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Monthly Archives: November 2014

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – Marlene Banks

GUNMEN HAVE NO SABBATH by Marlene Banks
An Exodusters Saga                                                                 

Resolving for different reasons to abandon their past lifestyles, four fast guns with well-earned reputations quietly settle outside the all-Negro town of Nicodemus, Kansas. The men are commissioned to protect the town from an unscrupulous land baron’s attempted takeover with payment of cash and property. They face the challenges of unwelcoming townsfolk, a devious adversary, and powerful corporate greed assisted by unprincipled politics, as well as their own personal demons. In the midst of this they find the unexpected; romance and a struggle of faith.

Gideon McCoy, Caleb Cain, Joshua Boudreaux and David ‘Boone’ Tennyson are reputed fast guns who become immediately attracted to the charming Nicodemus women: Sugar, a beautiful farm girl, Louise the talkative daughter of a general store owner, Liberty a sassy saloon owner and the newly arrived schoolmarm, Polly.

While Nicodemus residents enthusiastically anticipate the advent of the Pacific Union Railroad, a scheming Lucas Hitchcock and the cultural mentality of greedy ambition and ingrained racism work against a potentially beneficial arrangement. Yet the Godly presence in Lucas’ most despised enemy, Geoffrey Abington, foils his brutal bid for control. Nicodemus becomes pawn in a tug of war between a railroad company only concerned with profitable expansion along with Hitchcock’s power play and the godly team of Geoffrey Abington and his friend Harlan Colby.

Harlan, a loving family man and longtime railroad executive who is fed up with his employer’s trend of unethical business practices. Harlan makes a hard choice for what he believes to be God’s standard in business, society, and humanity as a whole. People are being harassed, run from their land, and even murdered. The four gunmen are hired to protect Nicodemus’ citizens but encounter obstacles both spiritual and natural they did not foresee. Sides are drawn culminating into a massive showdown and only God will able to save the four men and Nicodemus.

Nicodemus, Kansas is an actual town still existing today with a significant contribution to African American history. This story is fictional but with important nuggets of historical fact injected.


* GUNMEN HAVE NO SABBATH: An Exodusters Saga by Marlene Banks

http://www.amazon.com/Marlene-Banks/e/B005KXAM2I

* Greenwood and Archer: After The Riot By Marlene Banks
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20/detail/0802406211


Marlene Banks
considers herself a Kingdom writer/novelist, hardwired to tell stories. God honors her to serve with this gift she loves to use. A passion for good stories directs her reading choices and fuels her writing goals. She believes a good story definitely has the power to show God’s glory to the world, spread the Gospel, and inspire change. Marlene emphatically declares Christ Jesus is the Author and Finisher of her faith and her fiction.

Marlene is relatively new on the scene as a professional novelist. Her penchant for ignored or misrepresented African American history, love of biblical life application along with a fascination of human psychology, and a soft spot for that male female dance of romance blended together creating the multi-layered plots for her first four novels. The result was she found her niche penning historical romance. She hasn’t stopped with that, however. She also writes contemporary fiction with a chick lit romance genre series already introduced to the public.

Marlene’s roots are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she currently lives and worships at the Bethel Deliverance Church in Wyncote, PA. If you want to learn more about her visit one of these sites:

http://www.marlenebanks.com
https://twitter.com/MarleneBanks2
http://www.pinterest.com/authormarleneba/boards
https://www.facebook.com/authormarlene.banks
https://www.amazon.com/author/novel_lady
https://www.goodreads.com/author/MarleneBanks

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – Alexandra Lane

Alexandra Lane was born in Fayetteville, NC but due to her father’s military career she has lived in various states and countries. To have the opportunity to become familiar with other cultures and their traditions was an uplifting and educational journey. One she was glad to have participated in.

She later returned to Fayetteville where she attended Fayetteville State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Management. Upon graduation she worked in the financial world of banking. Although she enjoyed her years as a Banking Center Manager she wanted to devote more of her time to writing and telling compelling stories. This is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book. 
A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins is the story of a woman name Minty, a slave and Jack, a slave hunter. Both their lives are shattered beyond what most people would be able to bear.

Minty will make a decision to run away to save her life and Jack and a few men will pursue her in the dark swamps of Maryland. However, Jack is unaware of what he is about to encounter at a place called, Little Canyon. Unimaginable, is how I would describe what happens next. Evil is amongst them, but more than anything, it is very aware of these two souls.

This story is a looking glass into the world of Angels and the incredible feats they performed for the sake of these two lives. This is a story of hope in the face of hopelessness and redemption even when one feels there is none.  Of course, you will have to read the story to understand why.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
The idea came about one day when I was watching a daytime talk show. There was a man on the show that described an incredible situation where he survived a paragliding incident that should’ve robbed him of his life. But thankfully, he lived. However, he went on to say he was incredibly “lucky.”

I saw it different. I saw his angels safely guiding him to earth because his purpose had not yet been fulfilled here on earth. So I wondered how amazing it must look to see our angels in action. How does it look when they’re doing extraordinary things behind the scenes for us? Like saving us from danger, protecting us from harm and even guiding us through life? That is when the story was born.

So far as plot or character driven, I would have to say that this is more character driven because I wanted to focus more on the people in the story. Who they are, and what made them that way. We are all flawed in some way, but there are some people who have more challenges and bigger road blocks in their lives. As a result they develop certain “defenses” to help them cope with the more strenuous obstacles of life. It makes for some very interesting outcomes.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Well the main characters are Minty, Jack and Red. What makes Minty special is her spirit. Even as a slave she doesn’t lose hope. She never stops believing that she can, one day, be free. Even when everything around her, the environment, the other slaves and her husband, says NO YOU CAN’T.

Jack is special because his life started out one way but made a drastic turn when his parents died. He tries hard to fight the dark emotions that try to rule over him but it’s difficult. He actually has a good heart but it worthless to him. So, he just drifts through life trying to run from a past he hates but realizes it follows you wherever you go.

Red is different. He was born with these awful, menacing eyes that frightens everyone. But as he gets older and begins to partake in some unsavory acts, those eyes are not only frightening but they become occupied with something more sinister than himself.

And I don’t want to make light of Patty and Melinda because they are both instrumental in the story as well. Patty is the owner/madam of a saloon. Her reason for becoming a madam is very interesting.

Melinda
is a young woman who was taken in by Patty when she was kicked out of her aunt’s home. However, things begin to take a turn when she and Jack meet for the first time.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Yes. Although this story takes place in 1849 around the time of slavery, I picked this time to show that even in the direst situations, there is still hope. Keep in mind slavery can come in many forms. Sometimes we are enslaved to our environment: Poverty, crime, drugs, domestic violence, abuse and the list goes on and on. Sometimes when it’s all you know and you don’t see a way out, it’s easier to give in and accept it as your fate. (Just as the other slaves did in this story) But I strongly believe you can change your outcome.

A Vision of Angels is a story about hope, looking beyond your circumstances and what everyone else is saying and doing and fighting for a better life. Start preparing, set a plan in motion, study hard, hold onto patience and above all have faith in God and follow your angel that He has assigned to you. Do these things and you can make it out of whatever hell you may be in.

Is it going to be easy? No. Are there bumps and bruises in attempting to free yourself? Yes, many. But how great is the reward that awaits when you’re finally free.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
Psalms 91:11 says, “For He shall give His angels charge over thee in all thy ways. The translation of the word “angel” is “messenger.” Simply put, Angels are God’s messengers. What I want people to take away from this story is that we have all been assigned an angel…or two. (Smile) God sent them to help guide us on this journey, therefore, we need to listen when they are trying to do their job.

Whenever you hear a still, quiet voice in your spirit saying, Take her some food and Buy the child some clothes or sometimes a strong urge may come over you to call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in years. Do it, there’s a reason for it. And in some cases they have messages of warnings. For example, you’re getting ready to take a ride with someone that maybe you just met, but all of a sudden this overpowering feeling/warning comes over you and you know you shouldn’t get in that car or Stay away from that place. This is your angel trying to guide you in life as well as protect you. Each act we perform or obey takes us closer to fulfilling our purpose.

And have you ever noticed that when you “do” listen, you’re so glad you did?! Sometimes, it is revealed to us later why we were told to do what we did. Makes you smile. Makes you feel really good inside.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
When someone calls you or leaves a message and tells you how much they loved your story. As an author, at least for me, it’s not always easy putting a story together but when you finally complete your story, that is the most gratifying feeling. But what’s more exciting is when others read your book and get just as excited about the story as you did when you were writing it. When they say it made them feel good or how they really liked a certain character. When I hear the words, suspenseful, inspirational, blessing or better yet, it made them think. To me, that is success! A wonderful feeling to have.

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life? 
Yes, yes and yes to all of the above. Writing in a different time period is a challenge in itself. You have to research the clothes, the words, everything. You have to stay in that time and not forget that there are certain words we say today that were not used back in that time. Certain mannerisms and behaviors were more acceptable back then but not today. So, I had fun learning about those little details that we don’t really think about every day.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on a personal and professional level. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it? 
Actually, there are several points in my life that I can reflect on that shaped who I am today but I will address this particular one. My first trial in life came when I became a divorcee and I had three children to raise on my own. Whew! That was a tough one. I had to move to a place that my kids weren’t use to living in, but that was so I could go to college and hopefully provide a better life for them. I had always wanted to go but I didn’t have the money or any scholarships or rich relatives. LOL. I honestly didn’t know where to start.

So, I went to the college and spoke to the administrators and they were wonderful in guiding me on where to begin. But in pursuing this journey, I had to “back up” in life in order to go forward and I also had to be patient and stay focused on the end game and not my current situation. You realize how strong you are as a mother and as a person when you have very little to live off of and nowhere to pull from. But when I finished college and walked across that stage to receive my degree the REWARD was far greater than the struggle and the pain I endured.

I can’t find the words to describe how it felt to get a good paying job and what it felt like to move your family into a better home and neighborhood and comfortably provide for them.

One day, while sitting at my computer and thinking back on my life, I wrote this short poem for myself. Of course, I titled it, New Beginnings:

**A new beginning represents the journey and transition of a woman. Her struggles through difficult times and the transformation she undergoes. Strength is the gift given to each woman that has had to start over in her life, for her choices were few, and her path reset. And for every dramatic change she endures, like the butterfly, she emerges stronger, wiser and more beautiful. When you thought you couldn’t run any further, you now realize you have wings…and you can soar. **

This poem hangs on my wall in my room as a reminder of what I was brought through. Thank you, God.

Website: http://alexandralane.tateauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avisionofangels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.lane11


Purchase A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins

Available on Kindle and Nook and in print 


Barnes and Noble.com:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-vision-of-angels-alexandra-lane/1108912950

 
 
 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – Pamela Samuels Young

Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young

Go On Girl! Book Club, one of the largest national reading organizations in the U.S. dedicated to supporting writers of the African diaspora, is proud to officially announce its reading selections for July thru December 2014.  The books were chosen by members of the GOG Reading List Committee headed by Chairman Joyce Williams.  She says, “We are excited to present another round of compelling titles that are sure to generate incredible discussions among our members.”   The selections represent six of the twelve official genres read by Go On Girl! Book Club.

Popular novelist, Pamela Samuels Young sheds light on child sex trafficking with a story full of suspense.  Writer Jason Mott imagines life in a small southern town when deceased loved ones come back to life.   Author Lauren Francis-Sharma takes us to Trinidad with a story of enduring love.   Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks makes the list with her only published novel.   Writer Gil Robertson IV explores the issues facing African American couples.   Dancer Misty Copeland traces her journey from life in a shabby hotel room to the prestigious American Ballet Theater.

 
Go On Girl! Book Club Reading List is Legendary and Important!
Featured Selection – Anybody’s Daughter

Is Anybody’s Daughter Ever Safe?

Based on the real-life horrors faced by thousands of girls, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young takes readers deep inside the disturbing world of child sex trafficking in a fast-paced thriller that educates as much as it entertains.

Thirteen-year-old Brianna Walker is ecstatic. She’s about to sneak off to meet her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she met on Facebook. But Brianna is in for a horrifying surprise because her boyfriend doesn’t exist. Instead, Brianna unwittingly becomes the captive of a ring of drug dealers- turned-human traffickers who prey on lonely girls from dysfunctional homes. But they’ve made a big mistake in targeting Brianna because she doesn’t meet either of those criteria.

Brianna’s Uncle Dre, a man with his own criminal past, is determined to find the niece who is more like a daughter to him. Rather than sit back and rely on police to bring Brianna home, Dre scours the dark corners of Los Angeles looking for her. He is stunned to learn that the trafficking of children isn’t just happening in other countries. It’s occurring at epidemic levels right in his own backyard.

Dre is not alone in his desperate search. Loretha Johnson knows this world well. A social worker who previously lived “the life,” Loretha now dedicates her time to saving as many young girls as she can find. She turns out to be an invaluable resource for Dre, who ultimately gets a lead on The Shepherd, a mastermind in the trafficking world whose every move is fueled by ego and greed. Dre vows to bring his reign of terror to an end.

While Brianna makes a futile effort to thwart her captors, Dre is getting closer and closer to finding her. The woman he loves, attorney Angela Evans, knows the dangers faced by sexually exploited children because she represents them in juvenile court. Angela lends her moral support and, eventually, an important clue to Brianna’s whereabouts.

As he races against the clock, Dre ultimately comes up with a daring plan—one that puts many lives in danger, including his own. But will he find Brianna before it’s too late?


About the Author
Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney and bestselling author of the legal thrillers, Every Reasonable Doubt, In Firm Pursuit, Murder on the Down Low, Buying Time, Attorney-Client Privilege, and Anybody’s Daughter. She is also a natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.

In addition to writing legal thrillers and working as an in-house employment attorney for a major corporation in Southern California, Pamela formerly served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. The former journalist and Compton native is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s School of Law.

Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young
Dre Thomas Series Book 2.  Available on Kindle

Purchase Today:
http://www.amazon.com/Anybodys-Daughter-Thomas-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00GC7UI8E

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – K.R. Raye

 

K.R. Raye
lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. She grew up in Kansas City, attended college in New York, and has resided in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Zealand. Throughout her diverse career working as a mechanical engineer, adjunct professor, and in sales, she continues to weave her love of marketing, computer information systems, and operations together with her passion for writing. That diverse experience influences her writing style to traverse the contemporary, horror, romance, drama, mystery, and sci-fi genres.

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book? 
Growing up, I learned to read at three and write little poems by four. For me, writing is a fun way to express feelings and emotions, try things you never considered, or create whole new worlds or alternative universes. When I wrote The Colors Trilogy books, I followed the old adage, “write what you know.” To me, there weren’t many books that highlighted the college experience from a realistic side with multi-cultural characters and good friends from both sexes.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I write part-time, however, I try to write every day for at least 30 minutes, it doesn’t matter when or where. Of course there are some days where life gets in the way and my daily word count equals zero, then there are other times when I can write all day and all night to my heart’s content.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Yes, you have to let it stew. After you finish writing the book, you need to read it again with fresh eyes and a less passionate perspective to see which areas need improvement and which sections soar.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
I enjoy writing about what I see in reality (the truth really is stranger than fiction) or crazy worlds I dream about. When writing, I try to keep a nice balance between plot driven and character driven stories. As a writer, your book can have all the action in the world, but if people don’t like your characters, they won’t connect or care. On the flip side, if you stay too character driven then you can run the risk of having readers say that all your characters did was talk to themselves without taking any action, which can bore your readers. So, I strive for an exciting balance between the two.

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?
The Colors Trilogy follows three college friends as they search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. The books are available in paperback and digital formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and they’re coming soon to iBooks.

The three novels The Colors of Friendship (Book One, published August 13, 2013), The Colors of Love (Book Two, published November 19, 2013), and True Colors (Book Three, publishing March 25, 2014) fall under the Contemporary, New Adult genres.

The Colors of Friendship: Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives? After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship?

The Colors of Love: After their lives are threatened, three college friends attempt to continue their search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. When the dynamics of their relationships change, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Love?

True Colors: After tragedy strikes, Imani, Melody, and Lance try to rekindle their college friendship. Can they move forward towards happiness or will ghosts from their past haunt them? When life’s challenges arise what are your…True Colors?

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
The Colors Trilogy follows three college friend as they strive for their goals. There’s:
Naïve, romantic, biracial Melody Wilkins who aims to find true love at college just like her parents. Melody brings the heart and sense of hope to the story.  No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. Imani’s the common sense, tell-it-like-it-is conscience.  Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. Lance is practical and fiercely loyal; he keeps them grounded with the male perspective.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
One of the main characters gets involved in an abusive relationship. Not trying to date myself, but I sent out a slew of query letters during the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga. It’s a topic that continues today with 1 in 4 women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime.

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
My favorite saying is “I’m too blessed to be stressed.” I find daily inspiration in random acts of kindness, music, and lately on Facebook and Twitter!!!

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? 
I love the phrase, “edutainment.” If I can educate you or make you think while entertaining you at the same time, then I’m delighted.

BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? In your opinion, will ebooks continue to reign? 
Both paper and electronic formats are here to stay for a while. As writers, we need to remain flexible and adaptable enough to adopt new technologies as conduits to communicate our stories to readers. Recently, I’ve had a number of readers request audio books, so that’s yet another option for the future. In addition, the world is global and one day I’d like to translate my work into other languages.

BPM: What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
Social Media is very helpful in building your brand, conversing with your readers, networking with other authors, and lastly marketing your books. If you’re not careful, it can become a huge time suck. However, when used well, you can grow your following, share advice, learn from others, and sell books. I’ve found success on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kr.raye), Twitter (https://twitter.com/KRRaye), and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/pub/k-r-raye/84/952/283/).

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. Readers can view pictures, check out where I’m appearing, and sign up for news and specials on my website, http://www.KRRaye.com.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KRRaye 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kr.raye

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – Denise Bolds

Raising Princes to be Kings: A Single Black Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Black Son 
Denise Bolds is a native New Yorker born in Harlem NY. She is a resident in Dutchess County of 21 years. Ms. Bolds comes from a family of healers and educators.She is a graduate of Dutchess Community College and Marist College.

Denise also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She has worked with low income families for the past 15 years. Ms. Bolds is the author of Raising Princes to be Kings: A Single Black Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Black Son and Raising Princesses to be Queens. Raising Princes is a recommended read by Ebony Magazine June 2013.

Denise Bolds is also the producer and host of her internet radio show: Black Motherhood Empowerment, a tool of empowerment with professional guests with discussions on the many avenues of Black life. Ms. Bolds is a proud single mother of her son Jordan who graduated from Poughkeepsie High School and earned his Master’s Degree in Special Education/Earth Science Elementary Level at age 22. 

Ms. Bolds also owns her own business:  Bold Doula under Bold Selah, LLC.   Ms. Bolds is a certified birth doula. Her goal is to bring awareness to the huge disparity of Black Maternal Health and doula as many women of color as possible.


Bold Doula under Bold Selah, LLC.
Website: http://www.bolddoula.com/read-me/


Raising Princes to be Kings: A Single Black Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Black Sons by Denise Bolds

http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20/detail/B00BVVXPKY


Raising Princes to Be Kings: a guide for black mothers and the parenting of their sons. Every black mother is capable of raising a Barack Obama, Ben Carson and many other successful black men from single parent homes.

Ms. Bolds’ book discusses the relationships of black motherhood of the black son from pregnancy to college and beyond. Ms. Bolds encourages black mothers to celebrate motherhood and to benefit from the success of empowered parenting. Motherhood is empowering. Topics in this book include: education, finance, relationships, sex, child support and many more to engage and empower.

From pre-conceptual health to college, Raising Princes to be Kings is a holistically empowering resource.

In this revised edition there are viable updates along with links to free lectures that relates to chapter topics, 40 developmental assets from ages 3 to 21 and contracts for the black mother and son. .

If we want good relationships with out black men, its is time that we raise black men and understand them. To truly raise a black man is to walk in their lives with them – not against them. Our black sons need us – we have to save our black men – too many have been lost already. GET READY TO BE EMPOWERED!

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – Lutishia Lovely


BOOK MOVIE:  The Perfect Deception Vaudio
Watch it now and share:  http://youtu.be/ZLCJAsrf1uw


Watch Lutishia Lovely’s TV Channel 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmgysiZYxxXXui1ljFmkdnw

The Perfect Deception (The Shady Sisters Trilogy)
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20/detail/0758286686

Lutishia Lovely is an award-winning author of seventeen novels, six of which are romance titles written under her alter-ego pseudo, Zuri Day. In addition to her wildly popular Hallelujah Love Series, Ms. Lovely has a hot new trilogy called “The Business” about a soul food dynasty where delicious drama and sizzling scandal is always on the menu!

Prior to becoming a full-time author, Lutishia enjoyed many different careers. They all, however, had one thing in common – they all were linked into a “world of words”. From administrative assistant to radio personality to actor to managing editor and senior writer for a holistic magazine,words have always been the magic that made Lutishia’s world go ’round. Probably one of the spins that would most surprise readers is the fact that Lutishia was a rapper! That’s right, for a short stint in the 90s, Lutishia was billed as “The Rhaptress” (a combination of a rapper and an actress), and toured with other singers and musicians throughout southern CA. She’s happy now to beat out a rhythm on her keyboard…songs in the key of “writer” that she hopes will inspire and entertain!

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
One day, this amazing story simply began downloading in my head. It was awesome, just like a movie. The woman, now known as lead character Jacqueline Tate, gave me the basic premise, which I immediately fleshed out into an outline and shot over to my editor, Selena James. She loved the idea, as I did, and approved it right away. There were still a couple books due before I’d get the chance to dive into this brave new world but once that happened I was in seventh heaven. I’m releasing the sequel to The Perfect Affair titled, The Perfect Deception on November 25, 2014!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that all of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve learned inspires all creative artists, be they writer, actor, singer, painter, etc. That being said, I am also a voyeur with a chameleon-like personality so it is easy for me to relate to and describe a lifestyle or situation very personally and vividly while having no personal experience on the matter. I think my background as an actor helps me in this as well.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I am blessed and thankful to be a full-time author without a set writing schedule. Most days, I’m writing, editing and/or promoting something and when not doing that handling the business aspects of my company, Lovely Day.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
That’s basically what happens when I send the book off to the publisher for its first edits. When it comes back to me, there have usually been a few months in between and I see the story with new eyes. Inevitably, this leads to positive changes and sometimes whole subplots newly formed.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Ella, they come from the Universe! Sometimes that’s as easy as the character tapping on my shoulder, as Jacqueline Tate did, or through a pow-wow with my editor or literary friends. Other times inspiration comes from hearing a news story, watching something on TV or overhearing a conversation. I’m constantly being inspired which can be both a blessing and a challenge all at once! For the most part, my novels are plot-driven by very strongly identified characters.

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?
The Shady Sisters Trilogy is a fascinating new contemporary fiction series about women who find themselves in interesting and precarious romantic situations. In the debut novel, The Perfect Affair, we meet a woman who finds Mr. Right just when she’s about to give up on the game. When she finds out he’s married…oh well. Jacqueline Tate knows this is but a minor inconvenience because she always gets what she wants!

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with these characters and with this book! There are so many layers to both of them; complexities brought about by some of the very things I mentioned earlier that make us who we are: what we know, what we’ve learned, and experiences we’ve had. On one hand, Jacqueline is a woman with whom most of us is familiar – we either know her or someone like her. She’s attractive, smart, with an exciting career. But like so many women, this success doesn’t translate into the relationship department. I believe readers, like her friends in the novel, will want to know why, and will root for her to find this happiness. 

On the other hand, again, like many of us, the problem in Jacqueline’s relationships begins with the relationship with herself. People do things and we judge without understanding; we blame without having all the facts. She’s written to take readers on a reflective journey…and that makes her special to me.

Dr. Randall Atwater was fun to write. First off, it’s the first time I’ve dealt with a scientist which considering how bad I did in chemistry, was a bit intimidating, even fictitiously Ha! But I loved showing this guy who came from a tough background but because someone recognized and showed interest in his passion, was able to rise above his situation and achieve success. He’s special because of his character and integrity, even when situations around him contradict these parts of him.

BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Absolutely, Ella…I write in real life! J A few include the challenges some single women face in finding a “good” man, honesty and integrity in relationships, the value of sisterhood friendships and the act of giving back.

Dr. Atwater grew up in the Anacostia Projects in Washington, D.C. He knows what it’s like to feel hopeless, to see no way out. He’s also well aware that less than 50% of AA males graduate high school, with more ending up in prison than on a college campus. As a way of giving back, he sets up a program called Atwater’s Achievement Module that tutors junior high and high school students in science and math, and encourages them to look at the world of science as a possible career choice.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
While writing, I tend to go on just as wild a journey as my readers do! Aside from knowledge constantly picked up by research, the characters and situations in this novel reminded me of the inherent power within us all. The same as I mold these characters, so are we molding our very own lives. We hold the pen and we are the story. The beginning, middle, end, how it flows and what genre we’re rocking, a thrilling suspense or hardcore mystery, a vanilla romance or full-on erotic saga….every page, every chapter of our lives is up to us.

BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers? 
I want readers to finish this book, and shout, “Oh. My. God. Lutishia Lovely wrote the holy hieroglyphics out of that book!!!” And then I want them to tell everybody they see about it, and encourage them to take the journey, too!

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? 
Success for me as an author is the same as that of me as a person: to be happy, healthy and able to wake up every day doing what I love. Writing as a full-time author allows me to live comfortably, even though being my passion it is something I’d do for free…and have. 

BPM: What is your favorite positive saying? Where do you find your daily inspiration or muse?
Gurllll…never ask a Libra her favorite anything! We can never narrow the choices to just one! But a foundational favorite would be this: I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.

BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
Because of the complexities of the characters and nature of the storyline, this was probably the hardest book I’ve ever written. It is fast-paced, with plots and sub-plots, making it logistically difficult. Thank Spirit for editors is all I can say. It took all of them, me and a few angels to keep everything straight.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released? 
The Perfect Affair will be my first NYT Bestseller, after which I will be approached by several major studios resulting in a bidding war that will reach seven-figures. Everyone will be talking about it, even CNN, causing the rights to the entire trilogy to be snapped up internationally. The books will then be translated into at least 37 languages and place me on the Forbes list. So, not a lot of big expectations, Ella. I try not to aim too high.

BPM: You are just too funny!  What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
It is to do all of the above!  Ultimately, I want to present my absolute best work with each release and if I’ve done that, then I will have done all of these things.

BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
Independently publishing my first novel, was an invaluable school of hard knocks regarding the publishing industry. It forced me to learn all aspects of the business, primarily that at the end of the day that is what this creative endeavor is…BIZ-NESS!!! I will always be grateful for that experience.

That being said, releasing a quality product through self-publishing is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, exhaustive work, forcing you to constantly juggle a dozen hats from a dozen perspectives. The digital revolution has eased this somewhat, but with this convenience has also come a flood of badly written, poorly edited novels. The craft has suffered because some do not take the time to fully hone their craft before selling their wares.

The advantages are that you are your own boss, and can write the story exactly as you want which, in some instances, is the disadvantage as well, along with challenges with distribution, promotion and being recognized by traditional outlets.

BPM: What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
I love social media as a marketing addition. It allows me to get up-close-and-personal with Lovely readers; and to interact with them on a regular basis. I’ve networked, promoted, shared, and sold via various forms of social networking. Facebook is the one that I use most often and for that reason alone is the best for me.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Like my novels, I am a constant work in progress, holding the pen to write the next scene of my life. I am on a journey and am thankful for all of those who come along for the ride. Readers can keep in touch and find out about various rest stops, drive bys and travel destinations by joining my newsletter at:  LutishiaLovely.com, liking me on Facebook at: authorLutishiaLovely and following me on Twitter at:  lutishialovely.

BPM:  Finish this sentence – “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors… ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors: to write flawlessly, and live fearlessly.”

Join LDE Newsletter at: LutishiaLovely.com 
Like me on Facebook at: authorlutishialovely
Follow me on Twitter at:  http://www.twitter.com/lutishialovely
The Perfect Deception (The Shady Sisters Trilogy)
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20/detail/0758286686

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 

#BondingThruBooks Speaker – William Fredrick Cooper

William Fredrick Cooper Uplifts The African-American Community With His Novels

William Fredrick Cooper is the author of the critically-acclaimed SIX DAYS IN JANUARY, the Essence/Black Expressions Bestselling novel THERE’S ALWAYS A REASON and the author of ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES, a sports memoir chronicling the 2009 championship season of the New York Yankees. A dynamic speaker known for giving enlightening radio interviews, he has edited several award-winning novels and contributed to New York Times bestselling anthologies and national periodicals such as Ebony Magazine.

His fourth book, UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) was released on March 18, 2014. (All books were published through Strebor Books/Simon and Schuster). A Brooklyn native and the proud father of Maranda Nicole Cooper, stop by Cooper’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/wfcooper, listen to some great music and say hello.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel?
Ella, I traveled the road of self-publishing. Back in 2000, when I received my 72nd and last rejection letter, one that actually said my writing was “too emotional for a black man,” (sigh) I decided to do this on my own. So I went to First Books Library (Currently known as Author House), a print-on-demand company.

In 2001, I was speaking at the University of Maryland at College Park about the struggles of my literary journey and little did I know God had put someone in that audience that was listening to my every word. After the conference the woman and I put books up for a vendor. She me told her vision then asked me to tag along. At first I rejected her, but she never forgot about me, even as she grew in stature. Through her, I received my first computer (when I wrote the lead story in the book Sistergirls.com), and the rest is history. I owe her a bit, and love her in my own special way. Thanks, Zane.

BPM: What is your definition of success? Does money play a part in how you gauge success?
My definitions of success are broad and none of them have anything to do with money. That we are contributing pebbles in the vast ocean of African-American Literary History makes us successful. That a person can maximize their potential in any area of light at a high level defines success.

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life?
So many books have inspired me. Terry McMillan and “Waiting to Exhale” was one, because it started the current literary phenomenon. The literary works of David Halberstam (Summer of ’49, October of 1964, The Best and the Brightest) have influenced my flow, as I love his intellectual rhythm with words.

The romance writers (Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Cheryl Faye) taught me narrative imagery, James Baldwin’s diversity, Timmothy McCann’s books passion, Eric Jerome Dickey’s usage of commas in paragraphs, Cornel West, Earl Graves and others for social content, and of course, The BIBLE, for faith.

BPM: How many books have you written? How has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated your growth the most? 
Ella, I am blessed to have done four books. Three of them novels, and a fourth was a sports book. God has really blessed me with a versatile pen: In my early days, I wrote novels and steamy erotic short stories, but I would always challenge myself in writing short op-ed pieces on diverse issues. That would eventually pay off when I wrote my sports memoir ONE SEASON IN PINSTRIPES.

Good writers stimulate me. People like Robert Fleming (Cole Riley) influenced me so much as a writer, because they can do anything with a pen. Intellectually stimulating and articulately-driven, I admire his range. I think he’s one of the most underappreciated writers of our generation. GIVE HIM HIS DUE!!!

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, STUDY YOUR CRAFT! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE STUDY THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THIS. A LOT OF GREED!!  TOO MUCH GREED!!

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book. What genre is the book? On Kindle or Nook? 
My fourth book is entitled UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD). The novel is classified as fiction, but I think it’s so much more.

BPM: What compelled or inspired you to write this book? Why now? Ever experience writers block?
Can I be completely honest? I wrote UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) with a sense of urgency. Sometimes, that mental clock in your brain tells you that you’re running out of time to maximize certain gifts in order to fulfill God’s promise on the life He wants you to have. I felt like the wheels of artistic progression were spinning in place, and something in my spirit told me that this may be my last opportunity at forward progress.

 Additionally speaking, I wanted to write another William McCall story (SIX DAYS IN JANUARY, THERE’S ALWAYS A REASON ) with the hopes that he might find the one thing he has coveted: LOVE.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
Ella, I wrote UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) as if I were composing a musical score or recording an album. Like an artist given complete creative and production control, my imprints are EVERYWHERE. For starters, the love story pays tribute to the legacy of Michael Jackson, the creative engine of my dreams. And there are transparent statements about my life through original lyrics of Jackson songs. Lastly, there are inspirational pieces with words that I hope might help us all with Love.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message enclosed?
UNBREAKABLE (A LOVE BALLAD) has an appeal that might reach both a fiction and romance reader, and strong socially informative messages of that might cause a debate or two amongst intellects. Trumping all that is the book’s primary initiative: LOVE, It can be intense and enduring, but at day’s end it’s just that… LOVE. God’s most precious gift dwells within us all, if we look close enough. And contrary to popular belief, it conquers all.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book? 
I’m praying that it gives readers hope to trust LOVE with their hearts after reading this. If not, then I better give up writing and follow another vision, because that means I didn’t deliver the message God gave me effectively.

BPM: How do you avoid the temptation of interjecting your own value system in your writing?
I’m gonna challenge that question. While we don’t want to sound preachy, I think all writers sprinkle nuggets of their belief systems into their stories. Christian Fiction writers believe in God, or they wouldn’t write in that genre. (PICTURE IT: A beautiful book of faith written by a salty- mouthed person who’s openly admits that he enjoys sex shops and pornography.- That like a person with no eyebrows looking amazed – LOL!!!)

As far as other areas of the craft, you have to be careful not to force opinions. If done properly, a well-developed character can’t help but speak not only their value system, but a small portion of the writers as well through a careful gamut of emotions. Unless of course, you’re writing from a character that’s not your gender.

BPM: Share with us a quote brief excerpt from one of the most powerful chapters. 
You really want me to? I mean… are you sure? Well…um, okay… (The author says warily.)

“Darling, don’t we have a black man in the White House?”

Carl answered, “One they attempted to humiliate by offering millions of dollars for his birth certificate and college records? One they have called ‘indecisive’ because of the scenario in Syria? And don’t get me started on the economy. America’s been borrowing millions-a-day for years from other countries, and now that they’re having trouble paying it back, it’s his fault? What a bunch of crap. ”

“You forgot about the Republicans and their fight against the Affordable Care Act. For crying out loud, they shut down government operations for sixteen days.” Keisha added. “Do you see the lengths ignorant people will go to prove a point? It’s like the GOP wanted to see America fail, so they can say ‘We handed The Magic Negro a mess and he made it worse.’ Sometimes I wonder if he was merely a figurehead put in place to keep us in the dark, a neat little trick by Charlie.”

“I’ve wondered that too, Keisha, especially with the way he’s being treated. In so many ways it parallels what Jackie Robinson endured. He absorbed so much hatred being “The First” that he died only sixteen years after his playing days. The abuse took years from his life. Then I look at Barack and worry. I mean, have they blatantly disrespected any other President like this? It’s ‘keep him in his place’ bull**** of the worst kind, and it doesn’t matter that he came from the womb of a white woman.”  ###

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
There are so many messages I’m trying to deliver in UNBREAKABLE, but if I had to pick one, it’s the obvious. LOVE still exists because it’s in us, and we shouldn’t forget this. I just hope people appreciate the story.

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? 
“Word of Mouth” is critical with my books, because I’m not a writer that comes out with a book a year. (It takes me a good 12-16 months to write one.). So far, the hype was been tremendous. Makes me a little nervous.

To promote UNBREAKABLE, I’ve been posting excerpts of the story online, as well as playing a great deal of Michael Jackson on my Facebook page and distributing flyers at major events and functions. As we get closer to the release date, I’ll intensify the buzz by utilizing a marketing team.

BPM:  Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers… ”
My writing offers an honest, heartfelt attempt to reach greatness with a pen. I owe that to all that came before me, and those who will throw it down on those pages long after I’m gone. Only God knows the final word on my humble contribution, but its sure fun trying to carve a great one out.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? 
I’ve begun outlining my next book. That one will probably be ready by March of 2016. And I’m getting ready to tour UNBREAKABLE throughout the country. 

My new website should be up and running by April, but readers can reach me always on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wfcooper.  I have a Twitter account, but I don’t go there as much as I should. I can also be contacted via email at unbreakable006@yahoo.com  or areason006@yahoo.com

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

Unbreakable: A Novel
by William Fredrick Cooper
Link:  http://amzn.com/1593094876 
All other books can be purchased on Amazon.com

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks

 
 
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