Monthly Archives: May 2016

#PowerRead: The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney by Eartha Dunston

The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney
by Eartha Dunston

Meet Princess Lindsey Sidney, a precocious little girl with big, bushy hair! Join Lindsey Sidney for a week of “hair adventures” as she watches her hair transition from bushy, to straight and all styles in between. She celebrates her unique styles each day of the week.

The hair adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney is the first in a series of children’s books entitled the Princess series. Each book aims to serve as a dialogue for children, parents and educators to address such issues as positive self-image and dealing with the loss of a loved one. I hope you enjoy reading about Princess Lindsey Sidney in this book as she celebrates her beauty; and later, as she triumphs through difficulties in “Grandma is Dancing in Heaven.”

Meet the Author 

Eartha Dunston has been writing since she was a freshman at Alabama State University. She first realized her love for writing when one of her best friends secretly entered her into his fraternity’s poetry slam. She anxiously shared her writings publicly for the first time and received an overwhelming standing ovation! It was a pivotal moment, and she knew in that instant she would one day write professionally. Her educational background coupled with becoming a mom, inspired her to begin writing about issues that affect children such as positive self-image and loosing a beloved family matriarch. She has spent the past few years honing her craft under the tutelage of many award winning and accomplished authors.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Eartha enjoys traveling, encouraging others through life’s obstacles, reading and crafting stories in all genres. She currently resides in South Florida. Her first Children’s novel is entitled “The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney.” The book introduces us to a beautiful princess who celebrates her hair as it transitions textures and styles throughout the week.


#PowerRead: Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love

Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray
by Dorothy Love

In a story spanning crude slave quarters, sunny schoolrooms, stately wedding parlors, and cramped birthing rooms, novelist Dorothy Love amplifies the astonishing true-life account of an extraordinary alliance and casts fresh light on the tumultuous years leading up to and through the wrenching battle for a nation’s soul.

Mary Anna Custis Lee is a great granddaughter of Martha Washington, the wife of General Robert E Lee and heiress to Virginia’s storied Arlington estate and General Washington’s personal treasures.

Born in bondage at Arlington, Selina Norris Gray learns to read and write in the schoolroom Mary and her mother keep for the enslaved children and eventually becomes Mary’s housekeeper, personal maid and trusted confidante. Forced to flee Arlington at the start of the civil war, Mary trusts the keys to Arlington to Selina. When Union troops begin looting the house, Selina confronts their commanding general and saves many of its treasures.

A classic American tale, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the first novel to chronicle this beautiful fifty-year friendship forged at the crossroads of America’s journey from enslavement to emancipation.

Book Reviews for Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray

A beautifully written novel. A TOP PICK.
— RT Reviews

“Love succeeds [ in creating] a sympathetic portrait of these two women that both engages and educates the reader.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Excerpt: Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love

My dear Mary, I am very anxious about you. You have to move and make arrangements to get to some point of safety which you must select. The Mt Vernon plates and pictures ought to be secured. Keep quiet while you remain and in your preparations. War is inevitable and there is no telling when it will burst around you.

“Mother?” Agnes joined me in the parlor. “You are pale as milk. What is it?”

I handed her the letter. “Your father thinks we may be invaded.”

Only three weeks earlier Robert, newly appointed to lead the Confederates in Virginia, kissed us in farewell and rode away from Arlington. Now he was preparing for the worst while I still prayed for some miracle to save us all from the coming carnage.

Agnes frowned. “What shall we do?”

“Pack up the Washington treasures as he directs. But I’m not certain we need to leave just yet.”

“I read in the paper last week that some in the south are burying their treasures in their back yards,” Agnes said.

I had stopped reading the papers, especially those from the North for they were full of hatred for my husband.

If Mr Custis could have lived until now he would have good cause to be bowed down in grief and sorrow to behold his son-in-law following in the footsteps of Benedict Arnold.

I penned a succinct reply to the Washington paper: I cannot conceive why Lincoln has assembled such an army if it is not his intention to crush the South. I have but one great consolation now, that my dear parents are both laid low in their graves, where but for my children I would gladly lie beside them.

“So will we bury the silver, Mother? The paintings and the plates? And where shall we go?”

I called for Selina. Together we filled two crates with our silver, our papers, and those of President Washington. Those I sent by rail to Robert for safekeeping. My books and engravings were locked into storage. Draperies and carpets, the Washington china and the punch bowl that had been used at my wedding were hidden in the cellar. My girls and I worked feverishly by day and lay down at night in rooms stripped bare save for our beds. I slept fitfully, knowing that sooner or later I must flee. Dreading the moment when I must take my daughters and make for safety on my own.

A few days later I was outside enjoying a rare moment of quiet among my flowers. The May morning had dawned warm and fair. The first roses had come into bloom and air around me was thick with their fragrance.

Markie’s brother Orton Williams rode into the yard and began speaking before he dismounted. “Mary, the Union army is camped across the river. You are going to have to get out. Today if you can manage it.”

I set Daniel and his son to packing up our trunks, some paintings and our housekeeping items. Daughter and Agnes went back and forth from the house to the wagons, loading their belongings. I was too busy and too frightened for emotion until Selina appeared with a bundle of clean linens.

“Here you are, Miss Mary. These are the ones scented with the lavender you’re partial to.”

My heart was so heavy and my nerves so frayed that my reserve crumbled.

Selina frowned. “Now you listen to me. You are just as well to dry those tears. We all got to be strong till this is over. Nothing we can do to change it so we have to get through it best we can.”

“Missus?” Daniel looked worried. “If we don’t get going soon we gone be half the night getting to Ravensworth and you told me yourself what your cousin said about soldiers camping in these parts.”

Selina stood there with her hands on her hips, her eyes welling up. My own eyes burned. For thirty years Selina had been my great comfort. At times she had been my conscience. I wanted to do something to help her. Something to keep her safe.

Agnes returned with her tom snuggled securely in the crook of her arm. “I’m ready, Mama.”

Selina said, “All right then. You planning to stand there till sundown or are you going to give me the keys?”


“Well, somebody’s got to look after Arlington till you get back.”

Without another word I handed Selina the keys. Daniel helped me into the carriage. The reins snapped and the wheels turned, taking me into exile.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dorothy Love. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love 

Women’s Fiction > Biographical > Historical Fiction 



#PowerRead: Words From the Spirit for the Spirit by Cheryl Polote-Williamson

Words From the Spirit for the Spirit
by Cheryl Polote-Williamson

Diagnosed with a serious heart condition, losing a mother-in-law to cancer, and caring for a husband also facing prostate cancer, Cheryl Polote-Williamson had every opportunity to lose hope and sink into despair. Instead she dug deep and found strength to encourage herself in the Lord.

Now a philanthropist, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, Cheryl shares the truths that the Holy Spirit used to bring her from hopelessness to emotional, physical and spiritual vitality. Like an energy drink for the soul, Words from the Spirit for the Spirit is grounded in the principles of Scripture, fortified with practical insight for everyday life, including:

– Spirit affirmations to speak over your life
– Prayers of petition, dedication, thanksgiving and praise
– Quotes to motivate and encourage readers—from homemakers to business people
– And much more …

Words from the Spirit for the Spirit is an inspirational, user-friendly book with nuggets of truth that can be mined on a lunch break, on the way to a job interview or as you prepare to face a new day.

Book Reviews for Words From the Spirit for the Spirit

By Stephanie Nellons-Paigeon 
As I read this book and meditate on the words, I feel the spirit taking over. Whether you are going through, with your heart torn to pieces or you are flowing in the Joy of The Lord, this book is an inspiration. I bought several copies to send to people to encourage them. Where ever you are in your spiritual life; this is the book to take you to another level. Read and let it take you to the KING!

By Elenaon

In just a few pages, Cheryl Williamson has given us powerful, inspirational and motivational nuggets. Her writing is almost as if we were reading pages from her own diary…personal discoveries, lessons learned, and messages from the God of her salvation. Encouraged by her pen, I found myself writing reminders to myself in the margins!! I am still chewing on “God is a straight-A God!”

By Lynda 

I started reading Mrs. Williamson’s book and could not put it down! The more I read, the more I could feel the presence of the Lord. This book is truly inspirational. I am thankful to the Lord that Mrs. Williamson obediently allowed God to use her to write a book that would be of such great help to others. She gets right to the point. She does not sugar-coat her words. She has shown that she is a true woman of God, who loves the Lord with her entire being. This project is truly a wonderful work, that gives God all of the praise and all of the glory! I love it!

By Wanda Bolton-Davis 

Small in size, but packed with powerful affirmations and words to encourage and lift your spirit. A book of short sayings that can be read in one sitting or used for a “daily dose of inspiration.” One of my many favorite quotes include, “Show the people you love as much love as you can. One day God may want them back.” This is an example of the many sayings that will remind you of God’s love, bring a sense of gratitude in your heart and ignite your spirit. Once it has blessed you, you will want to share it with others. Great gift idea, coffee table book or “just because”. I love it!!!

Order Words From the Spirit for the Spirit by Cheryl Polote-Williamson 

Meet the Author 
A Lover of God, Best Selling author, Kingdompreneur, Mother, Speaker, Motivator, Chief Encouragement Officer, and Title Boxing Club Franchise Owner- Cheryl Polote-Williamson is an action-oriented business woman and second generation entrepreneur possessing exceptional strategic thinking, relationship building, and marketing and communication skills. In May 2013, Cheryl published her first book, “Words From the Spirit For the Spirit” which has inspired and encouraged many to live their dreams and is available in multiple languages. Cheryl has been featured on Dallas Fox 4 News, Eclipse magazine, Rolling Out Magazine, Heaven 97 (970AM), and a blog series telling her story about hurt and betrayal.

Cheryl has won numerous awards for entrepreneurism, and maintaining strong client relationships. She continues to write with strength and wisdom as an Amazon Bestselling author for the anthology “Shift ON”, released in February 2016.

Cheryl is a highly sought after transformational, inspirational, motivational speaker. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Links, Inc. -Cheryl has been married for 23 years to her husband, Russell, has three beautiful children: Russ Jr, Lauren, and Courtney, and one granddaughter, Leah. They are active members of St. John Church.  Website: 


#PowerRead: A Sinful Calling by Kimberla Lawson Roby

A Sinful Calling 

(A Reverend Curtis Black Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Book 13 – Reverend Curtis Black Series

Dillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself and he wasn’t ashamed of it. But no good can come from . . .

Two years ago, to everyone’s surprise, Dillon Whitfield Black, the secret son of Reverend Curtis Black, boldly moved back home, married a woman named Raven, decided he was going to become a minister and then founded a church right in the center of his living room. Today he’s pastor of a 1000-plus-member congregation, and new members are joining weekly. Sadly, behind closed doors, Dillon is far from being a saint. Dillon has become more like the man his father was thirty years ago–consumed with money, power and lots of women. His family may have forgiven him, but they continue to keep their distance.

Not Alicia, though. This daughter of Curtis Black joins Dillon’s congregation, leaving her father’s church behind. The family has forgiven Alicia for marrying Levi Cunningham, the former drug dealer she had an affair with, however, once Alicia realizes they will never fully accept Levi, she decides to see her family less and less.

But when Raven decides she wants a higher position in the church and Alicia hides a devastating secret, the entire family is affected in ways they don’t see coming. In the end, no one will be able to trust anyone…and for very good reason.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

As the choir sang, Dillon gazed across his 1,000-plus-member congregation and could barely contain himself. His heart raced with excitement, and it was all he could do not to break into laughter. The reason: He felt more like a rock star than he did a pastor, and his plan was working brilliantly. Even from the pulpit, he could tell that the members of New Faith Christian Center loved and worshiped everything about him, and he couldn’t have been more pleased.

And who would have guessed that a man of his character, someone tainted with such a sinful past, could achieve this kind of glorious success? Especially with the way Dillon had tried blackmailing his own father, the infamous Reverend Curtis Black, and had slept with his own brother’s wife. Those two indiscretions alone had occurred just over three years ago, however, thankfully—for whatever reason—Curtis and Matthew had forgiven him. Dillon and Matthew certainly weren’t the best of friends, and Dillon could tell that his dad still didn’t trust him, but again, they no longer held his past crimes against him. Although, it wasn’t like they ever called or spent time with him, either.

But the best news of all was that his sister Alicia had turned out to be his favorite person, and she was now closer to Dillon than she was to any other family member. The two of them could easily serve as poster children for popular clichés, as they were definitely thick as thieves, two peas in a pod, bosom buddies, and the list went on. They were as close as any brother and sister could be, and they stood up for each other—probably because they were now both the black sheep of the family. Still, they’d made a pact, and because Dillon didn’t have much of a relationship with anyone on his mom’s side, God rest her soul, he cherished the one he had with his sister. This was part of the reason that he’d decided very quickly that she would be New Faith’s chief operating officer. He was also grateful to his brother-in-law, Levi, who’d invested all the initial funding to get the church up and running.

Because of drug-related charges, Levi had done time in prison, but he was a changed man and anyone could see that he loved Alicia with his entire being. Levi had also proven beyond question that he would do anything to protect Dillon and the ministry, and he was the perfect chairman of the church’s elder board.

Although, it wasn’t only Alicia and Levi who genuinely cared about Dillon, because he now had a gorgeous wife who loved him, too. Raven, who sat smiling at him in the front row, was his everything, and he couldn’t be more grateful to have married her. He was thankful to finally have found a woman he trusted and appreciated, because before Raven, it had been no secret that he’d never had much respect for any woman, not even his own mother. 

Of course, there was no denying that, like his own, Raven’s past wasn’t pretty, but she loved, honored, and respected Dillon, and that was all that mattered to him. Yes, Raven had once served as chief financial officer at his dad’s church, and she’d served a few years in prison for embezzling a hundred thousand dollars from the ministry—out of desperation to repay her gambling debts—but today, she was a different woman. She’d been completely delivered from her casino addiction, and she was the ideal first lady. The women of New Faith Christian Center certainly thought so, and they viewed her as a stellar example. To them, she represented the fact that anyone could change for the better if he or she wanted to, and they admired that. Dillon was also happy to say that part of his success as a pastor, as well as the growing of the congregation, was a result of Raven’s notable business acumen. She was exceptionally good with numbers, and while she wasn’t New Faith’s CFO, she’d given Dillon daily advice in terms of how to handle church finances in an entrepreneurial fashion. Dillon had listened to every word and had carefully followed her suggestions, and as a result, the church leadership as a whole had very few complaints when it came to his operational decisions. It was the reason the membership was solid and increasing weekly.

But on a more personal note, Raven was the kind of woman most men would be proud to have. Not only was she head-to-toe beautiful, she was also highly intelligent, confident, and sophisticated. She didn’t seem at all like the woman he’d heard about before meeting her—nothing like the felon who’d finished a stint in prison. It was as if she’d taken lots of time to learn everything she could about culture, class, and elegance, because along with her dressing the part, she decorated their home in the same manner. She carried herself with total refinement, and Dillon was glad she’d contacted him right after he’d become estranged from his dad and siblings and had been forced to move back to Atlanta. Raven had told him that she didn’t want anything from him, but that a friend of hers had filled her in on his situation. She’d certainly understood what he was going through, particularly since she’d made her own mistakes and had been ousted from her CFO position by his dad. She’d then shared that because she’d had the opportunity to work so closely with his father and his church, she knew the ins and outs of Deliverance Outreach’s daily operations. This conversation alone had gotten the wheels spinning in Dillon’s head, and it was then that he’d decided he was going to become a minister. It was true that he’d learned a long time ago that it was much more customary for a minister to be called by God to preach, but truth was, Dillon hadn’t been called by anyone. He’d called himself, and he wasn’t ashamed of it. He’d founded his own church in the living room of his tiny apartment, and he was prospering nicely because of it.

This, of course, made Dillon think about his former fiancée, Melissa. What a dimwit she’d been, and while he hadn’t seen or heard from her since that night she’d confronted him three years ago, he hadn’t forgotten what she’d done to him—and he wasn’t planning to leave this earth before paying her back. Just thinking about the way she’d taken all his money and run off with their idiot lawn boy, Country Roger, made him cringe. Yes, Roger was a grown man, but to Dillon, he’d been nothing more than a raggedy-mouth child who’d needed tons of dental work. Dillon had known from the time he’d hired him that he was a knucklehead, but Country Roger had come cheap and he was good at what he did. Still, not once had Dillon imagined that Melissa would be foolish enough to start sleeping with Roger behind his back and then run off with him, taking just about every dime Dillon had.

Not long after Dillon had met his dad for the first time, Curtis had given him five hundred thousand dollars, trying to help make up for all the years he hadn’t been a father to Dillon, and his aunt had left him a hundred fifty thousand when she’d passed. But after spending two hundred thousand buying a condo and furnishing it, that had left him around four-fifty, and Melissa had gotten into all his bank accounts and taken the money for herself. She’d then betrayed him even further by giving proof to his dad that Dillon had been trying to blackmail him. Worse, the night she and Country Roger had left, Country Roger had held Dillon at gunpoint so that Melissa could say everything she wanted to him. Melissa had somehow, out of nowhere, discovered that she had a backbone, and she’d spoken to Dillon as if he were some moron. She’d acted as though she’d never loved him and was no longer afraid of him. The latter had shocked Dillon the most, because for years he’d controlled her every thought and move and had kept her in line. He’d made sure she’d known who ran things in their relationship, and sometimes when she’d acted stupidly, he’d had no choice but to physically remind her. But on that final evening, she’d turned into a woman he hadn’t recognized and had seemingly lost her mind.

That was okay, though, because again, Dillon would eventually seek retribution. It was true that three years had passed, but he hadn’t forgotten, and there were times when he lay awake at night thinking about it. He wished he could simply move on the way he knew some good Christians would, but no one stole from him or humiliated him and got away with it. He just couldn’t live with something like that, and when the time was right he would handle things the way he saw fit. He’d made a promise to himself that he would never put his hands on a woman again the way he had with Melissa, but he would still find a way to get his revenge.

After the choir finished singing its last song, a few church announcements aired on the TV monitors, and Dillon got up. He buttoned his Italian-made black pinstripe suit and stepped in front of the glass podium.

“This is the day the Lord hath made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He began with the same scripture he quoted every single Sunday. He didn’t speak these words because the scripture meant any more to him than any other scripture he’d read; he did it because it was the scripture he’d always heard his father open with. He’d even once heard his dad say that he also quoted it each morning when he woke up, so Dillon decided that if this particular scripture was working for his dad, it would certainly work for him, too. But Dillon had taken his approach a step further, because he had taught his members to quote it back to him.

“This is the day the Lord hath made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it,” his parishioners spoke in unison.

“It is truly a blessing to be alive,” Dillon said. “It’s a blessing just to be able to say we woke up this morning in our right minds and in good health. Amen?”

“Amen,” everyone said.

“You know, for some reason I feel like sharing my testimony this morning. Many of you have heard it before, but today I feel led to share it for our new members and any visitors who are present.”

Dillon looked toward the ceiling of the sanctuary and closed his eyes. He did this to gain sympathy, and he didn’t open them until he’d mustered up real tears. He wasn’t in the mood for doing any crying today, but he’d learned early on that his church members pitied him a lot more when he did. It was one thing for a woman to shed tears, but it was something totally different when a grown man did it, and he gave them a great performance.
Dillon opened his eyes and sniffled.

“Take your time, Pastor,” more than one person said.

Dillon took a deep breath, and tears streamed down his face. “I’m so sorry, but I just feel full today. God has been so very good to me, and He’s brought me a mighty long way. My aunt used to say those very words all the time, and now I know what she means. Life hasn’t always been this great, though, because no matter how much I’ve forgiven my father and moved past what he did, it’s still very hard sometimes. It’s hard to imagine that any man would sleep with a woman, get her pregnant, and then cut her off like a piece of trash. But that’s exactly what my dad did. Then when my mom gave birth to me and asked him to take care of me, he refused. And not only did he refuse, but when he was forced to take a paternity test, he somehow worked it out so that his play brother took the test instead. But even that wasn’t enough, because then my dad paid off a couple of strippers my mom worked with. He got them to say my mom had been stealing money from the strip club she worked at, and she was fired.”

When Dillon saw a couple of women already wiping tears, he swallowed hard and sniffled again for deeper effect.

“Please excuse me, but telling this story never gets easier.”

Many people nodded with approval and gave their full attention to Dillon.

“After my mom got fired, though, and then learned that the paternity test showed my dad wasn’t my father, she begged him to tell the truth. She begged him to help take care of me. She also threatened to tell his fiancée everything. And that’s when I suddenly ended up missing one day. Then, about an hour after I was taken, my dad called my mom and told her that if she ever wanted to see me again, she would sign a document stating that he wasn’t the baby’s father. She then had to agree to never contact him again. Of course, my mom signed it, but she couldn’t live with losing her job and having my dad deny me the way he did. So she borrowed a friend’s car and crashed it into a tree. She killed herself when I was only a newborn. My mom was a stripper, and knowing what she did for a living caused me a lot of pain —it was the reason I grew up having no respect for any woman except my aunt—but she didn’t deserve to die.”

Dillon shed more tears, and although his initial tears had been forced and phony, the ones he shed now were very real. His heart ached terribly, and it was all because he’d never gotten to know his mother. His mom’s sister had been the best mother figure she could be, but Dillon still longed for his birth mother. He also wasn’t sure he’d ever stop blaming his father. He’d tried to love his father and forget about what Curtis had done, but he couldn’t. Maybe if Curtis had welcomed him with open arms and immediately loved him the way he loved his other three children, Dillon could have felt better about things. But that hadn’t happened. Instead, his dad had made it very clear that his precious Matthew was the son he truly loved and that his two daughters, Alicia and that brat Curtina, were the loves of his life also.

“I’m sharing this story because I want people to understand that when parents make selfish decisions, they affect a child for the rest of his or her life. Being forced to basically grow up as an orphan is the reason I made so many bad choices. I committed a lot of sins and hurt a lot of people, but today I’m a completely different man. God has delivered me from sin. He called me to minister, and I thank Him for giving me another chance. He’ll give everyone in here another chance as well. He’s a good God, and none of us would be anything without Him,” he proclaimed, speaking louder than he had been. “We don’t deserve his grace, mercy, and favor, but I’m here to tell you that He gives it to us anyway. He forgives us because He loves us, and if you agree, you ought to give Him a huge amount of praise today! Praise His sweet, holy name!”

The entire congregation applauded and most stood up. Many shouted their words out loud, all while in tears. Dillon smiled and was glad to know his testimony still worked. It made people take notice and feel sorry for him. He watched the reaction of his parishioners and daydreamed about the ten-thousand-member congregation he wanted. His goal and dream was to have the largest church in Mitchell, Illinois. 

More than anything, he wanted to have a church larger than his dad’s, and he wanted this sooner rather than later. His dad’s existing sanctuary seated two thousand people, so to accommodate five thousand members—four thousand of whom attended regularly—he had to hold two services. Every week, Deliverance Outreach operated at 100 percent capacity, and for this reason, Curtis was finally building a five-thousand-seat building adjacent to the current one. That way, all his members could worship together at one service, and there would also be room for new parishioners. New Faith could hold two thousand people as well, but since Dillon only had one thousand members, the church never filled more than half its space. This wasn’t good enough for Dillon, and his plan was to have twenty-five hundred members by the end of this year, a total of five thousand twelve months from now, and another five thousand within two years.

He wasn’t sure what he’d have to do to make this happen, but he’d decided a while ago that he was willing to do whatever it took. Nothing was off-limits…not even sleeping with the woman he now glanced at in the audience. Her name was Porsha Harrington. He’d tried his best to ignore her, and until three months ago, he’d been successful. But now he couldn’t get her out of his mind or his system, and he saw her as much as possible…regardless of how much he loved his wife. He didn’t fully understand why his genuine love for Raven wasn’t enough or why he had this burning desire to sleep with someone else, but he couldn’t help it. For now, though, he had to refocus on the matter at hand. He had his congregation right where he wanted them, and as soon as everyone settled down and took their seats, he smiled and said, “I know you’ve already given your tithes and offering this morning, but when God speaks to me I’ve learned not to disobey him. So let us turn our Bibles to Second Corinthians nine, verses six through seven.”

Dillon waited for everyone to open their printed editions or pull up their electronic versions.

“Are we all there?”

“Yes,” everyone replied.

“And it says, ‘The point is this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’”

Dillon gazed at his members and never said another word. He didn’t have to. Not when they were already pulling out additional cash and writing new checks. He’d heard lots of stories from Alicia about how when she was a small girl, their dad had been loved by all. She’d told him that members of his church seemed to have no problem doing anything he asked, including giving whatever amount of money he requested. She’d insisted that it was simply a gift that their father had been blessed with. He was a handsome, charismatic, and very smart man, and people gravitated to him. Dillon hadn’t been sure he’d believed her, but when many of his congregants had begun saying how much he looked and sounded like his dad, he’d known he could use his father’s good genes to his advantage.

He’d decided that not only could he be his dad, he could be better. When it was all said and done, the good Reverend Curtis Black would be history and Pastor Dillon Whitfield Black would be all the city of Mitchell cared about.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase A Sinful Calling by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Book 13 – Reverend Curtis Black Series

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 24 novels. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Reverend Curtis Black Series.  She has sold more than 2.7 Million copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine,, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few. Kimberla is also the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction.

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

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her 24th title, A SINFUL CALLING, will be released June 21, 2016.  Website: 


#PowerRead: Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 – Tease Me! by Victoria A. Young

Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 – Tease Me!
by Victoria A. Young

Passion Whispers tells the story of Yashani, an irresistibly sexy heroin addict who craves domestic bliss with her husband, smoking hot Ivy Flint, NY Senator and man about town. He craves the same, but Yashani harbors some secrets from her past and Ivy is tired of playing the game. When his wife disappears for four days, his meandering search to find her, leads him to file for a divorce. While waiting for his wife to sign the petition to get a calendar date, she refuses, dropping him into chaos: An older woman having several personalities who escaped jail and the asylum.

He sleeps with one of the several personalities housed in a sizzling female body, waking all of them to come after him in a variety of hilarious, sex-fraught and dangerous scenes, spiraling the story’s twists to a breathtaking thriller. Each of these personalities is uniquely and finely drawn, and brought to life with brilliantly written dialogue, creating a truly different take on the stalker persona.

In the meantime, Yashani’s vengeful exploits against Nathan, the head of the heroin syndicate still haunts her after the death of her sister, her ex, who ran for the Governor in San Francisco, taking her to New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tblisi. Woven throughout the ins and outs of the troubled couple’s travels are sex scenes that pop the buttons right off your clothes in their eroticism, that are edged with longing and desire that makes you wonder, will Yashani clear her head of the opium fog and finish Nathan? Will Ivy ever escape from his many-personalities fatal attraction?

Will Yashani and Ivy get back together and settle down—forget that—will they ever finish what they achingly tease each other with, in the bedroom—will Yashani finally let Ivy do those things to her that they both desperately need him to do?

Passion is a story of cultural interest, personal love and loss, and, seriously, teasingly, drive-you-crazy hot sex. The characters are funky, unique, and real. It’s also a compelling blend of intrigue, action, and romance that explores such psychological and cultural themes as distrust, addiction, wealth, politics, forgiveness and chauvinism, all disguised as pure, raucous titillating entertainment.

Book Reviews: Book 1: Tease Me! 

Watch the Tease Me Video Intro:
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1: Tease Me! by Victoria Young is a psychological erotic thriller. Senator Flint is looking for his wife. He is full of charm and captivates everyone, especially the ladies, with his personality. While he loves his wife very much, he can’t seem to stop himself from becoming sidetracked by Poisette. A very sexy woman, she has a dangerous past and a scary motive for wanting the senator. When he succumbs to her charms, he finds out that she has several personalities, all of them depraved. One wants to connect to him spiritually while another wants multiple orgasms and will stop at nothing to get them. Visiting her at her home, he finds yet another personality. One who threatens him that he has just 2 weeks to get her pregnant or escape before she reveals her true nature, the one that pities no one, not the senator, nor his wife. Where will the hell end for the senator? Where is his wife? And just what does Poisette want from him?

Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 was a thriller all the way. Erotic and passionate, the story was full of thrilling twists and turns that left me a little breathless trying to keep up. The story is part erotic romance and part thriller, with organized crime, drug lords and thugs woven in with tales of erotic suspense. This is a deeply passionate book, one that will have you turning the pages, desperate to see where the story is going next. It was fast paced, well thought out and well written, and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a good read on holiday. Can’t wait for the next one.

5 star Review Written by Laura

Passion Whispers has surprising depth for a romance/thriller novel. The characters are funky, unique and real. The dialogue is genius. And don’t get me started on the sex! An entertaining read, Passion is also a compelling blend of intrigue and romance that explores such psychological and cultural themes as addiction, wealth, politics and chauvinism.

5 star Review Written by Nycole Lee 

Victoria Young brings us a masterpiece filled with love, lust, and intrigue that would look spectacular on the big screen as a movie, or as a riveting TV show. Her writing style is poetic and packed with passion. The characters, Yashani, Ivy, and Poisette take the story on a multi-layered thrill ride that will keep the reader engrossed from the very first line.

Yashani, a woman whose demeanor screams sensuality is much like that of a female James Bond. You have no idea what her skills are, or what she is capable of, but you enjoy every moment of her piece in this story.

Senator Ivy Flint, bent on finding his missing wife, has a personality and charm that seems to captivate all of the ladies. He loves his wife, and yet his attentions are diverted by none other than the infamous Poisette. Sexy and enchanting, she is a woman with a dangerous past, and an even more frightening motive.

The combination of these characters takes us around the world, where thugs and organized crime surface, secrets are unveiled, and love is tested by lust. Even the supporting characters contribute to the greater picture in their own way, with interesting backgrounds, and motives of their own.

Indeed there is passion in this book, with erotic scenes that reveal the inner sexuality of the characters, as well as stimulate the mind when you delve deeper into the character’s psyche. Passion Whispers an Execution is one that will keeps readers on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.

Excerpt: Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 – Tease Me!


My scream smashed the ceiling. Distorted by blood, my passion harbored murder. I’ll poison him, slash his throat, and then shove him in a body bag, positioning him out of his misery, right now. My husband would never understand the degree I’d have to go to kill him. What more would they do to me? Life in prison or the death penalty? Someone will shed false concern and they’ll throw me in the crazy house. Far along, they’d find out I’m a basket worse than any case.

A late summer day, I stood in line at a Whole Foods in San Francisco, absorbing a tall woman in front fiddling her holy pendant. She wore white shorts and a white halter-top. Murdering him didn’t grow stale the more I gazed at her whites, showing blood. Blood attacked my russet arms. I dropped my handcart of groceries and dashed to the bathroom. The faster I wiped the blood off, the faster more invaded. “Blood, blood, get off,” I couldn’t help but yell.

At a nearby sink, a pleasantly plump woman’s eyes widened when she said, “There’s no blood.”

She didn’t understand that the blood is there and sometimes gone. I didn’t want her to tell me another lie, like how; now, blood trapped my dark tangerine dress. I tightened my headscarf and sped out of the market fast as I could.

The sun’s rays followed for about a quarter of a mile southeast of Sutay, falling to rest on California’s paths and poppy fields. The condition of the air had gone stale. High-grade heroin controlled by a string of drug slingers infected the town. No mystery they didn’t care for crumbled homes. Sutay endured a wicked match compared to the prominent waterfronts and sweet lords who left their widows festering. Passion for control had grown in Paris, San Francisco, and New York for more than ten years. The scandalous vied for control in Yenitch, an unknown city below San Francisco’s grounds. Yenitch had it all. Power, wealth, and hijacking women’s worth. Unable to position the thunderous tune to rest, something hustled me. Gasps escaped. Run, Yashani. Run fast as you can. Whistling breezes rippled through willows. I landed in the back of Governor Giannelli’s aged colonial, squinting side to side, up and about the willows and junipers until I no longer saw the sun above the trees. Dark, ragged cloudlets gazed over his gloomy house. When I dug in the ground, I lost it all and kept digging deeper and deeper. Dirt flew everywhere. My five-foot-six feline body fell over, my dark hair hung in a long, graceful mess while my raging breath knew nothing about calm until a hand tapped my shoulder.

His slippers caught the dirt I had shoved. Though his greeting prompted a strong suggestion of reproach, his Italian accent was accepting. It broke my trance, my sinking arrangement, and my dearest as I tried lifting her out of the ground.

“Yashani, this is heavier than the freedom of truth,” he said.

“You have a hard time seeing what’s dear to me,” I replied.

“I’m aware how much you love your sister.”

“Which doesn’t ease how a man never understands a woman.”

“It’s getting late. Ready to give me my meds?”

When I looked up past his paisley pajamas, Giannelli’s eyes brewed concern, and his salt and pepper hair glistened. He brought me up from the ground into his snowy chest for two minutes, near the cushion wrapped around his body, embracing my disturbing memories. My breathing slowed. We paced to his porch. Huddling in his arms eased a bit.

We entered his run-down colonial filled with old-fashioned furniture. He wouldn’t get a maid, fearing she’d be too much in his business, finding out he had something to do with the Edirp scandal. Frequently, he moped; regretting how Nathan blackmailed him, then involved him in the scandal.

His wife had fled to Vegas, feeding her gambling addiction, leaving his house in disarray. Not that she cleaned up when she was around, but when she visited him once every two months, she cared even less for their marriage. She hated me to the point of spreading rumors that I’d murdered Brad. Little did she know there was more meat to the Edirp scandal than what she thought. Blood, sweat and sweet payback would soon tell it all.

As he led me through the darkened room, he tripped over a box and lost his balance.

I had to help him up. His overbearing weight might be the reason his wife doesn’t appreciate him any longer. “Sit right here. And where are your meds?”

“Under my mattress.”

I gave him his meds, washed his dishes, sanitized the house, then fed him. He’s paralyzed on one side and able to wash himself. If I had to wash him, it’d ruin our ten-year friendship, or he’d want me in a sexual upheaval. Though he wasn’t hard on the eyes, I wouldn’t be able to comply. At this stage of anticipated murder, I relied on his service. Before his age-related illness took over, he was my enemy’s number one comrade. Just a matter of time before Giannelli streamlined his overseas chums for ricin, my enemy, and his hooligans would share my wrath.

I said, “Appreciate your concern for my sanity where others think I’m irrational.”

He replied, “Because I’m confident when you get tired—”

“I’m already there.”

“You’ll take care of business.”

“If Nathan or my sister don’t kill me first.”

For about an hour, we planned my strategy for avenging Nathan’s empire.

He drew from under his chair a camera. “Your ruling passion for justice will never be destroyed.”

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Victoria A. Young. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 – Tease Me! 

Series: Passion Whispers An Execution
Mystery & Thrillers > Erotic Suspense

Meet Victoria A. Young

Winning an essay contest for Fannie Mae landed me on Good Morning America, spring 2000 under the maiden name: Victoria A. Martin. My appearance encouraged and brought to fruition that my writing can move people. I developed a passion for writing inspiring themes whether it’s in poetry, plays, screenplays, or novels. Presenting my characters with challenging situations and allowing their emotions to guide me give me the greatest pleasure with writing. I’ve written and produced three 2 hour plays and three short plays affording me the opportunity to refine my skills on my first novel trilogy: Passion Whispers an Execution.

I developed the love for the arts at the age of thirteen when I had a report due one Monday. I ran the streets with my friends disregarding report. Aware that my parents were going to scold me if I didn’t have the report completed, I stood home one Sunday ignoring all calls. And read a book in one day: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun. The report took me about three hours to complete. From that point, I fell in love with poetry and how words can tell a beautiful story.

My writing has been compared to Quentin Tarantino with a classic flair, emotional and provocative. I believe in writing oh my God stories, which close out with a bang and bring a joyous spirit to the human experience.

When I’m not sitting in my office scrambling my brain for flawed characterization, I enjoy reading, producing fashion shows, designing fashions, traveling, using my creativity for church functions, and choreographing praise dancing. Dancing has been incorporated in all my plays as well as my first novel. I’ve danced ballet, jazz, African, and contemporary from the age of thirteen. I was truly blessed to have my dancers perform for Congressman Charlie Rangel. They were also given the opportunity to perform at all-paid-expense trips traveling out of New York State for church retreats. Today my dancers are in college and some took on the role of motherhood. I give thanks to God for keeping them.

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#PowerRead: Walking on Thin Ice by Re’Gena Bell-Roberts

Walking on Thin Ice by Re’Gena Bell-Roberts

Re’Gena Bell-Roberts was featured on the Steve Harvey Show as one of the Harvey’s Heroes!

Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman’s pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.

Re’Gena Bell-Roberts found herself staring down the barrel of a revolver, and a wave of disbelief rippled through her. An explosion blasted her into a nightmare. The room swirled slowly. Click––click. The sound reverberated each time as the shooter pulled the trigger. She realized this woman was trying to kill her!

In Walking on Thin Ice, Re’Gena Bell-Roberts shares her riveting story against the backdrop of a childhood sexual molestation. She is one, among a few young girls from the small town of Pasco, Washington, who harbored dreams of fame, fortune, and a craving for the love of a powerful man.

After high school graduation, Re’Gena’s life transforms. Despite myriad warnings, she falls for the charming Max Clayton, a thirty-three year old streetwise hustler who entices her into a dark underworld of illicit sex and drugs.

When Max betrays her, their life takes a fateful turn. The gripping saga explodes in the Mount Baker area of Seattle, Washington; and depicts Re’Gena’s struggle to deal with a tragic life-changing event that threatens her very existence. But she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.


By Brenda Bentley Parrrish 
This book is an awesome read. The determination and persistence of a woman with the willpower to begin productive and purposeful living after bad decision making based upon her love for a man almost cost her, her life. The story paints a picture of a beautiful woman of inner strength with her children giving her courage to become a champion. Her love for her man Max, consumed her very existence: mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. Finally she realized that she was starring in a role that was intended to be her final curtain call. After a near death experience she triumphant and find that God will sometime take you down a long winding road when he is teaching you a lesson to get you where he ordained you to be in this life. The story has several valleys and peaks and even a cliff. I am looking forward to the sequel. Great job ReGena Bell Roberts. Your bravery, persistence and determination are a powerful testimony to many who have fallen head over heels in love. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

By Lionel Mitchell

This was a story that I could not put down. Re’Gena is so courageous to write her story. I pray that some young women will read it , so that they may not go down the same road. The words on those pages were so descriptive. Drawing you in and making you feel all the life in the story. There is love, laughter, and pain. As a first time author this story should be a best seller.

By Verlean Gladney 

This book made me laugh and cry. It made me happy, sad, angry and a host of other emotions. This book gave me strength and hope. Very well written and totally gripping. I could not put it down. A must read for all you ladies from any walk of life. This book could literally save your life. I thank the author for sharing her life with me. I can hardly wait for her next book!

The San Diego Union-Tribune Featured Story on Re’Gena Bell-Roberts

Re’Gena Bell-Roberts has a life story full of tragedy, pain and redemption. Confined to a wheelchair after she was shot at the age of 21 by a woman her fiance was seeing on the side, Roberts found a way to overcome her disability and, against considerable odds, create a nurturing and supportive environment in which to raise her triplets, who were just 2 years old at the time of the attack.

“You know, God gives you strength to do what you need to do,” Roberts said.

These days Roberts, who was an aspiring actress when she was shot, and managed to do some stage work even after she was confined to her wheelchair, is working on her autobiography and hopes to one-day see her story on the big screen.

In the meantime, she will get a little time on the small screen. Roberts will be featured Wednesday on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey’s Heroes. Roberts’ daughter, LyNea Bell, one of the triplets, nominated her mother for the recognition.

Bell, 40, works as a talent agent for Media Artists Group in Los Angeles.

“We never had an excuse,” Bell said. “We couldn’t have an excuse because the example was right there. So it made it a lot tougher. You couldn’t cry, ‘No, I can’t.’ It was, ‘We have to.'”

The other triplets are Bell’s two brothers — McClain, an entrepreneur who lives not far from his mother in Southern California, and DeShae, who now lives in Seattle and is hoping to become a welder.

After she was shot in Seattle in 1974 while attending the University of Washington, Roberts briefly moved back home to Pasco, Wash., and in with her mother to rehabilitate from her injuries and get help with the children. But she quickly saw that was not going to be a long-term answer.

“My mother was working full-time and, you know, she’d (have to) get up all the time at night,” Roberts said. “And I saw this painful look in her eyes, like it was killing her. She was tired. And I made a decision that I was moving.”

Eventually, Roberts landed in Los Angeles, where her best friend from home, Cat Gibson, was living with one of Roberts’ sisters. Roberts was able to support herself financially on money she was eligible for through the Washington state crime victims compensation program.

Still, she had to cook, clean and manage the triplets, whom she called little rascals.

“They were a handful,” she said. “… plotting, doing what kids normally do.”

Roberts is a quadriplegic, but has limited use of her hands.

As the kids got older she enlisted their help, teaching them how to put the coins in the machines at the laundromat, and help her with the folding. After she arranged for an automobile with hand controls, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, she trained the kids to collapse the chair and pack it in the trunk.

“We had a whole system,” Bell said.

Once the triplets got going in school, Roberts had more time on her hands and she went back to college, eventually graduating from UCLA with a history degree. Her mother came down from Washington to attend the ceremony.

“It was an accomplishment,” Roberts said. “My mom was very happy. She wore my cap and gown after I took it off. She didn’t graduate from high school. So she was very proud of me.”

Roberts was the first in the family to graduate.

The second act of her life, which followed, featured a move back to Washington where she jumped into producing, taking part in community theater and putting on gospel showcases. For a few years, she produced and directed the local Martin Luther King Day events.

She and Gibson formed their own production company. Everything was fine, as long as Roberts wasn’t part of a committee.

“I didn’t have the time to sit around in meetings,” she said.

But within a few years, that was exactly what she was doing. After moving the family to Seattle, she dove into government and politics, serving on the Governor’s Committee for Disability Issues and Employment, and later as a member of the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

For Roberts, acting and producing were replaced by organizing and advocating, although she still performs occasionally under the stage name Re’Gena Bell.

“What goes on behind the scenes in the city, that just mesmerized me,” she said.

She ran twice unsuccessfully for the Seattle City Council, on a platform of helping the disenfranchised.

Today, she sits in her comfortable, nicely appointed home in Murrieta, where she has lived with her husband since 2004, and muses about her bucket list. A hot air balloon ride is next up.

A new van would be nice, too. She lost her last one in an accident. The ever-resourceful Roberts is an entrant in an online contest to win just such a vehicle. Anyone interested in voting, can visit

Bell considers the full depth and breadth of her mother’s story, and marvels.

“This is why she’s my hero,” Bell said. “This is why I wrote in (to the Steve Harvey Show), because I look at all the things of this world, and I look at how much that she’s influenced our lives, and I am just so proud. And it’s right in front of me every single day.”

Original Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Feature Story on Re’Gena Bell-Roberts

Photo credit: Regina Roberts of Murrieta was featured on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey’s Heroes. Behind her are her children: DeShae Bell, LyNea Bell, Steve Harvey and McClain Bell.  Courtesy photo — Steve Harvey ShowCourtesy photo

Order Walking on Thin Ice by Re’Gena Bell-Roberts
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Genre:   True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir 


#PowerRead: The Sisterhood: Book One (The Sisterhood Trilogy) by Nichol Bradford

The Sisterhood: Book One 
(The Sisterhood Trilogy)
by Nichol Bradford

The Sisterhood: Exploring mental freedom through fiction!

The Sisterhood tells the story of what becomes possible when intelligence and hope are channeled into an outrageous mission. Founded by Vivian Delacroix, The Sisterhood Foundation is a non-government organization funded by MSK Incorporated, a massive multinational built over decades by an organization of black women. The women invest billions into leading edge technology, pooling their profits into communities, schools, and treatment centers in the battle against Cocanol, a new and addictive drug.

The group is overwhelmingly successful until their progress is noticed by the Raptor, a ruthless enemy with pawns in the US government and ties to the Cocanol manufacturers and international power houses intent on controlling the world. As a first step in a war on the Sisterhood, Vivian is assassinated, triggering a Homeland Security investigation, a Senate inquiry, and a series of increasingly dangerous events.

To survive, the women, led by Chief Security Officer Tonia Rawlings, must fight against unseen forces. Battling across a public stage of media coverage and Wall Street, the women rush against all odds to outwit their foes—even as they execute the final stage of Vivian’s secret plan.

As their enemies draw near, the women risk everything, testing the bonds of faith, marriage and friendship. Along the way, they discover awful truths, make strange alliances and learn why they are the most dangerous women the world has ever seen. Together, they put everything on the line—testing themselves and the limitations the world tries to place on them.


Friday, December 5th – 2:00 am

Sisterhood Headquarters – Middleburg, VA, outside Washington D.C.

Tonia Rawlings strode down the long, empty corridor. Her urgent steps made sharp echoes on the granite floor. Outside, her security team was assembled, awaiting her command. It seemed fitting that she was the last to leave…given what she was about to do. Tonia took one last look to sear the memory in place before stepping out into the night.

“Do it,” Tonia ordered.

Flames exploded through the windows, shattering glass across the grounds. They licked the sky in swaths of bright hungry reds, violent oranges and insatiable yellows. The fire jumped from building to building, laying waste to years of effort and thousands of sacrifices. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Tonia whispered.

Pamela Griffin turned. The mother in her heard a strange break in Tonia’s voice. Pamela shivered, feeling the severe night chill that found its way under collars and inside gloves. An acrid cutting smell of smoke filled the air. She stole another glance at Tonia but could read nothing from the woman at her side. How awful it must be to give tonight’s order, to destroy something loved, even to preserve something valued. But, following Vivian Delacroix’s lead had always meant sacrifice. No one was exempt.

Pamela touched her lightly on the arm. “Tonia, it was planned.”

“Yes, it was,” she nodded without turning. The last thing Tonia needed right now was direct eye contact with Vivian’s first recruit. Architects had created the exterior of the Sisterhood’s headquarters, but Tonia was the one who massaged the plans to meet their unique need – a fortress, destructible from within but impregnable from without.

Was it really so long ago that she and Vivian had found the site? Tonia remembered how Vivian had jumped out of the car and sprinted, laughing, across the property. Tonia ran right behind her, eyes trained on the tree line for enemies, ever Vivian’s protector. Vivian stopped, spun around, her arms held high. Her eyes sparkled with destiny. “Here, Tonia. Can’t you see? This, this, is where we will gather our strength.”

They had laughed then, in the exact spot where Tonia now stood. Every computer system in the Sisterhood’s vast holdings updated to servers in a manmade cavern beneath her feet. Their entire history, recorded in bits and bytes, was a maze of money and covert investments. One explosion would obscure hundreds of millions of dollars in assets as well as their research, the research that had likely brought disaster to their door.

“Move out,” Tonia bellowed, her voice returning to its normal boom. The women, jolted into action, leaped into their Jeeps. They divided into pairs and raced away. Any law enforcement officer worth his badge would take one look at their expressions, unblinking eyes, bodies rippling with strength, and become suspicious. The women were not assassins or Marines, but they sure as hell looked the part. They were more than capable of protecting their own; after all, they were their Sister’s Keepers.

( Continued… )

© Reprint 2015. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Nichol Bradford. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Download The Sisterhood: Book One 

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Afro-futurism, African American Fiction; Mystery; Thriller & Suspense

About the Author

Nichol Bradford, CEO/Founder, Willow.  Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived mental limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level. She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.

Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience.

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of The Sisterhood, and an amatuer boxer.



#PowerRead: Black Bird Detective Series by Sage

Introducing the Black Bird Detective Series by Sage

When you begin to read Assumptions Abound you step inside of the book and journey along with the characters. Assumptions Abound will keep you on the edge of your seat as you ride every twist and turn.

Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington.  Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life! Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.

Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue. This psychological thriller has all of the key ingredients to create an explosive literary masterpiece.

Detective Nina Kelsey is also introduced in this series. Detective Kelsey is not who she appears to be. A complex person with her own dark past, Detective Kelsey is always searching for more. She is determined to solve the Cold Creek murders before another life is lost.

Fireworks will ignite when Detective Kelsey and Monét Worthington meet and someone ends up dead.

Through this story, the Black Bird Detective Series is born. Assumptions Abound is the first book in the Black Bird Detective Trilogy. This series features characters from Assumptions Abound, including Raven Carter. Raven is a young African-American detective determined to solve murders in the small town of Cold Creek.  As she solves mysteries, she also works to uncover the truth about her past. The trilogy continues with Seeking Truth and Sweet Revenge.

Assumptions Abound by Sage

Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington. Raised by her father and stepmother during a difficult part of their marriage, Monét is on a mission to find true love and answers. Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life!

Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.  Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue.

Enter Detective Kelsey. Someone is murdering the citizens of Cold Creek County and Detective Nina Kelsey is determined to find out whom. Lonely and running from a haunting past, she finds solace in her work. She has pledged to solve this mystery at all costs.

Will her life be the ultimate price?


The darkness enveloped my room as I lay in bed with my eyes shut tightly and my arms wrapped across my chest. My heart beat steadily and rapidly against my chest. I said a silent prayer that tonight would be different, but I knew in my heart that tonight would be like so many other nights before it.

When I heard his footsteps in the distance I closed my eyes tightly and prayed that he would walk by my room. He quietly opened the door and pried the covers away from me. He lay in the bed next to me and I cried as another night passed by without an answer to my prayer. I decided that if I wanted to get away from him, I would have to take matters into my own hands.

He kissed my cheek and whispered “good night” in my ear. I didn’t respond. I was hoping that he would die right there. He didn’t care about me. My thoughts were swirling around in my head. I realized that nobody could save me from this monster. Then suddenly I heard a voice.

The voice whispered in the darkness, “You must do it. Who else will protect you, but you?” I listened to the voice. “Have you ever killed anyone?” said the voice. “No!” I responded. I was only seven years old. I knew nothing about death. I thought to myself. The voice heard my thoughts. “True you are only seven, but we can show them that it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can still make a difference.” The voice calmly replied.

And so it began…

Have you ever killed anyone? I have and I must say it is the most exhilarating experience in the world. If I had to quantify it I would say that committing a murder is more exhilarating than sky diving, surfing or skiing down a hill at top speed. There is something powerful about watching the life leave a person’s body and hearing them take their last breath.

The first person I killed was my mother’s boyfriend Luciano. He was a handsome Italian man with dark hair and dark brown eyes. I remember everything about him. He would touch me in my special place, even after I told him that he shouldn’t. He took advantage of me and I promised myself that I would never let another person take advantage of me again.

I took a knife out of the drawer in the kitchen and hid it under my pillow. I knew that once my mother fell asleep, he would creep into my room and that particular night I was ready for him. I pretended like I was sleeping when he slowly opened the door and walked into my room. I felt him climb into the bed behind me and snuggle close to my back. I felt his breath on my neck. When he reached around to take my nightgown off of me, I grabbed the knife. Before he could react, I shoved the kitchen knife into his throat.

I still remember the look on his face. His eyes bulged out of his head and he grasped at his throat trying to stop the blood. My heart was beating so fast and I felt a rush of pure adrenaline. I watched him closely as he struggled to breathe. I put my ear close to his face; smelling the metallic scent of his blood and listening to him mumble inaudible words.

I watched intently as his chest rose and fell for the last time. As I watched the life leave his body, I knew that this could not be the end.

Luciano died that cold rainy night, he was the first person to meet the real me. Luciano met Victoria as his life slowly crept away from his body.

( Continued… )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sage. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Book 1: Assumptions Abound (Black Bird Detective Series) 


Seeking Truth by Sage

The characters from Assumptions Abound are all grown up and searching for answers. Detective Raven Carter is on a quest. For years her mother lied to her about her past and now that her mother is dead, Raven wants to know the truth.

Joel knows that his past is riddled with secrets, whispers and lies, but wait until he finds out that it also involves murder. Joel and Raven are engaged and planning their future together. Little do they neither past will be the ultimate deciding factor for their future.

Meet Raymond Thomas, the Superintendent of Cold Creek Public Schools. As the Superintendent of a large school district, Raymond has alot to prove. When his employees are systemically murdered, Raymond may have more to prove than he could ever imagine.

Order Book 2: Seeking Truth by Sage


Sweet Revenge by Sage
A high profile murder sets Raven on a wild goose chase to find the killer. Her boss is pressuring her to handle the case and he is personally involving himself. Raven must be careful; as she chases the next criminal, someone is chasing her. She hasn’t forgotten about her estranged husband. He is the love of her life, only problem…he wants her dead, or does he?

The wealthy son of a local socialite and businessman are adding to Raven’s headache. He is demanding answers that Raven does not have. When the case heats up, Raven may end up burned.  Raymond is back with an ax to grind. He has enacted a plan to take down those who damaged his reputation, stole his money and ruined his life. Will he succeed?

Everyone is out for revenge….but as the saying goes, Revenge is a dish best served fast and cold!

Order Book 3: Sweet Revenge 

The Butterfly: A Novel by Sage

Meet the Butterfly, sexy, intelligent and lethal but severely lacking in self-esteem. With nothing to lose and everything to gain she is on a journey. A journey to make everyone who hurt her, pay. As confident as she is about her journey, there is one thing that she never considered. Will that thing be her ultimate destruction?

Order  Book 4:  The Butterfly:A Novel by Sage
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Black Bird Detective Series


#PowerRead: The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Will a forty-year-old woman with everything on the line her high-stakes career, ticking biological clock, bank account risk it all for an intensely lusty secret romance with the one person who could destroy her comeback, for good?

Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling magazine, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale. The beyond-bitchy publisher of, Darcy agrees to hire her rival only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna s old school cred. But Jenna soon realizes she s in over her head. She s working with digital-savvy millennials half her age, has never even Twittered, and pretends to still be a Fashion Somebody while living a style lie (she sold her designer wardrobe to afford her sketched-out studio, and now quietly wears Walmart’s finest).

Worse? The twenty-two-year-old videographer assigned to shoot her web series is driving her crazy. Wildly sexy with a smile Jenna feels in her thighs, Eric Combs is way off-limits but almost too delicious too resist.

Written by the bestselling author of The Accidental Diva, The Perfect Find is a scandalously sexy, laugh-out-loud funny, utterly quotable saga about star-crossed love and starting over.

Reviews for The Perfect Find 

“A page-turner that’s epically witty, juicy and irresistible. What a perfect, fresh take on the high stakes that come when we fall, pick ourselves back up, and step unsurely into the future. It doesn’t get more real than this.”
— Denene Millner, New York Times bestselling co-author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man 

“The Perfect Find is a deliciously good time!”
– Nicola Kraus, co-author of the national bestselling The Nanny Diaries

“A saucy, cutting-edge love story amidst the backdrop of the New York City fashion world, with delicious dialogue that rang in my ears and screamed ‘real deal.’ Refreshing and engaging with a cast of characters that stayed with me long after the last page had been turned.”
— Sadeqa Johnson, author of Second House From the Corner 

“The Perfect Find is a fun romp through the world of new media fashion reporting. Tia Williams writes with juicy, behind-the-scenes details that let us know she’s been there and survived. Mixed with a generous dash of rivalry, love – both lost and crazy – it is a yummy cocktail. Cheers!”
— Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, authors of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made

“The story of 40-year-old former It girl Jenna Jones stumbling upon that giddy kind of passion will have you longing for someone to sext — even if you haven’t sexted since 2008. Equal parts heartwarming and electrifying, when you really get into The Perfect Find, make sure you have a fan ready.”
— Helena Andrews-Dyer, columnist and author of Bitch is the New Black

Excerpt from The Perfect Find by Tia Williams


The Refectory had once been a dorm for monks, and looked it. Elodie had taken advantage of the gothic, cathedral-esque space by going for an “Eyes Wide Shut” vibe with the decor. Billowing, sheer white curtains sectioned off six separate areas – each with its own bar. Crimson candles dripped on to every surface, massive gold chandeliers hung from the arched ceilings; and overstuffed purple velvet chaises were arranged in darkened, sexy corners. As was custom with any event where models were the centerpiece, there were men everywhere.
The book party’s crowd was a sampling from every scene, a perfect storm of NYC nightlife. The Weeknd and Drake were blaring – but no one was dancing, except for the guest of honor’s fellow Victoria’s Secret models (who
had allowed their lingerie to be used for the canine portraits in the gauche photography book everyone was celebrating). Posed in clusters throughout were their boy-model counterparts, dressed in lumberjack shirts and reeking of Parliaments and Bushwick boredom. Holding court at the bar were the Suits, who kept the scene going by financing most of Elodie’s celebrity pet projects.

Hovering above the crowd was a handful of NBA and NFL stars, who were a must at these things, because both the models and the Suits appreciated them. And then there were a few chic hookers (these were for the Suits too charmless to score a model). Weaving throughout were bespectacled, indie-cute journalists on the arts/lifestyle beat, and young fashion girls, who were as sexy as the models, but short and poor. Jenna hadn’t been in the room for two seconds before her best friend grabbed her arm.

“I found you a man,” said Elodie, who’d spent the last twenty minutes shirking her event-planning duties to play matchmaker for Jenna. “All I know is he went to Yale and he’s a radiologist. He’s walking toward us now.”
“Wait! I’m not ready…”

“You haven’t had sex since the Bush administration. You’re ready.” She shoved a glass of champagne at Jenna.

“Dialo Banin! This is Jenna Jones. Jenna, this good man has been dying to meet you. Talk amongst yourselves, while I go bounce a few VH1 reality show whores.”  With that rushed introduction, Elodie dashed off into the crowd. Dialo stood in front of Jenna, affixing her with a brilliant white smile. He was wearing an achingly expensive suit, a tangerine day scarf arranged just so, and aviators. Indoors. At night.

“So…what were your other two wishes?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Where’s your sense of humor, hon?” he asked, smiling. “It was an icebreaker.”

“Oh! Well, ice broken.” Coming from this man, with his florid accent, in that getup, the “wishes” line sounded like a come-on that Truman Capote would’ve delivered at a dude disco in Vegas.

“Would you like to sit down?”

“I’d love to,” she said, making a mental note to destroy Elodie for this. Dialo touched her elbow and led her over to an itty-bitty reserved cocktail table flanked by two high-backed, wrought iron chairs. He sat back in his chair, stretching out his legs. There was now no room for her under the table, so she wrapped her ankles around her chair legs, like a schoolgirl. Nervous, she folded her hands in her lap, and then accidentally lasered-in on Dialo’s burgundy velvet YSL slippers. Jenna understood exactly who Dialo was. He was one of those fake-flashy Euro neo-dandies who hung “WC” signs on the bathroom doors in their Murray Hill rentals.

“I have to admit, I’m not a book enthusiast. But I’m glad I came,” he said, stroking his chin. “You’re lucky to be here.”

“I know, it’s a great party.”

“No, I mean you’re lucky to be here. With me. I don’t usually date black women. But when I Googled you on my phone, I had to make an exception.”

“Huh. But you’re black. Why don’t you…” She stopped talking, because she noticed that Dialo wasn’t even looking at her. He peered over her shoulder. She darted her eyes in that direction, and saw a group of twenty-year-olds in tiny dresses – the knockoff version of hers.

An hour before, Jenna had felt a degree of excitement while getting dressed for her first night out since returning to New York. She’d almost felt like a dewy-eyed recent college grad, heading out for a naughty night of club-hopping
and hopefully getting pawed by a baby Leo DiCaprio in VIP. But her options were no longer limitless. She was decades older, and being ignored by a fancypants douche she wasn’t even attracted to.

“I’m black,” he continued, “but not American black like you. I’m from Ghana via London. And relax, I just find white women to be more easygoing.”

“Ohhh, you’re one of those.” Jenna swirled her straw in her drink, trying to figure out how to lose this bozo. “But I’m clearly black, so why are you here?”

“I do enjoy some biracial women, which is what I figured you were from your pictures. So you get a pass, love.” He cackled.

“Nope, not biracial. I’m one hundred percent all-American black. So black that my middle name is Keisha.”

Dialo grimaced. “Anyway, when I found out you used to be a famous fashion editor, I was impressed. I have a superb publicist, should you need one. He’s so stylish. He hooked me up with this Matthew Williamson scarf.”

“That’s a woman’s piece, you know.”

“But it works with a strong seamed jacket.”

“Indeed.” Jenna vowed to kill Elodie. “So, should a radiologist have a publicist? Isn’t that breaking some sort of Hippocratic oath?”

“I mostly have A-list clients, so…” he trailed off. “I must say, you look just like a girl I went to Yale with. But surely you’re a good ten years younger than me, little lady.”

Jenna grinned, deciding to mess with him a little. “Doubt it. I’m forty-five.” She added on five years, just to watch his head explode. “How old are you?”

“Forty-five? I’m forty-three!”

“So, we’re contemporaries.”

“But I thought…wow, forty-five? I wouldn’t have guessed.” His entire body language changed. He shook his head, as if rejecting the entire notion. And then actually looked at his watch. 

She signaled a waitress. “Sweetie, could we get some napkins?”

“Why do you need napkins?” Then Dialo lowered his voice and asked Jenna, “Am I making you wet?”

Jenna finished the rest of her champagne and then stood up, slowly rearranging her dress. As she did, she allowed her bag to tip the remaining splash of his cocktail onto one of his velvet slippers. As Dialo squealed like Babe, she hurried away, grabbing two glasses of champagne from a cater waiter’s tray. He was vile. But the worst part? He
wasn’t at all unique. He was the classic New York mover-and-shaker. A doctor with a publicist. Straight, but so fey you could smell the Kiehl’s eye cream.

Jenna stormed through the party, looking everywhere for Elodie. Since she was nowhere to be found, she planted herself next to a bar and downed both glasses. Just then a group of guys swept by her, all Suits. She’d known them
peripherally for years – and tonight, they were surrounded by six hotties in their twenties (in outfits Jenna would later describe as being a cross between “Atlanta Prom” and “Who Gives a Fuck”). The guys gave Jenna air-kisses, and the May-December group went on their way.

“What is this?” she murmured out loud to no one, shaking her head in frustration. The room swayed a little bit. Steadying herself by grabbing the edge of the bar, she asked the willowy bartender, “If you have a Brazilian and no one sees it, does it exist? You know, like the tree in the forest thing?”

The girl giggled. “What’s wrong, doll?”

“Can I get another glass of Prosecco?” The chick slid her one, Jenna’s fourth, and she threw it back. She was well on the road to sloshed. “What’s up with the twenty-year-old girls? These men are my age. The guys get older, the
girls get younger, and where does that leave me? I was with one man my whole life. I’m forty and basically dating for the first time. I have no idea how to naviglate… nafligate…navigate this world.”

Finishing her drink, she saw one of her Suit friends catch her eye and then point at his model’s ass behind her back. He leered. Jenna shot him her middle finger. “Honey,” said the waitress, “why don’t you go sit down for a little bit?”

“Speshtacular idea.” Jenna spotted an empty chaise in a dark corner, half-hidden by one of the swaying curtains. She managed to weave her way through the crowd and plunk herself down on the little couch. She must’ve dozed off, because the next thing she knew, someone tapped her shoulder.

“You okay?’

Jenna sat up straight, jerking her head up so fast that her hair got caught in her lip gloss. A man sat next to her. A kid, really — he looked barely out of his teens, wearing Jordans, distressed jeans and a black tee that shouted “Blame Society” in red typeface. A busy swirl of tattoos erupted from his shirtsleeve and covered his arm, stopping at his wrist. His look was effortlessly crisp, in a Red Hook hipster-meets-hip hop way. Lanky and tall with I-play-basketball-allweekend biceps, he looked like a person who was well aware that he was, by far, the coolest sophomore at NYU.

He eyed her with furrowed concentration. “You okay?” he repeated.

“Yes! I’m fine. I’m great great great.”

“Yeah, you sound it.” He smiled. “How many drinks?”

“Four. No, five. Are you as drunk as me?”

He nodded, lifting up his glass. “And high. On too many things.”

“But you’re like, eighteen. Are you even legal? What are you doing here?”

“I’m twenty-two! I have a seriously elite college degree from USC Film School.”

“USC Film? Color me impressed! If I wasn’t in fashion, I’d be in film. In high school, I thought about being a film historian, but my mother was like, what the hell is a film historian, so I never…” Aware that she was rambling, she
stopped herself. “She has a very strong personality. Anyway, that’s fantastic.”

“Not even. None of us can get jobs. The acceptance rate at USC Film is lower than Harvard Law. We worked our asses off for no reason. I’m here to pick up my boy, one of the waiters. Yo, this guy’s one of the illest cinematographers of my generation, and he’s serving moscato to a Basketball Wife.”

“Yikes, Elodie’s gonna be furious. She didn’t want any reality people in here.”

“They’re here. I was just over in the fake butt section.” He shuddered. “I haaate plastic surgery. Hard, balloon breasts. And what’s that thing women do when they suck the fat out of their thighs?”


“Terrible. I like for women to have…” He paused, making grabby gestures in the air. “Smush.”

Jenna got comfy, curling up against the back of the couch. “I’ve always wanted smush, but I’m too skinny. I’ve had curve-envy my whole life.”

“You have smush somewhere. Besides, you’re not skinny, you’re…svelte. Sinuous.”

“You like S words.”

“Yeah, I had a lisp in kindergarten, so I like to stunt with my superior “S’ game.”


“I’m cutting myself off.” He put his glass down on the cocktail table, shaking his head. “The lisp? Information not to disclose upon meeting a staggeringly pretty girl.”

“You think I’m staggeringly pretty?”

He nodded. “Absolutely. You’re, like, next-level fancy. Incapable of having a tacky moment. I was just at a party with girls filming twerk videos on Vine, so I can say this with authority.”

“Twerk videos on Vine?” Jenna paused, and then frowned. “Actually, I don’t even know what or where Vine is.”

“You’ve never heard of Vine?”

She shrugged apologetically. “I’ve been away.”

“See? I feel like you’re a different breed of woman. Like you’re from a planet of angelic goddesses who are, like, made of the sugary oozy stuff inside Cadbury eggs and speak in Ezra Pound stanzas. And own tiny condos inside of

Jenna’s mouth opened, and then she howled with unselfconscious laughter. “I’m what? You’re so weird!”

“I know,” he said, looking bashful. “I read too much science fiction.”

“So do I. And weird is good. I love it.”

“As long as you love it,” he said. And then he grinned at her. Jenna’s heart almost stopped. His smile tore through her like lightening. She felt it in her thighs. Jesus, that mouth. Those puffy, bitable lips…

“You know what else you look like?”

“Tell me,” she said.

He folded his arms across his chest and studied her, long and indulgently. Jenna’s stomach flip-flopped – she was mesmerized. His eyes were arresting, almond-shaped and beyond black, like ink dipped in water. God, he was
beautiful. Finally, his mouth curled into a secret smile, and Jenna smiled back, and then they were two strangers smiling giddily at each other, for no reason.

“You look like you need to be kissed. Badly.”

“How could you tell?”

“’Cause you’re staring at my mouth with laser-like focus.”



“Well, it’s true. Your mouth is really…good.” Was it the alcohol, or was he the most fuckable person she’d ever seen? Jenna bit her bottom lip, her mind racing. She could feel her cheeks getting hot. She wanted to rip this kid’s clothes off. Was she drunk enough to do this?

“Do you want to kiss me?” she asked.

“Is that rhetorical?”

She shook her head, scooting a bit closer to him.

“If you knew what I wanted to do,” he said, “you’d call security.”

“Kiss me, then. We’re both wasted. That means we won’t muh-member…I mean, remember any of this tomorrow.”

Oh, I’ll muh-member.”

They both peered over the back of the couch to see how conspicuous they were. They were facing a corner, and the almost-sheer panel billowing from the ceiling was half-shielding them. Everyone was busy doing whatever people do
at parties for dog books. Plus, it was really dark.

“No one’s looking,” she said. “So give me your best kiss. Your A-plus kiss.”

“I’ll give you the B-plus one. ‘Cause I’m a gentleman.”

“Lana Turner said a gentleman is a patient wolf,” she whispered, tipping her face up to his.

“Lana Turner was correct.” He leaned in, his lips almost touching hers.



He brushed his lips across hers, barely grazing her. A thousand tingles shot through her body. He kissed her again, his lips soft, but firm. Then things got serious. He slid his hand into her hair, angled his mouth over hers and kissed
her deeply, languidly. A moan escaped her lips – she was totally caught off guard by how electric it felt. He pinned her against the chaise, tonguing her mouth with such sensuous rawness, it was like he was inside of her – and it was so achingly good that she forgot where she was, hiking her leg up around his waist, the hem of her dress sliding all the way to her hips. Holding her still by her hair, he kept at it, unraveling her, all giving, no taking – so that all she could do was grip his sides and drown – until an unimpressed waiter bumped into Jenna while collecting their drinks. Jolted, they drew apart and just looked at each other. Stunned.

“Your turn,” he said, his fist still tangled in her hair. “I want your B-plus.”

“I’ll give you my B,” she murmured. “I don’t want to destroy you.”



Jenna pushed him back and climbed onto his lap, straddling him. Holding the top of the couch for balance, she kissed him with total voraciousness, letting loose all the lust and sexual frustration she’d had for years. He matched her intensity, bruising her lips with his and gripping her where her ass met her thighs.

“Smush,” he growled into her mouth. “Told you.”

“I…I can’t believe I’m making out in the middle of a party,” said Jenna, breaking their kiss. “I’m too old for this, we have to stop!”

“Yeah, definitely,” he said, planting hot, open-mouthed kisses down her neck.

“I swear to God,” she panted, “I think I love you.”

“I know I love you,” he murmured against her throat. Then, he looked up at her. “Wait, what’s your name?”

“Jenna Jones!”

They both looked up in surprise at Elodie and her intern, Misty, who was struggling not to laugh. They tore away from each other, landing on opposites sides of the couch.

Meet the Author
Tia Williams
is the ultimate style insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and, and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of The Accidental Diva and the It Chicks series, and co-writer of Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and their various accessories.

Follow Tia for chit-chat, beauty babble, and book updates:

· Twitter: @ShakeYourBeauty
· Facebook: Tia Williams
· Instagram: @ShakeYourBeauty
· Blog: 



#PowerRead: When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine by Tumika Patrice Cain

When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine
by Tumika Patrice Cain

Have you ever been in love? Has your path ever crossed with someone that caused every cell in your body to wake up and take notice?  Meet Jacquie & Michael!  Share their love, the journey, in When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.  It is a story of hope, accepting love, embracing one’s personal truths, and making no apologies for it. 

Jacquie remembered a time when she was once a tender, caring, hopeless romantic. But happily-ever-after’s and once-upon-a-time fairytales, proved over time to be just that – fairytales. After what she feels has been “a lifetime” of true love eluding her, she loses all hope, resigning to live a single (and loveless) existence. As time passes, she shifts her focus, choosing to concentrate on her career and makes the best of it…alone.

Gorgeous, artsy and charismatic was the man who Jacquie’s eyes fell upon, causing her heart to beat in a rhythm she’d forgotten existed. Michael was more than enough man to make her lose herself inside dreams of a future interwoven with the very fabric of all that defined the beauty of being in love.

But just like in fairytales, there’s always something out of place. For alas, this knight in chocolate armor, was twelve years her junior – an age gap that defined a cultural difference and a major problem for Jacquie’s overbearing mother. Will pressure from family and other obligations turn their love into a nightmare? Or can Michael and Jacquie tune out the rest of the world, embrace the sweetness that they share, and build a foundation that lasts?

Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine

Jacquie didn’t know exactly when it happened. She just knew that it did. She found herself in love. And what was funniest of all was how different he was than what she’d always thought she wanted or been told she should want. He was twelve years her junior, but more man than anyone who had ever come before him. Dealing with him was like a welcomed cool lakeside breeze on a scorching summer day.

Michael was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but didn’t know that she needed or wanted. Tender. Sweet. Attentive. Strong, but not overbearing. All things cool. So opposite of her in many ways, yet so like her in many ways that mattered. It was a perfect fit.

There was a vibrancy about him that instantly caused everything in her to perk up and take notice. He made her want to wear bright colored clothing and flowers in her hair. Big hoop earrings and sexy sandals to show off blood red toenails and fresh pedicures. This was such a huge shift for her. Always prone to muted colors and conservative clothing, she had been raised to subdue everything about herself, almost to the point of extinction of her authentic self. At times she didn’t quite know what to make of the changes taking place in her life. When it became scary, she urged herself to press on pass the fear. This was such a great time to be alive, and for the first time in her life, she actually found that she was happy to be in the land of the living.

It’s funny, but she hadn’t realized how much of a drag her life was until being in his presence made her feel so alive. Made her wonder how long had she been walking around half dead just waiting on someone to breathe life into her. Well, whatever he had, made her spirit soar high above the clouds. In his presence, she became a bird; free to roam, to fly unhindered, to just be. He was the key that unlocked the cage she’d lived in her entire life. Suddenly, she felt years younger. Almost how the teenage years should have been if she hadn’t been so bogged down with responsibilities and pressures. Finally, she felt like other girls looked: youthful, carefree, lovely. She was loving every minute of it!

Old behaviors didn’t just disappear overnight. The practicalities making up her personality were still very much alive and at work. What was different was a newness to get out from under the mundane and do something…anything…new. This newfound state put her in a place where she could dream again. Come to think of it, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d dreamed about doing anything. Clueless as to how to change her life, the dreams slowly faded away like the last refrain of a song. Repeat, repeat, then fade, fade, fade until finally it was gone. Over. Finito. That’s what happened to Jacquie. Her dreams had died into the empty pause that lives between songs. He was her new song.

This season would start with a fresh hairdo. The signature wrap, although lovely and perfectly coiffed, would have to go. Surely she could find some sort of sweeping updo that could be versatile enough for both day and night, work and play. Until the right look came along, Jacquie found herself really studying the looks of other women who had some of what she felt being birthed in her spirit. That’s what made her decide to finally let the soft coral nail color go in search of something vibrant and popping. Yep….fire engine red. How about that?! She found a similar color for her lips, as well as a plum, bronze and a translucent shade to switch up her looks.

Clothing was next. Flirty skirts, fitted tops, and big belts replaced stiff suits and pleated pants. And for leisure, she went all out. Wide-legged pants, fitted jeans, long tops, high heeled boots, funky jewelry. She was absolutely loving this transformation. Her new colors were extreme. Orange, fuschia, lime green, hot pink, reds, plums, emeralds, bronze, cobalt – even in the winter. A host of jewel tones to help celebrate her new found Queendom. Yes, it was high time a daughter of royalty looked like one. She had been a King’s kid living beneath her privilege for far too long.

For as much as she came into the self that had been hidden all those years, the more the world presented other opportunities for her to embark upon. Her appetite had been whetted and a deep desire to explore the world had been birthed. Even alone, she found herself doing all sorts of things she would not have done before.

This transition had her giving serious thought to her future and what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life. She knew that being an executive assistant wasn’t it, although she had not figured out exactly what it was. Inside she could feel a stint with school coming. And travel. Lots and lots of travel. She was looking forward to all of it.

( Continued… )

Copyright 2016 Tumika Patrice Cain – excerpt from When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.

Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Book 2: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine

A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.

Purchase Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change

Meet the Author
Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies.

A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path.

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.



#PowerRead: Second House from the Corner: A Novel by Sadeqa Johnson

Second House from the Corner: A Novel
by Sadeqa Johnson

In the tradition of I Don’t Know How She Does ItSecond House from the Corner centers on the story of Felicia Lyons, a stay-at-home mother of three drowning in the drudgeries of play dates, lost pacifiers and potty training who occasionally wonders what it would be like to escape the demands of motherhood. But when an unexpected phone call threatens to destroy her life, Felicia is forced to return to her childhood home where she must wrestle with an ex-lover and long buried secrets to save the family and home she loves despite the daily challenges.

Felicia Lyons is a character who mothers can identify with and laugh along with. You can’t help but cheer for her in Johnson’s engaging and well-written novel.


“A captivating tale to savor…Felicia is a wonderfully flawed, compelling main character, one who has stayed with me long after I finished the book. A winning novel from a writer to watch.”
—Benilde Little, bestselling author of Welcome to My Breakdown and Good Hair

“Sadeqa Johnson is one of those authors you rarely find these days. Her gift of writing sings on every page. When reading her second novel, Second House From the Corner, you can’t help feeling like you just received a letter from an old friend…. or an old lover. It is a must read!”
—Here’s the Story Bookstore in Union, NJ

Excerpt from Second House from the Corner: A Novel


To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings— all in the same relationship. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Witching Hour

That four-hour window between after-school pickup and bedtime?  It’s like walking a tightrope with groceries in both hands. The slightest hiccup will land any mother in a quagmire with her legs in the air. For me the whole afternoon was a fail. I locked myself out when I went to pick the kids up from school, but didn’t notice the missing house keys until I pulled into the driveway. The snacks had been demolished at the playground, so the hunger meltdown began on the drive to my husband’s office for the spare key (a drive that usually takes seven minutes, but ended up being twenty round-trip because of traffic). Things got even shoddier once I discovered we were out of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. My children will not eat baked chicken unless I dip the pieces in buttermilk, roll them in cornflakes, and bake until crispy. The oven was preheated, the potatoes were boiling for the mash, and I was thirty-three minutes off schedule without the magic cereal that makes my chicken finger-licking good. No time to change the dinner plan. So I swap in seasoned bread crumbs and cross my toes that they won’t notice.

“Mama, this doesn’t taste right.” My son, Rory, frowns.

“Just eat it. There are children right down the street who are starving.”

“But it’s disgusting,” whines Twyla.

How does a four-year-old know what disgusting is?

“Just eat.”

“I have to go pee pee and poo poo.”

“Stop smiling at me. Mommy, she’s smiling.”

“Can we just have dessert?”




Like a song on repeat. Like it’s the last word in the English dictionary. They call “Mommy” until my lips pucker, eyebrows knit. And it takes all my strength not to respond with that inside voice that nobody hears, that you wish would stay quiet, that tells the truth you don’t want anyone to know. That damn voice is hollering. Shut the fuck up!

At what point do I get to shout What the fuck do you want from me? I wouldn’t drop an F-bomb in front of the mommy crew at the park, and I hate to see parents on the street cursing out their kids. But here in my kitchen with everything working against me, I would like to liberate myself just once and let the profanity rip. It’s the nipping at my nerves that gets me. The feasting on my flesh like starved sea urchins. Them, fighting like thieves for their individual piece of me. Me feeling like I have nothing left to give. Any mother who says that she has never felt like her whole life was being sucked out through her nostrils is a damn liar. I feel it every day. Especially when I don’t get at least five hours of shut-eye, like last night.

Twyla (whom I call Two) walked her four-year-old self into my room every hour complaining about being scared. Scared of what? The curtain, the bed, the wall—she had an excuse for each visit. Never mind that she had to walk past her father to get to me. They never bother him. It’s always Mommy. So I upped and downed all night while he slept like a hibernating black bear. 

I hate when I feel like this. My chest rising and falling. Momentum of failure piled. Anxiety has swept through my belly and is curled against my organs like a balled fist. Just one happy pill would make it all better. But I’ve been on the happiness-comes-from within kick for a few months, so no more pills. Instead I’ve started tapping.

Tapping out my emotions so I can get back to feeling right. It’s that new technique where I say what my issue is and use my fingertips and hit my meridian points until I’m back to even. It usually takes about five minutes and several rounds before I feel centered and strong. My husband, Preston, calls it woo-woo, but he’s not at home with three children all day. I am, and I have to use what I’ve got to carry me through. I turn my back to the kids at the kitchen table, take two fingers, and tap the side of my hand while whispering my setup statement.

“Even though I feel stressed out, anxious, and tired of being alone and responsible for my kids I love and accept myself.”

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

“Calming down.” I try whispering the statement again but Tywla is out of her seat.

“My stomach hurts.”

Rory puts his fork down. “I’m full.”

My fingers stop. I haven’t made it through one minute, much less the five I need. I take a deep breath and usher everyone upstairs. Maybe Preston will surprise me and come home early. The damn voice laughs. When was the last time he did that? He never makes it home before their bedtime and I bet that’s on purpose.

Rory moans. “That’s my boat.”

“Dad gave it to me.”

“No, he didn’t.”

Breathe. “Cut it out and get undressed.”

I run their bath and sneak in a quick tap. Repeating my setup statement, I move from my hand to my forehead, to the side of my eye, under my eye, under my lip, under my chin, full hand on chest, bra strap and top of the head. Fill my lungs with air and exhale. Twyla and Rory are back. I read my body. Better.

“Can I bring this in the tub, pretty please?” Twyla clutches the mesh bag with their toys.


They climb into the bathtub and play. This should give me a few minutes alone with the baby.

“Guys, I’m going to change Liv into her pajamas. No water on the floor.”

“Can we have more bubbles?”


“Awwww, man,” Rory replies, imitating Swiper the Fox. “You only gave us a little bit.”

I cut my eyes in the direction of my six-year-old and hold his gaze for a beat longer so that he knows I mean business.

The upstairs of our house is small, and it only takes three long strides to the girls’ bedroom. Liv, the baby, squirms in my arms and I find solace burying my head in her neck. I could sit and smell this child all day. At ten months old, she still has that fresh-to-the-earth smell that forces me to slow my pace. It’s hard to look at her without feeling deep sighs of relief. She is our miracle child.

When I was twenty weeks pregnant with Liv, a routine sonogram found something suspicious. I was sent to the Robert Woods Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick to see a pediatric cardiologist. There was a pinch in her heart that could hemorrhage. Her chances of being stillborn were high. When the doctor suggested that we terminate the pregnancy, I was bilious. By then I had already heard her heart beat, felt her flutter and kick, loved her. Preston didn’t even look my way when he simply told the batch of white coats that we would take our chances.

On our way home, the traffic on the Garden State Parkway held us hostage. I slobbered and blubbered against the passenger seat window, trudging through my past, knowing which karmic act brought this down on our family. My husband kept patting my hand, but when that didn’t work, he pulled our ice-cream-truck size SUV over to the side of the road and pressed the hazard lights.

“Foxy, look at me.” He is the only person who calls me Foxy, and even with hearing my personal pet name, I couldn’t bring my eyes to his. Tilting my damp chin, he forced eye contact. “This is not your fault.”

But it is.

“You trust me?”

I shake my head, of course, because there really is no other response when your husband asks you that question.

“So the baby is healed. It’s done, no more worries.” Preston clapped his hands, as if he had just entered a contract with God.

“Now stop blaming yourself, you didn’t do anything.”

As our vehicle crawled up the Parkway, he informed me that we’d name her Liv.

“Not short for anything. Just Liv.”

I knew what I had done to deserve this even though my husband did not. I wanted it to be all right. Needed something to cling too, so I agreed to everything that Preston offered because the only hope I had for a favorable outcome was him. I had burned my bridge with God a long time ago.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sadeqa Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Second House from the Corner: A Novel
Contemporary Women Fiction

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About the Author

SADEQA JOHNSON is a former public relations manager who spent years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. Her debut novel, LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG was hailed by as “this summer’s hottest read.” It was the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction and the 2012 USA Best Book award for African-American fiction. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Virginia with her husband and three children. SECOND HOUSE FROM THE CORNER is her second novel.  For more visit:


#PowerRead: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series by Lynn Emery

Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series

Children are missing in ever increasing numbers. LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard have to make sure their child isn’t next. After a series of gruesome murders, LaShaun has to answer one critical question to stop the bloodbath: are the children victims or weapons?

LaShaun Rousselle finds herself and her young family at the center of a devious and deadly series of crimes once more. A girl goes missing, bad enough. Yet when LaShaun follows the threads, she discovers the six year old is only one of many. What’s the connection to a string of attempts to get at LaShaun’s own child, Joëlle? She must help sort through the facts and evidence to convince level-headed law officers that supernatural forces are at work. Her life and the lives of those she cherish depend on LaShaun making a way out of no way.

LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series – A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. The second book is Between Dusk and Dawn. The third book is Only By Moonlight. Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series.

NEW FALL 2016 RELEASE – Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Topics: Faith, Supernatural forces, Family loyalty, Redemption, Creole and Cajun Culture
Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Audible, and Smashwords

Excerpt from Book 1: A Darker Shade of Midnight

LaShaun went to her. She kissed the hand that had guided her through childhood. Now the knuckles were knotted, the tapered fingers weakened by arthritis. Yet, the skin appeared strangely smooth.

“Bon soir, Monmon. You should be in bed.” LaShaun kissed her forehead. She breathed in the familiar scent of Cashmere Bouquet. The fragrance of lavender and chamomile came from another era.

“So, you finally come home. To watch me die, eh?” Monmon Odette patted LaShaun’s cheek.

“To celebrate your life, sweet mother,” LaShaun whispered. A tear slipped down her face. No need to make pointless protestations otherwise. They both knew Monmon Odette’s time on earth was growing shorter.

Monmon Odette shushed away her sadness with a soft hiss. She produced a scented lace handkerchief from the pocket of her robe and dabbed away the tear. LaShaun sat on the floor and rested her head in Monmon Odette’s lap.

“Don’t grieve just yet, Cher . The blood is still runnin’ warm in these old veins. I’ve got just enough time left I think.”

“Time for what?” LaShaun toyed with the hem of her grandmother’s cotton gingham robe.

“You’ll know soon enough. But tonight you need rest after a long journey. You’ve come back home through time and space I think,” Monmon Odette murmured.

LaShaun looked up at her. “Has anything changed here?”

Monmon Odette patted her shoulder as a signal she wanted to stand. With a short grunt from the effort, and a hand from LaShaun, she rose from the chair. Monmon Odette held LaShaun’s arm as they walked down the hallway to her bedroom.

“Some things are eternal. The movement of the wind, the heat on the bayou when summer comes. All that is the same.”

“The land stays the same if people don’t ruin it. Like they ruin a lot of things,” LaShaun said softly.

“Human nature doesn’t change either, Cher .” Monmon stopped and gave LaShaun a sideways glance. “The same deadly sins rule a man’s nature.”

“And women,” LaShaun added raising an eyebrow back at her.

Monmon Odette laughed and started walking again. “True. But age does make a difference. When you get to be old you look at things differently.”

They arrived at the door to her grandmother’s bedroom. As they entered, LaShaun let her go in first. Then she fluffed the down pillows as her grandmother sank onto the bed. LaShaun helped her remove the robe and ease back onto the pillows. Once she’d tucked the vintage quilt around Monmon Odette’s chest her grandmother sighed.

“Thank you, sweet girl. Now sit with me awhile.”

LaShaun sank onto the cushioned seat of a large oak rocking chair next to the bed. A Bible was on the nightstand. “Of course. Shall I read to you?”


Monmon Odette closed her eyes after a few moments. LaShaun watched the slight rise and fall of her grandmother’s chest. After a while, she gazed around. Monmon Odette had redecorated. Her grandmother had a fondness for antiques, history and tradition. Yet, Monmon Odette was no old lady clinging to the past. LaShaun smiled when she saw the combination radio and compact disc player on the other wide nightstand. The high tech device didn’t clash with the country style décor. Curtains with a lovely old rose pattern on a cream background matched the quilt, the rug and pillow shams. An overhead cane ceiling fan looked old enough to have come from one of the plantation homes along Vermilion River. Then LaShaun saw the family photos on a round table. She left the rocker and went to it. Several pictures were sepia toned, taken before the turn of the last century. “Celie LeGrange, 1866-1932” was written at the bottom of one. Monmon Odette’s mother. Jules Paul LeGrange, husband to Celie and Monmon Odette’s father, stared stone-faced from another photo. An even older picture of a lovely woman dressed in a long dress and button top shoes sat next to it. LaShaun did not have to read the faint letters to know her. Acelie LeGrange stared at her descendant across time, two hundred years to be exact. LaShaun’s mother stared from a photo taken in 1982. She looked beautiful in a flowered sundress. Francine stood next to a five year old LaShaun. Both wore forced smiles trying hard to look happy for the camera. LaShaun didn’t remember that particular day, but she remembered her mother’s overwrought disposition. Still in love with Antoine St. Julien even five years after he married another, Francine never found happiness.

“I’m glad you’re home, Cher . Have you forgiven me?”

LaShaun looked up to find her grandmother’s dark gaze fixed on her. “I didn’t blame you for anything that happened to me, Monmon.”

“Maybe you should have, and for your maman, too. So many mistakes and no time to fix them. But I may still have time to do some good for you.” Monmon Odette inhaled deeply causing a rattling sound deep in her chest. She breathed out slowly then closed her eyes.

“I made my own choices, and my own mistakes.” LaShaun blinked away tears.

Monmon Odette nodded without opening her eyes. “Maybe Le Bon Dieu will have mercy on this old woman.”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lynn Emery. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 


A Darker Shade of Midnight – Book Review Written by Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE 

In A Darker Shade of Midnight by Lynn Emery, LaShaun Rousselle is returning home to Vermillion Parish, Louisiana because her grandmother is dying. Shortly after crossing the county line, LaShaun finds herself sitting in the sheriff’s station wondering what bogus charges warranted her being detained. Yes, she has a scandalous past that caused her to leave home ten years ago, but that is the past. When the sheriff department finds nothing but a broken taillight, feisty LaShaun cannot help shaking up the sheriff and the department by issuing them a challenge, knowing some fear her voodoo powers. With that settled, LaShaun is looking forward to making peace with her grandmother, Monmon Odette, and catching up with family. Unfortunately, life will be anything but peaceful for LaShaun – greedy relatives, a sadistic ex-lover, an attraction to a deputy, an evil force and murder all come into her life. Fearing that mayhem and evil are a curse she cannot overcome, LaShaun starts to despair that she should not have returned home. Will LaShaun be able to trust her psychic powers, and accept help from unexpected sources, or will the demon win this round for her soul?

A Darker Shade of Midnight is a tale of revenge, deceit, betrayal and political corruption. This combination makes for a juicy murder and the plot serves up several victims. Drama of the family fighting among themselves adds another layer of tension and intrigue to a plot with all kinds of twists. Emery is known for her love of Louisiana, a setting she vividly brings to life in this story. I enjoyed how the paranormal elements were skillfully woven into the storyline with grace and ease, being a natural part of the locale. 

LaShaun is an alpha female who fights back at the least challenge, but over the course of the story she learns to accept who she is and how to accept genuine help. It is a nice touch to see her interact with the sexy deputy, Chase Broussard, as the attraction between them allows the reader a respite from all of the mayhem in the story. While fans of the author will love visiting with old friends and new readers will be entertained by the characters, they might be slightly confused by references to previously mentioned events.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal mysteries and fans of Lynn Emery. A good read for a summer night, as the forces of good and evil battle with each other.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Reviewed by Beverly, APOOO Literary Book Review

Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 


Meet the Author
Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery.  Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.


#PowerRead: Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel by Tomeekha Pitre

Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel
by Tomeekha Pitre

Earth’s Quiet Chaos is set in a historically significant community in Los Angeles, California. Earth Hartley is an African American businesswoman whose life is consumed by caring for her older sister, Moon, and trying to save Moon from the consequences of her careless behavior and substance abuse.

Moon is paranoid, violent, erratic, and irrational. She thrives in her life of chaos, and has no regard for the pain it causes her family.

Ra, their brother, is the lifeline between his two sisters. He’s the glue that holds the family together until a horrible and violent act results in Moon’s arrest.

The story of Earth’s Quiet Chaos is about finding and holding onto true love while dealing with family issues that are considered to be taboo in the African American community, but are relatable to all.

5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Written By Amazon Customer 
This is a MUST READ, not only for the African-American community but for all. It is relatable, inspiring, educational and a very easy read. It is unique in it’s style and content. It was difficult putting the book down once I began to read it. After completing the book, I was encouraged and motivated again. It inspired me to begin meditation activities; to stay hopeful and to progress forward no matter what the circumstances of my or my families’ life were. The author blessed us with this story and helped to make the quiet chaos in my life more manageable.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Book Review Written By Paulette 
The author has written an excellent book about the emotional turmoil experienced between close siblings and their significant others when the eldest appears to be in denial about being controlled by substance abuse. It’s evident the three siblings, the main characters, love each other as they endure many struggles in their attempts to keep the family intact. Blessed with great parents who instilled spiritually-driven values, the younger two are committed to doing whatever it takes to save their sister.

The character descriptions and actions are so vividly detailed you find yourself communicating with them and reluctantly putting the book down to sleep. Although the story was complete, I’m still hooked and crave more about the secondary characters who helped to make this story seem more real than fiction. I hope the author takes the hint and blesses us with a sequel.

Excerpt: Chapter 2

Rashidah and I giggle at ourselves as we walk from store to store in the open-air mall called The Grove. It’s a hot summer day and we duck into my favorite store to temporarily escape the blazing heat.

“I love the artistic vibe of the designs and fabrics in this store.”

Rashidah holds the tag on a cute shirt and murmurs

“Look at these high ass prices!”

We pick out some outfits to try on. I find some tops, pants and a dress to add to my wardrobe. We walk out of the store and look for a shady spot where it’s cool.

“Xavier will like me in the long summer dress, don’t you think?”

Rashidah doesn’t respond. After a short break, we continue shopping.

We hit up the computer store where she buys herself an iPad for scheduling client appointments. We grab a half veggie sandwich and salad from The Veggie Grill. We hit up every store at The Grove before heading to the Beverly Center.

“I want to treat myself to one of those small flat Louis Vuitton cross body purses.”

We find it at the Louis Vuitton store and then check out other stores that aren’t at The Grove.

Pleased with my purchases and delighted to spend time with Rashidah, the one who knows me best, I’m all shopped out.

“Rashidah, can you believe that I don’t have any plans tonight other than dinner with Ali and a dress rehearsal for the play?”

“Well, you never know. Maybe Xavier will surprise you and he’ll be the one sitting at the dinner table when Ali brings you to the restaurant.”

She has a half grin. She’s in the know of something that I’m not.

“Now that would be the surprise of a lifetime, but if something goes down, I’m ready to dress and impress. That’s for sure.”

Then it hits me to check my cell phone for the time. “Speaking of time, its 3:45. Are you ready to roll?”

“Yep, I think we’ve done enough financial damage for the day.”

“You’re right about that!”

We make our way to the parking lot, fill the trunk with our bags, and drive off.

We go to my place and, like we always do when we go shopping together, Rashidah comes in with her bags and we go through each and every item, trying them on as we help each other change. Rashidah takes down my locs and sections them into twisted bantu knots all over my head.

“Okay, here you go Earth, give it an hour and then we’ll take down the bantu knots and your locs will be slightly curly and I’ll do a quick style for your date tonight.”

“Please, dinner with Ali is not a date. We are friends and are going to catch up with each other. That’s all. Now, if Xavier is at the table that will be an entirely different story.”

“And that is what I’m talking about. We have to stay ready so we don’t have to get ready. So, you are going to pick out your dress and we are going to do your hair and makeup as if Xavier will be somewhere waiting to surprise you tonight.”

She’s in her beauty makeover mood. I’m excited about the thought Rashidah planted in my head. We begin our mission for me, Earth Hartley, to look like a million bucks for my man tonight wherever he may be and at whatever time he decides to show up.

“Besides, it is my B-Earth-Day today, I can look fabulous all day if I decide to do so.”

I need to keep myself in the moment and not get too excited and set myself up for a letdown.

This time of the year in southern California, the weather is unpredictable. But today is nice and hot so we go with it and choose the long summer lounge dress. It’s a sheer fabric so I glide into a white ankle length cotton slip to wear underneath. The dress fabric has water colored flowers of purple, yellow, orange, and green. The butterfly sleeves are elbow length and the front of the dress has a low V-neck. Since I am going out with Ali, who stands six feet, five inches, I put on my four inch gold sandals that tie up the leg.

When I turned 16, my Baba gave me one yellow gold and one white gold chain necklace, one with an Ankh pendant and the other with a Gye Nyame pendant. Both pendants have a crystal planted in the middle. I fasten the white gold chain. The end of the Ankh hangs perfectly at my cleavage. I keep on the earrings that Rashidah gave me and add white gold and yellow gold bangles, and the gold Ankh ring that Momma gave me a long time ago on my right hand and a turquoise ring that Baba gave me on my left hand.

Rashidah takes down the bantu knots, pins up the back and allows the locs to fall in the front to frame my face. She beams with the look of a proud Mother.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Tomeekha Pitre. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel by Tomeekha Pitre

About the Author
Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She is a zealot for multi-media art and community advocacy for artists.

Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects.

Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self.

FB: TomeekhaPitre
Instagram: Tomeekha
Twitter: @tomeekha



#PowerRead: All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude by Skywalker Payne

All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude
A Quest for Wholeness. A Creative Non-Fiction book
by Skywalker Payne

Now is the Only Time to Begin Your Mindfulness Practice

Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and registered nurse, Skywalker Payne unites spiritual and health benefits of mindfulness and gratitude. Using a conversational style, she shares scientific studies, spiritual insights, personal stories, and poetry to reveal how these practices can enrich your life. You not only share one woman’s journey, but also learn techniques and approaches to integrate mindfulness and gratitude into your daily life.

* You can end overwhelm.
* You can live a fulfilling life of health and vitality.
* You can be aware and appreciative of every precious moment.

A profound book that sets the reader thinking about big subjects, all within the context of mindfulness. Skywalker introduces the idea of how mindfulness could transform more than just individual’s lives, but also how we as a society govern ourselves. She includes her own process through a mindfulness course, demonstrating commitment and insights that are useful for anyone considering learning about mindfulness. A thought-provoking and inspiring read. – Jane Duncan Rogers, Author of Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth

Book Reviews for Skywalker Payne 

An honest, authentic look into the wonderful mind of Skywalker Payne. If you are working on improving or perfecting your mindfulness practice, pick up this book.
– Tom Morkes, CEO of Insurgent Publishing

“All That Is” – a beautifully written book. It’s meant for all peoples. Before I got a copy my perception of gratitude and mindfulness was guided by my Christian teachings and knowledge acquired as a scientist. After I immersed myself in the read, I became reeducated and had a deeper appreciation of the themes gratitude and mindfulness. Through Skywalker’s stories – some personal – I learned ways by which I could make that deep profound connection with my inner self, with nature, and ways to express gratitude – not just to others, but for everyday living and situations. One mustn’t be rich or famous to attain contentment. All one needs, as Skywalker projects via her book, is to search within and adopt a simple yet wholesome approach.”
– Uzoma Okoroafor,

Excerpt from All That Is


I practice Tibetan Buddhism. Vipassana, the meditation technique that led Jon Kabat-Zinn to develop MBSR is from this tradition. Today was the day for me to practice Gutor in preparation for Tibetan New Year.

My teacher, Dungse Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche explained, “In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition the Gutor Reversing Practices work for future prosperity in general and help in removing obstacles to life in particular.”

Of course as a solo practitioner, my practice is limited but I do my best. Another important practice on this day is house cleaning. And once again, in my unmindful manner, I took on more than I should have. But, I achieved my most important objectives.

Mindfulness was not in my thoughts as I worked but I did pay attention to each task and worked as efficiently as I could. The sun shone brightly and when I stepped on the porch to shake out the dust mop, the temperature was comfortable without a jacket. So, I said to Brian, “Do you want to go for a walk?”

“I don’t know, I’m still going through my Facebook newsfeed.”

“Well, I might go by myself.”

After doing a little more work, I prepared lunch. I was aware of my preparation. I speeded up the process by tearing several leaves of spinach instead of tearing one leaf at a time. As I prepared the food, I offered it to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This is a form of Buddhist prayer and blessing. Eating was as enjoyable as yesterday. The sun streamed through the window and its reflection sparkled over the bay.

I watched four small motorboats speed over the water. This spinach salad was easier to eat than the kale and lettuce of the day before, the tastes and textures smoother. I heard the crunch as I chewed the walnuts and sunflower seeds. And even though I talked with Brian, I maintained attention on the food I ate. I looked at the water and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. A walk called to my mind but my body, and my legs particularly, felt sore and tired. Brian wanted to finish his Facebook news feed, vacuum, and take a bath before we left.

“What time is it?” I asked.


“Why don’t we just plan to go for a walk tomorrow because you’re not going to be ready in time.”

I didn’t tell him that my legs were too sore for me to try and walk the rocky beach. But, I could not resist the seductiveness of the bright sun and clear blue skies that come so infrequently I treasure them like discovered gold. So, I used taking the grocery bags to the car and checking the mailbox as my brief escape into the sunshine.

Homer is a tourist town with a permanent population of over 5,000. It has a reputation for being an artistic and free-spirited, creative community. This reputation was developed in the sixties by a progressive group of people called the Barefooters. Yes, they walked barefoot. But, in actuality, Homer is like any other small town. People are initially welcoming and superficially friendly. And, as in any small town, developing true friendships is a slow process.

We came to Homer with the hope of making it our home. I was recruited by the local hospital to be a labor and delivery nurse and also to work on the medical-surgical ward. During the brief phone interview with the unit manager I told her my medical-surgical experience was limited to a four-bed ward in the Hopi Health Care Center in Polacca, Arizona. The center did not perform surgery and only cared for low level, acute illnesses, elderly, and dying patients. The manager told me the Homer hospital had similar patients. Furthermore, I told her I had spent the last year as a school nurse. So, any discerning person would know my medical-surgical nursing skills were limited considering I’d only been nursing for six years. But she offered me the job.

So, Brian and I trekked off to the last great American frontier and drove to Alaska. That is I drove and he navigated. Brian does not drive. I was willing and up to driving through the states, but the thought of driving through Canada did not appeal to me. We were fortunate to get a cabin on the Alaska Ferry in Bellingham, Washington and ride through the beautiful northwest waters. The ferry ride was the most enjoyable part of our travel. We traveled from Washington State, through the northern waters, passing most of Canada, ending in southern Alaska at a small town called Haines.

Driving kept me in a state of constant stress. The car was packed to the hilt and the weight caused it to accelerate going downhill. Unfortunately, the roads going west and northward are along mountainous areas. So the drive was a continuous succession of steep ascents and descents.

But we survived the journey and arrived without mishap. We have a beautiful view of Kachemak Bay ringed by snow capped mountains and glaciers.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Skywalker Payne. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase All That Is – Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude by Skywalker Payne

From the Author 


#PowerRead: Praying My Way Out of the Struggle by Sierra J.D.

Praying My Way Out of the Struggle
by Sierra J.D.

Most people have a special place in their hearts for their hometown, but with 18-year-old Trina Capone, it’s the complete opposite. Trina despises Baton Rouge, where she has been born and raised. Following the divorce of her parents, Trina has had to take on the responsibility of being the woman of the house, including raising the siblings left to her when her mother becomes addicted to drugs. All Trina wants to do is graduate high school. But one thing after another happens that could either break her or make her into the woman she desires to be – all things opposite of her crack-fiend mother.
Little does Trina know, the very city that she couldn’t wait to get away from becomes the city she doesn’t want to leave. As a person who has never accepted that life could either break her or make her into the woman she desires to be – all things opposite of her crack-fiend mother. The love of God the Almighty leaves her speechless and craving for more of his tender love and mercy.

Praying My Way Out of the Struggleis the first installment of the seven-novel Family Matters series. The Family Matters novels brings you into the lives of individuals who are members of or are connected to Kingdom Bound Church. The series sheds light on marriage, drugs, addictions, teenage pregnancy, abuse, suicide, identity, racism, sexuality, gangs, crime, the laws of the United States, and more.

Excerpt: Praying My Way Out of the Struggle

What’s up? It’s your girl Trina. So, I heard through the grapevine that you heard about me and wanted to see what all of the hype was about for yourself. Good for you! I’m so delighted that you believe that my story is worth your precious time. Do you honestly believe that you can handle all of my drama though? Do you, really? Well, let me give you a lil’ introduction so that you can prepare yourself better for what is to come.

Well, to start off, today is my 18th birthday. You would think that I would be going out to the club and enjoying myself, but I’m not. Unlike other 18-year-olds, I have real responsibilities to tend to other than wasting a wad of cash to get pretty and stand up in a club all night. My responsibilities are not “normal” things like doing chores around the house and finishing homework before I can ask for permission from my parents to go somewhere. My responsibilities includes studying hard to pass all of my classes, so that I can graduate high school in eight months, working to pay household bills and to keep food in the house, making sure everyone in my house has decent clothes to wear to accommodate this bipolar Louisiana weather, making sure that my mama doesn’t do anything crazy to get me evicted from my apartment, and taking care of four children in addition to myself and my unborn baby. So no, I’m not celebrating the birthday that I’ve always looked forward to celebrating by club-hopping like most of the girls in my senior class gets to do. Don’t get me wrong. There ain’t nothing wrong with shakin’ ya rump-shaker and getting wasted if that’s what you like to do. 

You don’t have to worry about me judging because the Bible says let he that is without sin cast the first stone and baby I am nowhere near to being like Jesus just yet. So keep on doing what you do just as long as you get it right before the second coming of Christ. But as for me going out to the club, I was never really able to do that even if I did want to. It seemed like every time I was given the opportunity to experience the night life, another baby that I had to take care of was getting ready to pop out. When you have four kids at home who need you to watch over them, you can’t be risking their safety to sweat your weave out in a hot club and walk out smelling like marijuana.

And heck no, they ain’t my kids! But, you might as well call ’em mine, though, because my mama sure ain’t taking care of ’em. Ol’ good for nothing, nappy-headed a-…Hold up, let me not get started on her just yet and bring it back to me because I could write a whole ’nother book about the mother I ain’t had since I was around two years old. Speaking of, you know what I would really enjoy doing on this birthday? Taking a walk with Jesus to that birthday. I don’t remember much about it. Based on what my daddy says and the pictures that I have, I feel as if it was one of the most exciting days of my life…other than finding out that I was going to be a mother. The pictures from that day proves that everything was as happy and peaceful as my daddy describes, too. In every picture of me, I am smiling hard and clinging to my mama and daddy, surrounded by family that I haven’t seen since before my parent’s divorced.

The pictures shows a side of my mama that I don’t remember. She was happy. She looked healthy. She looked like a real mother. My mama was thick as a milkshake with silky black hair pulled up into a high ponytail with a bang. She was a showstopper, dressed in a Coogi shirt, black high-waist pants, and kitten heels. Her smile is contagious in those pictures, but then I am reminded of what the reality is when it comes to her, and I start to cry. My daddy said that she was even a tongues-speaking, prayer warrior back then. A mixture of being hurt by family and the church took a toll on her heart, and she turned to the devil for healing.

Now, her sins cause my hell. But not today Satan! I will not allow you to get me emotional on my birthday. I work tirelessly every day taking care of what she should and today, one out of 365 days, I choose to be happy.

My introduction is probably scaring you off, so let me switch gears. This story is about me, Trina Capone, and the people that takes a part of making me all that I am. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a cool chic. I respect you if you respect me. I’m ’bout my business. I’m a fashionista, I’m a hairstylist in the making. I value my free education. And, currently, I am preparing myself to be a born again Christian. I know where I have been, and I know where I am headed. This Christian thing is new to me, so I ask that you bear with me through it all as I try to conquer the old me and defeat the enemy. I’m far from perfect, and you are, too, so keep that in mind as you are strapping on your six-inch heels. While you’re at it, you might want to grab a bag of popcorn, turn your cell phone on silent, log off of all of your social network accounts, and buckle up and get ready. It’s time you let go of that wall you’re holding onto. My life is pure struggle. And, in the struggle, there are no training wheels to stable you up; you just have to keep getting up until you get your balance. I don’t know how this story will end, but I know that God is in control. The elders at the church that I recently became a member of told me that when God wants you to grow, he makes you uncomfortable. I’ve been uncomfortable with my life for a while. Well, my growth must gonna be phenomenal because my discomfort has been severe and as long – the entire span of my life.

Chapter One


“Twenty dollars at pump one,” I told the cashier as I handed her Josh’s gas money.

Josh, my boyfriend, claims that he has a special day planned for my birthday, which started out with a shopping spree. Since I’m four months pregnant, there isn’t too much that I can do now a days, but clap and shout in church. So I’m really looking forward to seeing where else we’ll go. I know you’re probably thinking about how big of a hypocrite I am right now for being pregnant by my boyfriend, but I just recently started building a relationship with God, and he ain’t done working with me yet. I wasn’t worrying about what God thought about me back then, but I surely thank him for carrying me through all that I go through now.

“Well how you been, son?” a dark skinned, heavy set woman was asking Josh as I was walking back to the car. Son? What the heck does she mean “son”?  We’ve been together for a good year and some months and I’ve met everyone in Josh’s family…well, except for his mama. The only thing that I know about that situation is that his daddy raised him because his mama wasn’t being a good role model in his life, whatever that means. His parent situation is screwed up, and so is mine. So, I don’t judge. I guess that’s why our relationship is as strong as it is.

I looked at Josh and the woman crazy as I opened the passenger’s door to his white Camaro and got inside. The music was so loud in the car that I couldn’t even get my ear hustle on. All that I could see was Josh getting angry, walking towards the passenger’s door. When he opened the door, I got a lil’ scared.

“What?” I asked, like I was minding my business the whole time.

“Man…Trina, this my mama. Mama, this is my girl,” Josh introduced.

“Hey,” I said as I waved to the lady that stood on side of him. With that attitude, I don’t know whether to be happy or not. Obviously, all of his good looks came from his daddy, because she is nowhere near being as good-looking as Josh is. She bit her lips in a manner that oozed sex and dirty, inappropriate thoughts as she stared back at me, making me feel very much violated.

“I know you from somewhere,” she said.

“No, you don’t know me because I surely don’t know you,” I said, nodding my head no.

“Yeah…You one of Tina girls, huh? The oldest one, right?”

“Yeah. How you know my mama?” I said with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

“Everybody knows your mama, baby girl… You pregnant?” She said, pointing in the direction of my stomach. I know you see I have a lil’ pudge in my stomach huh?


“For my son?”

Who else would it be for woman?


“Uh huh, you a fine lil’ thing,” she said right before Josh slammed the door and got into the car. I know she felt hurt when he drove off, leaving her there looking stupid all by herself.

“What’s up, bae, talk to me,” I said, as we turned into Sherwood Lane apartments, where I live.

“I ain’t like the way she was looking at you,” he replied, parking in front of my apartment building.

“Yeah, I ain’t like that either. She’s a lesbian or something?”

“Yeah, and one of my ex-girlfriends is her girlfriend right now.”


“I know right…and I’ll be damn if I let her take you,”


“Don’t do it. Don’t let that situation make you curse. You haven’t cursed all day, so don’t do it,” he said as soon as he saw me rolling my neck about to go into a cursing binge.

“Jesus, please be my tongue,” I said, holding my chest and nodding my head, like I was out of breath. “Oooh, Lord, thank you because you know I was about to put you in your place, right? But, bae, why are we here? I thought we were going somewhere else?” I said getting out of the car, after him.

“I have to get this sell right quick,” he replied, opening the back door.

“While we’re supposed to be celebrating my birthday? Are you fu- freaking serious?”

“Yeah, I promise we gon’ go where I wanted to take you in like a hour or two,”

“Man forget it, whatever!” I yelled, as I started walking up the steps to the apartment that I was forced to call home.

My mama, my lil’ siblings, and I live here and I hate it, but it’s better than living how we use to live, with the crack man. After I saw him beat the living day lights out of my mama, I called my daddy so fast, and he moved us into an apartment the next day. We left her behind since it seemed like she didn’t mind having the crack man go upside her head, not if it meant she got laid, as well as supplied with goods she craved.

The new apartment my dad moved me and my siblings into was decent at first. I could tolerate it being near the hood and having the lil’ wannabe drug dealers roaming around the apartment buildings because nobody bothered me. But, the intolerable drama began when my lil’ sister Kayla brought Mama home with her after school one day. She made herself right at home and went ahead and moved in. It hurts living with the fact that I have a fiend for a mother and that she cares more about drugs than her own kids. It’s a good thing my parents were married when I was born into this messed up world, or I would be just like my lil’ sisters and brother. They don’t know who the heck their daddy is.

So I guess you’re wondering what happened to my daddy, huh? Well, he divorced Mama after she had the first two kids by men she didn’t even know, just for crack. Daddy accepted the first child, Kayla. But when Mama got pregnant with Nina, he had enough of Mama’s problems. Who the men are? We have no idea. She doesn’t even know her own self. If you happen to know, please shoot them in the groin area for busting inside of my mama. I bet that’ll hurt! Oh, Lord, I didn’t really mean that. Forgive me, Jesus! I know, I know. The power of life and death lies in the power of the tongue. I’m sorry.

Anyway, my daddy tried taking me, and Kayla and Nina, who were then babies, to live with him in Houston, but my mama carefully broke into my daddy’s apartment and took us back to Baton Rouge in the middle of the night. Since then, she has given birth to two more virtually fatherless kids for crack! I don’t know how they came out healthy, though. I guess God must’ve really been watching over her during her pregnancies.

I’m glad that she tied her tubes after the last one, though, because she doesn’t even take care of the kids that she has now. And, I’m pretty sure that the good Lord knows that I can’t bear taking care of anymore of her kids. She’s so lucky that I take care of us well enough that everyone around the ‘hood hasn’t ever bothered to call Child Protection Services on her. But, I can’t take all of the credit because my daddy helps me out a lot. If it wasn’t for having a man like him as my daddy, I don’t know what I would do. It’s been him assisting me in teaching my sisters about hygiene and my brother about guy things. If it wasn’t for my daddy, I wouldn’t have known that my brother and baby sister were only supposed to eat certain food as babies. If it wasn’t for my siblings, I would’ve been got away from here and moved to Houston with my daddy. But, here I am playing a mommy of four while my mama waste her life away.

Most people love their hometown, but I could care less about this messed-up city. How can I love my hometown when the people here are helping my mother kill herself? They don’t call it Jigga City for nothing. Whoever thought of that nick name, knew just what they were talking about. I don’t know how much more I can take living around this mess. That’s why my daddy helped me get a lil’ townhouse because I can’t take the thought of having to raise my child around this mess. It’s not too far from where we live now, but it’ll be just enough of distance for me to finally be at peace and to better work on my relationship with God. At the apartment with my mama, it’s so hard for me not to cuss or want to fight my mama and fast-tail 16-year-old sister. The townhouse is on a better street, near the schools that my siblings and I attend, and surrounded by couples who have been living there for decades. I’ll take the nosey neighbors and quiet streets over going outside and seeing people make drug deals in the open and prostitutes walking around at night. It’s enough my lil’ sisters and brother got exposed to that life. But, I refuse to expose my unborn baby to this whenever he or she gets here.

It is a shame that my daddy has to call me every day, worried about if I’m gon’ lose my mind and kill myself one day. I don’t know what put it into my mind to finally take my godsister Larissa’s offer of going to Kingdom Bound Church with her that day, but I haven’t been the same since I left. So as long as I continue to take a walk with Jesus, I know that I’ll be alright. Taking those walks has saved so many females, including my mama, from getting their butts whooped these last few months. The good Lord knows if it had not been for me trying to turn my life over to him, I would have been knocked out about two of those females for picking with me behind my man, and I would have been slapped my mama upside of her head for all that she does to make my life more difficult than it already is! But, God! They better thank the Lord that I’m trying to change and get my life together before my baby gets here.

In a couple of months I’m gon’ have my own little one, and I’m gon’ be the best mother a child could ever have, the total opposite of my mama. It kind of sucks that it looks like I’ll be raising my child as a single mother, though, because, at the rate that Josh is going with selling drugs and all, our relationship will not last much longer. Our bond is strong, but the way that my God is set up, I can’t have one foot in the church and the other foot in the world. Although I love him with all of my being, I have to do what’s right. If marrying me and getting our lives right for the Lord isn’t in the plans, we will just not be together.

“What’s good Trina?” Carl, one of the ‘hood young drug dealers, asked. This dude picks with me every day, knowing dang well I can’t stand his black behind. I don’t even know why he continue to bother talking to me when he knows he’s going to get ignored, just like I’ve been doing for the past year and a half. I guess he’ll never learn.

“Uh, huh, there you go ignoring me again,” he added, after watching me open the door without acknowledging his presence.

“Get a life, lil’ boy!” I said as I walked into the apartment.

“I’ight, I’ll leave you alone. You lucky you’re JJ’s girl because I would’ve been tapped that there just like Trey doing your lil’ sister right now.”

“What?!” I yelled, stepping back into the doorway.

“Awwww, girl, cut that s*$%out.”

“No, dude. You cut that cursing out. You’re lucky I’m even letting you talk to me right now, so check your mouth.”

“Awwww, that’s right. They say you a lil’ church girl now. But, I was just saying, don’t try to act all surprised n’ sh-stuff. You know that’s nothin’ new. When ya’ moms ain’t got no money for her goods, you already know the deal. It’s either Nina or Kayla to spread them legs, and Lil’ NiNi wasn’t home. You know Roscoe been wanted her lil’ fine a- self.”

“Mess with Nina, and y’all will mess up y’all life. And, I promise you that I’ll have y’all family dressed in all black. Take it how you want to!” I said, before slamming the door in his face.  I locked the door and turned around to a real messed-up scene that I’m tired of witnessing: my lil’ brother rocking my baby sister to sleep on the couch while my mama is getting high in the kitchen. Yeah, she’s one bold woman, and she doesn’t give a rat’s behind when or where she’s getting her fix at because, in her mind, that’s her only purpose in life. Nope, she doesn’t even care that she is contaminating the minds of her young children. I really think that she wants us to be just like her. Broke, with no goals, just wasting our lives away, while we’re strung out on a crack addiction.

My mind is officially made up: I can’t take this mess no more; I’m moving into my apartment today, and I’m taking all of my siblings, except for Kayla, with me. I’ve been around drugs practically my whole life, and I’m just tired of it! Father God, work on my tongue, Lord! Don’t curse, Trina, don’t curse, Trina, don’t curse!

“And, you call yourself a woman?!” I said, standing onside the couch, facing the kitchen.

“And, I hear that you are so say calling yourself a Christian now, huh? Walking around here, pregnant for a dope dealer, and talking to me any kind of way you want to. You ain’t no woman! The Bible says to honor your mother, and what you doing?” she boldly told me back.

“God still working on me, and you of all people doesn’t have any room to judge me, woman. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have a couch to sleep on or a pot to pee in, so watch it. I’m more woman than you’ll ever be, that’s for sure! I didn’t ask for this life or to grow up earlier than I was supposed to. YOU made me! And, don’t you find it kinda’ hard for me to honor you? You don’t even give a fu- you don’t even care that Scooby and Bunni are right there watching you get high!”

“You better watch who you talking to like that, lil’ girl, before I make you mad and call on your lil’ Joshy boy for my goods. And, don’t worry about what I’m doing! They alright!” she said as she began to clean up her lil’ drug shop on the kitchen counter.

“You’re bold. Call him, and see me pop out the lil’ bit of brains that you have left.”

“Just for that, I will call him, and I’ll show him what it feels like to be with a real woman,” she said, twirling her hips around.

“You washed up piece of trash! If I find out that you ever even try to put your finger on him, I’ll make you wish you never had me! C’mon, Scooby, and take Bunni with you!” I told my little brother as I began walking towards the bedroom.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sierra J.D. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

About the Author

Author Sierra J.D. is a wife and mother, living in her home state of Louisiana. Sierra found her love of writing at twelve years old when she was first introduced to poetry in Junior High School. She enjoyed crafting stories into poems and a few years later wrote her first novel. Writing allowed Sierra to escape depression during her adolescence and she has since created a goal to make a career out of her passion of writing. With her collegiate degrees giving her the skills and foundation needed to be a successful business woman, Author Sierra J.D. has decided to enter the literary world as an author and Independent Publisher. With the assistance of her husband, Dion, the couple founded Destined Eloquence Publishing. The Mission of Destined Eloquence Publishing is to publish works that will bring awareness and help to various issues of our day and time as well as inspire, uplift, and motivate.

Purchase Praying My Way Out of the Struggle

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#PowerRead: One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy

One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy

What does crazy look like? Let Deborah tell it, it’s the reflection that looks back at her in the -mirror. She has a career she loves, two beautiful children and a handsome and successful husband. Her life seems to be the blueprint almost every woman she knows would kill to live. But working full-time, being a full-time mother, full-time wife and a full-time Sunday only Christian seems to be taking its toll on her. With all the scheming and shenanigans Deborah orchestrated to get this lifestyle, she might have to come up with a whole set of new ones to maintain it.

Lynox is Deborah’s husband who she thanks God for putting back into her life after a game of cat and mouse that defies the laws of romance. He feels that all Deborah needs is to let her hair down, maybe make some new friends and live a little. When Deborah agrees and then suspects Lynox of having an affair with the woman that he suggested she form a friendship with, will he live to regret his own advice?

Excerpt: One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy


“You can’t leave me!” Deborah yelled at Lynox, spittle flying from her mouth. She looked like a madwoman. She felt like a madwoman. Her hair was in disarray, and perspiration had beaded up on her forehead. It was a wonder she didn’t have foam caked up in the corners of her mouth. She was acting rabid, like the victim in a science fiction horror movie who had failed to escape the vicious plague that was attacking all of Earth.

She needed help; that was no longer the million-dollar question. The question now was, why hadn’t she gotten the help she so desperately needed, or rather, why hadn’t she continued getting the help she’d once been receiving? For a minute there she had felt that she’d been doing so well that she didn’t need any help. There had always been the possibility that if she fell back into her slump again, she could just pick up where she’d left off in her treatment. Not only had some of her old traits reared their ugly heads, but she was far worse off now than she had ever been before. What had started off as a manageable snowball was now an avalanche. If Lynox didn’t get out of the way, he’d be buried alive underneath it.

“I can leave you, I am leaving you, and I’m taking the kids with me,” was Lynox’s reply to his wife’s statement.

So now not only was her husband leaving her, but he was also taking their two sons with him? The rage that welled up in Deborah’s being was uncontrollable. That didn’t come as any surprise. She’d lost jurisdiction over her emotions a long time ago. At first, when her life had seemed to be getting hectic, she had managed somewhat. She’d hidden the darkness under the beam of an invisible flashlight. Outsiders couldn’t see the darkness or the object projecting the false lighting. But then, emotionally, it had felt as if one thing was piling on top of the other. Anger issues. Depression. Anxiety. The need to be in control. Compulsion for order.

There had been times, after researching the term, when she’d even thought she might be bipolar. Heck, maybe she had been experiencing a little bit of all of them, which was a recipe for disaster. With her husband standing in front of her, a suitcase in hand, and threatening to leave her, it looked like the recipe had been followed to a tee, and now the timer on the oven was sounding. It was done. Over. Finished. Kaput.

“Why are you doing this?” Deborah cried out. “Why are you hurting me?” Deborah stood there, blocking the closed bedroom door. She’d already told Lynox that he was leaving over her dead body. Those hadn’t merely been desperate words flung out of her mouth. She’d meant it.

“I was hurting you when I was pampering and pacifying you, instead of making you go do something about it,” Lynox told her.

“So now what?” Deborah raised her arms and then allowed them to fall to her sides.

“You call this helping me?”

Lynox shook his head. “No. I call this giving you the opportunity to help yourself.”

Lynox slowly walked toward his wife. It pained him so much to see her like this. He didn’t understand how a person’s emotions and behavior could shift so erratically. Why was it that he and Deborah could experience the best night in the world, but then Deborah would wake up mad at the world? Or how could one little thing that threw her off schedule or was out of order send her on a rampage?

Although Deborah loved her job as a literary agent and an editor, it was hard for Lynox to tell sometimes. Getting steady, good-paying projects was every freelance editor’s dream. But as an agent, sometimes Deborah could get overwhelmed by submissions or needy authors. So when all her projects collided or piled on top of one another, she often operated out of fear of not getting done what she already had on her plate before another healthy portion was served up. When Deborah was working on one project, her mind would already be on the next one, and the one after that. God forbid Lynox or the children needed her to do something for them. She’d bite their heads off just for asking.

For Deborah, there were instances when she felt pangs of guilt for feeling as though she’d put her job before her family. She’d be regretful, which would make her feel like less than a good wife and mother, sending her into a bout of depression. Everything about her life was like a double-edged sword, and now she was cutting up. Lynox had already received one wound too many. It was time for him to go, but Deborah wasn’t going to allow that without putting up a fight.

“I promise I’ll be better,” Deborah pleaded, looking into her man’s eyes. “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” Deborah bounced up and down like a child begging her parent to buy her something from the ice-cream truck.

Lynox rested his hands on Deborah’s shoulders. The gesture was both to comfort her and to make her stop bouncing. He could see that his leaving was eating her up. He was afraid. He really didn’t know what his wife would do after he walked out that door, but he was more afraid of what might happen if he didn’t.

“Don’t you get it, baby? I don’t want you to do whatever I want you to do. I want you to do what you need to do. You need help, and unless you feel that you need help and you get that help for yourself, things won’t get better.”

Lynox was right. The way Deborah stared into his eyes with no rebuttal was silent proof that she agreed. Still, if she did get help, she wanted him to be there by her side during the process.

“I will be getting help for myself because I want to,” Deborah said. “But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t doing it for the family too. I know if I’m better, then you guys will be better,” she said. Made sense too, because when she wasn’t happy, nobody was happy. Her misery seemed to eject from her pores, bringing everyone in the house down or forcing them to walk on eggshells. Even her nine-month-old son was whiny and cranky when Deborah was having a bad day or just a bad moment even.

“I will support you,” Lynox said. “For the sake of our children and our marriage, I will support you.”

Deborah exhaled a gasp of hot air. “Oh, yes. God, thank you!” Deborah threw her arms around Lynox and cried. This time hers were tears of joy and relief. She gripped his shirt, holding on to him as if she never wanted to let go. She didn’t want to let go.

“But I’ll just be doing it from another address.”

Instantly, Deborah’s demeanor changed. She stiffened, and her tears of joy seemed to stop midway down her cheeks. She pulled back from Lynox but still gripped his shirt.

“You’re dying to go out there and be with her, aren’t you?” Deborah glared at Lynox.

“That’s what your leaving is really about.”

“Be with who, Deborah?” Lynox noticed that Deborah’s eyes were turning wild. “No.

You know what? I’m not even about to do this with you. Not again.” Lynox removed Deborah’s hands from his shirt and walked over to the door. He turned to face Deborah. “Call me when you get some help . . . for real this time.” He opened the door, his back now to Deborah.

He should have thought twice about turning his back on Deborah. The Beats Pill speaker crashing against the door, missing Lynox’s head by inches, was proof of that. Lynox held the doorknob. He gripped it tightly, causing the palm of his hand to turn red. The veins in his hand were pulsating. He squeezed his eyes shut so hard that he got an instant headache. It was like déjà vu all over again from only a couple of months ago. He had to get out of there before things got physical, like they had the last time. He still carried far too much regret from that night to pile on more. He opened his eyes and took two steps out the door.

“You took vows. You said you would be with me until death do us part,” Deborah shouted at Lynox’s back.

Deborah’s words stopped Lynox in his tracks. He turned around and faced his wife.

“The death of what, though, Debbie? The death of being in love? The death of trust? Given how our marriage is disintegrating, the death of one of us? How many things have to die, things that are supposed to be the foundation of our marriage, before the marriage itself dies?”

Deborah had no reply for her husband. Sure, the vows they’d each read from the Bible and exchanged included the words “till death do us part.” But Lynox was right. Their vows didn’t specifically say that this death was the physical death of the husband or the wife. So many things had already died, some that probably couldn’t even be resuscitated. Deborah was willing to ride this thing out, though, until the wheels fell off. That was easy for her to say, considering that she was the one wearing them down until they did.

How had things gotten this bad? They were at the point of no return. And now she feared that once Lynox walked out that door, he wouldn’t return. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself knowing that she was the cause of her marriage being over, the cause of her family being split. She couldn’t live like that. She couldn’t live without Lynox. She couldn’t live without her family together as one. She couldn’t live. She wouldn’t. So allowing Lynox to walk out that door and go on with his life, leaving her on her own to bear such devastation, wasn’t an option. So Deborah did what she had to do to stop the pain before it ever hit.

( Continued… )

Meet the Author

BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy is the writer behind the five book series, “New Day Divas,” the three book series, “Still Divas,” the three book series, “Always Divas,” and the forthcoming three book series, “Forever Divas,” which have been coined “Soap Operas In Print.” She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secular books under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY.

This award winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country. Her children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.

In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying.

You can visit BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy at or email her at

Purchase One Sunday at a Time by E. N. Joy
(Christian Fiction)



#PowerRead: Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

When Mr. Right is Oh So Wrong

I’ll never let you go…Allina had always dreamed of hearing those words. But when her fiancé, Isaac, utters them, it isn’t a promise—it’s a threat. Scared and confused, with only moments before the wedding, Allina knows what she must do. Forget walking down the aisle; it’s time to run. Back to Michigan. Back to Kent.

Kent has loved Allina for longer than he can remember. Out of respect for their friendship, he’s never crossed the line, but when she turns up on his doorstep wearing her torn, tearstained wedding gown, the fire inside him ignites. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Allina feel safe—like the beautiful, desirable woman she is. But as Kent and Allina grow closer, and their passion pushes deeper, it’s clear that something bigger than a botched wedding still lingers between them . . .

Elle Wright Book Reviews 

“Simply put… Fantastic!!!”
– Tanishia Pearson-Jones on Her Kind of Man

“My favorite romance of 2015!!!”
–Tiffany Tyler on His All Night

“Scandal never read so good! Elle Wright wraps passion, desire and taboo into a delicious read.”
– Cheris Hodges on The Forbidden Man

“What an emotional journey! Elle Wright’s debut release, The Forbidden Man, will hit the right chord for romance readers. From the first few pages, drama unfolds and maintains a steady pace that keeps any sagging bits out of sight. The launch of this new series – Edge of Scandal – starts with a strong, compelling introduction of family and friends. Through Wright’s craft, we see the characters at their best and at their worst. As a result, tension and conflict intertwine to test the boundaries and stamina of the hero and heroine, providing us with rich content to devour. So now that Wright has us hooked, we eagerly await the next installment, His All Night.”
– USA Today on The Forbidden Man

“This gripping debut is packed with drama and a love triangle that will certainly tug at the old heartstrings. Ms. Wright’s entry into the world of romance is a memorable one that I’m sure readers will enjoy from the first page to the last.”
– J.D. Mason, Bestselling Author of the Beautiful, Dirty, Rich series on The Forbidden Man

“4 stars! Scorcher! An emotional story that causes one to evaluate just how much one’s past experiences should color one’s present. The portrayal of the heroine’s huge struggle with allowing anyone to get close to her and the hero’s patience and support are outstanding.”
– RT Book Reviews on His All Night

“From the first sexy encounter, it’s obvious this couple belonged together. Elle Wright weaves an angst-ridden story with smoking hot love scenes that will make you keep reading until the perfectly sweet conclusion.”
– Delaney Diamond, USA Today bestselling author on His All Night

Excerpt: Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

The doorbell rang. Kent rushed to the front door and swung it open. Allina stood before him in the doorway, her head down, clutching her purse against her chest. Closing his eyes, he slumped forward in relief.

“Allina?” He tilted her head up to get a good look at her face.

Letting his gaze wander over her, he took in the lightweight jacket she wore and the…wedding dress. It was dirty and ripped at the bottom. She was soaking wet, from head to toe. Her hair covered her face like a veil, her hands were clenched together, and her shoulders were slouched. Swallowing, he reached out and swept the hair out of her face.

“Allina,” he called to her softly. “Are you okay?”

Slowly, she raised her head. When their gazes met, he was hit with an overwhelming urge to hold her, which wasn’t really new. It just wasn’t normal. But he’d do anything in that moment to make it better. Her bottom lip trembled and he inched closer to her. When she let out a whimper, he pulled her to him in a tight hug.

As she cried into his chest, he whispered that she’d be okay, that he’d protect her, that he’d help her. But the more he assured her, the louder she cried. His chest tightened as he rubbed her back. His thoughts were spinning. What the hell had happened? He had so many questions, but God, please let her stop crying. It was pure torture. And he’d had the nerve to think Morgan was soft. He hated to see anybody he loved cry. But Allina…she wasn’t an overly emotional person. In all the years he’d known her, he’d only seen her cry a handful of times. That last time had been here, the last time he’d seen her. An ache settled in his throat as she sobbed.

When the tears finally tapered off, he glanced out the door and noticed the cab still sitting in the driveway. Reluctantly, he tapped her arm lightly. She pulled back and her big, glassy eyes stared back at him. He swept his thumbs under her eyes.

“Let me go take care of the fare, okay?”

She nodded, setting her purse on a small table by the door.

“I’ll be right back,” he said gently.

He pulled his wallet out of his pocket and ran out to the cab. After he paid the driver, he returned to the house and kicked the door closed behind him. Wrapping an arm around her, he led her into the living area.

She tugged off her small jacket, giving him a complete view of the form-fitting silk dress. Without a word, she dropped down on the couch. He sat down next to her, their knees touching. “It’s going to be okay,” he murmured, rubbing her arms. “I’ll take care of you.”

Peering up at him, a pained expression in her eyes, she let out a slow breath. “I didn’t get married. I ran. I didn’t even think to change clothes. I just had to get out of there. I bought a train ticket, and then I fell at the station. My dress is ruined,” she cried. “Everything is ruined. I’m ruined.”

He grabbed a box of Kleenex off the coffee table. “You’re not ruined. Stop saying that. Can you tell me what happened?”

“I don’t have anything with me, obviously,” she continued. He could tell she was trying to pull herself together. She cupped a hand over her mouth and let out a muffled sob. “My phone broke. I dropped it, and then Isaac took it.”

He’d replace her phone in the morning, but he had to know… “Did he…hurt you?” he asked. Kent steeled himself for her answer. If he hurt her, I’ll hurt him.

Allina closed her eyes and hugged herself. Shaking her head, she said, “Not really, not physically.” Her hands gripped her elbows.

Her tears continued to fall unchecked. He grabbed a few tissues and wiped her eyes, then her cheeks. “What did he do?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you. I promise. But do you mind if I take a shower, get out of this dress? I can’t stand being in it another minute.”

Sighing, he nodded. “Whatever you need.” It wasn’t a surprise that she’d changed the subject without answering his question. Allina did things on her own time, in her own way. And he’d wait. He always did.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Elle Wright. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright
Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series

Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.

Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series 

Meet the Author
Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

Visit Elle’s Amazon Author Page



#PowerRead: Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C.

Life & Love: The Journey In Verse
by Pat C.

Life and Love – The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” – Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton Secondary School Principal

Excerpt from Life & Love: The Journey In Verse

Romance Section/ Pg 36:  This poem was written about two soul-mates, who had met again years later. This was written as an invitation to embrace the gift of a second chance by sealing it with marriage.

~A New Song~ 

I want to write a new song with you.
The harmony will be tighter,
The tone deeper, the melody richer,
The chorus louder and it shall repeat itself more than before.
The rhythm will be mellow and sure.
Our new song will remain a classic,
A love story second only to our first.
Come, let’s write the final version,
‘Til death do us part.

Pg 31:  This poem was tells of love and intent of an affectionate relationship, leading to a well rounded marriage. It express hope, delight and commitment.

~Please Allow Me~

For all the years I loved you and was not present,
Please let allow me to love you… more and more each day.
For all the kisses I didn’t get to place on your sweet lips,
Please allow me to kiss you… slow and long.
For all times we missed holding hands,
Please allow me to hold your hand gently in mine…’till the end of time.
For all the laughter we missed sharing,
Please allow me to laugh with you…on and on.
For all the moments we missed in each other’s arms,
Please allow me to hold you tight…never letting go.
For all the moments we missed,
In the bliss of us,
Please allow me to give all of me to you now…until the end

Pg 28:  This poem was written after the breakup/separation, in attempt to get the attention of a mate, letting them know the importance and necessity of their love.

~My Table~

My table for two will soon be our table.
A place where we will enjoy the blessing of each other,
Eat great food, and drink fine wine.
A place where we will look into each other’s eyes,
And see the reflection of a love we’ve waited a lifetime for.
A love that will grow and get sweeter with time.
At our table, we will discuss
Family, friends, foe, and current events,
It will be our sanctuary of love,
The bridge to our blissful bed of love and back.
A place of prayer and romance,
Telling each other secrets, sharing hopes and dreams.
The realization of a divine love made in heaven,
With continual renewal and verbal profession
Of our love for one another.
A love built on mutual love and adoration.
Our table will always be an extension of our love
For family, friends, or a passerby in need.
This my love, is my table.
Soon to be our table.

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of Pat C., author of “Life & Love: The Journey In Verse”, a collection of poems. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C. 

About the Author

Pat C. was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pat is a mother, grandmother, poet, trainer, a certified life coach and now author. Pat C. possesses a natural gift for coaching and encourages all to live and love to the fullest.

Pat C. can be found on social media at:




#PowerRead: The Allundae of Earth and Mars: Sci-fi Bundle

The Allundae of Earth and Mars: Sci-fi Bundle 

CRIME-PHYTER by James Lee Nathan III

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” Lao Tzu

CRIME-PHYTER is a non-stop scifi trip, that spans three decades in the lives of four different people. All of whom are being manipulated towards one singular purpose, JUSTICE.

Story 1 – Revolves around the discovery of a mystical plant in south America and the life of one Kieran Church. He loses his wife and son to street violence and when the court system fails to convict, he strikes out on his own. But that is not the end or beginning of Mr. Church’s problems.

Story 2 – Is No free rides. It begins with the savage assault on a female member of the special forces. But the perps and their protectors, did not count on the involvement of a friend of hers. His justice is swift, but it comes with a cost.

Story 3 – I need an ALIBI, continues the story of Rachel Holt and her protector Paco, as the plant takes a full grip of both of their lives.

The final story is all about regret. It is called Not 4 Nuthin; when a reluctant arms dealer sells access and arms to terrorists that attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, he seeks not only revenge but redemption.

The mysterious plant is highly involved in the lives of all the main characters and the stories culminate in an unlikely conclusion.  No capes, no masks, only JUSTICE.

IBRAHIM UNITES by James Lee Nathan III

Are There No More Dragon Warriors? The final chapter of the Dragon Warriors saga has arrived. The battle against evil resumes and the training of the Last Dragon Warrior continues. Siobhan leads and Ibrahim Unites!

ZION RIVERS, an international man of action and the last ALLUNDAE GRANDMASTER, is a member of an ALIEN race that came to earth over 40,000 years ago. He searches for the remnants of his kind, to halt a growing EVIL in the guise of cult leader LANDEN MUELLER (an Allundae of lesser stock known as the SANGANESE). 

Mueller has developed a cult following numbering in the tens of thousands and seeks to corrupt mankind by replacing established religions with his own perversion. He is allied with an ancient enemy of the Allundae, the FICAR EGO, from the planet MAKUWE in the CYGNUS star system. SWORN ENEMIES of the Allundae who now seek to colonize earth.

Mueller is clever in hiding his crimes and even more devious in assigning dark deeds to underlings. Zion has chased him down for decades and now has this elusive serial killer cornered. But he cannot defeat him alone. Powerful and resourceful in his own right, Zion enlists the help of another. RAHEEM FLOROS a racially ambiguous man, a veteran, capable researcher and single parent suffering from PTSD; who just so happens to be afraid of the dark. An unlikely pairing, but Zion requires his assistance. Raheem is the key to the last battle and does not know it.

Sold separately, these ebooks have a suggested price of $16.98
Buy them together for $8.99 now on Leanpub! 

Book Excerpt: Ibrahim Unites

His Holiness

The Mayor intercedes on Landen’s behalf, and now he sits in the offices of the Arch Bishop waiting for His Holiness the Cardinal. The huge office is dark and Landen sits in an even darker corner for effect. Only his brown Italian leather loafers are visible. The door swings open and the Arch Bishop along with two aides hurries through and into the dark suite.

“Is he here?” the Bishop asks. “I have no time to play games, where is he” A cough interrupts the Bishop from a dark corner. He now sees the brown loafers and something else.

“You pious men are always worried about your time. I am here to tell you that your time is running out.” Two eyes peer through the dark corner like a hot knife through butter. They are amber, gold, and rather large, resembling those of a large predator. One of the aides faints. The Bishop glances at his aid as Landen Mueller fills the dark space with his presence.  Arch Bishop Rhys Simmons, is not a man who yields to intimidation. He excuses his staff members and raises the lighting within the space. Once they are, alone he speaks to Mueller.

“Mr. Mueller you can come out now. No one here will hurt you, in spite of your theatrics. Ya know the first time I beheld eyes like that on a man, was in the jungles of the Congo in 1967.” The Bishop pours two whiskeys and walks to a seating area in the suite.

“The Congo you say?” Mueller asks as he accepts the whiskey. “Yes if my research is correct, and it always holds up to scrutiny. The ‘Allundae’ were anchored on two major continents before spreading out in numbers in both 10,000BC and the early 12th century.” He sips the whiskey and places his tumbler on a table in front of Mueller.

“How have you managed to stay alive knowing this much information about the Allundae?” Mueller asks.

“Well I am not one if that is what you’re thinking.” He says in return, and then adds… “They hide in plain sight, silly man. Surely, how else would one of lesser bloodlines such as yourself, have ever been able to find them at all? Yet you have, but back to my story. The warrior fought off raiders from a rival tribe that sought retribution from a slight that occurred many years before. None the less, he dealt with them all, and the sight of this magnificent being wielding his ‘Cee’ and Obsidian blades against seven men was a thing to behold.” He sips his drink once again.

“So can I assume that you are no longer intrigued by such unexplained things anymore Bishop?” he asks.

“To the contrary Mr. Mueller, my curiosity and thirst for knowledge of the Allundae continues to this day.” The Bishop stands, and walks over to a massive oak desk.

“Sir you have caught me at a loss for words.” Mueller acknowledges.

“Mueller allow me to share three things about me and the church. One, I know who and what you are; two we are not intimidated or afraid of you; and lastly we are concerned and fearful of the one who hunts you.” The Bishop sits.

‘Is he going to propose an alliance before I have the chance to do the same? What concerns the church about Zion, more than my cult and emerging political power? Take your time here Mueller this old man is cagey.’

“Go on Bishop I am all ears.” Mueller says.

“The lesser of two evils is to deal with the devil you know first. I am much more confident in my abilities to work with a lesser than I am with having more of the Allundae appear in great numbers. The presence of an Alien race among us creates many issues for an institution steeped in 2000 years of dogma.” The Bishop’s eyes tell all.

“How would this infringe on anyone’s belief system? God did make the heavens and Earth, so why not other life forms?” Mueller says mocking the dilemma for religions with the existence of extraterrestrials.

“I can only assume that you want an alliance of some sort that will insure the continued rise of my message.” Mueller asks.

“Yes, with our support your cult will grow within our fold. However, understand that we will reserve the right to step away from you if called for. So do keep your spiritual rhetoric within bounds Mr. Mueller.”

“Yes of course Bishop but what of Zion?” Mueller asks.

“He is your concern but we will pressure the authorities to suspend their pursuits and harassment of your followers. That should give you room to work and eradicate your foe.” The Bishop pushes a button on the left corner of his desk, and the doors to the suite swing open.

“I guess we are done?” Mueller asks.

“Yes we are. The next time you see me we will be at the side of his holiness. That should be all the validation you need. Good night.” Five well-built guards escort Mueller out of the suite.  The Bishop pushes another button on his desk, which closes the door to the suite, and a holographic image appears behind him. An image of Cardinal Angelino Enrico appears and now speaks.

“He suspects nothing, my friend.” He says.

“Mueller is a cannibalistic narcissist who is hell bent on power. His kind is easy fodder for the Allundae, but this one has managed to elude them.” The Bishop says.

“Fine, we will continue to fan the flames of his confusion and coordinate his betrayal with Zion.” The Cardinal explains.

“Yes your Holiness. The devil we know is a great partner in maintaining our prestige in the world although the reason for his support defies all logic.” The Bishop pours more whiskey.

“Zion understands the need for hope in this world. Religion, in all of its forms, gives hope to men. But I fear man has outlived his Gods, and the time grows near for him to have hope and faith in himself.” the Cardinal says.

“Your eminence that is insane, we are the protectors of the faith and await the return of our lord and savior. How can you, of all people, suggest otherwise?” the Bishop says.

“Steady my friend, faith in our purpose and lord is strong and righteous. But I cannot say the same of man and his belief in us or God. The presence of these beings will illicit much acrimony on formal religion and its doctrines. So watch them both. You have studied their ways use this to our advantage and buy us time.” The Cardinal’s image disappears from behind the Bishop. He contemplates the possibilities of such a betrayal and its ramifications going forward and makes a decision to stay the course.

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, James Lee Nathan III. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Ibrahim Unites Print Edition Available Now:  

About the Author
James Lee Nathan III (JLN3)
, is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres. JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works, CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites, introduce readers to his Next Level Fiction experience. Read more about all of his books:



#PowerRead: Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Best Friends Forever 
by Kimberla Lawson Roby

In this page-turning marital saga, Roby tells the story of a woman who, only days apart, learns that she has breast cancer and that her husband is having an affair—yet this doesn’t stop him from leaving her for the other woman.

After being rejected by numerous literary agents and publishing houses in 1996, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby started her own company and self-published her debut novel. Now, Roby is releasing her 23rd family drama, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, which centers on a wife, her husband, breast cancer and infidelity. Roby has sold more than 2.6 million copies of her books and is the 2013 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER tells the story of Celine Richardson, her husband, Keith, and their 10-year-old daughter, Kassie. But this once loving marriage and happy family unit turn devastating when, only days apart, Celine is diagnosed with breast cancer and learns that Keith is having an affair. Worse, Keith still leaves her for the other woman. Celine then wonders how she’ll navigate the difficult process of surgery and additional cancer treatment, but comfort and support come in the form of Celine’s best friend, Lauren. They’ve been attached at the hip since they were children, and it is Lauren who’s there for Celine in her darkest moments. Of course, Keith may want to come back home, forcing Celine to consider some tough decisions relating to the marriage and otherwise—and for the very first time in her life, she wants to give up. Lauren vows to help her best friend in any way she can, but will it be too late?

Roby can discuss issues covered in this thought-provoking read that many also face in real life via Skype, video chats, teleconferences and over social media chats or in person meetings:  “Regardless of what family we’re talking about, breast cancer affects all colors, nationalities, and social status in a heartbreaking fashion—and sometimes so does infidelity in a marriage,” Roby says. “So, in BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, I wanted to show what happens when, only days apart, a woman discovers she has breast cancer and learns her husband is having an affair. Additionally, I wanted to explore how the family is affected when a husband leaves his wife for the other woman, and the woman’s best friend is forced to step in.”

Roby’s novels—which address true-to-life issues—have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Publishers Weekly magazines,, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and many others.

Chapter 1: Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby 

“Keith, do you know what time it is?” Celine Richardson asked her husband as he walked into their bedroom. She’d just turned on her lamp and was sitting against two pillows.

“Five a.m.,” he said, clearly sounding as though this was no big deal.

“And you think you can just leave the house and waltz back in here whenever you feel like it? You must be out of your mind if you think I’m going to put up with this kind of crap. I almost called the police to report you missing.”

Keith pulled his short-sleeve knit shirt over his muscular shoulders and dropped it on the chair. “Time got away from me.”

Celine folded her arms. “Where were you, Keith?”

“At a friend’s. A bunch of us guys played cards and had a little too much to drink. And I fell asleep.”

Celine laughed out loud. “And you think I believe that? You think I’m that naïve?”

“Believe whatever you want. That’s on you.”

“You have a lot of nerve staying out till the wee hours of the morning and then acting like you’re the one who’s upset. How dare you.”

“I’m upset because anytime a wife decides that her work is more important than her husband, she shouldn’t worry one bit about where he’s going…or what he’s doing.”

“Excuse me? So you’re now staying out late and sleeping with only God knows who because you feel neglected? Please.”

“I’ve been telling you this for months. More like a whole year. But nothing’s changed.

You spend all your time online doing work for your clients, and that’s basically where things end with you.”

“That’s not true, and you know it.”

“Well, actually, you’re right. You spend lots of time with Kassie, but with the exception of our daughter, everything else revolves around your business. Which means there’s no time for me.”

“Why is it that you can spend all the time you want focusing on your career, but I can’t?

It took a lot of hard work for me to build up my client list, and it’s completely unfair for you to ask me to give that up. Especially since I’ve never asked you to give up anything.”  Keith was vice president of sales for a health care insurance company, and Celine had always supported him and encouraged him to excel every step of the way. So none of his complaints about her spending hours on her social media marketing business made sense.

It was as if he now despised the fact that she was finally seeing some real success with her career. She’d started her business five years ago, and she’d worked her behind off, doing everything she could not only to get it off the ground, but also to gain as much exposure as possible with small companies and major corporations. It was the reason she now sometimes had to pass on projects or refer clients to some of her colleagues.



#PowerRead: Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Comparing the real-life police shootings of African-American men to the fictional shooting in his novel that propels the plot forward, Pitts says that he “knew that Grant Park was timely, but I could not be coming out at a better time.”  Pitts is hoping to “fire up some dialogue” about race with his third novel, Grant Park (Agate Bolden, Sept.), which features an African-American journalist and his white editor, both veterans of the 1960s civil rights movement, who collide on the eve of Obama’s election as president. Malcolm Toussaint, the journalist, is “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of how Americans deal with race after hearing of an unarmed African-American being shot by Chicago police even as people are celebrating Obama’s historic presidential campaign and certain victory over John McCain.

Grant Park is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts’s gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.

Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King’s final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras as it unfolds. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper’s server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column’s publication.

While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint—at the same time dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activist—Toussaint is abducted by two improbable but still-dangerous white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Obama’s planned rally in Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as idealistic, impatient young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.

Praise for Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s novel Grant Park

“The state of US race relations in 1968 and 2008 is seen through the eyes of two veteran Chicago newsmen, one black and one white, in this opportune novel. . . . Pitts adroitly blends history with fiction and actual figures (King, Obama) with characters in a plot that builds suspense around the supremacists’ plans as anger between the races gives way to understanding. A novel as significant as it is engrossing.” —Booklist, starred review

“In the aftermath of this summer’s racially motivated mass murder in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist, there’s near-eerie prescience in Pitts’ historical novel. . .[Grant Park], with urgency and passion, makes readers aware that the mistakes of the past are neglected at the future’s peril.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This high-stakes, hard-charging political thriller from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Pitts (Freeman) tells the saga of two journalists, switching between the time periods of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination and election day 2008. Sixty-year-old Malcolm Toussaint is a popular black syndicated news columnist writing for the Chicago Post who has two Pulitzer Prizes and resides in a “trophy” mansion.

However, he has grown “tired” if not embittered over the frustrating lack of progress in race relations between whites and blacks. After receiving one too many racist emails from his readers, he responds by composing a blunt, scathing column, but his white editor, Bob Carson, kiboshes it. After Malcolm hacks into Bob’s computer and publishes the controversial column anyway, both men are deemed culpable and fired.

Following this, a pair of white supremacists kidnap Malcolm; they also reveal their heinous plan to detonate a “McVeigh bomb” in Grant Park when Barack Obama appears there, as the clock begins ticking to stop them. Pitts effectively builds the backstory in which young Malcolm witnesses King’s fatal shooting in Memphis, and young Bob falls in love with the political black activist Janeka Lattimore, who now resurfaces in his life.

The sharply etched characters, careful attention to detail, and rich newspaper lore propel Pitts’s socially relevant novel.” —Publishers Weekly Review for Grant Park


Martin Luther King stood at the railing, facing west. The moon was a pale crescent just rising in early twilight to share the sky with a waning sun. He leaned over, joking with the men in the parking lot below. A couple of them were wrestling playfully with James Orange, a good-natured man with a build like a brick wall.

“Now, you be careful with preachers half your size,” King teased him.

“Dr. King,” called Orange in a plaintive voice, “it’s two of them and one of me. You should be asking them not to hurt me.”

“Doc,” someone called out from below, “this is Ben Branch. You remember Ben.”

“Oh yes,” said King. “He’s my man. How are ya, Ben?”

Another voice yelled up from below. “Glad to see you, Doc.”

As Malcolm Toussaint moved toward King, it struck him that the preacher seemed somehow lighter than he had the last time Malcolm had seen him. It had been late one night a week before, by the Dumpsters out back of the Holiday Inn. The man Malcolm met that night had seemed… weighted, so much so that even Malcolm had found himself concerned and moved—Malcolm, who had long scorned the great reverend doctor, who had, in the fashion of other young men hip, impatient, and cruel, mocked him as “De Lawd.” But that was before Malcolm had met the man. That was before they had talked. Now he moved toward King, his mind roiling with the decision that had sprung from that moment, the news he had come to share. King, he knew, would be pleased. There would be a smile, perhaps a heavy hand clamping on Malcolm’s shoulder. “Good for you, Brother Malcolm,” he would say. “Good for you.”

Malcolm was vaguely amused to find himself here on this balcony, anticipating this man’s approval. If you had told him just a few days ago that he would be here, ready to go back to school, ready to embrace nonviolent protest, he would have laughed. But that, too, was before. Malcolm meant to raise his hand just then, to catch King’s attention, but a movement caught his eye. Just a reflected ray of the dying sun, really, glinting off something in a window across the street. Something that—he knew this instinctively—should not have been there. He wondered distractedly what it was.

King’s voice drew him back. “I want you to sing it like you’ve never sung it before,” he was calling to someone in the parking lot below. “Sing it real pretty.” And Malcolm realized he had missed something, because he had no idea what they were talking about. His attention had been distracted by… what was that?

“It’s getting chilly.” Yet another voice calling to King from below. “I think you’ll need a topcoat.”

“Okay, Jonesy,” King was saying. “You really know how to take good care of me.”

And here, the moment breaks, time fracturing as time sometimes will into its component parts, until an event is no longer composed of things happening in a sequence, but somehow all happens at once. And you can see and touch and live all the smaller moments inside the right now. This is how it is for Malcolm Toussaint now. King is laughing. Malcolm is taking a step toward him. King is straightening. Laughter is echoing from below. King is reaching into a pocket for his cigarettes. He is becoming aware of Malcolm on his left. His head is coming around. There are the bare beginnings of a welcoming smile. And Malcolm knows. Suddenly knows. And Malcolm is leaping, leaping across space, across time itself, becoming airborne—he was sure of it, that detail felt right, even though by this time King is barely six feet away. Malcolm grabbing two hands full of expensive silk, yanking Martin Luther King off balance, yanking him down hard in the same instant they all hear the popping sound like a firecracker, in the same instant he feels the soft-nosed 30.06 bullet whistle past his cheek like a phantom breath, in the same instant he falls awkwardly across King’s chest.  And then…


#PowerRead: Lawful Deception by Pamela Samuels Young

Lawful Deception
by Pamela Samuels Young

“Pamela Samuels Young has crafted a page-turner that will keep you engrossed until the very last page. If you’re a fan of smart legal thrillers with brisk pacing, crackling dialogue and edgy, intriguing characters, Lawful Deception is for you.” –Dwayne Alexander Smith, Award-winning Author of Forty Acres.

Once again, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young delivers another captivating legal thriller full of unexpected twists and jaw-dropping moments you never see coming. The beautiful Bliss Fenton won’t be winning any awards for Mother of the Year. Truth is, motherhood isn’t nearly as important to Bliss as the cottage industry she’s created: extorting wealthy men for the hefty child support she can collect.

But Bliss’ greed goes too far when she takes on Fletcher McClain. The handsome music industry mogul refuses to accept her conniving conduct lying down. He retains high-profile attorney Vernetta Henderson to sue Bliss for fraud.

Enter Bliss’ unscrupulous attorney, Girlie Cortez, who has a personal score to settle with Vernetta. As the two lawyers once again go head-to-head, their legal battle quickly escalates from merely contentious to downright deadly.


Bliss Fenton took a sip of champagne as she glared across the room at the obnoxiously happy couple. They indeed made a striking pair. Their slim, toned bodies draped in designer wear and expensive jewelry. So trendy. So California chic. Setting her champagne glass on the tray of a passing waiter, Bliss snaked her way through the crowd, hoping to get a better view. As she moved, her blonde curls bounced as if lifted by a cool breeze. At 5’8” and 120 pounds, her delicate frame was all slopes and curves. A body specifically designed for exhibition.

The partygoers were packed like human matchsticks inside the gaudy Hollywood Hills mansion. The home, if you could call it that, was a testament to excess. Just like the couple. Too much of everything. Too many art deco chairs, too much bronze and glass, and so much artwork the walls could barely breathe.

Only a few feet away from the couple now, Bliss found herself shoulder-to-shoulder with a too-tanned man with greasy hair. He winked at her. She sneered back at him and moved on. A devious smile fractured Bliss’ face as she returned her attention to the couple. She imagined the angst they would experience the minute they spotted her among the partygoers. Fletcher’s lips would contort into an ugly grimace, but then coolly transition to a barely perceptible smirk. He was not the kind of man who was easily rankled. That was the reason he was a millionaire several times over.

Mia, however, would not be able to hide her emotions. Fletcher’s prissy little black princess would toss Bliss a snarl that bellowed, What the hell are you doing here? It was Mia she wanted to punish most. Bliss had pleaded with God to curse her former friend with a pain ten times more intense than her own. She wanted Mia to live it. Breathe it. Curl up in bed with it. Just as she had.  Bliss refused to blame Fletcher for the poor choices he’d made. He was a man. And men, by nature, were weak. Still, he too would pay just the same.  The call of vengeance tugged hard at Bliss’ soul, urging her, daring her, to march right up to the couple and confront them. But she held back. For the moment. Patience had always been her most virtuous trait.

Fletcher hustled to the front of the room and began singing the praises of the newest songstress to be added to his stable of artists, LaReena Jarreau. Bliss remembered cuddling in bed with Fletcher and listening to him brag about creating her stage name, since Janice Harris had no pizzazz.

“The first time I heard her voice,” Fletcher said, throwing his arm around the bony twenty-something dressed in hooker gear, “I knew she was going to hit the music world by storm. You have to agree that what we heard tonight was—as the youngsters say—off the chain.”

Everyone applauded as the hip, dark-haired CEO of Karma Entertainment grinned, happy to be on show. The only thing Fletcher enjoyed more than being rich was having everyone know it.

Mia remained off to the side, perfecting the look of the coy, supportive fiancée. That had been Bliss’ mistake. Accepting her at face value. While Mia’s visual package was quite alluring—all charm and beauty—on the inside, she was pure evil. Truth be told, Mia wasn’t all that different from her.  Bliss Fenton, not Mia Richardson, should have been on the arm of the music industry mogul tonight. It had never occurred to Bliss that her long-time yoga buddy could walk into a party and take her new guy’s breath away. Literally.

At the time, Bliss had been dating Fletcher for a short six months. She’d invited Mia to the party at Fletcher’s Beverly Hills home for the sole purpose of showing off her new man to her smart, uppity faux-friend. Bliss could still remember Mia waving as she glided into the party, the crowd parting so effortlessly it almost seemed choreographed.

Seconds before, Fletcher had been talking nonstop about his label’s next release, but the sight of Mia had caused him to lose his train of thought. When Bliss had formally introduced them, the lust in Fletcher’s eyes further telegraphed the gravity of her mistake.

Only days after the party, Bliss’ time with Fletcher began to dwindle, explained away by late night meetings that couldn’t be avoided or last-minute business trips to New York. Mia, too, had started cancelling their after-yoga coffee chats and finally stopped coming to yoga class altogether.

It was a month later, when Bliss saw Fletcher and Mia pictured together in Billboard, that she first learned of their betrayal. Her subsequent rage-filled calls to both of them had been ignored. And now, Mia was at Fletcher’s side, while Bliss had been pushed right out of his life.

A burst of applause snapped Bliss back to the present. As Fletcher seemed to be wrapping up his speech, Bliss moved closer, stopping inches behind Mia. She leaned in, her lips almost grazing Mia’s right ear.

“Congratulations on your engagement.”

Mia’s head whipped around, her dark brown skin now ashen gray. “You … you shouldn’t be here.”

Bliss spoke in a firm whisper. “Neither should you. You backstabbing bitch.”

Mia took a step back. “This is not the place to make a scene.”

“Okay, then,” Bliss said, moving into the space Mia had abandoned. “Shall we step outside?”

A second later, Fletcher wedged himself between them. “You walk yourself out of here right now,” he said through clenched teeth, “or I’ll have security carry you out.”

Although no voices had been raised, all heads turned in their direction. Mia didn’t move.

Fletcher, always cognizant of appearances, wore a stiff smile as he spat into Bliss’ face. “If you don’t leave, I swear I’ll have you arrested.”

After three long beats, Bliss winked. “You’ll both be hearing from me.”

Bliss couldn’t help smiling as she sashayed through the buzzing crowd.

Fletcher and Mia would suffer for their disloyalty. Bliss only wished she could be there to see their stunned faces when they learned what she had done and realized there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

Chapter 1

I should have shown Fletcher McClain to the door 30 minutes ago, but the words seem to be stuck in my throat. I hate to admit it—even to myself—but I like having him in my space again.

“So will you take care of this for me, Vernetta?”

He’s been pacing the length of my office for several minutes now. When he first stormed in and slapped the Petition to Establish Parental Relationship on my desk, he was so wound up I thought he might be on the verge of a stroke.

“I’m not a family law attorney, Fletcher.”

Employment law and some occasional criminal work are more up my alley.

“I don’t need an expert in family law,” Fletcher insists. “What I need is a good negotiator. Someone who can talk some sense into this nutcase and make her go away. And I’m confident you can do the job.”

The issue isn’t whether I could handle his case, but whether I should. They say a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Perhaps a lawyer who goes to battle on behalf of an ex-lover is just as foolish. Especially if the old flame hasn’t quite flickered out yet.

According to the petition, Fletcher’s ex-girlfriend Bliss Fenton has named him as the father of her three-month-old daughter, Harmony. Fletcher, however, claims the petition is all lies. Even though he hasn’t taken the court-ordered paternity test yet, he wants me to set up a meeting with Bliss and offer her some “chump change,” as he puts it, to go away.

“It looks like she filed that petition herself. I need this nonsense over and done with before she gets an attorney involved.”

I take another look at the petition. Bliss has indeed filed it in pro per, which is easy enough to do. The petition is a simple two-page form that requires checking a few boxes. Falling into one of the chairs in front of my desk, Fletcher fixes me with a look so intense I almost shudder.

“I really need you, Vernetta.”

His lips angle upward, just slightly, and I feel a warm tingle in a place where my happily married self definitely should not be tingling. I break his gaze and fiddle with my cuticle. Classically handsome, Fletcher has sandy hair, strong cheekbones and wide brown eyes with lashes too long and thick for Mother Nature to have wasted on a guy. He’s still the only white guy who ever stole my heart.

“Fletcher, you could find a million attorneys to handle this. Why don’t you let me recommend a friend who has expertise in family law?”

“See, that’s what I love about you, Vernetta. I don’t know many lawyers who would turn away a paying client with my kind of dough. You’re the real deal.”

“Unbelievable.” I stare across the desk at him, shaking my head. “You’re still as cocky as you were when we were know-nothing sophomores back at USC. It’s not always about money, Fletcher.”

“It’s always about money, my sweetness.”

Damn him. Hearing his pet name for me after all these years has me tingling again. A quiet chirp interrupts his subtle flirting. He pulls the phone from the inside pocket of his jacket. Glancing at the screen, he frowns and sets it on the corner of my desk.

“How can you be so sure it’s not your kid?” I ask.

“Because we broke up almost a year before that kid was born.”

“Shouldn’t you wait for the results of the paternity test?”

“Don’t need to. It’s not my kid.”

“I’m confused. If it’s not your kid, once you have the results, it’s over. Why pay her anything?”

“You don’t know Bliss Fenton. Even after the results come back, she’ll have something else up her sleeve. I need this thing buttoned up once and for all. Paying her off will accomplish that.”

My gut and years of legal experience tell me there’s more to the story. “You certainly seem awfully stressed over an allegation that has no merit. What’s the real deal?”

Fletcher repositions himself in the chair.

“I’m getting married in three months and this whole thing has my fiancée climbing the walls. Bliss timed this to embarrass Mia right before our wedding. I need it resolved as soon as possible.”

The news that Fletcher is getting married surprises me. I’ve followed his career for years and figured he was a confirmed bachelor.

“So what’s Bliss got against Mia?”

“Well … um … they used to be friends.”

I squint. “Oh, so we’re dealing with a woman scorned.”

It’s one thing to lose your man to another woman. It’s quite another to lose a charming, high roller like Fletcher McClain to someone you considered a friend.

He shrugs. “That’s basically the crux of it.”

“But it still doesn’t make sense. Bliss wouldn’t serve you with a paternity suit if there were no chance you could be the father.”

“You haven’t been listening. This woman is extremely conniving. She probably read that Forbes article and came up with this scheme to shake me down.” He pauses. “Did you happen to see it?”

Fletcher landed the number three spot on Forbes’ list of the top music industry moguls. He’s the only one on the list under 40. His net worth is estimated at $450 million, just behind Clive Davis and JayZ.

“Of course I saw it. Very impressive.”

He points a finger at me. “You haven’t done too bad yourself, counselor. You’ve handled some pretty high-profile cases.”

Over the years, Fletcher sent me handwritten notes, congratulating me when one of my trials hit the press. Keeping up with his achievements is the only reason I read Billboard.

“So how much do you plan to offer her?”

“A hundred grand should do it. I’m willing to go higher if I have to. Maybe two-fifty. And I want a written agreement with an ironclad confidentiality provision.”

I’m about to say he’s putting up a lot of cash to get rid of a bogus claim, but for a man with Fletcher’s bank account, we’re talking peanuts.

“We may have to play dirty to force her into a settlement. I want you to retain a private investigator to dig up some dirt on her in case we need it. And trust me, it’s out there.”

“Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack. Once you meet her, you’ll understand.”

“How’d you even end up with this woman?”

“It’s your fault,” he quips. “After you broke my heart, I was so devastated, I opened up my heart to whoever came along.”

“Yeah, right.” I scan the petition again. “It says here the child was born in January of this year and she’s three months old.” I glance skyward and do the math in my head. “Let’s see … Assuming a nine-month pregnancy, that would place conception sometime in April of last year.”

“Exactly. The kid can’t be mine. We broke up in February, eleven months before she was born. I remember because it was two weeks before Valentine’s Day.”

“Maybe your timing is off.”

“It’s not.”

“And there were no hookups after that?”

“Nope.” He brushes the lapel of his Canali suit, then raises his right hand. “Scout’s honor.”

“I still don’t understand why you don’t want to wait for the test results before approaching her. You’d be in a much better negotiating position.”

“I’m taking the test tomorrow, but it could be a couple of weeks before I get the results. I want this thing resolved yesterday.”

His cell phone chirps again. He grunts and picks it up. “Excuse me a second.”  His long fingers awkwardly tap the screen. I assume he’s sending an email or text message. Another minute or so passes before he looks up, his face full of annoyance.

“Uh, that was Mia calling from the lobby.” He scratches his jaw. “She’s on her way up.”

“Hmmm. So it’s your fiancée who’s running this show.”

“Not really. Well, I mean—”

I’m not used to seeing the smooth-talking Fletcher McClain at a loss for words. He moves to the edge of the chair. The relaxed air we’d been basking in has been sapped from the room.

“The real deal is Mia wants me to sue Bliss for defamation. She thinks I’m meeting with you to talk about the defamation case. But I think it makes more sense to give Bliss a few dollars to disappear.”

“Okay, now I get it.”

“Let’s keep that under our hat. And, um,” he rubs his chin, “Mia’s a bit on the jealous side. Let’s not mention that we used to be an item, okay?”

Fletcher was never the type of guy who’d let his woman call the shots. This alpha dog has turned into a poodle.

“No problem. Our conversations are attorney-client privileged.”

Fletcher straightens in his chair. “Oh, so I’m your client? Great!”

I raise both hands, palms out. “I haven’t committed yet. But your fiancée can’t—”

“Just flow with me on this, okay? I’ll handle Mia. You just play along.” His confident charm reminds me of the first time we met over a decade ago.

I was walking across campus when Fletcher stopped me with a corny pick-up line.

“Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?”

I’d never met a white guy—certainly not one as gorgeous as Fletcher McClain—who had the swagger of a brother. After a bit of prodding, I agreed to meet him for lunch. And here he is still charming me more than a decade later.

My assistant pokes her head in the door. “I have a lady out here who says she—”

The door flies open and a woman bustles past Deena into my office.  A perfectly coiffed, black beauty marches right up to my desk and peers down at me. I have to push my chair back to get her out of my personal space.

“You better be a barracuda,” she says, firing her words at me. “Because that’s the kind of attorney we need to show that scandalous slut Bliss Fenton that she’s playing with fire.”

( Continued… )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Pamela Samuels Young. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Lawful Deception by Pamela Samuels Young
(Vernetta Henderson Series, Book 5)


About Pamela Samuels Young
When attorney Pamela Samuels Young, a NAACP Image Award winner, isn’t fulfilling her duties as legal counsel for a major corporation in Southern California, you can usually find her penning her next legal thriller.

Her acclaimed novel, Anybody’s Daughter, is what garnered Pamela her first NAACP Image Award win in the category of Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction).

Fed up with never seeing people of color, especially women, depicted as savvy, hot-shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, the Compton, CA, native decided to create her own. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by getting up at 4am to write before work, dedicated her weekends to writing and even spent a large portion of her vacations glued to her laptop. In doing so, she discovered her passion for writing.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a Master’s Degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She 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.

She lives in Southern California and attends Hope in Christ Community Church. Visit her website to read excerpts from the books, to see the more than 380 bookclubs she has visited and to follow her online:

Pamela is also a frequent speaker on the topics of writing fiction, discrimination law and pursuing your passion.
Pamela loves to hear from readers, so use one of the avenues listed below to reach out to her.

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#PowerRead: Brandon’s Artistic Passion by Janice L. Dennie

Brandon’s Artistic Passion
by Janice L. Dennie

Brandon Underwood is one of Napa Valley’s hottest artists, who has lost his passion for painting. He finds inspiration in a brilliant ballerina, who he claims as his ideal woman. But Brandon’s heart is as complicated as his art. His failed relationships haunt him until someone reveals a family secret.

Ciara Alexander is a talented principal dancer at a small ballet company. To further her career, she dreams of joining a major company, but competition is stiff, and her biological clock is ticking. After Brandon attends one of her fiery performances, he regains his passion for painting. He creates a dramatic masterpiece of a ballerina wearing a red tutu with a purple feather in her hair. He entitles it, Ciara.

Now that Brandon has regained his passion for painting and found his ideal woman, will he ruin his chance for love by falling back into old habits? Will Ciara’s ambitious dream, of joining a major ballet company, take precedence over the man who loves her?

About the Underwood’s of Napa Valley Series
The Underwood brothers have inherited the character DNA of their male ancestors, a line of old fashioned southern gentlemen who took great pride in protecting their families. Henrietta Underwood, the family matriarch, wants to marry off all five of her adult grandchildren to loving spouses. She has dubbed each one with a character trait.

As the eldest brother, Kenton Underwood is “the protective one.” He’s protective of his family and environment, and stays busy running his family’s winery. Kenton has no room for love until he meets sexy, understated, Briana Rutledge, who finds a special place in his heart.

The next brother, Justin Underwood is “the strong one.” He’s the passionate civil rights attorney, a modern day knight in shining armor, who fights to protect the woman he loves in court. But, Ashley Jacobs, has a family secret that prevents her from totally committing to Justin. There are three more siblings in the series who have their stories to tell.

The Underwood’s of Napa Valley series takes a look at a family that enhances love and relationships, in a romantic town and changes personalities forever.

Meet the Author

Janice L. Dennie is an bestselling author of Romantic Fiction and World Literature. Her books include, The Underwoods of Napa Valley Series, and The Lion of Judah Series. She has another contemporary series coming in 2017.

Her love for writing romance novels have readers reaching for her books time and again as she delivers love stories featuring tall, dark, handsome heroes and feisty heroines as they tumble breathlessly in love among the pages of exciting stories.

Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Northern California, Ms. Dennie graduated from California State University, before starting a career with a Federal Agency. She enjoys watching football with her husband, Gregory, traveling, and visiting her family.

Ms. Dennie is introducing a line of historical romance novels. Please visit her historical website at

Ms. Dennie regularly posts the release of new books on her janicedennieauthor, Facebook page, and Twitter @jdennieauthor. She’d love to hear from you, and will reply to any email sent to her at

To read more about Janice, visit her website at:

Order Brandon’s Artistic Passion (Book 4)

The Underwoods of Napa Valley Series
Order books here:


#PowerRead: The Real Housewives of Adverse City by Shelia E. Bell

The Real Housewives of Adverse City
by Shelia E. Bell

Avery, Eva, Meesha, and Peyton, live the type of lives everyday women can only dream of. One thing for sure, there is always drama and never a dull moment when it comes to these ultra-rich housewives.

Eva Stenberg is the wife of Dr. Harper Stenberg, a cardiovascular surgeon, NY Times bestselling author and Chief Medical Director of Adverse City Hospital. Harper is a man dedicated fully to his career and his position, which leaves Eva frustrated and lonely. The fact that Harper desires no children adds a blazing fuel to an already out of control inferno. When Harper’s twenty three year old son comes to visit, will he be the one to put out the blaze or start a whole new one. Peyton Hudson, the mother of one son is married to Derek Hudson, a wealthy App developer and President of Adverse City Bank. When someone from her past resurfaces, her world is turned upside down and life as she has known it will never be the same.

First Lady, Meesha Porter, the mother of four sons and the wife of Senior Pastor Carlton Porter who founded the 20,000 member Perfecting Your Faith Ministries, believes she has the perfect marriage, until from out of nowhere, Carlton tells her that he wants a divorce.

Avery Mitchelson, a former high priced call girl and the mother of two girls allows her past to almost destroy her marriage to multi-millionaire trial attorney, Ryker Mitchelson when she makes a decision that could cost her everything.  Welcome to their world!


5-Star Review Written By Lacricia Wilson

The characters are so true to life. They pull you into their lives and trap you. I hung on every word. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen with these Housewives! This book is a must read!!!!

5-Star Review Written By Sherri Gregory 

Shelia, you have done it again, your writing style, storyline and great details as always is above and beyond . From page one to the end, I was talking to myself and turning the page to see what are they going to do next?
I got into each character individually and as couples, the drama and life situations are here and there is a lot! !! Everybody has a separate journey, and I can’t wait to see how they handle this. Shelia, please come on with the next book. I can’t give anything away (as bad as I want to, especially Pastor Carlton Porter- he is all over the place and he is spreading more than the gospel around). but I can tell you this please get your copy, I’m telling everybody I know this is a must read, you will enjoy.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

“Real friends don’t get offended when you insult them. They smile and call you something even more offensive.” Unknown

“Girl, I don’t know how you do it,” Avery said, stirring the lemon in her flavored seltzer water.

“Do what?” asked Meesha, sipping on a virgin lime margarita. The sun was high, and the breeze from the Florida coastline swayed her Brazilian weave from side to side.

“You know what I’m talking about; deal with all of those hoochies at the church pawing all over Pastor Porter.”

“Don’t mind Avery,” Peyton said, sucking down her second full strength Vodka martini.

“I pray about it and go about my business. I can’t live my life distrusting my husband. Besides, I keep myself fit and fabulous for him. Those so-called, uh, what are they called today?”

“THOTS,” Peyton answered quickly.

“Those THOTS don’t stand a chance.” Meesha laughed, throwing her head back, revealing her flawless figure.

“Four kids, you’re doing more than staying fit and fabulous. Sounds like you keeping him happy between the sheets, too,” Eva, a native of Bolivia, said in her thick Spanish accent. She pushed back her long, flowing, thick black hair from off her face. Hair that women like Meesha paid for.

The four housewives sat on the outside patio of one of Adverse City, Florida’s most exclusive restaurants, dining on some of the best foods and drinks in the city.

Adverse City, a quaint town was tucked between Fisher Island and Miami Beach, with homes of the rich and famous lining the white sandy beaches of the Atlantic Coastline. The temperature hovered most of the time between 70-80 degrees.

“Anyway, I have too many other things to deal with besides worrying about what woman is chasing after Carlton. I’m secure in our marriage. I’ve given him four sons and this body can give him more kids, if that’s what he wants.”

“Girl, please. You better sit yourself down somewhere.” Peyton finished off her vodka martini and beckoned their server. “I’ll have a cosmopolitan this time.”

Yes, ma’am,” the male server stated. He left and moments later returned with her drink.

Peyton lifted the glass to her lips and scoured. “Take this back,” she told the server before he had time to leave her table. “Tell the bartender to fix me a real drink, top shelf! I don’t taste a hint of vodka in this.”

“I apologize, ma’am. I’ll bring you another one.”

Meesha, Eva, and Avery laughed as the young man scurried away from the table.

“What’s so funny?” asked Peyton.

“You. Girl, you had that young boy so scared, I thought he was going to pee in his pants,” cracked Avery.

The young server returned with another drink. Peyton tasted it, looked at him, and nodded her approval. He smiled and looked pleased then turned and walked away.

“Seriously, you need to hold back on the liquor, girlfriend. The day is still long,” advised Meesha.

“I can handle my own. These drinks are nothing more to me than what you’re drinking.”

“Okay, whatever. But, you’re the one always crying about your weight. I’m just saying, liquor adds fat and calories to your waistline.”

“Just because you’re skin and bones, don’t eat meat, and don’t drink liquor, don’t try to judge me.”

“I’m not trying to judge you. I’m just saying, you’re the one who’s always the first to cry about being overweight.”

“Whatever, Meesha.” Peyton flung her blonde locks back off her face and threw up one hand.

“Now ladies, ladies,” Avery interjected. “We’re here to enjoy what’s supposed to be our girls’ day out. It’s supposed to be fun and relaxing. You know how hectic all our schedules are, and it’s not often that we can get together for some girl time. Don’t blow it with all of this female bickering. We are not like those TV housewives.”

“Avery’s right. I have enough drama in my life on a daily basis. When I’m with my girls, I don’t want to hear all of this ying yang,” added Eva.

Peyton rolled her blue eyes in her head and took another swallow of her cosmopolitan.

“Tell us what’s going on with you and Ryker. I saw on CNN that he was representing that NFL player who was accused of giving some stupid girl that went up to his hotel room, the date rape drug.”

“Some of these women out here need to get somewhere and sit down,” Meesha said.

“They act like they don’t understand what they’re getting into when they agree to go to a hotel room with a man just because he’s rich and famous,” Avery said.

“I think they’re no different from a prostitute,” Eva stated.

“I agree with you, but that still doesn’t give him the right to drug her. If she’s willing to go to his room, she was probably going to give up the cookies anyway. All he had to do was play his cards right. He was just as stupid,” Peyton added, as she turned up the cosmopolitan and took her last swallow. She followed up by tracing her lips with her tongue like she was trying to savor the taste of the mixed drink for as long as she could.

“Anyway, since you all are so nosy, and always wanting to know about me and Ryker, let me assure you that we’ve never been better.” Avery’s eyes flitted over the faces of each of her friends. Each of them looked genuinely attentive to what she was saying about her recently troubled marriage.

‘That was quick,” Peyton said and chuckled.

Avery gave Peyton a raised eyebrow and then kept on talking. “I think Ryker and I are finally back on track. I know things were rough this past year, but I love my man, and I’m not about to give up on my marriage.”

Meesha spoke up while she used her fork to play around in her garden salad. “God is in the business of making crooked places straight, which is why I had no doubt he would heal your marriage.”

“Good for you, and for Ryker too, if he realizes that he almost lost a good woman.” Eva frowned slightly. “I mean, I don’t know if I could have been as strong as you if I discovered Harper cheated on me. It’s just too much.”

“I’m not saying it was easy. Quite the opposite; it was tough, real tough. I thought I was going to lose my mind when I found out he was cheating. Then you know that skank didn’t have any morals whatsoever. You would think that she would have realized that he wasn’t going to leave a wife and two young children.”

“Most married men never leave their wives for the other woman,” said Meesha. “She’s a lawyer, just like Ryker. Seems like she would have had enough smarts to know that.”

“Obviously, she didn’t,” Avery said. “I guess she really had the notion that sleeping with the head of Ryker and Klein Law firm would help her make partner. Instead, what she got was humiliated and pushed out the door.”

“Probably because Ryker realized if he kept screwing around that he was going to lose you and his girls,” Peyton told her.

“Not only that,” Meesha said, “you could have taken his butt to the cleaners and left him high and dry.”

“I know that’s right,” Eva said. “Girl, if that had been Harper, he wouldn’t have a law firm or anything else.”

All the ladies laughed.

“I agree,” Peyton added. “Hey,” she called out as the server walked pass their table. She lifted her glass toward him. “I’ll have another one.”

The server nodded in response.

“You need help,” said Avery.

“She needs prayer,” Meesha corrected.

“Look, I don’t need help or prayer. I have this under control. Now I wish you all would get off my back.”

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Shelia E. Bell. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase The Real Housewives of Adverse City by Shelia E. Bell


Intimate Conversation with Kimberla Lawson Roby

Intimate Conversation with Kimberla Lawson Roby

Kimberla has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2014 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Black Pearls Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

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

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her 22nd title, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL was released June 9, 2015.

BPM: Share with us your personal journey into publishing. Was this a fun time in your life?
Writing was not a lifelong dream of mine, however, back in April 1995 I sat down and began writing my debut novel, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It took me about seven months to complete, and I then began querying literary agents in search for representation. I was rejected by all of them. Finally, I submitted query letters directly to editors at publishing houses and received rejection letters from them as well. This is when my husband suggested that I start my own company to self-publish my book, and I did. My mom kept telling me not to give up also. As it turned out, I learned a wealth of important and very helpful information about the business of publishing, and I sold just over 10,000 copies within the first 6 months of publication. This was truly a fun and exciting time in my life.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
My mother and my maternal grandmother were two of the kindest and wisest women I have ever known, and they began instilling a certain level of Christian and family values and wisdom in me from the time I was a small girl. Even after all the rejections, my mom told me I shouldn’t give up (I miss her tremendously), and my husband continues to be my biggest encourager and supporter as well.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I believe my literary work speaks to everyone in one way or another. I write about real-life social issues that can and do affect all human beings. Corruption within the church, infidelity, domestic violence, drug addiction, gambling addiction, adult sibling rivalry, care-giving of a terminally-ill parent, childhood sexual abuse, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, social status, overweight issues, and the list goes on. There is also always some level of redemption and forgiveness in every single book I write. I don’t consider myself to be a role model per se, but if someone does in fact view me in that manner, my prayer is that I am able to represent myself well, particularly to young people.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
The latest novel is titled The Ultimate Betrayal, which is my 22nd book and the 12th title in my Reverend Curtis Black Series. It was released, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. It’s been four years since twenty-eight-year old Alicia Black, daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, divorced her second husband, the most womanizing and corrupt man she has ever known. Since then, Alicia has been dating her first husband, Phillip Sullivan, a wonderfully kind and true man of God whom she’d hurt terribly by cheating on him. Alicia has worked hard to prove herself worthy of his trust once more, and when he asks her to marry him again, she couldn’t be happier.

But Levi Cunningham, the drug dealer Alicia had an extramarital affair with, has just been released from prison, and he has completely turned his life around for the better. Still head-over-heels in love with Alicia, he will do whatever is necessary to win her back.

Remarrying Phillip is the one thing Alicia has wanted for years, but she can’t get Levi out of her mind. Alicia and Phillip aren’t the only ones in the middle of a crisis. Their best friends, husband and wife Brad and Melanie Richardson, are struggling to keep their marriage together.

Workaholic Brad is never home and has begun losing thousands on bad investments. Or so he says. Melanie, who is certain there’s more to the story, is determined to get at the truth. At the same time, her frustration and stress cause her to eat a lot less, and she behaves in an extreme fashion. Alicia worries that she could be suffering from anorexia, but Melanie steadfastly denies it. Their friendship begins to suffer, and it isn’t long before they’re talking to each other like enemies.

Fresh betrayal leads to consequences no one saw coming, and Alicia’s relationship with Phillip might not be the only thing that needs saving. But is it already too late?


Intimate Conversations with James Lee Nathan III

Intimate Conversations with James Lee Nathan III

James Lee Nathan III (JLN3)
, is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres.  JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works,CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites, introduce readers to hisNext Level Fiction experience. James is also the #1 bestselling author of erotic crime dramas on

James is a retired US Air Force veteran, and currently works as a senior systems integrator for a large telecommunications corporation.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

To answer your first question, more than one person has prayed for me throughout my life. I guess that is how we all survive or perish in this world, through the love, grace, and mercy of others. My motivations have always been to improve upon my family name, and to live a life worthy of remembering. I never sought glory only respect and appreciation.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?

I write in three specific genres, and sometimes all in one. My stories are what they are, if one decides they are scifi, urbanfantasy, erotic crime dramas, or suspense thrillers then so be it, but I typically try to tell a good tale that takes the reader on a journey. One in which they ask themselves the very questions I pose in my tales. So if you are of the mind to question the known and seek to understand the unknown, then this is for you. ‘Writers as role models’ hmmm I think we should expand this construct and say ‘Artisans’ because I believe that all ‘free thinkers’ and creators in society, deserve to be recognized for what they bring to our culture. Remember, if you destroy the art, the words, and pictures, you can remove a culture or race from existence.

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

O-M-GEEE, so this book is the culmination of about five years of effort and wrestling with doubt. Two things are important here; my daughter’s inquisitive mind after she read the first unfinished work and asked ‘Are there no more Dragon Warriors?’ and then being compelled to write a tale of struggles and triumph that restore balance to the universe. But before you can write about balance you must be in balance. Once my life eased into a stable state, the words flowed.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The characters gave me great pleasure. There is a sense of DEPTH to them, even the ancillary ones offer you a sense of complexity.

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

I am asked this question often, and I truly cannot narrow it down to any one thing other than I draw stimulation from many sources. There can be an interaction at a grocery store between two people that catches my eye, and I will create a scene, a story, a title out of just that one random thing. So in this regard, I seek out situations for my characters to be in and then write to that.

Each reacts to situations and stimuli differently, however, all are in proper context to the story/plot I am developing. I have actually changed my mind about a quarter way through a novella and moved the protagonist through a series of plot devices to support where I wanted the tale to evolve. All stories have a beginning , middle, and end, but not all stories move you to finish each with lust for the next. So that is what I strive for in my plot, to make you anxious about turning to the next page, or frustrated in how the last chapter ended so you read more and then you’re hooked.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Kindle?

Yes my latest book, Ibrahim Unites, is the conclusion to ‘Are there no more Dragon Warriors?’ however, you do not necessarily need to read the other two books to appreciate this release. It did’nt start off that way, but somewhere around the 100th page, I realized that this was actually a standalone piece. Now there is a large gap in the timeline that I do address in the supplemental bonus chapters called ‘Tales of Valor’, but readers are all advised to read CRIME-PHYTER for even more backstory (it is a darker tale with some graphic violence and sexual situations, not erotica just a bit more than you will see in Ibrahim). Now Ibrahim Unites is available on ebook (with CRIME-PHYTER as a bonus all three formats for ebooks) and in print through AMAZON, go here.

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

The three strong tenets that weave their way through the story are INTUITION, Siobhan struggles with reconciling what she knows and what she is feeling, which will cost many lives; HATE and the blood oath of Ibrahim’s ancestors still lives and breathes within him. It also infects all it touches; and finally HOPE manifested in Zion Rivers, who must balance hope with faith lest it becomes pretentious in nature.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?

It speaks to many questions I had early in my life, and how I came to believe in a universal consciousness for all.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My intentions with Dragon Warriors as a whole was to interject little-known bits of information on historical figures and cultures into the plot and then speculate on if they were indeed aliens. By the time I write Ibrahim, that is still the intention, however, I now have this notion of balance and retribution.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

Right now I am storyboarding my next two novellas ‘Robert Manis: Kill Something He Loves’ and ‘Me, Jesus, and the Bodega Murders’, both should be out in the Summer and Fall.

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

Twitter: @nykingmd
Instagram: @nykingmd
Purchase Books:
Facebook Fan Page:
Amazon Page:

Ibrahim Unites Print Edition Coming April 28, 2016, check it out:



Intimate Conversation with Anita Ballard-Jones

Intimate Conversation with Anita Ballard-Jones

Anita Ballard-Jones
is the acclaimed author of the novels, Rehoboth Road, The Dancing Willow Tree and Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of C.W. Post, at Long Island University. She is retired from New York State’s Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office where she worked as a Treatment Team Leader. She is a long time resident of Long Island, New York and enjoys spending time in North Carolina and Florida. She loves hearing from her individual fans, as well as book clubs.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 
I was in my early fifties, not like most writers who say they had been writing for as long as they could remember. My unpublished manuscript, Broken Bond, is a memoir about my young life and relationship with my brother who had special needs. It was completed twenty years ago and it was not written for publication. I just needed a vessel to pour out my soul and to come to terms with the issue of the purpose of life for those individual having serious developmental disabilities. I had lived and worked with special needs children and adults almost all of my life and I was searching for their purpose. By the time I completed this manuscript I was at peace; I felt blessed and had my answers. A few months later, I believed the Lord handed me my gift of writing and I wrote the first one hundred pages of the acclaimed Rehoboth Road in just fourteen hours.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I love to write, but I don’t have a writing routine. I am retired and I am not looking for a career. My greatest joy is pleasing my readers. Sometimes I’ll write a very short story, and other times that short story could be as long as 7,000 words. I don’t push my writing or write outlines; I wait. I guess you could say I wait on the Lord; He sends me pictures and somehow I know it’s going to be another novel. I only create when I’m inspired by my pictures. If I don’t have the inspiration to create, and I want to work, I use the time for refinement and editing.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? 
Yes, after I completed Rehoboth Road, I sent out fifty query letters just to locate an agent and I received fifty rejections. Then, I self-published and sold over three thousand copies. Within that year I signed with a publishing company that never paid my royalties on time, if at all. The one great thing they did was sell my book to Black Expressions Book Club, and I knew I had arrived, even after being contractually cheated on this sale. I found a loophole in the contract and was released from my second book deal and vowed to remain a self-publish author. I told myself that my joy comes from writing and pleasing my fans, and with the proper branding agent and publicist, I could do a very good job marketing myself.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
Yes, all of my books stewed with the exception of The Dancing Willow Tree. This book is the sequel to Rehoboth Road. I received hundreds of emails from my readers requesting a sequel; many people made suggestions of what they thought should happen. I was inspired, I had my visual images, my fans suggestions, and a few twist in mind; The Dancing Willow Tree was completed in three months.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 
Without questioning the Lord, I wish I had received my gift when I was younger, but the Lord knows best. I wonder if I would have appreciated it, would I have earn my lifetime experience badge or if I would have had the time to dedicate to the craft? Sometimes I think, if I could have accomplish writing success back in my earlier life I might have been another Alice Walker or Toni Morrison, not for the fortune, but for the pleasure of knowing something I created bought pleasure to so many people.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 
I believe the real hurdle is the process of editing. I have hired a professional editor and have used my edit team and there were still problems. Other than the editing process, researching self-publishing and learning all of the aspects of the process are the hardest.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?
Be able to respond positively to constructive criticism. A writer should never believe they are so great that they have nothing to learn about their craft.

BPM: At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a registered nurse. There were two professions I didn’t want any part of, a medical doctor or a writer. The novels, Little Women, Clarence Darrow and Return of the Native, and the likes, really turned me off during my high school literature classes. I cried through them; I am a pre-baby-boomer who attended George Wingate High School in Brooklyn, New York when the African American student enrollment was only two percent. No one told me about Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin and the others. If you didn’t know about the Harlem Renaissance, you didn’t know to ask and seek it out. I remember standing outside a theater on Manhattan’s Broadway, staring at the marquee and large posters of the play, Porgy and Bess. It was hard to believe these were black people like me, doing what white people did. It seems so funny now, but today’s young people believe they have been robbed of opportunity and I wish I could take them back to my early time and shake them. 

I discovered my worth as an individual early in life, having a very successful career and lifetime experiences. I said I didn’t want to be a doctor, but I became a Treatment Team Leader, whereas I managed an interdisciplinary treatment team which included medical doctors and twenty years of report writing was the precursor to my writing profession in retirement. And now I write.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
In this dark time in our history time, two brothers, Jacob and Jackson shared the same loving father, the same mansion home, but were separated by age and the circumstances of life; Jacob, a mulatto slave and Jackson, the sole heir to their father’s plantation. They were mirror images of each other, both tall and having golden hair, blue eyes and creamy white complexion. Jacob had the soul of a black man and Jackson’s soul was only fed by cruelty, possessions and hatred. Once Jacob was free it wasn’t long before he realized that passing for white was a powerful weapon to be used to free his enslaved family and friends, specially his black pearl, Sula who was pregnant with his child. Nothing could stop him in his quest to reach the safety of Canada before the start of the Civil War, not even murder, assault, thievery or arson. He found great pleasure standing his ground against other white people. 

Throughout Jacob’s triumphs, Brother Jackson was in hot pursuit of him, but little did Jackson know revenge was not in his favor. Jackson’s attempt to kill Jacob would end up causing him more inescapable pain than he could ever have imagined; pain that was a thousand times worse than the pain he allowed his overseers to inflicted on his slaves; pain that could not be undone.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?
This is a book of historical fiction, pre-Civil War (1860). With the exception of my memoir, most of the time I write fiction, but I tend to write in different eras from 1950 through 1990. As mentioned earlier, my inspiration comes in the form of pictures. I have my ideas of what I want to write about, but after a few paragraphs my story will take on its own life. Very often this dictates the era, storyline, characters and location. For example, someone once told me my grandfather walked from northern North Carolina to south central Virginia. I was thinking what it must have been like for a black man to walk alone on a country road around 1900. The next thing I knew I was writing Jacobs Eyes. My grandfather was a short, small framed man, with ebony colored skin and nappy hair, and Jacob was tall, well built, blue eyes, golden hair and a white complexion. The only thing they had in common was that they walked on the road.

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 
I don’t necessary set out to educate, but my goal is to keep my stories socially clean, historically accurate, entertaining and inspiring. I research even the smallest issue. In my book, Rehoboth Road, I wanted one of my characters to purchase a specific type of car. When I researched the car I found out it had not come out for another five years. In Jacob’ Eyes, I had to learn about growing cotton, the railroad lines that were running in 1860, what shipping lines were sailing. How Lincoln was placed on the ballot, and most of all, documents related to the sale and release of slaves and many other issues. To say the least, I was educated and inspired during the writing of this novel and I hope and pray others will learn from it too.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing this book?
Yes, first of all I received a history lesson, and then I learned about herbal tea, juju bags secondary railroad cars, Southern myths and much more. Most of all I learn about myself and to appreciate my gift. I had not worked at writing a novel in some time. My pictures were there for me, but I allowed life and circumstances to pull me away from what I really love doing. I have to say thank you to Jacob’s Eyes for reminding me of my gift and to be grateful to my Lord for it.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book? Why now?
I did give mainstream publishing serious thought, then I remembered my previous experience and I was not willing to lose my literary rights to my work forever. But I am like an abused woman, time will tell.

BPM: What would you like to accomplish after this book is released?
I just want to keep writing and promoting my work. I love public speaking and traveling, so with the release of this book I will be destination bound.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
No, Jacob’s Eyes is a product of my imagination and research.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
Just enjoy this book for its historical quality and storyline. This is not just another slave book; this is a book where the slaves win. This is a feel good book that will leave the reader saying, “Yes!” Spread the word: ask their local libraries to order it, ask their school board to place it in their high school libraries, introduce it to historically black colleges and universities, suggest it to book clubs, share the book with a young adult and don’t forget to write me and share their thoughts and feeling.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them?
I am retired and I write to please my readers. My goal is to continue writing and sell, sell, sell my work. Nothing makes me happier than to have my fans love my work. My goal is to have a well known name in the industry and I have no accomplished that.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
There are people, other than my family, who appreciate what I have to offer. My family loves me unconditionally. My fans love me and my work; that’s why I always want to give them my very best.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
Being an author, actor, singer or whatever, it really does not matter. We are all people first. Even if I were a filthy rich author it wouldn’t make a different to me; being a good person is more important. For me, the only benefits of being an author are my personal satisfaction and knowing I have made other people happy. This is my gift, but Dear Lord, I always prayed to be a great singer, but I guess You know what’s best for me, so thank you Lord.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior, life and good health, family, friends, my gift, fans and a good life. I am truly blessed; I have it all.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Study and do your research before you decide, and then learn to do as much as you can for yourself.

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 because I try to write unforgettable novels that provide teachable moments without an expiration date.”

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what’s next? 
My long term goal for the next year is to produce my first manuscript, Broken Bond, my memoir, as well as a book of short stories and to continue as a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel monthly news magazine, A Better You,

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 
At my website:  or on  Facebook at” Anita Ballard Jones

Purchase Jacob’s Eyes by Anita Ballard-Jones

Historical Literature > Christian Fiction > African American


Intimate Conversation with Tumika Patrice Cain

Intimate Conversation with Tumika Patrice Cain

Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. 
In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies. A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path.
She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December, 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March, 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August, 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I was an early reader, so the love of words was already there. A classroom assignment when I was in the second grade would become my raison d’etre. I found my reason for being early on. The teacher introduced poetry and gave us the opportunity to write a poem. I loved how the words came together and that feeling the completed work gave me. The seed had been planted and I continued to write. Growing up in turmoil and being very shy, writing gave me a voice when I felt voiceless. For many years I didn’t know that I had any talent, I only knew that I liked to write. By the time I was in junior high, I had started to receive recognition for my work and in high school I started winning awards. It wasn’t until I wrote my first novel while in my early twenties, which many years later became When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, that I decided I wanted to do something professionally with the gift. Combining my love of writing with my passion for empowering others seemed the ideal solution.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
Through my writing I am able to give a voice to the voiceless, to shine a ray of hope for someone who has lost their hope. Even through fiction, lives can be changed. I write to empower others. I write to free myself. I write to free others. I write because I have something to say. I write because others have something to say and many have yet to find their own voice, so I tell their stories. I write to uplift. And I write to impart the message that with each new day, we can have a fresh start. We can decide in this moment to start living authentic, abundant lives. Writing gives me wings. My tag is Changing lives one word at a time…. It’s more than just a quote, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner?
When I first wrote the novel and tried to get it published almost twenty years ago, the market was very different and there wasn’t really a place for me. I put the book up for quite a few years knowing that eventually it would be published. Around 2011 I started getting the “feeling” to pull it back out and look into publishing it again. While I had done my research years before, lots had changed that I had not kept up with. When someone that I knew started a publishing company, I just went with it. Since it was a vanity press, once she received her money, her commitment to me was done. I learned very quickly that in choosing to work with people on your vision; your dream, it’s important to connect with those who are as concerned about your success as they are their own. Many services that had been provided were only marginally done and I had to pay out of pocket to have things redone. It was stressful and very frustrating. 

However, the silver lining is that out of that experience was birthed Inkscriptions, my publishing company, and Say What?? Book Club. Being a solution-focused person, I was able to put systems and programs in place to streamline and improve the process for other writers. In the end the challenges I experienced turned out to be a tremendous blessing.

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?

I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was in elementary school. Maya Angelou had a way with words that didn’t just tell me that what I had to say was important, her words told me that who I am is important. Through her writings, I felt encouraged to share my sacred truth, and to keep writing that truth. Through her writings, I learned that I had a voice worth hearing.

My paternal grandmother was also a woman who used her words with power. She was classy and elegant and could put you in your place without raising her voice, swearing or belittling. I saw her write to corporate heads when products and services she’d spent money on left her displeased….and change would come as a result of her expressing herself. That was very powerful and had a lasting impact.

When the literary market began to change about twenty years ago, the writings of authors like Beverly Jenkins, Pearl Cleage and Terry McMillan gave me hope that my works could also be in print. I am thankful for reach one and how their lives have impacted my own.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
In When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change (book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series), readers meet Avery and Alicia Ayers. They are a couple who appear to have the perfect life. To their credit they are attractive, wealthy, successful, and esteemed. It’s a life anyone would want. However, what others can’t see are the cracks that exist in their persons and in their relationship. They’ve built an amazing life on a shallow foundation. Each must face themselves and determine if the life they are living is true, is healthy, is empowering and decide where to go from there.

This award-winning, full length, standalone novel is a gripping tale in women’s contemporary fiction that will make readers think, feel, celebrate love when it’s beautiful and right, and reflect on its demise when it’s not.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
I would encourage readers to stop for a moment and reflect. Think about which scenes in the book left a lasting impact and why. I would tell them to reflect on the areas of their lives where they have not been living their truth and make a decision to live authentically from that point forward. Life is short and to spend it unfulfilled is a great travesty. If the book struck a chord and they felt a sense of connection to it, I’d encourage them to share information about the book so others can purchase it. And of course, I’d ask that they leave a review on Amazon so I can know what they thought about it – good or bad.

BPM: What are you the most thankful for now?
I am thankful for Shan Richardson seeing potential in my work, enough where she signed me to a three (3) book deal. Working with her has been a great blessing. We are able to share ideas and work together as a team. I am thankful to be able to reach a larger platform of readers with my work with her help.

I am also very thankful for my family and handful of people who support me behind the scenes. It takes many hands and lots of effort to get and keep our works in front of the others. I could never do it all on my own, or have gotten as far as I have without them. I am truly grateful.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?

Believe in yourself. Not everything is for everyone, so some people will not buy into your work. That doesn’t mean you can’t write. That person just may not be your audience. Hone your skills, take classes to make sure you are putting out a quality product, learn the business of writing, and keep forging on. At some point you will connect with those who will help make your dream a reality.

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? Please share your social media links.


Intimate Conversation with Sadeqa Johnson

Intimate Conversation with Sadeqa Johnson

Sadeqa Johnson
is a former public relations manager who spent years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. Her debut novel, LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG was hailed by as “this summer’s hottest read.”  It was the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction and the 2012 USA Best Book award for African-American fiction. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Virginia with her husband and three children. SECOND HOUSE FROM THE CORNER is her second novel.

BPM:  When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
I’m originally from Philadelphia. As a kid, I started off wanting to be an actress. When I graduated high school, I moved to New York and attended Marymount Manhattan College as a Theatre Arts major. It was as a student that I started fooling around with poetry, which turned to playwriting, screenwriting and ended up with novel writing. I landed a job working in publishing after college and it was there that I became very serious about my writing. My first novel, Love in a Carry-on Bag took me over ten years to finish. I started writing it when I was a publicity manager at G.P Putnam’s Sons.

Every day I would close my office door at four o’clock and write for the last hour of the workday. On my commute home, I edited the pages. Once I got married, I left my corporate job to write and raise my children, but still nursed a burning desire to tell stories. I wrote during naptimes, between feedings, in the midst of sleep deprivation and my kid’s ear infections. The daily pressures of caring for a young family motivated me to finish the book. I was very much like Felicia in Second House From the Corner. As much as I loved being a mother, I didn’t want that role to be my only claim. I knew that it was important for me to carve out something that was only for me, and writing novels was it. My novels are my legacy.

BPM:  What makes your writing different than others?
I’m a lover of words and keep a thick, old school thesaurus on my desk, which I use to deepen the meaning of the text. I don’t like to rush when I’m writing, and I’ll work on a paragraph for three days if it takes that long to make it sound good. Although I’m a commercial fiction writer, I work to bring poetry, beauty and music to my work. My goal is to make readers pause over a delicious sentence, giving them no choice but to read it again.

BPM:  Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.
I love everything about Second House From the Corner. In the novel, Felicia Lyons, a stressed out stay-at-home mom struggles to sprint ahead of the demands of motherhood, while her husband spends long days at the office. Felicia taps, utters mantra and breathes her way through most situations but on some days, like when the children won’t stop screaming her name or arguing over toy trucks and pretzel sticks, she wonders what it would be like to get in her car and drive away.

Then one evening the telephone rings, and in a split second Felicia’s innocent fantasy becomes a hellish reality. The call pulls her back into a life she’d rather forget. Felicia hasn’t been completely honest about her upbringing, and her deception forces her return to the Philadelphia of her childhood, where she is forced to confront the family demons and long buried secrets she thought she had left behind.

BPM:  Did you learn anything personal from writing this book? 
I wrote Second House From the Corner in about a year and a half, which was much different from my ten-year haul with Love in A Carry-on Bag. I learned to outline and draft quickly, and then to just punch the story out and fix it later. There were a lot of loving hands that touched Second House From the Corner and for that I am so grateful and utterly proud of the finished product.

BPM:  What would you like to accomplish after this book is released? 
Don’t laugh, but my deepest desire is to be on the New York Times best sellers list. I have been putting that out into the Universe since day one so I know it’s going to happen. I also plan to sell the movie rights and be paid (well) to consult on set as the movie is being filmed. My children are going to love walking the red carpet. Selling the foreign rights and seeing my novel printed in several languages would also make me happy. Eventually I’d like to teach a writing group and get out on the motivational speaking circuit.

BPM:  Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences? 
Oh, yes. I am a mother of three children. My kids were about the age of Felicia’s when I started writing the book and a lot of her experience of feeling overwhelmed and worn out with the duties involved with caring for small children was what I felt as a young mother. I still feel it at least four times a week. She taps her way through it, I go to hot yoga, run and meditate to find my center.

BPM:  What should readers DO after reading this book? 
Tell all of their friends to buy a copy. I really believe it takes a village to make a best seller. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising so please, please tell a friend. Your review on and all of the retailer’s website would also be wonderfully helpful.

BPM:  What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them? 
Right now I really admire Attica Locke. She wrote a book called The Cutting Season that I couldn’t put down. Then one night I was watching the show Empire, and her name popped up in the credits as producer and writer. Immeditately, I had goosebumps. I’m so proud of my fellow writers when they cross over and do big things. As I sat watching, I thought, could I write for television?  Mmmm, I’m just going to let that thought marinate. Hosting a show on television would also tickle my fancy.

BPM:  What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author? 
I’ve realized that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Every moment in my life from going to college in New York City as Theatre arts major, to my first two jobs in publishing as a publicist, to starting my own publishing house and having to do everything possible to get the word out on Love in a Carry-on Bag has led me to this moment. I’ve worked hard, I deserve to be right here and my future is even brighter. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

BPM:  What are you the most thankful for now?
I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family and close friends. I enjoy waking up every morning, getting my kids off to school (most times without arguments and tears but not always), putting on a pot of coffee and going to work in my robe. God is always amazingly good to me. Oh, and I have a sexy, supportive husband to boot.

BPM:  Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Don’t quit. Writing takes time and dedication and it is very important to be true to the craft. Take writing classes, form a writing group and read as much as you can. Give yourself time and permission to grow, and be patient with yourself. Believe in your creativity above all. Allow the magic to flow.

BPM:  What’s next?
I’m working on my third novel, And Then There Was Me. It’s about deception and betrayal. It’s scheduled to be published by Thomas Dunne Books spring of 2017 so stay tuned. And click right over to my website, and subscribe to my blog. I’ll keep the latest news listed there. I’m on all of the social media outlets so get in touch with me. I’d really love to hear from you.  

Love, Light and Laughter.

Connect with Sadeqa Johnson 

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Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the best selling “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives in her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

BPM: As a full time writer, how did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

Wow, we’re starting right in with the deep stuff! OK. You know, I really think that God has led me to where I am in my life today. As a young girl, I never expected to be happily married with two beautiful children. I never expected to be a writer, much less a published author. Honestly, I expected my life to be rewarding career wise and lonely in every other sense. I’d worked hard to get a good education, so I expected to be financially independent. I also knew I wanted children, so I planned to be a mother, but I expected to be on that journey alone. If I got married, I expected to get divorced and have to raise my children alone. I know that sounds pretty bleak, but it’s the truth of how I saw my life right up until my early 30s. When I look at my life now, it is very clear that this is God’s vision for my life, not mine, and I’m so grateful that God had bigger dreams for me than I ever could have imagined for myself.

But through everything, I always knew that God was with me and I got that knowledge from my mother, who is THE MOST spiritually connected person that I know. She prays without ceasing with a prayer book that was handed down to her from my grandmother who was a PRAYER WARRIOR. Grandma Mary was NO joke! No weapon against her had any hope of prospering! Though she passed more than a decade ago, I know I live in the benefit of her prayers today. These two women, my mother and my Grandmother, are women of incredible faith and courage. I stand on their legacy and it has always motivated me to do and be my best.

BPM: Was there ever a time in your life you let FEAR block your path? If so, how did you overcome it?

Me and fear are well acquainted. Though I don’t know if I’ve ever let fear block my path, it sure has slowed my progress quite a bit. The fear and doubt around writing and publishing the Order of the Seers trilogy was brutal at times. With the second book especially, it was like doing battle every day, just to get a page written. I would cry and shake, convinced that no one would like what I’d written, that I had no talent or no right to do what I was doing.

But the thing about me is that, on some very visceral level, I hate being afraid. I hate letting fear control me. There are many good reasons not to pursue something, fear is rarely one of them. I have been an avid reader since I was 5 years old. I know what a story can do. I know that each story you are given is a blessing from God – a calling. That’s why I feel so honored to be a writer, to be given a story to tell. So if I let the fear win, what I’m saying to God is, “You gave me this blessing, but I’m too afraid to share it. I know you would not have given me this blessing if I wasn’t equipped to share it, but hey, it doesn’t matter. I think my fear is more important than your purpose.” 

Can you imagine saying that to GOD? Yeah, exactly – me neither! My fear of wasting the breathe of God within me trumps almost any fear I have. But that doesn’t mean I no longer feel afraid. I think, with each thing I do, I just get better at managing the fear, so that I can get what I need to get done. If that doesn’t work, then I remember that the bottom line for me is, these stories are not about me at all. They are about the people who will be blessed, inspired and entertained by them.

BPM: As the author of novels for adults, who does your body of literary work speak to?

I think my work speaks to people who are seeking thought-provoking literature that many not be conventional – readers who want to be spiritually-inspired and entertained. Although Order of the Seers is adult science fiction and Ellis and The Magic Mirror is a children’s fantasy adventure, they are essentially about the same thing – people discovering their true calling and power and using that gift to change the world for the better.

Watching the news these days can be a soul crushing experience. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by all the horrible things that are happening. But I believe that ordinary people can save the world. I believe this because I know there is no such thing as an ordinary person. We are all superheroes, but most of us have no idea how powerful we are and so we act like ants when we’re actually giants – giants who can see the future because we create the future with our thoughts, our words and our actions. We can do these things because we are children of God and God has given us these abilities.

My writing is all about finding that awareness in myself and helping my readers discover the same truth for themselves because I believe, once we understand our true power, nothing can stop us from healing this world. If you like your spirituality wrapped in an action packed adventure, you’ll probably enjoy my books.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent novel for young readers? 

Sure. I’m so excited that my first children’s book titled, Ellis and The Magic Mirror! This is a very special book to me because my son asked me to write it for him and we worked on the story together – from story concept to illustration and cover approval. Ellis and The Magic Mirror is about a very curious boy named Ellis who finds a magic mirror and discovers that there is a secret society of trolls at his school who are trying to stop children from learning. Ellis, his little sister, Freddye, and his best friend, Toro go on an adventure in the forest to uncover the mystery of the trolls and stop whatever they have planned. It’s an early reader chapter book with lots of action. The book is targeted towards readers age 6-10 who are transitioning from story book to chapter book. The feedback that I’ve been getting from educators and kids is really exciting. I can’t wait to share it!

Our son, Aryeh, picked up a copy of my sci-fi trilogy Order of the Seers and asked me if he could read it. I told him that my books were for adults and that he would have to wait until he was older.

To this, he frowned and said, “Well, will you write me a book that I can read?” I was so surprised and honored that he asked me that I HAD to say YES!

Since then Aryeh and I have worked together to bring “Ellis and The Magic Mirror” to life. Aryeh gave me the “must haves” in the story he wanted which included, a skateboard, an “awesome” fight scene and an appearance by his favorite stuffed animal “Chirpy”. I pitched the story concept. He approved or revised as needed. Every chapter I wrote, he read and changed according to his preferences. Every character sketch, Aryeh approved, until we had a story he liked. Along the way, my husband and our daughter made their contributions to the story as well. Seeing our son and daughter in their beds, reading their own book has been one of the best moments of my life. We had a great time creating this story. We hope you have almost as much fun reading it.

Greg and I meet at a comic convention in Chicago in 2014. As soon as I saw the incredible energy in his drawings, I knew I wanted to work with him. In fact, Greg is the only illustrator I considered for this project. Luckily, he had the time, interest and incredible generosity to take us on. Through late night meetings on Google Hangout, Greg listened patiently to comments and ideas from *every* member of our family. He’s the best.

BPM: What inspired you to publish it for the world and not just for your family?

The fact that my son asked me to write him a book was really all the inspiration I needed. I don’t think it would have occurred to me to write a children’s book without him asking me, but it was such an honor that I couldn’t refuse. But besides that, I noticed that there was a real need for chapter books that helped with the transition from storybook to chapter book. Last year, before my son first asked me to write a book for him, I knew his teacher was struggling to find reading material that held his interest. To make matters worse, his teachers and I couldn’t get him to try chapter books, even though he was more than capable of reading them. When I asked him why, he said to me that “There were too many words and no pictures.” So when he asked me to write him a book, I knew it was my chance to address a need that I was seeing in our home, hearing from his teachers and other parents who were experiencing the same thing I was. I set out to develop a story that combined full color illustrations with a complex narrative and as much action as I could get away with in a children’s book.

My husband and I also noticed that it was getting harder and harder to find more advanced books that featured children of color – even more rare, was a child of color in a fantasy adventure. Most parents don’t have the knowledge on how to produce a children’s book, even if they want to, but when my son asked me, I thought, “I actually know how to do this.” I’m proud to be a part of the #weneeddiversebooks movement.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book, Ellis and The Magic Mirror?

I loved working with our son on this book and seeing him see himself in the story. He owned every part of the creative process. He told me what he wanted in the story. I wrote the words and he edited them, telling me what made sense, what didn’t, and what he thought would be “even cooler”. His confidence in participating (and expecting to participate) in the development of this book made me so proud. He’s actually really good at giving constructive criticism in a very thoughtful way! I also loved being able to show him how much I love him by writing and publishing a story just for him.

BPM: Why should our readers and educators add Ellis and The Magic Mirror to their collection?

As a mother of a 8 year old boy and a 5 year girl, I know that there are a lot of great books out there for kids. My husband and I are avid readers and have been committed to encouraging literacy in our kids since before they were born. But as our son’s reading level matured, we noticed that the books available to him seemed to hold less of his interest. The early reader chapter books that we found often lacked the action and adventure he craved. And when they did have action, they had little or no pictures (and rarely in color) to accompany the story line. This often left him too intimidated to give them a try (“There are too many words, Mommy!”)even though he had the ability to read them. We also noticed that protagonists who looked like him were getting harder and harder to find. I heard the same struggle echoed by parents and teachers of kids around our son’s age. We were all looking to fill the gap between the Fly Guy series and the next Rick Riordan book.

And that’s how I came up with the concept for The Ellis Series.

With full color illustrations integrated throughout the five-chapter story, Ellis and The Magic Mirror was written and designed to facilitate an easier transition from storybook to chapter book for young readers (ages 6-10 years old). By combining the vibrant images that storybook readers are accustomed to with a more challenging narrative, Ellis and the Magic Mirror strives to encourage early readers to dive into more complex stories, without sacrificing beautiful imagery.

Ellis and The Magic Mirror can contribute to your collection in 3 main ways:

* It is unique in the world of early reader chapter books that typically leave vibrant illustrations at the front cover,

* It fills a growing need among parents and teachers for books that capture the attention of reluctant readers, (especially boys) while still moving their reading abilities forward, and

* It offers a diverse group of main characters who are doing cool things in a world that is modern and full of possibilities.

In addition, the story of Ellis and The Magic Mirror is laced with themes that emphasize character building, the unique qualities that reside within every child and the value of learning, family and friendship. These messages could be used in any school, library, home school or church setting to enhance and enrich a range of character building and educational activities. (It also makes a great bedtime story!)


Intimate Conversation with Lynn Emery

Intimate Conversation with Lynn Emery

Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery. Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.

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

I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd when I was ten years old. I already loved reading, but that book with its twist at the end did it. I closed the book and decided I wanted to write mysteries. I didn’t even know who Agatha Christie was, or that she was a white Englishwoman who was already dead by then. I didn’t think about being a poor little black girl living in the south who couldn’t even get to a library. I didn’t consult anybody, which meant no one told me my aspiration was outlandish and impossible. I simply said, “I’m going to write a murder mystery. Life happened. High school, college and my entrance to the adult world of working nine to five. Yet twenty years later I went back to my dream and started writing again.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? 

I attended a writer’s conference within driving distance of my hometown. I took a fellow author’s advice to attend writing events where editors and agents would be presenters and taking appointments. The advice I didn’t take was to schedule an appointment with them, a mistake that almost cost me dearly. You see Monica Harris, the founding editor of Arabesque, was there. But I lacked confidence because I hadn’t finished my first book. I was told more than once not to expect to sell that first book. I also was told editors don’t consider, much less buy, unfinished books, certainly not from first time authors.

Another published author who belonged to my RWA chapter was horrified when I told her I hadn’t scheduled to meet with Monica. I was literally the only writer of color at this conference, and Monica was hungry for submissions. A young editor, Monica had been only recently hired by Kensington Publishers and her big assignment was to launch the first, and at that time only, line of African-American romances. My work-in-progress was romantic suspense.
This published author pushed me, not so gently, into approaching Monica during a break between her presentations. I went to my hotel room and quickly practiced a three to five minute pitch. I sweated during her workshop, and then screwed up the guts to follow Monica and introduce myself. In the hotel lobby I breathlessly pitched my book in the five minutes she graciously allowed me. About five or six weeks later, Monica called to offer me a contract. I sold my first book, and even though Monica knew it was unfinished. Night Magic was released in 1995.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?

I would have to say courage, with a capital “C”. If I hadn’t pushed up my own courage, I wouldn’t have met Monica at all at that small conference. So writers should have courage, which will lead you to another capital “C” word, confidence. Courage will give you the confidence you may lack in your developing skill as a story teller and promoter of your own work. Courage will help writers overcome the tendency to stay in their isolated, insulated little worlds. When you step out of your comfort zone, you’re willing to network with and talk to other writers and publishing professionals.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. LaShaun teams up with Cajun Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chase Broussard to solve grisly killings in this lovely bayou setting. Using her psychic abilities and Chase’s crime fighting skills, they fight human and supernatural killers.

LaShaun Rousselle led a bad girl life in her teens and twenties, using the spells Monmon Odette, her beloved grandmother, taught her for all the wrong reasons. The results led to such a horrible string of events, that she left Beau Chene, Louisiana. LaShaun moved to Los Angeles with the thought that she would never return to Louisiana, much less Beau Chene. The series opens with her arriving back because of Monmon Odette, and over the course of the first three books she builds a life that she didn’t expect to have at all, including or especially in Beau Chene.

Into The Mist opens with LaShaun being drawn into yet another of Chase’s cases, a kidnapping. As the story unfolds, the evil that that seems to have put a child’s life in danger creeps ever closer to those LaShaun loves the most. Everything LaShaun holds most dear is on the line, and she has to find answers to protect her family and the world.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

As a clinical social worker, I’ve been involved in child welfare cases, attended school conferences to advocate for children, and conducted abuse investigations. I also worked as a juvenile court consultant and in a psychiatric hospital. Although I do research even with my experience, a lot of the issues about children in the child welfare and special education systems come from what I’ve seen up close. The children in Into The Mist face these same challenges for a unique reason, and flaws in both systems only add to their vulnerability, as LaShaun and Chase discover.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

Into The Mist is a mystery with paranormal elements. I write mysteries now, though my first seven books are romantic suspense. What’s interesting is I never intended to write romance. The first writing group I found, or rather a member found me because we worked in the same building, was a local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). I even told her that I wasn’t writing romance, but she said that didn’t matter. So I joined. A published author who belonged to that RWA chapter advised me to try writing romance because editors were in the market for them in a big way (this was the mid-1990s). Breaking into the mystery genre was tough, but for writers of color it was pretty much impossible back then. I felt very discouraged until she told me about romantic suspense, the subgenre I hadn’t even heard of at the time. Once I found out I could kill people, the words started flowing on my first book.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 

I’ve learned and been blessed to see the lesson in everything that has happened in my journey, so I can’t honestly say I’d change much. Even the bad helped make me either a better writer or better professional writer in terms of the business side of publishing. In 2000, I was blessed to have BET produce a made for television movie based on my novel After All. Holly Robinson Peete starred as Michelle Toussaint, a character I created. Seeing her on the screen saying that name gave me chills. Still I couldn’t really celebrate because BET used the old publishing contract I’d signed, and they were known at the time, to pay well below the industry standard for the movie rights. That was one bitter pill to swallow. Even worse, I couldn’t stop them from making the movie. Thankfully the script, performance and production came out fine. The only thing I would change, if I could, was for myself and the other Arabesque authors to have more leverage, support or legal alternatives back then. Still, I had fun throwing a premier party at my house. I got to ride in a limo to BET studios twice for interviews. And it’s kind of fun to say, “My second novel was made into a movie.”

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 

Readers are welcome to visit my website at I’d love for them to sign up for my monthly newsletter while they’re there. The newsletter includes exclusive free books and other goodies available only to subscribers, in addition to fun articles. Let’s socialize!

Connect with Lynn Emery on Social Media 

Tweet: @LynnEmeryWriter
Lynn Emery website:



Intimate Conversation with Pat C.

Intimate Conversation with Pat C.

Pat C.
was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pat C. is a mother, grandmother, poet, trainer, a certified life coach and now author. Pat C. possesses a natural gift for coaching and encourages all to live and love to the fullest.

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

My first inkling that I was a poet came when I was separated from my second husband. I began to write as if journaling. It kept going in a sporadic sort way and then I came to realize that I possessed talent in poetry writing. I was inspired by my hurt of a broken marriage, as well as good memories of the marriage. My writings continued over the next 14 years before I published my book and are continuing.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?
I love writing because my writings surprise me. They come out of no where, are spiritual inspirations, epiphanies, and emotional, concerning things happening to me or around me. My writings fulfill my need for self-expression. Life experiences with love drive me to write. When I least expect it, I find myself with pen to paper, writing about a situation. I write as long as the words come. I don’t change them nor do I rearrange them. I don’t use a particular style or form, I just let it flow I know that when the inspiration comes, the words must be written at that moment, because that moment of inspiration cannot be recaptured. I don’t work on a poem, I simply write, once and done. I write because I want to be heard and understood concerning my views of love, as I feel that love is the most beautiful thing in life. I am a communicator and writing poetry further enhances that.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges, and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
My life struggles with life and love certainly have been a challenge and continues to be. After realizing that people seem to gravitate to me for advise, which is why I am now a certified life coach as well, I wanted to own my challenges by writing a book to encourage people to love and not be afraid to love. And also to let the world know that romantic love is somewhat the same at any age, as it encompasses joy and pain. Real worth was felt after writing each poem and is confirmed when readers, say to me that my words are words they want to express and can now do it!

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters?
My poetry career began as an alternative to keeping a personal diary of the account of my daily emotions. My talent as a poet surprised me at first. I always loved writing and considered myself to be good at it. As time went by, I came to accept that I was a a writer of love & romance.

The contents of my book were inspired by by personal journey. Thus the tile was born: Life & Love: The Journey In Verse. The writings expel the joy and pain of love and shares them with the reader, helping him to relate and evaluate their journey. As the reader takes in the words he may begin to understand things like butterflies do count! You can’t have love without them! My words go on to tell of the pain in love and that you can survive and start over again.

Here is a review that sums it up perfectly:

“Life and Love – The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” – Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton, Secondary School Principal

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this commitment? Why?

The genre of my book is poetry. I plan to write a cookbook, as cooking is another a passion of mine. Poetry invokes and summons emotion. Read my book and allow your senses to yield to all that love has to offer life.

BPM: Did you set out to inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject?
Yes, love on all counts. I feel that love is the most important thing in life. “And the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13b)  I want to tell to world to NEVER give up on life and love! You must allow yourself to become more transparent, allowing all the beauty that love has to offer into your life!

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or personal experiences?

Yes, this book is about many of my personal experiences. You must stand up for love and most of all communicate with your partner all of your feelings. Your best speech may be when you are in pain. Love involves fluffy and real. Experience it all to the good of your life! My book lives it for you and helps to understand and accept who you are!

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?

I want readers to love more passionately and gain or regain a zest for life and never be afraid to give love away! Don’t be afraid to tear down the curtain, allow yourself to be seen and to be vulnerable. Let love in! Pursue love and allow yourself to be loved!

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?

The pleasure of readers expressing that my book helped them through a difficult time and that my words help them to express themselves.

BPM: What are you most thankful for now?
My joy and pain in love helped me to see myself in a better light and to know who I really am. Being happy is essential and it enables you to contribute to the happiness of others.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Do you have something to say that people want to read about? If you have a thought or an idea in your head, begin to create a manuscript. Keep a journal near at all times. Research publishers and read their offerings and compare their offerings to your goals. Gather up those small efforts and collectively, they may just equal a bestseller!”

BPM: A legacy is something that is handed down from one time period to another. 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 live your life without fear, step out on faith if you truly believe in yourself and what you are writing about. Just close your eyes and jump, I did! For me, when an idea pops into my head, I put pen to paper and it just begins to flow out of me!

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what’s next? 

Watch for my new book, “Gems of Life & Love,” to be released later this year. A cookbook, “Queen’s Soul-Full Gourmet”, is also in the works.

BPM: Please share your social media links with the readers.
Pat C. can be found on social media at:
Her website:
Facebook: Pat C, Author – http://www.facebook/PatCauthor

Life & Love: The Journey In Verse by Pat C. 

“Life and Love – The Journey in Verse speaks from the heart of the author as she revisits, observes and fantasizes the beauty of love. It immediately becomes apparent that the reader will be personally escorted by verse to observe and to understand the language that only love speaks. The couplets and the tone capture the beauty of the soul, the mindset and compatible lives being joined together in unity by the power of love. The mood has been meticulously established for reading. I was captivated.” – Dr. Claudia Wells Hamilton Secondary School Principal

Purchase Life & Love: The Journey In Verse


Intimate Conversation with Sierra J.D.

Intimate Conversation with Sierra J.D.

Listen to the Launch Party on BAN Radio Show 

Author Sierra J.D. is a wife and mother, living in her home state of Louisiana. Sierra found her love of writing at twelve years old when she was first introduced to poetry in Junior High School. She enjoyed crafting stories into poems and a few years later wrote her first novel. Writing allowed Sierra to escape depression during her adolescence and she has since created a goal to make a career out of her passion of writing. With her collegiate degrees giving her the skills and foundation needed to be a successful business woman, Author Sierra J.D. has decided to enter the literary world as an author and Independent Publisher. With the assistance of her husband, Dion, the couple founded Destined Eloquence Publishing. The Mission of Destined Eloquence Publishing is to publish works that will bring awareness and help to various issues of our day and time as well as inspire, uplift, and motivate.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you? 
Having perseverance and strong determination allowed me to get to where I am today. I have always known that I couldn’t sit around and wait for someone to pave the way for me. I have to make moves for myself. I do not want to be the next anyone, I want to be the FIRST Sierra Demouchet.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models? 
My debut series Family Matters speaks to families of every background. From single parent households to families of prestigious college graduates. The stories within the Family Matters series are meant to inform and get the readers to address their own problems and situations in their families. Oftentimes, church is looked at as a perfect place. In the series, I expose the lives of some of the people of the church to show that although a person is a Christian or headed into that direction, they are not exempt from dealing with life. I admire several authors. However, I love the work of Tyler Perry, Toni Morrison, Nikita Lynette Nichols, and Joan Vassar. 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work, Praying My Way Out of the Struggle? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? 

The entire series will be a page turner! The series will be available as a paperback, large print text, and e-book. It will be available on Kindle. At the end of the series, it will be available as an audiobook.

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

I initially wrote Praying My Way Out of the Struggle eight years ago as an unpublished Street Lit novel entitled Tryna Make it Outta the Struggle. I was in a dark phase in my life. The counseling sessions that I were enrolled in were barely working for me, but my counselor did get me to realize that writing was my happy place. I’ve always liked to write stories as poems so I decided to write my pain and depression away. Writing this story saved my life. After completing the story, I found myself stuck with writer’s block for five years. With maturity and growth, I began to dig deeper into Christ and one day it hit me! I asked God, “Am I supposed to be writing about you?” And it was as if he pat me on the head and said, “Duh!” After I received confirmation about my purpose in life, several stories and situations came flowing into my head. I revised Tryna Make it Outta the Struggle, turned it into Praying MyWay Out of the Struggle, and connected all of the stories together to create this series.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing Praying My Way Out of the Struggle? 

I enjoyed channeling my spiritual life through my main character, Trina. It delivered me. I became closer to God than I was before and I’ve gained clarity of just how loved I am by him. The Holy Spirit revised this story for me. I have probably read it a thousand plus times and I still cry and laugh at the things that goes on in the story. The story always moves me to the point that I have to remind myself that I am the person who actually wrote this story.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 
My ideas are divine creations. God gives me bits and pieces of stories and I mix them in with my own experiences and imaginations. My books are a mixture of plot and character-driven. Praying My Way Out of the Struggle is character driven because I wanted to show all aspects of this character through many different situations that she is forced to be a part of while in the midst of finding herself and God. The rest of the series is heavily plot driven because I want to dissect the different family relationships.

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

There are six speakers in the story. Trina is the main character and the storyline is based off of her life. She is a typical Louisianian: quick to say how she feel, whenever she feel like saying it. She doesn’t take any mess or disrespect. But now she is faced with the biggest dilemma of all: Christ. Being a Christian is new to her. She’s went 18 years with being of the world so it’s …different. Her boyfriend’s name is Josh. Josh is an all-star athlete and is one of the most popular guys around the town. Mix that with being the son of a doctor and one of the hottest drug dealers in the city and he thinks that he is untouchable.
And then there is one of Trina’s sisters, Kayla. Trina and Kayla are almost always at odds with each other because while Trina is trying her best to keep the family going in a good direction, Kayla is a typical ignorant 16-year-old, only caring about herself. Instead of helping their mama get clean off of drugs, Kayla has sex with just about anyone to support her mama’s drug habit.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?

The under-represented groups and ideas in my novel is young adult Christians, individuals who struggle with their identity, suicide, and the life that children with divorced parents are left to deal with. There isn’t much that I can say without telling more of the storyline, but what I will say is this. I’ve read dozens and dozens of Christian books and I have yet to read a novel that addresses a person who is in the age group of 18-24 as a Christian. In my book, I address the coming to Christ in that age group. Of course, 18-24 is not the only age group that I deal with in the series, but in the first book, my character, Trina, is within that age group.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey? 

As I have said, I channeled my spiritual life through Trina. I am a bit more advanced in my Christian journey, but as a baby Christian we are in the same boat with the constant spiritual warfare. Thankfully, I have not had to go through all of the things that she has had to go through, but I have experienced and witnessed several of the things that she went through. In the book, Trina is in her last year of high school and dealing with the most! In real life, I am in my last month of school before receiving my undergraduate degrees and this rode has not been easy one bit. Something has happened every semester that I felt was meant to get me unfocused, but thank God, I kept it moving. 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 

I have learned to keep my faith in check AT ALL times and to always expect favor. I attended several Women Empowerment sessions as I wrote this book which played a part in how I felt in the moments of revising and editing the story. The funniest thing of all is that I changed the church’s name to Kingdom Bound from New Life because I became a member of a church named New Life Church International and as it is in the story, the 1st Lady of the Church truly is a counselor. God is funny!

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My goal is to give my readers hope and encourage them to fix “it” at all cost. God does not want anyone to suffer, be in lack, or to struggle. If we all live another day, it is another chance to get it right.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 
I am currently in the middle of completing the Family Matters series. I am excited to introduce the rest of the members of Kingdom Bound Church.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Readers can visit my website to read more on the series at:
Instagram:   MRS_SIERRAJD
Facebook:  Sierra Jones-Demouchet (MrsDemouchet)



Intimate Conversation with Skywalker Payne

Intimate Conversation with Skywalker Payne

After Third World Press published her first book of poetry in the seventies, Skywalker Payne went on to write feature articles, fiction, scripts, and blogs. She was a choreographer and performing artist for twenty years and earned a summa cum laude BA in communications/storytelling. Later, experiencing a midlife crisis, she became a registered nurse. She currently lives in Homer, Alaska with her husband, Brian Payne, creator of Zinc Comics.

Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and registered nurse, Payne unites spiritual and health benefits of mindfulness and gratitude. With an engaging conversational style, she places a revealing spotlight on the limitations of the current US medical system and offers wellness-promoting alternatives. Using personal stories, poetry, and spiritual insight she shares knowledge gained from her life-long mindfulness and gratitude practice. Payne shows how these simple practices can benefit and enrich your life.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? 
Writing has been my companion, my confessor, my creative impulse, and my communication with the world since I was a child. Being raised in an Air Force family, I grew up never spending more than two years in any school, including college. This gypsy life meant that I was never able to build up those true, long lasting friendships and relationships that happen when you grow up in one community. But I always had my writing. When I was in fifth grade I read the Diary of Anne Frank and began my life-long obsession with journaling. That year I also wrote my first short story and my fifth grade teacher also told me I would be a writer.

I also loved dance and performance. In my twenties after initial publications, but no continued support of my writing or writing employment, I turned to sharing my writings in original productions with dance. Dance provided physical release and expressiveness that was exhilarating and provided immediate contact and response with others.

Writing can be a lonely process. But, even as I often battled with myself, “Do I want to live an exciting life” or write about one, writing always called out to me. I knew whatever would remain of me, my legacy, is what I write.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
Paradoxically, it wasn’t until after I began working full time as a labor and delivery nurse that I found my grounding as a writer. Part of my difficulty in establishing my career was my innate gypsy lifestyle and my inability to handle rejection. Working 36-hour night shifts provided me a disciplined lifestyle, secure financial stability, and multiple days off to write.

When I began blogging in 2012, I received comments from readers that let me know, immediately, that what I wrote was of value and literary merit. Blogging not only provided me an outlet, it gave me the practice and discipline to produce. As I continued to write, while nursing, I began to see I was a writer, and nursing was just a job. I recognized my value and owned I am a writer above all other occupations or employment.

BPM: What genre is this book? Will you write all of your books in this category? Why?
I classify All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness as creative non-fiction because the book is about my life written in a creative fashion to be entertaining as well as educational. And this is my preferred method of writing. Having thousands of pages of journals, I can either fictionalize my life, or make conscious choices of what I want to share to provide illumination into a specific area of life or experience.

Even though I read fiction in my youth and young adult years, I’ve grown to prefer creative non-fiction, non-fiction, and books on spirituality. So, I’m writing in a genre I like to read. However, I do like to write short fiction and like sharing folklore, historical, and original stories verbally.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness?
My goal in publishing was to introduce mindfulness to a wider and more diverse audience. As I explain in the book’s introduction, the practice of mindfulness can lead to the creation of a more compassionate world. And at this time, we need more and more people practicing mindfulness to increase compassion to overcome this worldwide onslaught of hatred, bigotry, racism, and violence fed by ignorance and greed.

Unlike many other books on mindfulness, mine tells a story, my story, and I feel my story can serve as an example to anyone that you too can practice mindfulness. You can work a 40-hour week job and have family commitments, you can like to watch TV, or drink wine and still practice mindfulness. You can get angry or be impatient but with the practice of mindfulness you’ll be better able to handle those emotions and in time see them pass quickly. And most importantly, you can increase your compassion and recognize everyone is like you seeking happiness, fulfillment, and meaning to life.

BPM: Why do you say now is the only time to begin practicing mindfulness?
Because all we have is now, this now moment. Mindfulness practice empowers us to live in the now moment, to become aware of exactly what is happening now. In the next second that now moment will change.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
After reading All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude – A Quest for Wholeness, a reader should begin to practice mindfulness with the goal of becoming a more aware and compassionate person. The book includes a chapter on a simple method to begin a mindfulness practice. And for those who haven’t yet purchased my book, they can receive a free PDF copy by enrolling in my new on-line course Renew Yourself.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished them?
When I was in my twenties, living in Washington, DC, more than one astrologer told me I would inherit money from a relative and become famous in my old age. The first part of that prediction has occurred. So, my career goal as a writer is to make the second part of the prediction come true. I want Skywalker Payne, Wordsmith & Storyteller to become as well known as Oprah Winfrey. And no, I have not accomplished that goal yet, but I see it manifesting as clearly as I see the view outside of my window of snow-capped mountains and a crystal blue bay. Five years ago I had no idea that I would be fortunate enough to live in a place with such beauty able to look on it every day from my home. So, I’m grateful for being able to live in Alaska and having the time to write and live at a slower, more mindful pace.

BPM: We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what’s next? 
In addition to my on-line course Renew Yourself, this year I am telling three 3-minute stories weekly on my Youtube Channel, Skywalker Payne Storyteller, Home of the 3 Minute Story. I include Black history, world folklore, and my own original and improvisational stories.

My next book, “Breathing Through the Eye of A Needle, Stories of Living in the Moment from Birth to Death, continues the theme of mindfulness with stories that show how important it is to be aware of each moment we are living.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
My website address is:  where my book can be purchased. The paperback and Kindle ebook are also available on Amazon  and other online retailers. Thank you for this opportunity to talk with you and I look forward to seeing your readers reviews on Amazon.

You and readers can enroll in Renew Yourself – my new online course and receive a free PDF copy of my book with first month’s enrollment – 

Please Like my Facebook page Skywalker Storyteller:

Follow me on Twitter @Skywalkerstory:

Connect on LinkedIn:

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel:



Intimate Conversation with Patricia A. Saunders

Intimate Conversation with Patricia A. Saunders

Self-published author, Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 20 years ago. She received her Master’s in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.

She released her first self-published book Through the Fire (March 2012) which covered situations, circumstances, and life lessons that have influenced her over her lifetime. Last year, the book was featured on a Coast to Coast Book Tour at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Tucson Book Festival, Miami International Festival of Books and AARP Life@50+ Spring Convention.

Her work has been featured on In the Company of Poet, Women Owned Business Club Magazine, and Alysha Live! Radio Show and Coach Deb Bailey Secret of Success Talk Radio. She performs locally at spoken word events and Capital Jazz SuperCruise Open Mic with Grammy Award Winner Eric Roberson. She is a monthly guest blogger contributor to Author House Author’s Digest Blog. As well as writing her own blog Blessed & Curvy.

On a mission to complete a book a year she released her second book Loving Me (2013) and third Let It Rain (2014) which is also self-published and covers various topics from love, grief, self image, self esteem, bullying, and discovery of self love. Her latest book (2016) This Too Shall Pass was released by AuthorHouse Publishing.

She works as a supervisor for a corporate financial organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, spending time with family and wine tasting. Her books are available at your local book retailers, at, and

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? By the faith of God because there has been challenges. Who or what motivated you? 
My parents motivated me by understanding that no one can take from you what you don’t give them. When I was going through all of my storms in life I was reminded of my faith.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? 
It speaks to those who have loved and been wrong, it speaks to those grieving and those who have thought about giving up.

BPM: Do you consider authors as role models? 
No, I think an author is someone who sheds light on various topics and people can take from it to make decisions.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I always wrote poetry as a kid but as an adult when my Mother first was diagnosed with dementia it made me think what if I get the disease what about my words.  Why now? Once she passed and had Alzheimer’s my pledge was to write until the pen stopped.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
Re-living memories of my past that were filled with laughs, good times, and sharing with focus groups.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? 
My books are birthed out of experiences, media, and anything that strikes me. This Too Shall Pass is poetry and some of the pieces are autobiographical. Why? It was easier to release my feelings.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
I went through a deep depression in 2007 and three women sent me words of encouragement to hang on. I saved those notes and it inspired me to write “This Too Shall Pass” because I came through those storms. This book is now available on Nook and Kindle.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
When reading the book you can’t put it down because the emotion it takes you through. There is poetry about being in a toxic relationship, growing older, death, and faith. You want to turn the page and either relate to the situation or gather some encouragement yourself to make it through.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
My mother was an ordained minister so I can’t help but write about faith yet there is struggles that I faced that I questioned God.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey? 
My book of poetry talks about adultery, Christianity, suicide, and more. A person young or old would be able to relate.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
I learned that I made it through those storms that I thought would kill me. I learned that when I sat down to write the book so many words flowed that I didn’t expect.

BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? 
I love my Saturday Morning Hair Salon Divas. We talk about everything and they helped me work through the pieces when telling about experiences.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 
I wanted to write a book that another person could pick up and though it was poetry making it simple so that they got the intent, complex to keep other’s attention, and not too preachy so that everyone would get the message.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present? 
I am preparing to start working on the 5th book of poetry.

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



Intimate Conversation with Sage

Intimate Conversation with Sage

was born and raised in Huntingtown, MD. She has been married to her best friend, for over ten years and they have two amazing sons. She is also an Autism advocate and a parent of an autistic child, which inspired her to write a non-fiction book on raising a child on the Autism spectrum, The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony.

Sage also writes mysteries centered on characters that are close to the heart. She has vowed to produce books that encourage the reader to deliberately read; not just for entertainment but to read with the intention of solving the mystery along with the Detective.

Her belief that, “if you don’t see the books you’re searching for write them” has inspired her to write with a purpose and a passion.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 
Reading and writing are life-long passions of mine. I have been indulging in my passion of writing since I was 13. I want to share my passion of writing psychological thrillers with the world.  My mother was the first person to place a book in my hands. My father taught me how to work hard at the things that I wanted in life. I worked at achieving my Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 2009. I am now funneling that same determination and tenacity in marketing my book series.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? 
I love to read different types of books, but I have a preference for mystery and thrillers. I enjoy a heart pumping adrenaline rush type of book. It was my love of mysteries and thrillers that stoked my interests in writing. The under-representation of African American characters in the books I read resonated within me. I am inspired to fill the void with my murder mystery series.

BPM: What hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 
It’s difficult to get noticed in this industry as a mystery author. It seems like the publishers want to pigeon hole authors into one genre. It is my goal to abolish the myth that we only write urban themed books. My goal is to show through my books that black authors write thought provoking, suspense-driven novels as well.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion? 
Passion is the most important quality a writer can possess. Passion invokes determination, which in turn creates a hunger so intense that the writer can’t sleep, eat or function without transferring their story from their mind to paper. That is what I consider pure magic. If passion doesn’t drive you then you can’t make magic happen.

BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on many levels. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it? 
I started writing when I was a teenager. The turning point in my life was when my oldest sister suddenly died of a heart attack, then less than four years later my other sister was diagnosed with heart failure. I became determined to see all of my dreams come true. No matter what, I want to see my book in the hands of every reader. I’m driven by the spirit of my sister and the support of my family; with determination such as that I will be successful.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why? 
The Black Bird Detective Series is a mystery book and a psychological thriller, combined. I love to write mystery books because they keep the heart pumping with the turn of each page. 

I also wrote a non-fiction book on Autism. Autism has touched our family in such a tremendous way. Both my 10-year-old son and 10-year-old nephew are Autistic.  Through the years we have experienced many different emotions while raising Jordan. As I write to you today, the strongest emotion that I feel is pride. I am proud of our children for their ability to be independent of the label that society has placed on them.  Many times parents hear the word Autism and have no idea what it really means. The moment we received Jordan’s diagnosis our lives changed. Initially, we thought the world was closing in around us. Then, we found our strength. We realized that through telling our stories we gain strength. So we wrote, The Optimistic Autistic – Our Testimony, which is also available on

BPM: Do you set out to educate or inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 
I set out to entertain my readers. I want readers to be entertained and while they’re being entertained, they’re learning something. I conduct a great amount of research for the developing of each book to ensure that readers learn something they never knew. I love to inspire readers to continue reading.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book? 
Believe in what you are writing. As long as you believe in your writing and the purpose for what you do, there is nothing that can stop you. You must take the first step though. If you want to write a book, start writing. Don’t put it off any longer. If you need assistance with writing or publishing your book please contact me at:

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book? 
Once readers have put down Assumptions Abound, make your next purchase of Seeking TruthSweet Revenge and The Butterfly: A Novel. I tell you to purchase them both, because you will not want to wait for the book to ship to find out what happens next.  The book series is so enthralling that you will not want to miss a beat.

BPM: What are your career goals as a writer? Have you accomplished most of them?
My career goals as a writer are to assist others with living out their dreams of writing a book. I have written and published over 10 books and I don’t plan on stopping. I want to show others that there is a way to get their thoughts, words or message out there and I am willing to help them.

I have accomplished many of the goals that I have set regarding my writing, but there is so much more work left to be done. I plan to turn my mystery trilogy series into a mini-series. I would love to see Raven on the big screen.

Instagram: sageauthorsitall;   Facebook: Sage

Check out Books by Sage
The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony by Sage (Non-fiction)

Assumptions Abound Available on Amazon:

Seeking Truth Available on Amazon:

Sweet Revenge Available on Amazon:

The Butterfly: A Novel Available on Amazon:


Intimate Conversation with Nichol Bradford

Intimate Conversation with Nichol Bradford

Nichol Bradford, a proud Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sister, is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level.

She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi. Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China.

Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying those same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience. She is also a member of the African-American MBA Association

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I wrote the book I wanted to read about strong yet vulnerable and intelligent black women committed to a great and grand goal — mental freedom and empowerment for all. I was tired of not seeing heroes that looked like me. I wanted to see someone like me save the world, not as a side-kick or agency head, but as the actual, certifiable central hero. I wanted to read about Olivia Pope back then, but since she didn’t exist yet, I wrote my own. I also wanted really well-developed characters who had something on their minds other than men. So some of the characters are happily married, and some are single, but most of all their focus is not just on their men (or lack thereof) but on their friendship and common goals. I also love technology and so wanted the women to be deeply immersed in that world.

I am deeply motivated by the memory of my mother, Vivian Jones Bradford. My mother is the model for the visionary leader of the Sisterhood, Vivian Delacroix. My mother was an entrepreneur. She was completely committed to helping women and supporting the efforts of black women in particular. She believed most in defending the defenseless and used her legal education to do so. I started volunteering by her side when I was a child and she made sure that my values included service to the betterment of society.

Like the CEO on the book, my mother died suddenly and unexpectedly (months after I graduated from college). She was a young fifty, healthy, and we were very much alike. My last conversation with her was the morning of her death, and I’m so grateful for that. I was devastated. It took at least a year for me to reorient myself. The shock of losing her shaped the way I approach life. It instilled a sense that there’s plenty of time, but no time to waste. I believe in being passionate about the work that you do and who you do it with, because none of us knows how much time we have. I believe in being mission driven. I have the loss of my mother to thank for what I feel is a highly effective approach to a full life.

I’m deeply motivated by the idea of empowering people to free their minds in order to create choice and options in their lives. That thread runs through most of what I’ve done — from writing the Sisterhood, to working at a senior level in the video game industry, to launching an online meditation course, to pioneering the transformative technology sector.

Transformative Technology is about making the technology in our lives support our well-being and not just our productivity. The last decade found me exploring the idea of transformative technology in the video game industry, where I served as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations, and marketing for games internationally for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.

Most recently I managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. During this time, I also began to meditate and saw interesting parallels between it and gaming. Both enable delight, flow, and access to dynamic states of consciousness. Meditation, though, goes even further and can profoundly and positively impact well-being. It seemed logical to me that technologies that directly impact human experience could do so as well, but no one seemed to be seriously working on it. So, I left Blizzard to pioneer Transformative Technology.

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
My books are for women who want to make a difference with their lives — women who care about their communities, families, and lives and want to make positive change. Black women have a beautiful heroic nature, and I wanted to show that you don’t have to be wearing head-to-toe spanx to be heroic. The “Superwoman” meme sells us short. It makes us think that there’s something wrong with our heroism. We believe that our heroic nature will ensure that we are single and have nine cats so we reject our nature in order to not be alone.

Or we believe that we can’t be heroes and also be vulnerable so we build walls around our hearts while we work ourselves to death. Real heroism is the flexibility to be strong AND vulnerable AND all of those things – while keeping focused on our wider mission. As far as role models go, I think that anyone who is positive and lives with integrity can be a role model — so if an author is doing that, then yes — she or he is a role model.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
The Sisterhood started on a late night drive home from a success workshop I gave during college. That night, I had this group of beautiful young black women stand in a circle and tell each other, one at a time and by name, that they were smart, beautiful, and could have anything that they wanted and worked for. It was a hard session, each and every young women cried when the group told her that she could actually have what she wanted. And I realized that we don’t know this…not really (even I didn’t always believe this and still have my moments where I don’t).

As I drove home, I felt really inadequate. I know that workshops can help, but they don’t last long enough to really shift someone…or help someone shift themselves. I started thinking about how I could show what it would look like, to be women who believed they could have what they wanted and worked individually and together to make that a reality. So I decided to write the Sisterhood. I conceived of an organization of women, who faced a series of challenges. Addressing those challenges would allow me to show versus tell how an individual can be successful. I went home and jotted the basic plot down which today is more or less the same.

However, it was another eight years before I actually started writing. The events that prompted me to write the book in the Fall of 2000, to actually sit down and type the first word was a break-up that triggered a re-commitment to myself. I was in business school and had been dating a sweet man, who though wonderful in many way, was not the right person for me. I also had been interviewing for jobs that truthfully, I was only interested in for the security and the salary. Essentially, I was headed towards a life that was not aligned with my inner North Star. Luckily, the man did something break-up worthy (and so we did) and none of the jobs came through (thank goodness).

I’m a Virgo baby, so every September I do an assessment on my life — where am I mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. During this period, I also try to clean things up — I ask forgiveness, forgive, clean out my closets, and think about what my goals are for the following year. As a part of this, I had been thinking about my goals, and realized that I had put “write the Sisterhood” on my list for eight years — and I just refused to start another year without having taken an action. Taking that action, after all the difficult things that had happened that year, was a proxy for a commitment to myself, to my intuition, to the life that I truly wanted to lead. It took another eight years to write the entire book, and then two more to publish it.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
All of the Sisterhood characters are smart and strong…yet flawed like all real human beings. They aren’t perfect — but by working together they complement one another and accomplish great things. Tonia Rawlings is the main character that you follow and I just love and admire her. She’s the head of security for the Sisterhood and carries the weight of her best friend’s death on her shoulders because Vivian, the CEO of the Sisterhood, is assassinated on the first page.

Vivian’s death triggers a chain of events where Tonia is tested more than ever — which is saying allot given a life story that includes an abusive husband, a drug conviction, and the death of a child. In order to navigate the danger, she has to change herself. Watching her wrench a new version of herself from the old is a powerful illustration of how to do the same thing.

The nine leaders in the book are based on ALL the women I know – from the amazing women I grew up around, to those I pledged AKA with in 1990, to the women I met at in the African-American MBA Association at business school, to all the women I’ve met along the way . One of the things I love about this book is that it represents the full diaspora – every size, shape, and hue of black women.  The women come from all backgrounds, educations, and geographies but they share a common bond through their desire to positively impact their world. They are all women who have integrity with themselves and with their Sisterhood, showing what that looks like and the real possibilities it can create in our lives.


Intimate Conversation with Elle Wright

Intimate Conversation with Elle Wright

Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I would not be where I am today without God. Without Him, I’d be nothing. My mother used to sing a song when I was little that says “Without Him, my life would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”

I’m where I am as a writer because of hours spent daydreaming, hard work, and perseverance. I’ve always wanted to do more, be more. My mother inspired me to read. My children inspire me to create, to follow my dreams. How can I instill in them follow their dreams if I don’t lead by example?

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I think my body of literary work speaks to lovers of romance and drama! I love to write love stories and delve into how people find love, sustain it. There are so many authors that I consider role models; authors who are doing their thing in this genre and others. I’m always amazed and very grateful for the many authors who’ve given awesome advice, shared my book, and read my work.  It’s been a wonderful experience meeting authors I’ve read and getting a chance to pick their brains or just chat with them.

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

Her Kind of Man is book 3 in my Edge of Scandal Series. When I started the series, I wanted to explore the dynamics of a close-knit group of friends. There is a theme in each of the books. This book delves into unrequited love. There is something about Allina and Kent that is pure magic. There’s an innocence to their relationship. I had a good time heating them up, but I especially loved the bonding scenes. They had an ease and genuine affection for each other that made me smile. I love it!

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Actually, the best part of writing this book was that was so challenging. I really had to push myself with this one. There are disturbing moments in the book, but mostly, it’s a journey to happiness. Allina and Kent had to climb out of that box they put themselves in; in their careers and in their relationship with each other.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Usually, my book ideas come from weird questions posed by friends or family. The Forbidden Man came about when a friend asked the simple question, “What would happen if a woman was torn between two brothers?” From there, it became my goal to write a book where the reader would sympathize and even root for the forbidden relationship.

Character-driven. I want my characters to make sense, so I spend a lot of time with characterization. My cousin always tells me “if it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.” For example, Allina was a runaway bride. She left her wedding, her parents, and her groom behind because she felt like she was in danger. She was dealing with so much in the present that was bringing up demons from her past. So, I had to slow the romance part down because it didn’t make sense for her character to rush it. Also, Kent was so noble, he would have never taken advantage of her.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Engaged to a prominent preacher, Allina Parker is the envy of Cleveland. But instead of walking down the aisle, she’s running out the door. After her groom-to-be reveals his true nature, she flees to Michigan, back to Kent. Kent is the man she left behind, the one man she knew she’d always love. He is also one of her dearest friends. When she appears on his doorstep, Kent makes it his mission to protect her and finds out that there is more to her story than she’s telling him. The book is available on Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
Allina is incredibly intelligent and creative. She’s the friend that you know is going to support you through whatever while remaining calm and collected. Her dream of dreams is to design wedding gowns, but she’s left that behind to marry. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that her Prince Charming was a sociopath. The best thing about Allina is that she surprises me. On the surface, she seems one way. But there’s so much more to her. I enjoyed figuring her out.

Kent is… loyal, dedicated, handsome, strong, protective, and funny. I absolutely loved him in all three books. He was my comic relief, but he’s also the type of friend everyone needs. He’s creative and extremely hardworking: the perfect book boyfriend.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 
Yes! I love to write African American romance. I love writing diverse characters. It’s my reality.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
Honestly, I think I was Allina. I was the good girl. I married my best friend. I’ve struggled with living up to people’s perception of me. Yep, she’s me and I am her. LOL

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
One thing I always learn when writing my books are new ways of thinking about things. Each character approaches decisions differently. Most of the time in ways I would never think of.

I’m laughing because I found out that yoga pants are apparently sexy to some men. So I put that in the book. I also had to learn about different sketchpad apps for a particular scene, which was neat.

I’m from Michigan (GO BLUE), and part of the book takes place in Cleveland, so I got a chance to talk to a few friends who are from the Buckeye state. I learned about a few festivals and restaurants there that I’d want to visit one day.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My goal was to write a different book. I didn’t want all the books in the series to be the same. Each couple was very different. They all had their own crosses to bear, things to overcome. I needed to do each character justice. I feel that I achieved that in this book. It’s nothing like the first two books of the series, in my opinion.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

At the moment, I’m plotting two contemporary romance series. Both feature secondary characters introduced in the series. Also, I’m plotting a romantic suspense series and a Women’s Fiction.

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

Twitter: @LWrightAuthor
Instagram: @lrwright09

Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series

Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.

Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series



Intimate Conversation with Tia Williams

Intimate Conversation with Tia Williams

Tia Williams
is the ultimate style insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and, and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of The Accidental Diva and the It Chicks series, and co-writer of Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and their various accessories.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
TW: I’ve always been a writer. I can’t do math, I have zero business sense, and I’m a disaster in the kitchen. But writing always felt right to me. I wrote my first book at age 7! And two weeks after I graduated from college, I moved to New York to become a magazine beauty writer. I also knew I wanted to publish books, but at twenty-two, I felt like I hadn’t had rich enough experiences to inspire juicy fiction. But after five years in New York – falling in love with a couple of charismatic lunatics, having my heart broken, experiencing a career in fashion magazines, finding a colorful community of young black journalists and authors in Brooklyn – I felt like I had enough material for my first novel, The Accidental Diva!  Five books later, I’m still at it.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

TW: Growing up, I loved Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz’s books…their protagonists were always strong, glamorous women with creative jobs, passionate love stories, and exciting lives in cities like Manhattan or L.A. But I never found books like this with black characters, so I made it my mission to change that.

As a kid, I wanted to be the black “version” of their main characters. With all my novels, whether they’re adult, like The Perfect Find and The Accidental Diva, or YA, like my It Chicks series – I try to create dynamic, fabulous characters so this generation of readers won’t have to be the black “version ” of anything! It’s so satisfying for me to introduce quirky, weird, witty, sexy, brainy, fully three-dimensional characters from all backgrounds – just being black and excellent, out in the world.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

TW: The Perfect Find is a juicy, hilarious story about star-crossed love and starting over! Jenna Jones a 40-year-old fashion editor who, in one nightmare week, gets dumped by her fiancé of two decades, fired by Darling magazine, has a nervous breakdown – and then reinvents herself at an online fashion ‘zine, where she’s working for her evil rival from the ‘90s, Darcy Vale. But Jenna, who doesn’t have Facebook and has never “Twittered,” finds herself in over her head and surrounded by uber-cool millennials who think she’s a dinosaur.

Worse? At her first party back in NYC, she gets tipsy and hooks up with a fine 22-year-old, Eric Combs, who ends up driving her nuts in all the right, but also wrong ways (especially since he has a secret identity that makes him the one person who could destroy her big comeback). Will she risk it all for love? Read it to find out!

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

TW: The Perfect Find is chick lit (my favorite genre). I’ve always been drawn to big, sexy love stories set in the world I know best – the beauty and fashion industry, in New York. There’s so much material in that world; so many delicious characters.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

TW: Absolutely. Jenna Jones is the alter ego I created when my own life imploded. I was laid off from my magazine, got divorced, lost everything, and had to start again. I lived vicariously through her fight to start-over, and such a late stage. Jenna was a type-A weirdo like me, a perfection addict, and when things fall apart she discovers what she’s truly made of – and comes out on the other side, more powerful than ever before. She inspired me to chase my own comeback!

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?

TW: Readers can check out my website,, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @shakeyourbeauty, and Facebook at Tia Williams.

Follow Tia for chit-chat, beauty babble, and book updates:

Shake Your Beauty Blog 


Purchase The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in Paperback
Chick Lit, Steamy Romance, Workplace Drama, Fashion Fiction
Check out a free chapter! See more at:  




Intimate Conversation with Victoria A. Young

Intimate Conversation with Victoria A. Young

Winning an essay contest for Fannie Mae landed Victoria A. Young on Good Morning America, Spring 2000 under the maiden name: Victoria Martin. This brought to fruition that her writing can move people. She has written and produced three 2 hour plays and three short plays affording her the opportunity to refine her skills on Passion Whispers an Execution Book Series. She has also produced fashion shows, designed fashions, and choreographed dancing. Dancing ballet, jazz, African, and contemporary from the age of thirteen, blessed her to train God’s Mercy dancers to perform for Congressman Charlie Rangel. Her dancers were also given the opportunity to perform at all-paid-expense trips traveling out of New York State for church retreats.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write? 

I developed the love for the arts at the age of thirteen when I had a report due one Monday. I ran the streets with my friends disregarding report. Aware that my parents were going to scold me if I didn’t have the report completed, I stood home one Sunday ignoring all calls. And read a book in one day: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun. The report took me about three hours to complete. From that point, I fell in love with poetry and how words can tell a beautiful story. Later on, I won an essay award and appeared on Good Morning America. From there, I began writing inspirational plays, combining dancing, poetry and fashion shows with a following of two hundred to seven hundred people, who are today, waiting for the next play. I’ve written three, two hour plays and three short plays.

BPM: Why do you write? 

Taking my characters through fire as they search for hope is a passion that boils my blood. I believe in writing oh my God and tainted stories, which close out with a bang, bringing a joyous spirit to the human experience with powerful messages. Life is about change. Without it, you’ll never grow. What drives me is the experiences I go through with my characters. I experience their emotions, heartbreaks, joy and full journey. It inspires me to make them stuggle through hell and make it to other side of heaven. Tears actually fall from my eyes when I end the story because I know the hell I brought them through was certainly fire.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? 

I began writing Passion Whispers an Execution as a screenplay with the name Unpredictable. As I ventured into editing, editors told me that I write like a novelist; and, to write Unpredictable as a novel, then have someone adapt it into a screenplay. Since I’m open and highly appreciate criticism, I took their advice. Scouting the options of Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing, I decided to Self-Publish unitl I’m acclimated with the publishing industry.

BPM: What genre is this book? 

Psychological and Action Thriller combined with Romance. I will write all my books in this genre due to the nature of my writing, always ending on an inspirational message the way I did with my plays.

BPM: Do you set out to educate, inspire, entertain or illuminate a particular subject? 

I aim to do it all. Subjects I write about are: forgivness, trust, injustice, faith, self-esteem, cheating women and men or any subject that highlights the human experience. I use various cultures, the tainted, the unorthodox, and characters traveling through darkness in order to entertain. My plays were a mixed cast of cultures. I tend to go with the realism of our world. Real life is that way. Nor do we live in a world where perfection exists in any given country, state or neighborhood. By the time my stories end, a powerful theme explodes, resonating with various cultures.

BPM: Are any scenes from the books borrowed from your world or your experiences? 

Of course. Truth be told, working with New York City Police Department for 15 years inspired me to write about mental illness, which is the soul of Passion Whispers an Execution. I experienced Bipolar Depression and panic attacks after caring for my mom with breast cancer until God took her home. She didn’t want to die in the hospital or nursing home. My husband, son and siblings took turns caring for her at home. I went through three years of breast cancer symptoms with her. After death, I began having nightmares about her bones disentigrating, waking up screaming. Due to the jealousy and the close relationship I had with my uniform bosses, my civilian supervisor discriminated againt my mental illness. I filed a report with the Human Rights Divison. From there, I resigned to write novels and to open my own business. Also, I grew up watching heroin addicts and wanted to use that as I thought it would be interesting since it’s trending now.

BPM: What hurdles did you have to overcome as a new author and business owner? 

I do own a business devoted to women in the line of beauty and inspiration. Trying to combine my many talents with my books became difficult. Another hurdle was I had a massive following when I wrote plays, but didn’t have the massive following with my books in the beginning, December 2014. I thought everyone liked to read. I soon found out, in many cultures, some didn’t know how to read, and others just are not readers. After a year of learning, I found out I had to find readers instead of people.

BPM: What is the most important quality a writer should have? 

Transform into each one of your characters from the beginning of a story to the end. Get your book edited. Our brain is unable to edit due to one part being creative, we won’t catch errors. And do your research. I was never addicted to drugs. I had to do plenty of research on heroin in order to bring my lead female character addiction to fruition. Reviews have been written about her because of my research. Yashani is a favorite. 

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?
VC Website: 
Facebook Fan Page:

Order Passion Whispers an Execution: Book 1 – Tease Me!

Series: Passion Whispers An Execution
Mystery & Thrillers > Erotic Suspense


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