it just doesn’t know boundaries.

With the goal of helping people to understand and accept life, Andrea is said to write with that same creative gene and knack that made her uncle George Clinton the musical great that he is. See her many book reviews that support Andrea Clinton as a creative and entertaining great writer on the rise.


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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


A Blessing and a Curse by Andrea Clinton

A Blessing and A Curse
by Andrea Clinton

In “A Blessing and A Curse” Malika has the life every woman wants, a hard working husband who makes it happen financially; kids, both adopted as well as biological; her career as an artist with partners who own an art gallery; nice house, nice neighbors and the gift of foresight.  Malika couldn’t ask for much more, until her gift of sight and infrequent ability to read minds opened her up to her husband’s disgust, followed by his uncaring desire to leave her. She can’t figure it out, what has gone wrong? But a well needed vacation helps her find her worth but to what detrimental end?

Malika finds a different type of groove in her story,  A Blessing and A Curse.

INTRODUCTION:   A Blessing and A Curse

Ghetto Embarrassing

“Lottie, li’l girl, how you expect him to want you when you ghetto embarrassing? Who would want you? Even a jailhouse, ghetto Negro as ignant as they come wouldn’t want you,” Malika said, as she stood outside her garage, with one foot in the garage and one on the edge of the driveway pavement, just under the raised garage door, looking around the floor and garage shelves.

“Malika, what you think you and ya family betta’ than me?!” Lottie said, pacing around the driveway like a maniac.

“I don’t think nothing,” Malika answered, as she glanced around, looking for one of her husband’s cigars he usually leaves lying around. She was already stressed, but Lottie was so caught up in her own moment she didn’t notice.

“Oh, you think you know y’all betta’ than me? Huh!?”

“Call it what you want. But you running ‘round here, yelling and telling people all over town that you pregnant by Ba’sim and that he betta’ own up to it. You don’t care how you look to people and what makes it worse, ya’ loud!”

“Move out, li’l girl! ‘Cause you ain’t seen loud yet!”

“I’m a grown woman—’bout time you act like you know, Lottie!”

“To hell wit’ you, b—ch!  Who you? I ain’t gotta do nuttin’!”

“I ain’t gon’ be too many of ya b—ches,” Malika warned Lottie, spotting a cigar her husband must have hidden in the garage.

“Screw you, Malika! I don’t care how old you are. You can get served like the best of them.”

“For a young girl with a belly, you sure pop off at the mouth a lot,” Malika said as she picked up the cigar, blowing the dust off.

“My mouth! So, what?”

“Ya need to mind ya manners and get out my yard,” Malika said as she put the cigar in her mouth while looking around for a light.

“I ain’t gotta mind my manners fa’ you, b—ch! You ain’t gonna do nothin’!”

“I done told you now; you ain’t got too many more times—” Malika warned, lighting the cigar.

“Or what? You wasn’t talking all that when my cousin Day’sia was here.”

“Ya cousin Day’sia wasn’t popping off at the mouth. And you the one make somebody wanna choke you, not Day’sia,” Malika replied, taking a puff while lighting the cigar.

“Hell, you wasn’t popping off at me, either! Scary ass trying to act like you all tough. I’m over here almost e’ry day cussin’ yo’ so-called son out and you don’t do nothing but pull his dumb ass in the house! What? ‘Cause you got a semi reputation from 20 years ago for beating up one ho? B—ch, please! You ain’t do nothing all them days I was ‘round here tearing the roof off the mutha’ and you ain’t gon’ do nothing now!”

“Or maybe you just didn’t come ‘round on a good day—like today. Today a good day; just had my husband, Hooch tell me we ain’t workin’ out, just had my son tell me what I believed most of my life to be a gift is really a curse, kids want us to be a family—husband wanna go. Oh, yeah,” agitated, “you popping off on a good day,” Malika said, puffing the cigar and then shaking the ashes like she’s crazy, eyes bugged.

“Look, look, look, I don’t wanna hear ya damn problems and I’m tired of smellin’ ya drunk-ass cigar! Tell ya fake ass son I said ta come out here! Now, b—ch!” Lottie demanded, as she slapped her flat sandal against the pavement in the garage driveway for emphasis of her anger.

Malika lunged at Lottie’s throat. Lottie was startled out of her skin when Malika snatched her by the neck with both hands, cigar in mouth and one eye closed, making her look like a crazed, one-eyed pirate.

“Didn’t I tell ya young ass I wasn’t gonna be too many more of ya b—ches!” Still choking Lottie, she yelled, “didn’t I tell ya trouble making, stupid, ignant-ass today was a good day!” She was shaking Lottie’s neck and Lottie, helpless and in pain, was looking in shock as her oxygen began to close off. Just then, Malika’s adopted son, Ba’sim, came running out with her husband trailing behind.

“Ma! Ma! Let her go,” Ba’sim smirking, as he tried not to laugh, had finally reached them.

“Malika, girl, you crazy! Let the girl go!” Malika’s husband, Hooch, yelled out to her.

“Ma,” Ba’sim was finally pulling her off. “What are you doing?” He asked, standing between Malika and Lottie.

“I’ma kill ’er! Young skank got a lotta mouth! I told her to scat! I told you today was a good day didn’t I, skank!” Malika yelled, angered, “Didn’t I!?”

Lottie, now rubbing her throat and coughing, squeaked “Yeah, but you didn’t do that when Day’sia was here!” She was starting to cry, but trying to keep it together.

( Continued… )

© 2011  All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Andrea Clinton.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase copies of  A Blessing and A Curse
ISBN-10: 0981837646    |      ISBN-13: 978-0981837642

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Blood Melt by Max W. Miller

Blood Melt by Max W. Miller

Avani Darrisaw just wants to lead a normal teen life, but with a father who fights in a secret war and a mother resembling a science fiction goddess, she fears her wish will never come true.  At sixteen, her fears become reality when she discovers she is a descendent from Amarka, an alien planet. Horror replaces fear after a Star Warrior choses her to save him. Seth, a prince of the Amarkarue Hierarchy is trapped in a dying sphere. He has come to join the battle on Earth, but needs Avani’s blood to do so. She has to become a willingly participant in a dangerous blood-exchange ceremony—the Blood Melt.

Avani wants no part of this “Chosen One” designation and cannot understand why her parents feel so honored by this awful thing that has happened to her. They sent for an overweight, shape-shifting school counselor to scare her into attending some training school for freaks. Avani rebels and runs away—not knowing that Seth could transport himself on short trips to Earth to peruse her. 

With mental exhaustion crumbling her will, Avani gives over to her feelings for the gorgeous prince with the honey-brown eyes. It is after her heart declares her love for him that she finds out there is more to the Blood Melt story than even her parents has told. She knew the Amarkarues had come to help their Earth descendants battle against the Walfarian Spikers. She did not know that consenting to the Blood Melt unleashed an assassin assigned to murder her. The odds of surviving the Blood Melt were slim; the odds of surviving a Walfarian assassin were none.  Will Seth and Avani survive the Blood Melt, and if they do, can Seth free himself from his prison in time to save her? 

Editorial Review – Harriett Reynolds
“A good fantasy novel for teens. The author has a wonderfully inventive imagination… Readers will undoubtedly look forward to the next books in the series”

Excerpt from Blood Melt by Max W. Miller
Genre:  Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre


Dizziness overtook her. She was headed face-first for the concrete floor. Her muscles tightened, preparing for something that never happened. All she remembered was a strong, unintimidating grasp circling her waist and then seeing the Star Warrior’s face suspended over hers. Weightless, her body moved through the air. She was in denial as she glided underneath him. They were in a horizontal position and totally gliding through the air.

“Seth,” he said as his amazing honey-brown eyes caught hers. Breathlessness commanded her to stop releasing air—to hold as much inside her lungs as possible. The feeling of her featherweight-gliding body paled in comparison to his overwhelming presence. Without physical touch, he reached into places inside her, places she’d never explored before, places beyond where she would have let him invade, if she had a choice. She’d never experienced helplessness like this and wished it would never happen again. Did she really mean that? she wondered. Never is a long time.

His golden coat surrounded them. Floating through an Amtrak train corridor with a drop-dead gorgeous alien Star Warrior hovering over you was the kind of thing psych wards were made of. From there, it got crazier. He began to look faded and speckled, as if he were changing into . . .

“Oh, no, not you too. Please don’t change into a grizzly bear or a big nasty bloody heart with teeth. Please don’t scare me again.”

“No distress, Avani Darrisaw.”

If anything could make this situation right, it was his words. Yet he continued to change—not into an oversized bloody heart with teeth, but into a new soothing frame. Now he reminded her of what she imagined the inside of a computer’s motherboard would look like—high tech. His body had separated into rays of infinitesimal lights. So cool. She could still tell where his eyes were and trace the image of his body.

“No distress,” he whispered. “Molecular structure alteration commences.”

“Molecular who?”

And that’s when it happened.

“Aaaaah. Aaaaah.” A sensation seized her body, like huge colonies of ants marching inside her flesh. Prickling dull needles annoyed her skin, while her body tingled and itched, as if the colony of ants were carefully pulling it apart cell by cell. Disjointed, she tried to panic, but the trillions of separated cells didn’t know how to panic. What had the Star Warrior done to her?

Drugs. It had to be some kind of spaceman drugs he’d given her. But how? And why would he do that? What did she ever do to him to deserve this? Numb with fear, Avani tried to convince herself that she was walking on a beautiful beach on a sunny day, watching the helpless churning of sand swirling at the will of the wind. She told herself that it wasn’t her body that had separated like his did, that it was just grains of sand on a beach.

She didn’t know how long it had been before the golden coat lifted, leaving her seated back on the same dusty bench she’d slept on half the night. Staring ahead at the same washed-out wall, shocking disbelief set in. Her eyes blinked in a stupor. Had what she thought just happened actually happen? Did the Star Warrior come out of her dreams to protect her from that man, catching her when she was falling?

And what was that feeling of being completely pulled apart all about? How could she see her body disintegrate into so many small pieces until . . . until she was framed out like a faded light show—just like him?

A few deep breaths later, she had regained enough brain power to glance around. She searched for him, Seth. But he had vanished. Over the intercom, she heard the last call for passengers traveling to Spartanburg.

“Oh no!” She stood on wobbling legs. Hobbling to the door, she ran as best she could. Despite her determination to get on the Amtrak, the image of Seth and the words he’d spoken blazed inside her:

“Danger surrounds you, Avani Darrisaw. Consent to have talks with me.”

(  The Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Max W. Miller.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Meet the Author
Max W. Miller is a writer of Speculative Fiction.  She enjoys creating characters with powers that earthlings cannot scientifically explain away—characters challenging traditional reasoning. Although writing for teens and young adults, Max’s SCI-FI / FANTASY books are enjoyed by all ages.

Born in Savannah Georgia, Max comes from a large family. Presently, she lives in North Carolina. When she’s not writing, Max enjoys spending time with her husband, children, other family members, and friends.

Purchase Blood Melt by Max W. Miller
Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre

ISBN-13: 9781478315018  (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-9855955-1-7 (eBook)

Available on Nook Blood Melt…Seth Cometh
Available on Kindle

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with Max W. Miller

Intimate Conversation with Max W. Miller

Max W. Miller is a writer of Speculative Fiction. She enjoys creating characters with powers that earthlings cannot scientifically explain away—characters challenging traditional reasoning. Although writing for teens and young adults, Max’s SCI-FI / FANTASY books are enjoyed by all ages. Born in Savannah Georgia, Max comes from a large family. Presently, she lives in North Carolina. When she’s not writing, Max enjoys spending time with her husband, children, other family members, and friends.

BPM:  What was the deciding factor in your decision to write books professionally?
MAX – In my family, I have always been the go-to person when expressions through words were called upon. Years ago, I’d made an attempt to write for publication—a Self Help book. As always, life kicked in and I began what I call ‘Career Hopping.’ Clearly, I was in survival mode. It took a personal crisis involving my son for me to find the healing effect of my creativity.  I believe that every mother who loves their children feels the pangs of frustration when a child is headed in the wrong direction. Mothers know that if they don’t fight to turn the situation around, disaster will visit them.

In this particular situation, I’d come to a point of mental exhaustion— helplessness. What I’d fought so hard to avoid happened despite my efforts. I picked up my pen in frustration, accusing my son, the system, and everything in between. My situation was literally tearing me apart, limb by limb—until I made a wonderful discovery. The elephant lifted off of my chest whenever I used my creative flare to write positive messages to myself. Soon the messages formed into story ideas. That was when I began to feel the power of my own internal healing.

BPM – You said that writing positive messages helped you heal from your personal crisis, but what made you choose Speculative Fiction as your genre?
MAX – Speculative fiction involves the paranormal/supernatural realm. I’m very comfortable creating Science Fiction and Fantasy worlds, Mythology and Ghost Stories because I have had many experiences in my life that I know came from other realms. And no, I’m not a coo coo clock (smile). I have seen and heard and known about situations that are inexplicable to the disbelieving mind. In my books, I take pieces of what’s real (dreams, visions, etc.) and I unleash against that reality, the most powerful imagination I can muster up. Some of my readers have said that my books are different, something that have not been rehashed over and over again.

BPM:  I understand that you have self-published several books, why did you not get a literary agent?
MAX – I started out seeking an agent and had several large firms interested in reading Blood Melt, my debut novel. I decided to try and get a platform under my belt when I realized that without a platform new authors might not see their work on the market for at least eighteen months, and that’s eighteen months after the manuscript has been sold by the agent. At my age (I’m a Baby Boomer), I thought it would be in my best interest to kick-it-off myself and then seek literary representation to move me to the next level.

BPM:  So tell me about Blood Melt and how it helped you to heal.
MAX – Blood Melt is about a secret alien battle taking place right here on Earth. A sixteen year old girl is unwillingly plunged right in the middle of warring alien nations and she just happens to be a descendant of one of these races.  Everybody, including her parents, seems to push her toward saving this alien prince from the planet Amarka. Seth is the gorgeous honey-brown eyes prince who is trapped in a dying sphere in a realm above Earth. Only through Avani’s blood that she’d have to give willingly during a dangerous ceremony called the Blood Melt, could Seth be saved.  It’s a saga of sacrifice, intrigue, and love, filled with unusual characters that bring wit and danger to the plot.

I submerged myself into writing and rewriting Blood Melt. I didn’t want to sit in a classroom; I wanted to use the internet as my teacher and hammer-it-out. This was my therapy! This helped to stabilize my thoughts and gave me peace at night. I became engrossed in developing the characters and deciding who would die and who would live, who was a traitor and who was a good entity in disguise. Through Blood Melt I realize that I could re-invent myself and emerge with a new outlook on life.

BPM – Talk about as well as quote your most memorable scene in the book.
MAX – The most memorable scene came in the form of a paragraph that I wrote after the book was completed. I wanted to write an Epilogue to give my readers a taste of where Book 2 might be headed. I felt like I wanted to give a more in-depth look into Avani’s mother, Gisella. Throughout the Book 1, Gisella’s motive may have been questioned. It was obvious from the beginning that she had a secret or two of her own.

As I thought about Gisella’s love for Avani, all of a sudden, I couldn’t stop thinking about my own child. I believe I was able to transfer my true emotions over to my character—bringing Gisella to life. This was the perfect time to write the words below, to get into the vein of knowing how Gisella felt about the journey her daughter, Avani, had taken.

Paragraph 1 of the Epilogue  
“She was back, my precious Avani—Jolon’s heartbeat—my very breath. If she only knew how much we love her, how important she is to us, not because of her talents, but because of . . . her. She’s my baby. I have missed her with a tearing of my flesh. Our separation seemed like an endless void. ”

BPM:  Tell us a little bit about your other titles. Do you have any series?
MAX – Well, I ended up releasing a smaller novel at the same time I release Blood Melt (August 2012). The Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens has received good reviews as well as Blood Melt. The Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens is about a fourteen year old teen whose mother dies brutally and mysteriously, leaving Sadie Mae a legacy no mom would want to leave her child. Also, I have two short stories in eBook format: After Hour Banking and Spending Christmas with A Yeti. All books are set-up to be series with exception of After Hour Banking.

BPM – Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online?
MAX – Both Blood Melt and The Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens are entered in the 2013 IPPY Contest for Indie Authors. The Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens won a Book of the Day Award on a highly trafficked Indie website. It’s scary throwing your books out there, but I have confidence that they can hold their own in their genre.

My latest projects are Torene the Tornado, Book 2 in The Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens series, and I’m writing the Book Proposal for the True Story that steps the reader painstakingly through the journey I took with my son—how it all began, the supernatural aspects of our journey, the end results, and everything in between.

At first, I had a tough time deciding which fiction book would submerge first with a Book 2. Since I’d gotten more of a stir of readers asking about Book 2 on Sadie Mae and the fact that Sadie is a shorter novel than Blood Melt helped me decide to write another Sadie Adventure first. I figured a shorter novel would give me time to seek literary representation on my True Story Book Proposal—a True Story every woman and child should read.

Connect with Author Max W. Miller
Author of Science Fiction and Fantasy books for Teens and Young Adults

Follow on Twitter:  @maxwmiller;   Facebook:
Video Blog: – This is my latest creative venture. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel today!

Email at:  – I enjoy hearing from my readers and take every opportunity to respond to each email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Website: – This website is the Hub for all of my creative activities. I invite you to subscribe today to be among the first to receive new information.


Intimate Conversation with Anita Bunkley

Intimate Conversation with Anita Bunkley
During Anita Bunkley’s twenty-plus years of writing she has created much-needed and welcome literature that takes readers into periods of history from the Afro-centric point of view.  Reviewers and fans refer to her novels as sweeping sagas that are extremely entertaining —  embraced for their historical accuracy, strong romantic themes, and vivid characterizations of black people, especially women, in periods of history not widely showcased in literary works.   A member of the TEXAS INSTITUTE OF LETTERS, Anita lives in Houston, Texas.  She is represented by Marcil-O’Farrell Literary LLC. NY, NY.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I have always been an avid reader, and I was always looking for books that featured interesting black women as the main characters.  There was not much to choose from while I was growing up.  In the mid-1980’s , when I learned that the woman who inspired the folksong, The Yellow Rose of Texas was a woman of color, I went to the local library to read more about her.  After discovering that no one had taken the time to research or write the true story behind a song so well-known, especially in Texas, I grew curious about the mystery woman.  That led to several years of intensive research that was often riddled with blank spaces –as very few primary sources remained about those involved in the creation of the song.  I decided to write the story as historical fiction and create my own version of a popular legend. 

After joining a writer’s group I began to write and eventually won a local writing contest with my entry about the Yellow Rose of Texas.  I published it independently and it sold so well that I got the attention of an agent with my next historical novel, Black Gold, which was published by Penguin/Dutton in 1994. I have been writing and publishing ever since.   

BPM: Introduce us to your book, A Thousand Steps, and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
The novel is set in 1855, and tells the story of three women who are vastly different, separated by class, race, and geographic distance whose lives become strangely intertwined. Each woman undertakes the treacherous journey into the rugged plains of Indian Territory for a different reason, without knowledge of a secret that will eventually bind them together.

The main character is Tama, born a slave on a huge cotton plantation in North Carolina.  Her biological father is her master and her mother is a slave. The story opens with her mother’s death and Tama’s decision to flee.  While on the run, she meets Hakan, a Creek Indian who is also a fugitive, running from  men are out to hang him. He takes Tama to his village deep in the Georgia forest, where she will hide, while adapting to the Indian way of life and trying to hold onto her tentative freedom.  Love blooms between Tama and Hakan, but it is threatened by a series of events that will eventually put Tama in great danger.

Elinore Wardlaw is a white woman living in Ohio who actively supports the Underground Railroad. She is married to a southern man from whom she has been separated for four years while he serves in the Army at Fort Gibson in Indian Territory.  Her decision to take her young son and join her husband in  Indian territory puts her in a position to befriend a young black girl named Julee, who needs  Elinore’s help to escape a desperate situation.

Julee has no past, and she is yearning for a future far away from a life of servitude and poverty.  She believes she is a nobody, a person without importance to anyone, but she turns out to be the key to both Tama and Elinore’s happiness.  I love all of my characters and rarely have a favorite.  My hope is that my readers will become fully engaged with every person who marches through the pages.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in A Thousand Steps? What inspired you to write this book?
I enjoy reading and researching stories about women who settled the West.  The hardship and perseverance that was required of women during that time fascinates me, and there were many more blacks who were pioneer settlers than most African Americans know of.  The historical connections between Native Americans and blacks is a long, rich bond that is rarely explored in romantic, historical fiction. I wanted to create a story that would enlighten readers about those interconnections among a variety of people who seem vastly different on the surface, but whose dreams for the future are very similar. I went to Oklahoma and spent a lot of time researching Creek Indian culture, the impact of re-settlement, and walked the land where they settled.  Walking through Fort Gibson ( now restored) inspired me to use that location as the climactic setting for the merger of my three main storylines.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters agreed? Disagreed?
My main characters are all on the same path — seeking new lives by starting over in a new land.  The reasons for their journeys are different, but they all want to find happiness at the end of the trail.  That inspired the title, A Thousand Steps, as they mostly walked all the way to Indian Territory. They wanted a life free of loneliness and fear, and were willing to take risks, endure hardship, and face unknown dangers for the chance to have it. They were willing to prove to themselves that they deserved a chance to live as they wanted.  There is disagreement among them on how to achieve that end, but their disagreements gave way to the mutual effort to survive.

BPM: Share with us a brief excerpt from one of the most powerful chapters.

Excerpt from A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley

Chapter 18

On the third night of her capture, the door of the shed finally burst open.  Tama stirred, groaned, and then turned her face away from the intrusive lamp light.  Her body ached, her head throbbed, and the welts and gashes on her wrists and ankles from the weight of the heavy manacles flared in pain.  However, she forced herself to sit up, and then scooted as far into a corner as she could, afraid, yet curious about who was coming through the door.

The shadowy figure held a burning oil lamp that spread light into the dark space.  Cautiously, Tama leaned out from the shadows and gasped.  Her visitor was a woman – dressed in a coarse cotton night coat over a filmy gown – and her long yellow hair spread over her shoulders.  Her pale eyes were set like smooth stones in her stark white face, and Tama recognized her as the woman in the tiny oval painting on Zachary’s desk.

“Get up, you whoring slut,” the woman demanded, rushing closer.  Her opaque eyes flared as she kicked at Tama, using one foot, and then the other to pound Tama’s flesh with the hard leather of her shoes. “Get up or I will set this lamp to you and be happy to watch you burn.”

With great difficulty, Tama stood, raising dark eyes to the woman’s pale ones.

“You’ll not be sharing my husband’s bed again, you daughter of a dog,” she vowed, putting the lamp so close to Tama’s face the flame danced around Tama’s wildly matted hair.

“I was never in your husband’s bed,” Tama dared to object, determined to defend her last shed of pride. 

“Liar!”  Zachary’s wife kicked Tama harder, making her cotton night coat flap like the wings of a pigeon as she raised her leg to strike repeatedly.  “You stinking savage. I know your kind.  Consorting with Indians for food and favors to elevate your stinking half-breed self from the low-life nigger you are.  Well, your disgusting behavior with my husband is over.”  The wife spat into the dirt, then threw a heavy iron key at Tama, striking her in the middle of her chest.  Then she grabbed a handful of Tama’s hair and pulled her face up to hers.  “Unlock your shackles and get the hell off this place,” she hissed through gritted teeth.  “You take your filthy belongings and your whoring self out of here and get as far away as you can by daylight.”  She gave Tama’s hair another hard yank; then the pale-eyed woman threw Tama’s cloth bundle at her.  “And you’d better run fast because if you get caught and they bring you back alive, I will personally whip you to death.”

Rainwater filled Tama’s moccasins, weighing her down, yet easing the pain that was throbbing in her legs.  As she sloshed through tall grass, two words bounced around in her head.  Fort Gibson.  She had no idea how far away the new Indian homeland might be, but whether it took a thousand steps or a million steps to get there, she was going to find Hakan and never part from him again.  Driven by her love for Hakan and an unflinching determination to remain free, Tama continued to walk until her strength gave out.  Collapsing beneath a thick-trunked tree, she fell into a near-unconscious sleep.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, A Thousand Steps? What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
My goal is to entertain, inform, and enlighten readers about periods in history that were rife with change.  My novel Black Gold took readers back to the 1920’s oil boom days in Texas when many blacks got filthy rich.  Wild Embers was set during World War II, telling the story of black nurses who were determined to serve their country in spite of the racial barriers that the government kept in place.  Starlight Passage recreated a route on the Underground Railroad that led through the Cherokee villages in the Smoky Mountains and led many slaves to freedom.  So, as you can see, I am always trying to provide a glimpse into history from the African-American point of view, using a good dash of romance to spice things up.  Hopefully, my characters in A Thousand Steps will inspire readers to explore the connections between blacks, whites, and Native Americans who settled the West.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. Finish this sentence – “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers:  The opportunity to widen their horizons by entering into the lives of people who loved, hated, fought, and created the history that they lived. ”

Connect with Anita Bunkley

Purchase A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley
Book is available for Nook and Kindle
ISBN-10:  0962401234   |    ISBN-13:  978-0962401237
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Blacks in the West, Native Americans and Blacks


A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley

A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley

In 1855, risking everything for a chance at happiness, two women—separated by class, race, and geographic distance – travel to the rugged plains of Indian Territory where their lives intersect in a stunning explosion of danger, death, and revenge.  Download Today:

A Thousand Steps Cast of Characters
Tama:     A beautiful fugitive determined to live free.
Elinore:  An active abolitionist on a mission to find happiness.
Julee:      A girl with no past who seeks a future among the Indians.
Hakan:   A proud man entrusted with the survival of his people.
Thorne:  A man obsessed with claiming what he owns.

From the snow-covered mountains of North Carolina to the untamed wilds of Indian Territory, “A Thousand Steps” takes readers on a perilous quest for freedom, truth, and love. 

Chapter 18

On the third night of her capture, the door of the shed finally burst open.  Tama stirred, groaned, and then turned her face away from the intrusive lamp light.  Her body ached, her head throbbed, and the welts and gashes on her wrists and ankles from the weight of the heavy manacles flared in pain.  However, she forced herself to sit up, and then scooted as far into a corner as she could, afraid, yet curious about who was coming through the door.

The shadowy figure held a burning oil lamp that spread light into the dark space.  Cautiously, Tama leaned out from the shadows and gasped.  Her visitor was a woman – dressed in a coarse cotton night coat over a filmy gown – and her long yellow hair spread over her shoulders.  Her pale eyes were set like smooth stones in her stark white face, and Tama recognized her as the woman in the tiny oval painting on Zachary’s desk.

“Get up, you whoring slut,” the woman demanded, rushing closer.  Her opaque eyes flared as she kicked at Tama, using one foot, and then the other to pound Tama’s flesh with the hard leather of her shoes. “Get up or I will set this lamp to you and be happy to watch you burn.”

With great difficulty, Tama stood, raising dark eyes to the woman’s pale ones.

“You’ll not be sharing my husband’s bed again, you daughter of a dog,” she vowed, putting the lamp so close to Tama’s face the flame danced around Tama’s wildly matted hair.

“I was never in your husband’s bed,” Tama dared to object, determined to defend her last shed of pride.

“Liar!”  Zachary’s wife kicked Tama harder, making her cotton night coat flap like the wings of a pigeon as she raised her leg to strike repeatedly.  “You stinking savage. I know your kind.  Consorting with Indians for food and favors to elevate your stinking half-breed self from the low-life nigger you are.  Well, your disgusting behavior with my husband is over.”  The wife spat into the dirt, then threw a heavy iron key at Tama, striking her in the middle of her chest.  Then she grabbed a handful of Tama’s hair and pulled her face up to hers.  “Unlock your shackles and get the hell off this place,” she hissed through gritted teeth.  “You take your filthy belongings and your whoring self out of here and get as far away as you can by daylight.”  She gave Tama’s hair another hard yank; then the pale-eyed woman threw Tama’s cloth bundle at her.  “And you’d better run fast because if you get caught and they bring you back alive, I will personally whip you to death.”

Rainwater filled Tama’s moccasins, weighing her down, yet easing the pain that was throbbing in her legs.  As she sloshed through tall grass, two words bounced around in her head.  Fort Gibson.  She had no idea how far away the new Indian homeland might be, but whether it took a thousand steps or a million steps to get there, she was going to find Hakan and never part from him again.  Driven by her love for Hakan and an unflinching determination to remain free, Tama continued to walk until her strength gave out.  Collapsing beneath a thick-trunked tree, she fell into a near-unconscious sleep.

(  The Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Anita Bunkley.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase A Thousand Steps by Anita Bunkley
Book is available for download today on Nook and Kindle 
ISBN-10:  0962401234   |    ISBN-13:  978-0962401237 

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Blacks in the West, Native Americans and Blacks

About the Author
During Anita Bunkley’s twenty-plus years of writing she has created much-needed and welcome literature that takes readers into periods of history from the Afro-centric point of view.  Reviewers and fans refer to her novels as sweeping sagas that are extremely entertaining —  embraced for their historical accuracy, strong romantic themes, and vivid characterizations of black people, especially women, in periods of history not widely showcased in literary works.   A member of the TEXAS INSTITUTE OF LETTERS, Anita lives in Houston, Texas.  She is represented by Marcil-O’Farrell Literary LLC. NY, NY.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Black Out by George Sherman Hudson

Black Out  by George Sherman Hudson
Part 3 of The Lights Series

G Street Chronicles’ CEO pens another mind blowing novel. Part 3 of The Lights Series is sure to hold your attention and leave you wanting more!  Download your copy today:

After surviving the brutal attack from B-Low and his prison gang, Real was released back into the prison’s population with only one thing in his eyes—blood.  Shonnie, the attractive sergeant, is stuck in an abusive relationship and going to work everyday at the maximum security institution, CSP, was her only solace. She met Real and instantly fell in love with his charm and charisma. Her dream really came true when Real’s lengthy appeal was granted and he walked out of the prison gates a free man.

Just when Shonnie was looking for the nice calm country life with the man of her dreams, she was thrust into the city where dogs eat dogs and the city dwellers were hungry. She adjusted to her new lifestyle but after one of the mobs’ made-men gave Real the position of running the family’s chain of strip clubs, the outlet they used to clean up their dirty money, things got serious.

Real was comfortable in his new position until he was paired up with another of the family’s workers who wanted more than just being a helping hand. Sharing the club duties from city to city brought Real and this mysterious woman closer. After seeing the bigger picture, they devised a plan that would ultimately change lives.

The glitz and glamour of the city life has permanent effects on a person and after having lived that life, you’re never comfortable being normal. The only way to get back to the top…go hard and eliminate anyone in your path.

Read an excerpt from CHAPTER 1

Real woke up in the hospital, handcuffed to the bed.

The doctor looked down on him, took off  his glasses, and placed them in his shirt pocket. “You’re lucky to be alive, son. You lost a lot of blood,” the doctor said as he circled the bed, checking Real’s vitals.

Real lay there speechless, trying to reflect on what had gotten him to that point. All he could remember was B-Low’s face and the sharp, handmade knives penetrating his body one after the other.

“How much longer will you need to keep him here, Doc?” the female prison guard asked. She couldn’t take her eyes off Real. Even in his current condition, she thought he was sexy as hell.

* * *

Sergeant Shonnie Turner and her accompanying officer walked into the dorm with Real, who’d just been released from the hospital.

“Cell 117 is open. Put him in there,” the correctional officer working the hole said.

“You know he can’t have a roommate until the investigation is over, correct?” Shonnie said to the dorm officer with authority in her tone.

He glared at her with a scowl on his face. “I’m aware of that, Sergeant,” he snapped. He was obviously still angry that Shonnie had been promoted to sergeant, while he’d been overlooked for the position.

Shonnie just smiled victoriously and walked off with her accompanying officer to escort Real to his cell.

“I need a mattress and a pillow,” Real demanded as he limped along behind them, still in pain from the attack.

“What do you think this is, the goddamn Holiday Inn? We’ll get you some supplies in a minute,” the escort said as he opened the door and stood to the side for Real to enter.

“I ain’t going in there till I get a mattress and a pillow,” Real said firmly, even though he knew he was in no shape for physical contact.

“Look, Mr. Walker, we said we would get you a mattress and pillow. Please move inside your cell,” Shonnie said, taken in by Real’s good, yet rough looks. The hospital stay had knocked a few pounds off of him, but his chiseled, fit body still had her in awe. His eyes had caught her attention off the top, the same eyes that he was staring at her with now.

“Sergeant, straight up, I need a mattress. You know if you lock me in there without one, I ain’t gettin’ one till tomorrow, and that ain’t gonna work.”

“My word, I got you. Just give me thirty minutes,” Shonnie said as she walked over and looked directly in Real’s eyes.

Real stared her down and stood his ground.

The accompanying officer frowned at Real; he wanted nothing more than to be given permission to rough the prisoner up and nearly salivated at the thought. “Sergeant, he’s holding us up. We have another transfer waiting,” he said, hoping to use force to put Real in the cell.

“Don’t you think I know that? I don’t need you telling me my job, thank you,” Shonnie snapped, keenly aware that the prejudice young white officer was just itching to bring physical harm to the young brother.

“A’ight, Sergeant. I’ll take you at your word,” Real said as he stepped into the room.

In a great deal of pain, Real walked slowly over to the desk and sat down on the hard, cold, metal stool. He looked around the small, musty, cramped cell, where condemned men had scribbled and carved their innermost thoughts and feelings all over the wall. Back in prison again? I can’t believe this shit, he thought. He ran his hands over his wounds and instantly became angry. Every time he touched a bandage, he thought of B-Low and his crew, who’d almost killed him. If it hadn’t been for the third-shift officer passing out call-outs for the next morning, he would have been dead. The officer had opened his room door to give him his call-out for classification and noticed the blood-soaked sheets and called the code. As Real sat there thinking about the events that had led up to the assault, his door popped open, and a mattress was slid in by the inmate who worked in the hole, accompanied by an officer.

“Appreciate you, bro,” Real said as he slowly stood and limped over to the door.

“Are you Real? They said you was paralyzed,” the man said, picking up the pillow and tossing it on top of the mattress.

“Do I know you, bro?” Real asked, looking the man up and down.

“Nah, but I know ‘bout you. Niggas from Atlanta been screaming your name since that shit jumped off. You a legend in the city, bro,” he said, then stepped back so the officer could close the door.

“Yo, what building B-Low in?” Real asked, positioning his mouth in the crack of the door so the inmate could hear him.

“He in H-2. Bro, you need anything, just get at me. They call me Doobie,” he said as he turned and started walking off.

“Say, bro!” Real screamed through the crack.

Doobie stopped in his tracks and came back to the door. “What up?” he asked.

“I need a banger ASAP,” Real said in a serious tone. He’d already vowed to himself that as soon as he got out of the hole, there was going to be bloodshed.

“I got you first thang in the morning, bro,” Doobie said as he turned and walked away.

Neither man knew that Bohog, one of B-Low’s gang members, was next door listening to their exchange. After Doobie walked off, Bohog stood on his bed unscrewed his light and retrieved his cell phone from his stash spot. “B-Low, man, that nigga Real back from the hospital, over here in the hole next to me. The nigga Doobie who works over here is helping him tool up, so you best be on point when he gets out. My battery low, so I’ll get at you when Tag get me a charged one.

Sitting in his cell, smoking weed with three of his gang members, B-Low said into the phone, “That’s what’s up. I’ll holla.” After he clicked off the call, he turned to his crew. “Yo, NoLove, you know that nigga Doobie?”

“You talking ‘bout the nigga who work over in the hole?” NoLove asked, taking a pull from the blunt.


“Sure I know ‘im. What up?” NoLove asked, pulling on the blunt really hard once more before he passed it off to BodyBag, a notorious killer from the Yamacraw projects, one of the roughest, most dangerous projects in Savannah, Georgia.

“He need to be leaking and by last movement tonight,” B-Low told him in a sinister tone.

 (  The Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, George Sherman Hudson.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Black Out  ( G Street Chronicles Presents The Lights Series )
by George Sherman Hudson;  Download the Book Today:

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Dirty DNA by BlaQue

Dirty DNA by BlaQue 

Families all have secrets but not like the secrets of the Clayton-Reynolds clan. The drug-filled streets of Washington, DC are home to YaSheema Clayton, better known as YaYa to her friends and family. She is heir to a throne of deceit, lies, and betrayal. Her father, Darnell Clayton, has made money hand over fist by pushing drugs into every junkie and crackhead in the DMV. He wants his legacy of murder and mayhem to live on through his only child.

YaYa and her life-long best friend, ShaNiqua NiQue Watkins, were bred to run the streets of DC with a ruthless hand. Unfortunately, during their reign of power, family secrets are unearthed. A fierce stream of terror, sex and lies rock the very foundation Darnell has built.

OOSA Book Club Review
Reviewed by KaTina

Yasheema, known in the streets as YaYa, is a daddy’s girl.  She was bred by her father, the big boss Darnell Clayton, to not just be a pretty face. She is a bonafide hustler. YaYa has a best friend named ShaNiqua and they have been best buddies since they were babies.  ShaNiqua has plenty of secrets and is jealous of her best friend YaYa but not for the reasons that may seem obvious.  YaYa’s life starts to fall apart around her and she is losing people left and right and she does not know who is out to get her and why. Once she finds out the real reason she is being chased and hounded, will it be too late for her to make amends?

BlaQue’s “Dirty DNA” is a page turner and it draws you in with each chapter. There is never a dull moment in this book. I think the characters are well developed and it does a good job of leaving you in suspense and wanting more. I can’t wait for part 2. This author did a great job with this book. Reviewed by KaTina

Excerpt from Dirty DNA by BlaQue


YaSheema, known to the streets simply as YaYa, sat thinking to herself, Who said pimpin’ ain’t easy?

Shit, I wasn’t doing half bad for a black woman living in the mean streets of DC with a growing empire. Sex, drugs, money and power could all be mine with the roll of the dice. I was taught good game, and sex appeal was all I ever needed to get by in this fucked up world!

I was the bomb! I faced the mirror that was attached to the vanity that stood in the far corner of my lavish room. I admired myself. I was a dime by anyone’s standards and no one could tell me I wasn’t either. I stood a proud 5’7” with eyes the color of the heavens after a storm. Stormy grey is what I liked to call ‘em. My mocha chocolate skin was the kind bitches would pay big money for. My ass was phat and my thighs were thick. I got that fire a nigga could easily fall in love with. I rocked only the hottest shit money could buy.

My father taught me that I was worth only the best. That was what made me run my shit flawlessly. I wasn’t what people would stereotype as a “Boss.” Your everyday average nigga had no idea I was street royalty. They just looked at me like I was a stuck up bitch. They probably thought I was tricking with niggas to buy my diamonds and furs. I am sure they thought I was fucking to be privileged enough to travel to the exotic places of the world.

Most niggas wouldn’t wanna believe a bitch like me was on the come up and that I did it on my own. Well, not all on my own, I did have the wisdom and teachings of the trillest niggas in the game, my Daddy. He taught me how to make shit happen. He taught me at all costs to win the game – not just finish the game – but to come in first place and devour all those who tried to take me down in the process.

(  The Story Continues…  ) 

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, BlaQue.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Dirty DNA by BlaQue  Available on Kindle and Nook
ISBN-10: 1938442350    |     ISBN-13: 978-1938442353


About the Author
, nicknamed the BlaQue Angel (Qiona Drummond) because of the twisted and dark stories she weaves, was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area where she currently resides with her son.  BlaQue began writing after reading several Donald Goines books and decided she would love to pen stories in the same gritty, fast-paced manner. After writing her first novel Dirty DNA and allowing several of her peers to read and critique her work, she decided to submit it to G Street Chronicles where she joined the ranks of some of the heaviest hitting authors in Urban Literature. Follow on Facebook:

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Sinning & Sanctified by Amy Warren-Patterson

Sinning & Sanctified by Amy Warren-Patterson

Terrell Hunter  Pastor of Journey Toward Christ Missionary Baptist Church. God’s Man, ladies’ man or con man. Handsome, intelligent, charismatic and loved by everyone.  What he possesses can kill you…literally.

First Lady Charisse K. Hunter
Wife of Pastor Hunter, First Lady of the church. Beautiful, smart, yet naive, passive, but powerful. She is not as innocent as you think?  Are her secrets as great as her husband’s?

Shavonne Swanson:  The high maintenance mistress of Pastor Hunter. She has dedicated her life solely to him—fearful of new competition.  How long before she loses her position? Will she be able to recover?

Frenchee B. Henderson:  A self-proclaimed diva. She is rich, powerful and empty inside. She’s stuck in a loveless/sexually unsatisfying marriage.  What will she do to achieve happiness? What will surface from her past? Or has it been there from the start?

Lady Monica DavenportThe Church Organist. A well-educated, beautiful, sophisticated, semi-wealthy, lifelong rival of Frenchee B, capable of betrayal. Will her secrets be revealed?

Natalie Champion The Pastor’s Administrative Assistant. She’s young, beautiful, money-hungry, freedom-loving, promiscuous, yet self-reliant. She is privy to everyone’s secrets, lies and indiscretions. Sweet, yet scandalous; having the Champion DNA. She’s torn between love, money and family. Which one will she choose?

Denise Bellman The single mother who’s attempting to leave her past. She seeks acceptance, love and money. However, old habits of choosing the wrong men die hard.  Will she find what she needs? How far will she go to get it; and will it pay off?

DeAngelo “Debonair” Champion:  Sexy, smooth, smart. He lives off the labor of the ladies. As a life-long player of women, many love him, but he loves only one and she is the one woman he can never have.

Purchase Sinning & Sanctified by Amy Warren-Patterson
ISBN-10: 1938442539   |      ISBN-13: 978-1938442537

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


The Men Who Sleep With My Husband by Alicia Coston

The Men Who Sleep With My Husband
by Alicia Coston

The Bible or the bullet?

Pastor Quincy Wallace is a man of the cloth and a man of many secrets. When his beautiful and successful wife, Lavender, discovers his affairs with different men, she takes matters into her own hands with the help of a mysterious contract killer named The Magician. Lavender plans to get rid of each of her husband’s lovers and then frame her husband for the murders.

Everything seems to be going smoothly until Lavender finds herself falling for sexy Detective Tai Exavier, the same person investigating the disturbing case of the missing men. Not to mention her teenaged son, Jalen, begins to have suspicions about the father he’s looked up to for years.  Will Lavender’s scheme give her the revenge she seeks, or will her road to redemption hit a life-changing dead end?

Excerpt: The Men Who Sleep With My Husband by Alicia Coston

When I saw Deacon Gray fumbling with my husband’s zipper in the pulpit, I knew he wasn’t kneeling before him in prayer. There is one quintessential moment in a woman’s life when she realizes she never really wanted the proof that could support her intuition. Except this time, my intuition didn’t give me fair warning. The dinner I ate at Tripps suddenly climbed and lingered in my throat. I swallowed hard while I swallowed the scene before me. My husband and his lover.

My husband, Pastor Quincy Wallace.

Quincy, my “better” half, commanded the attention of the crowd for the majority of his life. He’d certainly caught mine the first time I saw him. I was a sophomore in high school, perusing the football field as most teenaged girls do after they’ve reached puberty. My deep-set eyes followed the skyscraper making his way around the track. Quincy’s legs were pistons pounding the hot asphalt. I wondered what led God to make a seventeen-year-old boy look like a man. Dark as sin. Faint mustache. Determined lips.

“Don’t even waste your time!”

I jumped when I heard Corinne’s voice behind me. Ms. Michaels, my best friend since the age of six, stood there with a hand on her hip and a crooked smile on her lips. I hoped the way I watched the sweat trickle from his flat top haircut down his forehead to his muscular torso wasn’t obvious.


“What?” she mimicked in a high nasally voice. “Girl, you know who I’m talking about! Quincy Wallace. Star athlete. Straight-A student. And did I forget fine as hell?” I rolled my eyes.

“Okay, so I was checking him out. And? After all those things you just named, what’s not to like?” Corinne shook her head sympathetically. She placed an arm around my shoulders and put her lips to my ear as though she was about to share a CIA secret.

“I hear he’s not into girls.” I pulled away to look at her.

“Whatever, Corinne!”

“It’s true! I heard he messed with Fruit Rollup. And I’m a cheerleader so you know I hear all the good gossip first.”

“And that’s exactly what it is, Corinne. Gossip. Don’t tell me you believe everything you hear? Furthermore, who in the world is Fruit Rollup?” Corinne cocked her head to the left and looked skyward.

“Never mind. You don’t know him.”

“Besides, who could turn down all this?” I did a little spin as we walked along the fence, an afternoon ritual we shared whenever Corinne finished practice.

“Well, you ain’t all that,” she joked. “Let me stop, you know you’re beautiful. Out of all the girls at this school, I think you have the best chance. After all, he is a deacon’s son and that’s probably why he’s turning down all these fast chicks left and right. He has standards. And you have more to offer than just your looks. Plus, you’re the new girl.”

That’s why I love Corinne. Not because she strokes my ego but because she doesn’t mind giving props to another black girl when they’re due.  Even a “high-yellow” one.

My parents taught me a long time ago not to rely on my face as soon as I was old enough to realize that everyone thought I was “cute”. I followed their cue. I applied myself to my studies and even though I started modeling at the age of nine, I wasn’t thinking about investing my money in a Reese’s peanut butter cup. I wanted my own beauty salon one day. Maybe my model’s height was what really drew me to Quincy. When you’re a girl that’s sixteen and stands almost six feet tall, it’s hard to find a boyfriend who reaches your chin while you’re wearing heels. Or one that doesn’t joke about being so short that he can offer other things—supposedly, that was the advantage to being vertically challenged.

I never tried to lure a guy with sex because unlike most of my friends, I was still a virgin. I would run to every base but the last one for fear that I would get pregnant and ruin my dreams. And I made that clear from the beginning with any guy I messed with. But as Quincy rounded the track and headed towards us, I realized for the first time I was willing to make an exception.

“Are you going to say something to him, or do I have to embarrass you?” Corinne teased.

Shut up.”

The mime-like smile I plastered on my face felt phony and stupid. Quincy didn’t seem to notice as he stopped at the fence. He panted harshly before finding his voice.


“Hey,” Corinne and I said in unison.

Can’t remember what happened after that. Only the itch I didn’t scratch.  He’s not into girls.

(  Story Continues…  ) 

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alicia Coston.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase The Men Who Sleep With My Husband by Alicia Coston
Genre:  Thriller;  ISBN:   0979510015

Available on both Kindle and Nook    (Paperback available on Amazon only)
Primary Topics discussed: Homosexuality, the black church, deception, crime, religion, and relationships

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with Alicia Coston

Intimate Conversation with Alicia Coston

Alicia Coston is the author of two thrillers with a third waiting to be born. Always intrigued by psychological thrillers and having studied psychology at Old Dominion University, Alicia loved books with a cat and mouse twist.  Thus, Alicia began her own journey as a thriller author who desired to make women of color more prevalent writers in the genre.  Alicia Coston is married and lives in Washington D.C. where she strives to promote literacy among urban youth.

BPM:  When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?

I was a precocious child who came from a family of musicians and artists; I dibble and dabble in singing and the fine arts, but my inherent creativity and wild imagination has always leaned towards writing. I think that’s because I was socially awkward (though no one would believe me now) and my peers looked at me as sort of a nerd. Reading was my escape and it introduced me to a whole new world where sometimes, the underdog does win; I grew up hungry for books, and the more I read, the more I honed those skills and wanted to write. I wrote and illustrated my first book at eight years old. It gave me a sense of control that most kids don’t have when they’re trying to find their path and appeal to their peers.

Not long after and wanting a different reading experience, I moved on to adult fiction. The first “real” novel I ever read was Daddy Was A Number Runner by Louise Merriweather (and my, was that an experience I highly recommend); I must admit, my father didn’t know I had his book, but it certainly taught me about character development and that the world doesn’t always smell of roses. In the sixth grade, one of my teachers read a poem of mine and said, “This is not the class you’re supposed to be in.” Ever since, I was in advanced English classes. I remember how great it felt then to have someone admire my work, and the feeling has never changed.

BPM:  Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
Most people don’t know what to expect when I tell them about my second novel, The Men Who Sleep With My Husband. First and foremost, the book is NOT about my husband; you’d be surprised how many people ask me that! It is a thriller in which the First Lady of a renowned black church discovers that her husband is involved in numerous affairs with male lovers (the story begins with her happening upon a questionable act in the pulpit between her husband and a deacon); she takes matters into her own hands by hiring a hitwoman to kill her husband’s lovers in an effort to frame him for the murders.

Pastor Quincy Wallace has known for some time that he is attracted to men; he was raised in the church and his father, who was a deacon, had high expectations he wished to live up to. Now, as an adult, he has hundreds of members who have raised that proverbial bar in addition to a son who wants to follow in his footsteps. 

Lavender Wallace, the First Lady, is not only a staple of the church, she is also a successful hairstylist and business owner in addition to being a loving mother; she is an example of how even the best wrapped package can become a heap of shredded paper when met with the worst emotional dilemma and pain. The Magician is a cunning and sinister contract killer whom Lavender employs to teach her husband a lesson after learning of his extramarital affairs; she definitely proves that being a killer comes naturally to some, while for others, it’s nurtured. Jalen Wallace is Lavender and Quincy’s educated and promising teenaged son who always looks for the good in people.

Detective Tai Exavier falls for Lavender while looking into the case of the missing men; he’s an example of someone who will focus on the problems of others while finding it difficult to focus on his own. Maybe this is the twisted side of me, but my favorite character is The Magician; while I don’t condone contract killing as a profession, she is not only attractive but intelligent and strong…just like I think women should be.

BPM:  What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Men Who Sleep With My Husband?

It’s clear that homosexuality is still a huge taboo in the black community which is why I think “closeted” or “down-low” men are so prevalent in the black community; I believe that strong Christian values and society viewing black men as uber-masculine play a huge part in why most gay black men lead this secret life.  I think homosexuality is especially prevalent in the church in general(no particular culture attached) because it’s easy for any person—gay, straight or otherwise—to hide under a cloak of faith or religion and hope to be redeemed in the process.

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?

This book is about duality; the roles we play when we have to, who we really are and why. As a boss, you try to set a good example for your employees even when it’s difficult. As a parent, you try to do the same thing for your child. The problem comes in when you have played a role for so long that you forget who you really are and ultimately make decisions that destroy the lives of people who were only given the choice to meet your substitute. In terms of HIV, it is still very real, but I don’t think black women should only expect it from closeted black men; I think bisexual black men have gotten a bad rap for carrying HIV. Let’s be real; there are still some women out there, young and old, who don’t protect themselves or think they have less to worry about with straight men. I don’t recall HIV being discriminatory.

BPM:  What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?

I love writing thrillers, as these are the books I also enjoy reading, so of course I want to entertain my readers; to me, there’s nothing better than not knowing what’s going to happen next. I work diligently at making sure I keep readers guessing. I want to inspire other young writers to put their best and most honest work out there, even if they write about a topic such as mine that might get some controversial attention. In regards to The Men Who Sleep With My Husband, I had an older relative ask, “Is that really going on in the church?” I was actually in disbelief because I assumed this was no secret. I suppose controversy can be very illuminating…to both the reader and the author.

BPM:  What do you think the effect has been of the media attention focus on African-American literature and the arts? 

Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s enough positive media attention; too often, African-American literature is placed into a very small box and I think readers, including some African-Americans, expect black characters from black authors. I think urban fiction, granted it is well-written like anything else, shouldn’t be mocked any more than books that may be seen as a sappy romance to some or weird sci-fi to others; there will always be very specific genres for very specific audiences, but there is nothing wrong with presenting AA literature to people of all races and genders just as mainstream books not written by black authors are presented to and purchased by black people. I have older white female readers as well as older black male readers so again, sometimes people just want to be illuminated.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
I was working on a new thriller, entitled Etiquette, but I put it on hold when my readers requested a sequel to The Men Who Sleep With My Husband.  So, the sequel, The Men Who Sleep With My Husband II: The Non-Prophet, will be released on 3/29/2013.  I have other projects coming up as well including my new thriller blog, A Lady In The Streets, which will begin in April 2013; basically, I’ll be releasing “episodes” on a weekly basis to give readers a little entertainment in between my future book releases. 

Though A Lady In The Streets is my alias, some readers asked me if it was a book. I then decided I’d write a series with that title to share via my blog. My most important project by far is to continue growing my spoken word and literacy group, Fempire Speaks, for urban youth. To keep up with my latest news and crazy imagination, you can visit me online at or Like me on Facebook at:  or  follow me on Twitter at:

SNEAK PEEK:  The Men Who Sleep With My Husband II:  The Non-Prophet


The twenty-one-year-old college senior dragged himself through the brush and insects leaving behind pencil-thin lines of his blood. Just hours before, he’d been handsome—he was toffee-colored, just shy of six foot three with a dimpled smile and a head full of close cut wavy hair. He had been ready to go out and more importantly, to mingle. It was his birthday, he was finally legal and he’d hoped to drag himself into bed instead after hours of mindless drinking.  This was his first time at a gay club, the gay club his friends said, and his moment to finally be true to himself. So when the older and inexplicably flawless man approached him outside the club, the attention was something he couldn’t resist. Especially since the man was well-known and no stranger to spending money in a way that was foreign to Lamar. If not for his scholarship, college wouldn’t have been an option.

Didn’t matter now though. They were going to kill him.

Each one of them had revealed their faces, including the dark-skinned man who first showed interest in him. He could identify them all if he ever made it out alive and that’s when he knew that he wouldn’t. This was just another part of their “game” and he was their pawn. He could tell by the way they quietly walked side by side down the tree-lined path in the bluish black of night. Like they were watching their tan mutt sniffing along the bushes. They were only a few yards behind and each time their heavy boots delivered a louder crescendo of dirt, he knew they were coming for him.

The young man stunk of his sweat and their own. He left his last mark of defiance by stopping and turning over onto his back. It was no easy feat. Any movement felt like they were kicking and punching him all over again though it was really just the bruises and cuts splattered across his muscular body. He was a star athlete. He could’ve and would’ve given each of them a fight one on one. But they were smarter than that, of course. They’d chained his legs and arms together figuring he wouldn’t give it up that easily. When they were done, they unchained just his arms to allow him to try to escape for their own entertainment.

Because they’re cowards, he thought and wanted to scream it into the hovering tree branches that reached for him each time the night wind danced through them. But he couldn’t scream. He fumbled with the muzzle-like contraption chained to his head—it held a numbered pool ball in his mouth which only allowed him to breathe through his nose. The men snickered and one called out to him.

“Don’t worry, Lamar. We’re going to be fast this time.”

It was him. His voice stroked his eardrums like velvet when he first heard it in the parking lot between the shadows.

Now it was nauseating.

Angry tears flooded his eyes and he was mad at himself more than anything. He glared down at his bare feet, caked in mud from the afternoon showers. The shirt his mother bought him for his birthday was grass-stained and torn to shreds and he was naked from the waist down. He thought he looked so good in it earlier that night. So sexy. He hadn’t pictured his first time being with a man turning out the way it had. They smiled while torturing, beating and raping him for hours in that iron box. Now they were laughing at him. He stopped struggling to remove the mask from his head and allowed his head to fall back against the soil. He was tired. He was broken. Even if they let him go, he wouldn’t forget what they’d done and what they’d made him do. He didn’t want to think about how many other young men they’d done this to. He didn’t want to think about the shame he would have to wear that not even his football helmet could hide. So he closed his eyes, outstretched his arms and inhaled deeply. He dreamt of the crowd cheering as he darted towards the in-zone. The men—the very important men—who had sodomized him came to a halt as they surrounded him.

Just think of them as the huddle, Lamar, he told himself.

He didn’t know which one raised the gun, only that his silhouette meshed with the weapon. The crowd in his head grew louder and urged him to score the points that would win the game.

Touchdown, he thought…right before the gun went off.

(  Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alicia Coston.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Meet the Author
Alicia Coston is indeed a lady in the streets but a literary tramp because she writes unabashedly and candidly; Alicia says, “Don’t think outside of the box; be the box!” She is the author of thrillers “The Men Who Sleep With My Husband” and “She’s Killin’ Me” (Indigo Press).

Alicia is the founder of publishing company Indigo Press in addition to being an accomplished songwriter and songstress; her future endeavors include starting up a performing arts center for young women and at-risk youth. She also founded the poetry group, Fempire Speaks, which enables young women to speak to their peers about female empowerment, education and wellness.

Alicia studied psychology at Old Dominion University before pursuing her true passion of writing. She currently resides in the D.C. metro area with her husband; she is a freelance writer for various publications in the DC metro area and her contributing work revolves around cultural events, dating and relationships and the urban community. Her next book release is “The Men Who Sleep With My Husband II: The Non-Prophet”.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


HOT LATIN MEN: VOLUME I by Delaney Diamond

by Delaney Diamond

This print anthology contains Books 2 and 3 of the Hot Latin Men interracial series previously published as ebooks: Fight for Love and Private Acts.

FIGHT FOR LOVE:   A former pro wrestler fights to hold onto the woman he lost, but still loves, and the son he never knew existed. Science teacher Rebekah Jamison lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Atlanta. Devastated by a tabloid scandal nine years ago, she ended her marriage to the man her parents never approved of. Rafael Lopez, former professional wrestler and “Sexiest Athlete Alive,” regrets the lapse in judgment that caused him to lose his wife. He shows up unannounced one day with some startling news, but he gets a surprise of his own. He finds out he’s a father. To get to know his son, he whisks him and Rebekah off to his home in the Hollywood Hills for the summer.

PRIVATE ACTS:   This story contains a chef whose sassy mouth and swaying hips catch the eye of a sexy Latin artist determined to tame her. Miguel Delgado fell hard the first time he saw a beautiful woman on stage during a karaoke competition at a bar in Ecuador. Interested in a short, casual affair, he turns on the charm. But she won’t give him the time of day. Samirah Jamison has met her match—in the form of a tall, hard-bodied sculptor who won’t leave her alone. She’s not running scared. She’s just trying to keep a level head and stay out of trouble for once. But it’s really, really hard to be good…when you’re used to being bad.

Excerpt from Private Acts
Samirah snatched her arm out of his grasp. “I’m not staying here another minute, and I mean it. I’m not letting you or anyone else insult me. I’m not a slut, and I’m not a whore.”

The tremor in her voice rocked him. “I never called you any of those things.”

“No, but you think it. That’s why you think I’ll have sex with you, but I won’t.” She cursed and bent down to slip off a shoe.

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” she hissed. Off came the other one, and she lost four inches. “My feet are killing me in these horrible shoes, and I knew good and well I shouldn’t have bought them in the first place.”

“If you knew you shouldn’t have bought them,” Miguel said, “why did you?”

“Because they went with the dress.”

“Why do you women do such things to yourselves?”

“Because of you men!”

Miguel couldn’t believe he was standing outside, arguing about shoes, when he couldn’t care less about them. He pinched the bridge of his nose, indecisive about whether he should kiss her or throttle her.

It was because of the sassy way she’d put her hand on her hip to give him a piece of her mind, the pout of those full lips, and the way the lights flicked across her skin, inviting him to touch. Each movement called out to him.

“Trust me,” he said, enunciating each word. “Most men don’t care about what you have on your feet.” At least they didn’t when a woman was on her back under him. “Now put your shoes on and get back inside, and I’ll escort you home when the event is over.”

Oh, she didn’t like that. Her eyes changed color, spitting fire at him. The hand holding the shoes went back to her hip. “Or what? What are you going to do? Nothing.”

She turned away and said something in another language. He didn’t know what she said, but he was fairly certain whatever it was, she said it in French. She cursed at him. If he’d even doubted it for a minute, her next act confirmed his thought.

When her foot connected with the bottom step, she lifted her hand and stuck her middle finger in the air. She held her hand upright for a long time and added extra energy to her walk. Daring him to do something.

His eyes narrowed as he watched her walk away—in the red dress he helped pick out. A dress which fit like a second layer of skin on her ripe body. Her perfectly shaped butt cheeks moved up and down beneath the stretchy fabric, her hips rolling as she let them sway side to side like the pendulum on a clock.

His blood boiled as she purposely taunted him, daring him to make a move, like she had that night at Seth’s Bar.

Baiting him.

His control snapped like a twig under foot. Her petulant anger shouldn’t turn him on, but it did. He wanted to claim her, put his stamp on her.

What are you going to do? Nothing.

Miguel started down the steps.

It was time Samirah Jamison learned a lesson. And he was just the man to teach it to her.

(  Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Delaney Diamond.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase books by author Delaney Diamond

About the Author
Delaney Diamond
was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She writes sweet and sensual romance novels with African-American and interracial characters. As a diehard foodie, when her head’s not buried in a book, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes or dining at her favorite restaurants with friends. To learn more about her and her new releases, visit her website and Facebook fan page.
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Mz. Robinson Love, Lies & Lust Series Continues

No Ordinary Love by Mz. Robinson
The Love, Lies &Lust Series Continues . . .

In the 5th installment of The Love, Lies & Lust Series, Octavia and Damon are back and more in love than ever. Together they’ve seen their share of death and destruction. Now, with the conviction of Octavia s abductor, their lives can finally return to normal. However, there is nothing normal about being a Whitmore and trouble always seems to surface when it’s least expected. When the unthinkable happens, Octavia is faced with her most devastating tragedy yet and slips into a pit of depression where her mind seems to be her number one enemy and maintaining her sanity is slowly becoming a losing battle. There is nothing Damon won t do for Octavia but there are some things even his love and money can t repair. The more he attempts to console her, the further she pushes him away. What is a man to do when giving his all is just not enough? As the drama unfolds, Octavia and Damon are reminded that life is far from a fairy tale and very few people get their own happily ever after.

Excerpt from No Ordinary Love

I slipped in and out of consciousness while everything around me appeared in a blur. I could feel myself moving, hear the sound of tires screeching, and smell the distinct smell that only came with a new car. I was in the back of a vehicle. “I need you there immediately!” I heard a woman say before I passed out again. I can’t tell you how many seconds passed, but I was later on my back with my legs up in stirrups, lying on a bed. The sounds and smells around me were notification that I was in the hospital.

“We’ve got to get her stabilized!”  A man screamed. “This baby is coming now!”

“Damon,” I said softly, attempting to fight against the weight bearing down on my eyes.  I looked around at the figures surrounding me, wanting desperately to be able to make out the faces and distinguish between the voices.

“Who’s Damon?” the man asked.

“Her husband,” the woman replied.

“Something’s wrong,” I whispered.  I felt heavy pressure in the center of my chest while in between my legs I felt hands, then the weight of what I knew was my child’s head breaking through my gateway.

“It’s a boy.”  I heard a soft hum, followed by the words, “We’re losing her!”

 I slipped between the gap of life and death; thoughts flooded my brain like raging rivers overtaking unprotected lands. I thought about my husband and the life the two of us shared, of my daughter and the joy she brings, of my parents and their unyielding love, of the baby I had just given birth to, and lastly of Shontay and the last moments of her life. I closed my eyes then took a deep excruciating breath, the one that was designated to be my last.

(  Continues…  )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Mz. Robinson.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

No Ordinary Love by Mz. Robinson
Part 5 of The Love, Lies & Lust Series (Contemporary Fiction)

About the Author
Mz. Robinson
was born and currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama. She is a Criminal Justice major and worked as a Realtor before deciding to write full time. Although, she began writing as a child, it was not until much later in life that she began to pen short stories. After falling in love with the characters she created, she turned one of her short stories into her debut novel: What We Won’t Do For Love. After completing her first manuscript, Mz. Robinson took a break from writing to pursue other career opportunities. However, deep in her heart writing was always her passion. Five years later she decided to pursue her passion and secured her first contract with G Street Chronicles. Today Mz. Robinson has eight  published novels with many more on the way.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Sing a New Song by Michelle Lindo-Rice

Sing a New Song by Michelle Lindo-Rice
If you found out you were dying, would you suddenly confess all your past sins?

When former chart-topper Tiffany Knightly learns that she’s dying from cancer, she leaves behind her plush California lifestyle to return to Hempstead, New York, with Karlie, her reluctant teenaged daughter. Her fans think she has simply gone home to die, but Tiffany has another mission. She desperately wishes she could leave her past in the past, but in order to secure her daughter’s future, she must tear open past wounds.

Life wasn’t always easy for Tiffany. With a stepfather who abused her and a mother who didn’t believe her, she acted out by becoming promiscuous. Fifteen years later, she’s back to reveal to her ex-husband that he might not be Karlie’s biological father. In fact, there are four men who could have fathered Karlie—four that she’s willing to acknowledge, anyway.

As Tiffany reveals her truth and searches for Karlie’s father, she reconnects with old friends and old lovers. Some reunions are happy, but some innocent lives are torn apart, leaving Tiffany to wonder if she’s doing the right thing. Through it all, she will have to learn to rely on the healing power of God’s unfathomable love.

Excerpt from  Sing a New Song Michelle Lindo-Rice

Chapter One

“I’m sorry, Tiffany. We’ve done all that we can do.” Dr. Ettelman spoke those words with great dread.

Tiffany Knightly leaned back in the plush black chair across from Dr. Ettelman’s wide mahogany desk. The sun beamed on her honey-blond curls and heightened her hazel-colored eyes. From her vantage point of three floors up, she could look out the window behind him and make out the business-clad people scurrying like ants to keep appointments. Tiffany blinked in slow motion. How could the world go on when she had just received the most devastating news of her life?  Dr. Ettelman must have moved from behind his chair, though Tiffany did not recall seeing him move. But the next thing she felt were his hands gently squeezing her shoulders. Instinctively she shrank away from him. He was the monster at that moment.

“Whoosh.” Tiffany finally exhaled the breath she had been holding. Vehemently, she shook her head. “No, Dr. Ettelman, I must not have heard you correctly,” she croaked in a voice she hardly even recognized. She panted hard, feeling as if she was about to pass out from the magnitude of emotions hitting her all at once. Dr. Ettelman’s face reflected empathy. He was still talking about something. What was he even saying?

“We’ve done all that we could do, Ms. Knightly. Is there someone that you can call?” She heard the hopeful inquiry but robotically shook her head. She needed some alone time to process the news she’d just received, and did not feel like calling anyone.  Tiffany opened her mouth, but it just hung open. Words were stuck in her throat. Vestiges of all coherent thought left her body. It was as if her mind had disintegrated, leaving her powerless to stop the feeling of losing sanity. She screamed on the inside to regain some semblance of control. Tiffany could barely process the doctor’s words, but he had said it. He had said that she was dying.
No. He must be mistaken—he was talking about someone else.

Tiffany frantically looked around the room, scarcely seeing the pictures on the wall. Her eyes rested on his medical degree prominently displaying his specialty. Her eyes zoomed in on the calendar behind her. Today was March 17 . . . March 17 . . . March 17. . . . March 17 was the day she received her death sentence.  Almost subconsciously, Tiffany picked up a picture frame on his desk. There was a girl smiling back at her. In slow motion, she replaced the silver-encrusted frame before finally looking into Dr. Ettelman’s sympathetic face. Her tall, lithe frame drooped, and she sank even lower in her chair.

She could not be . . . No, she could not be dying. Tiffany absolutely refused to accept that, emphatically shaking her head in abject denial. Death was too . . . final.  She looked to Dr. Ettelman to provide some measure of comfort. In her heyday, she had been a national icon, but at this moment, Tiffany Knightly was just a patient, like any other who was the recipient of terrible news. She keenly listened as he spoke.

“In my twenty-odd years of practice, it has never gotten any easier to tell any of my patients such devastating news, but I cannot give false hope. I have to tell the truth.

Tiffany’s initial shock turned into disbelief, and an unmistakable anger started to form.  “You are wrong,” Tiffany finally shouted. Her long curly hair slapped across her face as she sprung to her feet. Tiffany’s hazel-green eyes looked almost red with her palpitating fury. She had finally found her voice, and it reverberated like a crescendo off the walls. She bent her five-foot-nine frame over the doctor’s desk and demanded, “You did something wrong. Test it again.”

Dr. Ettelman remained calm, professional and he quickly assured her. “I have tested and retested the specimen carefully, Ms. Knightly. I would not give you this kind of news if I were not absolutely certain. However, you can get a second opinion—if you would like. I know someone I can recommend.”

As if they were a lifeline, Tiffany zeroed in on his comments. Slowly, the reality of his words registered. Rationale was returning. She was dying. She had lung cancer, and the worst part was Tiffany did not even know how she had developed the disease. It wasn’t like she was a smoker.  The symptoms had been inconsequential at first. Tiffany had been on tour and had started coughing a little. The coughing made her voice hoarse, but she was not overly concerned. Then, before she knew it, her little cough had escalated into bronchitis and eventually pneumonia. Just when she thought that she was well, the coughing returned suddenly and with a vengeance.  That was when Dr. Ettelman had checked for the possibility of lung cancer. He had found the lump on her lungs, had biopsied it, and had begun chemotherapy almost immediately. Tiffany had not been a viable candidate for surgery because of where the tumor was growing. Even removing the small specimen for testing had been a serious undertaking. Evidently, all the treatments had been to no avail. Tiffany grappled with that thought.  The chemotherapy had not proven an effective remedy. All the radiation, losing most of her hair, and feeling ghastly sick had all been in vain. The cancer had returned and had spread rapidly through her body. She did not know how long she had before the pain and agony would set in or before she looked sick and frail.  Dr. Ettelman prescribed some strong painkillers for her, but they made her feel nauseous or they put her to sleep, and radiation was not an option. She needed to have all her strength because her life was going to get increasingly difficult, and she had to be able to withstand it to the very end.  Time was all she had left.

Tiffany placed her hands in her hair, feeling the extensions she had put in to blend with her own natural curls—her immediate cure for hair loss. It was time to take them out, she mused.  Swallowing deeply, Tiffany gathered her courage and asked the question uppermost on her mind. “How long do I have?”  Her heart hammered so loudly in her chest that she could hear the beats resound like a drum. It felt like her heart was literally about to explode and splatter across the room. Unabashed, Tiffany allowed the tears welling in her eyes to fall. She felt a moment of helplessness and utter defeat.

With gritted teeth, Dr. Ettelman handed Tiffany a box of tissues which she gratefully accepted.

“I do not know for sure. It could be months. The human body has been known to show resilience that remains a miracle and a mystery. But from my experience, I would say about no more than a year. Do you need to talk to someone?” Dr. Ettelman offered.  “No,” Tiffany assured him. “I will be all right.”

Dr. Ettelman refrained from responding, but they both knew she uttered a lie. She was not going to be all right. She was going to be six feet under. Under the ground, not breathing, not seeing the sunshine. What was death like? How could anybody know?  Dazed, Tiffany stood to her feet, found her balance, and walked out of the doctor’s office. When she got to the elevator, she vaguely heard someone calling her name.  Tiffany stopped and turned around with stiff, controlled movements. It was Dr. Ettelman’s nurse, and it took everything in Tiffany’s willpower to listen to what the nurse was telling her.

“Your purse,” the nurse huffed, slightly out of breath. She extended the purse toward Tiffany. “You left it in Dr. Ettelman’s office.”

“Thank you,” Tiffany politely responded and took the bag out of the waiting hands. She entered the elevator and gave a slight wave, but she did not want to be so civilized. She wanted to scream or yell like a banshee. Yet here she was, exchanging mere pleasantries about a bag that she could replace with hundreds more.  Tiffany let out a huge breath of air and knew she had to get out of the doctor’s office. She needed some alone time to vent.  Just let everything out.

Her driver, Marlon, opened the town car door when he saw her exit the building, but Tiffany shook her head. She needed to walk and clear her head. As Tiffany walked, she reflected on her life.  She had unfinished business to take care of before she . . .Tiffany gulped, unable to complete that thought. She needed to make sure Karlie would be all right once she was . . . gone. Karlie.  How was Tiffany going to tell her daughter she was dying?  Buzz . . . buzz . . .Tiffany felt the vibration against her hip, and her brain slowly registered that it was a call from her cell phone. One she needed to answer.  Tiffany dug into her purse and grabbed the device, cringing when she saw who was calling. “Hi, Winona.”

“Marlon called.”

Winona Franks was a woman of few words. Highly efficient to a fault, she had been Tiffany’s manager from the days of her “one-hit wonders” from her six albums. Tiffany met Winona by accident when she was preparing to do a spread with Cosmopolitan. With her long blond tresses, svelte shape, and sparkly blue eyes, Winona, then Winona Young, had been on her way to becoming a highly sought-after fashion model. When the two met, they became fast friends. The only problem was that Winona hated modeling. She wanted to use her brains and not her body to get ahead. Using her earnings, Winona dropped from the modeling scene and went to the NYU Stern School of Business. Tiffany later became her top client. With her business acumen and expertise, Winona had amassed such a huge fortune for Tiffany that she could live quite comfortably for two, even three lifetimes. Throughout Tiffany’s cancer nightmare, Winona had been a rock and a fortress to her. There was only one other person who Tiffany could rely on—a special friend—who not even Winona knew about, but she was not ready to call just yet.

“The news isn’t . . . ,” Tiffany trailed off.

“Tiffany? Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Tiffany, please answer me.” Winona’s worry screamed through the phone. Winona knew about Tiffany’s appointment with Dr. Ettelman and had waited anxious for Tiffany to tell her she now had a clean bill of health.  Tiffany exhaled, hearing Winona breathing deeply on the other line. “I just needed a minute.” Actually, she needed a lifetime to come to grips with her imminent death. Tiffany shuddered but continued. “I—I—I have a year, Winona. One measly year to . . . How am I going to tell Karlie?”

“Get in the car and go home, Tiffany. I am coming,” Winona directed.

Tiffany belatedly realized that Marlon was creeping alongside her. She could see the worry etched across his face as his head turned back and forth from the road to where she was now standing.

Tiffany swung her bag back and forth in her arms like a pendulum while she debated. She felt like just running off into the sunset and disappearing for parts unknown.

“Tiffany,” Winona called out, her urgency evident through the line. “Please I am thousands of miles away. Please just get—”

“I’m going.” Tiffany dragged her feet toward her car. Marlon put on the hazard lights and quickly got out and opened the rear door for her. Like a dutiful child, Tiffany entered the car. She told Winona, “Don’t come. I’ll be in touch,” then ended the call. As they drove toward her huge L.A. mansion, Tiffany took in the sights before her. Was it just her imagination or did the world suddenly seem brighter? The water from the beach sparkled and shone brightly. The leaves on the trees appeared greener. The sun beamed with unequaled brilliance.

“I can’t look anymore,” Tiffany whispered before closing her eyes and leaning back into the comfortable leather seats.

“Did you say something, miss?” Marlon asked.

“No,” Tiffany replied and turned her head away from his piercing eyes. Tears rolled down her face. Silently they fell. Tiffany placed her fist in her mouth to keep from crying aloud. There was so much she had to do, and how much time she had to do it, only God knew.

(  Continues…  )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase Sing a New Song  by Michelle Lindo-Rice
Genre:  Christian Fiction ;   Christian women 18+

About Michelle Lindo-Rice
Michelle Lindo-Rice
graduated from Argosy University with an Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership. A pastor’s kid, Michelle continues to uphold the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. From a young teen, Michelle discovered a passion for reading and writing and feels blessed to have the opportunity to use this talent to bring God glory. Sing a New Song is her first published Christian Fiction novel.  Visit her website:

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation with Renee Daniel Flagler

Intimate Conversation with Renee Daniel Flagler

Renee Daniel Flagler is an award-winning freelance journalist, marketing professional, and the author of four novels, Mountain High Valley Low, Miss-Guided, In Her Mind and, Raging Blue. Renee also teaches creative writing through the New York City and Nassau County public school’s Arts in Education programs and is currently enrolled in the Queens College, MFA in Creative Writing program. Renee resides in New York and is currently at work on her next novel, Still Raging, and her first faith-based, nonfiction book entitled, The Relationship Survival Guide. Connect with Renee on Facebook, Twitter or online at

Renee’s work has been described as “deliciously dramatic.”

BPM:  Introduce us to your latest book. What genre is this book?
Blue Holiday reaches the end of her rope, her marriage, and her long-time friendship with BFF, Mia Reynolds. She’s ready to move on but now her husband, the infamous bad-boy baller, Jaylin Mack, is cut from the team because of his erratic behavior and without Blue he’ll be broke. Their chances of reconciliation are doused the moment a salacious secret is revealed. As far as Jaylin is concerned, if he can’t have his wife, living off her trust fund will do just fine. Problem is, he forgot a woman in love will put up with a lot. But a woman enraged…will make you pay.  Raging Blue is Contemporary women’s fiction and is available as an e-book, wherever e-books are sold.

BPM:   What topics does your latest book address?  Why?
Raging Blue addresses various relationship issues, as most of my books due. However what’s interesting about Raging Blue is that it touches on a popular issue in our society today and that is the dynamic women making more money than men.  The New Yorker magazine featured an article on this topic earlier this year. Many woman are ambitious and ofter make more than their spouses or significant others. But this dynamic is changing relationships and marriages in many ways and begs many questions. I like dealing in the realm of relationships because everyone can relate to them. The two things that people in life are always in search of, or want are love and money.

BPM:   Who does your work speak to?
I think my work speaks to the modern woman mainly but there’s something in there for men as well.

BPM:   You believe strongly in:
My Lord, family and living a fabulous and passionate life.

BPM:   You are humbled by:
Too many things to count. The one thing I never had was a big ego. It humbles me when readers enjoy my work. It humbles with fellow authors appreciate what I bring to the table.

BPM:   Faith allows you to:
Do anything I set my mind to!

BPM:   Criticism makes you:
MAD! Just joking. It makes me take a second look and think about where I could make improvements. It helps me to grow as a person and as a writer.

BPM:   A talent mind:
A talent mind: …is a terrible thing to waste!

BPM:   Three artists on your playlist: 
Tamela Mann, Jay Z and Eric Benet

BPM:   What writer would you consider a mentor:
I can only pick one? Darn…Eric Jerome Dickey, Victoria Christopher Murray…Okay, I cheated. There’s more but I’ll stop here.

BPM:   Your  fondest childhood/college memory:
Back in high school, My best friend and I created a video tape along with some other friends. In the tape we re-created the “Oh Diane,” commercial, made music videos to Keith Sweat’s song I Want Her, Aretha Franklin’s Respect and Stephanie Mills, If I Was Your Woman. It was horrible and hilarious at the same time!

BPM:   What surprised you the most about becoming…
The biggest surprise about become a parent was the natural way I fell into being a mother. No mother is perfect, but I didn’t things to fall in place like it did. Instinct is an amazing thing.

BPM:   If  you weren’t a writer, you would be:
Still working as a marketing professional in corporate America. However, I used to dance—actually I still do—but back in the days, I wanted to be the next Debbie Allen. Fame was my movie!

BPM:   What you learned from your readers:
Patience and how to work harder.

BPM:   The greatest threat to literary freedom is:
Cookie cutter stories that don’t stretch the imagination.

BPM:   How has your writing evolved:
I’ve always written and loved to write. However, I can clearly see the growth in my writing from my first book to my most recent one. I love taking workshops and classes to learn more. The biggest challenge was doing in the MFA program and learning from my professors about how to work at becoming a better writer. This program has had a tremendous impact on my writing. I learned new techniques and put much more thought into story outcomes, characters and plots. My craft has improved with every effort that I’ve engaged in to improve it.

BPM:   The first thing you do when a book is released:
Plan a slammin’ book release party!

BPM:   Your favorite promotional tool:
As a professional marketer, I engage in many effort. I’m not sure if I have a favorite but I stay on Facebook like it’s nobody’s business.

BPM:   Advice you would give a new author:
Learn the business inside and out and continue to hone your craft—always.

BPM:   Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
Being able to and being considered qualified to become a teaching artist and teach writing to children in public schools.

BPM:   What you know for sure:
Is that I would be where I am in my writing career without the blessings I’ve received from God.

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
Hard core book lovers who enjoy having a book in their hands would like to believe that it won’t. (Like me.) However, I do believe that it’s quite possible. Think about it, when’s that last time you listened to a cassette? How many people download music to their mp3 players as opposed to buying a CD these days. I believe that value of the physical book will increase overtime because there will be less of them. Sometime in the future, they will be like collector’s items. Even my kids are using computers more as opposed to getting everything from a textbook. We have some time to still love on our beloved books but a day will come when seeing someone with a book in their hand could be a rarity.

BPM:   What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers:
The understanding that they all have a voice that’s worthy to be heard. The understanding that pasts don’t dictate futures & lastly, life is meant to be lived in color.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


Raging Blue by Renee Daniel Flagler

Raging Blue by Renee Daniel Flagler
Renee’s work has been described as “deliciously dramatic”

Blue Holiday has decided to call foul and leave her destructive marriage. But her cheating husband, Jaylin, decides he needs her money to survive and insists on a rematch. Usually, Blue would be game, but after discovering the depths of his depravity, she drops him from her roster of eligible’s. Unaccustomed to rejection, especially from his wife, Jaylin decides to take what he feels is rightfully his.
Problem is, he forgot a woman in love will put up with a lot. But a woman enraged, she’ll let you think you’re winning, just before she snatches it all. Raging Blue a contemporary romance by author, Renee Daniel Flagler.

Book Review from Sugar & Spice Book Club
Raging Blue” by Renee Daniel Flagler is a gripping fast paced tale. From the first page you enter Blue and Jay Mack’s world. You will find yourself rooting for Blue’ survival and strength. You will be praying for everyone that gets in Blue’s path as she fights to gain her own. You will also meet Gavin. Who is a friend a real true friend. Or his he? Along this pages we also meet Mia. Mia you either hate her or love her, but she definitely keeps you going.

Excerpt from Raging Blue Chapter 1

He slapped her so hard that her sight blurred for a minute. After a few moments, Blue Holiday focused on her husband’s towering frame as it loomed over her. Jaylin Mack’s rich, dark complexion appeared even darker. His French-cuffed shirt was half buttoned and sloped lazily off his shoulders. His slacks hung low around his slim waist, and his belt was only partially looped.

“See what you made me do!” he screamed, applying pressure to his temples with the fingers of both hands.

Shocked into silence, Blue stood still, absorbing the verbal assault. Tears had yet to find their way down her cheek.  In the five years they’d been married, Jay had never put his hands on her. However, she’d grown accustomed to his crassness, initially intrigued by what she’d perceived as confidence.

The slap still sent a pulsing sensation across her cheek. The tears finally appeared, welling up in her eyes. Her unresponsiveness fell away in clumps. She stared at his moving lips and began to hear him clearly. His words carried as much sting as the slap.

“See what you made me do,” he repeated. The liquor made his tongue lazy, causing each word to slide into the next.

Blue looked into his wild eyes and blinked. Tears trickled down her cheeks, making dark circles wherever they landed on her champagne-colored cocktail dress. She swatted them away. Her eyes were fixed on Jay. He was obviously hopped up on something more potent than scotch.

Blue’s eyes darted around the living room of their lavish penthouse, taking in the massive floor-to-ceiling windows that framed the dazzling Manhattan skyline. A pair of handsome floor vases sprouting dried flora caused Blue to pause, but they were too heavy to pick up. Her sight then rested on his set of prized golf clubs. Blue took slow steps in the direction of the irons as Jay continued rambling.

“Don’t walk away from me. You’re supposed to be my wife! A woman! Act. Like. One!” he yelled as Blue continued to walk towards the clubs. “I saw you whispering to that man,” he said, his voice growing louder. “I saw him kiss you!”

Blue shook her head. Jay’s words lashed at her back. She swatted at them in her mind and imagined the cold steel of the golf club in her hands—as protection. With a few short steps, Jay was right behind her just as she reached for a club. He grabbed at her, pulling her from the pit of her thoughts.

“Get off of me!” Blue jerked away from him. Her voice returned, rising to a shaky screech. “Don’t. Touch. Me.” Her eyes narrowed to slits. “Don’t ever touch me again.”

Jay stared at her, seeming to sober up for just a moment. Blue stared back for a beat before turning to walk away.

“Don’t walk away from me,” he said, reaching for her again.

“I said don’t touch me! I can’t believe you put your hands on me!” she screamed. Her heart felt like it was filled with air. She gasped before her voice came back full force. “I’ve put up with enough from you. But this…,” Blue pointed at the spot on her face that still tingled from the slap, “…I won’t put up with.”

His jealousy was toxic and intensified under the influence of cocaine. No matter how much he denied using it, Blue could always tell when he’d been sniffing. Glassy eyes, dilated
pupils and runny nose confirmed words that never passed his lips. Despite his infidelities, it was apparent he couldn’t cope with the idea of Blue being with another man. It sickened her how he always accused her, yet she was never unfaithful. She’d sensed his lies but didn’t have proof to act on any of them. So, she held what little she gleaned for herself.

“You embarrassed me in front of the people I work with and your teammates. I saw you with that woman on the balcony before you disappeared. And you have the nerve to accuse me?”

“I don’t give a damn about those people. No man should be that close to you! This is your fault,” he huffed. “Nobody touches my woman!” he screamed, stabbing the air with his finger.

“Only you, right?” Blue snapped, and walked away. She stopped mid-step and turned back to him. “Maybe I should have just disappeared with him like you did with that woman tonight,” she added, flicking her wrist.

Jay’s eyes filled with surprise and then rage. His breathing became ragged. “What woman?”

Raging Blue Blue refused to buy into the beliefs and acceptance of the other basketball wives. She could care less if all athletes cheated or not. She had her own life to live, and chasing down his infidelities wasn’t in her plan. She’d deal with a problem if it arose, but she wasn’t going to seek it out just to do nothing about it like the others.

(  Continues…  )

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About the Author
Renee Daniel Flagler is an award-winning freelance journalist, marketing professional, and the author of four novels, Mountain High Valley Low, Miss-Guided, In Her Mind and, Raging Blue. Renee also teaches creative writing through the New York City and Nassau County public school’s Arts in Education programs and is currently enrolled in the Queens College, MFA in Creative Writing program. Renee resides in New York and is currently at work on her next novel, Still Raging, and her first faith-based, nonfiction book entitled, The Relationship Survival Guide. Connect with Renee on Facebook, Twitter or online at

Raging Blue by Renee Daniel Flagler

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Five Days of Darkness by J.J. Michael

Five Days of Darkness by J.J. Michael

The last several years had been tough for Serenity Rankin. She knew marrying Jack was going to be difficult. She was black, and a Democrat; Jack was white, rich and a Republican, working for the most powerful Senator on the Hill. They were in love. Then Jack deserted her, leaving her to care for their autistic son, Charlie, who was no ordinary child. Determined to save her marriage and get help for Charlie, Serenity sets out to find Sophia, the mysterious healer of a subculture group, Unity for Oneness (UFO), who she believes is her only salvation. Little did Serenity know that she was being caught up in the biggest chess game of life.

Excerpt from Five Days of Darkness

They were an ordinary family that found themselves caught up in the biggest chess game of life. On the run for their lives they must rely on their autistic child, Charlie, with his special gifts to lead them through a quagmire of experiences to find the mysterious healer and leader Sophia, of Unity for Oneness (UFO), whom they believe is their only salvation. The family must choose between remaining in the ignorance of illusions or experiencing the painful truth of reality. Purchase copies on Amazon today:


Day 1, Spring 2015

Blinking back tears, I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. The past came floating back into my memory. It was as if the trip to The Dome had happened yesterday. I wanted to push the memory away and never think about it again. But as I lay in bed bits and pieces kept surfacing in my mind: Ms. Lillian’s thin pale face, her thick accent, the Devil card and the dream.  I don’t think she fully explained what it all meant. It was if she wanted to get rid of us after I told her about the snake in my dream.  Enough, I told myself. Let that experience go. It was just another one of Melissa’s ways to try and help me. Besides, Melissa told me Ms.Lillian had passed away soon after I had that reading.

I slowly sat up on the edge of the bed and looked at my long slim fingers. The flower design that my manicurist had labored to paint on my nails weeks ago was just about gone and the deep rich pink polish was chipped. It was hit and miss with me when it came to scheduling manicure appointments. Drop in appointments worked better. I could only show up at the nail shop when my hands felt okay. Today I would do them myself. There was no way I could sit in the chair for an hour while she massaged my hands, and then filed and polished my nails.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes again as I felt that first sting that could easily turn into a burning inferno. I quietly opened my night table drawer and took out a bottle of pain killers.  After my son Charlie was diagnosed with autism, the burning had intensified and my doctor told me it was stress and anxiety. The medical tests showed no medical reason for the burning. He gave me two prescriptions, one for pain and the other anxiety. Before leaving his office, he handed me a referral to a therapist, which I immediately trashed.

My husband, Jack, works for Senator Richard Percy Windham and someday hopes to run for a public office himself.  We had to live an impeccable life. Seeing a therapist would be a mark on his clean record. We couldn’t give the opposition something to use again him. I had the pain killer prescription filled and pretended that life was wonderful. I lived in a make believe world that resembled so much of the life of the beloved sitcom character Clair Huxtable.

With pill bottle now in hand, I slowly and quietly eased myself off the bed. Charlie was sleeping in a fetal position in the middle of it. I had been promising myself to break him out of waking up in the middle of the night and climbing into bed with us. I haven’t made much progress with that.

 I could hear Jack’s deep voice telling me, “We have to do something about his screaming and jumping in our bed at night. Isn’t there something they can give him to calm him down?”

“We had this conversation before Jack. I’m not going to drug him.”

After several heated conversations about Charlie, Jack began to randomly sleep in the guest bedroom.

Taking another look at Charlie, I took a deep breath and thought about doing my yoga exercises to alleviate some of the pain and stress I was feeling, but it was too late. I had too much to do before Charlie woke up.

Tip toeing across the hardwood floors, I followed my basic routine of stopping at the window to get an idea of the weather for the day. It was 7 a.m. and the sun was breaking through the clouds. I looked around at the other houses and noticed that many of the lawns needed cutting. The grass had grown due to a week of rain. The landscaper would come this weekend to work on the front and back yard.  We lived in a four bedroom house in Montgomery County Maryland, one of the riches counties in the country.

When the realtor showed us the house, we knew immediately it was for us. The kitchen was large with all stainless steel appliances and marble counter tops. On the first floor level, besides the formal dining area and living room, we also had a family room adjacent to the kitchen, a library, an office and a powder room. We controlled all the appliances and security with our home computer and cell phones. But my favorite place was my ensuite bathroom that had ceramic floor and wall tiles, two matching sink faucets, a glass enclosed shower and large Jacuzzi tub. The bonus was the two his and her walk-in custom made closets.  We had four bedrooms and two full baths on the second level. One of the reasons we brought the house was because of the fireplace in the master bedroom and one in the family room, the pool and Japanese garden. It had everything; and twice a week I had a housekeeper come in and take care of the cleaning and grocery shopping. Our two families celebrated Thanksgiving Day at our house. Jack and I had brought the house because we wanted to have at least three to four kids, but after Charlie’s diagnosis we let that dream go.

I fumbled around in my closet for a few minutes before selecting a black jacket, slacks and beige blouse. I decided to dress it up with gold earrings and chain. Clair would love this outfit.

Thirty minutes later I was sitting in my home office that used to be a bedroom. I could work in my office and be close to Charlie at night. Jack had the office on the first floor.

I waved my hand over the power button for the T.V. to come on. I could also check my email, surf the net, control the house security system, and have webinar presentations with my students when I couldn’t attend class.

I delved into the search engine for updated information on the Unity for One Movement (UFO), a sub group of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Sophia, the healer of the group. A sudden beep alerted me that my attention was needed. I had an incoming video call from Melissa.

“Hey girl,” she said leaning over the granite counter of the island in her kitchen. Since college, her routine was to run early in the morning, shower, eat a small bowl of Greek yogurt and follow it with a cup of black coffee. Melissa was petite with long blonde tresses and blue eyes. Whereas I was curvy but not fat. Not one to like one particular hairstyle, I changed my hair according to the weather. Some days I let it hang long and straight and other days it was shampoo and wear.

“Did you read about what happened at one of the UFO encampments yet?” She sipped on her coffee.

“I just turned on Big Brother, my name for the T.V., since the telecommunication system tracked everything we did.”

“Violence broke out in Oakland, last night. You can’t do it,” she chided me.

Melissa was the only one I had told about my plan to find Sophia with the hope that she would be able to cure Charlie and me.

“Hold on, let me scan this article on the net,” I clicked on the headline—Violence Strikes the Unity for Oneness Movement in Oakland.

I began to read it out loud. “According to law enforcement, the Oakland encampment was raided based on confidential information indicating that organizers of the Unity for Oneness Movement (UFO) were harboring terrorists on site. Arriving on the scene, police demanded to see identification from those occupying a building believed to be the organization’s headquarters. A spokesman says it was at that time several young men bolted, leading police on a short-lived foot chase.  Tear gas was dispersed and one young woman was trampled. Her condition is unknown.”

“You can’t get involved with this group to find this phantom healer. I can’t believe you’re doing this. It’s so out of character for you.” Melissa lectured me.

“I know you and everyone else thinks I’m Clair Huxtable. But you’re wrong about the group. Besides, I’m not getting involved with them; I’m going to find Sophia, the healer. What’s wrong with that? “

“There’s no proof of these miracle healings. My source of psychics and healers has never heard of her.  She is not on the radar. If law enforcement can’t find her, how will you?”

“Remember a couple of weeks ago, one of my students, Tommy Fitzgerald wrote an article about the movement and the Magnificent Seven, the guys who were identified as terrorists and killed by the F.B.I. Well, I’m meeting him later today. He’s involved with the movement, and I think he might know where I can find Sophia.”

“I don’t know about this Serenity. I have this feeling that I can’t shake that you maybe opening Pandora’s Box,” Melissa took a sip of her coffee.

“I have to do this. Charlie told me to.” I shrugged.

“You know how involved I am in the Occult, but I always have to separate the real from the unreal. Charlie is severely autistic and you have to accept that. He can’t communicate with you. Do you know how you sound?

“What about telepathy?”

“Okay, so what else has he told you?”

I paused, “Nothing.”

“Get my point?”

“Wait, he told me to name his teddy bear, Mr. Thoth and something about some serpent people coming.” After I let out about the serpent people, I felt silly.

“Serpent people? Anything concrete?” She asked smugly, interrogating me as if I were a witness in one of her criminal cases. Melissa was a great defense attorney, climbing the ladder to partnership in a prestigious D.C. law firm.

 “Nothing.” I exclaimed, shaking my head.

“There’s this healer, I can get an appointment for Charlie this evening.”

“I should have seen this coming.”

Before I could respond, Melissa put her face close to the monitor, turned her bottom lip down and cocked her head to the side and crossed her eyes. Something she used to do when we were kids to make others laugh and take the tension out of any situation.

“Okay, but you‘re going to pick us up and do all the driving.”

“No problem, oh by the way, the healer is Cuban and doesn’t speak that much English. I’ll be at your place at 6 p.m.” She clicked off.

Hearing the tingling of Mr. Thoth’s bell, I peeped out of my office.  Charlie was standing in my bedroom doorway, looking innocently at me. His ragged brown bear, Mr. Thoth, was securely tucked under his arm. Maybe, I thought, Melissa is right; I shouldn’t try to find Sophia, putting Charlie and myself in harm’s way. 

 (  Continues…  )

© 2012 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, J.J. Michael.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About the Author
J. J. Michael is a professional numerologist, publisher, author and blogger. She is a lifelong student and teacher of Metaphysics and Spirituality. Through her writings, Ms. Michael promotes spiritual awareness, self-development, healing and world peace. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Ten percent of book proceeds are donated to Neurofibromatosis Inc. and Hydrocephalus Association in honor of my son, Antoine Aparicio (1984-2001).

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Taste of Insanity by Morenike’

Taste of Insanity  by Morenike’
Egypt Roberts is privileged, spoiled, and living the good life afforded to her by her parents and fiancée. Still living with her mother and father at the age of 24, Egypt wants for nothing and is cared for by her childhood nanny and her father’s wealth. But after the death of her nanny, the lies that crafted her perfect life unravel and cause Egypt’s mental and emotional breakdown. Meet Andrea Atkins, a young girl with a bright future; although her life is a living hell thanks to a mother with substance abuse issues she has hopes of escaping her life after her high school graduation. But before she can make her escape, Andrea’s world comes crashing down after a business transaction gone wrong is interrupted by her mother. Andrea’s life is flipped upside down and she retreats into silence; protecting the secret of the night her mother was killed.

Blakely Hammond is a lost and confused soul with no knowledge of her past or who she is due to suppressed memories. A graduate student with dreams of becoming an author and college professor, she is never able to stay on the straight and narrow because of her best friends’ schemes. After a scheme gone wrong Blakely is landed in jail for a crime she doesn’t remember committing and a best friend that has gone M.I.A.

Tragic events lead Egypt, Andrea, and Blakely to the Rose Program at the Rosa Lee Institution for Women and Children where they discover things about themselves and their lives that they never knew were possible. Through individual and group sessions in the Rose Ward, Egypt, Andrea, and Blakely create bonds with one another and the staff while getting a sample of what crazy tastes like…

Excerpt from Taste of Insanity

“My desert flower, what are you doing here?! Evelyn and Duke would have a fit child.” I could care less about what Evelyn and Duke thought as of this morning; I was just happy to see Isabella. Here I was, 24 years old, and my parents had kept a secret from me like I was a little girl on the verge of finding out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. “Oh Bella, I’m just happy to see you, Mother and Father don’t have to know I was here. You look great, not sick at all, are you sure this is really a hospice?” She chuckled at my child like ways. “Egypt this place is way too expensive for my taste you know but Duke and Evelyn only want the best; it’s more like a recovery center for the rich and famous, I’m the only hospice patient here.” I was pleased that she was being adequately attended to. “Can we go to your room and talk?” She hesitated as though I had come to sit in the lobby and then leave. No, I wanted answers and I was not leaving until I got them. “Sure let’s take the elevator, I’m on the top floor; I have a beautiful view of the city.”

Isabella’s room was magnificent. The Memphis skyline was intriguing. Bella dismissed her nurse so we would have privacy. She motioned for me to sit down and the questions began to flow like a water fountain, “Bella how long have you been here, from the looks of it you couldn’t have just moved in today.”
“Bella tell me what’s going on, I’m not leaving until you do.” She shifted in her seat and grabbed a glass of water and took two pills. “Well if you feel that you’re ready I’m going to tell you everything because you deserve to know. My days are numbered and I have wanted to tell you for so long the truth about everything but Evelyn wasn’t having it. Evelyn didn’t want you to know until after I died, but I wasn’t falling for that; I could be gone tomorrow and you still wouldn’t know the truth!” She kept going on and on venting about Mother; I didn’t understand. “Bella, be more specific, the truth about what?”
“Oh Lord, I’m sorry, I don’t know what got into me. A long time ago, I fell in love with this man, so much I would have given up my life for him. He was an associate at the firm I was a receptionist at; we didn’t want anybody to know we were involved but it was obvious because of the way he doted on me. He was handsome and all the women in the office wanted him, even the big boss’ daughter. That girl hated me but she loved this man just like me. They had dated back in college and she never got over him. I turned up pregnant but never told anyone in the office it was his child. The boss’ daughter found out about it and she threatened to ruin his good name if he didn’t get rid of me and get back with her. I wasn’t giving up my baby but he thought his career was more important than me and the baby so he chose her. I was devastated and with that and the baby coming I lost my job from the stress. I had nowhere to go and he and his new bride had no choice but to take me and the baby in. She told him that I could be my baby’s nanny and that they would adopt my daughter since she couldn’t have any children of her own. It was my only security so I agreed on the terms that after my child graduated from high school, she’d know I was her mother. But she was never told about me.”
I felt sorry for Bella, she was dying and her only child had no idea. “But Bella you still have time to find your daughter, you know Mommy and Daddy will help you, I will too.” She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and smiled, “child you got all the book sense in the world but not a lick of common sense. Egypt you are my daughter, don’t you understand? All this time Evelyn has been trying to keep me from you, making me move out after you left for college; your father was falling in love with me all over again and we got to watch our daughter grow up together all the while you thinking I’m your nanny.” My head began to spin and after Bella connected her story to my life all I remembered was screaming and hitting the floor.

(  Story Continues…  ) 

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Morenike`.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About the Author
Morenike` is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Provine High School and graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor’s in English. Continuing her education, Morenike’ is currently a graduate student at Jackson State University pursuing a M.A. in English. Morenike’ has been writing short stories and poems since she was a young girl in elementary school. Her passion for reading and writing stemmed from her early introduction to reading from her parents. She states that, “reading was very important in my home, my parents’ relationship started from the discussion of a book, reading created my family.”

Her goals are to one day become a world-renowned novelist, focusing on African American Fiction, poems, and short stories that reflect the African American community. Her latest work includes the poem and short film, “Shoe-icide” and the anticipated release of two novels, Loose Ends & Taste of Insanity from Pulse Publishing and La Femme Fatale Publishing, respectively.

Taste of Insanity by Morenike’
Available April 1, 2013

ISBN-10: 0988861518
ISBN-13: 978-0988861510

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Book Spotlights


Intimate Conversation Charles Reese

Intimate Conversation Charles Reese
Charles Reese, Audelco Award Nominee actor, editor and executive curator to the late playwright, Howard B. Simon, has released a book version of one of Simon’s plays James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire.This dramatic piece allows readers to rediscover Baldwin’s fiery spirit as he prepares for a historical meeting with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in New York City circa 1963. The meeting, held three months before the March on Washington, brought together Lorraine Hansberry, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Kenneth Clarke, and freedom-rider Jerome Smith, amongst others.

Simon re-imagines the meeting by using only two characters: James Baldwin and Ethereal, a spirit-like figure who embodies seven various characters throughout the story. The book is an attempt to honor the memory and life of James Baldwin and invites readers to reexamine the past while celebrating the spirit of freedom and liberation that Baldwin embodied.  Charles Reese took time out while preparing for the CBC to respond to some of our questions about his recently released book based on the play.

BPM:  Describe the significance of celebrating James Baldwin’s life and readers getting this book.
Reese: Baldwin was a young preacher during his early days in Harlem. A gay man and an expatriate who left America for France in the late 1940s  so that he could become a writer in another country. In this book version of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway play, Simon deals with Baldwin’s innermost passions. The premise is one day in the life of Baldwin as he prepares for a secret meeting on race relations with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in New York City three months before the March on Washington. There is a wonderful foreword by David Leeming, Baldwin’s biographer, which is a special treat for readers. Leeming, who lived and worked with Baldwin, shares reflections on how the re-imagining of history connects from 1963 to the present day.

BPM:  How do you think the book will add to the ongoing conversation about the issues that affect us: tolerance, equality, justice, action, freedom, etc.?
Reese: The mention of James Baldwin’s name still sparks dialogue and debate on tolerance, race, and equality. This is Jimmie Baldwin’s time again in America and internationally. Baldwin’s works speak clearly to issues of freedom and liberation. Furthermore, 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of James Baldwin’s physical departure from the art, cultural and political scene. This book and the focus on Baldwin in 1963 serves as a tool to reignite his spirit to use as a proactive solution for some of these modern-day issues.

BPM:  Tell us about the playwright’s vision for his play. Whom did he want to touch?
Reese: The playwright, Howard B. Simon was my Morehouse College classmate who gave me this project as a birthday gift in 1999. Along with the Baldwin project, Simon is the author of over 12 plays, several essays, a poetry collection (the next book), and the Emmy Award-winning film for Best Educational Programming, Just Passin’ Through. He always dreamed that his work would live on like the work of Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, and of course James Baldwin. He passed at 37 years old. He simply wanted to share humor, style, and raw emotions with the world for social change.

BPM:  What would James be dismayed, challenged by or celebrating 25 years after his death?
Reese: In Nobody Knows My Name Baldwin states, “Human freedom is a complex, difficult—private thing. If we can liken life, for a moment, like a furnace, then freedom is the fire which burns away illusion.” After 25 years, I believe James Baldwin would be happy about the election of President Barack Obama. After you read the book along with David Leeming’s foreword, you will truly understand the significance of the secret Baldwin/Kennedy meeting of 1963 and the Obama connection. ”

Reese is best known for his critically acclaimed Off Broadway performance with Tony Award Nominee, Forrest McClendon in “James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire” by the late playwright Howard B. Simon (1962-2000). He recently completed his highly popular literary performance and book salon tour with a  birthday celebration at The James Baldwin Literary Society (JAMBALITSO) in Baltimore, Maryland. 

James Baldwin: A Soul On Fire by Howard B. Simon.
by Charles Reese. Foreword by  David Leeming.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of James Baldwin’s death.
James Baldwin: A Soul On Fire is a two character short play which re-imagines what happens when writer/activist James Baldwin invites Lorraine Hansberry, Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne to a round table discussion on race relations with Attorney General Robert Kennedy on May 24, 1963? This theatrical play witnesses a day in the life of James Baldwin as he prepares for this lesser known historical secret meeting in New York City–three months prior to the March on Washington. This uniquely structured play explores the hidden recesses of Baldwin’s innermost passions. David DeWitt of the New York Times proclaimed, ” James Baldwin : A Soul on Fire is the best sort of biography: the sort that thoroughly entertains.”(04/12/00)

Purchase James Baldwin: A Soul On Fire
ISBN-13:  9780615583273

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

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