Monthly Archives: December 2014

Radio Replays from Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival

Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival

Celebrating Our Legacy 365!
November 19-25, 2014

Share this Hashtag: #BondingThruBooks
Hosted by Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group

Bonding Thru Books Weekend, is a totally ONLINE book festival hosted by EDC Creations Media Group.  Every year we present a very diverse author showcase with live readings, writer’s workshops, book club panel discussions, and several awesome book giveaways. Join BAN Radio Show host Ella D. Curry, avid readers, book bloggers and publishing industry insiders.

If we are to survive in this nation, we all have to learn to recognize and respect the fundamental differences between races, cultures, and our diverse socio- economic human rights. It is our hope that through the community  panels we can highlight the differences in our ideas and attitudes, yet still embrace a sophisticated dialog. We aim to share life’s exhilarating variety, while eliminating much of the assumptions and fear surrounding our lives.

It is our mission to connect readers with the authors of quality books, written with a purpose. We offer  books that will change their lives!  Instead of giving expensive gifts that don’t shape lives, let’s Give the Gift of Knowledge, pay it forward and help to strengthen our future generations by sharing our wonderful literary legacy!


Night 1, Nov 19:

Night 2, Nov 20:

Night 3, Nov 21:

Night 4, Nov 22:

Night 5, Nov 23:

Night 6, Nov 24:

Night 7, Nov 25:


Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival
Share this Hashtag:  #BondingThruBooks
Hosted  Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group
BTB Official Bookstore: 
Chatroom for readers:


Wednesday Night,  November 19 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)

Defenders of the Heart: Fiction Authors Showcase


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 1, Nov 19:

*8:00 – Deborah Johnson –  The Secret of Magic

*8:30 – Renee Daniel Flagler, Society Wives

*9:00 – William F. Cooper, Unbreakable

*9:15 – EN Joy, More Than I Can Bear

*9:30 – Ann Jeffries  and  Gracie Hill  (pre-recorded)

*9:45 – Leiann B. Wrytes, Virtuous Deception

Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST:  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!


Thursday night, November 20 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)

We’re celebrating mind, body and spirit on DAY 2 of the Bonding Thru Books Festival. We have an awesome author lineup and the community panel discussion is titled: 1000 Steps: Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Panel Discussion!


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 2, Nov 20:

* 8:00 – Lauren Francis-Sharma, ‘Til the Well Runs Dry

*8:30 – Lutishia Lovely, founder of A Lovely Day Experience

*8:45 – Pamela Samuels Young, Anybody’s Daughter

1000 Steps: Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Panel Discussion

Thursday night, November 20 at 9-11:00 pm EST

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turning Mishaps to Ministry: 
The importance of learning to love yourself!  We are discussing finding solace from within first!  The panelist will discuss how your health determines your leadership abilities and the importance of balance in our lives. We are discussing  the power of forgiveness, clean eating, health, fitness, mental health, meditation & healing, depression & recovery and  financial literacy.

How We Love: Health, Marriage & Family Ties:  Life coaches, ministers and authors will talk about their motivation for writing books that teach, guide and empower our community on how to achieve overall health and wellness, as we build stronger leadership roles in our personal and professional lives. This unique radio opportunity will provide valuable information on how to achieve balance between mind, body and spirit. Finding balance in life is real!


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 2, Nov 20:

*Cheryl Donovan, founder Cheryl Lacey Donovan Ministries

* Kristin L. Mitchell, He Wasn’t My Daddy

*Lá Tanyha Boyd, International Host of Spiritual Food for Thought Global Radio

* Villa Powell, Thirty Day Journey Toward Transformation

* Makasha Dorsey,  First Family Secrets (The Church House, Book 1)

* Lisa Renee Johnson, founder of I Got Sunshine. women’s empowerment movement

* Live Out Loud, 52 Weeks to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose By Melisa Alaba


Friday Night, November 21 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)
The Lies Lovers Tell Author Showcase


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 3, Nov 21:

*8:00 – Trice Hickman, Troublemaker

*8:15 – Victoria Warren Jackson, Untraditional Love In The Dark

*8:30 – RM Johnson, My Wife’s Baby: I’m Not a Murderer

*8:45 – Electa Rome Parks, These Boots Were Made for Stalking

The Pleasure Principles Panel Discussion
Friday Night,  November 21 at 9:00-11:00 pm (EST)

Topic of Discussion – The Pleasure Principles: Truly adult conversation!  We are discussing the art of writing Erotica, Urban Lit and Fantasy novels. The relationship panel discussion will include topics New Sexual Revolution: Polyamory-multi-partnered relationships;  maintaining monogamy in a digital age;  online & long distance dating;  alternate lifestyle choices; tips for building long lasting relationships.


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 3, Nov 21:

  Shakir Rashaan, author of the Nubian Underworld series, including The Awakening, Legacy, and Tempest

Co-host:   N’Tyse, National bestselling author of  Twisted Vows of Seduction and executive producer of the documentary series, Beneath My Skin.

*Lutishia Lovely, founder of A Lovely Day Experience,  Author of THE PERFECT DECEPTION

*Denise Bolds, Raising Princes to be Kings; A Single Black Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Black Son

* Shana Johnson-Burton, Flawbulous

*Valarie Prince, Novel: The Virus: When Love Turns Deadly

*Naleighna Kai, Was it Good For You Too  and  Open Door Marriage

* Lorna L.A. Lewis, co-author Signed, Sealed, Delivered…I’m Yours


Saturday night, November 22, 2014 at 6:30-9:30 pm (EST)
Get Ya Read On- YA Readers and Fiction                

We are celebrating National Family Stories Month!  We all have family stories, tall tales and folklore based on our communities. They are entertaining, yet powerful because they serve to connect our families through the ages. By telling our family stories, we can preserve family history and unlock conversations that can become history lessons too.

Beacons For the Future – Fiction Book Showcase
Five remarkably talented, authors will talk about their motivation for writing, how they prepared to be an author, how they crafted their unique stories.

Topic of Discussion:  How to promote a book for children in the digital age. We are discussing ways to engage young readers.  Speakers will share their journey as children’s book writers.


Listen to the Show, Night 4, Nov 22:

* 6:30 – Janet Autherine Mahon, Growing into Greatness with God:7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters

* 6:45 – Michelle M. Spady, ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

* 7:00 – Shelia Goss,  Jasmine: Lip Gloss Chronicles

* 7:30 – Necole Ryse, The Missing – play legacy recording

* 7:45 – Jean Love Cush, ENDANGERED

Speculative Fiction, Mystery and Thriller Showcase
Saturday night, November 22, 2014

Each author will read from their book and share how they went about getting their fiction books published. Readers will experience surreal speculative fiction, post-apocalyptic YA novels, spy thrillers, and the wild dystopian trilogies!


Listen to the Show, Night 4, Nov 22:

* 8:00 – SD Skye, A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) Book 3

* 8:15 – Alexandra Lane, A Vision of Angels:  The Battle Begins

* 8:30 – Nakia LaShaul, Locked in Purgatory

Author Readings Pre- Recorded
* Cerece Rennie Murphy, Order of the Seers Trilogy
* The Last King: Book 1 by A. Yamina Collins


Sunday night, November 23 at 8:00-11:00 pm EST.
Our Cup Runneth Over:  Good Health and Peace of Mind

Bedrock Faith: Christian Fiction Author Showcase

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERSListen to the Show Here,  Night 5, Nov 23:

* 8:00 –  Ella Curry Give Out Tips and Advice; Introduce Crown Holders

* 8:15 –  Ruth Watson, An Elderberry Fall

* 8:30 –  Colette R. Harrell, The Devil Made Me Do It

* 8:45 –  Julia Blues, The Last Exhale

* 9:00 –  Tyora Moody, Oven Baked Secrets

* 9:15 –  Bonnie Taylor-Williams, With These Hands: A Country Girl Came to Town

Shaking the Tree: Publicity & PR Pros Panel Discussion
Sunday Night,  November 23  at 9:30-11:00 pm (EST)

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind!” — Jim Morrison

Topic of Discussion – Shaking the Tree: Marketing and PR in the Digital Age

Shaking the tree means taking action that makes something happen! We are discussing innovative ways to market and promote any product in this digital age.  We will also discuss the different services each magazine or company offer authors, business owners and readers.  With ebooks and digital music becoming all the rage, how do you capture the attention of  bookclubs and readers? How do you stand out?  How are your supporting the arts?  How are we mixing traditional marketing with social media marketing?

The challenge for book lovers today is discovery. How do readers find out about new books and plays by established and emerging writers? What books are they reading and reviewing now?  How do the readers grade the publishing industry?  We will address all of these questions during the panel discussion.  Meet established reviewers, book bloggers, virtual tour hosts, radio hosts, bookstore owners and book club members. During this panel, we will show listeners how books can open your universe!


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 5, Nov 23:

*Tonya Shirelle, ES Communications Agency & Infinite Xpression Publishing

*Tyora  Moody, The Literary Entrepreneur Toolkit

*TaNisha Webb, Publisher of Book Club 101 Magazine

*LaShaunda Hoffman, Shades Of Romance Magazine

*Renee’ Sunday, M.D. is the founder of Sunday Publishing Company,  Host of Good Deeds Radio & TV Show

Monday night, November 24 at 8:00-9:00 pm EST
Books Without Borders Author Showcase

Topic of Discussion – Books Without Borders: We are discussing the art of writing historical fiction and writing books that are in settings or take place outside the USA.

Books by African American writers should be read around the world, which is our belief! We bring wonderful stories to the minds and imaginations of everyone. We have stories to tell, using our voices and our experiences, that speaks to all races and cultures.  During the Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival, we will introduce readers to cross-genre books meant to be enjoyed by ALL READERS, period!  We want readers, all readers, from all races, to appreciate the work of authors of color!


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 6, Nov 24:
* 8:00 – Breena Clarke, ANGELS MAKE THEIR HOPE HERE

* 8:15 – Marlene Banks, Gunmen Have No Sabbath

* 8:30 – Piper Hughley, The Mayor’s Mission

* 8:45 – Navi Robins, Walking Among the Shadows: Awakening

* 9:00 – Sherryle K. Jackson, Submissionary

* 9:30 -The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale By J. M. Lominy

Behind the Curtain: Balancing Life, Weight, Career and Care-giving
Monday night, November 24 at 9:00-11:00 pm EST

Igniting the Power Within:  Define Yourself, Redefine the World

Our guest speakers represent greatness and courage as they share their moving testimonies. We invite you to join the discussion to share your stories of triumph and survival too!  Call into the radio programs to speak up and out. You may not feel that you are one to mentor or minister to others, but you never know. Your testimony might heal a hurting person. Your struggle might eliminate the pain in someone else’s future.


Listen to the Show Here,  Night 6, Nov 24:

*Renee Wiggins, Being Fabulously Fit in God’s Kingdom: A 40-Day Journey to Wellness

*Brittani D. Williams, It’s Not a Piece of Cake Nutritional Coaching and Education

*Tess Tims, author of The 3C’s System: Your One Evening Guide to Health and Wealth Creation

*Dr. Sheronda Orridge, PH. D. – Life Coach / Life Coach Trainer, Loving Spirit Life Coach Academy LLC

*Joyce A. Brown, Getting Away With Everything

*Martha Kennerson, author of Consequences


Tuesday night, November 25, 2014  at 8:00-11:00 pm EST
 Who Motivates the Motivator:  The importance of women empowerment and balance in our business lives. We are also discussing the personal protection of women, mental & physical wellness,  financial literacy and hospice and caring of elders in the home.

Listen to the Show Here, Night 7, Nov 25:

* 8:00 – Nika Beamon, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House, a medical memoir

* 8:15 – Annie Brown, My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey

* 8:30 – Charmaine Galloway, author of Golden

* 8:45 – Andrea Foy,  author of Hire Power – How to Find, Get and Keep a Job

The Black Pearls Bookstore is now fully stocked. Please browse all of the shelves, we have some awesome book selections for you! Keep our authors in mind for your holiday gifts and for your Books-of-the-Month coming in 2015. Bring all of your friends to the BTB Official Bookstore:


 Read the ebooks on your smartphone, tablet, device,  or computer by downloading the FREE Kindle reading app from here:

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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in #BondingThruBooks


#SantaHelpers: Eye of the Beholder by Elissa Gabrielle

Eye of the Beholder
by Elissa Gabrielle

The true measure of our existence begins with the way we view the world…

Jerusalem “Jay” Jones, Iraq war veteran is a hero to most as he’s bravely put his life on the line to serve his country. His second tour of duty has ended and Jay lies in a veterans hospital bed recovering from injuries he sustained while at war. His present circumstances should be a cake-walk for Jerusalem considering the tragedies he experienced as a child. Love, laughter and life have always seemed to elude Jerusalem, unfortunately, from his early days as a child growing up abused and terrorized on the tough streets of Newark. Vulnerable and reclusive, Jerusalem must now face the world in which he escaped, seeking a more fulfilled life, albeit, with dark secrets that burden his psyche as well as his physicality.

Jill Lopes, a hospital social worker who recently made a career change, longs to heal the broken. But, before she can heal the sick, she must first break through inner battles of unhappiness and resistance. When fate boldly enter Jerusalem’s and Jill’s life, they realize that the challenges we meet in life hold the power to open us to higher consciousness. Will Life become both meaningful and joyful when Jerusalem and Jill know the greater truth of who they are?

Does beauty really lie in the eye of the beholder? Experience the power of love on this redemptive journey where the purpose of the problems in one’s life, will be empowered to uncover the gifts they bring.

USA TODAY recommends EYE OF THE BEHOLDER! Read full recommendation:

“The beauty of Gabrielle’s voice is the deep emotional cadence as we enter each character’s point of view. In those special worlds, she writes with the talent to keep you immersed so that you can understand and empathize with their motivations and the conflicts that may overwhelm. Skillful and full of artistry, Gabrielle shares a powerful romance worthy of its resolution.”
~ Michelle Monkou for USA TODAY

“If the moon and the stars align Elissa Gabrielle will be a literary rock star. Eye of the Beholder marks in stunning fashion the return to readers the craft of writing that book lovers eyes should be awarded. A heartrending endorsement of losing trust, crossing lines and seeking forgiveness, Eye of the Beholder is a story of emotional deprivation beyond one’s control, and searching for inner soul sustenance. Elissa Gabrielle has penned word by word and line by line from the beginning to the end poetic justice poetically in this novel. Eye of the Beholder is comparable in scope, texture, and depictions with the classics because of the strong wit and passionate intelligence.”
~Alvin L. A. Horn?, author of Perfect Circle

“Elissa Gabrielle’s Eye of the Beholder takes you to another place and time. Vulnerability and hope are the backdrop of this riveting novel. Gabrielle’s words are like cool water for a thirsty soul, each one dripping with lyricism and purpose. Eye of the Beholder will cause you to experience firsthand the transformative power of love.”
~J’son M. Lee, Author/Editor

Excerpt: Eye of the Beholder

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am – my faith, my knowledge, my being. When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups … I want to speak to their souls.” ~John Coltrane

Chapter 1



I wake to the sound of my own voice howling a blood-curdling scream into the cold, brisk air which fills my bedroom. The sound, even though it comes from my own body, startles me; causing me to sit up straight to regain my mentality and composure. I’m scared beyond belief; to the point of feeling my own body shake and tremble in fear beneath me. “It’s a night terror, not current reality,” I tell myself, but my mind could care less about the distinction as it relives the pain.

The chill in the air is offset by the warm beads of sweat dripping from the terror-filled adrenaline pumping through my body, drenching me from head to toe while warming me and causing my temperature to rise. My heart races and I inhale deeply, trying to catch breath that escapes me. The source of my screams, sweat, and tears is the same recurring invader plaguing my mind, from time to time, over the years without rhyme or reason. It is a mental sensation I have not been able to shake since the day I saw her in the hospital more than two decades ago. A mind-altering intruder of mine is more vivid and real than any nightmare a person could ever have, simply because it is my reality instead of being a product of an over-active imagination. Even in the realm of dreams, reality trumps fantasy. It is my mind’s way of reliving the beginning source of my pain and my soul’s way of reminding me never to forget.

The Evian water bottle on the nightstand next to me finds its way cleverly and productively into my hands, as it routinely does when my mind starts playing tricks on me during the night. I gulp down its purifying contents without missing a beat. Yet, no matter how hard I try to soothe the savage beast of my past, the water cannot drown the images that linger in my head no matter how fast or how hard I choose to swallow. Even as I quench the fire of my exhausting night thirst, I can’t extinguish the fire ignited by my dreams-the contents of which refuses ignoring.

I still see her. I smell the scent of her Chanel No. 5, as if she is standing right next to me and I remember that day, as if it were today. I’m lost in that moment in time. My night terror ensures that I will never forget that day or her for that matter; despite how many minutes, hours, days, years or decades that pass. That day will always be today and she will always invade my dreams.

When the beginning of my end began, I was ten years old. That is the moment in time that changed my life-the point of definition known to me as the history of my life.

A ten-year-old does not possess the wherewithal to appreciate the blessings that make up life. A ten-year-old lives in the here and now; unaware of the need to smell the flowers of life along the way, or of how good life really is. If I had have known then, what I know now, maybe my life wouldn’t be attacked routinely by night terrors clubbing me over the head while begging me to be thankful for what I currently have. Maybe, if I had have been a little more grateful, she would still be here. My dreams impose that mentality on me. They make me pose that inquiry to myself each time I awake in cold, night sweats remembering that day. Even as an adult, I know that rationale has no basis in fact, and was not the case then or now, yet my nightmares still make me wonder. In the instance of wanting to blame someone other than God for the fact that sometimes shit happens in life, my dreams still make me want to point the finger of blame at myself. That is what children do. Their minds often place blame on themselves instead of on the foundations concerning the cycle of life.

Even though I am an adult, remembrance of my mother is still through the eyes of a child. I do not see her weaknesses; a mother is Wonder Woman in the eyes of her child. Mothers are invincible; as such, I will forever see her in that manner. I couldn’t see that she, just like all human beings, had the capability of being vulnerable. My mind cannot comprehend that her life was what it was intended to be-as God made it.

I look at things concerning her through the eyes of a child missing his mother; and all I can see is invincibleness; as such, all I can do is wonder what I did wrong that might have caused her to be taken away from me. Through the eyes of a child is how I see things when it comes to my mother. The view lies in the eye of the beholder, and the day it all began and ended still invade my dreams.

It began innocently enough. There was a carnival at school and Mom agreed to make cookies. I sat in the kitchen as she pulled the cookie sheets out of the oven, one by one. There were at least five dozen, if not more, and the aroma filled our house in a manner that only home-baked sweets can. I could not sit still because the smell was making my mouth water. I reached for one as she placed the cookie sheets on the top of the stove to cool.

“Can I have one?” I asked, as my hands hung midair in an attempt to have the first bite of what I knew would be pure, sugar-filled heaven. She had a way of making the best cookies in town; at least in my opinion, even if I was a little bias.


My Mom was the epitome of grace. I realized it then, I yearn for it now. The King of kings kissed her and turned her skin bronze; it was always aglow. Her deep, dark, penetrating almond-shaped eyes made my father weak. Full, thick, jet black hair; she wore it in a side sweep on special occasions, but mainly tied it up under a soft, satin scarf. Dad loved that. The sight of her face alone was enough for him.

Her lips were full, like the upper petals of an orchid flower. Dad’s eyes danced with excitement whenever she pecked him on his cheek. He loved her so. We all loved her so.

And, when the kiss was planted on him, he would always reply, “A kiss from my angel, sweet love of my life.”

“Can you have one?” She raised her eyebrow, as if she had been waiting for the exact moment in order to put class in session. “What have I told you about that word, ‘Can’? ‘Can’ means do you have the ability to have a cookie. We both know you have the ability to have one. What you really want to ask me is, ‘May I have a cookie?’ By asking, ‘May I have one?’ you are really asking if I will allow you to have one. That is what you really want to know, isn’t it, son? You really want to know if I will allow you to taste one-not if you have the ability to taste one-isn’t that right?”

Mom smirked while continuing to stir batter for the next batch of cookies for the oven.

Hungry and wanting a cookie instead of hearing her insistence of teaching me something at every twist and turn, I rolled my eyes. I just wanted a cookie. She could have kept the English lesson to herself. Sorrowfully, I looked down at my Buster Brown shoes and beige corduroy pants. I smile when I think about how my mother dressed me in the early eighties.

“I guess so. So, can I have one, Ma?” My response was respectful, but to the point.

“Yes, you may have a cookie. However, as you eat it, I want you to remember the difference between the two words, son. Just by virtue of being alive, you can do many things in life. In addition, while those things are important and satisfying, recognize that what’s more important are the things at which you may have to be a trailblazer; the things that life may restrict or dictate because of who you are. Those are the things in life that I want you to concentrate on, and not the things that life says you ‘can’ have, but the things that life takes a pause in telling you that you ‘may’ have.”

At the time, I didn’t hear anything she said other than, “Yes, you ‘may’ have a cookie.” Now that she’s gone, I wish I had paid more attention to everything she had to say. I wish I had lingered a little while longer at the feet of her wisdom.

Bending over the counter top, I reached for a chocolate chip cookie cooling on the tin sheet in front of me. As I did, I noticed her closing her eyes and rubbing her temples with the tips of her fingers. I gobbled the cookie quickly as crumbs fell from my mouth. I didn’t want to give her a chance to change her mind.

“You okay, Ma?” My words came as an afterthought, as I reached for another cookie. Instead of the usual smile that she normally gave me, she collapsed. Hearing her plump frame hitting the kitchen floor, scattering kitchen table chairs in the process, was startling. She shook uncontrollably on the floor and my feeble, ten-year-old mind tried to comprehend what was happening.

“Ma! Ma! Are you okay?” I screamed, awaiting a response, but none came. My eyes grew big and I gnawed at my fingers contemplating what to do. I picked up the phone and fumbled with the cord to the headset, which always seemed to tangle right at the moment that it needed to be straight. Taped to the side of the refrigerator was Dad’s office number for emergency purposes and even at ten years old, I knew Mom lying on the kitchen floor constituted an emergency.

In all of what a few seconds had to offer, I saw everything in my life flash before my eyes as I called Dad. President Reagan was on television, interrupting Mom’s soap operas with a special news report. The wood paneling and drop ceiling in our kitchen, wow, I saw every one of them. The brick that covered the back wall to our stove and the yellow, linoleum floors in our cozy kitchen; I saw it all, in slow motion, as my heart raced.

Crumbling before my eyes was my safe haven in Newark, where Mom and Dad kept the outside evils away and the goodness of heaven in. Ripped from my ten-year-old hands was life, as I knew it, as she lay helpless with only me to rescue her.

Life as I knew it, was being ripped from my ten-year-old hands as she laid there, helpless.

Seeing her body shake and contort on the kitchen floor, was the beginning of my end; it is the sight that introduces my night terrors, and the vision that causes me to sit up straight in bed, screaming and sweating profusely. My memory fast-forwards from that moment to the next memory like a badly edited movie. The next image I have is of standing at her bedside in the hospital, as the doctor told my father that my mother had a brain tumor and only had days to live. Cold and callous were the doctor’s words as if reciting items on a dollar menu at a fast food restaurant. I don’t remember much about seeing her lying in bed dying, but I do remember the tubes in her nose, the sounds of machines keeping her alive, and the sound of Dad’s voice saying, “Make sure she is comfortable so that she can go in peace.”

( Continued… )

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

Purchase Copies of Eye of the Beholder  

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#SantaHelpers: Yesterday’s Eyes by Catherine Flowers

Yesterday’s Eyes 
by Catherine Flowers

Catherine Flowers brings readers the powerful story of three generations of women who must come to terms with the past and learn how to forgive one another if there is any hope of healing.

When Ida is sent to prison for the negligent homicide of her infant son, her six-year-old daughter, Tia, ends up in the custody of her grandmother, Mavis Dolittle. It’s a heartbreaking situation, made even worse when Ida claims that the boy was the son of Mavis’ husband, Henry, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.

Emotionally detached from the granddaughter she’s never really known, guilt-ridden about the way she raised her daughter, and reeling from her husband’s dalliance with his stepdaughter, Mavis faces the biggest crisis of her life. Brutality, coldness and indifference have shaped three generations of women, and to be healed, they will have to learn how to care, to love, and to forgive one another.

Praise for Yesterday’s Eyes by Catherine Flowers

WOW While reading this book I frequently had tears in my eyes… The characters, the mother alone could have filled a thousand pages. I could identify with a certain individual within these pages. As a young adult this book took me to a place that I had pushed out of my mind. A place that was so real, when the mother was in her room with the kids showing them her box that was to NEVER be touched it sounded sooo familiar, I could picture them in that room, & if they were actual people they would never ever forget that moment. Again WOW…
Review written by Tye Cooper

I bought this book because of all the positive reviews I read. This book captured my attention from the very beginning. The storyline and characters were realistic and the forgiveness that occurred between Tia, Ida and Mavis was really amazing. This book is definitely a great read, well worth five stars!!!
Review written by Lovely Lady

Having waited for months for her new book, Yesterday’s Eyes, to be published, I was thrilled to get my hands on it and start reading! I really enjoyed this book. It was intriguing, exciting, breathtaking and thought-provoking from the very beginning. The author paints a vivid picture of the characters to help the reader identify with each character.

Yesterday’s Eyes was more than I could have imagined. Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. I’m going to have such a hard time waiting to read your next book. In fact I honestly feel like I am going to explode from anticipation!!!

Without reservation, I whole heartily recommend this book! In my humble opinion, this is a bestseller book!!!
Review written by Ms Spirituality

Excerpt: Yesterday’s Eyes

Ida was on her way back home when she saw the ambulance and the squad cars parked in front of her house. Halfway down the block, she could see the white woman escorting Tia out to a car, and she began yelling out Tia’s name while running toward the house. By the time she made it to the steps, the police officers were waiting for her with their questions and handcuffs ready.

“Are you the mother?” one of the officers asked.

“Yes, I am,” she answered in between short and heavy breaths.

“Ma’am, are you aware that one of your children is dead?”

Ida thought about the hundred dollars she had accumulated that night. She thought about all the things she had done and tried not to remember what she’d felt while she was doing them in order to get what she’d needed. But the nausea in her stomach began to rise, and all the dollar bills in the world were not going to be able to settle it. She turned sideways and hunched over. If only he could have held on a little longer! The foul-smelling liquid spewed out of her mouth as the police officer jumped backward. She had the money now! She had enough to buy food and milk that would get all three of them through until the end of the month! She gasped for air before the next round found its way onto the ground. Exhausted from the liquid heaves and other activities no woman should have to engage in, she sat down on the curb next to the squad car.

She held her breath. “Where’s my daughter?”

“She’s being taken to a safe place for the night.”

“Where?” She stood up. “A shelter?” She could not keep her voice steady. “A foster home? Where?”

“Might be either one, ma’am. But I’m going to need you to calm down, turn around, and put your hands behind your back.”

“For what?” She was screaming now. “I just went to get some money so I could feed my kids! Do you know what I had to do to get this money?”

“Ma’am,” the officer raised his voice, “you left two kids alone in the house with no food, and one of them is dead.” He snapped the second handcuff around her slim wrist. “We’re going to have to take you downtown.” He led her, struggling, to the backseat of the squad car.

“Watch your head getting in,” he said.

Ida smirked at the irony of going back to the area that she’d just come from, and she couldn’t decide which was worse-going downtown to sell her body for money or going downtown to sit in a jail cell charged with the death of her baby. As the squad car drove away, she looked up at the window across the street, and just as she suspected, there stood her mother, a distant shadow, doing nothing as always.

( Continued… )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Catherine Flowers. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Sequel: A Sad Soul Can Kill You, coming in May 2015!
Purchase copies of Yesterday’s Eyes


#SantaHelpers: My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey by Annie Clara Brown

My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey
by Annie Clara Brown

“Life is uncertain, but death is sure” is a saying that I heard many years before I started my professional journey in social work. Death is a bleak subject; who wants to discuss dying? Even though the Holy Scriptures speak much about the subject, it is not one of those subjects that the average person is comfortable about discussing. While God is a healer, it remains a mystery why some people with certain illnesses live longer and others die sooner. In the midst of the whys and how comes, many things we will not have an answer to until the return of Christ.

As we have moved from generation to generation, we have learned new ways to take care of a person who has a terminal diagnosis and has been given a time limit on their life. When I was a child people died at home, but they did not have the comforts that have come into existence for people in the twentieth century. So what has changed? It is called hospice…

Annie Clara Brown is passionate about her work in hospice. It is gratifying to have embraced the social work profession in this manner. She cares deeply for her patients and caregivers, and she has developed a healthy sense of humor working in an area that can be demanding physically and emotionally.

My Little People is educational, informative and can be used as a self-help tool/resource for the terminally ill, caregivers, social workers, clergy, counselors, friend of a loved one, and other healthcare professionals. The primary subject matter is hospice and the benefits of having hospice involved in end of life care.

My Little People Book Reviews

My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey is a self-help and educational hospice resource.

“If you are searching for answers about Hospice care this is an extraordinary read. This book not only defines who, what, when, and where of Hospice, but also tells the heartfelt stories of a humbled medical social worker making the best of heart wrenching situations. Ms. Brown addresses many of society’s questions regarding Hospice in general. She ties in her personal experiences to make an informative, yet personal, story to educate individuals and families on Hospice. I enjoyed reading about the various encounters Ms. Brown has experienced. These experiences, most of all, enlightened me to a deeper journey in Hospice Social Work. This book is a must read!”
—Amanda Johnson, MSW

My Little People is a virtual gift to those who read it, in that its author has managed to successfully interconnect valuable, historical hospice social work information for its use in a professional forum and for the sake of the individual battling terminal illness. This book serves as an invaluable tool for any caretaker or loved one navigating the end of life process.
— Marta James Harris, LBSW

Excerpt: From Introduction Part 1

Even with today’s sometimes unfathomable advances in technology, many terminally ill persons and their family members believe that chasing curative care is their only option, and are unaware of both the benefits and accessibility of hospice care. In her new book, Social Worker Annie Clara Brown tells her own story of working with hundreds of terminally ill patients, and provides a vital guide to those considering hospice care for themselves or a loved one.

My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey‘ is part memoir and part guidebook; a game-changing text for those exploring options for making someone’s final days pain-free and harmonious.

So why do I consider it important to write a book on hospice care? One reason is because I believe it is important for social workers, patients, and caregivers to understand how rewarding it is to be able to assist families at one of the most critical times in their lives as the patient is preparing to make a transition from earth to eternity.

Another reason is that as the generation of baby boomers are aging and suffering from terminal diseases, there is going to be a greater need for compassionate social workers to take care of us. Also patients’ caregivers need to understand that they have help available to them so they do not have to take the journey alone. I have witnessed that having hospice in the home and being spared some of the stress of trying to get the patient to a doctor’s appointment or go for tests is invaluable.

Finally, in earlier years, I was a caregiver for several of my family members who suffered from a terminal illness and I had no idea that the option was available to have my family members cared for at home; therefore, it is my personal mission to help educate others about such a vital service to patients and their families. In hindsight, if only I had known some of the following information, some of the wear and tear on my body and unnecessary trips late at night to the hospital could have been avoided. I did not know, but I want you (the readers) to know.

Purchase My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey



#SantaHelpers: My Wife’s Baby by RM Johnson

My Wife’s Baby
by RM Johnson

Does the love for a wife and the jealousy for an infant, warrant murder? 

After ten years of bad dates and worse relationships, Stan is in heaven for he has finally found his soul mate, Erica—a beautiful, caring woman who shares all his beliefs, to include not wanting children. They discussed this over bottles of red wine the night they met and promised, if ever they became a couple, they would remain childless and forever the other’s priority.

One year after being married, Erica tells Stan she’s pregnant: news she’s very happy about. Stan considers talking Erica out of it, but that would mean aborting her child, something he knows Erica would never do.

Two months into the pregnancy, Stan notices changes: times he and Erica enjoyed as a fun-loving childless couple are no longer; Erica’s attention is occupied with all things related to the forthcoming baby, and Stan has gone without sex for months.

The child arrives and things get even worse; Stan feels like an outsider: a stranger living among his wife and her son. Erica gives all her time, attention and love to the infant, leaving none for her husband. Stan becomes envious; he looks at the newborn as a threat, tells himself something must be done—but what? He fights his jealous thoughts, knowing horrible things would happen if he were ever to act on them. But one night while drunk, Stan attempts to make love to his wife but is once again rejected. His pride hurt and feeling disowned, Stan stumbles into the baby’s room with intentions of eliminating his problem once and for all, knowing there can only be one man in Erica’s life. That is the promise his wife had made him on the night they met, and it is the promise he intends to make her keep.


5.0 out of 5 stars written by Paula Wheeler
This book will have you on the edge of your seat like all of his books. RM Johnson you did it again. This book make you reflect on relationships, marriages and most of all promises that was made but never kept.

5.0 out of 5 stars written by Amazon Customer
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Wow!! Mr. Johnson you truly got me with this story! I was so upset with Stan, through out the entire book, and then…you got me, I never saw that coming! I can’t believe you wrote this story the way you did! Readers, you just HAVE TO read this book! Just get ready, and hold on tight, you will be in for a real SHOCK!!

I don’t like to give away any parts of a book, but just this one time, I am really tempted! I feel like reading it again, now that I know what happened!! Great job Mr. Johnson!

Excerpt—My Wife’s Baby: I Am Not A Murderer

Twenty stories up, the harsh, cold wind swept across my face, tested my grip, tried to rip them from my hands. Sweat spilled from my brow in large round beads, plopped into the eyes of my wife who dangled from one of my arms. From the other, my thirteen year old daughter clung, crying, begging, “Daddy, daddy! Please don’t let go!”

I can’t remember how we found ourselves here—me hanging, waist deep out the window of our high-rise condo, the two people I loved most in the world, swinging from my ever loosening grasp. My palms were coated with hot sweat, the tendons in my shoulders felt as though they were on fire, would be ripped from their sockets if I didn’t free myself of the weight pulling on them.

Squinting against the pain, so far below us, like tiny diligent ants, I saw the men file from the fire engine—red lights flashing on its roof, attempting to extend some giant ladder, rig a safety net, proposing to catch my wife and child as they plummeted toward the hard concrete. The thought comforted me only momentarily, because I knew those men could not make it happen, that ladder would never reach, the net would never open, at least not in time; a decision had to be made now.

I loved my daughter from the day she was born, from the moment her mother smiled in my face, pressed her warm cheek to mine, whispered in my ear that we were pregnant. I never thought I was the father she deserved, that she was worthy of, but she triumphed in spite of me, always telling me I was her hero, snuggling up to me nights when we watched TV, as though I were her favorite blanket. She made me the best man I could be, forced me to never stop trying to be better. Now hanging from my arm, my little girl glanced down, screamed then turned back to me, wind whipping her hair into her face. I saw the certainty in her eyes; she knew she’d die. I cursed God for putting me here, for making me chose.

“Stan…” my wife moaned, her hands wrapped tight around my wrist, her nails drawing blood from my skin; I saw the red lines crawling down, spiraling around her forearms, but her eyes were calm, she was content, ready to face what she knew was inevitable. “…I’ll be fine. Just let me go.”

My daughter heard her mother, cried out, begged her mom to stop talking like that.

“Dad, you can’t! You have to pull us back up!” My child said. But there was no way that was going to happen, and her mother had to have known the decision I was going to make.

It had taken me a lifetime to find my wife, and when I did, I felt as though I was freed from a search filled with frustration and disappointment, loneliness and uncertainty. After meeting her, I no longer looked back at my mistakes, looked forward to the good I could do, the wonderful life we would have, the beautiful child we would make. We did that.

I kept telling myself we could do it again. The love my wife and I shared could produce another example of our undying devotion to one another, and in that child, we’d see glimpses of the one I had to sacrifice in order to hold onto to my soul mate, to that one in a million I could never recreate or replace. This line of reasoning occurred in a fraction of second, my wife staring up—and knowing me better than anyone alive—she surmised the decision I had reached. Her eyes flashed wide with horror and in her attempt to save our child, she released her hold on me. But I caught her wrist before she fell, held her tighter than I had before.

“No, Stan! No!” My wife cried, begged. “Let me go! Just let me go!”

I turned to my daughter blinking against the tears that practically blinded me. “I love you so much,” I told her.

“Dad?” My little girl said.

“I love you, baby,” I bawled, staring into her eyes, trying to imprint her face forever onto my brain. “I love you so much! God, please forgive me,” I said, shaking my daughter lose, and as punishment for not being strong enough to save them both, forced myself to watch her sink to her death, her eyes filled with terror, one hand stretched out to me, as though I wasn’t the coward that released her, but the hero she had always mistaken me for, that would save her.

( Continued… )

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

Purchase My Wife’s Baby: I Am Not A Murderer


RM Johnson
is the author of twenty novels to include, The Harris Men, The Million Dollar Divorce, and the soon to be released, Hate the Air series. He holds an MFA in creative writing, is the recipient of the African American Arts Alliance Award among many others, and he resides in Atlanta, GA.


#SantaHelpers: Virtuous Deception by Leiann B. Wrytes

Virtuous Deception
by Leiann B. Wrytes

Only one thing stood between Frank Mason and his $20 million inheritance — a wife. When he found, Lisa, he didn’t waste any time marrying her, but their fairytale romance was not built to last. Lisa’s infidelity doesn’t go unnoticed, but Frank has his reasons for maintaining his silence. That’s until he uncovers some new information about his step ford wife that lands him in jail. Only then does their picture-perfect life start to unravel, dragging every last skeleton out of his closet.

Lisa Raine was an exotic dancer desperately seeking a way out. Frank Mason posed as the perfect escape. However, Lisa’s ex-lover, Lewis, was not willing to let her go without a price. After years of paying Lewis to keep her past a secret, the money soon dries up, and both Lisa and Lewis are forced to alter their arrangement. Things take a turn for the worse and only one of them may make it out alive.

Michelle Lewis, a private investigator, has managed to avoid mixing business with pleasure until an assignment sends her world colliding into the Mason’s. When Brianna Mason is kidnapped, it is left to Michelle and her boyfriend to find her. Michelle unexpectedly stumbles across startling evidence that will irreversibly alter her and Brianna’s life. Desperate for the truth, Michelle sifts through their families past, ripping old wounds, exposing forbidden relationships, and breaking years of silence to get it. Will the truth set them free or is it only the beginning of their parents arranged virtuous deception?

Excerpt: Virtuous Deception

Lisa inhaled deeply, the cold autumn air filling her aching lungs. This moment had been a long time coming. She wondered if the earth felt her vibration, if he knew how much she needed this. She rose to her feet anxiously awaiting her turn. Lisa had not intended on sharing this moment with so many, but out of all the people present, his was the only familiar face. The soft ground was porous, its delicate constitution nearly mirroring her fragile state of mind. Even in her flats, it was difficult to keep her feet from sinking into the earth during the walk. The air felt different as she drew near to his side, each step speaking to the miracle of her living. Before long it was time as she stood beside the man she had loved. She brazenly ran her fingers across his cold, full lips, and etched them along his square jaw line. He was beautiful lying there.

As tears filled her eyes, she let them roam over his six-foot frame and drink in his chocolate features. It was certainly worth the wait. His wife had chosen well; his navy blue suit was impeccable. The brother was designed for Tom Ford. She stifled a moan as memories flooded her mind. She could still feel him. For a moment she longed for more time before dismissing the thought as quickly as it came. As she turned to leave, she shot a quick glance at the weeping widow. The poor girl didn’t know the man she married. She chuckled at the thought and raised her face to the peaking sun. The rays highlighted her caramel complexion. A smile found its way out as she departed the funeral grounds. She sighed with relief. The bastard was dead and Lisa was free.

…Three weeks earlier

Lisa sat on the edge of the bed and fumbled with the zipper on her dark denim jeans. She had spent the better half of the last thirty minutes, vainly, trying to repair it. She looked out the window and admired the view from the penthouse suite. She was impressed. The soft white sand against the beautiful blue Caribbean Sea made for a truly breathtaking scene. Charlie caught her by surprise with this but the trip was only prolonging the inevitable. Their getaways were becoming too commonplace, risky, but Lisa could never turn down a trip to Saint Maarten. She felt like the air wrapped itself around her there. She could only guess that was why Charlie suggested it.

Charlie began as a random Instagram snapshot and it would’ve ended with their drunken dance beneath sheets had Lisa not received a special request every day for three weeks. Though she should have probably been alarmed by the persistent, nearly stalker, vibe, she was turned on by it instead. Giving up on zipping her jeans Lisa walked out onto the balcony. There was something about the water that gave her peace. She lost her thoughts in the waves. Frank. She was missing Frank, her husband. For a second she wondered how she had arrived at this intersection in her life, a point where no available direction seemed optimal.

Lisa hoped it was not too late to go back. Charlie might have had her singing a sweet melody in the early morning hours, but Charlie was no Frank. Frank alone had the power to alter her soul, if he cared enough to try. Lisa loved Frank but he failed her. Frank lost his ambition, his drive. She had big plans before she met Frank. Plans before her heart nestled with his and on the eve of the big “4-0,” she felt like her life was losing its hue. Frank had only managed to provide her with moments of greatness when she wanted a lifetime.

Those two words, “I do,” changed everything. They changed Frank. Frank was a six-foot-four inch bronzed demigod. He was gorgeous, and for two decades she’d been waiting for her husband to WOW her, waiting for the all-consuming fire that she dreamt her marriage would be. Frank was the kind of man movies were made of, the kind that melted in your mouth. She was convinced her life would be amazing, but that fire never really blazed. The memory was still fresh, still hurt. After only one week of marital bliss, Frank made a decision that changed their lives forever.

The Mason’s weren’t ready to be parents and since they had planned to honeymoon for a year via a private cruise around the world, they were obviously aware of this truth. Their parentage was a stipulation, a business move. It may have seemed cruel, heartless, but their lifestyle was one they individually and, in this case, collectively, went to great lengths to maintain. Frank proposed after a mere three months of dating but Lisa didn’t mind. She was relieved. Lisa Raine had plans had for that twenty million, falling in love simply sweetened the deal.

( Continued… )

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

Meet the Author
Leiann B. Wrytes
is an author, poet, and playwright. Leiann found a love for words early on as a spoken word poet and was inducted into the International Society of Poets at 15 years of age. She went on to become a staff writer for her high school newspaper, editor of her church’s newsletter, and that of the local Key Club, a volunteer organization on campus. Leiann has since then performed spoke word poetry at numerous events and had a stage play performed to a modest audience which received good reviews. Leiann’s background is in customer service but writing has always been her first love. Leiann B. Wrytes currently resides in Dallas, TX with her family feverishly working on her sophomore novel.

Virtuous Deception by Leiann B. Wrytes
Genre: Contemporary Romance


#SantaHelpers: Tyree’s Love Triangle by Charmaine Galloway

Tyree’s Love Triangle
by Charmaine Galloway

Things aren’t always what they seem and that’s certainly true for Tyree Bell, a handsome and successful businessman with a wife and child who adores him. On the outside it appears he has it all together. On the inside he’s holding onto something so immoral, if ever it’s revealed his perfect family could be forever destroyed, but only after he lost his life. How long can Tyree keep his skeletons in the closet? Will he let go of his sin and let God take care of him? Or will he carry his secrets to the grave and go insane in the process?

Excerpt from Tyree’s Love Triangle

The house was dark, quiet, and it seemed empty, but still he maneuvered carefully, not willing to relax until he got to the bottom of things. So he continued searching for her, searching for anything and anyone that could have been the source of her hysteria.

He’d rushed to the house after receiving a call from her, a call in which she was crying hysterically. She has to be in serious danger from the way she screeched, was all he could think as he drove through stop signs and sped through yellow lights to rescue her.

With sweaty hands a rapid heartbeat, he drove as fast as he could to get to her and save her from whatever was causing her to be in such a traumatic state of mind. He hadn’t known what to expect when he arrived.

He entered the living room with caution, that’s when he saw her, sitting on the loveseat in the dark staring at the wall. Her face twisted in anguish. She’s alive, thank God!

“What’s going on?” Tyree squinted his eyes as he stared at her, watching her rock back and forth like an addict fiending for their next hit, his vision trying to adjust to the darkness.

Realizing that she was okay, his heart began to beat at a steady pace. He knew she was there alone and he could now put his guard down. But as soon as he made his presence known, she rose from her seat like her butt was on fire and Tyree’s guard immediately went back up.

“Tyree, how could you?” she spoke as if she was mentally tormented. “How could you lie to me and hurt me this way?” Anguish poured from her voice. She charged towards him with rage pumping through her veins. She was furious as she glared into his eyes.

Tyree was silent. He looked at her with his forehead creased with confusion. He was caught off guard at her rage towards him. He had thought that someone harmed her, but he saw that the commotion was all because of him.

“I loved you,” she spat with fury rumbling in her chest. “You are the only man I have ever loved,” she declared as she looked at him with venom in her eyes. “I can’t believe I gave myself to you and you took advantage of me you filthy bastard!” She shouted so hard that it sounded as if she would bust a blood vessel, so hard that it made her lose her voice. “Why me, Tyree?” Her heart thumped against her chest as she waited for him to answer.

Tyree looked at her with sorrow in his eyes.

He knew that she had been upset with him since they had their last conversation a week ago, but now he could see why she was sobbing uncontrollably over the phone. She was hurt, hurt from the pain he had caused her.

All he wanted to do was to comfort her and to tell her that he was sorry for hurting her. “Please calm down and stop crying.” He pulled her close and caressed her head against his chest. He had been a fool, a reckless and careless fool, and he prayed that she would somehow find it in her heart to forgive him. He cared for her deeply and hoped they could work things out.

Intense anger made her push away from him. As she took a step back she wiped her eyes with her sleeve and said sharply, “Calm down?” “Don’t you dare tell me to calm down! You hurt me to the core and you have the audacity to tell me to calm down!”

She stepped closer to him and continued her rant through clenched teeth as she pointed her finger in his face. “You lied to me. You used me you… You selfish, good for nothing…” She paused in mid-sentence, realizing her words were not enough to express the pain she was feeling.

She was sure that she wasn’t getting through to him with the daggers she threw at him with her words. She wanted him to hurt like she hurt. She wanted him to feel the pain that he caused her deep down in her soul. She then turned her neck, her eyes darting around the room in search of something. That’s when it hit her. Then she staggered towards the kitchen.

Tyree was filled with anxiety as he watched her search a drawer next to the stove in the kitchen. He knew what that drawer contained and his mind immediately went into shock. Then she turned her body towards him and charged at him with a butcher’s knife. He wasn’t ready for her attack.

Fear distorted his face as he looked at her, at the tears falling from her eyes, the thick, black mascara running down her cheeks. Her mind was gone. He looked back at the knife in her hand and realized that her intent was to hurt him, if not kill him.

( Continued… )

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

Listen to the author reading from Tyree’s Love Triangle:

Purchase Tyree’s Love Triangle by Charmaine Galloway

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