RSS

Monthly Archives: July 2014

FIRST GLIMPSE: Taming the Female Impostor Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity

Taming The Female Impostor
Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity

A Beginners Guide by Dr. Sherine Vie

Plus: Your Free Life Profile to track your life and restore balance and bliss.

An intriguing book of fable and wisdom that is guaranteed to first shock you and then quickly  inspire you, as you dive into the story.  The fascinating characters in the book, first discover the root cause of their problems, then embark on overcoming them, as they find, and use the fifteen Magical tools within the Book of Secrets.  You too can benefit from the powerful yet practical tools.

* Make a difference in your life, in your family, community, nation and the world.

* Enjoy amazing intimacy and trust with  your partner, and in  your relationships at any age.

* Be your child’s mentor and trusted friend for life and discover the secret to prevent bullying & teen crime.

* Eat right foods at the right time to stabilize emotions, shape your body & enhance health naturally.

* Uncover the unknown secrets to master friendships.

* Work and succeed in the best job of  your life at any age.

* Discover how to deal with the death of loved ones.

* Discover what to do when everything that can go wrong does!

* Finally de-stress and unwind right in  your own surroundings.

* Age gracefully & enjoy peace of mind as you become a senior.


Even before you get Taming The Female Impostor Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity, take advantage of the special gift – The Great Rescue Adventure!

Dr. Sherine Vie has created a free 5-part series to help you to relax, and energize and learn about the Express Life Scale to track your life potential.  You can immediately put the ELS into practice in your daily life. Find out where you score on the Life Scale, and how close you are to rescuing yourself, your family, and your communities, and even your nation and ultimately the world. Rank others on the Express Life Scale  and learn how to interact with them based on their Express Life Scale rank.  Try out the Express Life Scale, go here: http://drvie.com/express-life-scale-info

Taming the Female Impostor  teaches you step by step how to up your score on the Life Scale!  Watch The Video for the inside scoop:  http://youtu.be/vsDB9B4i7_U

First Chapter from Taming The Female Impostor

Ch 1. Who Do You Think You Are?

At 29,000 feet above sea level, the tranquility of the Great Himalayas took Shakti’s breath away. She had waited twenty-five years for this day, for this moment. She had been preparing her whole life for this feeling, this state of being one with her true Self.

The tiny Indian woman, slender at 45kg (99 lbs.) and barely five feet tall, perched her body cross-legged on the bare rock surrounded by an expanse of virgin snow. She drank in the beauty around her, became mindful, lowered her eyelids, and took in a deep breath through her nostrils. She held it as she focused the energy on her third eye. In that moment of silence and super-consciousness, she was one with her true identity. She became a witness of her past life and the future.

As quickly as her roller-coaster past sped before her, the future shone so brightly that it startled her delicate frame. She opened her eyes briefly, took in another deep breath, and started to soar into the oneness of the eternal existence as she began to meditate in the home of the gods and goddesses, the land of her roots. She was blissfully peaceful.

It was only last week that she was in Australia, the country of her birth, spending a quiet Sunday afternoon with her dearest mother. Shakti had not been home for ten years. While sitting at the cozy dining table, she was startled when she said something aloud. It seemed as if the words were pouring out of her being. Once the words were spoken, she knew what was going to happen. Been there, done that! She had experienced that sensation hundreds of times before. . . .

When Shakti was a little girl growing up in Melbourne, she often experienced moments where she would say certain words without much control over what she was saying. It would seem as if someone else were saying those words through her. Strangely enough, within a few months, the very words that she had spoken, like a premonition, would turn into reality. As she grew into a young woman, the time between what she said and it happening became shorter and shorter. Eventually she learned to pay closer attention to the power of her words.

So when she casually said, “Mom, we should go to India,” Shakti’s mother was not at all surprised. Parvathi was quite used to her only child’s adventurous spirit. As her mother, Parvathi had partaken of so many of her child’s amazing experiences around the planet, and she could sense that yet another was unfolding.

Within a week, the Boeing was landing in Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, carrying two excited women on board. Their next adventure had begun. They were in India, among over a billion people.

As Shakti sank into deep meditation high in the Himalayas, images of women, children, babies, and the elderly from around the world entered her vision. Their wretched faces were lined with tears and wrinkled with pain. She could feel their emotions, their profound hurt, and their desperate desire for change, for hope, and for salvation. She shuddered at times as the images became stronger, closer, and clearer. Mothers were carrying babies on their hips, sobbing from hunger and dying of disease.

Young girls who had been violated by their family members were crying themselves to sleep, hoping for a miracle. There were women so overweight they could barely walk without discomfort. Some of them were in motorized chairs. Other women were skeletal thin from the ravages of anorexia. Elderly women appeared fatigued by pain, suffering with brain disease and dementia. Young females were crying out, on the brink of ending their lives because of depression. The pain ripped through Shakti’s light body as the sorrow of millions and billions of individual souls entered her, sharp as knives. Oh, dear heavens above, what pain, what sorrow, what helplessness, what desperation, what cries for help she experienced in that fleeting moment! Why was there so much suffering? Where was peace?

Just as quickly, a feeling of loving warmth enveloped her, as if a new era had dawned. She witnessed, through her third eye, women of every color smiling, arms held high as if reaching for the stars, dancing to the rhythm of their cultural music. Billions of women all around the world danced. Tears of joy streamed down Shakti’s face as she continued to observe throngs of children surrounding these women, their tiny faces filled with glee, dancing in rhythm to the sways of the blissful women.

All around the unsuspecting world, this dance emerged, this vibration of peace, this feeling of complete awareness, this sense of immense super-consciousness. These women, these creators of life, these mothers of Earth, were infusing the ground, the water, the air, and the heavens with their deep vibrational energies. Their natural healing powers were changing the fertility of their lands, the safety of their water, the purity of their air, and the power of their food. They were carving out a future of wellness, peace, happiness, and love over every inch of this planet. Around them, men were joyous as they used their amazing physical strength and lifetimes of wisdom to propel and maintain this new age in which the women and children were happy and well. Together, they became one. As one source of cosmic energy, they were changing the world. Love shone bright. Bliss descended over all. There was contentment.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Vie.  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.

COMING TO A BOOK STORE NEAR YOU!
Read more:  http://drvie.com/tamingthefemaleimpostorsummary
Taming the Female Impostor Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity by Dr. Sherine Vie

 
 

Sign up for the Dr. Vie Beta Version of the Express Life Scale (ELS)

Discover the Express Life Scale (ELS) to get your score and kick-start your rescue or the rescue of those whom you love. Or rescue your community or even your nation!  How about the world?  Go for it!  Ideal for guys & girls from 15+.   Ready for an Adventure?  Click now!

Sign up for the Free Beta Version of the  Express Life Scale (ELS)  to discover how you score in Life.  Enjoy the five short video series.  Bring your friends along and compare how they rank you on the Express Life Scale just as you rank them! Fun, fun, fun!   It’s a 5 day mini-course, 5 videos, short, powerful and fun. Try it for Free:  http://drvie.com/express-life-scale-info

1. The Express Life Profile (ELP) comes free with the purchase of the book, but in the meanwhile, discover the Free Beta Version of Express Life Scale  to get a jump-start on life through a 5 part free skills training – Express version! Perfect for Speedies!  First get a express overview of the entire training.

2.
Second, Dr. Vie guides you through a five minute express relaxation sequence as you prepare your energies for the adventure.

3. Third, you discover the Express Life Scale and try it out on yourself. Your little secret!

4.
  Fourth, you try the Express Life Scale  during a beginner’s adventure through the forest of life, simple enough for kids, yet ideal for beginners.

5. Finally, all good Adventurers deserve a reward, an audio reading from the opening of the book, by none other than your Guide, Dr. Vie.  All this free only before the Book is released in a few weeks.


After discovering the Express Life Scale, all Adventurers are rewarded with a special reading from the intriguing book by Dr. Vie herself.  Each month one lucky Adventurer wins the book: Taming the Female Impostor. All Adventurers are eligible for the additional Gift (during the quarterly draw) of a special portable water filter, a constant companion of  Dr. Vie during her explorations.  Try out the Express Life Scale, go here:  http://drvie.com/express-life-scale-info


WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT DR. VIE

Every once in a while there comes along a book that captivates the mind and uplifts the soul. This is one of those books. In real life Dr. Vie has managed to maneuver through global cultures with ease and finesse.  With the same level of sophistication, she weaves a tapestry of universality in her book.  We can rise above our circumstance, be it racism, sexism, environmental issues or cultural and religious biases. We can choose to reject change and remain the same or board the “Life Express” and embrace the change, as this book shows .”
Lena McCallajee, Teacher of the Year 2011-12, Nominee, Governor of Year Award, Author of Autism Inspires

With new insights, Dr. Vie unravels the root cause of the global female crises and provides powerful practical tools for health, happiness and vitality – all within a great adventure! A great book for men also .”
Dr. John Gray,  Best Selling Author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

I have worked all of my professional life with high performance women, whether it was a National Team, a University varsity team or our leading entertainment company. Dr. Vie is certainly an elite, high performance person regardless of the field she chooses to endeavor in to!Dr. Vie is a pioneer in each field she chooses to focus on! I’ve loved Dr. Vie SuperFoods since 2007. Now, yet again, through this book she reveals fascinating perspectives and intuitive wisdom. My wife could not put the book down! I recommend this book especially for men too.”
Boris Verkhovsky,  Performance Director, Former National Team Acrobatics Coach


An adventurer, entrepreneur, and author, Dr. Sherine Vie is also a scientist, humanitarian and radio show host, born in South Africa and lived solo in six countries, while overcoming many challenges.

Dr. Vie, a former Swiss-based medical device scientist, of East Indian lineage, changed her career to natural health after losing her father to heart disease and helping her mother recover from breast cancer. Facing heart-breaking challenges while living solo in six countries, in 2004 Dr. Vie Research pioneered Dr. Vie SuperFoods™ in the North Americas, & since 2007 Dr. Vie SuperKids mentors children & recently, Dr. Vie Academy with Dr. Vie Radio helps all ages globally.

Dr. Vie is focused on restoring the link between humanity, nature and all life. She is a mountain-lover and has trekked many ranges in Africa, Europe, North Americas, including the Himalayas.

“Life is an adventure, and we are all adventurers. If leaders knew the secrets I share in this book, they will change their strategy, and seek peace rather than war, within themselves, their home, communities, nations and the world. We will strive to strengthen the weakest, starting with our children and elders so they will feel protected.Thieves  and criminals, engage in not-so-good, only because they are weakened, once they realise the cause of their weakness, their lives change,” says Dr. Vie.

Her travels to every continent around the globe, her personal life challenges and her revelations while she trekked in the Himalayas last year, led to the unraveling of the root cause of suffering in the world. “You will love the good and the not so good characters in this book, because they are after all, bits and pieces of ourselves! I invite you to become an Adventurer and learn about the Adventure by clicking below,” says Dr. Vie.


Dr. Vie Radio:  http://drvie.com/dr-vie-radio/

Follow, Watch, Pin and Like Dr. Vie:

https://twitter.com/drvie   or  @DrVie
https://www.facebook.com/Dr.VieSuperfoods
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrVieSuperfoods

 
 

Hair Revolution- Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide

Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

This book will help African-American women with kinky hair learn the true beauty and versatility of their natural hair.


Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Natual Hair Resource Guide  is for You! This book is a collection of the best resources to help you begin your natural hair journey. You’ll find the books, the bloggers, tools, product and more. You’ll learn how to develop a hair care regime, how to determine the tools and products you’ll need and how to track your progress. Whether you have a relaxer, press ‘n curl or you’re already natural, Kinky Coily has something for you. So get ready to experience the true beauty and versatility of your natural hair.


There’s a revolution going on in hair care! Are you on the front lines?

Star Rice Presents…

You Are Not Your Hair… Lord Knows That Girl Has a Mind of Her Own!
Join attorney, author and natural hair enthusiast Pamela Samuels Young for a natural hair discussion and knowledge exchange. The NAACP Image Award winning author of Anybody’s Daughter, Pamela will discuss her natural hair journey and sign copies of her book, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.

Saturday, August 9, 2014 Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Location: Marlee’s Tea and Coffee House
349 Decatur Street SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
Come prepared to discuss your favorite natural hair tips and products!
RSVP by Aug 1st at:  authorpamelasamuelsyoung@gmail.com


Book Signing at National Book Club Conference
Saturday,  August 9, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. EST
Atlanta Marriott Buckhead
3405 Lenox Road, N.E.  Atlanta, GA
Pamela Samuels Young will greet readers and sign her NAACP Image Award  winning book, Anybody’s Daughter, on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

Champagne, Chocolate & Books Literary Event
Hosted by Sugar and Spice Book Club
10th Anniversary Conference
Saturday, September 20, 2014
TIME:  12:00 PM to 6:00 PM 
Rochdale Village Community Center
Held in Rooms 6&7
169-65 137th Ave.,   Jamaica, NY 11434
Tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/champagne-chocolate-books-literary-event-tickets-10403873265

Kinky Coily Excerpt

Transitioning to natural hair will require you to think differently about your hair. You’ll need to believe in the beauty and versatility of your natural hair. While the process will be frustrating at times, it will also be rewarding and fulfilling. If you make the commitment, I guarantee that you’ll end up with an appreciation of your kinky coils as well as greater confidence in yourself and your hair. Before we begin, here are four tips that are crucial to a successful transition.

A Positive Mindset
You’ll need to embrace a whole new mindset about the beauty of your natural hair to have a successful transition. Many of us with kinky hair have been raised to believe that we cannot take care of our own hair because it’s too unruly, difficult and just plain “bad.” That’s bull.

Start your natural hair journey with an open mind. Allow your hair to be all it can be and love it for its beauty and flexibility. How many straight-haired women can sport kinky curls, twists, locs, Bantu knots, micro-braids and cornrows? None I know.

My point is you’re going to have to erase all those negative notions you have about your hair. You have the most fabulous hair in the world. Embrace it!

Time
I’ve heard many women say that going natural takes too much work. Really? I can remember spending three-to-four hours in the beauty shop, and that doesn’t include my two-hour round-trip commute. If I was getting a weave, the entire day and night might be lost.

If rocking your natural hair is important to you, you’ll have to make the decision to investment in yourself. Yes, deep conditioning once or twice a week, moisturizing and sealing your hair on a daily basis and styling your natural hair will take time. But so does anything worth having.

Commitment
In addition to time, you’re going to need to be committed to the process. There will be times when you are disappointed because your hair isn’t growing fast enough. Transitioning to natural hair is not going to happen overnight. Hair growth takes time. Particularly if you hair is damaged.

You’ll need time to learn your hair and what products respond best to it. You will probably get frustrated and overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Don’t.

Think about the last diet or exercise program you started, but didn’t finish. Somewhere along the line, you just got tired of the bland food and gave up. Now think about the last diet or exercise program you did finish. How proud did you feel after reaching your goal? Transitioning to natural hair is something you’re doing for yourself. You deserve it. So make a commitment to yourself to stick with it no matter what.

Patience
This is the most important tool of all! The beautiful natural hair you want isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of work and patience on your part. Along the way, there will be successes and failures. Products you love. Products you purchase after watching a tutorial on YouTube that end up being a complete waste of your money. It’s all part of the process.

Somewhere along your journey, you’ll find out what works for you and the results will follow. So practice patience! You won’t regret it!


PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG TOP 5 HAIR TIPS

* Be patient. Transitioning takes time and effort.
* Develop a weekly hair care regimen and stick to it.
* Educate yourself about the care of your natural hair.
* Join a natural hair MeetUp group to share resources.
* Keep a hair journal to track your progress.


Purchase Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734167



Purchase  Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734183

Purchase signed copies here:  http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/index.html
Watch and share the Kinky Coily Tutorials:  http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela  


Meet the Author

Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Pamela’s first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, goes on sale in April, 2014.  A former TV news writer, Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or event, email Pamela via her website at: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Mary Monroe

Intimate Conversation with Mary Monroe

Mary Monroe
is the third child of Alabama sharecroppers and the first and only member of her family to finish high school. She did not attend college or any writing classes, but taught herself how to write and started writing short stories around the age of four. She spent the first part of her life in Alabama and Ohio, and moved to Richmond, California, in 1973. She has lived in Oakland since 1984.

Her first novel, The Upper Room, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1985, and was widely reviewed throughout the U.S. and in Great Britain. She endured fifteen years and hundreds of rejection letters before she landed a contract for her second novel, God Don’t Like Ugly. It was published in October 2000, by Kensington Books. God Don’t Play was her seventh novel to be published, and it landed her a spot on the prestigious New York Times bestsellers list for the first time!

Mary is divorced, loves to travel, loves to mingle with other authors. She still writes seven days a week and gets most of her ideas from current events, and the people around her, but most of her material is autobiographical. New York Times Bestselling author Mary Monroe created fabulous books such as: Mama Ruby, The Upper Room and the God Don’t Like Ugly series for readers with a sense of humor and adventure. 

When The Upper Room was published, Monroe had this to say: “This is my story — these characters are people I know, it’s my life,” Mary Monroe laughs when asked what her inspiration was for her first novels. Meet author Mary Monroe as she travels across the nation discussing her books and her literary journey.


BPM: How long have you been writing and where do you see yourself within the next several years?

I started making up stories before I even started elementary school. In junior and high school I wrote stories for some confession magazines. Since then I’ve written novels and a few non-fiction pieces. Within the next few years I hope to do at least ten more novels, my autobiography, a few screenplays.

BPM:  How do you relax?  What do you do with your free time after writing another bestselling?
I love to travel, I love to mingle with other authors, and I love to read anything by Ernest Gaines, Stephen King, Alice Walker, and James Patterson. I still write seven days a week and I get most of my ideas from current events, the people around me, but most of my material is autobiographical.

BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people or experiences?
Of course. Almost every story I write is based on something that happened to me or someone I know. And all of my characters are composites of people I know…

BPM: What inspires you to write your books? What are some of the unique issues or topics addressed in this book?
I was inspired to write this book because I grew up around some “colorful” characters. Most of them did a lot of wicked, funny, sad, and intriguing things and I thought their stories needed to be told. Mama Ruby takes place in southern locations. It is set in a time period during the thirties and forties when there was a totally different outlook than there is now on racism, sex, poverty, and other social issues that impact African American women.

BPM: How did you come to create such strong main characters? Did you know that they would be so complex and exciting from the start?
I was raised by strong females. As a matter of fact, the main character, Mama Ruby, is a combination of my mother and two other females relatives. The more I worked on this story, the more complex and exciting the characters became. They have a lot of strong characteristics but they also have just as many weaknesses.

BPM: Can you see any of your books being optioned for movies?
Yes! I watch TV for several hours a day and I go to a lot of movies so I know what the viewing public likes to watch. I feel that any one of my books would make a good big screen movie or TV mini-series. I write each book with specific actors and actresses in mind to play the roles. I’ve already written movie treatments for some of my books.

BPM: Who are some of the authors you admire and why?
I love Toni Morrison, James Patterson, Stephen King, and Ernest Gaines. I was in my twenties when I discovered Toni Morrison and Ernest Gaines and that’s when I knew for sure that writing books was my destiny. Their books are so insightful and thought-provoking that I re-read them at least once a year. I also love stories with a paranormal theme so when I discovered Stephen King I became a fan of his for life. James Patterson’s books are more for light-weight entertainment and sometimes that is all I want in a story.

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow me on Facebook and Twitter and they can visit my website at: http://www.Marymonroe.org. I also LOVE hearing from my fans by email at: Authorauthor5409@aol.com. I answer my email personally.


Mary Monroe’s 2014 Event Schedule

http://www.marymonroe.org/tour.html

Mary Monroe Official Fan Page

FB: https://www.facebook.com/marymonroefanpage


Purchase Family of Lies by Mary Monroe

Link: http://amzn.com/0758274742 


Lost Daughters: A Mama Ruby Novel – Paperback

by Mary Monroe (Author)
Link: http://amzn.com/0758294670

 
 
 

INSIDE: Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide by Pamela Samuels Young

Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

This book will help African-American women with kinky hair learn the true beauty and versatility of their natural hair.


Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Natual Hair Resource Guide  is for You! This book is a collection of the best resources to help you begin your natural hair journey. You’ll find the books, the bloggers, tools, product and more. You’ll learn how to develop a hair care regime, how to determine the tools and products you’ll need and how to track your progress. Whether you have a relaxer, press ‘n curl or you’re already natural, Kinky Coily has something for you. So get ready to experience the true beauty and versatility of your natural hair.


Kinky Coily Excerpt

Transitioning to natural hair will require you to think differently about your hair. You’ll need to believe in the beauty and versatility of your natural hair. While the process will be frustrating at times, it will also be rewarding and fulfilling. If you make the commitment, I guarantee that you’ll end up with an appreciation of your kinky coils as well as greater confidence in yourself and your hair. Before we begin, here are four tips that are crucial to a successful transition.

A Positive Mindset
You’ll need to embrace a whole new mindset about the beauty of your natural hair to have a successful transition. Many of us with kinky hair have been raised to believe that we cannot take care of our own hair because it’s too unruly, difficult and just plain “bad.” That’s bull.

Start your natural hair journey with an open mind. Allow your hair to be all it can be and love it for its beauty and flexibility. How many straight-haired women can sport kinky curls, twists, locs, Bantu knots, micro-braids and cornrows? None I know.

My point is you’re going to have to erase all those negative notions you have about your hair. You have the most fabulous hair in the world. Embrace it!

Time
I’ve heard many women say that going natural takes too much work. Really? I can remember spending three-to-four hours in the beauty shop, and that doesn’t include my two-hour round-trip commute. If I was getting a weave, the entire day and night might be lost.

If rocking your natural hair is important to you, you’ll have to make the decision to investment in yourself. Yes, deep conditioning once or twice a week, moisturizing and sealing your hair on a daily basis and styling your natural hair will take time. But so does anything worth having.

Commitment
In addition to time, you’re going to need to be committed to the process. There will be times when you are disappointed because your hair isn’t growing fast enough. Transitioning to natural hair is not going to happen overnight. Hair growth takes time. Particularly if you hair is damaged.

You’ll need time to learn your hair and what products respond best to it. You will probably get frustrated and overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Don’t.

Think about the last diet or exercise program you started, but didn’t finish. Somewhere along the line, you just got tired of the bland food and gave up. Now think about the last diet or exercise program you did finish. How proud did you feel after reaching your goal? Transitioning to natural hair is something you’re doing for yourself. You deserve it. So make a commitment to yourself to stick with it no matter what.

Patience
This is the most important tool of all! The beautiful natural hair you want isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of work and patience on your part. Along the way, there will be successes and failures. Products you love. Products you purchase after watching a tutorial on YouTube that end up being a complete waste of your money. It’s all part of the process.

Somewhere along your journey, you’ll find out what works for you and the results will follow. So practice patience! You won’t regret it!


PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG TOP 5 HAIR TIPS

* Be patient. Transitioning takes time and effort.
* Develop a weekly hair care regimen and stick to it.
* Educate yourself about the care of your natural hair.
* Join a natural hair MeetUp group to share resources.
* Keep a hair journal to track your progress.


Purchase Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734167 



Purchase  Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734183

Purchase signed copies here:  http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/index.html
Watch & share the Kinky Coily Tutorials:  http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela  



Meet the Author

Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Pamela’s first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, goes on sale in April, 2014.  A former TV news writer, Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or event, email Pamela via her website at: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
 
 

SNEAK PEEK: The Prodigal Son by Kimberla Lawson Roby

The Prodigal Son 
by Kimberla Lawson Roby

NAACP Image Award Winner, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Marks 20-Book Milestone!   Reverend Curtis Black and his family drama are back in Kimberla Lawson Roby’s upcoming novel, The Prodigal Son, (Grand Central Publishing).

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 20 novels which include A House Divided, The Perfect Marriage, The Reverend’s Wife, Secret Obsession, Love, Honor, and Betray, Be Careful What You Pray For, A Deep Dark Secret, The Best of Everything, One In a Million, Sin No More, Love & Lies, Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of a Good Thing, A Taste of Reality, It’s a Thin Line, Casting the First Stone, Here and Now, and her debut title, Behind Closed Doors, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.

She has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine,Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few. Both Behind Closed Doors and Casting the First Stone were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. Behind Closed Doors was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for Casting the First Stone, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College (Rockford, IL) Alumni Hall of Fame.

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. For more information about Kimberla Lawson Roby, visit http://www.KimRoby.com. To book Kimberla Lawson Roby for speaking engagements and/or book signings, please contact Connie Dettman at:  publicity@kimroby.com

The Prodigal Son 
The Reverend Curtis Black hasn’t spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full-time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays that one day his son will forgive them and come home.

Matthew, however, can’t seem to forget the pain his parents caused him and Racquel. Still, he wonders if maybe they’d been right, as fatherhood is not what he expected, and Racquel’s behavior has become increasingly erratic. Matthew genuinely wants to be a good husband, though, and swears he’ll never repeat his parents’ mistakes. But when an old friend expresses her desire for Matthew, the temptation may be too great to resist…

Then, there’s Dillon Whitfield, Curtis’s long-lost-son, who has settled in as a member of the Black family. Yet the transition has been anything but easy. Charlotte, convinced he’s only after Curtis’s money, wishes he would move back to where he came from. Dillon, however, has no intention of going anywhere. After a lifetime in the shadows, he’s determined to take his rightful place as Curtis’s first-born son and heir, and he’ll do whatever it takes to win his father’s affection-even if it means playing dirty…

As jealousy builds and secrets pile up, both of Curtis’s sons will be pushed over the edge and forced to take drastic action. Can these two troubled young men find their way back into the Black family fold, or will their family ties be undone once and for all?

Kimberla’s novels are categorized as Contemporary Mainstream Fiction.  Her target audience is primarily women of all ages, but men read her novels as well. The primary subject matter discussed in THE PRODIGAL SON is family drama relating to both marriage and sibling rivalry.


THE PRODIGAL SON

Chapter 1

Matthew stared at his wife of ten months and shook his head. Racquel, who was sitting at the opposite end of the chocolate brown, leather sofa, looked over at him and frowned. “What?”

Matthew shook his head again. This time, his eyes screamed disappointment. But all Racquel did was purse her lips and turn her attention back to the flat screen television. It was a noticeably warm Friday evening in May, and though Matthew was a bit tired from his long day at work, he would have loved nothing more than for the two of them to be out somewhere together; maybe have a nice dinner and catch whatever new movie was playing. But as usual, Racquel was contently curled up—like an unconcerned couch potato—doing what she did best: watching some awful, ungodly reality show.

Matthew leaned his head back onto the sofa and closed his eyes. Not in his wildest imagination—not in a thousand lifetimes—would he have ever pictured himself being so miserable. But miserable he was, and worse, he now realized that getting married at the young age of nineteen had turned out to be a horrible mistake. He’d now turned twenty, but he could kick himself for giving up a full, four-year, academic scholarship to Harvard University, something he’d worked very hard for his entire childhood—and now this was all he had to show for it? This, a tiny, two-bedroom apartment, a twelve-dollar-an-hour job at a bank, and no love life of any kind to speak of?

Not since the day he’d been born had he ever had to struggle financially. Even before he’d met his father, which hadn’t happened until he was seven years old, Matthew had lived a pretty good life because his maternal grandparents had always seen to it. Then, of course, when his mom had married his dad, he hadn’t gone without anything.

He must have been crazy in love or crazy out of his mind to think he was doing the right thing by getting married. He also couldn’t deny how right his mother had been, every time she’d warned him about having unprotected sex. He still hadn’t spoken to either of his parents in more than a year—not even when they’d mailed him a ten-thousand-dollar check, and he’d torn it up—but his mom had been correct in her thinking. Matthew wasn’t sure why he’d been so careless and irresponsible. Although, he was proud of the fact that he’d immediately manned up as soon as he’d learned of Racquel’s pregnancy and had decided to be there for both her and the baby.

Then, as it had turned out, Racquel’s parents had told him that they would take care of little MJ until he and Racquel finished college—since Racquel had been scheduled to attend MIT a few months after the baby was born. They’d also wanted Matthew to get his education without any worries, so off to Boston he had gone—and life had been great until that dreadful day in January when Racquel had gone into labor much too early. A huge blowup had ensued between his mother and Vanessa, the two grandmothers to be, at Racquel’s baby shower, and Racquel had gotten herself all worked up over it. Next thing anyone had known, her water had broken and she’d been rushed to the hospital.

Matthew remembered how terrified he’d been that Racquel would lose the baby, but thank God, everything had turned out well. Little MJ had been born with a respiratory problem, but he’d ended up being released from the hospital just a few days later. Although, the more Matthew thought about all that had evolved, he was saddened further because none of what had occurred on the day of the baby shower could compare to any of what had happened a few weeks afterward. His mother had concocted the most outlandish scheme, and before long, the Division of Children and Family Services had come knocking at the front door of Racquel’s parents’, stating that they’d received two phone calls claiming child abuse. Of course, none of this had been true, and although in the end, the truth had been exposed and Charlotte had been arrested, the whole idea of little MJ being snatched away from Racquel had been too much for her to handle. It was the reason she now regularly obsessed over their one-year-old son, and she never felt comfortable leaving him with her own parents, let alone anyone else.
 

She wasn’t even okay with Matthew taking MJ to see his sister, Alicia, or his great-aunt, Emma because she feared something might happen to him or that he might be kidnapped. That whole DCFS incident had ruined Racquel emotionally, and Matthew had a feeling things would never be normal for them again. As it was, she rarely left the house, and she no longer visited any of her friends when they came home from school for the weekend. She never invited anyone over to the apartment either.

READ MORE HERE

The Prodigal Son by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Series: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel
Amazon: http://amzn.com/1455526134  
 
 

SNEAK PEEK: Family of Lies by Mary Monroe

Family of Lies by Mary Monroe

New York Times and #1 Essence bestselling author Mary Monroe has been described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “remarkable talent,” known for insightful, entertaining and poignant stories spun around the complicated dynamics between friends, lovers and family. 

Publishers Weekly praised her most recent title Lost Daughters calling it; “a spicy mixture of family scandal, mother-daughter betrayal, and good-for-nothing men… you can never accuse Monroe of a dull moment.” Monroe returns this June with a tale sure to have readers on the edge of their seats; FAMILY OF LIES is being published by Dafina Books in Hardcover Original.


In Family of Lies,  Mary Monroe weaves a stunning portrait of a family immersed in deceit … and the women whose happiness depend on the secrets they keep…

After growing up poor in Texas, Vera Lomax used every gold-digging trick in the book to land a rich husband. Now living in the lap of luxury in San Francisco, her only job is to fawn over her much-older husband, so it’s been easy for her to balance a life of shopping and affairs with younger men with a major secret: the sixteen-year bribery of one of her husband’s mistresses to keep her pregnancy under wraps. Vera figures that a little hush money every month will ensure her husband’s fortune is hers alone. . .

Unfortunately for Vera, Sarah Cooper is the child Kenneth Lomax always wanted. When the father she never knew shows up at her mother’s funeral to claim her, it’s a fairy tale journey from the ghetto to a mansion on a hill. But Sarah’s life is not as carefree as her father wants it to be … because Sarah knows from the start that her step-mother is as two-faced as they come. And after losing all the family she’s ever known, she wants a life that’s richer than what Vera’s got planned for her.

Neither woman can be sure who will win Kenneth’s heart and fortune. But as Vera and Sarah scheme to get what they want, everyone they know will be choosing sides, taking chances, and gambling it all to come out on top


Praise for the novels of Mary Monroe

“Once again, Monroe displays her gift as a marvel with this sensational novel.”
— RT Book Reviews on Lost Daughters

“Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston, but the story has a bizarre, violent edge a la Stephen King. . .a candid portrayal of the cold-blooded yet fascinating Mama Ruby.”
— Publishers Weekly on The Upper Room

“Monroe’s style, like her characters, is no-holds-barred earthy. . .. Monroe’s characters deal with their situations with a weary worldliness and fatalism that reveal their vulnerability as well as their flaws.”
— Booklist on Mama Ruby

CHAPTER 1

Vera

Sixteen years later

I couldn’t believe how many years had passed since I’d met with Lois Cooper that Saturday morning in a Denny’s. I can still see her face in my mind and how frightened she looked by the end of our meeting.

We had both kept our end of the bargain. I made sure she got paid on time every month. And just to prove that I had a heart, each year I gave her a ten percent “cost of living” increase. Just like she was getting paid to do a job. As far as I was concerned, her staying the hell out of my husband’s life and not letting him know about that baby was her job and I was her employer. She never returned to work for my husband after our meeting. And since she had not communicated with him, he had no idea why she had up and quit, leaving him in a lurch. I will never forget how baffled he had looked that evening when he came home all those years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t replay that conversation in my head.

“Uh, one of the secretaries called up personnel this morning and told them she was not coming back to work,” Kenneth announced. He had come home later than usual this particular day. But I was used to that. He had been spending up to twelve hours a day at the store, several times a week for years. I wondered how much of that time was spent with other women. Even though he had a great team of loyal and competent employees who could run the place without him, his office at his main store had become his second home. He even kept a couple of suits, fresh underwear, and some toiletries in the closet behind his desk.

“Which secretary was it?” I’d asked dumbly. “That white girl with the red cornrows, I hope.”

“No, it was not Amber. She’s a single mom who is taking care of two toddlers and her disabled older brother. She’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And she loves her job.” Kenneth hesitated for a few seconds. There was a strange look on his face when he continued. “It was Lois in the main office.”

“Hmmm. Isn’t she the one you hired because her mother needed help paying her bills? She just up and quit? No explanation?”

Kenneth scratched the side of his face and shook his head. “No explanation whatsoever. I had a feeling something like this might happen.”

“Why do you say that?”

“The girl was not that sophisticated and she couldn’t get along with too many folks, especially the women. Every time I looked up, somebody was in my office with complaints about her doing or saying one offensive thing or another. She was always late for work and she made a lot of personal telephone calls. None of my immediate staff liked her.”

You liked her enough to screw her, I wanted to point out.

I didn’t want to remind Kenneth that he had fired his previous secretary because she had always come to work late—if she showed up at all—and she argued with him and everybody else. He had put up with Lois’s behavior and probably would have continued to do so if I hadn’t stepped in. So in a way, by me getting rid of her, I had also done him a favor—in more ways than one. Had he known she was pregnant with his baby, we would be having a totally different conversation.

“I feel sorry for the girl. The poor little thing. She’s had a hard life and I really wanted to help her.”

“You sure did help her.” I couldn’t help myself. Those words just slipped out of my mouth on their own.

“I’m sorry?” Kenneth sucked on his teeth for a few moments and gave me a curious look.

“You did help her. You gave her a job,” I said quickly. Honey, you’ve helped a lot of people over the years. Everybody loves you for giving so much back to the community. But you’re not the Wizard of Oz or a witch doctor, sweetie. You cant solve everybody’s problems. Lois is a grown woman and she’s going to do what she wants to do. I think it was pretty tacky for her to quit without giving proper notice, though. Some people are so inconsiderate! Tsk, tsk, tsk. I don’t know what this world is coming to.”

“Yeah. I wont argue with you about that. She resigned over the phone and that’s about as tacky as a person can be—especially in this case. She told the bookkeeper to mail her last paycheck to a post office box,” Kenneth croaked.

“And she’s such a pretty young thing,” I allowed. “But she’s also as ghetto as oxtail stew and fried chicken on the same plate. You know how those girls like her are. Most of them have one man coming in the front door and one going out the back door at the same time. I’m sure she attracted a lot of admirers, so maybe she met somebody …”

“Maybe she did meet somebody,” Kenneth grunted. “Oh well. I hope everything is all right with her regardless of why she quit.” A sad look appeared on his face and he shook his head, blinking hard as if to hold back a tear or two. Apparently he had loved that heifer, and her mysterious disappearance had really upset him. But I had no sympathy for her or him. “I’ll miss her,” he admitted, his voice cracking.

“I’m sure you will miss her,”, I said, too low for him to hear. And then I gave him a hug. “Now come to bed so I can give you something that’ll take your mind off your troubles.”

We had made love that night and I forgot all about Lois Cooper and her baby.

* * *

Now, sixteen years later, my marriage was stronger than ever. Not only was I looking forward to the new millennium coming up in a few days, but I was also looking forward to the day Lois’s child turned eighteen. I had no idea what the child’s name was or if it was a girl or a boy. But none of that mattered to me anyway. All I cared about was that in three more years Id be off the hook.

And that child would no longer be part of my life!

I was in such a good mood I practically raped Kenneth that night.

(Continues…)

Excerpted from FAMILY OF LIES by Mary Monroe. Copyright © 2014 Mary Monroe. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Purchase Family of Lies  

Link:  http://amzn.com/0758274742 


 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Monroe is the New York Times and Essence® bestselling author of God Don’t Like Ugly, which earned the author the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Award and a nomination for the Black Writers Alliance’s Golden Pen Award.

Her other novels include Lost Daughters, God Don’t Make no Mistakes, Mama Ruby, God Ain’t Through Yet, God Aint Blind, The Company We Keep, She Had It Coming, God Still Don’t Like Ugly, The Upper Room, Red Light Wives, Gonna Lay Down My Burdens, which is named among the BET.com Best Books of 2002, and the #1 Essence bestseller, In Sheep’s Clothing.

The third child of Alabama sharecroppers, and the first and only member of her family to finish high school, Monroe, who says “I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth,” never attended college or any writing classes.

A storyteller since childhood, writing at first came somewhat easily to Monroe. Later, advice from Alice Walker, Ann Rice, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison encouraged her to continue to pursue her writing. Monroe is also included in the reference book, The 100 Most Popular African American Writers.

 
 
 
 
 
 

INSIDE: Mafietta 2: A House Divided by E.W. Brooks

Mafietta 2: A House Divided 
by E.W. Brooks

If you’re looking for a love story where your typical heroine wins the hot heartthrob’s heart by flaunting her beauty to win him over, you’re in the wrong place. – Minolta White, Author and Blogger

Mafietta, part 1, follows Clarke, a woman tired of bankrolling her suitors, entertaining a man she normally wouldn’t consider – a man from the underworld.

Errol, the head of the Bellow Brothers, is tired of the opportunistic women that find their way into his path. He was done with love, but meeting Clarke changed all of that.

Their perfect love story falls apart when a tragic turn of events sends Errol behind bars and forces Clarke to run the family business. When a good girl turns mafia queen, she is forced to choose between the love she’s always wanted and a lifestyle she’s grown to hate

Mafietta 2: A House Divided  instantly draws you into the Port City’s chaotic underworld as Clarke is left to choose between the man she loves and the lifestyle she has grown to hate.

Non-stop action thrillers, Mafietta 1 & 2 are a cacophony of action that expresses the deep passion and unique skill that E.W. Brooks possesses!  The Mafietta novellas are a quick escape. They are fast paced, action packed and great for the person or group looking for something to read quickly. A House Divided is the second installment in the series.  Watch thrilling videos here:  http://mafietta.com/the-mafietta-novella-series


Inside Mafietta 2: A House Divided

“I want to go back to the days when I was blind to the things you do. I want my innocence back.”
— Clarke

“These are not the type of people you just walk away from. Do you know how much money you made for them while I was gone?”
— Errol

“Money doesn’t make a man a monster. The person within does. Money merely magnifies the mirror; if you are a good man, you become a better one.”
— Admiral



Mafietta by E.W. Brooks Book Review 

“Buckle your seat belts and hide your kids because Mafietta is one relentless thrill ride from beginning to end. Female empowerment is boasted proudly in this fast paced novel. Brooks doesn’t hold back as she challenges the characters’ mental and spiritual development throughout the book. Mafietta is a highly recommended book club favorite and avid reader’s joy ride.”  —Minolta White, Author


Meet Author E.W. Brooks


“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I’ve accomplished my goal. I don’t seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”  – E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta.

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

Follow the author on Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 
http://www.mafietta.com
https://twitter.com/Mafiettaishere
https://www.facebook.com/EWBrooks
http://instagram.com/ewbrooksbooks
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EWBrooks/posts 







 
 

SNEAK PEEK: And Then There Were None by Clay Thomas Williams

And Then There Were None 
by Clay Thomas Williams

Imagine being so full of yourself, that you ignore the obvious. You’re so busy doing you that you fail to see what’s right under your nose. Octavia’s selfish destructive behavior that was full of lies and deceit caused her life to spiral out of control until she crashed and burned costing her everything. She gambled with love and lost totally obliterating her life as she knew it.  Octavia thought she had it all; beauty, two loves, and a promising career. And in the end she ends up with nothing.  A tale of a rude awakening to one day be forced to realize life doesn’t revolve around her.

Excerpt from And Then There Were None
Audio Reading:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7t9s4yx  

I need to be in church, maybe I can get some clarity. I haven’t been to church since our Grandmother passed away; I just couldn’t find my way here. We grew up in the church and its funny, the only time I come to church now is when I have a problem. I was a pure demon for the past two years and now I need Jesus. Good thing God is a forgiving God.

Sitting in church looking for answers to my secret problem; it seemed as if Pastor Clark was in my head. God sees all, and what’s done in the dark always comes to light.

Who told him, is God sending me a personal sermon?

As I sat there waddling in my own little sea of deceit, Yvette franticly patted my leg and pointed across the church. I thought for a minute as Jesus appeared to escort my sinning behind directly to the devil in a brimstone laced chariot.

“What,” I whispered.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sister Johnson schooled us like she did when we were ten. She turned all the way around with her big yellow hat with a feather in it; rolled her big eyes with her inch long fake lashes at us, then turned back around and faced Pastor Clark.

Yvette put one finger up in a wait one minute position, reached in her Fendi bag and pulled out a pen and sticky note pad just like she did when we were ten, and began to write and handed me the note. The guy in the yellow shirt and brown suit, that’s Jason.

I shrugged my shoulders as if to say who the heck is Jason, Yvette snatched the note from my hands balled it up and proceeded to write another. She held the note in her two hands turned it to me; the note said JASON HILL FROM HIGH SCHOOL…. in all capital letters

“Oh! I mouthed silently

Yvette shook her head up and down balled up the note and let out a frustrated growl and began to write again.

“Octavia, you don’t remember him, she wrote.

I took another look at him, took her pen and sticky note and wrote back.

NO! I don’t. Why should I remember him, did I date him?

No stupid, I did. She wrote back.

Yvette started writing again. I looked away from the note and across the sea of big hats and prayer clothes to the good looking brother in the brown suit. I looked back at Yvette with an agreeing nod and whispered a sarcastic, “And?”

At this point I have had quite enough of Yvette’s little guessing game and snatched her pen and sticky note pad and wrote.

Get to the point girl, cause you, Sister Johnson and that dude in the brown suit are working my last nerve yawl gonna make me lose my religion up in here.

Remember that incident in high school and he gave me four hundred and fifty dollars, and you and me went shopping.

I wrote back. Say word?

I’m going to tell him the truth and apologize, the note said.

My eyes widened as I snapped my head back in Yvette’s direction.

“WHAT,” I said out loud.

Yvette Shhhhed me and nodded her head yes. I took her paper and began to write. “Are you nuts? He probably doesn’t remember it or you.

She wrote back I’m gonna do it anyway, to clear my conscience.

I wrote, are you serious? For ten years you’ve had a case of the “I don’t give a crap” and your conscience hasn’t bugged you in all this time. All of a sudden you see him and you’ve got a case of morals. Girrrrrl, please.

She wrote, just something I have to do; the truth shall set you free.

I wrote, well gotta do what you gotta do.

I began to think God touched this girl and urged her to clean her soul with the whole truth shall set you free thing. The truth can get you a black eye, I wanted to talk her out of it but she seemed to be at peace with her decision so I kept any further comments to myself.

Yvette made a beeline across the Church to confess to Jason.

I tried to read the look on Jason’s face as his expression changed from “Hey, it sure is nice to see you, to what the heck did this chick just say to me.”

I watched them thinking at this moment how much I admired Yvette and respected her for doing what she was doing and knowing that was something I could never do. Admit I lied, never!

“Well come on then she said in her usual playful manner, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest,” she added.

“Yvette you told him?”

“Yup.”

“Well, what did he say?”

“He said he can’t believe I thought to do this after all this time and he forgives me and appreciates my honest. Then he asked for his four hundred and fifty dollars back.

“You gonna give it to him I asked.”

“I said I felt better, not stupid.”

We laughed at the same time the way twins freakishly do.

NOT.

I guess confession is good for the soul.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Clay Thomas Williams. 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.


About the Author
Clay Thomas Williams
is a freelancer, writer and copy editor for IRIDE, an exciting, nationwide, informative, motorcycle magazine. IRIDE magazine is based out of North Carolina. Clay is member of the WritersCafe.org and Premier Author with Upnext Media Group.

Clay, whose government name is actually Nat’e Elliott, talents aren’t limited to novels and print magazines but music as well. She has written tunes that are in the ASCAP’s database.

Clay Thomas Williams lives by the philosophy that every bit of fiction has a hint of the truth, and life experiences good or bad or indifferent create and shape the beautiful, brilliant black woman she is. She resides in North Carolina with her family.

And Then There Were None by Clay Thomas Williams 
Genre: Urban Fiction
Purchase:  http://amzn.com/B00JKUM2V6

 
 
 
 

SNEAK PEEK: Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson

Pink & Patent Leather 
by Candy Jackson

Sasha “Pink” Jansen has heard the voice of God. He spoke loud and clear at her purity ceremony, when she was just sixteen years old and Pastor Malik Stroman placed that ring on her finger. And He was just as clear when He told her that purity ring would someday be replaced with a wedding ring from the same man . . . all Pink had to do was save herself.

Dreams of a life with Pastor Malik were enough to keep the privileged princess committed to her vow, dodging all kinds of temptation, resisting every romance, and the whole time, keeping her eyes on the prize –the day she would become first lady. There’s just one problem – Pastor Malik already has a wife. But Pink is accustomed to getting what she wants – by any means necessary. With her grace and virtue on the line – and what she thinks is God’s word in her head – Pink is on a mission no one understands.

She’s determined to show Pastor Malik that they belong together – and come hell or high water, she plans to get the good reverend to agree. Candy Jackson has penned a page-turning tale of one-woman’s quest for love and the spiraling descent she’ll take to get it…


* Book Excerpt:

“True love waits,” he said, as he gently slipped the platinum band with diamond chips onto my finger. “I am proud that you have decided to save yourself for marriage.”

That’s when it happened, right then, at that moment, in that instant. It was like I was being washed in this overwhelming feeling that God had a message for me.


* Book Excerpt:

As if I had an audience watching me, I sauntered over to my bed in nothing but my bashful colored Le Pearle lace thong and matching demi-bra. When I laid down, I let my thoughts wander to him.

I pictured his reaction when we’d finally come face to face once again tonight. It had been so long since he’d seen me. He was going to be surprised, mesmerized, and hopefully hypnotized with what he saw.

Because now, I was a woman.


* Book Excerpt:

Now, I was a grown girl, with my Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and my high-rise condominium located in the great metropolis, formerly known as Chocolate City. With my fancy little 525 BMW with custom wheels and personalized tags. I truly was a long way from where I used to be.

Many might think that I am spoiled, but heck, I worked hard in college. I remained a permanent fixture on the Dean’s list each semester, spent my summers abroad, and graduated magnum cum laude with a degree in journalism.

Now, I was a young, rising junior editor at Power Play Magazine, where even though I’d only been there three months, I was on the move. I was flirting, teasing, and proving to my boss that I had beauty, but it was my brains that was going to get me to the top without sleeping with him or any man.


About the Author

Washington, DC author, Candy Jackson is a cosmetology teacher who loves to create poetry and short stories. Her reading rose to a brand new height with the discovery of many black writers whose work exploded in the ‘80’s. An avid reader, she began to tap into her own creative side and decided to write stories of her own.  Candy is the mother of three young adult children and one grandson. She can be reached at: pepperedpages@hotmail.com 


Purchase Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson

Purchase today:  http://amzn.com/099153221X 
BGP Publisher:  www.browngirlspublishing.com

 
 

SNEAK PEEK: More Than I Can Bear by E.N. Joy

More Than I Can Bear by E.N. Joy


Always Divas Series Book Two 

Paige begs to differ with the scripture that says God will not put on a person more than they can bear, because she is truly on the edge. One slight push from another one of life’s unexpected and unpleasant occurrences, and she’ll be free falling.

As if having suffered physical, mental, sexual and spiritual abuse from her husband hadn’t weighed heavily on her enough, Paige had to deal with learning that her best friend and sister in Christ had done the ultimate no-no and slept with her husband. Thank God one of Paige’s co-workers, Norman, who she now deems as a true friend, was there to catch her fall before she hit the ground. But will Norman be there when Paige receives news that may not only push her off the edge, but cause her to jump willingly?

In More Than I Can Bear, not only when it rains does it pour, but there is lightening and plenty of thunder to go along with it. Will Paige drown in the storm she finds herself in with no umbrella, or will she catch hold of the life saver God extends to her?


CHAPTER SEVEN

“Was that my boy I heard?”

The singsong voice coming from the dining room was heard prior to Norman, Paige or Miss Nettie ever even making their way into the room.

“Oh, he’s here all right, Mrs. Vanderdale,” Miss Nettie called out as she looked back over her shoulder at Paige while pushing the swinging dining room door at the same time. “My oh my is he here.” Miss Nettie hustled her way through that door with Paige in tow as if there was a three alarm fire they were trying to escape. There may not have been a fire, but Miss Nettie knew one thing for certain, there was at least about to be some smoke blown. And where there’s smoke…

“Son! My only son. Come give Mumsy some love.”

Paige watched as a pail skinned woman with blond hair and a house coat that would have given both Maud and Mrs. Roper a run for their money, brushed by her and embraced Norman.

“Mom, please,” Norman said as his mother began planting kisses all over his face as if he were a five year old child. “Come on, Mom,” he pleaded to no avail, finally just dropping his arms down to his side like dead weight and giving in. He rolled his eyes up in his head while his mother smothered him with kisses.

“You don’t come visit as often as I’d like, so I have to make up for times missed,” his mother said, planting one more smuckerroo right on his nose.

“Come on, Mother, let’s not start with the whole ‘You never come by to see me routine.’ You know I make it by as often as I can.”

“Oh, hogwash. You’re too busy at that ridiculous peasant collar job of yours.” His mother shooed her hand.

“It’s blue collar,” Norman corrected his mother, not noticing the offended look on Paige’s face, seeming she worked at the same place of employment. “And don’t say it with your nose up in the air, so. Miss Nettie here’s job is blue collar. I’m sure she might find that offensive.”

“Oh please,” she shooed her hand again, never taking her eyes off of Norman as she straightened his already straightened collar. “Nettie is family. I don’t even consider her part of the hired help anymore. It’s just like having a dog. Once it’s been around for so long, it’s like part of the family,” she chuckled, planting an unforeseen peck on her son’s lips.

“What the…” Paige started under her breath, lightweight lunging toward her mother-in-law until Miss Nettie’s grip on her hand tightened and pulled her back.

Paige’s words reminded Mrs. Vanderdale that someone other than her and her son were in the room. She turned and addressed Mrs. Nettie. That’s when, for the first time, she noticed Paige. “Why Miss Nettie, you didn’t tell me one of your kin folks was in town again.” She lowered her voice but with a stern tone and wagging finger in Miss Nettie’s face she said, “I thought we had this talk before. Now I don’t mind your people coming for a visit every now and again and sharing your quarters, but you must give Mr. Vanderdale and me a heads up. Is that understood?”

“Yes, ma’am, but I-” Miss Nettie started before Mrs. Vanderdale cut her off.

“Now I hope you saw to it that the kitchen staff made extra for your guest. You know we are already going to start having an extra mouth to feed whenever my Norman comes around now that he’s a married man.” She sharply turned to Norman. “Speaking of which, son, where is that lovely bride of yours? Why I can’t wait to welcome her to the family.” Mrs. Vanderdale began looking over Norman’s shoulder toward the swinging door leading to the living room.

“She’s right there, Mother.” Norman nodded toward Paige.

His mother turned around only to find Mrs. Nettie and her supposed kinfolk standing there. She continued looking at the doorway. “Where, Son?”

“Right here, Mother. Standing right here in your face.” Norman walked around his mother and went and stood next to Paige. “Mumsy, this is my wife, Paige. Paige, this is-”

“Mrs. Vanderdale!” Miss Nettie shouted as she quickly went to her boss’s aid.

Norman joined Nettie in keeping his mother to her feet as she appeared faint and weak, as if her knees had given out.

“Mom, are you okay?” Norman asked worriedly. “Miss Nettie, help get mother over to the chair. And please, have Stuart fetch her some water.”

Miss Nettie just stood there torn, not moving a muscle.

“Please, Miss Nettie, why are you just standing there?” Norman asked.


 
  
 
 

SNEAK PEEK: Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

Open Door Marriage 
by Naleighna Kai

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of The Lair of the Python

A chance encounter lands NBA star Dallas Avery back in the arms of the woman of his dreams. A woman he hasn’t seen in years. A woman he soon discovers just so happens to be his fiancée’s aunt! But Dallas’ fiancee, Tori, isn’t ready to give up all that she’s worked for, so she makes him a shocking offer – go through with the wedding and she’ll still allow him to be with the one woman he now can’t seem to do without. Dallas will get a family, something her much older aunt, Alicia can’t give him. Tori will get the lifestyle she clamors. And Alicia will get the love she’s longed for all her life. Everyone will get a little of what they want . . . and maybe a whole lot of what they don’t.

The details of the trio’s love life play out in the tabloids and on talk shows, making Dallas the center of an NBA scandal. And eventually, the doors slam shut on this open marriage and Dallas is forced to make a choice to end the chaos. But moving on is easier than it looks and by the time all is said and done, secrets will be revealed, passions will be extinguished, and everyone’s lives will be forever changed.

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of Lair of the Python

“While a few books have tackled this subject in different ways, the way Naleighna Kai approaches a difficult situation is sure to be fuel for heated conversations for years to come. Open Door Marriage proves many things, but mostly that the title of my novel holds true.—Janice Pernell, author of There’s No Right Way to do a Wrong Thing.


Excerpt from Chapter 1

THANKSGIVING – CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

NOVEMBER 22—7:23 P.M.

“You slept with my aunt?”

The words still didn’t register, even though this had to be Tori’s fifth time saying them. She glared at her fiancé, still desperately trying to come to terms with the information her mother had blasted to everyone at the packed Thanksgiving dinner table.

“Seriously? How is that even humanly possible when you didn’t know the woman four hours ago?” Tori shouted.

“Tori, l-let me explain,” Dallas stammered.

Twelve pairs of eyes were now focused on the not-quite-blissful couple standing at the bottom of the stairs just off from the dining room.

“But not here. Let’s go somewhere and talk. It’s not what you think.”

“What did you do?” Tori snapped, glaring up at Dallas. “Trip over the sheets, and your penis somehow landed in a woman nearly twice my age?”

The drumstick in Uncle Bill’s hand paused in midair on its journey to his wide mouth. Cousin Tiny’s fleshy hand flew to her overexposed bosom and came to rest somewhere above her heart. Even Tori’s father’s frozen expression of alarm would have been Three Stooges comical if the situation weren’t so tragic.

Aunt Yoli was the first to recover. “Did they just say what I think they said?”

In unison, everyone nodded.

“Girl, shut the front door and run out the back!”

A few bursts of nervous laughter sprang up around the table, but they were not nearly enough to chase away the unease that had flooded the room when Tori stepped into the house. She’d gone to drop off Aunt Rose’s drunk self at home. Tori hadn’t even been in the house good when her mother, Bernice, blurted out that she’d caught Alicia and Dallas together. Alone. In bed. In the nude. Tori had picked up from there and summed it up in one sweep. “You slept with my aunt …”

“Nothing happened, Tori,” Dallas said, his voice shaky. “I didn’t sleep with her.”

“So, my mama is lying?” Tori asked.

Dallas shifted uneasily.

“Hell naw. I know what I saw,” Bernice snapped. She had moved from the dining room table to the end of the staircase, right next to her daughter, poised as if she was ready to go to battle. “Both of you were in bed butt-ass naked.” She jabbed a finger in her sister-in-law’s direction. Alicia hadn’t moved from her spot at the top of the staircase. Probably, because she knew what was best for her. “She was butt-naked. And he was nut-naked,” Bernice yelled. “Wasn’t an inch of space between them.” She flickered a gaze a Dallas. “Look at him. You can tell he just got dressed!”

Tori closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm the emotions that warred within her.

“See, I told you Alicia wasn’t worth a damn,” Bernice, crowed with savage satisfaction. “And looks like Mr. NBA ain’t much better. You thought he was all that and a side order of fries.”

Dallas Avery was the NBA’s most valuable player, and a man most women would give their right and left ovary to call their own. But Most Eligible Bachelor or not, he had set Tori’s bitch meter into overdrive. Even with his chiseled, handsome face, towering muscular frame and million dollar bank accounts, he was now worth next to nothing in her eyes. Too bad her aching heart didn’t get that memo.

Tori didn’t know if she was more enraged or hurt that her mother had been all too willing to drive this stake through her own daughter’s heart in order to publicly disgrace Alicia.

“Tori, we need to talk about this,” Dallas repeated before adding, “in private.”

Bernice wore a satisfied smirk as she glared openly up at Alicia, who just kept staring stoically at them from the second floor landing. “The angel of the family has fallen,” Bernice said.

“Hey, Bernice,” Bill taunted with a hearty chuckle. “Bet you won’t say that when Alicia comes downstairs. You know she’s gonna put a hurting on you.”

“You mean put another hurting on her,” Aunt Yoli added, doubling over with laughter.

Tori wanted to scream. Her life was unraveling in front of her and her family was cracking jokes.



Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00I5VFS3K
 
 

SNEAK PEEK: Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer”, is a humorous look at the real lives of Boomers, vs. the media’s unrealistic view of some sexy, energized person that only exists in some marketing mavens’ mind. There are many of these advertising darlings out there, but Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous isn’t aimed at those Boomers, but it is for those who have survived the scrapes and bumps of life, but we are not as shiny or energetic as some of our touted counterparts. “Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous” laughs out loud at the present and then takes you on a sentimental visit to the past examining how the same situation means different results for Boomers today. Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer is a shout out to the past, examination of the present , and a celebration of life’s poignant but hysterical journey.

“Boomers have always been vocal, boisterous, have a history of implementing social and political change and can still sway advertisers with our discretionary income, if we have any money left at the end of the month. Through humor and poignancy, my new book will have fellow Baby Boomers laughing at the past and present.

It’s important for us to have a light-hearted view on life. My drugs cupboard is full to the brim with pills of all sizes and colors (if you were to see it you’d think I was making money from it) and I can’t exert too much energy without rolling on the floor with a writhing Charlie horse – but this is a small price to pay for the lives we Boomers have lived. My book celebrates all that is great about being over fifty – even if I can’t really get my eyes to focus properly on the pages!

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer invites you along for the comical ride that is accompanied with hearty, out loud in your face laughter,” said Johnson.


Amazon Book Review

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, one reader commented, “Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer” is a great read, packed full with everyday situations that will appeal to everyone whether you’re over 50 or not. The author doesn’t just dispel the commercial myths of women over 50 , but also engages the reader with jokes of the trials and tribulations most of us have experienced or will experience after passing the big five 0.”


Excerpt: Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer 

I have a few words to say, “Fifty ain’t always fabulous”. There I’ve said it. I’ve said it and you know what? I’m glad I said it. You probably want to say it too, but you’re scared to say it.

Scared of the rhetoric and gasps of dis-belief that will come from those so-called cougars that you see in a magazine that are artfully draped over a cliff, as the Greek Isles dashes waves of glorious blue-green water over her. Then there is always a man staring at her with obsessed, hooded eyes.

You’re scared that your world does not measure up to the professionally made-up actors on TV. These women are shouting out a challenge to you and I suspect you think you can’t live up to the hype. However, what they’re asking us to believe is “the hype”.

My back would laugh at me and taunt me, “Go on and try it you old fool and watch what I do to you!” My upper and lower torso would be plotting their sadistic revenge if I ever thought I could lounge against hard rock. I would end up dying on that rock as the water gurgled in my lungs because I couldn’t get up.

Where is this sexy, vibrant older woman that we see on the TV? She does not live in my house nor take up residence in my mirrors. Ladies, if you were not that hot looking when you were young do not believe the hype that you will turn into this wild, unleashed, beautifully sculpted cougar. At times I look like an old toothless, clawless, scruffy house cat only waiting for a bowl of warm milk for pure contentment.


Clothes Today and Then

I remember I used to like everything tight. I liked tight jeans that showed off my perfectly rounded butt. My butt at this point does not need to be showed off; it is the most visible part of my body. It will take over any space without being invited. Even when I am staring straight ahead looking at you, my butt can be seen poking from around the back. It intrudes its way into the conversation. It is a rude, obnoxious appendage that wants to flaunt its appearance at any occasion. It is almost another person complete with its own personal 5 o’clock shadow and zip code. Neither diets, nor exercise can undo the big booty.

Dancing

I have observed some of the people in the clubs dancing today. I could not be a “Hoochie Mama Dancer” of today. I don’t think I could “Drop it Like It’s Hot”. If I drop it, it will still be there until the paramedics come to pick me and “it” off the floor. Sexual contortions and gyrations would only cause a late run to the drug store for a new heat pack. My idea of going low to the floor is to point my head down and bob it in unison to the music.


Mother-Daughter Relationships

When did I become the caregiver of my mother? Now in my 50’s the music has switched to a new tempo for both of us. In the beginning it was she who led and it was me who followed. As the last mournful sound is played the positions are switched. I was silently elected to a position that I never envisioned would come. I cannot remember the exact day that the exchange took place and our parallel worlds tumbled into a vortex and intermixed into and we have now evolved into almost a new species.

Exercise

I will not go to a gym, because I do not want to go to jail for assaulting a youngster with a perfect uplifted body in every area and strangling her after I hear for the hundredth time in an exasperated tone “ Now, really now. Is that the best we can do?” These stressful reproachful words are muttered after I can’t keep up in Zumba class or had gotten entangled in the sports equipment and had to be helped down.

( Continued… )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Joyce Nanette Johnson. 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
Joyce Nanette Johnson
is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg, FL. Born in Newark, NJ she grew on the central Jersey shore, in Long Branch, NJ. For many years Florida has been her adopted home. Joyce Nanette Johnson has been a contributing writer for The Tampabay Times, correspondent for the Weekly Challenger and St. Pete Bulletin newspapers, and was a columnist for Citilife Magazine. Her first acceptance was for a short story for Essence Magazine. She is the owner of Joydee Productions, which developed and produced websites for community organizations and other public relations projects. Joyce Nanette Johnson was a finalist in 2010 and 2011 Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Awards. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Communications Award presented by the Gathering of Women, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL.


Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson
Link: http://amzn.com/148417626X


 
 

SNEAK PEEK: Corporate Thugs by Bridgett Renay

Corporate Thugs 
by Bridgett Renay

What’s the first sign that lets you know you’re dealing with a sociopath? Corporate Thugs is riddled with clues.

Set in the new reigning hub of African-American drama – suburban Atlanta – it’s the scandalous saga of the ambitious and untamed Gerald Alexander that chronicles his descent into the dismal world of irrationality. From high school to college and throughout the pros – his story will have you watching your back ever so closely.

Gerald had only two dreams – to play professional football in the NFL and to make the cover of Sports Illustrated. When the former became a reality it was short-lived due to a serious injury. And just like that, all the fame, fortune, parties, women…gone. On the contrary, his best friend since childhood, Marcus Stone, was on top of the world – a successful business, a beautiful wife, a fat bank account…he had it all.

Being a supportive friend, Marcus offers Gerald a job hoping that Gerald would have a positive impact on his company. But when jealously and murder come between them, which one will fall? Could Gerald be so callous that he’d set up his best friend? Is Marcus even capable of unleashing his own wrath?

They solved the riddle. Can you?


First Chapter Excerpt: Corporate Thugs

Born Troy Lewis, Slink was fated to live a life that revolved around crime. He was conceived in the back room of a strip club and born in prison. His mother was convicted on federal drug charges and by the time she gave birth to Slink in a women’s prison, his father, or who his mother believed to be his father, was convicted and serving time on larceny charges.

Slink spent the first seven years of his life caught up in the anarchy of the foster care system until his maternal great-grandmother, Nana Kay, took him in. Nana Kay was a sweet enough old lady. She was in her late sixties and unfortunately had just about every illness listed in the New England Journal of Medicine. While Nana Kay was in and out of hospitals, he was in and out of trouble.

Despite it all, Slink had learned to survive by being tranquil, mystical, and clever. Add that to his cunning stride and his slender physique and you’d be describing a Slinky – Slink for short. He used every talent he had to manipulate those that were unfortunate enough to cross his path.

Slink had arrived in Atlanta via Jackson, Mississippi. As usual, he found himself right in the middle of some serious bull in Jackson. Two men were found dead in the back alley of a pool hall just hours after being seen arguing with Slink. Slink got word that the police were asking around about him so he decided he needed to get out of town. He wasn’t a stranger to transporting dope across state lines and when he found out about a huge drug run to Atlanta he made his move.

Not only did the drug lords know Slink by reputation, they also knew he was desperate to get out of town for a while so they offered him twenty-five thousand dollars to transfer a shipment of their product to Atlanta. They also knew that as crazy as he was, he wasn’t suicidal enough to try to run off with it.

Slink knew where to draw the line and who to draw the line with – depending on what was at stake of course. He also knew he was being played short because a run like that could easily go for fifty thousand at the least, but the last thing he needed was a run-in with one of Jackson’s finest so he took the deal.

When Slink got to Atlanta and delivered the dope he was twenty-five thousand dollars richer and had about five pounds of dope of his own. That was all he needed to start up his own dope-slinging operation. On his drive from Jackson to Atlanta he stopped at a campground near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, pitched a tent, and carefully removed a few ounces from each of the bricks he was transporting. Slink always got what he felt was his in the end. Screw honor among thieves.

He didn’t even sweat driving an SUV full of dope across two state lines because Slink was nobody’s dummy. He understood America. He didn’t walk around with his pants hanging down to his knees. No way was Slink getting locked up trying to keep up with thug fashion. He always dressed like a perfect little gentlemen. His pants and shirts were professionally pressed. He wore sneakers only while wearing athletic gear. Slink even wore a tie every now and then. He was the portrait of a man on his way to visit his sweet, elderly momma for a Sunday dinner.

***

It was in the middle of Marcus and Gerald’s junior year of high school when Slink moved into an apartment a few miles from the Burger Hut. He didn’t know anything about healthy eating so he immediately began to frequent the restaurant. He came in one day while Gerald was behind the grill flipping burgers. When Slink walked up to place his order he recognized Gerald from the sports section of the neighborhood newspaper and was impressed. His low-key, semi-thuggish behavior intrigued Gerald as well so they talked often.

Slink enjoyed turning young brothers out so he played the role of one of those non-threatening thugs – the kind that may steal, but would never kill. Gerald was fooled by Slink’s big puppy-dog eyes and his slender frame. All of the malnutrition he suffered growing up gave Slink the appearance of a nineteen-year-old. Gerald didn’t know Slink was twenty-six-years-old and straight-up demented.

The two became quick friends, therefore, Marcus soon became a friend. The more Slink realized how bright Gerald and Marcus’ future looked, the more he tried to gain their confidence. Slink didn’t like seeing brothers sincerely happy and legitimately successful. He felt it was his duty to put an end to all that. If his soul couldn’t be emancipated, neither could anyone else’s.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Bridgett Renay. 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.


About the Author

Always the quiet but observant type, Bridgett Renay’s written words spoke for her. As a young girl she undoubtedly had the gift of writing. Everything from poetry to short stories filled her PeeChee folder with fantasies as well as the realities of life growing up in south central Los Angeles. In elementary school, one Thanksgiving Day poem she wrote even found its way to the local newspaper. That was then.

Years of professional growth as a Navy Reservist and corporate operative, as well as personal triumphs earning an undergraduate and a master’s degree, tells the story of a journey that took her to faraway places, introduced her to intoxicating people, and shaped the way she viewed the world and her place in it.

Now that she is firmly settled in Atlanta, Georgia and has reached the top of her pyramid, per se, Bridgett has allowed herself to re-focus on her true calling – writing. And though usually conservative, she never misses out on an opportunity to flip any script. Bridgett had no choice but to pen the venomous Corporate Thugs. The characters were so alive in her head that they had to be released and shared with reading enthusiasts of diversified genres.


Corporate Thugs
is her first novel – her dream deferred. The pen is back, the passion never left…a new journey begins. 

Corporate Thugs by Bridgett Renay
Genre:  Urban Fiction
Link: http://amzn.com/1612962599

 
 

POEM: Unapologetically Me by Carlet Horne

Unapologetically Me  by Carlet Horne

I may not have been as watchful
Or even as careful as I needed to be
And without much prayer
Brought people close to me

But with time brings about change
While its players may evolve
This game called life
Essentially remains the same

People come and people go
Evidently their season in my life has been completed
And I, in turn, must let them go
Before I, myself, become depleted

Depleted is not a pleasant place in which to be
It means therefore I have nothing left to give
Not to another living soul
And that includes me

So, before that day comes, there is a choice I must make
That choice is to live life for me
And in that life, live free
I choose to be…Unpologetically Me!

© 2014 All rights reserved. Poem reprinted with the permission of the author, Carlet Horne.  This poem 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 poem.

Meet the Author
Carlet Horne
attended New York University and studied Business Administration and Education. Although her very first piece was written in 2008, she, thinking this was just a one-time occurrence, put her pen and pad on the shelf.  In 2010, in the timing of God, the gift within her was unlocked, and she began to write under the unction of God. “My writing has been used as a source of healing and recovery from hurts, wounds, and issues of my past and I pray that the same is true for those who read any of my work,” states Ms. Horne.

Today, she is a poet  and aspiring author, working on the publication of her first book of Christian poetry and a contributing poet writer for Promoting Purpose Magazine. Other examples of her work can be seen in Black Pearls Magazine and Inspired Women Magazine.  Website: http://www.ashespeaks.weebly.com

 
 

Male Angst Volume I. FML, I Always Get "Those" Chicks by Bobby Cenoura

Male Angst Volume I. FML, I Always Get “Those” Chicks
by Bobby Cenoura

Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get Those Chicks  is the antithesis to 50 Shades of Grey. In this novel, Reggie recounts two disastrous short term relationships: the first to a weed head Vietnamese mother of two who owns a nail salon and has an obsessed “husband”; and the second to an underemployed yet overweight Hispanic mother of two with two baby-daddies and secret sauce. Add to the character mix an interesting oasis of thugs and lowlifes who are sympathetic to Reggie’s cause and help him to count his blessings.

Reggie Jenkins is on to something but he just isn’t getting it right. He is quasi-urban: too black for the mainstream, but not black enough for the underground. The passing away of people, opportunities, and relationships in Reggie’s life have left a hole that he attempts to fill with sex, drugs, and false ego. Reggie has ‘Male Angst’.

Purchase Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get “Those” Chicks
(Male Angst Series Book 1) by Bobby Cenoura

MALE ANGST VOL 1: FML, I ALWAYS GET “THOSE” CHICKS 


Under the Sea

Tara Thai is a restaurant where the theme is ‘under the sea’. The walls are decorated with elaborate aquamarine and teal-colored paint to give the diner an oceanic feel. Painted on these walls are pictures of fish and other marine life, and the lighting was composed of circular bulbs adorned with golden streamers to make them represent jellyfish floating along on an ocean blue. Even more extreme was the hoisted life-sized mannequin of a diver swimming with oxygen tank and all, suspended by thin wires as if it were deus ex machina, it was definitely a date-night restaurant waiting to drain the pockets of an unsuspecting sap if he dares to pay for a full course meal for two, appetizer, drink and desert.

We both sat across from each other scanning the menus. From time to time, I looked at her to see her face gently illuminated by the faux candle sitting in the middle of the table. It felt good to be out with a cute girl, but a creeping thought was whether or not we should go Dutch, because one, I really didn’t know her like that, and two, I didn’t want her to think that I was some punk that would just pay for her off the top. I decided that a happy medium would be to offer to pay for the dinner while suggesting that she pay the tip. That way, I would extend my hand in a chivalrous-like courtesy, while allowing her to exercise her new-age womanly right to independence.

When I go to these restaurants, my favorite dish is to order the whole fish. The fish is usually deep-fried and embellished with a chili-basil sauce. The sweetness of basil contrasted the spiciness of the peppers.  Of course, the whole fish is usually the most expensive item on the menu, because its price dared to be defiant and read: MARKET.  Not that I wouldn’t mind ordering a whole fish, but to do so with her is like a team effort.  I wanted to put it out there, since I think that it would have created a bond between us, but at the same time, I didn’t want her to think I was ordering for her.  As my thought process was churning, it was interrupted by a single robotic voice.

“Koos mey, how are you today? Would you layke to start with something to dwenk?”

I looked at Linh and she looked at me from behind her menu, almost as if we were playing peekaboo.

“Get wactha want, I got this round,” I said to her with the confidence that it wasn’t trickin’ if I had it.

“Okay…I’ll have a…Mint Mojito.”

“Okeyy, an you, sir? Would you layke something to dwenk?”

 “Yeah, I’ll have a Long Island Iced Tea.”

“Zenk yoo.”

As the lady left our table, she seemed to try hard to switch her hips, as she dragged her heels across the floor. Then I got a flashback of a lot of Asian people I knew who tended to drag their heels as they walked. I wondered why that was. Maybe, I thought, they had such strong calves that they couldn’t help it.

After a couple of sips of my drink, it hit me directly as I didn’t have much in my stomach. I was now feeling enthusiastic about the night and wanting to go balls out.

“So, have you ever had the whole Flounder before? It’s pretty good. You wanna get a whole flounder? We can share it.”

“Meh.”

There was a brief silence between us. The thing about the word “meh” is that I am not even sure if it is a word. It’s more like an expression suggesting disinterest. For a moment, it was a bit of a buzz kill, my ego expecting cooperation and companionship. I let it go and turned my attention to the menu. Then she spoke.

“Umm they have curry puffs. I love those. Do you like them?”

“They’re okay.”

The truth was that I really loved curry puffs, but since she took the whole experience down a notch with her lack of enthusiasm, I countered, letting her know that I didn’t give a crap if she wanted to continue on this “date.”  I knew that she probably recognized that her utterance of that friggin’ annoying word turned me off and she was trying to make up for it. I let her take the lead in the conversation.

“I am so glad we came here. I haven’t eaten since early this afternoon, and sometimes I become a different person when I haven’t had food.”

“Kinda like the grumpy guy on the Snickers commercial before he gets a Snickers?”

“Yeah, like that.”

Okay, so the night was still salvageable. She was actually trying to explain why she was being a drag, and I followed up with it. In an essence, she just apologized to me and I accepted it.

“So I started writing this book,” Linh said in between slurping up her soup and taking a bite of her chicken patty.

“What kind of book?”

“It’s a crime/thriller/love story.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s about a girl who belongs to a Vietnamese organized crime family, kinda like the Yakuza, and she is the daughter of the boss. And they hired a highly-trained bodyguard to drive her around, to you know, like school, shopping, etc.”

“That’s interesting. So where does the love story come in?”

“Well what happens is this body guard starts to fall in love with her, and he doesn’t show it directly, but he shows it in different ways, especially when he saves her life.”

“So does the girl end up falling for the guy?”

“Actually, that’s the thing. It’s gonna be one of those unrequited love stories. The girl is actually gonna fall for another guy who the bodyguard eventually finds out that he is from a rival crime family. Then in the end, the bodyguard is going to die saving her life…”

“And what about the guy she falls for? Is he going to end up killing her?”

“No, they are going to end up getting married and he is attempting to consolidate the wealth of the two crime families.”

“Hmm…have you decided on a title?”

“Yea, the Vietnamese Princess Bride.”

“Ahh, the Vietnamese Princess Bride, or VPB. Hey, wait a minute! Those are the initials for Vietnamese Playboys, this old school gang that wore the scorpion tattoos on their forearm?!”

“Shh!”

“Girl, you betta be careful writing shit and coding it.”

“Well at least I would have done something I love before I die.”

“No guts, no glory, they say. I think that’s pretty cool that you like to write.”

“Yeah, I just haven’t even finished the first chapter yet, but I love to read stories all the time on my Kindle.”

“Well, we have a lot in common, ’cause I like to write, too.”

“Really? What are you writing about?”

“A fictional story regarding the relationships between African Americans and Koreans in the inner city.”

“That’s interesting. Nobody’s done that before.”

“Yeah, it kind of focuses on the aspect of Koreans owning liquor stores in the inner city and how they relate-kinda how y’all own nail salons. Have you ever thought about it?”

“About what?”

“About how Blacks and Asians have a kind of interdependent ecosystem-we’re like the consumers and you guys are like the merchants-if it wasn’t for us, y’all wouldn’t eat,”
I said in a southern-like accent. She giggled and nodded her head. I continued.

“In my book, the surroundings touch the Korean characters on a deeper level; one of the female characters becomes involved with one of the brothas from the inner city.”

“Is it a love story?”

“Not really, because I want to focus more on the cultural aspects to enlighten the reader so they won’t get distracted by sexual aspects of man and woman.”

When she asked me about my book, I felt like I was connecting with her, and that we had something in common, besides the fact that we both drink and like Thai food. Our entrees had already arrived. I ordered a tofu and vegetable Pad Ka-Prao, which Tara Thai had intentionally misspelled as Ka-Pow to draw the American eye.

At our table, we dined Asian style, and it made me feel closer to her. For me, and where I’m from, people didn’t usually order different foods and share with each other. To me, black folks were every-man-for-himself when it came to dining. I briefly recalled a moment in time when I was low on cash and didn’t have money for food. This black guy named Rohan would eat chicken in front of my face without offering me any.  It wasn’t until I started to hang around with Asian people that I realized their “community pot” way of sharing food.  They always asked me if I minded dining that way (sharing), but as we ate that night, we had a mutual understanding that we were dining with a sense of camaraderie.  During this moment of total immersion, we moved about the table with our wrists, sampling and tasting different entrees and even daring to mix them.

“So what’s your deal? You know, like do you got a boyfriend or something?”

“Naw, well I don’t have a boyfriend or anything but I am divorced. I figure I would just tell you that from the jump…besides, you might actually know my ex-husband…”

“Oh really? What’s his name?”

“Luke.”

“I don’t think I know him.”

“Well, you might see him on my FB page leaving me pet messages. He just doesn’t get it.”

“Get what?”

“That it’s over.”

“Wow. So do you guys have kids?”

“We have two, but he isn’t around much anymore to see them. My sister takes care of them when I’m away.”

“Where is he now?”

“He’s stationed in Iraq.”

As soon as she said that her ex couldn’t get over her, two things jumped to my mind. They were like a push away from her and a pull toward her. I thought to myself, What type of thang-thang does she got that it’s making her ex refuse to let it go?  That gave me a curious “pull” toward her. While contemplating this, my mind suddenly became overwhelmed by images of “Hamburger Hill” and “Rambo” with some random crazed marine with a scope on top of a rifle kicking down my door for freaking his ex.  A part of me wondered if I should even try to get involved with this chick, but another part of me said, Well it’s not like she’s throwing it at you, so just enjoy the moment and see where it takes you.

(  Continued…  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Bobby Cenoura.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Bobby Cenoura
is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”.  Bobby’s newest genre entitled “Male Angst”, deals with men’s dating dilemmas, and dating market economics.


BPM:  What is the book genre, target audience and subject matter of the book?

“Male Angst”, in the broadest sense of the literary genre, deals with the displeasure a male feels because of the actions he takes or thinks he has to take to obtain desired but apparently scarce resources. The focus is primarily on the displeasure heterosexual males experience in the contemporary, post-modern dating market that they feel are attributable to heterosexual females. The genre utilizes reflection and self-analysis regarding these unpleasant situations to empower males to produce viable solutions. As an ideology, Male Angst counters quasi-feminism without being anti-female at its core.

The target audience is primarily heterosexual males 28 to 58, but women are also welcome to stick their noses in the book to find out how they cause or can mitigate Male Angst! 

The primary subject matter deals with the adult subject of dating and sex and what a man is going through to get the things he wants. There is also partying/drug use and other whimsical themes to help the plot along.


BPM:  The book is from the point of view of a main character who has two disastrous relationships. Can you tell us a little bit about them?

The main character is Reginald Jenkins (Reggie), who is a thirty-something single guy who is getting his bearings dating after getting out of a long-term committed relationship that took up most of his early to mid-twenties. Reggie realizes that the perceived quality of women he meets is drastically different than his late-teen to early-twenty years. He meets Linh, a Vietnamese mother of two in her early twenties, who still parties hard, and whose family owns a nail salon. Linh has a husband in Iraq who she stays married to solely for appearances sake.  The second woman is Leslie, an El-Salvadorean mother of two in her early twenties with two baby-daddies and sloth.

In addition to the relationships and situations with these women, Reggie talks about his current circle of friends and lowlifes and his sub-optimal job condition.


BPM:  This new book is very different from the book we last showcased called Seoul Revelations what prompted you to write from the first person and why this book? Why now?

One, because I wanted to get guys to read: I buddy of mine who read an excerpt said he could not stop laughing once he started reading it because it reminded him so much of things he went through while dating.

Two, Because Pseudo Feminism appears to be running rampant. Pseudo Feminism is the theory that the average postmodern woman will embrace the benefits of feminism but not bear the costs of feminism especially when it comes to dating. For example, a working woman who embraces the fact that she makes a professional level salary but still feels like a man should pay on the first date.

I believe it is caused by Biology and Sociology being at odds with each other in the post-modern predicament.  Biology, I believe, prompts women to desire men who can provide, while sociology prompts women to provide for themselves, thus sending a ‘mixed’ message between partner/provider. It almost as if the women who can provide for themselves look for men that are better providers than even they are. They effectively want their cake and to eat it too.


BPM:  I also noticed that there were mentions of ‘dating market economics’ in the book. How does this tie in to the genre?

Dating Market Values:  My hypothesis is that at any given age, time and other factors, each male has a dating market value. Since men are “beggars” and women are “choosers” (scientific evidence per the Bateman principle (elaborate if asked) women spend more resources on mating and therefore are the choosier sex as opposed to men, who virtually have an unlimited amount of offspring, therefore is the more “competitive” sex), a man’s dating market value must be slightly to moderately higher than the market “price” of a woman who is in her MVW (Market Value Window: period of time where a woman is in her reproductive prime, socially and legally).  Factors that affect men who are in their MVW’s dating market value are assumed as follows:

In addition, since Market Value is relative to the woman’s, the woman usually has a “-”  where the man has a  “+”.   For example, women who are considered “fat” don’t usually date men who are as fat as they are. So a man can be fat, but a woman will take him if she is relatively fatter than he is. Therefore weight after a certain poundage man decrease a man’s MV, if the woman that chooses him has a weight heavier than his, this makes him relatively lighter, and thus he gets a “+” in her eyes.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? Inspire?
I have a few more books to put out as an urban fiction writer: A sequel dealing with the fallout from the dramatic events that took place in Seoul Revelations, and a spinoff called “Hustlin’ life”, which focuses on the drug kingpin P-Nutt and his customers, which will educate readers about what goes through the minds of hustlers and customers. Next is a book called “Southsiders”. This book is to illuminate the topic of gang life and race relations in southern California.

I plan to spend a lion’s share of my time ushering in a genre I created called ‘Male Angst’ The Male Angst series will entertain and illuminate people to the types of challenges that some men face with regard to dating and relationships. It includes novels entitled “Who Motivates the Motivator” which discusses the ins and outs of personal training and “FML I Always Get Those Chicks” which talks about the dating life of a lowly guy looking to ‘come up’.

Then I plan to write fantasy/epic novels and more intricate ‘heist’ or ‘thriller’ novels; possibly touching on cyber-security. Ultimately, I would like to be a movie producer and see my stories come alive on the big screen.

BPM: How do you feel about ebooks? Have they helped your business to grow?
Currently my feelings about ebooks are mixed, most likely because I am new to them. For example I have over 800 downloads of my book but just one review. So I don’t know if people have a habit of downloading books for later. I think ebooks are a great opportunity for an author to get their idea out relatively inexpensively. At this time I cannot say they helped our publishing company’s business grow because our publishing company has had greater success with physical book sales at events than online. That doesn’t mean the potential for growth online is not there.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
“FML I Always Get Those Chicks” is now available.  The movement begins, now! My publishing company, Slice of Pain, will be running a dinner and a movie raffle promotion for that as well. In addition “Black People’s Problems” will be coming out sooner than that, more than likely this month.


Follow me on Twitter:   @BobbyCenoura  or  Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/SeoulRevelations. Join the Male Angst Facebook fan page:  https://www.facebook.com/maleangst 


*  Purchase Male Angst: FML I Always Get “Those” Chicks
(Male Angst Series Book 1) by Bobby Cenoura

*  Purchase  Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura
 
 

CHILDREN AUTHOR: Intimate Conversation with Florence M. Howard

Intimate Conversation with Florence M. Howard

Florence M. Howard
is an accomplished, dynamic and compassionate visionary. She obtained her first library card at the then-recently integrated Main Library on Peabody in Memphis . Director of Community Affairs for WREG-TV, she established and ran the Knowledge Bowl quiz show and Emmy-winning Kids Count campaign for 12 years. She obtained degrees in Journalism from the University of Memphis . Today, she is an author, publicist, event coordinator, and inspirational speaker. She opened her company, Secret Shop Communicators (http://www.sscommpr.com/) in 1999.

BPM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of your family.
Throughout my life, I have been supported by good people – trusted teachers, church members and friends. Apparently, they saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself. I am always amazed by the good things that people tell me about myself. Thanks Goodness, I choose to believe them and not my own fears or misgivings. I was also inspired by things that I read. Books have helped me develop my thinking, my attitudes, my hopes and my dreams. They have helped me correct self-defeating behavior and to grow in ways beyond what I knew growing up.

BPM: What does “growth” mean to you?
Growth means changing for the better, personal improvement. I am not the same person that I was two years ago, five years ago and certainly not 20 years ago –emotionally, spiritually, physically or professionally. I once heard a man who was being interviewed on a talk show and applauded for his accomplishments as a scientist, inventor, writer, etc. He answered, “All that is true but I didn’t do it all at the same time.” That said to me that we don’t have to do everything at once to become the person that God has called us to be but we should be working on some aspect of the plan daily.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, From Sagging to Success and the primary message.
My book, “From Sagging to Success” is a message to urban youth to inspire them to be much more than what people say they are and for the people that want to help them become extraordinary. The primary message of the book is that sagging pants might indicate a sagging mindset and how we think about ourselves influences how we act. Urban youth are often viewed unfairly and stereotyped based on their appearance. They are misjudged due to cultural misperceptions. Young people need to be aware of the repercussions of sagging.

The book addresses these issues through the fictionalized account of the life of a youth named Derrick and the illustrations of Emery Franklin. The book is beautifully illustrated and the paintings were created first as a library gallery exhibit. This book will change the way you look at young people and, perhaps, inspire you to make your own dreams come true. It also gives you talking points and tools to help other people. Read “From Sagging to Success” and become better informed about Black history, inspired to grow and be more successful.

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in your book? 
I was inspired to turn pictures from a Black History month art exhibit into words and motivate young people, about the world, about life in general and about Black life in particular. The first painting in the book is timed after the Emancipation Proclamation, the second painting looks at the Reconstruction Period, another focuses on the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. That strike is part of my history because my mother and stepfather participated in those marches in 1968. I ran News Channel 3’s Knowledge Bowl competition from 1987-1998 and I saw firsthand how little of our history young African American know. I have seen them drop their heads when slavery is mentioned instead of realizing that they are the descendents of survivors. 

From 2002- 2008, I worked with the local NAACP running the Voter Empowerment Campaign and the Get-Out-To-Vote effort. It is sad to say that our children do not know our history and what they know is not in the context of our experiences. As the author, I gave history and background information to put the paintings, their time and place or subject they illustrated into context from an African American perspective. I bring my perspective to the topics in the book – low self-esteem, the after-affects of mistreatment, voting in local, state and federal elections, changing the way your think, educating yourself, recognizing your own genius, committing yourself to being successful – all of it.

BPM: What are the most important responsibilities of parent or guardian?
I believe the most important responsibilities of a parent or guardian is to love, respect, nurture, correct and train a child. Whether a parent is present or away from the home, children need to know that you care and in the absence of something being said or done to indicate otherwise, children grow to believe they are forgotten and unimportant.

BPM: Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
I am an experienced writer with two degrees in journalism and whatever I write is guided by my faith. I pray over every sentence. I recently meet a fellow author at a mutual book signing that asked me unexpectedly if I believed the Bible is the word of God. I said, “Yes, without a doubt, I believe the Bible is word of God and that it was written by men who were inspired by God in what they wrote.” He laughed at me and said “how do you know?” I answered that my book was written by me and inspired by God. That ended that part of the discussion. My writing is inspired by my faith. Otherwise, it would not be as clear, as insightful or as real.

BPM: How is the book being received by the readers?
The book has been well-received: Readers love the book. It is a must-have for anyone with children and grandchildren and for those who teach or work with them. I am working on some workbooks for students in elementary, middle school and high school.

Here are a few of quotes from readers:

This book is for all ages. ~ Dr. Yvonne Osborne

I got this book at the NBCC and its an amazing history lesson for our children. From Sagging to Success tells an amazing story and the artwork is gorgeous. If you have young boys in your life BUY THIS BOOK… 5 Stars ~ Debra, Amazon post

The Book is Great!! And it will be a bestseller, needs to be standard reading for every child in Memphis and through out the United States …yes seriously. ~ Rhonda T.

This book is for anyone who has children that need to be motivated to be all they can be in spite of the odds. The art is wonderful!! ~ Pearl, Amazon post

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want my readers to recapture the dreams that they laid aside or never attempted and to accomplish them. I want them to go from a sagging self-concept to an empowered experience and feeling of success. I want everyone to realize that how you think is more important that how you dress.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or other life path?
Thanks to self-publication of “From Sagging to Success,” my life-long dream of being a published book author has come true. Writing the book made me examine my own actions and attitudes toward success and to refocus my understanding of what the Bible says – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Now I challenge every negative thought and loudly and intentionally practice anticipation and thankfulness. I also think of the outcome that I want to see happen so that when God does it, He gets all the credit and the glory.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Everything that I write has its own purpose. The purpose of “From Sagging to Success” is to educate about our history and successes, illuminate concepts of success and inspire readers to act on what they learn. Right now, I am finishing up my family’s genealogy book which is designed to educate older and younger family members about our personal heritage and to help locate others who through marriage, distance and circumstances don’t even know they are part of the group.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. Finish this sentence – “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… ”
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: the wisdom and tools to become successful and to teach those ideas, concepts and actions to the next generation. Unless we can foster success in the next generation, our legacy is a dead end and not a path that they can follow. Scripture says that “a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” Money is not the only thing that can be inherited. The inheritance can be a lifestyle as well as an attitude of success, responsibility, creativity and the ability, talents and skills to make your way in the world. My mother didn’t leave my brothers and sisters a lot of money. She taught us how to appreciate life, to be kind, hardworking and it paved the way for our successes. Her favorite mantra was: “You don’t know whose hands you will fall in.” When she died at the age of 45, we were blessed to hold each other up and to stay close because we had been trained to help each other and to rejoice over each other’s successes.

Contact Florence M. Howard
Twitter: @florencemhoward
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FlorenceMHoward.Author

From Sagging to Success: The Story of Emery Franklin
Written by Florence M. Howard, Illustrated by Emery Franklin

“From Sagging to Success” is a message to urban youth and the adults who want to help them become extraordinary. Young people are unfairly judged because of their appearance and cultural misperceptions. They need to be made aware of the repercussions of sagging. Sagging pants even might be an indication of a sagging mindset or low self-esteem. A fictionalized character in book illustrations, Derrick goes from sagging to success as he learns about Black history, reads books read and written by successful people and changes the way he thinks. He shares his new knowledge with his parents who also embrace a positive outlook, productive behaviors and principles of success. At the end of the book, Derrick and his parents have successfully transmitted principles of success to the next generation. The book is beautifully illustrated and the paintings were created first as a library gallery exhibit.

The book educates readers our history and successes, illuminates concepts of success and inspires them to act on what they learn. Readers are motivated to examine their thinking patterns, to recapture the dreams that they laid aside or never attempted and to accomplish them. They gain the wisdom and tools to become successful and are equipped to share those ideas, concepts and actions with others.

 
 

CHILDREN AUTHOR: Intimate Conversation with Chanz’e Witcher

Intimate Conversation with Chanz’e Witcher


Chanz’e Witcher
was born in Dallas, Texas. Her favorite subjects in high school were English where writing papers were just natural for her to write. Her passion for writing came early in life when she would read so many books that finally she started to create her own books out of newspaper and bound them with Elmer’s paste. The days of newspaper and glue are long gone as she awaits her first children’s book ALL I WANT to make its way onto the shelves of book stores.

After graduating high school she knew she wanted to become a court reporter and put herself through school at the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas where she soared through this self-efficient program and later became a Stenographer. Chanze left Dallas, Texas and worked in Knoxville, Tennessee where she produced over 300 court proceeding transcripts ranging from depositions, trials, hearings and other litigation cases. She was constantly sought after by lawyers, judges and doctors to take the record for her credibility of being precise and efficient because of her ability to take and transcribe verbatim word by word testimony. This opportunity attributed to her continuously perfecting her writing abilities. She was chosen out of a single-digit percentage of new authors to be signed chosen by Tate Publishing & Enterprises in 2011 to be published as a professional author.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?
I was a rather lonely child growing up and books were my friends. I found comfort reading all day and night. I could just cast all my cares away on the written words and get lost in an unknown world with no worries. As my desire to read progressed, I started going through so many books that I didn’t want my mother to buy me anymore so I turned to writing and making my own books. The more I read books the more I wrote.

BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
My grandmother who passed away in ’09 left a huge imprint on my life because early on as a child she would always tell me, “Baby, one day you are going to reach the people. I would always ask her, “Grandma, what do you mean?” She would just tell me you just have that glow about you that is contagious. I also have to say my mother contributed to me pursuing endeavors of authorship. She also would tell me after she would read what t I had wrote that it was powerful and that I had a true calling that I shouldn’t just sit on. I would often laugh and say, “Mom, everybody can write.” She would laugh and say people may be able to write but not everyone can write and touch people.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
All I Want is the 1st book in a series of spiritual children books that is symbolic of my life as a child between my mother and me, where she taught me the foundation of knowing who Jesus is. It introduces the youth to scriptures that they can carry on with them throughout life and into their adulthood. What makes this book so special is that it carries weight with what the youth faces today such as maybe not being accepted in society but knowing that you will always be accepted with Jesus. It teaches them that with Jesus you can overcome.

BPM: What inspired you to write this book? Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
I was inspired to write this book after completing my grandmother’s memoir on her 2-year anniversary night. I prayed asking God what could I do to assist the youth with what they were facing today. When reading the news or even watching it on television the youth are dying earlier and earlier not even living their life. As I went back over my childhood it was revealed to me that I had faced some of the same or similar circumstances in life just in a different time period and it was clear my entire life was a book and that I had to share what I knew with the youth that Jesus is key. It is my ultimate goal to restore the kingdom foundation that was the standard long ago that you have to reach for the most High in everything and he will see you through.

My faith inspires me to write because it is deep and it is real. It leaves you reflecting on life and what is meant by this life that we have. We are all here to serve a purpose and what we do each day has a long lasting effect on the people we come to meet and know.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
My goal as a writer is to simply touch people in their soul. I want my readers and supporters to grow with me whether they are a child, young adult or an adult as I have something in store for each genre. I want them to know that when I write it comes from a place deep inside of me that God planted there and that I have them in mind each time I go to write. I want to take a life experience that could destroy an individual and create a memory within where they know that all things we encounter and go through was to serve an ultimate purpose and find joy by it and go on to share their story with another individual so they too can do the same.

BPM: Please share with us a thought or reflection on your journey to this point in writing.
My journey to this point I give God all the credit for. I am nothing without him and I will never be anything without him. I am grateful and thankful for this moment because I have always spoken this moment into existence trusting and believing that God would make a way for me. He has opened doors that I myself could not have opened and made a way for me against all odds, obstacles and challenges.

BPM: What would you like to accomplish as you continue to write?
One day I hope to have my own publishing company and assist others with writing and sharing their stories.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online?
What is next for Chanz’e is to just to continue to dig deep within myself and write many more books that will touch all people. I want to be able to assist others with telling their story. I am also working on publication of young adult and adult novels as well. I am currently working on an adult novel Supernatural Stage IV that will leave you speechless; in tears one moment and laughing the next and mouth hanging open the next as the story of one woman’s journey is revealed when she is healed of Stage IV breast cancer supernaturally.

My readers can follow me at: http://www.facebook.com/CreatingMemoriesWithin and Twitter. I look forward to meeting my supporters and loving them through the words that are written from within me.

Purchase Books: 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Chanze-Witcher/e/B009B3BLH8

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-i-want-chanze-witcher/1112493710

Tate Publishing: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781621471929

 
 

CHILDREN AUTHOR: Intimate Conversation with Nicole M. Brown

Intimate Conversation with Nicole M. Brown

Nicole M. Brown, MSN, RN
, is a nurse educator, who teaches nursing at a HBCU in Central VA. She has worked as a nurse for over 20 years in various specialties from Emergency Room to long–term care. She is also, a Doctoral candidate with Walden University and an Army veteran, who served in Operation Desert Storm. She is the proud mother of three and happily divorce. She is dedicated to providing positive images of the nursing profession for children and the world through her books.

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?
The Journey to become a successful author is not easy, there are many long hours, no pay and it is very expensive up front. I have always dreamed of becoming an author. To help make this dream come true, I had to make some changes in my life. I have downsized and live with family to afford to publish my work. After publishing, the goal is to be a successful author and tell people about my book via various methods. As a self-published author you have to become an expert or hire experts in social media, blogging and your website. You have to be consistent in your quest to become a successful author. I am in the book business for the long haul and plan to continue for the next 3 to 5 years.

My children have heavily influenced me to become an author. I want to leave my children and grandchildren to come, with wisdom and knowledge of what I have done during my lifetime. I plan to write more books to explain issues to my children in the future. I want to leave a legacy, which will last after, I am gone.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel? How do you feel about self-publishing?
I was afraid of being rejected, so I pursued self-publishing. I wanted to be in control of my words and pictures in my book. Maybe, one day a large publisher will approach me to do a traditional book.


BPM: What is your definition of success?

I want to be happy with what I have done over my lifetime. Success means setting, implementing and accomplishing lifelong goals. Success feels good.

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?
I go by my feelings with my work. I want to feel comfort and calmness in my spirit with my writing. This will mean success to me.

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life?
The Millionaire Next Door, it is about how an average person can become a millionaire over a lifetime with some simple basic good decisions.

BPM: How has your writing style evolved over the years?
What stimulated your growth the most? My writing style has shifted to respond to question my children ask me. I wan to leave something in writing to solve issues they may have now or encounter in the future. My children have stimulated my growth the most.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
I feel now I can do anything, I put my mine to. This has been an amazing and overwhelming experience. I have experienced highs and lows during authorship. Most people support your work and then there are others who do not.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
I love attending conferences and events focused on authors and book clubs. I feel like a celebrity at times. I have accomplished sometime, many people only dream of.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Offer to be an intern with an author. Attend and volunteer at book events to understand the business of writing a book. Remember writing a book is a business , so take business classes.


BPM: If you were not a writer, what would you be? What are you passionate about, besides writing books?

I would continue to teach nursing. I have been a nurse for 20 years. Also, I will start my not-for-profit called, “Future Nurse.” I will have a scholarship for books and sponsor international mission trips to Haiti and Africa. In addition, I am weeks away from completing my Doctorate in Nursing. I have to get really to be called. Dr. Nicole Brown!!!


BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. Do you have any favorites? What genre is the book? On Kindle or Nook? 

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole-N is for Nurse is my first book. The main characters are myself as Nurse Nicole and my three children Nathaniel, Nicolas and Nicola. No, I do not have any favorites. All of the characters are needs to make the story a success. This is a non-fiction book. Available in paperback on Amzaon and Kindle for ebook. The Adventures of Nurse Nicole –Wash Your Hands is my second book, which will be out soon. The same as above!!


BPM: What compelled or inspired you to write this book? Why now? Ever experience writers block?

I was inspired by my children. My children would ask me, what did I do at work every day? I went to Walmart and Target to find something to explain nursing. Currently, there is nothing on the market that nurses can buy for their children to explain the profession of nursing. What I really wanted was s doll or video to show my kids. During my research, I found out I could not afford to start with a doll or video. So, I began my company with books to explain nursing go children. I thought a book would be affordable and easy to do. Books are a world of their own. I want to write books now that grow with my children. I plan to write a step by step guide on, “How to become a Nurse.” I have not had writers block yet!!

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
Yes, each scene in the book I have experience as a nurse. I worked with the illustrator on each and every picture for my books.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message enclosed?
The audience for my books are moms, dads, grandparents, families, nurses and anyone who would like to expose their child to a career for the future.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
They should go to the website sign up for my newsletter and click on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to follow me. They should read my next book, “Wash Your Hands, which is coming out soon. I plan to publish my doctoral project and How to Become a Nurse in 2014.

BPM: How do you avoid the temptation of interjecting your own morals or ministry in your writing?
With my writing, I follow the standards of what a nurse would do. I had to educate my illustrator on appropriate issues a nurse can and cannot do. I want my work to be respected and accurate of the nursing profession.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I would like families to start to encourage children of the profession of nursing. Most of my student are second career students and in their forties. I would like to see more young people pursue nursing as the first career.


BPM: Now, let’s talk about the industry. Will the digital age or social media usage change the face of publishing?

Yes, I love my social media forums. I have had my FB author site up and within 32 days had 500 likes. I am so excited. I enjoy receiving the feedback on my FB account.


BPM: How do feel about selling digital books vs. selling in a brick and mortar store? What impact do you think electronic book sales will have on black authors? On indie authors? 

I wish I had started with my ebook first. I enjoy using social media for my books sales. I believe as an author I have to be available for brick and mortar stores. I think people will buy more from the ebooks format overtime.


BPM: What has been your most difficult hurdle to leap? Marketing, promotions or gaining media exposure, etc. How can EDC Creations and our readers help you?

The biggest hurdle is getting website up and starting the social media. Realizing that everyone does not or will not like my book. I have been told my book is not ethnic enough due to AA on the cover. My first 2 books have only AA on the cover. My next 2 children’s books will have a diverse cover. I would like your readers to like my sites, promote my book to others and buy my book and add great reviews to the Amazon site. ,

BPM: How much does “word of mouth” has play into the success of your book? What grassroots strategies have you used to spread the word about your book?
I think word of mouth is good. I talk to people about my book all the time. The grass roots strategy is to sell to family and friends. But the social media is better and faster.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… ”
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…educating the world through the art and science of nursing.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online? 
They should read my next book, “Wash Your Hands, which is coming out soon. I plan to publish my doctoral project and How to Become a Nurse in 2014. On my website please click on FB, Twitter and Pinterest.

 
 

CHILDREN AUTHOR: Meet James Burd Brewster & Uncle Rocky, Fireman

Meet James Burd Brewster & Uncle Rocky, Fireman

James Burd Brewster was raised in Albany, NY, learned to sail on Lake Champlain, navigated a Polar Icebreaker for the US Coast Guard, and married Katie Spivey from Wilmington, NC. They lived in Baltimore, MD when Jim told Ben and Luke the Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories. Their family grew to five (Ben, Luke, Rachel, Andrew, Sam) and they settled in Pomfret, MD outside of Washington, DC where Jim finished up a career in the US Coast Guard. During this time, Katie educated all five children at home which Jim says gave him the motivation to tell the Uncle Rocky, fireman stories to Ben and Luke. Twenty four years later, when Jim and Katie became empty nesters, they took a creative writing course from Dr. Wayne Karlin, which prompted them to consider converting the Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories into illustrated children’s books.

Through the assistance of Yvonne Medley of the Life Journeys Writers Club and advice from James Mascia (author of High School Heroes) Jim was able to find an illustrator and complete four books. Ben and Luke are no longer 6 and 4. Ben is a Marine, married, the local writers club, and father of four. Luke is an Apple employee in Chicago, IL. Ben now tells Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories to his sons, Levi, Micah, and Judah.


BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

The short answer is “God’s Timing.” The long answer goes back 25 years to 1990 when I told the Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories to my two oldest boys (Ben and Luke) as I put them to bed at night… They were 6 and 4 at the time. I had a blast telling them the stories and they had a riot acting them out. I especially enjoyed seeing them mimic Uncle Rocky’s arm motion and hearing them say “Glad to do it” at the end of each story. We thought other parents might like the same experience with their kids. As a result, Katie and I always thought they would do well as illustrated children’s stories.

About 15 years ago, the boys and I sat down and wrote down as a many titles and themes as we could remember and I actually wrote out several episodes as complete stories. Fast forward to the fall of 2012 when Katie and I were officially “Empty Nesters,” as the last of our five children was off to college. To celebrate, we enrolled in a creative writing class taught by Wayne Karlin at the College of Southern Maryland.

Our writing assignments got me thinking of the Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories and I brought them out of mental and physical storage and actively began to think of a book project. My renewed interest in writing and a Tax refund check made me receptive to a notice I saw on the library bulletin board for the Feb 16, 2013 meeting of the Life Journey’s Writer’s club (LJWC) founded by author Yvonne J. Medley (The Plumb Line). As a note, my stumbling block to starting the Uncle Rocky, Fireman books had been the cost and difficulty of finding an illustrator. I thought the writer’s club might be able to help me, so my daughter Rachel and I attend the meeting.

Sure enough, at the meeting I meet children’s book author Mr. James Mascia (High School Heroes series) and he told me I could find all the affordable illustrators I would ever need at Elance.com. He was correct. Within 24 hours I had contracted with Dayna Barley-Cohrs to illustrate my books and we had the four books printed and published by June 2013. It changed our lives.


BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?

My parents were very creative and storytelling is not unique to us. My dad use to tell us the story of “Loldiglocks and the Be Threars,” (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with word sounds reversed). Katie’s parents and mine also invested lots of time and love in us as kids. As new parents, we copied our successful parents and telling these stories and spending creative time with our kids just mirrored their example.

As devout, practicing Christians our parents (Mine – Episcopalian, Katie’s – Southern Baptist) also taught us to be observant and look out for needs in others that we could help meet (i.e. be the hands and feet of Jesus). Uncle Rocky very clearly models that attitude and it was a model we wanted our boys to copy.


BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 

Uncle Rocky, Fireman grew out of the Father-Son time I had with my two oldest boys (Ben and Luke) as I put them to bed at night. They were 6 and 4 at the time and I told story each night. Little boys like fireman, so I created a fireman character who not only was on the Hook and Ladder truck, but also had the neatest job of driving the rear wheels of the truck and operating the ladder. After that is was pretty easy as each night all I had to do was think up a different type of fire to go to.

Each story had four purposes: 1) Have the station alarm ring so that the Uncle Rocky could run to the fire gear and get dressed (my boys acted this out); 2) Test everything on the truck to make sure they worked before they left for the fire (my boys made ALL the sounds); 3) Go rescue or help someone (be the hero); and 4) say “Glad to do it!” after being praised for being a hero (my boys loved saying “Glad to do it!” along with Uncle Rocky).

Eventually, I ran out of types of fires to go to so Uncle Rocky was transferred to the EMT unit and he responded to medical emergencies until we ran out of those. Then he joined the fire boat unit and eventually ended up with the Medical Evacuation Helicopter. In addition, Uncle Rocky is friends with Officer Jack (police stories) and their girlfriends are a middle school teacher (Melanie) and emergency room nurse (Jessica).


BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?

Uncle Rocky, Fireman recounts the adventures of Uncle Rocky (new firefighter) and his two nephews (Ben and Luke). They are children’s illustrated story books designed to be read by a parent (preferably Dad) to ages 7 and below.

Uncle Rocky, Fireman by James Burd Brewster, Illustrated by Dayna Barley-Cohrs, is a series of children’s picture books about the adventures of Uncle Rocky (new firefighter) and his two nephews (Ben and Luke). They are children’s illustrated story books designed to be read by a parent (preferably Dad) to ages 7 and below. Apart or together they fight fires, rescue people, and help neighbors. The stories emphasize service to others and devotion to duty with each story ending with the trademark statement, “Glad to do it!

Uncle Rocky, Fireman #1 – Fire! 

New firefighter, Rocky Hill, arriving at his first fire is confronted by a frantic mother shouting, “Save my Baby, Save My Baby.” While his partners attack the fire Rocky, his heart pounding with the urgency of the situation, crawls through the upstairs searching for the baby trapped in her crib.

Uncle Rocky, Fireman #2 – Something’s Missing

Rocky Hill has been a firefighter for only three weeks but cannot get it out of his head that something is missing at the station. But what is it? His thoughts about this mystery are interrupted by the visit of his two nephews, Ben and Luke. The interruption does not last long however as Luke’s insightful question points Rocky in the right direction.

Uncle Rocky, Fireman #3 – Sparky’s Rescue

New firefighter, Rocky Hill and his two nephews, Ben and Luke, are on a mission to find a mascot for the fire house. Only a Dalmatian will do, but the City Pound has none and the Pet Store is sold out; strikes one and two. If Valley Kennels is strike three the mission will be a failure and Uncle Rocky’s day off wasted.

Uncle Rocky, Fireman #4 – Sparky Protects

Sparky, the fire station’s new Dalmatian dog, has done well in training, but Rocky Hill knows that Sparky has not been tested by a real fire. When Sparky attacks the hose team as they approach a burning garage, Uncle Rocky fears the worst. Maybe Sparky is not a fire dog after all.

We have also published a 12 episode chapter book written for a 3rd grade reader titled: The Adventures of Uncle Rocky, Fireman. The books are all available in paperback from http://www.GladToDoIt.net or Amazon .com. Electronic books can be purchased at Smashwords.com or Kindle


BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?

It is important to note for parent’s sake that all of the characters in the Uncle Rocky, Fireman series are kind, friendly, nice people, who like to help others and there are no bad issues that need to be explained. Uncle Rocky, Ben and Luke act towards and treat others in the same manner that we are teaching our children to act.

Uncle Rocky is a new firefighter, just graduated from the Fire Academy. Ben and Luke (actually my boy’s names) are his two nephews whom he likes and frequently does thing with. Uncle Rocky is teamed with Bob (Truck Captain) and Big Joe (driver). Their station chief is a seasoned, growly fire veteran whom every just refers to as “Chief.” They all get along, want to fight fires and rescue people, and are interested in each other’s success and well being.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 

The topics discussed in the book are actually shown through the character’s behavior. They are kind, nice people who believe it is their Christian responsibility or civic duty to be kind to and help others and they live that out in every Uncle Rocky, Fireman episode.

Writing and publishing the Uncle Rocky, Fireman series has driven home to me that NO ONE gets to their end point entirely on their own effort. Everyone is moved along the way by many kind and helpful people who with either provide crucial information (James Mascia with the Elance.com website info or KR Raye with her referral to Ella Curry) or essential encouragement (Katie who thinks the books are wonderful and Yvonne Medley who created the Life Journals Writers Club).

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I am a “Project Guy,” meaning I like to conceive an idea (the books), think the process through from A to Z, and then see it I can make it work. I am not a writer in that I am compelled to write, as many are. I am driven by a desire to see this project work out.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
I hope the Uncle Rocky, Fireman book series grows to over 100 episodes as I have material and stories from fire fighters to fill over 100 episodes. However, I really hope it grows to over 100 episodes because fathers and son have the same fun we did with Ben and Luke in telling and acting out these stories.

My real desire is for parents and children, after reading Uncle Rocky, Fireman is to follow Uncle Rocky’s example in being “Glad to do it!” to help others.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
Katie and I home taught our five children (Ben, Luke, Rachel, Andrew, Samuel) and my guess is that if we hadn’t been homeschooling, I might not have had the motivation to tell Ben and Luke the Uncle Rocky, Fireman stories. That would have meant the loss of all the great memories we have about Uncle Rocky and “Glad to do it!” For that, I am forever grateful to Katie for learning about and being willing to home school our family.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?

The entire Uncle Rocky, Fireman series and its associated coloring pages (free download) are available at http://www.gladtodoit.net.


CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR ONLINE

Author Website: http://www.GladToDoIt.net
Independent Bookstore : www.booknutsbookstore.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/unclerockyfireman


Sneak Peek From Uncle Rocky, Fireman #1 Fire!

Crawling through the room, he felt the legs of a crib, reached into it, and touched a baby. The baby did not move.

Uncle Rocky picked up the baby, covered her with his arms and held her close to his chest and turnout coat.

He raced through the hallway and down the stairs to fresh air. Uncle Rocky was worried. The baby still had not moved.

Outside the young lady ran up to them, but Bob kept her back until Uncle Rocky could examine the baby.

Uncle Rocky opened his arms. He looked at the baby and gave a big sigh of relief.
He smiled, walked over the mother, and gently placed the baby in her arms. She smiled and started to cry. Her daughter was sound asleep.

The mother looked up at Uncle Rocky with tears in her eyes and said, “Thank you. Thank you for saving my baby. Thank God you came in time.”

Uncle Rocky felt good. He also thanked God. This is why he had become a firefighter.

He looked into the mother’s eyes and said,

“Glad to do it!

Tomorrow Night: Uncle Rocky, Fireman “Something’s Missing”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, James Burd Brewster. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

 
 

CHILDREN AUTHOR: Intimate Conversation with Dr. Courtney Davis

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Courtney Davis

Dr. Courtney Davis
has been an avid reader since she was a young girl. As the daughter of parents who valued reading, she was surrounded with books, magazines and opportunities to create stories. She has a passion for working with students in urban areas helping them unleash their potential to become change-agents in their communities. Dr. Davis has also been a practitioner and advocate for children with disabilities and their families for more than 15 years. These experiences inspired her to create books that encourage children to read. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Davis now happily resides in Historic Anacostia. This is her first picture book. Visit her online at http://www.aisforanacostia.com.

BPM: What led you to become a children’s book author?
As an educator and resident of Anacostia, I worked in a local elementary school in Ward 8. While working with Pre-K and kindergarten students, I wanted to find a way to connect the class work to our community. I tried to find existing material to use with a younger audience in local libraries however nothing existed. So, like most teachers, I created the material I needed to reach my students. I wanted to ensure that the students that live and play in Ward 8 were highlighted in a positive way.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?
This is my first book and I wanted to proudly represent my neighborhood. So often, negative messages are shared about the residents and community of Anacostia, located in Washington, DC. However, I wanted to share another perspective that highlights the positive behaviors of children and the popular places to visit. There are so many gems in the community and A is for Anacostia can be used as a map of awesome resources including the home of Frederick Douglass and the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. At the beginning of the school year, I was a tour guide for over 40 teachers and used the book to guide us to many landmarks and popular places easily accessible to children and adults in our community. We had a ball!!

BPM: What drew you to tackle the topics in your book?
I wanted to make sure children in the community had an opportunity to see themselves in a book. Not only can they recognize peers, they are familiar with many places that are just a few steps from their home or school. It is a win-win situation as it increases the self-concept and reinforces the alphabet at the same time!! On top of that, the vibrant illustrations guarantee to bring life to each page!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely! I think Anacostia is the best kept secret in Washington, DC and I want to share it with everyone! There are so many beautiful places to visit and enjoy, including historical landmarks, a Smithsonian museum and Anacostia river. As a resident, I have the opportunity to walk or ride my bike to the same places that I introduce to fellow community members or new visitors. In addition, I have first-hand experience with some of our youngest residents and this book is my attempt to glorify their activities too.

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers?
In the winter of 2013, I initiated a book drive to place a copy of A is for Anacostia in the hand of every Pre-K student at Ketcham Elementary School. The purpose of the book drive was to increase literacy skills and home libraries for our youngest residents. Because book lovers residing in and out of Anacostia made donations to the children, we were able to meet our goal! Copies of A is for Anacostia were signed and supplied to each student and teacher in four Pre-K classrooms.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
After reading this alphabet book, I want children to be excited about learning and seeing African-American characters that look like themselves. In addition, I want them to adopt an attitude to explore their own neighborhood, and find a new activity. After a book reading, two first grade girls shared a message with me, “I want to visit Anacostia!” I can’t wait to welcome them to the neighborhood again.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? Inspire?
Learning and having fun make an awesome combination! As a writer, I try to strike a balance to avoid preaching to kids while connecting new information to their prior knowledge. My goal is to continue to show characters that reflect students that I know and introduce educational concepts.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online? 
I invite all your readers to visit my website: http://www.aisforanacostia.com or the A is for Anacostia Facebook page!  I regularly post upcoming reading events and appearances for both children and adults. In addition, I am excited to share that some of the characters from A is for Anacostia will be visiting a new location. They will travel to Chicago! Stay tuned as the adventure will be released in the Spring!

 
 

CHILDREN HEALTH: Wash Your Hands – Adventures of Nurse Nicole-Volume 2

Wash Your Hands 
Adventures of Nurse Nicole-Volume 2
by Nicole M. Brown


The Adventures of Nurse Nicole 
is a wonderfully cleaver and bright series about a nurse with three children who are curious about nursing. The Adventures of Nurse Nicole, “Wash Your Hands” describes the steps to washing your hands and the importance of having clean hands. The first skill nurses learn in nursing school is how to wash their hands. Nurse Nicole teaches her students and her children how to wash their hands. This is a must-have book, because everyone needs to know the basic steps to washing your hands. There are more books to come from The Adventures of Nurse Nicole series.

More About the Author
Nicole Brown, MSN, RN
, is a nurse educator, Doctoral candidate and an Army veteran. She is the proud mother of three and is dedicated to providing positive images of the nursing profession for children and the world.

Series: The Adventures of Nurse Nicole
Wash Your Hands (The Adventures of Nurse Nicole) (Volume 2)
by Nicole M. Brown

Purchase Link: http://amzn.com/0989186725  

 
 

Daily Activity Workbook: Summer Study Daily Activity Workbook: Grade 3

Summer Study Daily Activity Workbook: Grade 3 
Flash Kids Summer Study
by Flash Kids Editors (Editor)


Summer Skills Daily Activity Workbooks
feature 90 alternating math and reading activities–one for every day of the vacation. Skill labels on every page make it simple to track what a child is learning.

For 60 years, Sterling has been one of the world’s leading publishers of non-fiction books. We strive to publish high-quality books that educate, entertain, and enrich the lives of our readers. We have the reach of a major publisher with the passion and creativity of an independent press.  While this is an accurate portrayal, it’s just one portion of the overall publishing program that Sterling represents.

Summer Study Daily Activity Workbook: Grade 3 
Workbook Age Range: 8 years

 
 

CHILDREN POETRY: Little Wisdom by Sumayyah

Little Wisdom by Sumayyah
This book of poetry and inspiration is truly a must have for people of all ages!

Little Wisdom is an inspirational book of poems from the mind of a nine year old girl. Some will inspire you and some will make you laugh. Sumayyah’s book, Little Wisdom, has been on the bestseller’s list since it was first published in August 2013.

Book Review for Little Wisdom by Sumayyah
Little Wisdom by the very young and talented author, Sumayyah, is a book of sunshine, wisdom, hope, and truth. You can tell that every poem was written straight from her little innocent heart. With clarity and purpose, Sumayyah talks about many aspects of life like having friends, family, happiness, loving yourself and appreciating life. She even touches on the formidable topic of death which demonstrates the strong and courageous spirit that lives inside the mind of this young and motivational writer. It’s always a joy to see children who are driven and excited about life and actually put in the time and hard work to achieve their dreams. Sumayyah is a shining star and I encourage every boy and girl to pick up a copy of her book and get inspired. 5 stars”- Urban Books Authors and Writers of America.

About the Author
Sumayyah Muhammad is a ten year old straight A student who loves to write and read when she is not riding horses or playing with monster trucks. She is originally from Pennsylvania. She now lives in Virginia with her parents. She is the youngest of five siblings. She has an Italian Mastiff named Sharif who is her guard dog.

Sumayyah is slowly becoming a brand to empower the youth to be all they can. Sumayyah is an aspiring Olympic equestrian and published author. Currently, the design is being worked on for the Olympik Equestrian Center in Suffolk, Virginia. Sumayyah hopes the center will be a location for the youth in the local area to learn more about horses, these big but gentle creatures who want and need love. The center will also offer boarding and horseback riding lessons.

Check out Sumayyah’s website at: http://www.sumayyahm.com or Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sumayyah/383812328430164

 
 
 

CHILDREN: Tia’s Journey by Sumayyah

Tia’s Journey by Sumayyah

Tia Banks is a ten year old girl who aspires to be an Olympic Equestrian. She practices every day, has fallen numerous times and throughout it all, she kept the faith. Being one of the few African Americans in the sport, she has a hard time getting support from fellow equestrians until she meets a star equestrian named Princess Jackson at a horse show. Princess helps Tia get over her struggles and earned her first Gold medal in the hunter jumper category.

Order your book: http://www.sumayyahm.com/pre-orders.html 
Book costs $6.99 plus shipping and handling. 

Sumayyah Muhammad is a fun-loving and smart ten year old author. She is slowly becoming a brand to empower the youth to be all they can. Sumayyah is an aspiring Olympic equestrian and published author. Currently, the design is being worked on for the Olympik Equestrian Center in Suffolk, Virginia. Sumayyah hopes the center will be a location for the youth in the local area to learn more about horses, these big but gentle creatures who want and need love. The center will also offer boarding and horseback riding lessons.

Sumayyah loves to play with her friends, go to school, read, write, play and go to Monster Trucks shows (her favorite truck is Gravedigger). Her first love is horses. She hopes to be an Olympic Equestrian and write another book in the next 5 years. She is originally from Pennsylvania. She now lives in Virginia with her parents. She is the youngest of five siblings.

 
 
 
 

HAIR HEALTH: Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide by Pamela Samuels Young

Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

This book will help African-American women with kinky hair learn the true beauty and versatility of their natural hair.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Natual Hair Resource Guide  is for You! This book is a collection of the best resources to help you begin your natural hair journey. You’ll find the books, the bloggers, tools, product and more. You’ll learn how to develop a hair care regime, how to determine the tools and products you’ll need and how to track your progress. Whether you have a relaxer, press ‘n curl or you’re already natural, Kinky Coily has something for you. So get ready to experience the true beauty and versatility of your natural hair.


Kinky Coily Excerpt

Transitioning to natural hair will require you to think differently about your hair. You’ll need to believe in the beauty and versatility of your natural hair. While the process will be frustrating at times, it will also be rewarding and fulfilling. If you make the commitment, I guarantee that you’ll end up with an appreciation of your kinky coils as well as greater confidence in yourself and your hair. Before we begin, here are four tips that are crucial to a successful transition.

A Positive Mindset
You’ll need to embrace a whole new mindset about the beauty of your natural hair to have a successful transition. Many of us with kinky hair have been raised to believe that we cannot take care of our own hair because it’s too unruly, difficult and just plain “bad.” That’s bull.

Start your natural hair journey with an open mind. Allow your hair to be all it can be and love it for its beauty and flexibility. How many straight-haired women can sport kinky curls, twists, locs, Bantu knots, micro-braids and cornrows? None I know.

My point is you’re going to have to erase all those negative notions you have about your hair. You have the most fabulous hair in the world. Embrace it!

Time
I’ve heard many women say that going natural takes too much work. Really? I can remember spending three-to-four hours in the beauty shop, and that doesn’t include my two-hour round-trip commute. If I was getting a weave, the entire day and night might be lost.

If rocking your natural hair is important to you, you’ll have to make the decision to investment in yourself. Yes, deep conditioning once or twice a week, moisturizing and sealing your hair on a daily basis and styling your natural hair will take time. But so does anything worth having.

Commitment
In addition to time, you’re going to need to be committed to the process. There will be times when you are disappointed because your hair isn’t growing fast enough. Transitioning to natural hair is not going to happen overnight. Hair growth takes time. Particularly if you hair is damaged.

You’ll need time to learn your hair and what products respond best to it. You will probably get frustrated and overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Don’t.

Think about the last diet or exercise program you started, but didn’t finish. Somewhere along the line, you just got tired of the bland food and gave up. Now think about the last diet or exercise program you did finish. How proud did you feel after reaching your goal? Transitioning to natural hair is something you’re doing for yourself. You deserve it. So make a commitment to yourself to stick with it no matter what.

Patience
This is the most important tool of all! The beautiful natural hair you want isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of work and patience on your part. Along the way, there will be successes and failures. Products you love. Products you purchase after watching a tutorial on YouTube that end up being a complete waste of your money. It’s all part of the process.

Somewhere along your journey, you’ll find out what works for you and the results will follow. So practice patience! You won’t regret it!


PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG TOP 5 HAIR TIPS

* Be patient. Transitioning takes time and effort.
* Develop a weekly hair care regimen and stick to it.
* Educate yourself about the care of your natural hair.
* Join a natural hair MeetUp group to share resources.
* Keep a hair journal to track your progress.


Purchase Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734167 


Purchase  Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal
by Pamela Samuels Young

Link:  http://amzn.com/0985734183

Purchase signed copies here:  http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/index.html
Watch & share the Kinky Coily Tutorials:  http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela  

Meet the Author
Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Pamela’s first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, goes on sale in April, 2014.  A former TV news writer, Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or event, email Pamela via her website at: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

 
 

CHILDREN: Things Sasha Learned from Her Dog Winston by Marian L. Thomas

Things Sasha Learned from Her Dog Winston 
by Marian L. Thomas

Sasha is a beautiful brown-eyed young girl with an amazing dog named, Winston. By watching him over the years, she discovers that there is so much that she can learn from him. From how to overcome fear, deal with bullies, to learning to play with other children and being friendly. Sasha finds out that her best friend is full of valuable lessons!

Editorial Reviews

“The bond between Sasha and Winston will warm the hearts of both parents and children, teaching the latter ones the importance of friendship and the benefits of learning.”-Ian Farrell

“Sasha’s dog, Winston, is not just an adorable pet but also, a metaphor; Winston proves that one can learn something from the most unexpected of sources, events, or sentient beings.”-IPublishinersNews

“This is a book that my granddaughter would really enjoy!” -Renee S, Grandmother, Shelfari Contributor

More About the Author
Clean Fiction novelist,  Marian L. Thomas is a dynamic story-teller with three engaging and dramatic novels to her credit. Her books have been seen on national television stations such as, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on many broadcast and online radio stations. Her titles, “My Father’s Colors” and “Strings of Color”, both received the USA Best Book Finalist Award.

Mrs. Thomas might also be the first African American pioneer of contemporary women’s clean fiction. She refuses to lace her work with explicit sexual themes or profanity. Her books are rich with ever-intriguing themes of race, family strife, love, divorce, friendship and abuse. And yet, her tales which seem to pre-stage current tabloid headlines are spelled out in ways that suit the delicate moral tastes of both the Christian Fiction reader and the Clean Fiction book reader.

You can follow Marian on Twitter @MarianLThomas01 and her blog, theWritersInkSpot. If you enjoyed any of her novels, please write a review and visit her website. She’d love to hear from you!

 
 
 

2 TEEN READS: Panic AND Darkness Before Dawn by Sharon M. Draper

Panic by Sharon M. Draper

This gripping, chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, “by turns pulse-pounding and inspiring” (Kirkus Reviews), shows that all it takes is one bad decision for a dream to become a nightmare.


Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.  But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?


Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.


Purchase Panic by Sharon M. Draper

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.com/1442408979





Darkness Before Dawn by Sharon M. Draper
Hazelwood High Trilogy


Hope shines in the face of fear in this conclusion to Sharon M. Draper’s award-winning Hazelwood High trilogy, now in trade paperback with a new cover.

In her senior year, things are finally looking a little brighter for Keisha. Still haunted by the suicide of her ex-boyfriend, Andy, she finds comfort in the attentions of the new track coach, twenty-three-year-old Jonathan Hathaway, the principal’s son. How can Keisha not be swept off her feet by a tall, dark, handsome “lemon drop wrapped in licorice” who treats her like a woman, not a girl?

But suddenly this intoxicating relationship takes a frightening turn, and Keisha is once again plunged into the darkness she’s fought so hard to escape. Will Keisha ever be able to find her way back into the light?


Purchase Darkness Before Dawn (Hazelwood High Trilogy)
by Sharon M. Draper
Amazon Link:  http://amzn.com/1442489154 



About the Author

Sharon Draper
is a two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author, most recently for Copper Sun, and previously for Forged by Fire. She’s also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Author Award for New Talent for Tears of a Tiger and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for The Battle of Jericho and November Blues. Her other books include Romiette and Julio, Darkness Before Dawn, and Double Dutch. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years. She’s a popular conference speaker, addressing educational and literary groups both nationally and internationally.

 
 

WORKBOOKS: Summer Bridge Activities, Grades 1-2

Summer Bridge Activities, Grades 1-2
by Summer Bridge Activities

Designed specifically for preparing Canadian first-grade students for the new year ahead. Reviewed by Canadian teachers and students, this workbook features daily activities in reading, writing, math, and language arts plus a bonus section focusing on character development and healthy lifestyles. The exercises are easy to understand and are presented in a way that allows your child to review familiar skills and then be progressively challenged on more difficult subjects. Give your children the head start they deserve with this fun, easy-to-use, award-winning series, and make learning a yearlong adventure! 160 full-colour perforated pages and an answer key. 

Summer Bridge Activities, Grades 1-2

Age range: 6 – 7 Years
Children – Reference & Study Aids

 
 

Non-fiction: Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer”, is a humorous look at the real lives of Boomers, vs. the media’s unrealistic view of some sexy, energized person that only exists in some marketing mavens’ mind. There are many of these advertising darlings out there, but Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous isn’t aimed at those Boomers, but it is for those who have survived the scrapes and bumps of life, but we are not as shiny or energetic as some of our touted counterparts. “Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous” laughs out loud at the present and then takes you on a sentimental visit to the past examining how the same situation means different results for Boomers today. Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer is a shout out to the past, examination of the present , and a celebration of life’s poignant but hysterical journey.

“Boomers have always been vocal, boisterous, have a history of implementing social and political change and can still sway advertisers with our discretionary income, if we have any money left at the end of the month. Through humor and poignancy, my new book will have fellow Baby Boomers laughing at the past and present.

It’s important for us to have a light-hearted view on life. My drugs cupboard is full to the brim with pills of all sizes and colors (if you were to see it you’d think I was making money from it) and I can’t exert too much energy without rolling on the floor with a writhing Charlie horse – but this is a small price to pay for the lives we Boomers have lived. My book celebrates all that is great about being over fifty – even if I can’t really get my eyes to focus properly on the pages!

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer invites you along for the comical ride that is accompanied with hearty, out loud in your face laughter,” said Johnson.


Amazon Book Review

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, one reader commented, “Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer” is a great read, packed full with everyday situations that will appeal to everyone whether you’re over 50 or not. The author doesn’t just dispel the commercial myths of women over 50 , but also engages the reader with jokes of the trials and tribulations most of us have experienced or will experience after passing the big five 0.”


Excerpt: Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer 

I have a few words to say, “Fifty ain’t always fabulous”. There I’ve said it. I’ve said it and you know what? I’m glad I said it. You probably want to say it too, but you’re scared to say it.

Scared of the rhetoric and gasps of dis-belief that will come from those so-called cougars that you see in a magazine that are artfully draped over a cliff, as the Greek Isles dashes waves of glorious blue-green water over her. Then there is always a man staring at her with obsessed, hooded eyes.

You’re scared that your world does not measure up to the professionally made-up actors on TV. These women are shouting out a challenge to you and I suspect you think you can’t live up to the hype. However, what they’re asking us to believe is “the hype”.

My back would laugh at me and taunt me, “Go on and try it you old fool and watch what I do to you!” My upper and lower torso would be plotting their sadistic revenge if I ever thought I could lounge against hard rock. I would end up dying on that rock as the water gurgled in my lungs because I couldn’t get up.

Where is this sexy, vibrant older woman that we see on the TV? She does not live in my house nor take up residence in my mirrors. Ladies, if you were not that hot looking when you were young do not believe the hype that you will turn into this wild, unleashed, beautifully sculpted cougar. At times I look like an old toothless, clawless, scruffy house cat only waiting for a bowl of warm milk for pure contentment.


Clothes Today and Then

I remember I used to like everything tight. I liked tight jeans that showed off my perfectly rounded butt. My butt at this point does not need to be showed off; it is the most visible part of my body. It will take over any space without being invited. Even when I am staring straight ahead looking at you, my butt can be seen poking from around the back. It intrudes its way into the conversation. It is a rude, obnoxious appendage that wants to flaunt its appearance at any occasion. It is almost another person complete with its own personal 5 o’clock shadow and zip code. Neither diets, nor exercise can undo the big booty.

Dancing

I have observed some of the people in the clubs dancing today. I could not be a “Hoochie Mama Dancer” of today. I don’t think I could “Drop it Like It’s Hot”. If I drop it, it will still be there until the paramedics come to pick me and “it” off the floor. Sexual contortions and gyrations would only cause a late run to the drug store for a new heat pack. My idea of going low to the floor is to point my head down and bob it in unison to the music.


Mother-Daughter Relationships

When did I become the caregiver of my mother? Now in my 50’s the music has switched to a new tempo for both of us. In the beginning it was she who led and it was me who followed. As the last mournful sound is played the positions are switched. I was silently elected to a position that I never envisioned would come. I cannot remember the exact day that the exchange took place and our parallel worlds tumbled into a vortex and intermixed into and we have now evolved into almost a new species.

Exercise

I will not go to a gym, because I do not want to go to jail for assaulting a youngster with a perfect uplifted body in every area and strangling her after I hear for the hundredth time in an exasperated tone “ Now, really now. Is that the best we can do?” These stressful reproachful words are muttered after I can’t keep up in Zumba class or had gotten entangled in the sports equipment and had to be helped down.

( Continued… )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Joyce Nanette Johnson. 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
Joyce Nanette Johnson
is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg, FL. Born in Newark, NJ she grew on the central Jersey shore, in Long Branch, NJ. For many years Florida has been her adopted home. Joyce Nanette Johnson has been a contributing writer for The Tampabay Times, correspondent for the Weekly Challenger and St. Pete Bulletin newspapers, and was a columnist for Citilife Magazine. Her first acceptance was for a short story for Essence Magazine. She is the owner of Joydee Productions, which developed and produced websites for community organizations and other public relations projects. Joyce Nanette Johnson was a finalist in 2010 and 2011 Tampabay Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Awards. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Communications Award presented by the Gathering of Women, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL.


Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson
Link: http://amzn.com/148417626X


 
 

Non-Fiction Metaphysics Philosophy: Our Curious World of Mirror Images by Titus Joseph

Our Curious World of Mirror Images
by Titus Joseph


Reflections on how Symmetry Frames our Universe,
Empowers the Creative Process and Provides Context to Shape our Lives


Titus Joseph uses mirror image symmetry to explain existence. ‘Our Curious World of Mirror Images’ combines science seamlessly with philosophy to propose new concept.


In his new book, “Our Curious World of Mirror Images: Reflections on how Symmetry Frames our Universe, Empowers the Creative Process and Provides Context to Shape our Lives” (published by Balboa Press), philosopher Titus Joseph draws on concepts from ancient philosophy, science and even religion to unveil a new model of the universe that explains how all things come into existence.

“Today, with all the advances in science, including cosmology, quantum mechanics and relativity,” Joseph says, “I am prepared to demonstrate using advanced science and philosophy, a new theory that explains how things come into existence through the curious symmetries found everywhere in nature.”

The central concept of “Our Curious World of Mirror Images” is called positional symmetry (requisite mirror image). The book begins by introducing readers to the beauty and universality of symmetry, and the paradox of duality. Joseph outlines ancient holistic philosophies, past ideas about space and time, new concepts from Einstein’s theory of relativity, and recent discoveries from the science of cosmology.

After providing a broad overview of the universe and a brief background in quantum theory, “Our Curious World of Mirror Images” explains the new concept using illustrations and examples from everyday life. The new paradigm serves as a lens to conceive how things come into being and illustrates a new holistic model of the universe, all in an accessible manner for most anyone to read. The end result reconciles many polarized views and brings considerable amounts of added meaning to life.

• Introducing a whole new way of looking at our world

• Combines science and philosophy seamlessly to explain the cosmos of space and time in an engaging way leading to a spiritual impulse

• Reconciles eastern paradigms with western views, and the intractable problem of duality that polarizes our lens on reality

• Demonstrates how all things come into being

• Provides a broad overview of the cosmos as a whole entity

• An eye-opener to the meaning of God

Chapter excerpts including graphics are available at  www.21cphilosophy.net/excerpt/ , includes the table of contents, bibliography and pages 1-10 of the book.

The Arche: Western History on Metaphysics
Excerpt 1 – [ pgs 13-14 ]


Science Rocks! It leads the way in the path of knowledge due to its many successes. Yet, even for the sciences the fundamental theories have proven to lead to very strange places. So, what of the rest of us searching for a foundation of truth? Many have discovered their own truth in astrology, numerology, the occult, or through faith is some type of spirituality. These alternative and universal types of beliefs have existed since the beginning of human history, and have enabled many different types of peoples, around the world, to feel as though their consciousness reaches beyond the physical limits of the immediate senses. These so-called “mystical beliefs” exists to provide a foundation in the form of an underlying truth in all reality.

The search for the underlying truth to reality is the holy grail of philosophy, referred to as the philosopher’s stone. It is the long sought after elixir of life. It is also the overriding goal of empirical science to determine one grand unified theory that accounts for everything in reality.

The spiritually inclined have actively turned their attention to a higher domain or for many people, an underlying principle, in the pursuit for meaningful answers to master life’s travails. This principle can be viewed as supreme, and when personified, viewed as a supreme being.

Consider that if we have something so ineffable as consciousness and intelligence in our finite seemingly meaningless lives, why not then propose of more consciousness at higher cosmic scales? The question is what would consciousness be like at cosmic scales. Well, consider that the galaxies of the cosmos are interconnected forming the cosmic web – the highest known structure in the cosmos. Inflationary theory demonstrates that the cosmic web originates from infinitesimal quantum fluctuations at the beginning of the universe.

“…in a quantum world, nothing is ever perfectly uniform because of the jitteriness inherent to the uncertainty principle…such nonuniformity can be stretched from the microworld…providing the seeds for the formation of large astrophysical bodies like galaxies (Greene, 2006, 307).

This observation by one of the world’s leading authorities on cosmology gives assent to the ancient proverb, “as above, so below.” Dr. Greene demonstrates that the highest visible structure of the universe is a direct extrapolation of the infinitesimal jitteriness that is the inherent nature of the quantum realm…Taking this observation to a natural conclusion, I see no real differences between scientific theories, as represented by Western science and justified as legitimate, and the ideas of a supreme principle that is alive and conscious does not seem alien to me, because we are alive, conscious, and intelligent, and presumably derived from this same principle.


Introducing the Wavicle
Excerpt 2 – [ pgs 56-57 ]

In the early 19th century, Thomas Young demonstrated that light acts as a wave using what is now commonly called the double slit experiment. The double slit experiment was designed by shining a beam of light at a screen with two pinholes in it. Young noticed that the light created alternating light and dark vertical stripes when it arrived on the second screen. These stripes demonstrate the waves of light spreading out from the two pinholes and overlapping with each other, creating an interference pattern. This showed that light acts as a wave.

Conversely in 1905, Albert Einstein showed that light is composed of particles that we now know of as photons. Stephen Hawking explains, There is thus a duality between waves and particles in quantum mechanics: for some purposes it is helpful to think of particles as waves and for other purposes it is better to think of waves as particles (Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 75).

In the quantum world all particles, and not just photons behave as waves, and waves can behave as particles, but there is something significant about the wavelike nature of particles. The pulse of the wave does not occur purely within an atom, but throughout the universe. Dr. Brian Greene says that an electron can also be described as a wave whose existence is spread throughout the universe (Green, The Fabric of the Cosmos, 90).

Consider the paradox in the observation that fundamental particles are simultaneously waves and thus, spread throughout the entire universe. How can this be? We can separate a drop of water from the ocean but when it is in the ocean, that drop becomes ocean. So it appears then that the wavelike behavior of fundamental particles is a feature of the quantum world, and therefore demonstrates non-spatial properties because the wavelike functions are spread throughout the universe. Yet paradoxically, particles can also be measured as a point with some specific position or speed.

The objects that we experience in daily life have spatial location. They exist in a specific place during some time. We live in a “24 hours in a day” scale of space and time. The quantum world however, has no space and no time, so events are very jittery and short-lived. Events in the quantum world have lifespans in the billionths of a second. Spacetime, therefore, is not a relevant concept in the quantum world. This means that it is very difficult to predict with precision what will happen at the subatomic level and ‘probabilities’ become more relevant than predictions. 
Dr. John Gribbin, British astrophysicist and one of the most prolific writers in science, explains:  Probability lies at the heart of the mystery of quantum reality, because the quantum world obeys strict probabilistic rules…Quantum probability can be seen to be at work at the level of individual atoms, photons and electrons (Gribbin, Q is for Quantum, An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics, 291).

Dr. Greene explains that the quantum norm is a “fuzzy hybrid reality” because it is composed of probabilities. These are possibilities that have not been realized. Take your time and pause here.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Titus Joseph. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Publisher’s website: http://www.balboapress.com


About the Author
Titus Joseph
has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in religious studies and a Master’s degree in counseling. Mr. Joseph has worked throughout his life as a counselor and at present, he develops group homes for individuals with disabilities. Titus identifies most as a philosopher – which is to say – a lover of wisdom. Though grateful for his formal education, above all else, it’s the love of wisdom that motivates him and I think you will find out why as you read Our Curious World of Mirror Images (www.21cphilosohy.net)

Change the way you see the world!
Titus Joseph website: www.21cphilosophy.net 
Facebook: Titus Joseph;  Twitter: Titus
Joseph@Iamtjoseph
 
 
 
 

Christian Fiction: THE SHIFT by M. Ann Ricks

THE SHIFT
by M. Ann Ricks

There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable.

Pastor Douglass and his family have been chosen for such a supernatural transition but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face. They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts and Angels from the army of God have been deployed.

Dreams, supernatural revelation and actual attacks from man’s ultimate foe will expose all and confirm God’s plan for Xion, Veronica, Zeborah, Bo and Pastor Douglas. Can they handle the truth and surrender? The lives of the Douglass family will never be the same and neither will you, because of THE SHIFT!”

Excerpt from THE SHIFT 

Veronica began to walk back to her car but something invisible stopped her. She turned and faced the building as if hearing someone requesting her to do so. She stared at the church. Veronica couldn’t take her eyes off the building. It was invitingly picturesque. She took note of every arch, engraving and architectural characteristic. She observed the expertly crafted stained glass windows and circular graduating steps. The domed structure was magnificent. Veronica was drawn to the gigantic golden double doors. They were each bordered with silver and gold. Each door housed carvings of a story from the gospels. Veronica remembered the stories and recognized Jesus walking on water with Peter, Jesus feeding the five thousand, Jesus’ Baptism, Mary Magdalene washing Jesus’ feet and Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The doors were shining. She was captivated by the doors.

How were they so bright at five o’clock in the morning, she wondered. They were gleaming, freshly polished. Veronica slowly lowered herself onto the grass and sat, not understanding why she was so moved, but moved nonetheless. Her heart was brimming with a feeling. She’d felt this before. It was right before she decided to come home.

Veronica sat without movement for a long moment. She just sat stark still, looking at the structure as the pre-dawn sky provided a celestial backdrop. Her eyes found the golden door. Veronica wanted to enter The Kingdom Revelation Center.

“This looks like a place God would reside,” Veronica breathed.

Almost as if her heart was being caressed, she heard words whispered into her, “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

She needed to be somewhere God resided. Her mother always told her that there was refuge in the sanctuary of a church.

Veronica’s mother thought she was sleeping when she’d whisper scriptures into her ear. Her mother, regardless of what was going on in her own life, would gather Veronica into her arms and sing to her.

At that moment, Veronica heard her mother whispering in her ear, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler…”

Veronica felt a soothing and reassuring embrace. It was her mother’s embrace.

Her mother’s arms were always an asylum for her. A tear escaped as she envisioned her mother. All at once she declared aloud, not caring if anyone heard her, “What do I have to lose? The trajectory of my life is spiraling downward,” she admitted as she looked back at the doors of the church. “I’m going to the hotel, shower and come back to see my mother.”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, M. Ann Ricks. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

THE SHIFT  by M. Ann Ricks
Available on Nook and Kindle

Christian Fiction;  Topics: Supernatural, Domestic Abuse, Homosexuality
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Shift-M-Ann-Ricks/dp/0991039955 

 
 
 
 

Momma: Gone A Personal Story by Nina Foxx

Momma: Gone A Personal Story
by Nina Foxx

“Momma set me on the jukebox.” So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love.

As cultures clash, we see the family through a child’s eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever.

More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life’s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.  Momma: Gone A Personal Story by Nina Foxx was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.


Praise for Momma: Gone A Personal Story, by Nina Foxx

A grief laden journey that will tug at your heart. Profoundly moving.
—Anita Doreen Diggs, author The Other Side of the Game, former editor, Random House

Chapter Excerpt from Momma: Gone

ONE

Momma put me up on the jukebox. I could see everything from there, even all the people in the room.

“Sweetie is my little lady,” she said. She steadied herself with one hand and pushed away from the bar with the other. Her skin was fair and the bluish veins showed through like she was much older than her thirty years. They all turned and looked and smiled at us with that plastered-on, woozy kind of smile. The smell that goes along with men in bars followed their heads as they turned and I could smell it, strong, leaping out at me. I heard Gramma call this “preserved-in-alcohol.” I smiled because I knew I was supposed to, but I was a little scared. Butterflies swam in my stomach. I bounced my legs off the jukebox to help calm them down.

From where I was sitting, I could see over the top of everyone in the room. Momma and I were the only two ladies here. I guess the other ladies don’t need medicine, only men and Momma. Momma says that other ladies take their medicine at home, but Daddy doesn’t let her have hers there so we go to get it. Sometimes, just like now, she takes me with her. I really don’t understand it all; medicine is supposed to make you better, but Momma seems to get sicker and sicker after she has it.

Freda Payne is singing “Bring the Boys Home.”

Everyone has forgotten about me.

“Turn it up, Jeffrey. Turn it up.” Momma closed her eyes slowly and opened them again. Her head moved to something deeper than just the rhythm of the song.

“Bring ’em back alive!” Freda said. Whenever I hear this song I wondered who she was talking about. Momma liked it and she played it over and over at home. She played it so much and danced and cried out for June-Bug till Daddy threw the record player in the yard. I was sad when he did that; I couldn’t play my Muffin Man song anymore. We tried to make the record player work again, but it was no good trying; it just wouldn’t go. Daddy apologized to Momma and when I asked him why he did it, he said because that song made Momma sad and he couldn’t stand to see her cry. Maybe that is why I didn’t get beat like other kids on our block; I cry as soon as I get in trouble, so Daddy just leaves me alone.

 
 
 
 

Non-Fiction – Memoir: He Wasn’t My Daddy by Kristin L. Mitchell

He Wasn’t My Daddy
by Kristin L. Mitchell

Kristin L. Mitchell sought Daddy’s love in all the wrong places and people. Today, she is still seeking Daddy’s love. Her story will travel you down the road to her restoration through pain, anger, therapy sessions that felt like episodes of Dr. Phil, promiscuity, attempts of suicide and stints in mental wards.

He Wasn’t My Daddy takes you on a journey of exploring the effects absent fathers have on their daughters.
This book tells all. Nothing is off limits. Nothing is kept secret.

Non-Fiction – Memoir
* Fatherless Daughters
* Mental Illness
* Sexual Promiscuity
* Self Esteem


Excerpt from He Wasn’t My Daddy

“Subconsciously, I longed for a father, never knowing I was longing for a father.”

I was his baby. He took me under his wing and protected me. He was never supposed to hurt me or lie to me. I had high expectations of him. He was supposed to be my daddy, my family, the one man in my life that would love and protect me forever. He was supposed to cherish me and put me first. I trusted him completely, giving him my all and removing all barriers surrounding my heart because he said he would never hurt or forsake me. Daddies don’t do that to their little girls. However, there was just one little problem. He wasn’t my daddy.

He was my man. Without realizing it, his love was a substitution for the love I lacked from my father. Unbeknownst to him, he took my father’s place. Was it unfair? Maybe, but at the time I had no realization that the love, care and protection I required and desired from him was based on the needs of a fatherless daughter. Subconsciously, I longed for a father, never knowing I was longing for a father. Yet, little did I know that my longing would take me down a path of pain, anger, therapy sessions that felt like episodes of Dr. Phil, and stints in mental wards.

I am Kristin Mitchell. I am a fatherless daughter who looked for Daddy’s love in all the wrong places and people. Today, I am still seeking Daddy’s love. My story will travel you down the road to my restoration. It will also take you on a journey of exploring the effects absent fathers have on their daughters. This is my story. This is my road to restoration.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kristin L. Mitchell. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

About the Author
Kristin L. Mitchell, M.Ed
. is a native Washingtonian. She graduated from Spelman College and George Mason University, with high honors and degrees in education and special education. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and enjoys a career as a special education teacher with the District of Columbia Public School system.   Purchase He Wasn’t My Daddy by Kristin L. Mitchell: http://www.hewasntmydaddy.com

 
 
 
 

Live Out Loud: 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose by Melisa Alaba

Live Out Loud: 52 Ways to Reawaken
Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose

by Melisa Alaba

Are you Ready to Live a Life You Love?
Going broke keeping up the appearances of the Joneses? Ready to discover, explore and walk into your authentic self? Melisa Alaba the bestselling author of Live Out Loud, 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose has written a book that delivers. Not only will you discover your purpose, reawaken your vision but you will get your joy back. Start the journey today.


Live Out Loud: 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose introduces you to 11 keys to living a fully awake life: IS THE BEST WAY TO SWEETEN YOUR LIFE!

Too many self-help books today regurgitate the same old information. Not enough of them stand out because there is no difference, no specialness that draws the reader with truth—well now there’s a book that brings a fresh outpouring of the Word and Wisdom of GOD–Melisa Alaba’s Christian self-help book, LIVING OUT LOUD: 52 Ways to Awaken Your Spirit. With a gentle but firm writing style, Ms. Alaba dishes the truth in tasty, easy to digest tidbits.

Step-by-step, in a loving, authentic voice, Ms. Alaba gives you the word and the way to change your life in 52 weeks from barely living to living out loud! From abundance to acceptance to purpose, she illustrates eleven principles that will elevate your life from the ground floor to the penthouse! This easy to read blueprint for good living is bound to be a keeper for anyone who reads it. Get your copy and start enjoying the abundant life today!


Foreword and Review

When I picked up Melisa Alaba’s Live Out Loud I knew I had found a woman after my own heart. Melisa’s transparency about her own story and the 52 ways she provides for reawakening your spirit and living on purpose are so much of what I used to not only grow my real estate and mortgage brokerage from a 700 sq ft condo to a 7-figure real estate empire in my 20s, but demonstrates almost verbatim how I overcame losing it all to reestablishing my brand on and offline. My favorite nuggets of wisdom include: be a problem solver, accept people for who they are, create positive affirmations, complete something and so many more! If you’re a human being and have been through anything EVER in life, Live Out Loud, will help you renew your mindset and refresh your senses to receive the rainbow on the other side of the storm.
— Patrice C. Washington, Author, Real Money Answers for Every Woman


Introduction – Live Out Loud

This book was born out of an uncomfortable growth period in my life. As a young person, I found my calling early in life. I was called to help people heal from the trauma of life. My calling led me to pursue a psychology degree and become a counselor. After many years of operating a successful counseling center for families and children, I had a life-changing experience that called me to question my calling and my life’s purpose. I recall this day like no other in my life. It had been snowing in Chicago, which was usual for that time of the year. My girls were out of school due to a snow day, but I decided to go to the office just to check in. As I was leaving my home, I was hit in my driver’s side by a car that slid out of control.

Although I immediately felt pain after being hit, I tried to shake this off and keep things moving, but over the next days and weeks, I would discover how badly that crash injured my back. I did all the things good Christians are supposed to do: I prayed and claimed my healing. But my back pain became worse as the weeks went on.

Eventually, I closed my center and had to let several employees go. I was devastated to say the least. My finances were left in a state of shock and awe. To make matters worse, my recovery would cause me to have to depend on my children and husband for help to do the most mundane tasks such as grocery shop- ping and carrying things up and down the stairs. I missed many of the children’s school events and family outings. I was 35 years old and stuck in the body of a non-mobile 90-year-old.

During this time, I was challenged to see myself in a new way. I had to learn that I was not my business. But who was I? My identity had become entangled in my company. I lost many friends during this time. I no longer could afford the fancy lunches and traveling on a whim. Also, it seems I was not so interesting to talk to any more. Over time, I came to realize that God can heal and I began to walk daily and to claim my healing. I am thankful to say that I am healed today. God restored me. During this period of my life, I learned many things about myself. I learned that I had become rigid in what I tried or what I was open to.

I also learned that my financial situation would not have been so devastating had I listened to my inner voice. You know that voice that speaks to you when you are moving too fast or making decisions out of fear. This experience has taught me to listen to the spirit within me. By the time I was able and ready to hit the road again, the employment market was very tight. I discovered that entering the workplace was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had been an entrepreneur most of my career and found it difficult to get a full-time job, although I had excellent skills and a great work ethic. My finances were in such a mess that I felt I needed a job to meet my daily needs and self-employment did not seem like a valid option.

God has a plan for us. He knew I needed to slow down and practice what I was preaching. I needed to attend to the affairs of my own home. I needed to find balance in a life that was so unbalanced. I needed to get in touch with my creator and build an intimate relationship with him. Over the years, I had become routine in my prayers. I had stopped seeking God as a father but more of a genie in a bottle who could provide more things. But I knew God was preparing me for something. So during this period of time I decided to open myself to life and all the goodness it had for me. I did things out of love and not fear. In this book, you will discover the very things that I did to rediscover my purpose, passion, and self-worth and to get my life back, and how you can apply these things to your own life. Life’s hardships can knock you down and make you feel that maybe you were not meant for greatness.

Maybe achieving and living a life of purpose is for someone else. I challenge you to claim your victory and to take steps every day that renew and motivate you to get what God has for you. You have everything you need to be successful right now. Remember every day is a new beginning and chance to get it right. I love you and can’t wait to hear about your journey. You can write to me at Melisa@ melisaalaba.com.


Chapter 33 – Get Naked

Growing up I had come to hate my body. I remember as a child my cousin walked in on me in the bathroom. Later he made an insulting remark about my stomach. This is when my body issues started. I began to feel ashamed of my curves and hide my body behind clothing. I never allowed myself to be naked in front of others. Not even in a locker room or in front of my husband. In order to change this belief and to get to self- love, I needed to let go. But how? I challenged myself to get naked in front of others. But after years of feeling unattractive I had to ease into this exercise. Here are a few things I did and some tips that will help you also. I began to follow a beautiful blog called See Body. Love Self. On this blog, Ivy LaArtista writes about self-love and challenges us to embrace all of our flaws and imperfections.

Ultimately self-love comes when we accept all of us. Each day I implemented small steps to meet my challenge. I started slowly undressing in the hallway of my home rather than rushing into the bathroom. I begin to experiment with being nude around my house. Then I took the ultimate plunge. I visited JeJu Sauna in Duluth, Georgia. Modeled after a traditional Korean bathing house, JeJu offers steam baths and saunas, with many services requiring nudity. It was an uplifting, liberating and enlightening experience. I felt the love of God surrounding me. I enjoyed a body scrub, hip bath, and all the steam rooms. I prayed and meditated as I gently and fully let go of my hang-up of being nude in front of others.

It was amazing to me how women bonded with each other as we took in the serenity of the quiet warmth of the spa. How have body issues held you back? What will you do to let go of a negative self-image? What do you love the most about your body?

Live Out Loud, 52 Weeks to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose
by Melisa Alaba. Book Link: http://amzn.com/0991154304 


 
 
 
 
 

Intimate Conversation with Jamila T. Davis

Jamila T. Davis, author of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series is a self-help expert, motivational speaker and a women’s prison reform activist, who is currently a federal inmate. At age 25, she was a multimillionaire, high-flying real estate investor with ties to the hip-hop world. At age 31, she was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison for her role in a multimillion-dollar bank fraud scheme. While imprisoned, Davis has helped to change the lives of many through her inspirational books and cautionary tales based on her real-life experiences. For more information on Jamila T. Davis and to check out her latest memoir The High Price I Had To Pay visit http://www.voicesbooks.com or www.facebook.com/authorJamilaTDavis.
BPM:   Introduce us to your book, She’s All Caught Up and tell us what makes it unique. 
Hello, my name is Jamila T. Davis. I am the author of She’s All Caught Up, which is a memoir about my childhood. My book is a cautionary tale that exemplifies the early influences in my life, which ultimately swayed my thinking and turned me into a die-hard “money-chaser.” Unlike typical urban books that glorify street life through a fictional character, my story is told from a true perspective. And, most importantly, it reveals the severe consequences of living life in the fast lane.

Here is the official introduction we are using to promote the book:  She’s All Caught Up is a real-life cautionary tale that exemplifies the powerful negative influences that affect today’s youth and the consequences that arise from poor choices. Young Jamila grew up in a loving middle class home, raised by two hardworking parents, the Davises, in the suburbs of Jamaica Queens, New York. Determined to afford their children with the luxuries that they themselves never had, the Davises provided their children with a good life, hoping to guarantee their children’s success.

At first it seemed as though their formula worked. Young Jamila maintained straight As and became her parents ideal “star child,” as she graced the stage of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in dance recitals and toured the country in a leading role in an off-Broadway play. All was copacetic in the Davis household until high school years when Jamila met her first love Craig- a 16 year old drug dealer from the Southside housing projects of Jamaica Queens.

As this high school teen rebels, breaking loose from her parents’ tight reins, the Davises wage an “all-out” battle to save their only daughter whom they love so desperately. But Jamila is in too deep! Poisoned by the thorn of materialism, she lusts after independence, power and notoriety, and she chooses life in the fast last to claim them.  When this good girl goes bad, it seems there is no turning back!   Follow author Jamila T. Davis (creator of the Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series in her blazing memoir, She’s All Caught Up!

BPM:   If you had to describe your book in one word, what would you call it? Why?
I would call my book a mirror, because it was written to cause readers to go within and reflect. At least one experience of Young Jamila will cause readers to relate to her struggles, regardless of their background, color or creed. I didn’t hold back any of the truth of the events that occurred. I shared my strengths with my audience, as well as my weaknesses. I exposed the inner turmoil that kept me chasing inner fulfillment. My book reveals my dark secrets and my insecurities. I believe the pureness of my story, and its common similarities to the experiences of other females, will cause readers to reflect and explore their own characteristics, past influences and choices.

BPM:   Tell us a little about your life and your upbringing. 
I grew up in Jamaica, Queens- New York, in a middle class home. I was raised by both my parents, who were hard workers that migrated from the South. They overcame the barriers of poverty and racism and made a good life for themselves. Because they lacked certain opportunities growing up, they were determined to provide my brother and myself with the opportunities that they didn’t have. I guess you could say my mother was like a stage mom. She had me enrolled in every activity you could think of from singing, dancing, and acting, to swimming, judo and tennis. She was determined that her kids would be well-rounded and successful. She raised me to have a ton of drive and ambition, because every day she had something different planned for us to do.

All was well in my household until high school years when I rebelled. I was introduced to the hood by my first boyfriend, a well known drug dealer, and that was all she wrote! I was hooked into life in the fast lane. I guess you could say, overnight I turned into the ultimate hustler. Instead of pursuing the plans that my parents had established for me, I choose to live a ghetto fabulous lifestyle. That’s how I got caught up.

BPM:    Tell us why many people refer to you as a “get-money” chick? 
I grew up around many of my friends who became successful rappers, music industry executives, and just plain die hard hustlers. During my era street-life was glorified. I was mesmerized by this lifestyle and became determined to get a piece of the pie. I always had a knack for business, so it was easy to jump in the game. When I got my first taste of money and I saw the notoriety that it brought me, I fell in love with money. My passion caused me to quickly flourish, so I did a lot in a short period of time. By the time I was 25 years old, I was a multimillionaire and a lead financial go-to-person in the hip-hop music industry. 


Seeking after the accolades of my peers, I hung out with gangsters, rap stars and professional sports figures. I drove fancy cars, rocked all the latest fashions, and I had a blinged out jewelry collection that would put a seasoned, materialistic, rapper to shame. I became driven by material gain. If a new car came out, I had to be the one amongst all my peers to have it first. I drove a Maybach way before Rick Ross was ever a rapper. When I came through, I made it my business to turn heads. Besides the fact, I was a female doing big things. That was rare, so I stood out. My insatiable drive kept me shooting for the stars. That’s how I became referred to as a “get-money” chick.


READ MORE HERE

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Colette (Ford) Harrell


Colette (Ford) Harrell the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master’s degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. As a motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels. She is co-founder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire. A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
When I was sixteen years old, I had chicken pox. Now, I’m not sure if you know, but the older you are when you get chicken pox, the worse you look. I defined UGLY. I wouldn’t even let my best friend see me. But, I was bored. A shoot-me-now,-’cause-this-ain’t-getting-any-better-type of boredom. Every day my friend would phone and tell me what happened at school, and I would share what happened on the soaps. After two days of watching that paint dry, we decided to write our own soap opera—only nobody was singing. I mean nobody . . . but it opened the door to a dream.

From then on, I knew that someday I would write a book. I started writing The Devil Made Me Do It when I saw a writer’s contest on the Internet. You needed one hundred pages of a story. I wrote the pages to see if I could do it, and I was superamped to find out I was one of the winners of the contest. It encouraged me to continue writing and to finish the book.

The story of  The Devil Made Me Do It resounded in my spirit because I always wondered what would happen if the heavens (or hell) rolled back and we could see what was happening in the supernatural. There birthed my trilogy, the Heaven over Hell series.

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I’m this down-home chick with a Southern twang from the hood of southwest Detroit. I was raised in a two-parent household with four siblings. My parents were all about reading versus television consumption. I think we were the last household in the neighborhood to purchase a color television. What we did have were books, magazines, and newspapers. I was still in elementary school when I walked to the River Rouge Library (a good mile away) to borrow books. Many times I walked alone. But at that age, reading was my passion, and it still is.

For me, a good book is like good gossip—you just have to share it. In sharing, I began to want to tell my own story, my own way. As a result, I have always loved to tell a good story—I promise there weren’t any lies—sometimes making it up as I went.

Growing up in Detroit, I found myself in some tight spots, just by the nature of being in the vicinity of something “going down.” It’s a wonder I never woke up dead. When that happened, I would call on my praying mother, begging her to pray just one more prayer. Eventually, those times taught me how much God must love my hardheaded, tryna-get-it-right foolish self. Now, there are always two sides to every coin. And some of the spots I was graced (Mama was praying hard!) to wiggle out of were pretty tight—persuading me fully that the devil must hate me. I know I really hate him and his modus operandi. Hence, my story, The Devil Made Me Do It, and how I decided to tell it.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write?
Trust me when I say as a full-time director of social services, every day something occurs that inspires me to whip out my pen. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying. Who wouldn’t want to write about it? Consequently, I’ve learned to write something every day, if just for a little while; maybe a page or two. Now, that’s not an absolute, because I don’t want to be a prisoner of anything but hope. So, there are those days that I manage to do . . . nothing.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew—leave it for months, and then come back to it?
Maybe not months. I can’t leave my child alone that long (that would be child abuse). But, yes, I have had to leave it. To let fresh eyes take another look at it later, and create, once again, from the heart. To pray that God gives me an understanding of where my characters are headed and how they will get there. In the meantime, I’m working on something else. Eventually, I will go back to the book and complete it; after all, you have to give the child you birthed a happy ending . . . or maybe not.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
My book ideas evolve from my conversations with others. My friends and I tend to have these deep conversations that result in my getting this animated lightbulb over my head. Its bright glow and halo effect asks the question: “What if?” My stories answer those questions.

BPM: Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Wow . . . I think a little of both. I start out with the light shining over my head, and I take that idea and begin writing without thought, and then a plot unfolds and the characters in the plot begin to take shape and demand to tell their story. I let them have their way. And, there are times when even I’m surprised at the choices they make. In The Devil Made Me Do It, Briggs’s and Esther’s journey totally amazed me. Even though each book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy stands alone, the next two books will continue their saga.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? 
I consider the book Christian fiction with an edge. I say that because, yes, my characters are Christian (well, most of them), but they aren’t perfect, and they don’t part the Red Sea or walk on water (although I do believe that miracles and wonders still occur). My characters sometimes make poor choices, and they have to face the consequences of those choices.

My main character, Esther, as a child, believed she was special. I once heard someone say that African American parents tend to tell their children not to think more of themselves than they should. They went on to explain that this schematic stemmed from slavery, when thinking too much of yourself could get you killed. As years passed, we reinforced these beliefs with negative thought patterns that belittled rather than built up. We’ve all heard: “You think you’re so cute” . . . “Stop getting a big head” . . . “Stop acting like you all of that!” And, these utterances of wisdom were from family members!

I wanted to explore what happens when the devil comes for your sense of self at a young age, and he didn’t just stumble on to you; he’s on assignment. The scripture pertaining to the devil wanting to kill, steal, and destroy you is not only speaking of a physical act, but it is also mental and emotional in origin.

The book’s glimpse into the supernatural provides a twist that is “cover-your-eyes scary,” and in the next chapter “slap the table, fun and humorous.” Esther Wiley is one of three childhood friends who are joined at the hip from kindergarten to college. In college, Esther meets Briggs Stokes, and they fall in love. But, life throws all the friends a shocking curve ball that causes a ripple effect that lasts for years.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Esther dares to believe, even from a young age, that she is special. As African Americans, we are so conditioned not to speak well of ourselves less we be called prideful. Sometimes we become so conditioned to not think ourselves wonderful that we end up with self-esteem issues. Esther dared to believe and to act on that belief.

Briggs is a son of privilege, but it’s that same privilege that makes him come to believe that in his truest self he is invisible. It’s not just about his inherited money, but about who he really is. He struggles with the question: How do you grow up around God’s anointed superstar and still be seen for yourself?

The devil uses both of these issues to destroy the destiny God has for each of them. When they allow the spirit of lack to decide their futures, both lose. Identity theft was committed long before the computer age. My pastor has always taught that if you fail to know the purpose of a thing, you are destined to abuse it.
This first book in the trilogy shows the hidden agenda of those who should be for you and how making the right decision when you come to spiritual forks in your road will decide your destiny. And, for the record, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger. LOL.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Yes, they deal with suicide—a taboo subject in most communities. They also deal with lust and adultery. And . . . the question: Is it adultery if you don’t consummate it? The Bible states if you sin in your heart . . . But, what does man say? And when adultery is committed, how and can you forgive? All of America is hooked on a television show built around adultery with one of the most powerful men in the country. It’s entertaining; it’s riveting . . . but is it biblical?

There’s an intimacy to sharing yourself with another person that I wanted to explore. You don’t just cheat physically, but you cheat in every area of your life. You have to lie . . . to create a separate life—so you become spiritually schizophrenic—one way with one person, another with someone else.

Also, I deal with fraud on the job, a phenomenon that is occurring more and more. I deal with abuse—verbal and physical. And I deal with obsession. We see more and more stalkers today.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I discuss all of the above. I also discuss how choices affect our lives. I ask and answer the question: Can one childhood incident shape the rest of your life?

There’s an area in the book where I discuss the male African American youths of today, and what they need. It was eye-opening.  I did learn . . . Some of the pearls of wisdom that came out while writing also ministered to me. It’s something to reread your own work and know that the Holy Ghost was your ghost writer.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing?
I want them to be entertained. I want them to have Aha! moments that set them on the road to self-discovery. I want them to draw closer to a God who loves them unconditionally.

BPM: How do you go about reaching new readers?
Three avenues:  First, tell a good story. The best compliment I received was from someone stating that their friends who were not Christians would read The Devil Made Me Do It because it was so entertaining.

Second, in an excerpt reading with men (who were coerced to come by their wives), their feedback was that it wasn’t the normal chick-flick literature they thought it was going to be, and they all asked me to keep reading. Tell a good story that others can relate to.

And, third, hopefully, people who read this interview will be inspired to run out and buy The Devil Made Me Do It, and then tell others to buy it too. Tell a good story and it promotes itself!  (See how I keep mentioning the name of the book? Subconsciously, you’re hearing—buy the book, buy the book . . . LOL.)

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
Well, here is where I get very philosophical and state that I’m not in this for the money. NOT! This is a time-consuming, not-for-the-fainthearted venture. So, maybe not first, even though it’s listed here as first, I’d like to make a living at this. That would be one form of success.

Another would be for others to enjoy the story so much that they reread it. And that they sit in anticipation for the next book. Those both would be a form of success. Last, but most important, I would define success as something on the inside of the reader that transcends the mundane and spiritually enhances their life. That would be the ultimate form and definition of success for me as a published author.

BPM: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Up, up, and away! I would love to do this when I am retired and old, sitting on my screened-in porch, sipping on a mango lemonade under a blue summer sky, typing away. You gotta love it!

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
For Love Alone. I think it speaks to the motivation of why people do what they do. I’ve had people do the right thing for the wrong reason, and even though it was needed—it wasn’t wanted due to the intent of the person’s heart. You think you’ve made a friend, but what they really want is to use and manipulate your gifts.

I have so many places I receive my inspiration. From my husband and children; my daughter is a singer and songwriter so she can say some things that blow me away. My best friend and partner in my production company is very good at inspiring me; iron sharpening iron. Of course, my pastor is a great teacher, and I can eat on his message all week. And the Holy Spirit drops pearls of wisdom in my spirit that humble me beyond belief. I’ll go back and read something I wrote or said to someone and do an Urkle—“Did I say that?”

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
There were a lot of challenges. It took keeping hope alive to believe that one day this book would be read by people beyond my social circle. It took faith to bring this to fruition.  I am still challenged to hone my skills; writing is a craft. I’ve learned more about this art after I submitted my book and had it accepted by my publishing company than I ever knew before. Thank God! I might have given up if I had any idea how much I didn’t know!

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
Best Seller, baby! I would love to have created my second career . . . and that twenty years later, I’ll still be writing, sitting in my rocking chair in a sunny place, sipping on my mango lemonade. So, you, your cousin, brother-in-law, and your hairdresser run out and buy the book or download the book. Just . . . Get the book!

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? 
I set out to inspire and entertain. I think that the way to do that so that it is lasting is to educate. When we learn something, it changes our thinking on a given subject; therefore, we carry it in our spirits. Anything that is part of your spirit is part of you. Entertaining allows the education and inspiration to be like medicine going down with a spoonful of sugar. I am always trying to illuminate the goodness of God. This message continues to provide light in dark places.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
I didn’t self-publish. However, I would think one advantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. I would think the one disadvantage of self-publishing would be that you would be the captain of your own destiny, making your own decisions . . . your way. LOL. As a new writer, you could be separating yourself from boundless amounts of expertise and assistance by doing it yourself . . . especially if you’re new to the game.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? Will e-books continue to reign?
I really do think e-books will reign, especially for those who are older. Being able to customize fonts, read in the dark next to your spouse without bothering him/her is major for those of us who read constantly. Carrying around two hundred books in a lightweight tablet is no small feat . . . Yeah, it’ll be here. And I’ll keep buying too. Now my parting words are . . . I miss books—the feel of the paper, writing along the blank spaces, and still being able to read it when the battery dies.

BPM: Finish this sentence: “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers . . .”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors who dare to be different. To go down the path less traveled. Trust your imagination and the story that you want to tell. Others DO want to hear it.”

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My goal is to continue writing beyond my trilogy. I have a “small ideas notebook” where I write down dynamic characters and interesting plots. So I plan to be around.

I have a website called Writespirit that can be read by going to http://www.ColetteHarrell.com. I will provide my calendar of events, book excerpts, and current works on the Web site. My blog will also be accessed through the web site. I have developed a fictional character by the name of Mother Maku Sweat, and her husband is Bishop Mo Sweat. She’s a feisty evangelist full of the wisdom of the ages. I plan to have Mother Sweat’s video advice column on my Web site as well.

The Devil Made Me Do It, Colette R. Harrell

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?

Christian Fiction, topics include: suicide, abuse, adultery, company fraud, and obsession. Available at Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/The-Devil-Made-Me-Do/dp/1601627823   

 
 

Intimate Conversation with Sherryle Kiser Jackson

sherrylkisejacksoheoirejiorejrp 

Multi-published 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), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her family.

BPM: What topics does your latest book address? Why?

I started with what it meant to be a missionary. My sister is the President of the Missions Ministry at my church and has been on several missions’ trips. We’re so different in that respect. To be real, I know I am not selfless enough most of the time to shed my comfortable existence to the degree where I can be of service.
My question when starting this novel became can servants also be self-serving in the process of helping others. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see a totally selfish person try to navigate that landscape. I mean, imagine your most self-absorbed friend or high maintenance family member leaving their cell phone, tablet or priceless wardrobe pieces behind for the barest of necessities.

My main character sets off on a mission’s trip to Haiti with the goal to find his birth father. He’s a fatherless child trying to answer a lifetime of questions about the man that helped conceive him. In the midst of that struggle I layered an interracial love story and all the issues that brings. I’ve connected with some great people on Pinterest who support the missionaries in their lives and found a community dealing with the absentee of loved ones similar to that of military families with a loved one on a long deployment.

BPM: Did you conduct alot of research for this book, Submissionary (Seek. Find. Release)?
Yes! Have you heard of Symbaloo? It’s like a dashboard of websites all in one place. Some might find it interesting to see the sites I used to get insight into pre and post quake Haiti. Check it out: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/submissionary

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write personally poignant and hopefully impactful and uplifting literature. It’s my version of Christian fiction that is neither preachy nor compromised. My goal is never to write a salacious story. I think many equate that with being a really good story. In reality most of us don’t live on that extreme. With storylines centered around the root of my character’s decisions and the impact on their relationships, my literary work speaks to women and Christians specifically. I call it my brand of soul satisfying reads.

BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in showing faith in action which is not an elaborate Hollywood set washed in white light, full of one-liners and magic tricks. I am also on a mission to take the dirty laundry off the clothes lines of our community, sweep the streets clean of other people’s business and bring virtue back.

BPM: Faith allows you:
Faith allows me the freedom to hope and face life’s challenges, to call out inconsistencies in the world, but particularly, inconsistencies in my life that are contrary to what God ordained and promised. I suppose ( in fact, I know) I can get as arrogant, self-absorbed or ratchet as the next person, BUT, something reminds me to, “act like I know.” I have to act like I know Him, and that I am profoundly different because I know Him. Yep, I preach to the choir. It’s characteristic of my brand. I am the one that gives you the gentle reminder – Seriously, you better act like you know!

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Criticism makes me reassess. I’m sure it depends on the spirit in which the criticism is given. I can’t say I am one with great discernment of people’s motives. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I receive it in love. I get my feelings hurt sometimes. Ultimately, I know what to take from critism and what to discard.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
Everyone is to a certain degree. I mean, I am a teacher as well, and not just by profession. I am keenly aware that we have a role to edify one another. So when I see people follow my RSS feed, or on social media, I am conscious of the message I put out.

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
When I am fearful I become unproductive. Fear is something I work to get under control right away. Besides the fact that the Bible suggest that fear is a fabrication because the Lord hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, for that reason, a wise woman once said, “I aint got time for that.”

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming a business owner?
It surprised me that it is completely different from my natural, creative being. Although, publishing yourself can both work to lessen and add to your stress. You have the leeway to let a story unfold organically, but you have the added pressure to put out a quality product and be responsible for all parts of the product. You have to take note of the persuasions in society to be seen and heard among the rhetoric of the day.

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom are:
The greatest threat to literary freedom are those that try to silence the story tellers Choked out of major and mom and pop bookstore shelves alike that are closing by the dozens, we fail to recognize the soul and essence of who we are. We feel all our stories must somehow have to be the same. We sometimes become divisive in our pursuit to compete with each other for readers. It is important that our work be as diverse as we are. It is also important that the authenticity of our stories, and not solely money or notoriety be the aim of the storytellers.

BPM: How has your writing evolved:
I now know I don’t have to hammer every point. Readers desire a distraction not constant direction. I am a wordsmith that can sometimes get happy in the turn of a phrase, but I’ve learned I cannot forget my audience.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
A career may be the hope, writing is a definite gifting. It’s cathartic. You may hear some writers speak of the words to a story just flowing at a point in their process. I think this is an accurate account of what gifting truly is. There is a natural ebb and flow to things. When you are working in your gifting there is a point you can tuck into the flow and the story comes out naturally.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Read. Write. Be brave and find your own voice.

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
Besides the seven novels, and one anthology, I am most proud of my offerings to my church magazine, Kingdom Living Magazine. In one edition I wrote an article called, “What is Special Needs” that highlighted those differently-abled members of our congregation and their caregivers. Many family members came to thank me for the recognition the article garnered them.

BPM: What you know for sure:
I know for sure that God’s Word is true. Do I understand every part of the Bible? Do I understand why people don’t get along and most of us have to suffer great pain in our lives? No. The Word says, now, we only know in part like looking through a glass darkly, but one day we will know as we are known. Deep, I know.

BPM: Life’s greatest teacher is:
Life’s greatest teacher is experience

BPM: Success means:
You attempt to live out your purpose.

BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
If I am successful it will do all three; educate, illuminate and entertain..

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
The printed book may become obsolete, but a well-written story doesn’t lose its potency if you engage the mind of the reader.

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

My literary legacy will show that words live beyond the pages if they are true and authentic.


Purchase Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Submissionary is the first Indie release on her own imprint Holy*Ghost*Writing* Besides the Christian values and romantic leanings readers are accustom to with Sherryle’s work, Submissionary dares to take a look at the struggles of pre and post quake Haiti. Submissionary is one of the projects Sherryle is imagining for a short or feature film.

Watch the Submissionary movie trailer: http://youtu.be/Ty75E4eiG-g
Visit Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s website: http://www.sherrylejackson.com
Books by Sherryle: http://www.amazon.com/Sherryle-Kiser-Jackson/e/B004G1X9HU

 
 

Intimate Conversation with E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. E.W. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta.

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

BPM: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in a small North Carolina town with only two stop lights. My desire to see more led me to larger cities where I always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. I was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. My curiosities led to much research and my writing, “Mafietta” in hopes of shining a light on what the women who aspired to date these types of men would face when they were shipped away.

BPM: When did you first start writing?
I’ve always written. My grandmother communicated with me in letters for as long as I can remember and it ultimately helped me to express myself through writing. Then, after living a bit of life, it was important to me to share the struggle of the single woman and urban community, so writing a novel seemed to be the natural next step.

BPM: Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck because it explains that you may overcome evil. I also enjoy anything written by Maya Angelou.

BPM: How often do you write?
I write daily. Whether it is keeping a journal, working on a blog. or my next project. I have to get it out.

BPM: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I spend a lot of time volunteering. There is nothing like the feeling you feel when someone finally gets it!! I am just honored and humbled that I can sometimes be used as the tool that brings enlightenment Writing gives me a larger platform to do just that.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
I always let my books stew. I usually write the first few chapters to establish the characters’ position at the beginning of the story. After that I may wait months before coming back to write anything. Doing this gives me time to sort of work out a starting point for the next chapter in my head. Once I get to that point and the writing takes over – I have story lines that came out completely different than I’d imagined, but this is one of the things I love about writing.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? For the Mafietta Series, what came first the characters or the idea?
The idea definitely came first. Then it was up to me to create characters that were consistent with it.  I am intrigued by those who choose to get ahead on the wrong side of the law. I love movies like The Godfather, In Too Deep, American Gangster, and Belly. However, none of these movies really delve into the effects this type of lifestyle has on women.

Consequently, I decided to present a situation where a woman would head this illegal enterprise; so for me the story line is character driven. It is important that Clarke and Errol begin with a pure and innocent love. Creating plots that coincide with that are significant to me.

BPM: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
LIFE and the ability to make it better for my family.

BPM: Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
My favorite positive saying is, “Everyone wants to be loved.” This is somewhat of a prevailing them throughout both novellas. Believe it or not, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were mere my muses in developing the love between Errol and Clarke. For example, both couples share a visible connection and genuine love while being beasts in business.  Clarke and Errol are just going about it a bit differently. In other words, let’s tilt the thought and have The Carters be the same powerhouse couple on the other side of the law – Now, that couple is the one in my book. That couple is Errol and Clarke.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 
I expect Mafietta 2 to generate interest in the series as a whole. I expect this quick read to please readers from everywhere and leave them wondering what’s going to happen next and how long it will take me to come out with the next one. After the book is released, I would love to see Mafietta as a television show.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
As I writer, I want to always write content my audience will enjoy. I want my work to, of course entertain, but it is important to me that it also educate and inspire. Each of my characters offer a life lesson. I want the reader to understand the lesson.

BPM: I love the opening for your previous interview on BAN Radio. Readers, here it is:
“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I’ve accomplished my goal. I don’t seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”

BPM: What is the most important message you want the reader to learn?
I would love for the readers to look at these characters and take a self-inventory of sorts. Many times, we change who we are and become someone we don’t even recognize for the sake of a relationship. This could be good or bad, but either way, I wanted readers to use these characters to examine their own lives.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
As a published author, success for me, would be defined by the number of people interested in reading my stories or appreciating some other derivative of it. Becoming a published author allowed me to see if I was really any good at my long time hobby. I read each book review as it came in and overall I was pleased. That was one of the greatest feelings in the world for me because ultimately; my goal is to take my writing to the next level and become the female Tyler Perry that Chris Rock wants to work with. I want to get my Streisand on.

BPM: What websites can readers visit in order to discover more about you and your work?
http://www.mafietta.com
https://twitter.com/Mafiettaishere
https://www.facebook.com/EWBrooks
http://instagram.com/ewbrooksbooks
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EWBrooks/posts


 
 

Intimate Conversation with Pamela Samuels Young


Pamela Samuels Young
is a NAACP Image Award winning author and practicing attorney who’s taken a brief hiatus from crafting her fast-paced mystery novels to write about her newest passion: natural hair care. In her first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide to Going Natural, Pamela chronicles her transition to natural hair. Kinky Coily also provides tips and resources for other women who want to begin their own natural hair journey. A bona fide natural hair enthusiast, Pamela is excited about sharing her new found knowledge in the hope of helping other women learn the beauty and versatility of their kinky coils. You can visit Pamela’s YouTube channel, KinkyCurlyPamela, and her website, http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com, for more hair care tips and videos.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start? Then Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural is for you. A literal treasure trove of information, Kinky Coily is a roadmap for anyone interested in beginning a natural hair journey. You’ll find the best bloggers, the best books and magazines, as well as recommendations on how to select the right hair care tools and products.

Better yet, you’ll learn how to begin your natural hair journey, how to develop a weekly hair care regime and how to track your progress. Whether you’re transitioning from a relaxer, ready to give up your weave or flat iron, or already rocking your natural locs, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural will open your eyes to the true beauty and versatility of your naturally kinky coils.

BPM: Why did you go natural? How did you start the journey from permed hair to natural hair?
I decided to go natural after my hair started falling out from a relaxer. One day I had a head full of hair and only a few months later, I had patches of bald spots. My hair was shedding at an alarming rate every single day and neither I nor the hair stylist I was seeing knew how to stop it. A friend of mind had recently gone natural and introduced me to her natural hair mentor, Deanie. Deanie met me at the beauty supply, told me about sulfates and moisturizing, recommended conditioners and protein treatment, and gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. After the very first treatment, my hair stopped falling out—immediately. That’s when I became a believer and set out on a journey to take charge of my own hair care.

BPM: Did you go for the “big chop” or did you transition to natural hair with braids or a wig?
Initially, I refused to do the big chop. I just didn’t want to sport a teeny weenie after. So I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig. But after about three months, I got tired of putting on a wig every morning and taking it off every night. So I did it. I chopped it all off and I’m so glad I did.

BPM: How did your husband feel about your new hair styles? Was his input a major concern?
My husband does not like my natural hair!  But I do!  He prefers my hair straightened. But I know that once it grows longer, he’ll love it.

BPM: We saw your YouTube videos.  Amazing! You are so brave to share your story with millions, what inspired you?
I’ve learned so much about my natural hair. For example, I had no idea my hair had a natural wave pattern. So many people see my hair and say, “My hair would never do that.” I would’ve said the same thing. That’s because we don’t know our hair!  I’m on a mission to change that. Your readers can view all of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela 

BPM: What three tips would you offer women who are thinking about going natural?
My top three tips are: 1) No sulfates! Either wash with a conditioner (co-wash) or find a sulfate free shampoo; 2) stay away from the heat, that means flat irons as well as blow dryers; and 3) moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Kinky hair needs moisture!  I deep condition at least twice a week and moisturize and seal nightly.

BPM: What products do you use? Share with us your favorite products.
Unfortunately, the same products don’t work for every hair texture. You’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you. I have kinky, tightly coiled hair. So if you have a looser curl pattern or if your hair isn’t as coarse as mine, the products I love won’t work for you.

That said, my can’t-do-without products are: Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner, Organic Roots Stimulator’s Temple Balm and Curl Refresher, and Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner. I love Herbal Essence for co washing. I also love mixing my own oils. My favorites are amla oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and peppermint oil.

BPM: How long did it take for your hair become more healthy in your opinion?
It took about three months before I noticed my bald spots growing in. Within about six months, I really saw a change. My hair grew back much thicker and healthier.

BPM: How did you wear your hair to work during the transition?
I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig, until I finally broke down and did the big chop. I have to say, though, my Mommy wig was quite cute. I still plan to wear it sometime.

BPM: Do you think our hair has a lot to do with our body image and self-esteem?
Absolutely! I don’t care what I’m wearing. If my hair isn’t right, I don’t feel good about myself.

BPM: Research helps us learn to embrace our beautiful hair. Did you do a lot of research?
Tons of research. I recommend that everybody read The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. That book is an encyclopedia on kinky hair. I learned so much from that book. And I lived on the internet and YouTube. My favorite bloggers are Curly Nikki, Naptural 85, KimmayTube, Mahogany Curls and African Export. I owe those sistas a debt of gratitude for everything they taught me.

BPM: What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
All the compliments I get about my hair. Women always come up to me to ask about the products I use and I’m always glad to share.

BPM: How will your book Kinky Coily motivate women to consider moving toward natural hair care?
I think when they see other women taking charge of their own hair, they will feel free to do the same.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book and your how-to-videos?
I want them to have the confidence to take charge of their own hair care. I’m not trying to put hair stylists out of business. But I want women to know they can remedy their own hair care problems. If I’d known everything I know now when my hair started falling out, I could have stopped my shedding. My hair was damaged from the heat and badly needed moisture. I was also getting touch ups too often. But I didn’t that because I knew nothing about the care of my hair. Now I do! 

BPM: What advice would you give a person who wants to tell their hair care story?
Take good notes during your hair care journey. I keep a journal and took pictures every three months. After you finish your book, ask for constructive feedback from family and friends.

BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases.
I’m working on a books and beauty showcase called Natural Born Writers. Several fiction authors who just happen to be natural, are going to gather to talk about books and being natural. A popular natural hair blogger will also join us. We hope to hit several cities. So stay tuned!

Connect with Pamela Online

http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
http://www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung
http://www.youtube.com/kinkycurlypamela
http://www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung

 
 
 
%d bloggers like this: