Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ch. 2 Excerpt: A Good Dose Of Pleasure by Zuri Day

A Good Dose Of Pleasure by Zuri Day

One sexy Morgan man may have finally met his match in a talented and beautiful young widow. But will their ambitions come between them?

When artist Anise Cartier leaves Nebraska for L.A., she’s finally ready to put the past and its losses behind her. And she soon finds a welcoming committee in the form of one very handsome doctor, Gregory Morgan. Their attraction is instant. So is their animosity.

Gregory is in a fierce competition for a multimillion-dollar medical research grant. The grant will make a new research center possible. . .once the beloved artist community where Anise plans to set up shop is demolished. Soon, it’s a battle between art and science—one that neither Anise nor Gregory intend to lose. Can their red hot love survive this heated war of wills?


On the other side of the country, 1,542 miles from Omaha to be exact, Dr. Gregory Morgan looked at his caller ID and thought WTH? Last week it had been Venita blowing up his phone after getting the number on the pretense of using him as a reference. Venita was a beautiful brunette and a capable nursing student who hoped to one day work alongside him. That would truly be fine with Gregory. Alongside him was one thing. Beneath him, which he’d discovered was her real MO, was quite another.

The month before that it had been Pamela, a woman he’d known since college. They’d run into each other on the streets of Beverly Hills. He’d been genuinely glad to see her and had readily accepted her request to have drinks and catch up. He agreed on sipping and reminiscing, but her thought was to get him caught up in the affairs of her life, and after hearing her hour-long diatribe about an abusive husband, a cheating ex, and a son just put on Ritalin, he knew that dating her was the last thing he wanted to do. He even turned down her request to give her son a professional diagnosis. “I’m an emergency doctor, not a psychiatrist,” he’d told her, before offering the name of a colleague in the mental health field. She declined the information. He’d had only three words for her when she invited him to continue their reunion in the comfort of her home. No. Thank. You.

And now it was his friend-with-benefits calling. Again. He and Lori Whitfield had known each other since childhood, after meeting as neighbors in the town of Long Beach. They’d dated in high school, kept in touch through college, and would scratch each other’s itch in between relationships. He liked Lori because they were both on the same page: driven professionals who believed love and marriage took a backseat to goals and aspirations. She was determined to succeed in Hollywood, so when he heard she was dating an up-and-coming director, he’d thought it was a career-enhancing hookup and wished her well.

But then she’d called a week ago, with doubts on whether or not her latest liaison was really a good idea. Already her producer partner was showing signs of insecurity and possessiveness. The last thing needed, she’d explained to the doctor, was an industry player blackballing her career. Gregory had agreed, and had gone over to make her feel better. After a hot and hearty “tune-up,” he’d brought his behind home like he always did, totally prepared to hear about the next guy not long from now. Instead, she’d invited him to breakfast the next morning.

Strange, he’d thought, considering that the bedroom was the only place they usually assuaged their appetites. But he went anyway. They were friends, after all, and a man had to eat. Ten minutes into the meal and he knew why his intuition had thrown up a warning sign. For the first time since he’d known her, Lori started talking about marriage and motherhood, about not getting any younger and about not wanting to grow old and die all alone. He’d listened and tried to offer consoling advice. She was a dear friend, one whom he couldn’t imagine trying to throw hints of interest in his direction. If anybody knew where he stood on family, it was Lori. He’d come from a good one and one day envisioned being a husband and dad. But that would come later, after he’d fulfilled his goal of becoming known as a pioneering physician and ensuring his late father’s legacy.

Women chasing Gregory was not a new thing. Since childhood he, his older brother, Michael, and his younger brother, Troy, had always had their share of attention from the females. The Morgan Magic, Michael used to call it. Michael had always taken full advantage of the attention, but Gregory had been too focused on school and work to have more than one woman at a time. Lately, even one woman had proved too much, which was why he felt the arrangement with Lori was so advantageous. Looking at the caller ID again, he thought maybe not. Maybe his FWB good thing was about to come to an end.

He reached for the phone and prepared to push the speaker button, realizing the irony of his life starting to look a little like the one his brother used to live, the life he’d teased Michael about before he got married. Michael used to juggle more women than could fit through the revolving doors during lunch hour at Macy’s. Gregory didn’t understand how Michael had done it. Because here he’d only been juggling a few women for a few weeks via telephone calls, and having a night of good sex every now and again, and he was emotionally exhausted.

“Hey, Lori, what’s up?” He made his tone sound busy even though at the moment he was only half watching ESPN.

“Shortly, I’m hoping it’s a certain part of your anatomy,” she purred. “I’ve got a light afternoon and thought I’d stop by.”

“You’re a tempting morsel, but unfortunately I have to pass.”

“I thought you were off on Tuesdays.”

“I don’t have to go to the hospital, but I’m still working, doing some research from home.”

“You know what they say about all work and no play?”

“And you know what they say about keeping one’s eye on the prize.”

“Please, you cannot be serious. You know that you’re already the hospital staff’s darling.”

“I’m talking about another prize—the research grant. They’ll be making a decision soon and I’m being proactive. If I get named as the recipient, hitting the ground running will be an understatement. I want to be able to start making a difference from day one.”

“Spoken like a true Morgan man.”

Gregory smiled. “You know it.”

“Speaking of, how are your brothers?”

“Busy conquering the world; you know how we do it.”

“Um-hmm. Do I ever know how you do it.”

“Listen to you, being a bad girl.”

“That’s the best kind.” A pause and then, “Oh, I need to take this call.”

“Is that your man?”

“I don’t have one of those.”

“Does he know that?”

“Ha! Bye, lover.”


Gregory hung up the phone, turned off the television, and stretched out on the couch. He thought about the research grant, and how getting it would be the impetus to all of his dreams coming true. Helping people in a way he felt he couldn’t help his father had been a driving motivation since his father’s death years ago. Now, he was closer than he’d ever been to this dream becoming a reality. No one would distract him from this goal. No one would detour him from this date with destiny.


(  Continues…  )

 Copyright © 2013 by Zuri Day.   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
Zuri Day
is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. An EMMA and African-American Literary Awards winner, two of her novels were also finalists in the Romantic Times Best Multicultural Romance category. Along with titillating the sensual senses, Zuri loves to stimulate provocative thought on timely, relevant topics that will benefit her community of readers. She believes in true love, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. Along with writing, hearing from readers is one of her favorite things to have happen, so she’d love to hear from you! Connect via her website, or on Facebook @ haveazuriday.

A Good Dose of Pleasure  by Zuri Day
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


Kiera Finds Peace and a Family by Kiera J. Northington

Kiera Finds Peace and a Family 
by Kiera J. Northington
~ Don’t GO through life, GROW through life! ~

As an adoptee, I’m often asked questions like:  “Why are you searching for your birth family? At your age, why even bother?  How do your adopted parents feel about that? Why did your mother give you away?”  My response is always, “Everyone has a right to know who they are, and where they come from.  It doesn’t matter how they feel; it’s my choice.  Mommy didn’t give me away, she died.”  My circumstances are different from lots of other adoptees in the fact that I knew my birth mother and maternal grandparents; my life was perfect, I had all the love a child could possibly want and need. I never knew my birth father, not even his name.  But, I never thought much about it; I had so many people loving me, that I really didn’t notice the gap. 

I will never forget the day the phone call came, to let us know that my mother had a massive heart attack, and was admitted to the hospital.  Back then, children weren’t allowed to visit the ICU under any circumstances; the last memory I had of Mommy was her brushing my hair that morning before school, and she didn’t come home.  Two weeks later, my mother’s best friend sat me down, to tell me that Mommy had gone to heaven.  At the age of eight years old, I was suddenly motherless.  The world as I knew it had suddenly changed, and it wasn’t about to get any better.  Children’s Services said that my grandparents were too old to take care of me, and since my mother’s best friend, whom I’d called “Auntie” ever since I’d learned how to talk, wasn’t a blood relative, she couldn’t keep me either.

I was placed into foster care, and later adopted by my foster family.  At the age of 10, I went to family court with my soon to be adoptive family; the judge read over the paperwork, and then he asked me if I wanted to be adopted and why.  I told him, “Yes, I want to be adopted, because I want to be part of a family.”  Then he asked me if I wanted my name changed; I replied, “No, because then when I look for my real family, they won’t know who I am.  The judge smiled at me, and signed the paperwork.  He also ordered that my given name, middle name, and surname remain the same; my adopted last name would be hyphenated with my birth surname.

The day I was adopted, the court clerk slipped me my original birth certificate, and told me to hide it for future reference; in NY, once a child is adopted, their ORIGINAL birth certificate is permanently destroyed, and a new one issued with the new parents’ names on it.  It’s like they erase your roots, permanently.  Your adoption record is PERMANENTLY sealed, never to be accessed by you, the birth parents, ever again!

For 9 years, after I was adopted,  I was physically abused by my adopted dad.  It started when I was 9, while I was still their foster child, and finally ended the night I graduated high school.  I’ve had a fractured skull, broken ribs, broken wrist, dislocated and broken fingers, dislocated shoulders, twisted ankles, and black eyes.  The doctors now believe that all of these old injuries are what caused me to develop fibromyalgia, and also to suffer from PTSD. 

Once I graduated high school,  I moved to Georgia, put myself through college, got married, and had kids; finally, I had what I thought was a normal life.  I was now a wife, and mother, determined not to treat my children the way that I’d been treated.  On the outside, everything looked fine; I was able to function normally. But, inside, I was a hot mess; I had flashbacks, and horrible nightmares.  I constantly looked over my shoulder, and would jump out of my skin at the slightest noise.  Eventually, my marriage ended badly, and I was left to raise my son alone. 

My youngest son had been murdered, and things had deteriorated for me health wise to the point where I couldn’t work any longer.  I was depressed; tired of the physical / emotional / mental suffering and in 2009, tried to commit suicide.  I had to hit rock bottom in order to pull myself back up.  With counseling, and support from my son, I was able to get myself back together, slowly.  The therapist told me that I couldn’t move on, because I kept rooting myself in the past.  He said that I had to forgive in order to be free of the things holding me down! 

I had not contacted my adoptive parents since 1980 (the year I graduated); so I made the decision to call him; I gave my adopted dad the option to admit what he’d done, and to apologize, so that we could move forward, and be a family in the true meaning of the word.  He refused, so I told him I forgave him, and I wouldn’t contact them again. Talk about freedom!  I felt like I’d finally shed the shackles that bound me! I pulled out my old birth certificate, and started reading all kinds of books about making a family tree; I opened an account on, after seeing one of those commercials.  A close friend had encouraged me to give it a shot; what could I lose?

It was a few weeks after that, I found my father’s side of the family on; it was as if in order to make room for them, I had to let go of the hatred and hostility in my heart to make room for the love that was out there waiting on me!  I first made contact with 2 of my brothers; my oldest brother told me that my father looked for me until the day he died, and that if I found him, to tell me he loved me!  Do you know what a feeling that gave me?   And come to find out, when I was contacted by my baby brother, he lived 30 minutes away from me!!! 

This gave me the energy to track down my birth mother’s family, and I managed to find her first cousin, aged 87, who’d done a family tree for me!  He said, “I did a family tree for you just in case you ever came back home.”   Now on both sides, I know names, and how they’re related to me.  Sadly, on Mommy’s side, her cousin is the eldest member of the family, and at 51, I’m next in line.

That was one of the reasons that I’ve been so diligent about finding my birth family;  since finding them, and getting to know them, for the first time in a long time, I’ve felt loved, wanted, needed, and most of all, I’ve got a sense of belonging.  To know who I am and where I came from, that is truly the biggest blessing of them all!

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Debra Owsley

Intimate Conversation with Debra Owsley

In 2005, Debra Owsley turned her love for reading and her hobby to support her book habit, into the reading accessory and consulting business,   Debra works with several major bestselling authors, and independent book stores creating unique gift-marks, book thongs, creative displays and promoting literacy. She also coaches authors on how to promote and market their book on a budget.

Debra never dreamed her two loves would turn into a marketing and promotional business, allowing her to meet authors she has read and admired, working at book events and book festivals selling her treasures. She enjoys meeting other avid readers and book club members. Debra is quoted as saying, “These are my passion marks!”

BPM:  How did you get your start in this business/industry?  Did you have any formal business training? 
Honestly I started this business quite by accident! I am a hair stylist and every year I give my clients a gift as appreciation for their business. We always discuss books we’re reading and most clients read under the dryer. I simply decided to give them bookmarks as a Christmas gift that year. They loved them! Some asked me to make more so they could give as gifts. These were something I only made for myself at that time, just because I loved to read and love collecting  quotes, so I put them on  bookmarks so I could enjoy them!

Marcia King-Gamble was a client of mine at the salon before I knew who she was! She was also one of the clients who saw the bookmarks and asked me to customized some for her for the Goodie Room at the Romantic Times convention. I had been reading her for years and just never put the two together. She is also the person who told me about the trade shows, book events and different festivals that went on. She introduced me to a whole new world I never knew existed.

Donna Hill was my next author client.  She saw the Book Thongs at a 100 Black Women’s Coalition event and she literary took me under her wings and gave my products her seal of approval, which made other authors take a closer look at what I was doing and the philosophy behind it; “give them something they want to hold on to and they also hold on to you.”

The only formal business training I’ve received is what I’ve learned being in the salon industry for many years. Be creative, be on time, do your very best, stay two steps ahead, be impeccable with your word and always surround yourself with people who you can learn from.

BPM:  Tell us about your most popular service and products.
The “Gift-marks” are bookmarks have great quotes or sayings that are designed to inform, encourage and inspire. They come in two sizes full size is 3.5 x 8  and the half sizes are 3.5 x 4.  They can be customized to any book, event, or occasion. They are durable and are heavily laminated and cut by hand with scalloped or torn paper edges to add to their uniqueness. They are the most effective and versatile item because they are more of a gift than just a bookmark.

The Paper Chase Collection was added to the line earlier this year. These have sarcastic book remarks and other things that readers say when reading their books. This collection contains bookmarks, card sized bookmarks and door hangers.

The Book Thongs  are book jewelry for book lovers. They are gorgeous bookmarks that can be beaded or with charms. They will fit just about any size book and they absolutely deliciously girly and we call them Book Charming!  

The “Book Lovers Book Boxes”  I recently added to the Simply Said Reading Accessories line. They are beautiful boxes shaped and styled like books that are filled with all the treasures we book lovers love. Gift-marks, book thongs, a book light, a tote bag, postcards, note cards, book plates, a notebook and pen , even a change purse (if chosen), just to give an idea of treats are available! There are several themes available and it also comes wrapped with a beautiful ribbon.   These are a few of our best selling products from Simply Said Reading Accessories.

I love to create and offer Book Candy for book lovers. I’m always coming up with new ideas and finding things we readers love and need! We readers like our bookish things so as I make them I share them with my fellow bibliophiles.  Please visit my fan page at: to see more and options.

The products mentioned here are not merely created for readers,  I  also create custom work for many bestselling authors, party planners, wedding planners, organizations, sororities, and many other types of events. They have also been used as coupons and event tickets/ souvenir for many social and corporate events.   I’ve also done work for birthdays or shower gifts for guests. The possibilities are endless and everything is “remarkable.”

BPM:  What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I am an avid reader and I think like a fan. Authors are most times so busy writing and working on the business of their books that they have forgotten how it felt to just be a fan and a reader. If you remember how it felt to be “just a reader” then you can look at things from their point of view.

* What would YOU like if You were the reader?

* What would stand out as significant in the story that was memorable? Not to you the author, but the reader.

* What would make a lasting impression to You if you at your signing or at an event?

* What keepsake would you hold on to forever because it reminds them of the time spent with you?

These things are often overlooked, not intentionally, but they are. These things are taken into heavy consideration when creating a product or gift for your book. All possible angles are looked at to give your readers a “remarkable” memory. I help create those memories and the keepsakes that go with them. I help you to connect with your customers on an intimate level.

Bookmarks are one of the most effective marketing tools there are. They can say a lot and are used frequently which also means they are seen frequently. They work through repetition They are constant reminders of things, people and messages, This is one reason I decided to use quotes and phases of inspiration or provocative thoughts, they stick to your memory. They influence quietly, repeatedly and consistently. Almost like subliminal messaging.

BPM:  How would you describe your experience as a entrepreneur?
Extraordinary!  I can’t believe I get to meet people I’ve loved reading and admired all my life. Authors are my rock stars!  Even 6 years later, I still get absolutely giddy talking to them. Every note and email I have ever received from an author I have and cherish. When they contact me for an order, I do the “Happy Feet Dance” all over my kitchen! This experience for the most part has been an absolute joy.

I remember the first time my name and company was mentioned in the acknowledgements of a book. I had just gotten Donna Hill’s newest release Guilty Pleasures. It was late and I said I would read until I fell off to sleep. I always read the acknowledgements first and I saw my name. I thought to myself I must be more tired than I thought because I’m seeing things. I put the book down and went to sleep. I grabbed the book the next morning to read at work and opened it again and started reading the acknowledgements again and screamed! My name was there! Since then I’ve had many mentions, and it never ceases to amaze me. I still feel like Sally Field when she won the Oscar “They like me, they really like me!”

BPM:  What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for Simply Said Reading Accessories was to get people to understand the value. The retail division of the company was fine but it took a lot of effort to convince authors that these products were the exception to the rule. Bookmarks are an industry standard. I’ve always said that there are times when those 5,000 types are the best option, such as when attending large events. But when you have more intimate settings, when invited to a book club meeting, when you want to gift a reader or you really want to make an impression, that’s when you use a Simply Said Reading Accessories product. Presentation is everything, and how you present yourself and your book is how you will be perceived.

Authors were so stuck on the 5,000 bookmarks for $100.00 that get worn, raggedy and most times immediately  tossed away along with your information.  Realistically,  most authors can’t afford to give a Simply Said product to everyone they meet.  They really have to be taught the value and philosophy of using my products.  But they can be successful in strategically gifting them. Our bookmarks are collectables, limited editions, and keepsakes! They can be gifted, won or rewarded to the ”chosen ones.”

Our products can be marketed around contests, sign up perks, thank you gifts for hosts, thank you gifts for reviewers, etc.  There are endless ways of making these items valuable to your readers.  It’s all in how they are presented. People hold on to gifts, therefore hold on to your information and their memory of the time with you.  That’s the philosophy and the mission of Simply Said Reading Accessories.

BPM:  What advice would you give someone just starting the industry?
Some of the key points I coach my clients are:

*  Start planning your marketing way before your book is released. Have a plan for each phase of your book business.  Create a budget and add at least 30%. Think outside the box.

*  Research who your audience is and where they are. Not everybody is going to think your baby is pretty. Don’t waste your time and money promoting to people who have no interest in your genre or subject.

*  Start putting out hints about your story and about your characters. Use pictures to give visuals of the story.  Be excited! There is nothing worse than a boring person trying to sell you something.

*  Spend money and time on advertising and marketing materials that are duo-purpose. Figure out how to be creative with your promo materials  If you see a sale on advertising or marketing materials, and your not ready yet, buy it now and use it later.

*  Use all social media effectively to interact with readers, but don’t dilute your audience.  Don’t copy, make everything yours. Your BRAND,  is your Signature.

*  Plan which events to attend that will bring you the most traffic and sales. And don’t forget to play in your own backyard.  Don’t forget online events.

*  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Repeat what works, stop what doesn’t.

*  Presentation is everything. Think like a fan. Remember how you felt before you were an author, and use that to connect with your readers tell people want you want them to do. Post reviews, tell friends etc.

BPM:  What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I offer every client longevity and a way to be a constant memory in readers lives. Also, I strive to offer a different way of marketing with a more personal touch. I show them how to get the seven touches of exposure needed for people to really see their importance and how to be effective in reaching all of the reader’s senses.

Even when I’m doing a brain storming session with a client, thing come up they never thought of, because they are too close to their book or project. I love to bring out of them a new way of seeing things. It could be a very simple thing to bring their project to life. I love helping and guiding them with that process.

BPM:  How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?

I have certain items that have been and always will be my standard items since Simply Said Reading Accessories began. I’ve added things along the years that I may do for a limited time only to keep them exclusive to the limited edition brand. The mission is for readers to see these products as collectables and keepsakes. Readers are supportive and authors should thank them in special ways.  Simply Said products are incentives to keep your bookmark around.

Saying Thank You and showing genuine appreciation never go out of style, neither does gifting.  Repeat business is what keeps a business going. People will always collect things that has to do with their hobbies.  People like stuff. So I’m offering them needful and useful things, that they need and want. So I am always looking for and thinking about what’s next for my authors and guests. I aim to be the “Go To Girl” for clever book treats and ideas!

BPM:  What are three things all leaders possess, in your opinion?

Vision, faith and believing in yourself and your product.

BPM:  What’s new in your company, Simply Said Reading Accessories?
I’m always thinking up new ideas! Sometimes the sight of something can send me into the creative cave. “Book Charming” is something I’ve been introducing slowly but are doing very well. The Love Notes with the matching half size gift mark are doing well too because they can be any type of card with a gift to match.

The project I’m working hard on right now is the create a line of all occasion giftmarks that are like all occasion cards. The words  Thank You,  Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon, Thinking Of You  are things we all use many times a year. Why not have a special, one-of-a-kind card ready to drop in the mail!

I also am working with several authors that have some really exciting projects coming in 2014 that I’m excited about. But for right now its hush hush!

With the holidays approaching, I have lovely gifts for book lovers in all price ranges and style, and for those doing Secret Santa’s,  Kwanza and Chanukah gifts. I am also working on adding a collection solely for men.

BPM:  How can readers connect with you online and how can we follow your new projects?
Thank you so much for this awesome interview!   I can’t wait to start meeting new book lovers!  The easiest way to see what I’m doing is by signing up for my blog:   or  by joining my Facebook fan page: 

Debra Owsley,  Simply Said Reading Accessories
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Featured Authors


Sneak Peek: A Good Dose of Pleasure (The Morgan Men) by Zuri Day

A Good Dose of Pleasure
(The Morgan Men)
by Zuri Day

One sexy Morgan man may have finally met his match in a talented and beautiful young widow. But will their ambitions come between them?

When artist Anise Cartier leaves Nebraska for L.A., she’s finally ready to put the past and its losses behind her. And she soon finds a welcoming committee in the form of one very handsome doctor, Gregory Morgan. Their attraction is instant. So is their animosity.

Gregory is in a fierce competition for a multimillion-dollar medical research grant. The grant will make a new research center possible. . .once the beloved artist community where Anise plans to set up shop is demolished. Soon, it’s a battle between art and science—one that neither Anise nor Gregory intend to lose. Can their red hot love survive this heated war of wills?


She couldn’t do it. After waiting two months, three weeks, four days, six hours, and a few nervous minutes, Anise Anna Cartier couldn’t find the courage to open the envelope and discover her fate. Heck, it had been an easier act to change her name from Shirley Anne Carter to the one she now bore, and that’s something that had belonged to her for twenty-five years. This dream right here, the fate of which she now held in her hands, had only been hers for a matter of months.

“Boomer, what do you think it says?”

Her best friend, a Bernese mountain dog that weighed almost as much as its owner, wagged his tail and trotted over.

“Here,” she continued, holding the envelope down near the dog’s nose. “Do you want to read it and tell me?”

Boomer sniffed the paper, then walked back over to his pillow and plopped down on it. For him, the paper obviously didn’t convey that it was something to eat.

She reached over for a pair of scissors that was on her messy worktable, amid acrylic and oil paints, brush sets, various types and scraps of paper, block pads, cold and hot press sheets, matting, frames, tissues, a soda can, and a half-eaten bag of potato chips. Her hand shook as she used the sharp edge to slit the envelope, the one showing the company name, The Creative Space, in the return address.

The Creative Space. Leaving her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and becoming a student at the Kansas City Art Institute, she’d quickly learned that in the art world it was the place of legends. She’d known nothing about this Los Angeles treasure until she was eighteen years old. That’s when her favorite art teacher and now mentor, Jessica Price, told her all about the place where she’d fallen in love with art and with the man who was now her husband and father to their four kids. The place that was like an exclusive club—an artist couldn’t just show up there, he or she had to be recommended and/or invited. That’s how Anise had gotten the inspiration to live her dream of moving to Los Angeles and learning from the best. The invitation to move to LA had come from her aunt, Aretha Williams. The recommendation had come from Jessica.

Her phone rang and, as had often been the case with the woman Anise swore was psychic, it was Jessica.

“I got it,” Anise said by way of greeting.

“You did? Congratulations!”

“No, I’m not sure whether or not I got the internship, but I got the envelope.” Silence. “I know, I should open it, huh?”

“Uh, that’s normally how people find out they’ve been accepted into the mentorship program at The Creative Space!”

Anise’s scream caused Boomer to lift his chin off his paws and sit up on his haunches. He watched dispassionately as she tore open the correspondence, ripped out the single sheet of paper, and let the envelope fall to the ground.

Anise scanned the contents quickly. “‘It is our pleasure to inform you,'” she read, her voice rising with excitement, “‘that you have been accepted for an internship at The Creative Space for our summer season, beginning June first.’ Oh my goodness, Jessica, that’s only six weeks away!”

“Then I suggest you get off this phone and get busy packing! And if you need any help at all, Shirley, I’m just a phone call away.”

“I appreciate that. And by the way, Shirley doesn’t exist anymore.”

“Come again?”

“I changed my name.”

“What? Why?”

“It doesn’t fit me. Never has, really. My legal name is now Anise.”

“Okay.” The way Jessica drew out the word suggested there was more she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I don’t expect you to understand.”

“It’s not that. I’m just surprised is all. But, hey.

Whatever floats your boat sails mine.”

Anise laughed. “Thanks, Jessica.”

“Do the people at The Creative Space know about this change?”

“They will as soon as I respond.”

“What about what’s-his-name? How does he feel about your new moniker?”

“I couldn’t care less how Joey feels. What I do is no longer his business.”

“So your on-again, off-again love life with him is off, again?”

“My on-again, off-again situation is over. Finished. Kaput. I swore that the last time I was with him was the last time, period. And I mean it.”

“You’ve said those words before.”

“Yes, but this time they come with almost two-thousand miles of distance getting ready to be between us. This will undoubtedly aid my resolve. I’ve known Joey most of my life. He will always be my first love. But without a doubt I know that he’s not the one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. It’s time to move on.”

“Good for you. With no ties binding you to Omaha you can move to LA and truly spread your wings. And who knows? Your soul mate could be a mere plane ride away.”

“I have sent a message to Derek Luke to tell him I’m coming.”

Both women laughed at this inside joke. Upon seeing the movie Notorious, a movie based on the life of the late rapper Biggie Smalls starring Derek Luke, Anise had sent a copy to Jessica and explained that her future husband had a leading role.

“Listen, sweetie, the kids will be barging through the door any minute now. I need to run and get dinner ready. But remember, if you need me, don’t hesitate to call.”

“With everything I’ve got to do, keep your cell handy.”

“You got it. Bye, Shirley.”


“Right. Anise. Anise. Anise.” Jessica made a tune of the name as she worked to memorize it.

“Now you’re being silly. But I appreciate you. Thanks so much, Jessica. For everything.”

Anise ended the call and looked around as if the answer to prepping oneself for relocation was somewhere in the room. Just thinking about all she’d have to do in such a short time caused Anise to almost hyperventilate. There was the matter of settling her mother’s estate, which included putting her mother’s house—where she had lived for the past six months—on the market. Then there was the daunting task of handling what remained of her late mother’s legal and medical bills, distributing and/or disposing of her mother’s material possessions, looking for some type of employment in Los Angeles and, shortly after she arrived on the West Coast, finding a place to stay. Sure, her aunt had told her she could live with her as long as she wanted, but Anise knew in time she’d want her own place.

With a final look around, Anise spotted her iPad. She walked over, fired it up, and, after settling on the couch, opened a clean note page. She set up several headings and began listing all of the things needing to be done, in order of importance and time frame. The more she organized, the more she relaxed. Yes, it would be a challenge to complete all these tasks in only six weeks, but she knew the key to finishing anything was simply getting started.

(  Continues…  )

 Copyright © 2013 by Zuri Day.   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
Zuri Day
is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. An EMMA and African-American Literary Awards winner, two of her novels were also finalists in the Romantic Times Best Multicultural Romance category. Along with titillating the sensual senses, Zuri loves to stimulate provocative thought on timely, relevant topics that will benefit her community of readers. She believes in true love, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. Along with writing, hearing from readers is one of her favorite things to have happen, so she’d love to hear from you! Connect via her website, or on Facebook @ haveazuriday.

A Good Dose of Pleasure  by Zuri Day
Purchase your copy today:

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


Writing: How To Get Started by Trice Hickman

Writing: How To Get Started
by Trice Hickman

A lot of people say they don’t know where to begin when it comes to writing a book. “How do I get started?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from aspiring writers. I’ll be honest, writing a book is no easy feat. Many new writers obsess about how their story will unfold, the pacing of their plot, and the likability/believability of their characters. And they wonder how their beginning, middle, and end will all come together to form a good book. All those concerns are valid ones. But I think the most important aspect of “getting started” involves discipline.

Books are not written overnight, they are written over time. It is a process, and that process involves making a huge time commitment for the endeavor. Sure, there are some writers who can complete a book in record time and can churn out 10,000 words in one day. I once did 9,000 words, but the next day I felt as though I’d suffered a mild concussion. The truth is, writing requires long, uninterrupted hours of solitary time, where it’s just you and your characters filling up blank pages.

How do you fill up those pages? One day at a time.

Getting started requires an every day commitment. If your lifestyle won’t allow you to write for long hours every day, do something, even if you only write a few paragraphs or go over what you’ve already written. When you engage in the exercise of writing each day, your mind and body will soon grow accustomed to the familiar journey, and it will become a habit. Initially, it can be a challenging thing to do, so I tell aspiring writers to schedule writing time on their electronic calendar. Set the alert/alarm so it reminds you and holds you accountable. Just as you would schedule a hair appointment, doctor’s visit, or a night out with friends, schedule your writing time!

Another thing I’ve found helpful is to record your word count every day.
I keep a writing journal for each one of my novels. When I start writing in the morning, I record how many words I have on paper and I do it again at the end of my writing day. This allows me to see my progress (or lack thereof) and gives me the push to do more than I did the day before.

Each writer will find their own rhythm and what works best for them.
But the main thing is to commit yourself to doing something every day. Disciplining yourself will help you get started and before you know it you’ll have a completed book.

About the Author
Trice Hickman
is an award-winning and bestselling author. Prior to becoming a published author, Trice worked in management positions in higher education as well as corporate America. She holds a BA degree from Winston-Salem State University and an MA degree from Wake Forest University.  Trice Hickman website:

Books by Trice Hickman

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Powder by BlaQue – Intimate Conversation

G Street Chronicles – Powder by BlaQue

, nicknamed the BlaQue Angel 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.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I first began to write after reading several Donald Goines novels and thinking to myself, I can do that! I wanted to bring that realness back to the Urban Fiction genre. I did not want to write the stereotypical hustler’s tale.

BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
My father was my biggest influence to write. He told me at a young age with all the paper I used writing I should put my talent to use. When he passed away I made a promise to write a book in his honor. His unconditional love for his daughters made me push to complete my first novel.  That is how Dirty DNA, my debut novel,  was born.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, POWDER and please share a brief excerpt.
Samantha Underwood, also known as Powder to those who have the misfortune of being her acquaintance, was born to heroine addicted parents. Powder is desperate to find a way beyond the hand she was dealt in life. Growing up as the only white woman in her ghetto, SE Washington, DC neighborhood has had nothing but disadvantages for the lonely, attention-starved vixen.

Constantly ridiculed and bullied, Powder has been tormented beyond her limits and is finally forced to serve up her own justice to all who have hurt her. With a cold heart, darkened mind and tainted past, she lashes out against anyone who gets in her way. However, karma has a funny way of breaking through to the surface and dishing out justice of its own.  Will Powder make her way out of the hood that has raised her or will she fall victim to her own worse nightmare?

Here is a sneak peek into the life of the main character:
My name is Samantha Underwood. With a name like that you would think I am everything I am not. I should have been rich and had everything my heart desired. I should have had men lacing me in ice and catering to my every whim and need. Instead, I wasn’t shit growing up but a black girl trapped in a white girl’s skin. I guess you could say I became a product of my environment. I grew up in the hood, and I didn’t know anything outside of the ghetto that my poor, white trash parents half-assed raised me in.

BPM:  What do you think makes your books stand out from others in Urban lit genre?
My books are somewhat different because they are not your typical street literature. They all incorporate a strong Urban Fiction plot,  but Mystery, Romance and Urban Drama can also be found all within one book. It will keep you guessing right up to the very last page!

BPM:  What do you want readers to gain from reading your books?
I want them to gain a love for reading!  I want them to enjoy picking up a book and never know where it will take them. I want them to keep in mind nothing is what it seems!

BPM:  What is the most valuable lesson that you have learned from this literary journey so far?
I have learned that you have to have a great support team! You have to interact with the readers and you most definitely have to have “thick skin”!

The readers are our biggest critics… and they should be because they are spending their hard earned money on your art form and they don’t have to! They could spend that money anyplace they like and they chose to spend it on you!

BPM:  Thank you for sharing book after book with the Black Pearls Readers!
Follow BlaQue on Facebook:

Purchase Powder by BlaQue – Urban Fiction
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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Featured Authors


A Good Dose of Pleasure by Zuri Day

A Good Dose of Pleasure
(The Morgan Men) by Zuri Day


When artist Anise Cartier leaves Nebraska for L.A., she’s finally ready to put the past and its losses behind her. She’s even taken a new name to match her new future. And she soon finds a welcoming committee in the form of one very handsome doctor, Gregory  Morgan. Their attraction is instant. So is their animosity.

Anise’s goal is to start an art gallery, while Gregory is in a fierce competition for a multimillion-dollar medical research grant.  His opponent for the coveted funding is not Gregory’s only problem. The beloved artist community where Anise plans to set up shop is the same location slated to be demolished to make way for the new research center.

Soon, it’s a battle between art and science—one that neither Anise nor Gregory intend to lose. Their passion is intense, but can this heated war of wills lead to a lifetime of red hot love? 

New Book Review
“People pursuing their dreams is always a good starting point for love, but drama will ensue.”  –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read an Excerpt

 Dr. Gregory Morgan turned onto his street, having just finished a rare twenty-four hours straight at the hospital, almost half of them in surgery. His usual grind was twelve, twelve-hour shifts a month, but last night a seven-car pileup during rush hour traffic had occurred on the 10 Freeway,  leaving one person dead and a dozen critically injured. UCLA’s emergency room had been filled to capacity and beyond, with him and a team of four other doctors working round the clock to save lives. Fortunately, they had. Aside from the young man who’d died when his vehicle had spun out of control and been broadsided, no one else had lost their life as a result of this unfortunate accident. Yawning deeply, he rubbed his eyes, already envisioning at least eight uninterrupted hours of deep, dreamless sleep on his king-sized memory foam mattress.

He was four houses away from his own home when he saw her: a darkly tanned treat, all legs and cute behind with shoulder-length hair pulled back in a simple ponytail. Beside her was a dog that could have doubled as a Shetland pony . Gregory couldn’t ascertain whether she was walking her dog, or the dog was walking her. Hello, neighbor! He slowed to watch how her butt seemed to wink at him with each long stride, how the muscles in her calves became defined when foot met pavement, and how her arms and legs flowed in effortless synchronicity. As his pearl white Mercedes cruised alongside her, she tugged her huge dog to the side of the road and glanced over at his car. 

Their eyes locked. Gregory’s breath caught in his chest. Wow. She was as beautiful from the front as she was from the back: big eyes, pert nose, big juicy lips that had him licking his own. Without realizing, he’d slowed his car almost to a stop, temporarily mesmerized by the bewitching natural beauty now half smiling, half frowning as she once again neared his car.

He was straight up busted and too tired—and interested—to care that she’d peeped his stalkerish behavior. Also missing from action was his recent decision to lay off the ladies and put all of his attention to his medical research. Right now, however, Gregory was interested in researching something else. Pressing on the brake, he pushed the button to ease down the window on the passenger side and blessed her with a grand piano smile. “Good morning.”

“Hey,” she said, with about as much enthusiasm as a nun in a porn store. The beast growled. Gregory frowned. Great. You can ride it in a rodeo and then have it guard your house. Both owner and dog kept it moving.
Undeterred, Gregory released the brake and pressed down on the gas pedal. He glimpsed a hint of smile before she turned her head. “Oh, it’s like that? You’re going to just throw a ‘hey’ over your shoulder and keep running?”
“Yes,” the stranger replied, her eyes slightly narrowed and daring as she answered. “It’s just like that.” She broke into a sprint and cut through a neighboring yard, her four-legged protector right on her heels.
Gregory turned the corner. Beauty and the beast were nowhere in sight. He peered farther down the street before turning into the alley that led to the detached garage at the back of his Hancock Park home. That was fast. Where could she have gone? After parking the car, he walked through the rarely enjoyed backyard that had been meticulously landscaped and into the two-story traditional home he’d purchased for a steal when the housing market collapsed several years ago. The back door opened into a hallway with the laundry room on one side and a mud closet on the other. A short walk and a turn landed one into the updated gourmet kitchen, which anchored the open-concept living space next to a mahogany staircase. Gregory didn’t notice any of this as he retrieved a glass of orange juice from the refrigerator before mounting the stairs and heading for the master suite. He didn’t think of his marble-encased shower with the dual rain forest shower heads as he undressed and stepped into the soothing water stream.

As he washed away the tension of the stress-filled shift he’d just finished, Gregory was only vaguely aware of his surroundings. He was too busy thinking about sun-kissed skin and a dazzling smile from the stranger who’d told him it was “just like that.”

(  Continues…  )

Copyright © 2013 by Zuri Day.   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
Zuri Day
is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. An EMMA and African-American Literary Awards winner, two of her novels were also finalists in the Romantic Times Best Multicultural Romance category. Along with titillating the sensual senses, Zuri loves to stimulate provocative thought on timely, relevant topics that will benefit her community of readers. She believes in true love, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. Along with writing, hearing from readers is one of her favorite things to have happen, so she’d love to hear from you! Connect via her website, or on Facebook @ haveazuriday.

A Good Dose of Pleasure  by Zuri Day

Purchase your copy today:

Praise for Love on the Run by Zuri Day
Also in The Morgan Men series

“Brims with tension, charm, and the power of love. Contemporary romance fans will savor this book while awaiting the next Morgan story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Day delivers a lively romance between two people who know how to get what they want. The story flows easily and the sparks fly….” —RT Book Reviews

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Author E.N. Joy Admits to Having a Ghost Writer

Author E.N. Joy Admits to Having a Ghost Writer

There are Christian fiction writers and then there are Christians who write fiction.  There is Christian fiction, then there is what some consider to be church fiction or church drama.  You have some authors who didn’t necessarily set out to write Christian fiction, but they were placed in that category by either their publisher or the book stores simply shelve them that way.

And of course you have the writers whose work is categorized as Christian fiction but they do not write for a Christian fiction imprint, which means they are not necessarily writing with any type of guidelines.  I can’t speak for any other Christian fiction author or author who either chose or by default was placed in the Christian fiction category, but I am a Christian fiction writer who writes for a Christian fiction imprint.  That is my choice on purpose.

I’ll be the first to admit that yes, I have a ghost writer; the Holy Ghost! I take dictation from the Holy Spirit when I write my stories.  My Holy Spirit does not curse nor does He describe explicit sex scenes for me to deliver to God’s people.  I write Christian fiction, not inspirational fiction, not faith based fiction or anything else.  Christ is in what I do “CHRISTian” fiction.  I’m not worrying about “keepin’” it real.  The Bible is as real as it gets and if the Holy Spirit didn’t instruct the authors of the Bible to curse people out and describe explicit sex scenes, then why on earth should He start using me to do it now?

So my concern is not about “keepin’ it real” for the world as much as it is keepin’ it holy for the Kingdom.  My ultimate goal is, yes, to please the readers, but I must first please God.

P.S. Maybe Peter did curse. But even the author of the Bible didn’t feel the need to write the actual curse words.

Author E.N. Joy is the author behind the five book “New Day Divas” series, the three book “Still Divas” series and the three book “Always Divas” series, which have been coined The Soap Opera In Print.  She wrote the children’s book, The Secret Olivia Told Me, under the name N. Joy, in which the book received an American Library Association Coretta Scott King Honor, was acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. 

Connect with the author online:
Instagram: blessedselling_author_enjoy
Twitter Page:

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Pre-orders: Why They’re Important by Trice Hickman

Pre-orders: Why They’re Important
by Trice Hickman

In the publishing business, as with most other industries, it’s all about the numbers.  Publishers look at them closely, reporting stores submit them, Nielson BookScan calculates them, and authors work hard to increase them. The quantity of units sold can mean the difference between being able to publish another book, or the beginning and end of a literary journey.

Pre-orders are an important component in book sales. Essentially, pre-orders serve as the launching pad for a book’s success, giving it wings to fly off the shelves—or in today’s marketplace, clicks to digital download heaven.

When I self-published my first novel, Unexpected Interruptions, in November 2007, I started my campaign for pre-orders five months before my pub date. Although 2007, wasn’t so terribly long ago, it feels like eons now, when I reflect back on it. Technology has changed so many things, and social media combined with e-readers have provided a more efficient way to spread the word about a book and increase access to sales. But whether then or now, pre-orders still remain a critical part of selling a book.

Pre-orders generate buzz, which creates anticipation, and ultimately drives sales. My goal was to generate enough pre-orders to pay for my first print run, which was a modest 2,500 books. On the day of my book’s release I had pre-sold 1,000 copies, and within 30 days I sold the rest of my stock and ordered a second print run. I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I not pre-sold units to cover those expenses. Readers who had pre-ordered the book received it on the day of its release and quickly posted reviews, which helped to build more interest, increase momentum, and boost sales.

Another important thing about pre-orders is that they count toward an author’s fist week sales. As I stated in a separate post about first week sales, those numbers help determine whether a book makes its way to a bestseller list or not. 

Trice Hickman is an award-winning and bestselling author. Prior to becoming a published author, Trice worked in management positions in higher education as well as corporate America. She holds a BA degree from Winston-Salem State University and an MA degree from Wake Forest University.

Visit with Trice Hickman

NEW RELEASE:  Looking for Trouble by Trice Hickman
(Oct 29, 2013)   Available wherever books are sold!
Pick up a copy today:

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Trice Hickman

Intimate Conversation with Trice Hickman
Hosted by Ella Curry, founder Black Pearls Magazine

Trice Hickman is an award winning, bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Her love of reading and words led her to become a writer. Determined to have her voice heard, Trice self-published three novels before signing a book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books), who will re-release her original works. Trice is currently writing her next novel, and in her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, home improvement projects, and traveling.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. What drives you?
My passion for writing stems from my love of the written word. I love how words, when thoughtfully constructed, can have a profound impact on its reader. I write because it gives me joy! Writing is something you have to love because even when you’re good at it, it doesn’t always come easy. If you love it, you will continue to do it. Writing is a practice in patience, and writing is re-writing. I’m driven by my desire to be the best “me” that I can be. I continually strive to improve myself as I learn how to appreciate my achievements and grow from my mistakes. I hope that my book can impact readers in a meaningful way.

After reading my books, it is my hope that the story will resonate in such a way that makes the reader think about social issues they’ve never thought about before, discover a new word they’ve never heard of, or simply receive hours of enjoyable entertainment. That, to me, is be worth the journey of writing.

BPM: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing?
I believe that every author imparts a small piece of themselves into the stories we write. That’s why writing is such a deeply personal endeavor. However, my characters are not like me. I try to stay away from writing about my life and the lives of people whom I know. Many of my characters have challenges, experiences, and motivations that lead them down roads I would never venture to travel. But, that is the sublime beauty of writing fiction. You can create a world and people within it, who push limits.

BPM: Are writers playing important roles in today’s literary world?
Writers are important in today’s world because we create works of art that will stand the test of time. A poem or book can be read over and over again, for both learning and entertainment. In an age of instant gratification and passing fads, writers produce works that will be around long after a picture fades or a game is over because words never die. Words live and breathe. It is important that writers have the opportunity to publish their work because reading is critical. Reading broadens the mind and expands the vocabulary. It educates us, and writers are the catalyst.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest release, Looking for Trouble and the main characters.
In my latest book, Looking for Trouble, readers will find out that, “Some dreams will test your head and your heart…”

John Small may be a successful Wall Street banker, but at heart he’s a country boy from the sleepy town of Nedine, South Carolina. John wants to open Nedine’s first black-owned bank. But big dreams can bring big problems and John’s snooty New York City girlfriend is just the beginning. John is about to learn some hard truths about money, power, love, and loyalty. And when his future, and his family’s legacy, is in danger, help will come from where he least expects it…

Alexandria Thornton is a hard-working corporate attorney by day, but she s passionately pursuing her dream as a spoken word artist by night. Frustrated with her career and her lackluster love life, Alexandria s ready to throw in the towel on both that is, until a man from her past reenters her life and changes everything. But her newfound happiness is short-lived when old lovers, lingering secrets, and hidden desires threaten to end it all…

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your body of work?
First and foremost, I want readers to enjoy the book and be glad they took the journey with the characters. I want to reach women who are at a crossroads in their life; who are either unsure about how to pursue their dreams and make them a reality, or who have given up on finding that special someone who can help them as they journey to get there. I believe my stories will resonate with women from many walks of life because like the main character, today’s working woman faces similar challenges and struggles—balancing career and family, pursuing their dreams, and navigating relationship woes. Ultimately, I hope this story will leave them encouraged and inspired.

BPM:  What do you want to accomplish with each published book?
My novels have explored topics such as race, interracial dating, class stratification, family dysfunction, skin-color bias, parenting skills, and May/December romances.  It is my goal to have a meaningful impact on the readers of my work, and it is my hope that they will look at social issues through a different lens after reading my books.

BPM:  Share with us one piece of advice for the new author.
Don’t give up. No matter how hard it seems, no matter how many times you think you’ve failed, and no matter how many times you’ve been told no, you have to keep pushing forward. What you must remember is that behind every no there is a yes! You have to keep going until you find your yes!

BPM:  One of your newsletters shared that you offer authors coaching sessions. Tell us more about the program. Who should sign up for a session?
Yes, I decided to start offering coaching sessions because of the abundance of emails I receive from aspiring authors who are seeking advice about everything from how to write and publish a book to how to sell and promote it. This is a very competitive and ever changing business, so you really have to know what you’re doing in order to navigate the waters at a pace that’s right for you and your project.

I offer 60 minute coaching sessions that are individually designed to assist the client with their specific needs based on a questionnaire I send to them prior to the session (this allows me know in advance what their needs are, and in turn, that understanding will help facilitate an efficient use of our time). I welcome anyone who is serious about establishing a literary career to visit the Writer’s Corner section of my website. I’ve also included information about things that aspiring writers need to know about writing and publishing.

BPM: Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…”
My writing offers a legacy to future readers of determination and service to others. I humbly say this because it’s not just my words that will hopefully impact future readers, it is my actions. After I completed my first manuscript, I was turned down by every agent and every publisher I had submitted my story to. But I didn’t give up on my dream of becoming a publishing author. I went on to publish three books on my own, win several literary awards, make several bestsellers lists, and was eventually offered a book deal from a major publisher. I had faith, and an unflappable belief that I could do anything I set my mind to.

And while achieving my goals, I’ve given back to those in need. I’ve donated money to various charities from the proceeds earned from each book I’ve published. I believe that it’s important to help others and share the blessings we receive. It will always come back to you. If I’m able to leave readers the legacy of determination and service, I will be a very happy woman!

BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
I’d be happy to!  I’m currently writing my 6th book which will release spring 2014. I have storylines written for 7 additional books.  I’m also working on a few web based projects that will be available in a few months (more to come on that soon!).  As mentioned earlier,  I’m also offering coaching sessions for aspiring writers that will guide them through the often complicated process of writing, publishing, promoting, and selling their own book.

BPM: Give us the link to purchase your next book.  How can our readers reach you online?
Thank you so much for asking!  I love hearing from readers and I encourage them to visit my web site at,  where they can learn more about me, my books, and my literary journey.

Looking for Trouble by Trice Hickman (Oct 29, 2013)
Available wherever books are sold!


Trice Hickman, Author and Public Speaker
Visit my web site at

Friend Trice on Facebook

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Featured Authors


My Target Audience is Black…There I Said It! By E.N. Joy

Looking over the past years in literature, I’ve observed more African American authors wanting to-practically insisting on-being removed from the African American section in book stores and dumped into the….what’s it even called? The Caucasian section?  Come on already!

If the same chick (let’s say white chick) who reads John Grisham wants to read an African American author’s book, she’d read it no matter where it was placed in the book store.  African American readers know exactly where to go to find James Patterson’s books, and with the huge “African American Section” sign hanging up in the stores, that white chick will know exactly where to go to find a book by an African American author.

I feel like some of these black authors want to force folks to read their books instead of first catering to those more willing to read it-their target audience…which is typically African American.  I think it’s because some authors never even pinpoint their target audience, so they have no idea who they should be trying to sell to in the first place. Nine times out of ten, if the majority of the main characters in your novel are African American, then your target audience is probably somewhere in the African American arena.

The same way these African American authors desire to have their books placed in the “Caucasian section,” I wonder if the Caucasian authors are fighting to have their books placed in the African American section. Hmmmmm???  I wonder how many times James Patterson has cursed the book industry for not putting his books in the African American section.

I hear authors say it all the time:  “I write my book for everybody-not just one particular audience.”  That’s all fine and well, but the book business is just that-a business.  In dealing with business you have to have a target audience that you start off promoting and marketing to.  Once you have saturated your target audience, then you have the bull’s eye affect, where you begin to expand outward into other areas.

There is absolutely no shame in my game; I write my books for my sisters.  If anyone outside of my target audience wants to pick up my books, that is an awesome blessing.  But I want to make sure that my sisters-my target audience-can walk right into the book store and know exactly where to find me.

Richard Ridley once said, “Many writers make the mistake of thinking that bigger is better when it comes to defining a book’s target audience. They believe that if a potential reader is simply made aware of their book, then surely they’ll take a chance and buy it. But by choosing this “big pond” approach, those authors are being overlooked, and they’re missing the opportunity to stand out in a smaller pond. You’ll have much better success being a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.”

Believe it or not, I’ve heard some African American authors go as far as saying that they don’t even want images of African Americans on their books.  Do they not understand what a privilege that is, or do I need to take them back to that scene in the movie The Five Heartbeats where the singing group wasn’t allowed to have their own images on their record-because they were black?  That fiction was a reality once upon a time. Seems like now days the same things our ancestors fought and died for, we don’t want to reap the benefits of.

BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy is the author behind the five book “New Day Divas” series, the three book “Still Divas” series and the three book “Always Divas” series, which have been coined The Soap Opera In Print.  She wrote the children’s book, The Secret Olivia Told Me, under the name N. Joy, in which the book received an American Library Association Coretta Scott King Honor, was acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies.  Visit the author at

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized



As an author who has written under many names and many genres, I am often asked advice from both aspiring authors and seasoned authors as well.  Even as a seasoned author, there is still always so much more to learn and it’s always a blessing to be able to engage in the quality of sharing among other authors.  With that being said, I’d like to share what I think is the most valuable advice an author could ever receive:  “KNOW AND GET YOUR AUDIENCE BEFORE YOU EVEN FINISH THE BOOK!”

I know; sounds like hustling backwards, right?  Sounds like creating a hype for something that doesn’t even exist, right?  Sounds like fraud-a scam, right?  WRONG!

The most valuable thing an author can ever do is to generate a fan base-have tons of people sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for a book to come out.  Think about it; doesn’t Hollywood do it all the time when it comes to movies?  Doesn’t the Lifetime Movie Network have the ladies setting their DVR months in advance for a movie with all those teasing previews they show?  Or the huge wrestling events have men doing pay per view months in advance? Shouldn’t the same go for the literary world?

I say yes, and that authors should stop selling themselves short by not considering their product to be something so worthy that folks need to mark their calendars for its release…pre-order, etc…  Hustling backwards is creating a product, filling your warehouse, garage, dining room, etc… with it, and then trying to figure out who would want to buy it and how to get them to buy it.

The minute a person knows they are going to write that book and they have that title engraved in stone, they should create a cover.  Even if it’s just a mock cover with a black background and the title is in a large white letters, create a visual to give people.  Begin promoting it.  Begin teasing people with a synopsis and one liners from the book.  Create a website giving the release date.  Have no idea when the book will be done?  Then just say “Coming Soon.”

Once there is a concrete release date, begin taking pre-orders.  Please be realistic with that release date.  There is nothing worse than having a reader sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for a book to come out, and then the release date comes and goes, especially if they have pre-ordered it.  By that time they have moved on to the next author and no longer trust that the book will ever come out.

Every chance the author gets, they should tell people about their forthcoming title. Get all their friends and family to tell people as well.  Create a social networking page.  Take out ads with literary promotional companies.  Get book marks, postcards, etc…  Even send book stores information about the forthcoming title.  Of course the author needs to do all of this while writing the book, but as I always say (and any author will tell you), writing the book is the easy part.  Selling it is the killer.  Writing the book may be a passion, but selling it is a business.

I strongly believe if an author generates their audience first (and knows who their audience is…who the book will appeal to), do some marketing and promoting before the book is ever even written, it will make the task of selling the book once it is released that much easier.

E. N. Joy
is the author behind the five book “New Day Divas” series, the three book “Still Divas” series and the three book “Always Divas” series, which have been coined The Soap Opera In Print.  She wrote the children’s book, The Secret Olivia Told Me, under the name N. Joy, in which the book received an American Library Association Coretta Scott King Honor, was acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies.  Visit the author at

Connect with the author online:
Website: http://www.enjoywrites.con

Instagram: blessedselling_author_enjoy
Twitter :

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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


I Ain’t Me No More by E. N. Joy

Helen wasn’t just born the devious vixen of New Day Temple of Faith. There had to be something rooted deep within her to make her inflict and feed off of other people’s pain.  Perhaps it was her own pain that she had suppressed for so many years-an unimaginable pain-that created an internal prison of which her mind was the only captive.  But once the demons within her break free, those around her better beware, as Helen surely becomes the epitome of the saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.”

In I Ain’t Me No More, Helen has no shame displaying that she hasn’t been saved all her life.  Will the divas of New Day Temple of Faith think Helen’s worth saving? But more importantly, can God save Helen from not only her evil past; can He save her from herself?

I Ain’t Me No More by E. N. Joy

First Chapter Excerpt

Man, I hate the cleaning guy!  Why does he have to do his job so well?  Can’t he ever leave just one spot, smear or smudge on this dang stripper pole? Something so that I don’t have to see myself so painfully visible like this?  What makes him think I want to be able to see myself twirling around this pole like some skilled monkey—caught up in the powerful grip of the almighty dollar; a grip known to have choked the life out of many while leaving others gasping for their last breath?

“That’s for you,” Damon spoke out over R. Kelly’s “Your Body’s Calling.”  With his chestnut brown, bald head and facial hair that is edged up nice and clean, Damon licks his thumb and uses it to flick a twenty dollar bill off the stack of money he’s palming. 

I swivel my body down to the ground the way the vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream at the DQ makes its way from the machine to the cone. “Baby, you know it takes gas to keep a Cadillac like myself going,” I say to Damon. “As long as you keep filling up the tank, I’ma go-go all night.” I swivel my body back up to a standing position while adding, “In any direction you want me to go.”

Damon’s lips part into that sexy signature smile of his.

“Whatever you want,” Damon said. “It’s your Caddy. I’ll drive, ride, heck, I’ll even be a backseat passenger. Just know that I got you, Ma.” Damon begins to flick off bills like he’s the dealer in a game of spades.

I’m very much content with the hand I’m being dealt. So much so that I want to drop to my knees and begin scooping like a kid standing under a piñata that has just been busted open. But I don’t want to appear too desperate.  Resolving to strip in the first place was out of desperation. At the time of making the decision I felt trapped, like Jonah in the belly of the big fish. I was always trying to make ends meet, but neither of my ends were the least bit interested in getting to know one another. Bills were due. I weighed some options on my immoral scale of desperation and stripping was a less load to travel with in my mental carry-on. I mean, at least I’m not selling my whole self –just bartering off a piece of me. 

“Go on, Go-Go Girl.  You know you wanna bend that thang over and pick up that loot.”

Once again, Damon licks his thumb and lightens his pile of money as he flicks a couple more bills onto the stage at my feet. “Come on, just show me a li’l sumpin’-sumpin’,” Damon urges. His eyes peruse my body from head to toe, wetting his thumb in preparation to keep making it rain.

And this was rain, might I add. Ones being flicked off; that’s a chance of rain.  Fives being flicked off; that’s a little drizzle. Tens being flicked off; that’s a scattered shower.  Twenties; that’s rain.  Benjamins; an all-out thunderstorm!

“Come on, Damon, you know the rules. You don’t want me to break the rules and get put on punishment do you?” I ask, making a puppy dog face.

“Forget the rules,” Damon barks like the big dawg he is. “And if all that is worthy of just a peek,” he says, referring to all the money he’s laid at my feet, “I can only imagine what this will get me.”

I freeze on the stage, which means the bill Damon is now displaying must be triggering some type of ice storm.  Until this very moment, I never even knew that such a bill exists.

“What’s the matter, Go-Go Girl?  You ain’t never seen a five hundred dollar bill before?” He chuckles.  “So what do you say you make tonight a first for a lot of things?”

All of a sudden I’m starting to think about church, kicking myself for not having paid my respects (or tithes) to the house of the Lord in a couple of months.  At the same time I’m trying my hardest to recall one of those messages that have to do with temptation-a scripture or something- because to tell the truth and shame the devil, I am beyond tempted to take Damon up on his offer.

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” That isn’t exactly the scripture I’m grappling for, but it still seems fitting.

My name; Helen Lannden.  How much is it worth today? Twenty-five year old Helen Lannden. How much will my name be worth tomorrow, especially if I trick for this money today?
(  Continues…  )

Copyright © 2013 by E. N. Joy.   All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, E. N. Joy.  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.

I Ain’t Me No More: Book One of the Always Diva Series by E.N. Joy

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Sampson Davis M.D.

Dr. Sampson Davi
s was raised as the fifth of six children in Newark, one of New Jersey’s poorest cities. As a child Dr. Davis grew-up in cramped living quarters, surrounded by fragmented families, crime, and drugs. Still, he was a good student, able to strike the fragile balance between being smart yet socially acceptable on the streets. It was this combination of skills, Dr. Davis says, that were most critical to his survival.

While attending University High School in Newark, Dr. Davis met Dr. Rameck Hunt and Dr. George Jenkins, two fellow students who together made a promise to become doctors. Dr. Davis and his two childhood friends each successfully fulfilled their pact and today Dr. Davis is a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician.

In February 2013 Dr. Davis released his newest book, “Living & Dying in Brick City–An E.R. Doctor Returns Home” In addition to discussing Dr. Davis’ riveting experiences as an ER physician, the book will also offer preventative guidance as a means of supporting healthier communities.

Dr. Davis has appeared on numerous talk and radio shows including Oprah, The Today Show, The View, Michael Baisden radio show, Tavis Smiley and NPR as well as print publications including but not limited to Readers Digest, O Magazine, People, Washington Post, NY Times, USA Today, Vibe and Black Enterprise.
Ms. Winfrey also delivered the highest honor naming Dr. Davis, “The Premiere Role Models of the World”.

Dr. Davis was honored in 2000 with the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award and also named one of their forty most inspirational African Americans in the country. He is the youngest physician to receive the National Medical Association’s highest honor, The Scroll of Merit, and was previously honored on 2009 BET Awards.

Today Dr. Davis spends his time practicing medicine and traveling the country delivering keynote speeches with timely messages. Dr. Davis believes it is important to give education a sense of style and fashion. To glorify and glamorize education is the key. A face must be present, a concrete image that all individuals across America can draw inspiration from. Dr. Davis considers his 3 D’s, Dedication, Determination and Discipline, as the necessary ingredients to success.

Graduating with honors, Dr. Davis received his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University, his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the same hospital where he was born, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Today, Dr. Davis is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician at St. Michaels Medical Center in Newark NJ. He has been a weekly correspondent on the Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show and CNN where he highlighted prevalent and life-changing medical topics. Dr. Davis has also co-authored three New York Times best-selling books entitled The Pact, We Beat the Street and The Bond.

In 2000 during his residency, Dr. Davis along with his best friends felt the burning need to give back to communities in need, and together created The Three Doctors Foundation. This non-profit organization offers a series of free public programs focused upon health, education, leadership and mentoring.

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
 In my newest book, Living and Dying in Brick City: An E.R. Doctor Returns Home, I share the story of my return as an emergency room doctor to the hospital where I was born in Newark, New Jersey. Through the riveting life-or-death stories of the patients I encounter there, I explore the health care crisis in this country, particularly in the nation’s urban core, from the perspective of a doctor who has lived the life of many of his patients. I share my own reflections of losing friends to gun violence, including one encounter on my first day as a resident in a trauma unit, losing my sister to AIDS, helping my father through a bout with prostate cancer, and even talking my reluctant landlord into finally seeing a doctor to care for a painful knee. I also share lifesaving information aimed at helping us all take better care of ourselves. 

BPM:  Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most?
I am able to identify with almost all of the characters I introduce in the book. As a matter of fact, the book opens with an encounter at the hospital with Snake, an old friend with whom I’d committed a robbery when I was 17 1/2. Our lives took very different paths after our arrests, and it is through this emergency room encounter that I felt the gravity of how my life could have ended up.  There are other characters, such as Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Jackson, whose selfless ways of giving and caring for loved ones remind me of my own mother.  My mother is paramount in my life and was one of my first teachers of medicine with her philosophy of placing compassion and humanity first in all that you do.

The reluctance of Mr. Tate, another patient, to see a doctor for both financial reasons and fear reminds me of my father and his hesitation towards western medicine. The willingness of another patient, Danielle, to surrender her body to an unworthy man resonates with me as I think of my own sister and the life-altering choice that ended with her dying of AIDS. And those are just a few of the characters whose lives I understood in a very personal way.

BPM:  What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in your book?
As an ER doctor, I was tired of sitting passively in the ER awaiting patients who perhaps could have avoided the crisis that landed them in the emergency room if they had made different choices earlier. Of course, some incidents are beyond our control. But I’ve seen too many gunshot victims die over petty disagreements. I’ve seen patients suffering needlessly from uncontrolled diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, sexually transmitted disease, domestic violence, medical fear and preventable cancers. I wanted to share some of the stories of real people with the hope that readers will see themselves or their loved ones in the stories and take necessary steps toward change.

I believe it is important for me to become a face and voice for health education and disease prevention. I feel I am the natural person to step forward, since I grew up and lived in the community that I was caring for when I first started writing the book. Your health is too important to leave to chance.
BPM:   Who does your body of literary work speak to?
It speaks to everyone–families, communities, churches, schools.  Anyone with a heart, regardless of race or social status, can identify with the stories in Living and Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home. Obstacles and challenges are ubiquitous.  I have received so many letters, emails, tweets, and Facebook messages thanking me for such a transparent, transforming message.  Many readers have told me they were totally engrossed from page 1.

BPM:   How has your writing evolved?
My writing has aligned with my position in life at that given moment. When writing my first book,  The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream,  my focus was college, high school, and the challenges of growing up in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey. In that book, my two best friends and I were able to define how we came to be friends and helped each other overcome the hurdles of growing up in fatherless homes and sometimes violent, drug-ridden communities to become doctors.

With Living and Dying in Brick City, I write as a more mature doctor , family man, and member of the community who feels compelled to help bring about change. I pulled from my many experiences and hopefully delivered a reading that is entertaining, empowering and educational at the same time.

BPM:   Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
The lives I have changed. So many people have reached out to me with stories of how they have referred to my books often in times of stress, pressure and unforeseeable obstacles.  I’m  humbled and honored that my books have helped people overcome some challenges and reach their goal of being the best person they can be. I have been through many moments in life where no good outcome was foreseeable but through faith, hope, support and an un-surrendering attitude, I was able to make a way out. That means you can, too!

BPM:   Do you consider yourself a role model?
I would say yes, but my hope is to be a motivator. I know firsthand the hardships in life but believe it is vital to continue to push to reach your goals and achieve success.  Never give up! If  I can inspire others to aspire with the same attitude, then I feel good about being that catalyst. The power of giving and paying it forward is a great gift, and if that opportunity escapes you in life then you have missed out on something special.

BPM:   Life’s greatest teacher is:
Life’s greatest teacher is experience. Also, getting it wrong the first time can make one a more humble, determined learner. Only then can you really appreciate the moment and what it represents.

BPM:   Success means: 
Accomplishing beyond your initial goal. Reaching heights you never envisioned. Sitting still and feeling good about the journey.  Finally giving back and helping to shape the path of the next generation.

BPM:   Faith allows you to:
Remain hopeful. There is never a no in life. Sometimes, we just have to continue to search to find the yes. Faith allows me to have an ultra short memory when someone tells me no.  I know the yes is out there and that I just have to believe it. Faith allows that for me.

BPM:   Criticism makes you:
Reflect and grow. Not all criticism is good, but when it hits home, I try to recognize it as a moment when I can learn. I realize I will never be perfect in life. However, I can attempt to find perfect moments, and constructive criticism allows me to continue that journey. 

BPM:   The greatest threat to literary freedom is:
A closed mind.  We need to appreciate others’ journeys and struggles. Many great literary works are inspired by struggle. Be open to diversity and welcome the moment to learn from others, even those whose lives are not like our own.  The young man with tattoos all over his body and pants sagging. The young woman raising four kids on her own. The elders raising their grandkids. The young woman looking for acceptance in a man.  These are among the stories that make up the patchwork of our great nation, and as we continue to grow, I hope we continue to be open to hearing the back stories, the details, the hows and whys. Only then can we even begin to address those issues that keep us from being all that we can as a people. 

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete?
I hope not, but I fear that unfortunately, it may. When my first book, The Pact, was released 10 years ago, we were still using the VCR as our main mode of watching recorded movies and documentaries. My appearance on Oprah was recorded on a VHS tape. Now, I have the tape and no VCR to play it. While VCRs are still available for purchase in some places, they are not as readily available as they once were, and each year it becomes more difficult to locate one.

Books have been around a lot longer and survived the introduction of television, radio, video, and so far, the Internet. But the Internet and modern technology make words so easily and conveniently available that I fear printed books eventually will meet the same fate as the VCR.  To me, though, the book under my fingers will always move me more than reading the same words on my e-reader. Why? I’m not sure. They just do.

BPM:   What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers?
 As a kid, I was never into reading. I was more of a sports enthusiast. I still enjoy sports, but I now find that reading is the ultimate elevation. You feel connected to another area in your mind when you read. An area that allows imagination, creativity, and goals to develop. It is an amazing place to go within yourself, and reading is the bridge to get you there. I can’t ever recall seeing a movie after reading the book first and saying to myself that the movie was so much better than the book. The book always wins out over the movie. Now think about how many great movies you have seen and imagine elevating that moment by simply reading a book. One of the greatest feelings is to be totally engrossed in a favorite book. I hope that with their accessible language and real characters with real struggles and heroes, my books draw readers who ordinarily would not pick up a book. If that is part of my legacy, that will make me proud.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show, which already has aired twice since the taping, and I look forward to taking part in the Book Pavilion during annual Congressional Black Caucus at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

 Living and Dying in Brick City: An ER Doctor Returns Home was recently selected as the Common Read and First Year Experience choice by Random House, and I am hopeful that many educational institutions will pick it up as part of their curriculum. It is especially perfect for students in health classes, as young people learn to make the connection between their decisions and their health. The book will be released in paperback in February 2014, which should make it more affordable for schools and groups who want to use it in their classrooms or to spark discussions.

I also am touring the country speaking at colleges, high schools, churches, cafes, businesses, and other areas of the community to share my story and those of many patients I’ve encountered along the way with the hope of inspiring us all to live better.  Be sure to follow me on social media and visit my website for upcoming talks, television and radio appearances and to find out how to reach me if your organization is interested in booking me for a visit:

BPM:   How many readers connect with you online?
Thousands. My fan base and supporters continue to grow, and I’m grateful. I have my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and website all up and running with the same handle  – drsampsondavis

Connect with Dr. Davis
Additional information regarding Dr. Davis & his outreach can be obtained from the following Internet sites or by contacting his Executive Director, Windy White at (908)625-3441 /

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Featured Authors


7 Tips for Identifying Your Passion and Turning it into a Profession

7 Tips for Identifying Your Passion and Turning it into a Profession
by Trice Hickman

1.  Write down the things you would do for free (things you would enjoy doing every day even if you didn’t get paid a dime for it). Most likely, there’s a profession disguised as one of your hobbies!

2.  Find a way to make your passion work for you. Ask yourself; Can I provide a service to others through my passion? Are people willing to pay for the service my passion offers? How can my passion add value to a potential customer’s life?

3.  Develop a plan. Successful ventures start with a good plan because good plans shape good decisions. Chart your course—If you know and understand the direction in which you’re headed, the journey getting there is much smoother.

4.  Surround yourself with others who are doing what you aspire to do. Learn from them, network with them, and build your platform, i.e., who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer?

5.  Promote what you’re doing. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement, and in the Internet age, social media has taken word of mouth from a local to a global level. Promote your service/business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Pitch your service/business to local media by writing an article or offering advice for consumers that is directly tied to the product or service you provide.

6.  Perception is reality, so always present yourself in a professional, competent manner.  Create professional looking promotional materials to advertise your service/business.

7.  Reach out to established professionals in your field so you can partner with them on projects or combine your services to offer customers a special deal.

Remember to have fun along the way. Never give up and keep pushing forward until you reach your goal?

About the Author
Trice Hickman
is an award winning, bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Her love of reading and words led her to become a writer. Determined to have her voice heard, Trice self-published three novels before signing a book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books), who will  re-release her original works.

Trice is currently writing her next novel, and in her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, home improvement projects, and traveling. Visit her website for more details on her books and upcoming tour schedule at: 

Looking for Trouble by Trice Hickman
Coming October 29, 2013

Some dreams will test your head and your heart…

This story fuses the past with the present and takes readers on a journey filled with drama, love, betrayal, and mystery. Looking For Trouble is part of the Unexpected Love Series, which began with Unexpected Interruptions.
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Living and Dying in Brick City by Dr. Sampson Davis

Living and Dying in Brick City
An E.R. Doctor Returns Home
by Dr. Sampson Davis

A riveting personal exploration of the healthcare crisis facing inner-city communities, written by an emergency room physician who grew up in the very neighborhood he is now serving

Sampson Davis is best known as one of three friends from inner-city Newark who made a pact in high school to become doctors. Their book The Pact and their work through the Three Doctors Foundation have inspired countless young men and women to strive for goals they otherwise would not have dreamed they could attain.

In this book, Dr. Davis looks at the healthcare crisis in the inner city from a rare perspective: as a doctor who works on the front line of emergency medical care in the community where he grew up, and as a member of that community who has faced the same challenges as the people he treats every day. He also offers invaluable practical advice for those living in such communities, where conditions like asthma, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and AIDS are disproportionately endemic.

Dr. Davis’s sister, a drug addict, died of AIDS; his brother is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair as a result of a bar fight; and he himself did time in juvenile detention—a wake-up call that changed his life. He recounts recognizing a young man who is brought to the E.R. with critical gunshot wounds as someone who was arrested with him when he was a teenager during a robbery gone bad; describes a patient whose case of sickle-cell anemia rouses an ethical dilemma; and explains the difficulty he has convincing his landlord and friend, an older woman, to go to the hospital for much-needed treatment.

With empathy and hard-earned wisdom, Living and Dying in Brick City presents an urgent picture of medical care in our cities. It is an important resource guide for anyone at risk, anyone close to those at risk, and anyone who cares about the fate of our cities.

Listen to a audio reading from the book:

Purchase your copy from Amazon today:

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


If Your Book is Your Baby-Be a Good Parent

Author E. N. Joy says: “I can’t deal with authors who claim that their book is their baby, but then they want to drop it off at the babysitter’s (agent/publisher) with its hair nappy, unfed, nasty diaper and dirty clothes. Hire a nanny (editor) to help you tend to it for crying out loud!”

More on Trying to Stay Saved by E.N.

BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy
is the author behind the five book “New Day Divas” series, the three book “Still Divas” series and the three book “Always Divas” series, which have been coined The Soap Opera In Print. 

She wrote the children’s book, The Secret Olivia Told Me, under the name N. Joy, in which the book received an American Library Association Coretta Scott King Honor, was acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies.  Visit the author at

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Path to Promise by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Path to Promise
by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Sequel to Land of Promiscuity

There’s a difference between running scared and running free.
Rebecca Lucas is on the run again, running from rumors, running from reality, and most of all, running from Will, her best friend and soul mate. This time Rebecca is ready to reclaim the life she left behind in Salisbury before the burial of her mother and the handling of her mother’s estate. Time away, however, has done little to alleviate her biggest problem—her coworker Kenny Burke and the indecent proposal he pitched to her before leaving town. She’s back, and he uses every resource at his disposal to get her to go along with his plan.

Will Donovan, the man left in the trail of Rebecca’s taillights and exhaust fumes, has a few problems of his own. His father’s secrets have left the senior Pastor Donovan ousted from his longtime position as leader of Grace Apostle Methodist Church, and Will with one foot in the door. As a mandate of the church board, Will must apply and compete for his dad’s job. His competition is the very charismatic and well-connected Danny Glass Jr., heir of a televangelist empire. Will seems to be the only one questioning why Danny is on his turf when he has his own father to succeed. He struggles with the integrity of his decisions in an effort to carve out his own identity in ministry.

For Will and Rebecca, the Path to Promise is far from a utopian street paved with gold. Will their paths, marred with their own obstacles, cross and lead them to the promises of God?

5 of 5 stars – Early Book Review by A’ndrea Wilson’s review
*Advanced copy review

Wow!  In the sequel to Land of Promiscuity, Sherryle Kiser Jackson offers a beautiful and inspirational love story, resolving readers’ lingering questions from Book 1. Path to Promise picks up shortly after Land of Promiscuity leaves off, addressing the issues that were introduced in the first novel-Rebecca’s work woes, Will’s reluctance to leadership, and the couple’s hot-cold relationship. Rebecca finds herself drowning in harassment on the job by a lawyer who seems to stay one step ahead of her. With her legal career at risk, will she finally believe in herself enough to fight for her own justice?

Will’s biggest fear has become reality-he is being pushed into the senior pastor role too soon. To make matters worse, instead of being given the position previously held by his father, he is expected to prove himself worthy in a battle against the son of a famous pastor. Can he gain the support of the congregation despite the obvious attempts to discredit his abilities? And will his undying love for his childhood best friend be enough to keep them both on the path to the promise of a future filled with hope?

I absolutely loved this book. I would go as far as to say that this book is my favorite from Jackson, demonstrating her growth as a writer and commitment to developing a great story. The characters felt so real that I experienced every emotion with them, leaving me in tears, celebrating, and even angry a few times. Readers of Land of Promiscuity will not be disappointed with this enjoyable conclusion. If you’ve ever felt unworthy, lost, insecure, or nonredeemable, Path to Promise is a must-read book that will encourage you to embrace God’s healing and never go back.

Excerpt from Path to Promise

The next day Rebecca clung to her sixteen-ounce Colombian roast as life support to get her through the day. She practically had to reintroduce herself to the firm’s fifth-floor administrative assistant, Celeste, after she called out to the slightly older woman to hold the elevator on the ground floor. No greeting and no apology came from her colleague when they came face-to-face after Rebecca sacrificed her umbrella handle to prompt the door to open again.

“Thank you,” Rebecca said sarcastically before the elevator car became crowded with associates, who were just as rude, pushing them farther back with their wet umbrellas, their lawyer-speak, and their arrogance.

Their building had ten floors; the top five were occupied by the largest law firm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When the elevator reached the fifth floor, an older man in an all-weather coat pushed the close button so quickly that Rebecca and Celeste couldn’t move forward and get off the elevator in time. The man acting as the lift operator then spoke loudly into his cell phone, letting the person on the other end of the line know his estimated time of arrival in the suite of offices on a higher floor. Having missed their floor, an indication of how insignificant they were on the firm’s totem pole, Rebecca and Celeste shared a perturbed look.

They rode to the top, stopping on practically every other floor, and then rode back down to the very bottom before they could move to the front and take control of the roving beast that was their elevator.

“I see nothing has changed around here,” Rebecca said once she was off the elevator and heading with her traveling companion to the administrative suite of cubicles and waiting rooms.

“Not a thing. I am glad one of us knows somebody that has enough pull to get a substantial vacation before vacation week.” Celeste smirked.

 Apparently, Celeste hadn’t gotten the notice as to why she had been out, Rebecca thought. A “How are you doing?” would have been in order. Rebecca decided her business wasn’t worth telling. They weren’t friends. They had the same strained relationship Rebecca seemed to have with all women, one based on assumptions, envy, and petty arguments. She was thought to be worthless throughout high school because she didn’t hang in a clique of girls that had boyfriends, gossiped, or had a fashion obsession. Then she was considered a wanton threat because the boyfriends of those same girls got wind of the fact that she had contoured her body and wasn’t afraid to use it.

“I’m glad you’re back,” Celeste said, walking ahead to her command post, apparently in a hurry to grab something. Celeste grabbed a pile of papers and file folders with one arm. She turned at the precise time and practically shoved the stack into Rebecca’s midsection. “Now you can pull your own weight.”

Rebecca stepped back, not so much from the impact, but from the splash of her coffee. She fought to maintain her grip on the coffee cup. They were in a staring match, and it would continue, as far as Rebecca was concerned, until Celeste realized her hands were occupied. Still holding the pile of papers and folders, Celeste sighed heavily and begrudgingly followed Rebecca, whose gait was purposely slow. Celeste’s shoes squeaked due to the slickness of the floor from the spilled coffee and the cheap polyurethane material her shoes were made from. Before even attempting to retrieve what Celeste had for her, Rebecca sat her coffee down and draped her fur-trimmed sweater on the hook to the right of her desk once she was inside her cubicle. They exchanged smug looks and the load of papers before Celeste turned to leave.

What was her problem? Rebecca thought. No amount of coercion or sweet talk could make Celeste fill in for a paralegal. On numerous occasions, she had let attorneys and their lackeys alike know she was an administrative assistant. She worked with Windows software, not Workshare, and she absolutely wasn’t running back and forth across the street to the courthouse. Bethany or any of the other three paralegals in the building might be called upon to assist in her stead, but definitely not Celeste.

 Rebecca’s desk was neat, and the pile of depositions and files that she now held would give her a time line of what had gone on in her absence. She walked to the break room before taking on the task of going through the pile and devising a to-do list from it. She needed to refresh her cup of coffee and, in doing so, checked off her first assignment. It was her duty to start a pot of generic roast for clients and guests who would check in on their floor. A sad cutout of a Christmas tree, tacked up on the huge memo board and cluttered with generic cards from random staffers, was the only reminder of the holiday that had just past. Rebecca concentrated on setting the coffee machine to brew so she could forget how she had spent Christmas day sulking and sorting through mail of her own.

She backtracked now to her desk to grab her calendar to confer with Celeste. Like a chess player did a chessboard, she studied her calendar and kept it up to date at all times. She had to know where all the major players were. Jacobs, God help him, was no doubt in court. That left Minor and Burke, whom she was uncertain about.
Burke. The thought of him gave her shivers. She used to think the way he looked at her was sexy, but now it brought a curl to her lip. Would he be in today or out wooing some client? Maybe he had started his vacation. Would he be looking for her to help him entertain his potential client list, like he had implied before she left? Hopefully, he had found someone else to harass.

Maybe she could get a reprieve today. Yeah, who came in between Christmas and New Year’s, anyway? she told herself. Then she thought of all the attorneys in the elevator this morning. She bent back the corner on her agenda book, just thinking about it. It was crazy to keep dwelling on Burke’s proposition to befriend his client, Walter Calhoun that had happened just one time and would more than likely not happen again. Her plan was to attack the pile on her desk while attacking her anxiety. She did a one-eighty back to her desk, but like a revolving door, she spun around again with a favor in mind to ask Cruella De Vil at the front desk.

Rebecca stopped at Celeste’s desk and inhaled deeply as she waited to be acknowledged. “Celeste, since it’s my first day back, I’m really, really, really trying to play low key today. It’s like I’m not here. I wasn’t even going to report until Monday, anyway. Until I can weed my way through this pile and get things in order, I’m no good to anyone, anyway. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell Burke that I’m back here. I’m not saying to lie, but just don’t make an announcement.”

“Oh, no way, sista. Then he’ll be loading me up with things to do, or he’ll have me searching for Bethany, who, between the two of you, hasn’t worked a weekend’s worth of time this month.” She leaned in, and although Rebecca found that odd, she leaned in as well to catch the apparent scoop Celeste was dishing. “You know, she’s nearly four months pregnant.”

Rebecca blinked several times as she digested the news, and wondered for a moment how much of her own business Celeste shared in this same manner with friends and foes alike. “Please, Celeste. I don’t ask you for much.”

“So you’re hiding from Burke?” Celeste gave her top molars a satisfied suck.

“Not hiding. I’m just a little disoriented. See,” she said, holding out her agenda book. “I don’t know where anyone is in any of their cases. Jacobs . . .”

“Is due in court at nine,” Celeste said, finishing Rebecca’s sentence for her.

Rebecca shrugged and shook her head at the same time. “They do that to him on purpose.”

“He does it to himself. He’s served more court time than a repeat offender, but he’s on a winning streak now. If he was smart, he’d hook up with seven and eight, like Minor is doing, working on a corporate bid. It should be interesting to see who between Burke and Minor wins an office upstairs first,” Celeste said, referring to the status of senior attorneys, who were housed on the seventh and eighth floors.

Rebecca had underestimated Celeste’s knowledge of office politics. Rebecca didn’t want to play them, but it was good to know the house rules.

“He’ll be in here, all right, without me saying a word,” Celeste said.

Rebecca gave her a quizzical look. “Who?”

“Burke. That’s who you’re worried about, aren’t you?” Celeste snapped.

Rebecca leaned in as Celeste had done to get her to pipe down. “What makes you so certain?”

This time Celeste backed away, as if Rebecca had some sort of disease. “One thing Mr. Kenny Burke can do well is sniff out fresh meat and money. In your case, meat he hasn’t fully picked over yet.”

Rebecca watched Celeste suck her teeth again, as if to dislodge remnants from her breakfast, before turning on her swivel chair. Rebecca was thoroughly disgusted. What did that mean? And what did she know?

(  Continues…  )

Copyright © 2013 by Sherryle Kiser Jackson.   All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherryle Kiser Jackson.  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

Multipublished author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010),Taylor- Made (2011)  and Land of Promiscuity (2012) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Multipublished Christian Author
2013 -Thrive in God’s grace and abound in His love

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Shamara Ray

Shamara Ray’s love affair with books began as a child and by the time she reached high school, her enjoyment of reading developed into a passion for writing. At Syracuse University, Shamara’s writing grew deeper and richer—that’s when a dream began to form. It wasn’t until years later, when her dream began to take shape. She was inspired to write her own novels and tell her own stories.

Her first book – Recipe for Love – married her love of writing with her passion for cooking. She landed a deal with Zane’s Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Recipe for Love received critical acclaim, established her as an author to watch, and had fans looking forward to her next book, Close Quarters. Shamara’s third novel, You Might Just Get Burned, hit stores on August 6.

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
What happens when the man you fall for isn’t who he says he is? As games are played and disguises are shed in this intriguing story, more than hearts are at stake for a man who toys with others’ emotions.

Meet Marcel, Camden, and Julian. They’re all experts at the same game, but each in his own way: Marcel has perfected the art of first impressions and can charm a woman out of her clothes with his hypnotic gaze and dazzling smile; Camden is master of the million-dollar image, donning designer labels and driving exotic cars; and Julian is the king of romance— he’ll pen poetic verses, send a woman flowers, and bathe her by candlelight until she’s drowning in notions of love. Any woman would dream of having one of these men in her life. But what happens when that perfect man turns out to be someone else—a perpetrator named Avery Woodson? Things aren’t always as they seem…

Posing as Marcel, Camden and Julian, Avery has been playing games with women for years. To him they’re entertainment and nothing more. Predictable. Interchangeable. Expendable. Avery enjoys the challenge of collecting hearts, and after each acquisition he pursues an even greater conquest—until he meets Indiya Spencer. He soon finds it hard to toy with Indiya the way he does other women and discovers that he’s not immune to falling for someone. As Avery slips deeper emotionally and falls prey to Indiya’s wiles, it becomes apparent that she’s hiding her own dark secrets. The perpetrator has finally met his match and stands to lose more than just his heart—he might just get consumed by the flames.

You Might Just Get Burned takes the premise of meeting someone’s “representative” to the next level. The novel presents a unique twist on the ambiguity of new relationships. It’s an exploration of how men and women throw caution to the wind, exploit the naïveté of others and misrepresent themselves, all in the name of playing the dating game. You Might Just Get Burned exposes the risks of opening yourself to someone new and the repercussions or rewards that result.

BPM:  Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
Surprisingly, I identify most with Avery. I know I better explain since he’s a perpetrator! I can relate to Avery because he plays by his own set of rules. He may not be perfect, and he certainly colors outside of the lines, but he lives on his own terms. Avery is dealing with extraordinary circumstances and, I will admit, I might not make the same choices that he’s made; however, I can identify with the need to sometimes do things your way no matter what anyone thinks or says.

BPM:  What drew you to tackle the topics in your book?
I hear so many men and women discuss relationships and the challenges they have in finding the right person.  Many people find themselves dating someone new and thinking that person is wonderful, only to find out that they’re nothing like the image they initially presented. I wanted to delve into the complicated machinations of meeting someone new and trying to figure out exactly who they are versus who they claim to be.

BPM:   Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write contemporary relationship fiction. My novels speak to men and women, sisters and brothers, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, friends and lovers … see where I’m going with this? I’m often asked whether my books would appeal to men or if the stories are all romance. In actuality, I address themes that are relatable in which a wide range of people can identify. If you’ve ever been in love, my novels speak to you.  Been hurt in the past? My novels speak to you, too. If you have a wonderful or even strained relationship with your family and friends, my books are talking to you. And, if you like a little spice in your novels, they are definitely speaking to you. You Might Just Get Burned speaks to those who enjoy a good story, with an intriguing cast of characters whose lives may mirror their own.

BPM:   Do you consider yourself a role model?
I don’t know if I consider myself a role model, but I strive to set a positive example. An example that says you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. I endeavored to write the type of novels that I, and hopefully others, would enjoy reading. When my first novel, Recipe for Love, was published I was elated. I like to share my journey to publication with others and encourage people to follow their passion.

BPM:   Success means:
Success means giving one hundred and ten percent to achieve your goals. Even if you fail, you can always say that you gave your best and willing to try again.

BPM:   Criticism makes you:

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete?
I sure hope not. There’s something about picking up a book, feeling its weight in your hands, hearing the sound of turning the pages, seeing the words and smelling the ink on the page. For me, reading is an experience, an escape. I love to curl up with a good book and become engrossed in the story. I’ll take a printed book over an e-reader any day.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
My novels Recipe for Love, Close Quarters, and You Might Just Get Burned are available now. I’m currently working on my fourth novel, a sequel to Recipe for Love.

Connect with author Shamara Ray
Twitter:  @ShamaraRay
Instagram:  ShamaraRay

Proudly donating a % of CATER$AVVY profits to Meningitis research and awareness.

You Might Just Get Burned: A Novel by Shamara Ray

What happens when the man you fall for isn’t who he says he is? As games are played and disguises are shed in this intriguing story, more than hearts are at stake for a man who toys with others’ emotions.

Meet Marcel, Camden, and Julian. They’re all experts at the same game, but each in his own way: Marcel has perfected the art of first impressions and can charm a woman out of her clothes with his hypnotic gaze and dazzling smile; Camden is master of the million-dollar image, donning designer labels and driving exotic cars; and Julian is the king of romance— he’ll pen poetic verses, send a woman flowers, and bathe her by candlelight until she’s drowning in notions of love.

Any woman would dream of having one of these men in her life. But what happens when that perfect man turns out to be someone else—a perpetrator named Avery Woodson? Things aren’t always as they seem…

Posing as Marcel, Camden and Julian, Avery has been playing games with women for years. To him they’re entertainment and nothing more. Predictable. Interchangeable. Expendable. Avery enjoys the challenge of collecting hearts, and after each acquisition he pursues an even greater conquest—until he meets Indiya Spencer. He soon finds it hard to toy with Indiya the way he does other women and discovers that he’s not immune to falling for someone. As Avery slips deeper emotionally and falls prey to Indiya’s wiles, it becomes apparent that she’s hiding her own dark secrets. The perpetrator has finally met his match and stands to lose more than just his heart—he might just get consumed by the flames.

Purchase You Might Just Get Burned  by Shamara Ray

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Featured Authors


Intimate Conversation Jerri Lee George

Jerri Lee George is a chef, franchise founder, and thirty year veteran of the food service and catering industry turned author.  A native Floridian, Jerri began her catering career in Miami in 1981 orchestrating posh weddings and extravagant soirees.  She later developed a “desktop dining” food franchise concept and founded Catering by George, Inc. relocating it to Colorado by 2005.

Stricken with Bacterial Meningitis in late 2009, the 55 year old mother of two slipped into a month long coma.  Shocking the doctors she woke but serious side effects hampered Jerri’s ability to continue with her lifelong passion.  Down but not out, she decided to write about her culinary career in an effort to help others succeed and shares her expertise and secrets of success in CATER$AVVY.

BPM:   Introduce us to your book and the topics within the book?
The book CATER$AVVY  “Secrets of the Trade Revealed” is unique in the fact that it offers a perspective on catering that has rarely been revealed. Forced into retirement by my illness, I decided if I could no longer “do” I might as well “teach”.  After opening and operating two successful catering businesses in life both Catering by George and Vision Catering of Denver, I chose topics like sales techniques, talking points for initial inquiry calls, marketing goals, publicity methods, grand opening ideas, menu construction and pricing.  It took nearly a year to hammer out my part of the book but I wanted to expand its value. 

Using social media, I contacted caterers from all over the US and invited them to join me.  My goal?  To gather stories/advice and recipes from all walks of catering life. I found them…male and female, newbies and seasoned professionals with concepts ranging from food trucks to hog roasting/barbecue experts to high-end premier event caterers.  Their stories are compiled in CATER$AVVY along with special sections for brides, event planners and corporate organizers to help them better choose a caterer and know what to look for.  For your publication it would be good to know that at least 3 of the caterers are from the black community with Octavia Smith from Tay’s Homestyle Cooking practicing in Jacksonville, FL from the south.

Now recovered as fully as possible and sporting a cochlear implant, I have begun a new journey.  Nearly devastated by the loss of my business, credit standing, home, and marriage over the past 4 years; my faith and hope is undaunted as I plan to hit the road in October to attend book signings in TX, TN, GA and my native FL (if all goes well, I’m doing AZ, NV and CA in January with the east coast slated for late Spring). 

I am hoping to rectify my personal financial situation (which was close to homeless) and showcase the Cater$avvy contributing caterers in their markets as well as help increase awareness of Meningitis across the country by donating a percent of book sales to The Meningitis Foundation of America.  The MFA has recently partnered with me and are behind CATER$AVVY efforts which is championing their mission of education, vaccination and eradication.

BPM:   How did you get your start in this business/industry?  Did you have any formal business training?
Cooking from the age of 8 and schooled by my grandmother and celebrity television chefs Julia Child and Graham Kerr, I catered for family and friends from the age of 14.  Mentored by world renowned caterer and cookbook author Marina Polvay at 23, I learned the art of upscale food service, party/event planning and menu development. 

BPM:   Tell us about your journey and how you came to write CATER$AVVY.  Do you have any co-authors? 
I was cooking most of my life and displayed a passion for catering early on.  In 1981, working for a Miami Beach catering diva and absorbing every technique and food preparation secret, I spent many years orchestrating events for politicians, socialites, and brides-to-be. Later, in 1985, I zeroed in on the corporate and business market with the development of Wee-Bag-It Delivery Emporiums serving executive breakfasts and lunches to the workplace.

Desk-top dining became the rage and my flagship store expanded into a franchise operation.  With 11 stores sold and 7 open by 1990.  By then, missing the grand job of social catering, I sold off the franchise and founded Catering by George.  In 2005, I moved my family and business to Denver and restarted my catering business there.

BPM:   What separates you and your book CATER$AVVY from the competition?
To my knowledge, no other caterer/author has decided to bear their catering souls and reveal the methods and yes, tricks of the trade to laypersons.  This is really the inside track…a peek inside the catering mind -actually 35 minds AND its success is targeted at a possible cure for Meningitis.

BPM:   How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
I would not know any other way to live! My work ethic, ambition and drive has always been suited for entrepreneurship.  As one, I can steer my own ship and create my own future.

BPM:   What do you like most about your profession or writing?

My profession is and always will be creating dishes that entice and satisfy my client.  The total satisfaction derived from watching others devour what I have made is like a non-drug induced high! Writing has always been a hobby for me but the door shutting on my catering career opened the window of authorship.  It is a way to relate experiences, re-live the high and low points of my career and do something worthwhile with the time I have left in this world.

BPM:   What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it? 
Focusing on the big picture and never letting the competition win!  My father always said, “the customer will spend their (in this case catering) dollar and hire someone…it might as well be YOU!  I always ask the customer “what will it take for me to become your caterer of choice?”

BPM:   What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Read CATER$AVVY from cover to cover!  The customer is always right!  Believe in yourself and God and always practice the true definition of “cater”.

BPM:   What do you hope to offer readers to shape their lives with your book? 
Become successful entrepreneurs and find the joy in working everyday doing what they love.  Never give up – when life hands you lemons, make pie!

BPM:   How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?

Helping people, whether orchestrating their wedding or teaching a culinary student how to become successful is being part of the human race.  Applying myself fully to whatever road I’m on is the secret to success.  It’s not only about the money, it’s about using your God given skills/experiences to make a difference.

BPM:   Tell us about the people you help. How is your organization or company impacting the public?
I believe my book will touch an untold number of lives providing foodies, students, professionals and host/essess with a unique perspective of the catering world.  Experts sharing advice is so valuable and every reader can use a “friend” from the industry to guide them through what it takes to be a success or throw a successful event!

BPM:   What social issues or causes do you want to address? 
The biggest, Meningitis awareness!  My illness, deafness and amputations never needed to happen.  Vaccines are available and although not widely publicized, the CDC knows the risks of contracting the virus.

BPM:  What are three things all leaders possess? 
Drive, ambition and the willingness to listen and adapt.

BPM:   What’s new in your company? 
I am currently working on several projects. “THE CATER$AVVY COOKBOOK” will be released in the summer of 2014. This will be a 4-color, picture filled book of signature recipes utilized in catering operations from across the globe. We currently have submissions from Canada, the UK, France and Australia with contacts made in Belgium. 

Then, “CATER$AVVY and Friends” also slated for publication in 2014 will be filled with stories/advice and tips from other vendors associated with event production.  Showcasing the practices, pricing and other intricacies of florists, photographers, videographers, bakeries, D.J.’s, rental companies, wedding planners, etc.

Connect with Jerri Lee George


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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Featured Authors


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.

Meet the Author
Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner. She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Teachers College, Columbia University. When she moved to Florida, she enrolled in Argosy University where she completed her Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership. A pastor’s kid, Michelle upholds 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 use her talents to bring God glory. Michelle currently works as a Reading Specialist for exceptional student learners, and is the proud mother of two teenage sons. Her published books are Sing a New Song and Walk a Straight Line.

Read an Excerpt from 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.

( Continued…   )

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

Sing a New Song by Michelle Lindo-Rice
Faith Based Fiction; Women’s Fiction

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Honey

Honey the author is a native of Macon, Georgia. She currently resides in McDonough, Georgia with her husband and son. Honey graduated from Fort Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and worked as a social worker for the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services for many years. Honey has been writing stories since childhood, but didn’t pursue her dream to become an author until after retirement. Her first novel Deranged Love was released August, 2013

BPM:  What are you doing to celebrate the release of your new book?
Honey: Initially, I’ll be attending the fabulous Chocolate Social in Atlanta. August 1st, the date of the event, happens to coincide with the release date of my debut novel Deranged Love. It is my first project with G Street Chronicles.

I think it’s the perfect opportunity to be in the midst of African American literary heavyweights mixing it up, talking about my book, future projects and other literary events. Some of my family and friends will be in attendance which will make it extra special. There are other signings and other marketing opportunities for Deranged Love being planned for the near future.

BPM:  Introduce us to your latest book and the main characters. What makes this one special? Do you have any favorites?
Honey: The title of my book is Deranged Love. The King siblings, Zach and Jay King, are my main characters. They are a pair of educated, successful African American siblings who were raised with very close family ties in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia. Zach and Jay suddenly find themselves in a love triangle. I know it sounds like a story that has been told thousands of times before. Well, it’s NOT.

Zach is Jay’s older brother. Yes, he falls in love with his little sister’s Jamaican lover named Jill and then the drama begins. And when I say drama, I mean drama at it’s highest degree and in the most unbelievable series of events. My book is a sure fire hit because the plot will catch readers off guard. Sisters have fought over a sexy man, and brothers will throw down of a fine woman. But a brother and sister rivalry at an extreme level over the same woman is a sucker punch!

BPM:  How does your books relate to your present or past situations, education, spiritual practice or other life path?
Honey: There are so many elements in my novel Deranged Love that were heavily influenced by events, traditions and values that are all a part of my life. Family ties and sibling rivalry as well as sibling bonding were all taken from experiences in my life or in the lives of people close to me. I can definitely relate to the deep spiritual roots of the family’s matriarch and her love for church and gospel. I’m a church girl inside and out. But like my main characters, I have my worldly side. We’ve all been betrayed at some point in life by someone close to us, so I can definitely relate to that, and so will my readers. Education was and still is  a very important part of my life. This book is relatable to me and fans of urban fiction who enjoy a heavy dose of spice.

BPM: What can we expect to see/read from you during the next stage of your career?
Honey: Readers can expect Deranged Love 2 with Zach and Jay taking the dramatic family saga to the next level. I want to expand my readership by making myself available to fans of my craft. I want to give readers the type of stories that pull them in and have them begging for more. A new series is on the horizon as well. It’ll be another inner-city family with their own set of issues. Honey plans to stay true to herself with her style of urban fiction fused with romance, sprinkled with a tad bit of eroticism. I don’t want to be squeezed into a particular box. I’d rather write stories that can cross genres and subgenres in African American literature.

BPM: How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books?
Honey: Books will always be my true love, but there are fans who prefer ebooks. The supply in every industry should always be dictated by the demand. It’s as simple as that.


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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Intimate Conversation with Sabrina Sims McAfee

Sabrina McAfee is your bestselling author of suspense drama. She also writes romantic suspense and mainstream. Originally from Florida, she’s a current resident of Myrtle Beach, SC. In her leisure she likes spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching reality and suspense TV shows.

Sabrina’s goal is to someday produce one of her books into a movie. As she strives toward her dream, she plans to try her hardest to bring readers great satisfying stories. She thanks all of her readers.

BPM: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing came after my mother died of Breast Cancer. I originally started writing poems. Then later I decided to dive into the craft of writing fiction, and unbeknownst to me I found my passion.

BPM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of your family.
Author Brenda Jackson. She’s been there from the beginning, and I greatly appreciate her.

BPM: What does “growth” mean to you?
For me, if one person reads and likes my book(s) then that’s growth.

BPM: What does “challenge” mean to you? What do you find particularly challenging in writing?

Marketing my book and getting it in the hands of readers has been the greatest challenge for me.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
My book Sinful Seduction is a suspense drama packed with sensual romance that begins with Katilla.  Katilla is a nurse that was recently dumped by her NFL superstar boyfriend. The sudden breakup leaves her scorn and unable to trust. Now that she’s out on the dating market again, she’s determined not to let any man break her heart. Believing that true love is impossible, she meets fine, and handsome Dr. Kenneth Michaels. Because of her past, Katilla only has one thing on her mind, and that’s seducing Kenneth so she can get accepted into medical school.

Kenneth is a leading cardiologist still grieving the death of his wife when he meets Katilla. Feeling as if he’s already had his opportunity at true love, he’s surprised when he begins a steamy love affair with her and begins to fall madly in love. But then suddenly, when he learns of Katilla’s seductive secret to use him so she can get accepted into medical school, and her destructive ex boyfriend returns with a scandal of his own, things become explosive! They’re thrown them into a painful web of lies, deceit, and danger!

Sinful Seduction
  has many twists and turns, ups and downs, and evokes many emotions. However, in the end it demonstrates that true love prevails.  Katilla is special because she’s a dedicated friend, has a good heart, and goes to back for the people she loves. Kenneth is special because when he finally gives love a second chance, he gives it 100 percent and he’s a strong, likeable man.

BPM: Why did you choose to write in your particular genre? If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them?
It’s so much fun to write suspense drama! Writing suspense drama gives me the freedom to incorporate things like danger, love, and drama. I love it! I also write romantic suspense, and mainstream. As far as balancing them, I try to alternate between the genres, and it’s hard.

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

After reading my book, I want readers to come out with a sense of empowerment, and believing that true love conquers.

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

As a writer my goal is to educate, entertain, and inspire. I hope to take some of the proceeds from my book and continue my nonprofit Breast Cancer Foundation.

BPM: Do you think book sales are the only indicator of your success as a writer?
Not at all. I feel my main success as a writer is what I give back to my community. Life is not about what I can receive, but what I can give. Afterall, in the end, it’s how you made a positive difference in the lives of others.

BPM: What can we expect to see/read from you during the next stage of your career? Any series or new characters?

Yes! I have a new series, coming out later this Fall, tentatively titled…the Dangerous Sexy Cops. It’s about four women cops, all friends, that solve high crimes cases, all while trying to balance families, children, and their love lives. It’s packed with drama.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
The latest news is that I made Amazon’s Bestseller’s list for top 100 dramas in the United States. I’d like to thank all my readers for their support! I couldn’t have accomplished this dream without them. And believe me, this is a dream come true for me. Thanks a million!

Sabrina loves to hear from her readers.


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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Sneak Peek: Sinful Seduction by Sabrina Sims McAfee

This hot nurse is the master of seduction
Nurse Katilla Richardson was recently dumped by her NFL superstar boyfriend. Now that she’s out on the dating market again, she’s determined not to let any man break her heart. Believing that true love is impossible, she sets out to seduce a renowned wealthy physician for her own personal gain. However, she’s shocked when her hot game of seduction backfires after she ends up in the fine doctor’s bed.

The game of seduction gets hotter

Dr. Kenneth Michaels is a leading cardiologist still grieving the death of his wife. Feeling as if he’s already had his opportunity at true love, he meets a beautiful woman that changes his mind about second chances. As he engage in a steamy love affair with the pretty lady he’s so smitten with, he begins to fall madly in love with her. But then suddenly, when he learns of the seductive nurse’s secret, and someone from her past returns, things become explosive!   Will Kenneth and Katilla’s relationship survive her deceitful game of sinful seduction?

Excerpt Sinful Seduction

Heartland Memorial Hospital

“Get the OR – stat!” Dread strained from Dr. Maze’s tight vocal cords as his bloody, gloved covered hands maneuvered the trapped fetus stuck inside the womb of his pregnant patient. With her thighs parted wide cupping her knees, her leaking entrance was clenching the fetus’ head, preventing it from moving further down her constricted canal.

Nurse Katilla towered over the doctor, fighting hard to keep her raw emotions in check. Before she turned on her heels, the woman on the birthing table bolted upright and pushed. Clenching her teeth, she grunted, “Aaagghhh!” A clear, thick film excreted from her opening onto the crisp white sheets beneath her.

“Push, Margie! Push!”  The urgency in the physician’s voice caused Katilla’s heart to spin and had her hustling to the other side of the room, where she made an emergency call, requesting OR preparation for an emergency cesarean. She slammed the phone back on the receiver, then hurried back over to where Dr. Maze was still struggling to deliver the baby.

Katilla stood slightly behind Dr. Maze and glared down over his shoulders between the pregnant woman’s bloody thighs. She then looked at the confident physician, Dr. Maze.  Tiny beads of sweat dotted his crinkly forehead as he slid the length of his arms up inside the woman’s stretched vagina, twisting and turning them as he maneuvered the stuck fetus.

With no success, the brainy doctor extended a red, stained gloved hand toward Katilla and she lowered a shiny silver instrument to his palm so he could perform an episiotomy on the distressed woman.

Katilla’s intense gaze went to the heart monitor posted beside the patient, Margie’s, bed. The red number on the machine was steadily increasing, worrying the heck out of Katilla. 

Oh no! Margie’s heart rate is rising! We need to deliver this baby now!

Katilla looked at the round, high swell of Margie’s unyielding belly. Worried sick over her patient’s labor, her pulse pounded hard in her dry throat. She met Margie’s intense gaze and swallowed with fear.

“It’s time to push again,” she told her as she went to stand by her side. Looking into her darkening irises, she grabbed her hand. “On the count of three, I need you to push, Margie, okay?” Margie nodded. “One…two…three…push!”

With her thighs quaking wide apart, Margie was clasping her knees, clenching her jaws, and pushing harshly. “I can’t do this! I’m so tired!” she grunted through clenched teeth then slumped back on the firm mattress. With quick breaths winding from her pursed lips, a worried expression washed over Margie’s crimson, perspiring face.

Dr. Maze looked into Margie’s eyes. “You can’t quit on me now, you must keep pushing. Everything will be just fine if you do as I tell you to,” he promised unrealistically.

Katilla knew the real reason he’d urgently requested the emergency team to prep for surgery. Margie needed to have a cesarean, only now it was too late and too risky to perform the possible life saving surgery. The fetus was too far submerged down the birth canal, and its heartbeat was steadily declining.

Booksellers:,  and

About the Author
Sabrina Sims McAfee
is your writer of suspense drama, romantic suspense, and dark thrillers. She loves writing suspense/dramas and about bad boys, sexy strong women, and the adventurous journeys they travel. She lived in Florida for most of her life, but now she’s a current resident of Myrtle Beach, SC. She lives there with her husband and two teenage children. In her leisure she likes spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching reality and suspense TV shows.

Sabrina’s goals are to produce a stage play, study film, and to one day produce one of her books into a movie. As she strives toward her dream, she plans to study the craft of writing, take writing risks, and try her hardest to bring readers great satisfying stories.

Sabrina Sims McAfee, Author
Queen of Suspense Drama

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


It’s Your Fault You’re Single: Tips on Finding Mr. Right by Mr. Locario

The Truth Is Inside You -Mr. Locario.   Giving men and women the knowledge, truth, and confidence to understand what they want. Thus, helping create the best options for themselves in Love and in Life.

Finally, an Ebook that will help women find their Mr. Right!   It’s Your Fault You’re Single: Tips on Finding Mr. Right will help any woman understand what she is doing to hinder her success in dating and what she can do to attract and keep the man she wants. This is the most honest and straight forward advice that you will ever get that will help you get the man of your dreams.   Listen to the BAN Radio interview with host Ella Curry.

In this book you will learn:

* The #1 mistake women make in dating

*What you should do on a first date that will have the man you want begging for a second date

* What will make a man want to commit and be in a long term relationship with you

* How to write an online dating profile that will get the exact type of men you want responding to you

* The way to flirt that will make you more attractive to men

* Why the man you want isn’t calling you back and what you can do to get him to pick up the phone

* What you are doing to turn men off and what you can do to keep them interested

* What a man will do that will let you know if he is really interested in you

It’s Your Fault You’re Single: Tips on Finding Mr. Right by Mr. Locario

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Jamila T. Davis author of The High Price I Had To Pay


From the behind the dreary walls of federal prison, inspired by author Jamila T. Davis’ latest book release The High Price I Had To Pay, these women share their real-life stories.


Recently, during a committee hearing of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked a panel of regulators, “has any banker gone to prison for their role in what happened with the financial collapse of 2008?” The panelist struggled to answer her question.

Well Jamila T. Davis, author of  The High Price I Had To Pay is serving a 12 1/2 year sentence for bank fraud as a result of a $22M mortgage scheme that she was involved in with financial giant, Lehman Brothers Bank. The only problem is, Davis is not a banker. She was a 25 year-old real estate investor who alleges that she was instructed by Lehman senior associates on exactly what to do to get the loans approved through the bank’s underwriting department.

In her book, The High Price I Had To Pay Davis explains in detail what happened!

“I guarantee that anyone who reads my book will be asking the same questions as Senator Warren,” said Davis. “All I know is that I’m sitting in federal prison serving a 12 1/2 year sentence, and the senior bankers from Lehman Brothers who told me what to do are sitting on the beach somewhere, for all I know,” Davis alleges.

“Fifty nine days after I was sentenced to 151 months, Lehman Brothers Bank collapsed due to what the world soon discovered was a massive system wide practice of overstating property values and doctoring loan documents,” says Davis. “Before the collapse, Lehman Brothers Bank attorneys convinced my judge that the bank was a victim and I was a 25 year old mastermind victimizer,” Davis alleges.

“My story will captivate and most likely infuriate you. Through my books, I am called to inspire, uplift and encourage my readers to become their very best, despite their past obstacles. At the same time, I am called to inform, to educate and to create change. I share my mission with others so that they can be informed and empowered by my ordeal,” says Davis. “Yes I am no angel, but I accepted full responsibility for what I did. I have from the very beginning. There is no way in a just society that I should be serving 12 1/2 years for my role in the scheme. And, the bankers who gave the instructions on how to meet the banks guideline criteria, and sent the documents back until I got them right, walked away claiming to be victims,” Davis alleges.

“All I know is that when the dust settled, I ended up with a sentence nearly seven times greater than the 24 month sentences that the seasoned lawyer who distributed the funds and the mortgage broker who admittedly told me what to do got, Davis alleges. Is that justice?” Davis stated.

About the Author
Jamila T. Davi
s, author of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series, is a self-help expert, motivational speaker and women’s prison reform activist. She is also currently a federal inmate. At the age 25, she was a multimillionaire, high-flying real estate investor with ties to the hip-hop world. While imprisoned, Davis has helped to change the lives of many through her inspirational books and cautionary tales, which are based on her real-life experiences. For more information about Jamila T. Davis and to check out her latest release The High Price I Had To Pay, visit or

To access recent articles written by Jamila T. Davis ( /media room)

Click here to download your free copy of The High Price I Had To Pay

Click here to purchase the hardcopy of The High Price I Had To Pay on

Case Information:

United States District Court of New Jersey, Criminal No. 05-482 (JLL)
Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division: Essex County, Civil Case No. ESX-C-103-03
Attribution- Lehman Brothers Bank Collapse and Fraud Findings
William Black, “Public Policy Issues Raised by the Report of the Lehman Bankruptcy Examiner,” prepared for the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, April 2010.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the U.S., January 2011.

Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse,” prepared by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate, April 2011

Testimony Reference:

United States District Court of New Jersey, Criminal No. 05-482 (JLL)

Transcript of Proceedings Volume 2. 09/06/07
re: Instructions given to Davis by Lehman associates on what to do to get each loan approved through Lehman’s     underwriting department.  T. 3.150-3.162     |      T. 4.21- 4.43

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


A Broken Childhood – Lydia’s Story by Dr. Taiwo

Does anyone really know what lies behind the mind of an abused child?

It may be that it will never be known. An innocent child may have been murdered before their story is heard or the child may have decided to join a gang to try and get the ‘love’ their parents never gave them.

Many, if not counseled appropriately, will end up becoming more violent and may even go on to kill other innocent people. Every day, I thank God that I am alive to tell my story because I know there is someone out there who needs to hear it.

Let’s start by asking ourselves a few questions…

Did you ever long to be hugged or kissed by your own mother as a child? And do you remember having her wash and comb your hair when you were little? Maybe you do. I don’t.

You cannot explain it or talk about it. It literally tears you apart inside, especially if you have friends experiencing such care and love from their parents.  In your heart you ask – “Why can’t my mother do the same for me?”

When I was very young, I lived with British foster parents until I was four and a half years old. I experienced love and care from them. I never knew who my real parents were until they took me away.   There was no explanation. How could I possibly have bonded with them as mum and dad immediately? How could I pick up the threads? I can’t imagine it, can you?

And then there was the abuse:

* Kicked to the head and left bleeding – I was rushed to King’s College Hospital London.
* Whipped with cable wire – I have all the scars to prove it all over my body from head to toe. My head is bald in some places as a result of the horrific injuries.
* Being thrown on the floor and ending up with broken front teeth that couldn’t grow back.

These were just a few of my experiences.  What would my life turn out to be?   I was a victim of abuse with low self-esteem, bitter and angry. There were times I became suicidal but someone up there kept me alive –  Yes, Almighty God who had wonderful plans in store for me. 

This is my life and my story.  It was hard, it was traumatic, but in the end I found myself able to forgive and move on in a positive way.  I hope parents, carers and guardians of children will learn and be encouraged by this. I also hope that both young and adult victims of abuse will find healing and the strength to forgive.

It is my sincere hope that no other child will be made to suffer the treatment that was meted out to me. I felt I had no one to turn to at the time, but help is available now. If you are a young person still going through any form of abuse, please get help.   Here is a page filled with help. Charities & Help-line Resources For Abuse Victims. Go here:

Before I go on, I would like to hear your views. What would you have done? What could I have done differently? What have been your experiences?

Drop me a line…

Meet the Author
Dr. Lydia Ola Taiwo
is a Consultant Biomedical Healthcare Scientist with her own diagnostic centre in Kent. She is also a published author and public speaker speaking out against child abuse. She is an Ambassador for AFRUCA and works with Safeguarding Now Ltd and Safeguarding Black, Asian Minority Ethnic Group (BAME) London in raising awareness of child abuse (and using herself as a living case study). Dr Lydia Taiwo is married and has six children. Visit the authors website:

Broken Childhood: A True Story of Abuse

A Broken Childhood: Volume II: Forgiveness

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Dionne Peart

Born in England to Jamaican parents, Dionne Peart grew up in Canada and later moved to the U.S.  Her debut novel, Somerset Grove, was inspired by the many stories of Caribbean transplants she grew up with while living in Winnipeg.  When she isn’t writing, Dionne loves to read stories that explore another time, place and culture.

Dionne currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she practices law and is working on her second novel.

BPM: Tell us about your journey becoming a successfully published author.  Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
Since childhood, I’ve always wanted to be a writer and long before I went to elementary school, I’d always loved to read. I remember my parents would scold me whenever I read at the dinner table or used the TV as my reading light.

Growing up in Canada, diversity was everywhere, but the numbers representing each ethnic group were very small, especially where I lived in Winnipeg.  As a first generation person of Jamaican heritage, I never came across books by or about people that looked like me. That all changed when I entered university and was introduced to writers like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. I think that’s when I first thought that I really could become a writer too.

I ended up taking a different path and became an attorney, partly because my parents wanted me to be one, and it was a safe choice. It’s been a great experience and I’ve been exposed to a lot of different people and places as a result. But, somewhere around my sixth year of legal practice when other associates were seriously contemplating partnership in the firm, I was seriously contemplating becoming a writer and challenged myself to write a novel. It took me over two and a half years of waking up an hour earlier every morning so that I could do some writing before going to the office, but I did it. I had a lot of support from friends and family along the way, so that helped me accomplish my goal of publishing my first novel. I really enjoyed the writing process and I’m looking forward to finishing my next book.

BPM:  What is your definition of success?
My definition of success has expanded over the years. The truly successful people are the happy ones, so I think when you can wake up grateful for what you have, feel fortunate for the family and friends that you are blessed with, and be optimistic about what your future holds, you have found success.

BPM:  What books or authors made a difference in your life?
Authors like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker made a difference for me when I discovered their books in university.  These authors opened up a whole new literary world and developed my love of stories that explore another time, culture and place. It was wonderful for me to find authors who looked like me and who wrote about characters that looked like me.

BPM:  What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
I really enjoy the creative outlet that being an author provides. I’ve also met some wonderful people along this journey. Writers are always willing to share advice or words of encouragement and there’s no experience like when a reader you don’t know sends you an e-mail saying how much they enjoyed your book.

Being an author gives me a real sense of personal satisfaction because writing can be a solitary process, at least in the beginning. Authors have to hold themselves accountable for completing their projects, particularly if they don’t have any external deadlines looming over them.  My novel began with me and I saw the project through from start to finish. The feeling I had when I held that first copy in my hands was indescribable. 

BPM:  Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Decide on your goal publication date and then work backwards from that to set realistic deadlines. Writing the book is the fun part of the process. Publication can be fun too, especially when that first proof copy arrives in the mail, but the work to get to that point can be stressful if you don’t plan well enough. Once it’s all done, it’s time to celebrate!

BPM:  Introduce us to your book and the main characters.  Do you have any favorites? What genre is the book? On Kindle or Nook? 
Somerset Grove is a story about a family of three generations of Jamaican women whose conflicts and family ties take them on a journey from a small town in Jamaica to Canada and back again. You get to experience their internal conflicts, as well all the life challenges they face, such as issues with education, socioeconomic status and immigration.  The biggest challenge they each face is dealing with their pride, which keeps them from connecting with each other on a level they really want.

The first character you meet is Angelique, a beautiful and savvy 16-year-old who sees herself as an uptown girl trapped in a rural existence. She’s ambitious and prideful, and those things get in the way of her being the person you really think she can be.   It is 1967 when Angelique discovers that she is pregnant and contemplates how to handle the situation with her mother. Ruby, Angelique’s mother, is the second character you meet and her story begins in 1949. We find Ruby as a young woman in a marriage where her heart gets broken and her pride takes a blow. Finally there is Carmen, Angelique’s daughter. She is headstrong, determined and smart. She’s a survivor, but she is always looking for affection from her mother and estranged father. She doesn’t know how to get it, and so we see her bitterness emerging as a result.

Ruby is my favorite, though she didn’t start out as a main character. Ruby asserted herself in my story and demanded to have a bigger role and she got it. I like the way she evolves as she gets older, but still remains true to herself.  Somerset Grove is available in paperback on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble. It is also available electronically on Kindle, Nook and Kobo.

BPM:  What compelled or inspired you to write this book? Why now?  Ever experience writers block?
The idea for Somerset Grove came to me because growing up in Winnipeg, I knew so many families that came from many different countries and cultures, but had similar stories about their family’s migration to Canada. What interested me most were the stories behind the stories; some families came as a whole unit, sometimes spouses were separated, and sometimes children were left back home with relatives while their parents got settled in Canada. People didn’t often talk about it, but you can imagine some of the longing, tension, and awkwardness that came with being apart from and then reuniting with a parent or child you haven’t seen in years or being introduced to siblings for the first time.

When I decided I that I was going to write my first novel I knew that I wanted it to be a multi-generational story featuring Jamaican characters.

I didn’t really experience writer’s block, but I did struggle with moving past the first section of the book because the lawyer in me wanted to go back and keep re-editing that first part.  I attended the Black Writers Reunion and Conference in Atlanta where I learned to just get that first draft done – there would be plenty of time for editing after the full story was down on paper. That really worked for me because Ruby’s character never made it to the foreground until I stopped editing that section.

BPM:  Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
I once knew somebody whose father essentially started a new life after he moved to Canada. The initial plan was to send for the entire family, but I guess absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder in his case. He met someone new and never sent for his wife, though he did eventually send for the children. This story inspired a scene with Ruby.

BPM:  In writing your novels, how do you develop the plot? Did you have difficulty keeping the story on point?  How much research was required, if any?
I don’t really outline my stories, but when I get an idea for one, I’ll decide on a goal for one or more of the main characters. Where do I want them to end up? Do I want to leave them with unanswered questions? I then decide what other major characters will influence them or interact with them and what obstacles will get in the main character’s way. I don’t always have the final resolution in mind when I begin writing, but that’s part of the fun for me. The characters can do what they want, because I can always go back and rewrite whatever doesn’t work.

I had to do some research to make some of the events in Somerset Grove more realistic, especially since Ruby’s story begins in 1949. My parents were a great source of information for what my grandparents might have experienced back in the 1940s and for what my parents would have done in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I then supplemented that with some other research and my own memories from when I visited Jamaica. It was important that everything be authentic and I think I achieved that goal. Several native Jamaicans have commented, “I didn’t know you grew up in Jamaica.” To which I’ve respond with a smile, “I didn’t.”

BPM:  What particular scenes from the novel will grab readers and serve to stimulate spirited discussions?
Ruby and Angelique both find themselves in very similar dilemmas at the start of the book when each young woman discovers she is pregnant. They handle their situations very differently. The way Angelique handles her condition will make some readers smile or laugh; she turns it into an opportunity. The way Ruby handles her situation may make some readers feel sorry for her, because she reacts with a little desperation and resignation. Readers might also feel anger towards Ruby for the way she responds after finding out about Angelique.

BPM:  Will the digital age or social media usage change the face of publishing?
Absolutely. I do love opening up a paperback copy of a novel by one of my favorite authors, but I also enjoy the convenience of downloading a book and reading it instantly on any number of devices.  The digital age means more accessibility for readers and authors. Social media gives readers a chance to get to know authors better and authors can more easily communicate directly with readers.

BPM:  How do feel about selling digital books vs. selling in a brick and mortar store? 
There is nothing like walking into a bookstore and seeing your novel on the shelf or seeing a stranger walking around with your work in their hands. I personally love browsing the shelves in brick and mortar bookstores and finding a book that catches my eye. I also enjoy the convenience of downloading a book as soon as I hear of its release or the ability to take several books with me in digital form when I travel, so I believe there is a market for both forms of books. For black authors, and particularly those who are indie authors, electronic books allow us the opportunity to get our works into the hands of readers for a relatively low cost. It’s also a fast and easy way to reach international markets.


Facebook: Dionne Peart Hayes

Purchase Somerset Grove: A Novel by Dionne Peart
Available at Barnes and Noble:
Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon at:

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Sneak Peek: Somerset Grove, A Novel by Dionne Peart

Three generations of the women in the Wright family all dream of leaving their home in a small Jamaican town, but each woman encounters obstacles that keep her from living the life she wants.

Angelique, strong-willed and adventurous, chooses between her daughter and opportunity as she contemplates leaving her behind to move to Canada. After experiencing heartbreak, proud matriarch Ruby is determined to see that no one ever has a reason to look down on her or her family, even if it means alienating the ones she loves. Granddaughter Carmen is torn between her feelings of resentment and longing, as she strives to be independent while trying to build a relationship with her distant mother.

Traveling between the tropical heat of the fictional town of Somerset Grove, Jamaica and the cold promise of Canada, the women struggle to resolve the conflicts within themselves and between each other.

Excerpts From Chapter 2


SPRING, 1949

The early morning light filtered in through the yellow lace curtains. Ruby lay in bed still wearing the dress that she’d had on from three days ago. It was thoroughly wrinkled now, showing no signs of the crisp starchiness that she had carefully pressed into it when she had first put it on. The other dresses she owned had been neatly packed into the worn suitcase her mother had borrowed from her friend, Lily.

Lily had been more than happy to part with her only luggage so that her goddaughter could pack all of her things to join her new husband in England though she couldn’t figure out for the life of her why the girl’s husband never sent money so that his bride could buy a trunk of her own.

Four days earlier, Ruby had said her goodbyes to one of her two best friends. Anne had come over before Ruby was to depart on the ship in two days. Though she was sad that she may never see her friends again, Ruby enjoyed seeing what she thought was envy flickering in her friend’s eyes as she told her about her anticipated journey to join Winston. Her friend had listened with a half-hearted smile on her face as Ruby reminisced about how Winston had swept her off her feet, promising to take her away from the little two-room house with the outhouse in back that she shared with her mother. Their new home in England, Winston told her, had running water and a beautiful indoor kitchen, so she wouldn’t have to prepare their meals in a cook shed anymore. And with the money he would save working as a mechanic, there would be enough to send her to school to become a nurse or teacher if she wanted. Ruby was disappointed that Anne’s sister, Cynthia, hadn’t come to see her off, but didn’t think anything of it when Anne told her that Cynthia had gone to visit family. She was sure Cynthia would stop by before she left, maybe even ride with her to the ship’s dock.

After losing her father to an unexplained illness five years ago, and then losing their family home when they couldn’t pay her father’s debts, it felt like life was turning around for 18-year-old Ruby.

Ruby’s mother, Ingrid, came into the bedroom the two women had shared since they moved into the house and told the girls it was time for Anne to leave. Ruby missed the grave look on Ingrid’s face as she was hugging Anne goodbye before turning back to finish her packing.

“There wasn’t anything at the post office for you,” Ingrid said to Ruby’s back.

Ruby stopped packing, but didn’t turn around. “It’s fine. The mail must be delayed, that’s all.”

“You don’t even know where you’re supposed to be going when you get there. Did he tell you when he was picking you up from the port? Did he even tell you the address where you’re supposed to be living?” Ingrid fired off questions as she watched Ruby moving about the room looking for things to pack and avoiding eye contact.


Three days ago, Ruby received news about her husband, but it was not what she had anticipated. When Winston hadn’t sent the money to pay for her fare, Ruby walked to her godmother’s house to see if she could borrow the money from her and her husband. They reluctantly parted with their little savings with the assurance that Ruby would send it all back just as soon as she received it from Winston. When she reached home, she informed her mother that there was no need to worry about the fare now.

“I’m just waiting for the sponsorship papers. If you can take me to pay for my fare now, I should have everything together by the time I’m ready to leave,” Ruby said.

It broke Ingrid’s heart to tell her daughter what she had learned that day. Ingrid had been at the post office when the twins’ neighbor had come in complaining about Jamaica’s rough roads as he picked up his mail. He grumbled on about the cost to repair his car’s axle, which was damaged during the drive to Palisadoes airport to drop off one of the twins who was going to England.

Ruby watched her mother’s lips moving, but couldn’t comprehend the words coming out of her mouth. “Cynthia…England…Winston.”

About the Author

Born in England to Jamaican parents, Dionne Peart grew up in Canada and later moved to the U.S.  Her debut novel, Somerset Grove, was inspired by the many stories of Caribbean transplants she grew up with while living in Winnipeg.  When she isn’t writing, Dionne loves to read stories that explore another time, place and culture.

Dionne currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she practices law and is working on her second novel.
Visit Dionne Peart’s website:

Purchase Somerset Grove: A Novel by Dionne Peart
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Flo Anthony

Busy is the only way to describe Flo Anthony. Under the umbrella of her own company, Dottie Media Group LLC, partnered with Superadio, Flo hosts the daily syndicated radio shows “Gossip On The Go With Flo” and “Flo Anthony’s Big Apple Buzz, taking the scoop of the entertainment industry nationwide to top markets including New York City, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, North Carolina, Detroit, Rochester, New York and Reno, Nevada. The show is heard by 3 million listeners daily. 

A triple media threat, Flo also writes a weekly syndicated column, “Go With The Flo.” A stringer for the New York Daily News “Confidential” column, she is also the publisher/editor-in-chief of Black Noir Magazine. Not to be left out of cyberville, Flo has joined blogosphere, with Glitterai Gold at

Flo is seen almost daily on TV One’s Life After, and, after twenty years as an entertainment journalist, she continues to be a familiar face on entertainment shows such as OMG:The Insider and Entertainment Tonight.

In the past she has been featured on such shows as Dr. Drew, Showbiz Tonight, Joy Behar, Joan Rivers, Geraldo, Inside Edition, Maury Povich, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, WPIX and Good Day New York.

A former publicist for legends like Muhammad Ali, the late Butch Lewis, Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Lynn Whitfield and Tyra Banks, Flo still reps a very exclusive group of clients.

Flo Anthony worked at the New York Post for almost a decade where she was the first African-American female to work in the Sports Department and first African-American to work in the Entertainment Department and the world-renowned Page Six. She was also the first African-American to write a weekly column inn the tabloid, the National Examiner. A graduate of Howard University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Flo resides in the East Harlem section of New York City.

BPM : Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
FA: The name of my new novel is Deadly Stuff Players. It is a black Hollywood murder mystery. There are murders, a love triangle, a horse kidnapping and a happy Christmas Day ending.

BPM: Which character in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
FA: The character Valerie Rollins is actually me. She is a gossip columnist who also helps out her best friend, Rome Nyland, who is a NFL Hall of Famer turned private detective.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the topics in your book? 
FA: I love sports and entertainment, and have always loved going to the Kentucky Derby. So, I chose a black jockey to be one of my main characters. Reporting on Hollywood is what I do for a living, so I just combined my two favorite subjects.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
 FA: It has a wide audience of all races and genders with an age range of 18-60.

BPM: How has your writing evolved?
FA: It’s improved immensely since I first started as an agate clerk at the New York Post. The more you work, you tend to develop a style as well as a formula. Deadly Stuff Players just flowed out of me.

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer.
FA: Becoming the first African American woman to work on Page Six of the New York Post.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model?
FA: Yes I do.

BPM: Life’s greatest teacher is:
FA: Failing at something, being knocked down, but knowing how to get up off the canvas.

BPM: Success means:
FA: Being able to make a living at what you really like to do.

BPM: Faith allows you to:

FA:   Knowing that God will always make everything all right.

BPM: Criticism makes you:
FA: Recognize your shortcomings and improve upon them.

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom is:

FA: Being sued.

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete?

FA: No, electronic books don’t do as well as people think they do.

BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers?

FA: My never-ending optimism, faith and love of life.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
FA: I now also have a  column in New York’s Resident Magazine. I received a Leadership award from my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, back in June and I am working on another murder mystery. I’m going to set this one in the Hamptons and the South of France.
Connect with Flo Anthony
Twitter:  @banananosekid
Facebook:   Florence Anthony

Purchase Deadly Stuff Players by Flo Anthony
Fiction/Black Hollywood Murder Mystery

From Hollywood’s hottest nightclubs to the boardrooms behind the scenes, the trendiest restaurants to the bedrooms of the biggest stars—it’s all here in a steamy murder mystery from the celebrity journalist who knows the entertainment world better than anyone.

Valerie, the most popular African-American gossip columnist in the United States, and NFL Hall of Famer Rome Nyland are the go-to team for solving Hollywood mysteries. When Andrea Dumas, wife of billionaire Victor Dumas, is found murdered in a sports bar, suspicions arise. Now someone is threatening their son, jockey Vance Dumas.

Roshonda Rhodes, a former hooker rumored to have a sex tape with Vance, was allegedly seen fleeing the sports bar the night of the murder. Did she kill Andrea? Or did drug-addicted Jermonna Bradley do it? Valerie and Rome are hard on the case, determined to get to the bottom of it before the killer strikes again.

The woman who knows the entertainment world inside and out, celebrity journalist Flo Anthony has woven this wild tale with so many twists and turns you won’t be able to put it down.

Deadly Stuff Players by Flo Anthony
Amazon Link:

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Intimate Conversation with Angela L. Harris

Intimate Conversation with Angela L. Harris

Angela L. Harris is the founder of ALHsuccesslines LLC., a spiritually based company with the mission to empower females to live purposeful lives.  She is also a Life Skills Counselor, motivational speaker and author.  Angela holds a master’s degree in Counseling with a focus on Women’s Studies. Her book has been widely received by parents, educators, community outreach organizations and of course young girls. It is important to reinforce the notion that children must see their visions so that they can be their visions. Once a child dreams it, the next step is to believe it which will ultimately lead to the child achieving it.  Through Angela’s compilation of work; she is instrumental in moving girls along the path of success in life.

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
The title of the book is, Mommy What is a CEO? I wrote this book to encourage success for young girls in a fun and motivational manner. I believe every girl can be successful if parents and educators recognize the individual strengths that are instinctive to the child and in doing so, cultivate such talents. The key point of the book is to expose girls at an early age to the idea of leadership and entrepreneurship. I aim to plant the seeds that girls can and should go after their dreams no matter what career choices they pursue. The overall belief and one that is carried out in the story is, the desire and ability to do great things starts with the thought that they can. I wish to instill the acceptance that girls should become the CEO’s of their lives

BPM:  Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
The book was actually inspired by my daughter Faith (who happens to be the main character in the story).  Faith witnessed my unwavering commitment and determination to pursue my dream to own a business. As a result, Faith became increasingly curious and when she was younger asked the important question, “Mommy What is a CEO?”

BPM:  What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in your book?
I have a heart for devising and implementing programs to inspire and boost self-esteem in girls. My platform aims to motivate young girls to not only dream of the endless possibilities available as they prosper toward adulthood—but provide a foundation as it relates to boosting healthy self-esteem. Because of varied challenges girls encounter, feelings of low self-esteem may surface starting as early as the preteen years. For some, such feelings can cause them to feel worthless, unlovable and incompetent. I wrote this book with the intent to reach girls at an early age and to plant the seeds of optimism in them. 

BPM:   Who does your body of literary work speak to?
My book speaks to girls universally including those in disadvantaged communities where certain messages may not be shared frequently. The communication that girls should become CEO’s of their lives must be emphasized and reinforced consistently. We must strive to elevate self-esteem in girls. The reality is, if feelings of low self-worth are left unnoticed, these negative outlooks can permeate into destructive behaviors and may impede our girls from embracing life challenges in a positive manner. This book assists in moving girls forward with the ambition to establish them as remarkable young ladies with promising futures.

BPM:   How has your writing evolved?
I absolutely love writing stimulating content to ignite females toward success in life. I am also a feature writer for To read my articles please visit  Moreover I have the opportunity to present motivational speaking programs to varied audiences such as churches, schools, Girl Scout organizations and other businesses.

BPM:   Do you consider yourself a role model?
In my counseling practice, the goal is to help girls’ live focused lives by introducing them to new outlooks that will ultimately unleash unrealized potential. I offer guidance and techniques that treat the mind, body and soul while practicing my spiritual gifts of love, compassion and encouragement. My goal is to inspire one girl at a time—leading them toward achievement in life. Moreover, as a mother who relishes being a parent, I often thought of the many young girls in the world, some who do not have positive role models in their lives. I thought of the many young girls who yearned for someone to care, someone to ignite their inner ambitions, someone to offer words of encouragement, I decided that someone would be me. So if that means being a role model, I gladly aspire to fill those shoes.

BPM:   Life’s greatest teacher is:
For me, life’s greatest teacher is my lord and heavenly father. I am often reminded of Psalms 32:8 which states, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”

BPM:   Success means:
Each and every one is blessed with a unique gift—a gift that shouldn’t exist hidden only in our thoughts. No matter what age you are, no matter what your gifts are, you must take the time to move toward making dreams a reality. By doing so, not only will you begin to live life with purpose but you will satisfy your heart’s desires.

BPM:   Faith allows you to:
As a parent, as a businesswoman, as a woman, there were many times throughout my journey where I had to modify my plans and utilize a great deal of flexibility. The actuality is, sometimes I cannot explain how I accomplish all that I do however I am confident it is my faith and a power greater than me that continues to propel me in the right direction.

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete?
I support younger children reading printed books. I believe the child has a greater ability to connect with the story and to absorb stimulating educational concepts especially those with beautifully crafted illustrations.  However, the goal is to encourage children to read, whatever format they choose.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
I will be discussing and signing copies of my children’s book, Mommy What is a CEO? at the upcoming 2013 Annual Legislative Conference Author Pavilion, Thursday September 19, 2013 from 5 to 7 pm. The event will be held at the Washington, DC Convention Center, The Pavilion situated in the Exhibit Showcase Hall E — Booth 521.

I am in the process of preparing for the ALHsuccesslines Success Membership Program for Girls. Membership is open to girls ages 10 and up. I am delighted to be partnering with several organizations. This program can be individualized to work with schools, church groups, Girl Scout presentations, individualized curriculums etc.

I am also coordinating a rewarding one-day conference for girls ages 9 and up called, The CEO in You…Discovering Spiritual Gifts in Girls to be held at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. Vendor and speaking opportunities are available, for more information please call 240-449-5491 or email Angela at

In the book, Mommy What is a CEO?, Faith receives a pretty pink shirt with the words Lil CEO(T) written on it. Faith absolutely fell in love with her empowering shirt and wore it proudly. Your little one will surely fall in love with her shirt also! Our shirts sold out but we had them redesigned and they look amazing! Show the world that your daughter, niece, granddaughter or friend is a future leader. To pre-order a shirt, visit

Twitter: @ALHsuccessline

Purchase Mommy What is a CEO?  by Angela L. Harris
Genre and Primary Topics Discussed: Juvenile Fiction / Girls


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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Sneak Peek: Deranged Love by Honey

Deranged Love by Honey

Blood isn’t always thicker than water, especially in matters concerning love, lust and passion. Family ties no longer bind the once close King siblings, Zach and Jay. Their desire for the same woman transforms them from loving brother and sister to bitter arch rivals. Jamaican beauty Jillian Bessette is Jay’s lover, but Zach’s uncontrollable yearning to have her over powers him; causing him to commit the ultimate act of betrayal against his flesh and blood. For his sin Jay orders a hit on her brother, but her plan for revenge backfires, and she is exposed. Her only way to avoid justice is to flee. 

In exile Jay’s hatred and resentment for Zach and Jill consumes her every waking moment. While she longs for the day of vengeance against them, they bask in the beauty of love and happiness. Zach and Jill’s new life together includes a baby boy, the product of their forbidden affair. But precious moments are cut short, overshadowed by the sins of their past. Zach is forced to send Jill and their son away to the one place he believes they’ll be safe from Jay and her threats to settle the score. But to the contrary, he delivers Jill into Jay’s hands. The two former lovers come face to face, and Jill’s nightmare begins. Helpless, Zach must place his faith in the heroics of others in a race against time to rescue Jill from the torturous clutches of Deranged Love.  

Deranged Love is the tale of an unimaginable love triangle like no other. The startling rivalry between a brother and sister over their desire for the same woman pretty much sums up this dramatic story laced with romance, suspense and eroticism.

Deranged Love Excerpt

Zach made direct contact with Jill from his seat on the witness stand where he sat tensely, sweating bullets. Kirk and Mr. Lugar had been quite thorough in preparing him for cross-examination, but Mr. Rice’s technique was far more aggressive than either of them had anticipated. He was on the warpath, and had been since he’d started questioning Zach two hours ago. He’d hammered away at his and Jay’s relationship as children, teenagers and as adults. Mr. Rice had just asked Zach to describe the circumstances surrounding his initial sexual encounter with Jill. And Zach had paused to look at his wife regretfully for the answer he was about to give. It would open up their personal life to a world of strangers who had no right to know anything about them.

“It was the latter part of August, year before last,” he stated and lifted his chin.

Mr. Rice pressed his palms flat on the wooden slab separating him and Zach and grinned. “Where was your sister?” 

“I’m not sure. She had just left my house.”

“I see,” Mr. Rice said, smiling as he adjusted the glasses on his long nose. “You pounced on your sister’s lover of four years as soon as she left your home headed back to her brand new, stressful job. Are you sure it was your first time sleeping with Ms. Bessette? You see, I find it hard to believe that she willingly fell in the sack with you only moments after Ms. King had left your house. I mean, did you court Ms. Bessette? Did you promise her anything? Did you pay her?”

Kirk was sitting directly behind the prosecutor’s table. He sent Zach message with his eyes to keep his cool, and answer the question.

“I did not pay my wife to be intimate with me.”

“She wasn’t your wife then, now was she? She was your sister’s lover. Was she not?”

“Yes, she was.”

“I didn’t hear you. I’ll ask you again. The first time you had sexual intercourse with Jillian Bessette, was she or wasn’t she your sister, Ms. Jayla King’s lover?”

“I told you already! She was Jay’s lover at the time.”

“What about the second time and third time you slept with Ms. Bessette? Wasn’t she still romantically involved with your sister?”

“No, they weren’t really involved after the first encounter Jill and I had.”

Mr. Rice faced the jury box where the seven men and five women of different races and ethnicities sat listening attentively to Zach’s testimony. “How do you know that Ms. Bessette wasn’t really romantically involved with Ms. King as you continued your secret love affair with her? Was there an official breakup? Did Ms. Bessette move out of the bedroom they were sharing in your home into another one or into yours? Explain to the judge, this fine jury and me exactly what you mean.”

“My sister was basically living at the Seven Seas hotel, and she didn’t call or visit Jill for several days. I know for a fact that after the first time my wife and I were intimate, she discontinued her sexual relationship with my sister.” Zach loosened the knot in his silk gray necktie and leaned forward.

“You most definitely would know that now, wouldn’t you? You crept around the door of their bedroom while they were making love one night, didn’t you? You became insanely jealous! You couldn’t stand that Ms. Bessette was having sex with her lover, your sister when you wanted her for yourself! You became so enraged, Mr. King that you burst into the room and stopped them!”

“That’s not how it happened,” Zach whispered, struggling to maintain his composure. “Jay didn’t tell you the whole truth.”

“Well, please enlighten us, Mr. King.” Mr. Rice inched closer to the witness stand wearing a sinister smile, taunting Zach. “This is a courtroom where truths are supposed to be revealed. We’d like to hear your truth.”

“I heard Jill screaming that night. She sounded like she was crying. She screamed, and asked Jay to leave her alone. There was fear in her voice. I tried to ignore it, but Jill kept crying like she was in pain.”

“So you entered the bedroom unannounced while your sister Ms. King and her lover Ms. Bessette were in the throes of passion? That’s a gross invasion of privacy! How dare you? What gave you that right?” 

“Don’t answer that question, Mr. King!” Mr. Lugar stood and shouted. “He’s badgering the witness, Your Honor.”

“Answer me, Mr. King! You were out of control with envy that night. Weren’t you?”

“Keep quiet Mr. King!” Mr. Lugar demanded. 

(  Continues…  )

 Copyright © 2013 by Honey.  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 Deranged Love by Honey

About the Author
Honey was born in Macon, Georgia March 7, 1968. She was educated in the Bibb County public school system and graduated from Central High School in 1986. Honey attended Florida A & M University and Fort Valley State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in history. Honey worked as a social worker in Georgia’s child welfare system for several years, advocating for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Because of health complications caused by a near fatal car accident, she was forced into early retirement in 2000.

Since then, Honey has been indulged in her two passions which are singing and creative writing. In 2011, her first novel, an urban Christian love story, was released in her formal name to much success. Her novel Deranged Love was released by G Street Chronicles to wonderful reviews on and Good Reads on August 1, 2013.
Honey is happily married to her husband of nearly nine years. Together they are raising their young son in McDonough, Georgia.

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Monica Cost

The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!
How to Live an Authentic Life with Awesome Sensations
by Monica Cost

“The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!  by Monica D. Cost  is a self exploration book on defining your personal truth and living an authentic life; aesthetically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, professionally and parentally. Using the comparison of Monica’s own love of the sensation of sneezing, to that of “sensations” sought after in life, readers are taken on a journey of self discovery, beginning with the identification of desires and understanding of personal values, to live the most authentic, purposeful and fulfilled life possible.

Intimate Conversation with Monica Cost

Brand Strategist, Author and Speaker Monica Cost, knows all too well what it feels like to be stuck, have regret and to be overwhelmed with the noise of external expectations and labels. From her profession to her relationship, Monica’s finances to her spirituality, it was all closing in. Chasing the ever elusive status of “successful” and coveted societal labels became exhausting. She quit her job, made a change in her relationship, explored her spirituality, dug into her emotional wounds, started living beneath her means and otherwise making every life decision according to her discovered personal values. She ventured! She gained! She is free!

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!: How to Live an Authentic Life with Awesome Sensations  is a book that takes readers on a journey of self discovery and leads them to a life free of future regret. The book addresses one’s authentic truth regarding appearance, spirituality, relationships, finances, profession, emotional baggage and parenting. Readers become unstuck and well on their way to true freedom and fulfillment.
BPM:  Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
Living your most authentic life. Because for so long I lived the facade of being successful, fulfilled, spiritually sound, emotionally healed, happy in my relationship and professionally satisfied when I was struggling to identify and portray the real me.

BPM:  What drew you to tackle the topics in your book?
The hundreds of people that I interviewed and met who are struggling everyday with escaping the label chase. Statistics continue to show people’s dissatisfaction with their lives. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can live fulfilled starting now.

BPM:   Who does your body of literary work speak to?
My work speaks to people of all ages who are interested in living their most fulfilled life, according to their own values and free from regret.

BPM:   How has your writing evolved?
My writing has evolved into a more relatable body of work with proven how tos on living a fulfilled life.

BPM:   Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
My greatest accomplishment as a writer, to date, has been the number of emails and phone calls that I receive from people whose lives have been changed by the book.

BPM:   Do you consider yourself a role model?
Yes! I am delighted to be walking the talk of authentic living. By example and through speaking, I am leading people to a more fulfilled life with less regret.

BPM:   Life’s greatest teacher is:

BPM:   Success means:
For me it means, making every decision based upon my core values in every area of my life.

BPM:   Faith allows you to:
take risks and live fully.

BPM:   Criticism makes you:
aware of things to consider.

BPM:   The greatest threat to literary freedom is:

fear of expression.

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete?
I relish the thought. Maybe.

BPM:   What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers?

BPM:   How may readers connect with you online?
BPM:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I am producing and hosting The L.Y.T.E. (live your truth experience) Talk Show based upon the theme of the book in Winter of 2014.

Twitter: @monicacost
FaceBook: Monica Hairston Cost

Purchase The Things I Used to do to Sneeze!
Primary Topics: Self Help on living your most authentic life free from regret

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


Intimate Conversation with Wayne Dawkins

Wayne Dawkins is author of three books, “City Son”, “Rugged Waters” and “The NABJ Story.”  He is subject of a chapter in “Out of the News”  by Celia Wexler  and “My First Year as a Journalist” by Dianne Selditch.

Dawkins wrote three dozen entries media, music, inventors and sports figures for six encyclopedias. Dawkins is an associate professor at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. Before that he was a reporter, editor, editorial writer and columnist for daily newspapers in New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Dawkins is founding editor of the Black Alumni Network newsletter [Columbia University].

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book?
WD: “City Son: Andrew W. Cooper’s impact on Modern-Day Brooklyn.” This biography covers Cooper’s 1960s voting rights activism that was responsible for the election of Shirley Chisholm to Congress. In the 1970s Cooper [1927-2002] was a political columnist for the Amsterdam news and at the end of the decade established Trans Urban News Service in Brooklyn.

In the 1980s Cooper and Utrice Leid launched the City Sun, a feisty Brooklyn-based weekly that covered Mayor Ed Koch, Rev. Al Sharpton, Spike Lee and hot-button topics including Howard Beach, Tawana Brawley and the Crown Heights riot.

BPM:  Which character or topic in the book can you identify with the most? Why?
WD: I’m the biographer and I strived to tell Cooper’s story with integrity. Explain his coming of age, his courage and contradictions, but most of all the huge imprint Cooper left on his hometown Brooklyn. Cooper’s institutional memory, advocacy and trenchant analysis contributed profoundly to the dynamic Brooklyn that exists today.

I identify with Cooper because I was his apprentice. I worked for him at Trans Urban News Service in the 1970s. His widow Jocelyn tasked me to write the biography. She gave me full access to AWC’s papers.

BPM:   How has your writing evolved?
WD: My research and sourcing improves with each book [this is my third]. With age I strive harder to connect with readers and make the narrative simple, direct and compelling.

BPM:   Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
WD: My first book, “Black Journalists: The NABJ Story,” which I self-published in 1993 and updated in 1997. I confirmed the identities of the 44 founders of the National Association of Black Journalists and remains the seminal account of the association. A few Ph.ds are working on dissertations based on my work.

BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete?
WD: I hope not. The tablet era is established. Print still matters, whether the delivery system is pixels or paper. There should still be room for bound, paper books for the consumers who want them. I love paper. I expect to crease, highlight and mark up pages. I even talk back to books and write replies in the margins.

BPM:   How may readers connect with you online?
WD:  Readers can visit me at my author’s page on, or at, or Email:

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors


OUR SONS by Diane A. Sears

Diane A. Sears
Fourteen years ago, immediately after the launch of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R), something very profound happened.  I began receiving letters from young men — Our Sons.  Their letters enclosed brilliantly crafted essays and soulful poems.  They asked me to publish them.  And I did.  
In exchange for their essay or poem, they received a free copy of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R).  A number of these young men continued to send essays and poems.  And they sent letters.  These were young men — Our Sons — from, among other places,  New York, California, Michigan, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana. 

So, what was profound about receiving poetry, essays, and letters from these young men?  Each letter had a similar introductory sentence: “I am 23 and I have been incarcerated since I was 18.  Will you publish my essay?  Can I get a free copy of your publication? “ or “I am 28 and I have been incarcerated since I was 16. I’m sending you a poem I’d like you to publish.” 

Many of these young Men — Our Sons are fathers — fathers of daughters and sons.
 They do not tell me how or why they embarked upon a path that led them to a maximum security correctional facility.  Nor do I ask.    But I do have questions:   What is going on with Our Sons?  What is going on in Our Sons’ homes, schools, and communities?  And how do we fix whatever is going on that is driving Our Sons down the path to prison with all deliberate speed? 

On the whole, when Our Sons are born, they emerge from the womb with unbridled energy, insatiable curiosity, and irrepressible  enthusiasm. They are playful, resilient, and incessantly asking questions.  And then unexplainably, for some of Our Sons — “the lights go out”.  They no longer soak up knowledge like a sponge.  Gone is the bright smile that once illuminated their faces.  Their eyes no longer sparkle.  So, again I ask the question:  What is going on at home .. .. . at school . .. . and in our communities? 
Our Sons — including Our Sons who are housed in juvenile and adult correctional facilities — want and need to know what every soul in the global village we know as Planet Earth wants to know:  Do you hear me?  Do you see me?  Do I matter?   
Perhaps one of the key “pieces of the puzzle” to preventing the “lights from going out” in the spirit and souls of Our Sons and keeping them out of juvenile and adult correctional facilities is to tell them in words and deeds — every day — “I hear you!  I see you!  And yes, you do matter  You matter because you are the heart and soul of the village.  You matter because you are the future of the Village.  You matter because one day you are going to be a leader In the village.  You matter because one day you are going to be someone’s husband . . . someone’s Father . . .  Yes, you matter . . . and you are loved!” 

Diane A. Sears –  Twitter:  @DASears


2013 International Men’s Day – United States Coordinator 

Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men’s Studies Program at Akamai University 

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Sneak Peek: Somewhere Between Here and There by Jason Gilmore

Somewhere Between Here and There
by Jason Gilmore

Somewhere Between Here and There is the story of Corey Oakley and Melissa Forrester, headstrong teenagers who meet and bond over their desire to escape life in mid-1990s Toledo, Ohio, where twin traps of violence or complacency await them at every turn. As Jason Gilmore chronicles the mercurial but genuine progression of their unlikely friendship across colleges, states and relationships, he creates an engaging portrait of religion, sex, ambition, loyalty, adulthood and the cost of dreams. Somewhere Between Here and There is one of the most dazzling coming-of-age novels to emerge in recent American literature.

Excerpt from Somewhere Between Here and There

It was the longest quick trip of my life. But I was calm all the way there: across 80 East through Ohio, skirting the perimeter of bumpy, useless West Virginia, detouring before the frenzied DC beltway. But there was something about actually arriving on campus – about seeing all the fresh faces and impending freedom – that made me realize I had to ditch my dad.

“That’s pretty much it,” he said. I guessed I should’ve been more appreciative, since he’d carried all my crap up to the third floor and down the hall pretty much by himself. Not to mention that he’d driven me there in the first place.

“Yeah,” I said, hoping he’d get the hint, “it is.”

“Sure you don’t need anything else?” he said. “It’s gonna take you a while to unpack and get everything set up.”

“No, that’s okay,” I said. I opened the front door, thinking it might be helpful.

“Make sure you get this cleared out by the time your roommate gets here. You know what I always tell you about first impressions.”

“Okay, Dad.” I grabbed his arm and guided him towards the door. “My roommate won’t be here until the fall.”

“Melissa, if I can speak on your mom’s behalf, we’re both very proud of you. You’ve been such a good daughter.”

Now he wanted to turn this into an after school special. And when did he ever speak on Mom’s behalf? Christ, why hadn’t he left yet??

“Dad, thank you. But you’ve got a long drive ahead of you. You need to get back on the road.”?He gave me this puzzled look, like he didn’t know he was leaving. He looked out the window. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”?

I hugged and kissed him. He probably thought I was going to walk him to the car. I didn’t. I hurt him, probably, I was sure. But he was a parent. Wasn’t the first time, wouldn’t be the last. I couldn’t linger there, there was too much to do. And Toledo had wasted enough of my time.

I spent 18 years as a larva. It was time to become a butterfly.

It was like I finally learned how to breathe. Or like I already knew how to breathe but couldn’t, and someone saw me writhing on the shore and tossed me back into the ocean. That summer, Virginia might have been the loveliest place on earth. The leaves on the trees were particular shades of green and red that I had never seen before and never knew existed. Students of countless races milled in and out of Neo-classically designed buildings. The sun was radiant, but merciful. Slight breezes swept through unannounced. Though the campus was barely occupied, the student union buzzed. My fellow freshmen staggered about, exuberant but raw, like newborn colts. They played pool, yelled over the Michael Jackson song on the jukebox, exchanged phone numbers. We just didn’t have these kind of outlets back home. Where else could I meet a girl like Rodricka Hughes? Army brat, graduated first in her class in Richmond, fluent in German, obsessed with Aaliyah like me. Who in my Toledo inner circle was going to introduce me to a guy like Phil Brand? White and freckled and a biochemistry major, who had already interned as a radiologic technologist at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital? These people were more interesting than most of the people I went to high school with after only ten minutes of conversation. The loud, black girl with the New York accent over by the southeast pool table, for example.

( Continued…   )

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

Meet the Author
Jason Gilmore
was born and raised on the west side of Toledo, Ohio and educated at the University of Pittsburgh. His writing has appeared in Gadfly, at Turner Classic Movies’ and VH-1’s His short films have aired on national television and at numerous film festivals. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

Genre: Literary fiction, Coming-of-age

Paperback link:

Kindle link:

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Francis Ray’s Legacy Lives On – All That I Desire by Francis Ray

Francis Ray’s  Legacy Lives On
All That I Desire by Francis Ray
Available Nationwide  October 29, 2013

New York Times bestselling author Francis Ray turns up the heat in this sizzling Grayson Friends novel about a woman’s life, liberty…and pursuit of passion.

Nothing can stop a woman like Skylar Dupree once she makes up her mind. Defying her family and leaving law school, she’s landed her dream job as an event director at the prestigious Navarone Resorts and Spas in Arizona. It’s all that Skylar’s ever desired—until she sees Rio Sanchez, the resort’s head of security and Blade Navarone’s own personal bodyguard. He’s the sexiest, most striking man she’s ever met.

When Skylar starts planning a huge charity auction at the resort, it’s Rio’s job to keep an eye on the prized art she collects from donors. Though he’s not blind to Skylar’s beauty, Rio is nothing if not professional—and he refuses to make a move. But when a mysterious stranger enters the picture—and puts Skylar’s life in danger—Rio attempts to protect her…only to be told, in no uncertain terms, that Skylar is capable of taking care of herself. Her brazen independence is enough to drive Rio crazy…with desire. Could it be that the strong, hard-hearted Rio has finally met his match?

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

 Skylar Dupree wasn’t the risk-taking type, but neither was she the type of woman to falter once she’d made up her mind. The only other time in her twenty-six years she dared do anything remotely defying tradition was leaving law school. Yet that had been more for self-preservation. Her parents were pragmatic; she tended to be more easygoing and laid-back.

Skylar paused on the curved stone staircase of the thirty-five-room castle. Easygoing wasn’t going to cut it this time, not if she wanted to grab Rio’s attention.

Just the thought sent her heart rate skittering out of control. Rio could look straight through you with hard, unblinking black eyes. He exuded danger. Nothing seemed to bother him. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him smile, and those times had been when he was with his closest friends, Blade and Shane. As far as Skylar knew, he’d never bestowed upon anyone else a smile, let alone his laughter.

The task she’d chosen for herself was scary. Since Shane’s marriage, Rio was head of security for Blade’s business as well as Blade’s personal bodyguard. Even Rio’s security team had a healthy fear of the man reported to be deadlier than a viper, and just as stealthy. She’d heard one of his men refer to him as “smoke” because of his elusiveness.

Skylar had flown in that Sunday afternoon from Navarone Resorts and Spas’s headquarters to go over the final preparations for a charity auction and ball to benefit the Music Department of St. John’s College, where Mrs. Grayson was chair. The auction was two weeks away. The big draw to get the right people to come was that the auction would be held in Navarone Castle, near Santa Fe, a place heretofore off limits to anyone but close family and friends.

Much had been speculated about the home of the billionaire, which had a real moat, a working drawbridge, a helipad, and a lake. Sierra, Blade’s wife, might have owned the castle before her marriage, but Blade ensured their privacy by buying up all the surrounding property within fifty miles. You might get on the property, but with its constant patrols, you were quickly escorted off, which gave Navarone Castle even more of an air of mystique.

Continuing down the stairs with her iPad clutched to her chest, Skylar stepped into the comfortable great room. Sitting in sky-blue leather chairs and love seats were Blade, Sierra, and her mother on one side. On the other were Shane and his wife, Paige. Rio, arms folded, standing by the immense stone fireplace, glanced up. Her heart did a fast jitterbug.

Rio looked incredibly handsome in a long-sleeved white shirt with the cuffs rolled back to show strong wrists. He had a silver watch on one arm and a wide silver band on the other. His jeans delineated the long, sleek muscles of his thighs and made Skylar’s mouth dry.

In Tucson he’d always worn tailored clothes, the same as Blade. Here, Rio was more casual. The curly black hair she’d dreamed of running her fingers through was held at the base of his neck with a silver clip. His bronzed, hard body was honed to perfection.

There was nothing in his midnight-black eyes that indicated he desired or felt anything at all for her. Skylar stared back at the flat eyes that seemed to see right through her and stiffened her spine.

One day he’d look at her with desire.

“Hi, Skylar.” Sierra rose from her seat and went to greet Skylar. “I’m sorry we weren’t here to meet you.”

“That’s all right.” Skylar smiled. She and Sierra had hit it off immediately. “I enjoyed looking around the castle again. You have a beautiful home.”

“Thanks.” Sierra glanced back at Blade. “We like it.”

Skylar’s smile increased. One place she’d bet was off limits was the grotto downstairs that was Sierra and Blade’s secret place.

“Please have a seat.” Sierra took the other woman’s arm. “Can I get you anything?”

“No, thank you.” Skylar greeted everyone as she took a leather chair. Everyone spoke. Rio nodded.

“Is everything going as planned?” Ruth asked.

Skylar knew Ruth could have asked that question earlier, but hadn’t. Mrs. Grayson also didn’t let on she’d seen or talked with Skylar before. She smiled her thanks.

“Yes, Mrs. Grayson. In fact, we’re ahead of schedule. As planned, the auction will be by invitation only. Thanks to Lance’s help, a printed color catalog with the starting bid for each item has already been sent out.”

“Good thing,” Sierra interjected. “Because he and Fallon are off on their honeymoon.”

“Still discussing if she’ll be able to go scuba diving due to her pregnancy.” Blade glanced at Sierra. “She’s almost as strong-willed as another woman I know.”

“Aren’t you and Lance the lucky ones?” Sierra grinned and kissed Blade on the cheek.

Skylar cut a sideways glance at Rio. His arms remained crossed, his gaze somewhere over her head. He wasn’t going to make this easy. Back to the business at hand.

“I personally called everyone to ensure they received the catalog and still plan to attend.” Skylar pulled out the guest list and stood to give it to Rio. “This week, four of the invitees asked if they could bring a guest. It was to be expected that some would ignore the one-month time limit to invite a guest. I know you’d want to check the people out before I committed.”

He crossed to her in his effortless stride that reminded her of a stalking cat. Long, lean fingers took the list without looking at it. “Thank you.” His voice held no inflection.

Trying not to sigh, Skylar retook her seat. She needn’t have bothered wearing a tangerine-colored dress that complemented her complexion and hazel eyes. However, she wasn’t giving up.

“The items will be arriving by special courier or delivery service starting Tuesday. I’ll be here to check and sign them in. I’ll return each day until we have all the items in place,” Skylar told them. “We’ve already selected the room where they’ll be displayed.”

“That’s too much trouble,” Sierra said. “It would be easier and make more sense if you stay here.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Blade said.

“I couldn’t,” Skylar said, surprised by the invitation. While they were planning the auction, she’d always flown in and out of Santa Fe.

“We have plenty of guest rooms.” Sierra leaned against Blade. His arm immediately circled her slim shoulders. “We’re leaving for a new Navarone property in the morning; you’re welcome to stay here.”

Skylar didn’t know what to say. She was very aware that a lot of trust had gone into the invitation. If Rio stayed, she might run into him more. The thought had no more than materialized when she discarded it. She was not going to impose on Blade and Sierra’s kindness to go after Rio.

“It won’t be any trouble,” Skylar finally said. “I don’t mind the trip.”

“We won’t take no for an answer,” Blade told her.

“You’re staying and that’s final,” Sierra said firmly as if the matter was settled.

“Please.” Ruth leaned forward in her seat. “What you’re doing is to help my Music Department. We’ll benefit from your hard work. I’ll always be thankful. You could have passed when I asked if you had any ideas on how to raise funds. You didn’t. You even offered to take vacation time to help.”

“I appreciated the professionalism, but as I said then when you mentioned what you would be doing, using your vacation time won’t be necessary,” Blade said, his gaze direct.

Sierra patted his knee. “He’s even gotten over being a little miffed that you thought you had to ask. He forgot all men are not as wonderful as he is.”

Blade smiled at his wife, then Skylar, and she breathed a bit easier. She well remembered the harsh look on his face that day in his office. She hoped never again to see it directed at her and remained silent.

“Stay,” Blade said. “It would make up for my poor behavior.”

Blade wasn’t above apologizing. He just seldom had to. Shane had a grin on his face as he held Paige’s hand. No one had to tell Skylar that Blade’s love for Sierra and hers for her mother were the reasons behind the apology.

Skylar recalled Ruth’s words, No man should walk alone. Her gaze went to Ruth again as she wondered if she was trying to give Skylar a gentle push in Rio’s direction.

But as Blade’s bodyguard, he went with him everywhere or was at least nearby. Was he staying this time? She had her answer seconds later.

“To ensure the auction pieces remain safe, Rio is staying,” Blade told her.

“I should be going with you.” Rio unfolded his arms, his attention on Blade and Sierra.

Sierra lifted both hands in a fighter’s stance. “Don’t worry, Rio. I promise to take down anyone who looks suspicious.”

Shane was the only one who laughed. He ignored his wife’s nudge.

“You checked out the island; the men there were trained by you or Shane. You and Shane made sure my name is buried so no one outside the company knows we own the property,” Blade reminded him. “From the vantage point on the island you can see a boat miles away. We’ll be safe.”

“That’s why I should be there—to make sure.”

“I want you here.” Blade rose to his feet and went to Rio. “This is important to Mrs. Grayson. There’s some valuable merchandise coming. I trust you to ensure it’s kept safe.”

Rio remained silent. Skylar’s eyes and everyone else’s were on Rio and Blade. No one, absolutely no one—outside of Sierra—went against Blade’s orders. She sensed Rio might be the second. Protecting Blade and Sierra was more than a job to him.

Shane went to the two men. “I’ll fly down with them and check it out.”

Rio’s gaze slowly tracked to Shane’s and stayed there for a long moment before returning to Blade. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll begin checking on the list.”

Skylar blew out a breath as Rio’s long strides took him from the room and up the stairs to the command center on the second floor of the castle’s front wing.

“You shouldn’t tease him,” Ruth said to Sierra.

“Who said I was teasing?” Sierra lifted innocent eyes to her mother.

Ruth shook her head once, then stood and pulled a set of keys from the pocket of her denim skirt. “Come on, Skylar. I’ll drive you to your hotel to get your things.”

Sierra stood, her arm going around her mother’s waist. “Since I’ve seen how Skylar packs, I’ll send a driver with the SUV.”

Ruth smiled at Sierra, then Skylar. “She likes clothes as much as you do.”

“You never know what you might need.” Sierra spoke to Skylar. “We’ll wait dinner for you.”

Skylar smiled. Sierra and her mother weren’t taking no for an answer. “I graciously accept. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

*   *   *

In less than fifteen minutes Skylar had checked out of the Casa de Serenidad Hotel. Thank goodness she had been so anxious to get to the castle that she hadn’t begun to unpack. Outside, she climbed into the SUV, and they headed back to Navarone Castle.

Skylar wasn’t the impatient type, but she was anxious to get back. She wondered if Rio ate with his men or Blade and Sierra. Everyone had someone, except him. But he didn’t seem to need anyone. He certainly wasn’t afraid to speak his mind—to anyone.

“Back again,” the driver said, startling Skylar out of her deep thoughts.

“Thank you.” She got out of the vehicle and walked to the back. She almost winced at the amount of luggage being unloaded. Besides the large trunk, she’d brought five large suitcases. It had taken her weeks to decide what to wear in the hope that Rio would stop looking through her and be just a little bit interested. With him staying and checking in the merchandise with her daily, it might just happen.

“Mrs. Navarone instructed me where to place your luggage. Please, go on in.”

“Thank you again, Jefferson.” Skylar picked up her overnight kit.

“I can take that as well.” The driver closed the back. “Don’t worry, Eli is sending someone to help. Besides, we’re both used to helping Mrs. Navarone load and unload for trips.”

Skylar placed the case on the stone driveway and laughed. “That’s very kind of you. Thank you.”

The driver tipped his hat. “No problem.”

Skylar went up the steps and rang the doorbell. There was a key pad for a code, but she didn’t know it.

The door opened. Eli Patterson, the house manager, stood there in his black suit, freshly starched white shirt, and shiny leather shoes. Of medium height, he had a lined, fatherly face and a balding head.

“Hello, Mr. Patterson,” Skylar greeted.

“Hello, Ms. Dupree. I’ll assist with your luggage,” he told her. “Mr. Navarone asked that you see him in his office as soon as you returned. This way.”

Unsure of what was going on, she followed the house manager past the wide foyer, then left to an arched door at least fifteen feet tall. Opening the door, he stepped aside.

Thanking him, she entered the office, an immense room lined with bookshelves, a fireplace, and tall windows with silk burgundy draperies. On the slate floor were handwoven area rugs. Blade sat behind an antique mahogany desk with ball-and-claw feet. Her eyes narrowed on seeing Shane and Rio standing on either side of him.

“Thank you for coming, Skylar. Please have a seat.” Blade indicated the chair in front of his desk.

Skylar sat down in the straight-back chair, upholstered in a deeper shade of burgundy than the curtains, demurely crossed her legs, and placed her clutch in her lap. She’d learned not to jump to conclusions just because she was summoned by Blade, and not to ask questions.

“One of the men on the list you gave Rio is Sherman Tennyson, a venture capitalist. Several months ago, Tennyson used my name to entice backers into buying property. The deal folded.” Blade’s black eyes hardened. “A lot of good men lost money. Tennyson put the word out that it was my fault.”

“No.” Skylar’s voice was barely above a whisper as she placed her hand on her galloping heart. People who made huge mistakes at Navarone were out the door.

Shane picked up the story. “Blade has been able to overcome the lies, but Tennyson lost a lot of his credibility, along with money he could ill afford to let go.”

Blade’s fist clenched on top of his desk. “Tennyson hates my guts, and the feeling is mutual.”

Skylar came to her feet. “Mr. Navarone, I just checked to ensure he had the funds to purchase if he chose. I apologize.”

Blade waved her apology aside. “There’s no need. You foiled Tennyson’s plan.” He leaned back in his chair, the sides of his mouth kicking up. “You didn’t just okay the names as he probably expected because the auction is in two weeks and he has money. Instead you had the foresight to give Rio the list of names before committing. You did well.”

“I agree,” Shane said. “Good thinking.”

From Rio there was nothing. Trying to keep from looking at him, she retook her seat. “Should I call Mr. Hampton, the man who had asked if Tennyson could attend?”

Blade’s smile was like the sharp edge of a knife. “I’ll take care of it. That’s all.”

Eternally thankful she wasn’t the unfortunate man, Skylar came to her feet. “I’ll go change for dinner. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye,” Blade and Shane said.

She told herself not to turn, but a force stronger than her will had her glancing over her shoulder at Rio to see if there might be a spark of admiration. She saw nothing but eyes devoid of warmth. Unconsciously she narrowed hers before turning to leave the room.

Stubborn man! He might not know it, but he’d only made her more determined!

 ( Continued…   )

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

Purchase All That I Desire by Francis Ray
Series: Grayson Friends Series- Book #10



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Francis Ray passed away on July 2, 2013. She was a native Texan and lived in Dallas. A graduate of Texas Woman’s University. In 1999 and 2000 she was nominated for Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumni Award. She was honored to give the 2010 winter commencement address. Ms. Ray’s titles consistently make bestseller’s lists such as Blackboard and Essence Magazine. INCOGNITO, her sixth title, was the first made-for-TV movie for BET.  She has written fifty-four titles to date, view here. 

Awards include Romantic Times Career Achievement, EMMA, The Golden Pen, The Atlantic Choice, and Borders 2008 Romance Award for Bestselling Multicultural Romance. IF YOU WERE MY MAN was selected as Written magazine Book of the Year.THE TURNING POINT, her first mainstream, was a finalist for the prestigious HOLT Medallion Award.

At the release event for THE TURNING POINT in May 2001, she established The Turning Point Legal Fund to assist women of domestic violence to help restructure their lives.

Riveting emotion and charismatic scenes made Ms. Ray’s books captivating year after year!  Ms. Francis Ray will have five titles released in 2013. First up was her 50th book ALL I EVER WANTED,  then a eBook ALL OF MY LOVE.  Next is AFTER THE DAWN and  ALL THAT I NEED.  She ends the year with one of the most requested incredible men in the Graysons series, Rio Sanchez in ALL THAT I DESIRE, October 29, 2013.

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Sept. 22 – BAN Radio National Discussion on Assata Shakur

National Discussion on Assata Shakur

Sunday Night, September 22, 2013 at 8-10:00 pm EST

Join the conversation by calling into the show:  (646) 200-0402


The National Discussion on Assata Shakur will be held Sunday Night, September 22, 2013 moderated by bestselling author Victoria Christopher Murray,  co-hosted by Linda Chavis  and  Deborah Burton-Johnson founder of Turning Pages Book Club.

Assata Olugbala Shakur, as JoAnne Deborah Byron, married name Chesimard is an African-American activist and escaped prisoner who was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army.

Assata Shakur was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, becoming the first woman ever to make the list. In addition, the state of New Jersey announced it was adding $1 million to the FBI’s $1 million reward for her capture. She was convicted in the May 2, 1973, killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shootout that left one of her fellow activists dead. She was shot twice by police during the incident. In 1979, she managed to escape from jail. Shakur fled to Cuba, where she received political asylum. Shakur has long proclaimed her innocence and accused federal authorities of political persecution.

Call into the BAN Radio discussion to learn more about Assata Shakur and the case that still strikes a chord with many.  Read more about her story, told in her words:

Join the conversation by calling into the show to share your opinions at:  (646) 200-0402  or join the other guests in the BAN Radio Show Chatroom:

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


September 25 – Turn Your Mishaps Into a Ministry

You are invited to a special BAN Radio Presentation

Turn Your Mishaps Into a Ministry
Wednesday,  September 25 at 8-10pm EST

Join Us Here:

“If hurt people, hurt people, then healed people can heal people.”

GIVING BUILDS SUCCESS!  There are many people in need of  of love.  They might be looking for this love and compassion in words or deeds. Sometimes all a person needs is the lending of a hand or a sound example to follow.  BAN Radio Show and  producer Ella Curry want to bring people together from all walks of life, that have answered the call of giving.  Our speakers will share their journey and personal knowledge as a way to support hurting people.  You will meet authors, business owners, social change agents, survivors,  educators and more!

We invite you to join the monthly panel discussions to share your stories of triumph and survival too!  Call into the radio programs to speak up and out!  You may not feel that you are the one to mentor or minister to others, but you never know.  Your testimony might heal a hurt person.  Your struggle might eliminate the pain in someone else”s future.  Haruki Murakami says “What happens when people open their hearts…They get better.”

When people have hurts and trials in their lives, they tend to work on resolving them by focusing on what went wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with asking this question, but more importantly we want people to seek ways to resolve the issues!   We firmly believe that investing in our BAN community is the key to creating success for our listeners.  If we can help a few, we can save many! 

Lasting change can only be achieved when people have access to both knowledge and resources.  We bring you people who are not just “talking the talk” but have been through the darkness and are now living in sunshine!

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…” 

― Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight


Call in to speak with Ella and the other speakers:  (646) 200-0402
Share the BAN Radio show page with readers:

8:00- 8:20pm  –  Kimberla Lawson Roby (Surviving the death of a parent and maintaining a career.)

8:20- 8:30pm  – Denise Johnson (How business owners and families can benefit from Legal Shield.)

8:30- 9:00pm  –  D.A. Rhodes (Surviving child molestation or domestic violence)

9:00- 9:15pm  –  Naleighna Kai (Raising a young black man and caring for a ill parent)

9:15- 9:30pm  –  Mahogany Law (Surviving and thriving after breaking the ties that bind)

9:30- 9:45pm  –  KS Oliver  (How to handle being diagnosed with 5 diseases and Lupus before the age of 30)

9:45- 10:15pm  –   Nikole Morgan (Surviving teen sons being incarcerated)

Join the BAN Radio Show Chatroom Guests, by clicking here.


“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart.

But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Intimate Conversation with Poet Timothy Tobias Sanders

The Works Volume 1 & 2: Book of Poetry 
by Tim Sanders

In The Works Volume 1 & 2, author Tim Sanders talks about love, friendship, heartache, and the gritty realities of life. He makes use of free verse in poetic narratives that contain almost the same lilting tone as those with rhyme. His poetry flows with his words, allowing readers to experience the emotions that are interwoven in each piece. At times rambling but in an earnest and candid way, The Works Volume 1 & 2 not only reveals the author’s raw thoughts but also his views and insights on love, life and everything in between.

Timothy Tobias Sanders
is the youngest of five children and grew up in Atlanta, GA with his father, mother, two older brothers, and two older sisters. Timothy attended Florida A&M and has made his career in the area of catering and hospitality. Timothy has always been a lover of poetry and has been inspired to write since his years as a teenager. Timothy continues to be inspired by the events of his life as well as local, national, and global events that have affected him or those around him in some way. Timothy currently calls Smyrna, GA his home and is the father of three beautiful children. Timothy can be reached at:

Intimate Conversation with Timothy Tobias Sanders

BPM:  Were there any incidents in your life that made you want to write?
I started writing in high school, it was a way I could escape. High school was a hard time in my life, so writing allowed me to fantasize about what my life could be.

BPM:  Can you describe when you first realized that your writing was something you absolutely had to publish? 
I was living in Sedona, AZ and this is when I found people who did what they were passionate about without the the fear of failure and whether or not they were going to get paid for it. But they knew that following their dreams that they will be taken care of so here is when I begin to write to be published, and here was the first time my poetry was heard.

BPM:   Please introduce us to your current book. What topics are discussed in this book? 
My current book The Works Volume 1 & 2, is just that. The works means you get a little bit of everything that was on my mind at the time.  I discuss love on different levels.  In Talk to Me I talk about having a busy life and not letting that life stop us from loving.  In Fragile it’s about honoring the relationship. Show Me the Road is about suicide.  Trendy is about social issues and Don’t Give Up is about keeping your dreams alive.

BPM:  What does being creative means to you? 
Being creative to means being able to express yourself in a way that it gets your point across as well as open the minds of someone to explore their creativity.

BPM:  Do you have a writing group or community of writers you work with?
No.  Not because I wouldn’t like to belong to a group, but working takes a lot of my time.

BPM:  What author or poet has the most influence on your writing? Please talk about that  influence and how it shape your writing now? 
The author I’m most influenced by is not a poet,he’s James Redfield. While in Sedona I read Celestine Prophecy this book open a channel in my mind that I didn’t know I had. After reading this book my poetry writing began to take on a more in touch feel, as if I was writing to someone.

BPM:  What legacy do you wish to leave future generations or readers?
The legacy I wish to leave future readers is that you don’t have to be famous to have something to say,and that by saying it the very thing you wanted to cause attention to gets the light shed on it that you were looking for.

Contact the poet at:

Purchase The Works Volume 1 & 2  here:–2.aspx

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Featured Authors

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