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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Intimate Conversation with Mary Honey B. Morrison

Mary Honey B. Morrison was recently on BAN Radio Show discussing her August new release, Head Games and her other 2 non-fiction titles. Listen to the show here: http://tobtr.com/s/10895553. I will post her other books in my comments section.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison believes that women should shape their own destiny. Born in Aurora, IL, and raised in New Orleans, LA, she took a chance and quit her near six-figure government job to self-publish her first book, Soulmates Dissipate, in 2000 and begin her literary career. Mary’s books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists. Mary is actively involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, and in 2006 she sponsored the publication of an anthology written by 33 sixth-graders.

In 2010 and 2014, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB. Her wonderful son, Jesse Byrd, Jr., is the owner of Oiseau Clothes and writing novels for adolescents. Mary currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Mary Honey B Morrison on Facebook, Twitter @ marybmorrison, and at MaryMorrison.com.

Purchase Books from Mary B. Morrison 
http://marymorrison.com/product-category/books

 

 

FEATURED BOOKS ON BAN RADIO SHOW WITH MARY & ELLA D. CURRY 

* Head Games by Mary B. Morrison

* Dicks are Dumb: A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Right Man by Mary B Morrison

* Never Let a Man Come First: A Female’s Guide to Understanding Male Behavior by Mary B Morrison 

 

 

Head Games by Mary B. Morrison –   Women’s Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison delivers a sizzling, twist-filled tale of four competitive friends, a dangerous bet—and high-stakes consequences no one can afford to win . . .

 

From childhood games to career challenges, Trymm, Dallas, Kohl, and Blitz have stayed the best of friends—and each others’ toughest competition. These bachelors live to party up, sex it down, and get it all. And now they’re betting on which of them can “date-and-dump” the most women in a month—and post the proof on social media. Winner takes all: a cool million dollars. But this game is about to get all-too-real…

Trymm has no problem bedding married women looking for quick-and-dirty satisfaction . . . until he falls hard for one he can’t have. A cynical ex-soldier battling PTSD, Dallas woos a hopeful bride to exhaust her savings for picket-fence promises—just to humor his boys. Kohl enjoys his best one-night stand with a mysterious beauty—but his recklessness backfires big time after he exposes her. And Blitz thinks he’s giving a powerful Fortune 500 executive the business—until he gets played…

Now everything they care about most—money, family, and friendship—is on the line. All the right moves won’t keep them safe—especially from each other. And the only way out of the game is to concede or risk everything on a dangerous gamble they can only lose…

Purchase Head Games by Mary B. Morrison
http://a.co/32skn6j

Download books by Mary B. Morrison
https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B001ILIDYU

 

 

 

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Intimate Conversation on BAN Radio Show with Ramone Harper

I truly enjoyed my Intimate Conversation on BAN Radio Show with Ramone Harper, a highly sought after consultant, coach, speaker and trainer.  Ramone Harper is the author of “It Takes 2: Who is Helping You Lead?’ which is aimed at helping individuals who serve in executive leadership roles appreciate their contributions to their organization and help senior executives find the right help.

 

Listen to a replay of his BAN Radio Show interview with Ella D. Curry:  http://tobtr.com/s/10883977

 

It Takes 2: Who is Helping You Lead? by Ramone Harper is targeted to senior leaders (CEOs, entrepreneurs, Pastors, Executive Directors, etc.) that he refers to as #1s to help them understand the need for having quality executive support leaders on their team and how to find them.

And to executive support leaders in order to inspire and encourage them to embrace their uniqueness in helping lead their organizations from the second, third or fourth chair. The premise is that no individual can do anything alone and it takes two or a team to help them become successful.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

The deepest, darkest secrets of Reverend Curtis Black are revealed at last!

Curtis Black is no stranger to scandal. Throughout the decades, he as done much in the public eye, both good and evil. But what most people don’t realize is that Curtis has been hiding an abusive childhood that has affected him in horrifying ways.

Sadly, when his estranged sister becomes alarmingly ill, his buried past returns without warning, and his youngest daughter, twelve-year-old Curtina, becomes the kind of problem child he never thought she could be…and this is only the beginning.

Worse, all the public scandals they’ve experienced over the years now seem like mere child’s play compared to the turmoil they are facing in private. And who could have known that their deepest wounds would come from within?

 

 

Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Curtis was a nervous wreck. He and Charlotte had just parked in his sister’s driveway, gotten out of his SUV, and walked up to the beautiful brick home. Charlotte grabbed Curtis’s hand, squeezing it tighter than usual, and Curtis rang the doorbell. During the drive there, he’d said a number of silent prayers, trying to calm his thinking and uneasiness, but now his heart beat faster and faster, and he took a couple of deep breaths, trying to regain his composure. Charlotte looked up at him. “Everything is going to be fine. You did the right thing by coming here.”

Curtis continued holding Charlotte’s hand, still attempting to calm his nerves, and finally his brother-in-law, Jason, opened the door. He smiled. “I’m so glad you made it. Please come in.” Curtis hugged Jason, as did Charlotte, but then he saw a young man in his mid-twenties walking toward them. He knew it was his nephew, Eric.

“It’s good to see you, Uncle Curtis.”

“It’s good to see you, too, son.” Curtis hadn’t known how either of Trina’s children was going to react when they saw him—especially when they’d known for years that their mom had wanted nothing to do with Curtis—but here Eric had even called him uncle. Curtis looked at Jason. “So, does she still not know about me coming?”

“This morning I told her that she was going to have a surprise visitor this afternoon, but that was it.”

“Well, I just hope that seeing me doesn’t upset her too much. Because we all know how she feels.”

“I know,” Jason said, “but things are different now. And she’s different…because of what she’s going through.” Curtis nodded, and then he, Charlotte, and Eric followed Jason down a long, shiny wooden corridor and around a corner. They stopped in front of a door that Jason lightly knocked on and eased open. A beautiful lady in her early thirties stood up from a recliner, and just as Curtis had known right away who Eric was, he knew this was his niece, Amber. She was the spitting image of her mother, and Curtis had to stop himself from crying.

“Is she awake, sweetie?” Jason asked his daughter, and then he looked over at his wife, lying in the king-size bed, propped against two pillows.

Amber walked closer to where all of them were standing. “She is.”

“How are you?” Curtis asked her.

“I’m okay, Uncle Curtis,” she said, with sad eyes and hugging him. “I’m so glad you came.”

“Me too,” he said, and once Amber hugged Charlotte, Curtis moved closer to the side of the bed and saw Trina watching him. Her skin was a bit pale, dark circles outlined her eyes, and although her hair appeared soft and curly, it wasn’t longer than half an inch. Curtis guessed that as a result of her chemo treatments, she had likely cut it. Because from the time she’d been a child, she’d had gorgeous thick, wavy hair.

Curtis half smiled at his sister, still not knowing what to expect. “I hope you don’t mind our coming to see you.”

To his surprise, Trina smiled back. “I don’t, and it’s good to see you, Curtis. I mean really, really good to see you.”

Curtis had never felt more relieved about anything than he did currently. He’d been so prepared for his sister to turn away and ask him to leave, yet she’d done just the opposite. Curtis leaned down and hugged her, and she held him as well. Then she and Charlotte embraced.

“Thank you for coming, Charlotte,” Trina told her. “I really appreciate it.”

Charlotte smiled. “Of course.”

Curtis wasn’t sure what to say next, and apparently no one else did, either, because the room fell silent. But finally, Jason spoke. “Why don’t you both have a seat? And can we get either of you something to drink?”

“No, I’m fine, but thank you,” Curtis said.

“I’ll take some iced tea, if you have it,” Charlotte added.

Amber smiled. “Well, hopefully my baby brother hasn’t drunk all of it. Because that’s what he usually does.”

“Whatever, girl,” Eric said, laughing. “You just made a huge pitcher of it this morning, so who could drink all of that, anyway?”

“You,” she said, and everyone laughed.

“Well, for your information, there’s plenty left.”

Amber playfully punched her brother on his shoulder and then looked at Charlotte. “I’ll pour you a glass now.”

“Why don’t I come with you?” Charlotte said, already following Amber. “That way Curtis and Trina can spend some time together.”

“I think that’s a great idea,” Jason added, and he and Eric followed the two women out of the room. Curtis continued standing, just wanting to look at his sister. She stared back at him, but since neither of them seemed to know what to say, Curtis asked her a question. “Do you mind if I pray for you?”

“No, not at all.”

Curtis held Trina’s left hand with his right one. “Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you right now, first thanking You for another day, and most of all, thanking You for allowing me the opportunity to reunite with my sister. Thank You for answering my prayers. Then, Lord, I now ask that You would please remove all pain and discomfort that my sister is experiencing and that You would heal her body completely. Lord, please make her whole again. Please allow her illness to only serve as a test that will ultimately become her great testimony. And if there is anything that we can do here on earth to help her, Lord, please speak to our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Please give us the wisdom we need, along with total direction. Because while we know that the prognosis Trina has been given doesn’t look good to us as human beings, we also know that only You have the final say. So, Lord, I am asking You to heal Your child. I am asking You to perform one of Your awesome miracles on my dear, sweet sister. Lord, we ask this and all other blessings in Your Son Jesus’s name. Amen. Amen. Amen.”

“Amen,” Trina said, opening her tear-filled eyes and holding her brother’s hand a bit more securely than before. “Thank you for praying for me, and…” Her voice trailed off, as she took a deep breath and swallowed tears. “Well…I just want you to know just how sorry I am. How truly sorry I am for everything.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Miami Beat: The Secret Society by Frederica Burden

Welcome to Miami! When the sun-kissed beaches and clear blue skies fade into the darkness things really heat up. Miami nights give way to tantalizing temptations that can excite and coerce the darkness out of even the best of us. Sidney Stevens is learning this the hard way. A young, vibrant woman, Sidney is on a mission to pursue her dreams. Unbeknownst to everyone else, Sidney also has a goal that she will stop at nothing to see through.

Losing her father to police brutality at a very young age became the catalyst in Sidney’s life, setting her family on a spiral that she desperately tries to end.

Once an Explorer in the police department, she learned a great deal about law enforcement, which she intends to use to bring her father’s killers to justice. The only thing standing in her way is her heart. There are two love interests in Sidney’s life and she’s forced to choose.

Two is company…
Major Marcus Mystic is her former boss and her current love interest. Since the day she met him, she has been fixated on the handsome, intelligent, virile man. A complex man with an even more complicated home life, Mystic has secrets that could get them both killed. Will Sidney be the one to save him or will their love lead to destruction?

Three is a crowd…
Officer Arturo Garcia is her former coworker and mentor. A sexy police officer with a rough edge and muscular body, Garcia has had Sidney’s attention for years. There’s no denying the red-hot attraction between the two. There’s also no denying the secrets that threaten to explode in a fiery storm engulfing them all in flames. Everyone won’t make it out alive.

 

 


EXCERPT: Miami Beat: The Secret Society

Prologue

 

The sound of glass breaking woke Sidney Stevens from a deep slumber. Frightened, she climbed out of bed and put her feet in her slippers. She could hear voices. Familiar voices, but the tone was completely off.

Terrified, she crept out of bed to investigate the noises. She slowly walked out to the living room and watched in horror as her world shattered right in front of her.

Her father’s right hand was gripped tightly around her mother’s throat. Sidney screamed in horror as she watched her father holding her mother in the air, by her throat. Next to them, lay two empty bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label, her father’s favorite whiskey.

Clawing at his arms, her mother tried desperately to break free from his stranglehold. “Stop it!” Sidney screamed at the top of her lungs, praying that her father would let go. Her mother’s beautiful butter pecan complexion was now beet red. It seemed as if her mother, Florence Stevens, was going to die right before her eyes. Sidney didn’t know what to do, but she knew that if she didn’t act fast, her mother would be dead. Luckily, she didn’t have to contemplate her next move for long.

Sidney heard a sudden bang on the door and jumped as five police officers stormed their home. One cop lifted her up in his arms so quickly it felt like she was flying. He sat her in the kitchen as the other cops questioned her father, Randy Stevens, Sr.

Sidney tried to peer around the corner to see what was happening with her parents, but the cop who picked her up began talking to her. “What is your name? How old are you? Tell me what happened,” he asked as she tried to make sense of it all.

Things flew across the room, shattering, as she heard raised voices. Sidney listened to her mother begging for her father’s release. “Let him go!” Florence cried as a wrestling match ensued in the other room. Read the rest of this entry »

 

My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One by Glenn W. Powell

My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell

Sergeant Glenn W. Powell’s MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is the story of a most unlikely young man who leaves his working-class environment of Toledo, Ohio, to become a soldier. Seeking excitement and a way to “make something of himself,” Glenn Powell’s journey exceeds his wildest dreams—a journey that began in basic training in Fort Hood, Texas ends at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue—the most important address in the world.

MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is about so much more than Glenn Powell’s military journey, but about poignant memories of family, friendships, sacrifices, and love—central to his story is Ronda Holloway, the beautiful young woman he falls in love with in Manheim, Germany, and, who joins him on his life journey as wife, soulmate and mother to their two sons.

MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL offers readers a glimpse into Sergeant Glenn Powell’s 30-year transformation from the much-beloved boy who seeks more in life…to the man, who discovers it—in adventure, in friendships, and in service to three American presidents. a service he delivered with pride, unquestioned loyalty, distinction and in the end, great admiration.

Purchase My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Baggage-Call-Aboard-Force/dp/1986878406/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/LAST-BAGGAGE-CALL-ABOARD-FORCE-ebook/dp/B078KQ9Z89
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-last-baggage-call-aboard-air-force-one-glenn-w-powell/1128407880

 

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Conversation with Sergeant First Class (SFC) Glenn W. Powell 

 

Sergeant First Class Glenn W. Powell (Retired), is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1982, and retired in 2002. During his military career, he served as a heavy vehicle driver, a squad leader, and non-commissioned officer.

In September, 1991, SFC Powell joined the George HW Bush White House as a chauffeur, and in 1992, was promoted to transportation coordinator for the white house Press Corps, serving in the Clinton Administration. In December 1995, he assumed the duties of transportation supervisor for Air Force One. In January, 2001, during his service under President George W. Bush, SFC Powell was transferred to the White House Military Office, Customer Support and Organizational Development where he served as deputy director.

SFC Powell retired with distinction from the Military in 2014. He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the United States Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He received U.S. Service Ribbons for both domestic and overseas service. Glenn and Ronda Holloway Powell have been married for 25 years, and have three sons, Darius, Warren, and Glenn, II. They reside in Virginia.

BPM: How does a man go from basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey to a prestigious career at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a Deputy Director in the White House Military Office?
ANSWER: The journey wasn’t easy but it all boiled down to hard work, dedication, and individuals seeing your potential for success.

BPM: Entering the military at an early age can be challenging for some young people. What was your experience like and looking back would you do this all over again?
ANSWER: At first that experience was very hard. It was my first time being away from home and being in an environment that I couldn’t control. It forced me to grow up quickly and provided the additional resources and discipline that I needed to become a man. Without question, I would do it all over again.

BPM: Tell us about your new book, MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship.
ANSWER: The book is about my personal journey from being a teenage father in Toledo, OH. Making the hard decision to leave my son in order to provide for him. Serving my country that I hold in high regards. Finding love and building a family. Constantly leaving my family to fulfill my military obligations while serving the Office of the President, and establishing lifelong friendships.

BPM: What was it like to be in service to three American presidents?
ANSWER: It was one of the greatest honors that an individual in the military can aspire to have. It isn’t the norm for a military person to be able to serve three Presidents, due to the fact that we relocate after four years on that assignment.

BPM: Being aboard Air Force One had to be amazing! What is one of the most beautiful places you visited?
ANSWER: The first place was South Africa, where I was afforded the opportunity to go on safari, but more importantly to tour Robin Island during President Clinton’s visit, and have the pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela. The other place was China, and being able to walk the Great Wall of China, and standing in Tiananmen Square.

BPM: What was your most interesting chapter to write in your book MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL?
ANSWER: For me, the most interesting chapter to write was Chapter 15, Second Chances. Writing this chapter allowed me to be vulnerable with how I felt during 911 and multiple health issues that I had faced.

BPM: Were there ever times you wished you could share your story with the world before writing the book?
ANSWER: Yes, there were, but because I’m such a private person and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my story.

BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
ANSWER: I have been writing my story my whole life. Keeping notes in my head internally. I just never knew that I was a writer. It wasn’t until my cancer diagnosis, that I decided it was time to put the thoughts and feelings to paper.

BPM: How has writing MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL impacted your life?
ANSWER: It has allowed me to be more open with regards to my personal life. It has allowed me to share the upbringing that has made me what I am today.

BPM: What advice or bit of wisdom would you share with the young man leaving home for the first time seeking adventure?
ANSWER: I would say, try not to be afraid but open for opportunities that came your way. Your destiny has been pre-determined, so follow your heart.

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
ANSWER: I would view writing as an outlet, as everyone has many views on spiritual practice and I don’t want to offend anyone with my views.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned from this project?
ANSWER: The one thing that was most surprising, was finding out my family history. Everyone isn’t always able to trace their family origins.

BPM: Share one specific point in your past that is resonating with your present situation or journey.
ANSWER: To always treat others the way that you want to be treated.

BPM: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
ANSWER: It is both energizing and exhausting. It energizes me by allowing my creative juices to flow. It is exhausting because you really don’t know just how much work goes into bringing a project to life.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

If women can have a chick lit genre, what about a dood food happy hour? Word Food for Doods is a guys night out buffet comprised of three short stories, two funky one-act plays, and two essays that sprout about important men banes. In addition, there are twenty-three eye-popping illustrations. Women, these stories will help you understand our warped minds. These stories will enthrall both sexes. Enjoy pardners!

 

Here’s a brief glimpse of each story from Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Short Stories

1. “Kemal’s Last Laugh” – Three white, experienced mountain climbers receive a lesson in humility from some unexpected sources as they attempt to conquer deepest, darkest Mt. Kenya in Africa.

2. “Streople” – One day on the streets of downtown Los Angles and one can meet the strangest people, street people or just “Streople.”

3. “A Week in the Life of a Closet Miserable” – I wanna be a writer, but one week leads to the next, and every time I start to write…well…kids…the wife….sports…they all get in the way!

One-Act Plays

4. “The Tattle-Tale Grin of Kid Spade” – Tells the exploits of a black cowboy, Kid Spade the Blade, in the very wild, unfriendly west of Yall City.

5. “Jazz Junkies” – Recounts an important point in the life of band leader Hemp Leeks. Does he follow fame and certain riches or stay loyal to his original band mates?

Essays

6. “t.s. etiquette (a.k.a. the toilet seat chronicles)” – An essay for men on how to avoid that age-old argument with your woman on whether the toilet seat be left up or down?

7. “Dedman Speeks the Hellcatcher” – Dedman thought he had caught it all – a sucker soul magnet….. but never caught anything till he caught the hell that often arises from marriage issues. Dedman Speeks will indeed be a “Deadman” who no longer “Speaks” should this story be published!

 

Purchase Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer
Action & Adventure > Mystery >Thriller & Suspense

Kindle Download Link: http://a.co/euEbUYH
Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer/dp/154624235X/
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer/dp/1546242376
Kindle Edition: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer-ebook/dp/B07DNQTKNG

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Interview

Duane Lance Filer grew up in Compton, California and had one of the greatest, richest childhoods one could have growing up in an “inner” city. Duane’s dad Maxcy Filer was involved in the west coast civil rights movement, and during the late 50s, 60s and 70s Duane got to witness and was involved in some wild and crazy events during this important time in American history.

Since birth, Duane has possessed an extraordinary memory; an insatiable imagination; and a fascination with writing. He started writing in high school, through college, during his 30-plus work years, and into his present retirement. Duane’s funky writing projects and painting can be viewed at his website http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler.

LISTEN TO DUANE FILER ON BAN RADIO SHOW
He reads from The Legend of Diddley Squatt: http://tobtr.com/s/10457297

 

The Legend of Diddley Squatt Intro
#PowerRead: LongTALES for ShortTAILS YA books for young readers & The Legend of Diddley Squatt by Duane Lance Filer. Excellent story telling skills! Read excerpt and hear BAN radio interview with Ella Curry- https://conta.cc/2qYZtFq

BPM: Tell us about your most recent, “Word Food for Doods.” Available on Nook or Kindle?
You can find an ebook at AuthorHouse, Amazon and it available on Kindle.

If women can have a “girls night out” and chic lit reading groups/lunches; what about a “Dood Food” happy hour? “Word Food for Doods” is a guy’s night-out buffet comprised of 3 short stories; 2 funky one-act plays; and 2 essays that sprout about important men banes. A plus for the ladies – these stories will help you understand your man’s warped mind.

Also there’s a bonus is the twenty-three eye-popping/old-school/black/white/brown illustrations that help bring flavor to each story; you will be amazed at how these old-fashioned pictures bring life to the characters.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters in “Word Food for Doods.” 
“Word Food” clocks in at 25,244 words and 119 pages. To date, I have self-published eight books. My book published in 2017, “The Legend of Diddley Squatt – A Novella from a Brother Fella” – has received the most press and local/U.S. media attention of any of my books! I want readers to love this books just as much!

Here’s a brief glimpse of each story in “Word Food for Doods.”

Short Stories
1. “Kemal’s Last Laugh” – Three white, experienced mountain climbers receive a lesson in humility from some unexpected sources as they attempt to conquer deepest, darkest Mt. Kenya in Africa.

2. “Streople” – One day on the streets of downtown Los Angles and one can meet the strangest people, street people or just “Streople.”

3. “A Week in the Life of a Closet Miserable” – I wanna be a writer, but one week leads to the next, and every time I start to write…well…kids…the wife….sports…they all get in the way!

One-Act Plays
4. “The Tattle-Tale Grin of Kid Spade” – Tells the exploits of a black cowboy, Kid Spade the Blade, in the very wild, unfriendly west of Yall City.

5. “Jazz Junkies” – Recounts an important point in the life of band leader Hemp Leeks. Does he follow fame and certain riches or stay loyal to his original band mates?

Essays
6. “T.S. Etiquette (a.k.a. the toilet seat chronicles)” – An essay for men on how to avoid that age-old argument with your woman on whether the toilet seat be left up or down?

7. “Dedman Speeks the Hellcatcher” – Dedman thought he had caught it all – a sucker soul magnet….. but never caught anything till he caught the hell that often arises from marriage issues. Dedman Speeks will indeed be a “Deadman” who no longer “Speaks” should this story be published!

 

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
For my three children’s books, I remember when growing up in Compton, CA in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s – loving children’s books and cartoons on Saturday morning T.V. The Jetsons was one of my favorite Saturday morning T.V. cartoons. Once again, I wanted to feature some black/minority kids in my writing because IT WAS NEEDED. I also remember asking my parents “how come none of the people in these books or on the cartoon shows look like me or any of my friends on the street or in Compton?” So, I reached back in my memory and thought of various popular cartoons, and then twisted some of the characters into remembrance into things that happened in my personal family with my brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. I think the world should show its diversity. Kids of color can now relate to characters like them – that’s important!

For my teen/young adult/adult books, I like to show how everybody has issues/problems/set-backs at first – but that you must remain positive and keep working toward your dreams and ideals. I like to show that there are folks in everyone’s life who reach out and will be there for the helping (teachers, mentors, baseball coaches, religious people, brothers and sisters) – all you have to do is trust certain folks.

 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
That it is a compilation of various genres/formats of writing, i.e. 3 short stories, 2 one-act plays, and 2 “essays.” It is a funky gumbo of the written word for different types of media – books….the theater….and magazines. The only thing missing is a screenplay for TV and the movies – and I do have a couple of each which I will be presenting soon. I AM ECLECTIC – I LIKE DIVERSITY!

 

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
I have tons of materials…possible screenplays…short stories…plays…that I have written since the 1970’s. I have kept all of the stories in my overstuffed desk drawer and file folders. If something happens on the news or becomes a trending topic – or a situation just moves me – I can pull out some of this material and start expanding on it. On some of my earlier work, such as the Diddley Squatt book, it is already set-up for a Diddley Squatt part 2 because of where I left off in the story. Or, sometimes, something new hits me and I jot down a few key phrases….. and BOOM – I have the idea/story for another book. I will then create a separate journal for this new idea and jot down storylines, possible characters/plots – as they come to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

EXCERPT: Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders by Raye Mitchell by Raye Mitchell 


Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders by Raye Mitchell 

Black Women and Girls Are Invisible at America’s Leadership Tables and Pipelines. Here’s a Plan to Fix the Problem

 

“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.”
–Oprah Winfrey, 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement

 

Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders is about helping young Black women and girls beat the odds. At its core, the ‘Me Too’ movement is about women and girls taking back our power and influence and a commitment that we will not be silenced or made invisible. Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes on January 7, 2018 and delivered a moving speech that brought men and women in the audience to their feet. She issued a promise and a call to action bolstered by a promise to all girls.

For young Black women and girls, Oprah’s speech was pitch perfect and particularly timely, not only because she is a highly visible, highly influential Black woman, but because it is our time to act.  In an environment of increased hostility to gender and racial equality, it is on us as Black women to master new plans to empower our young Black Women and girls to rise-up as leaders.

From the schoolroom to the boardroom, there is a national crisis of the invisibility of Black women and girls. While highly visible, millions of Black women and girls are virtually invisible at the leadership tables of America. The number of African-American chief executive officers (CEO) is so low that we are losing the race to achieve real diversity in the traditional and newly forming notions of the C-suite.

Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls Rise Up as Leaders presents integrated groundbreaking insights that address the leadership crisis facing our women and girls This book is not about theory, but about a plan of action. There is an urgent need for diversity and leadership inclusion of Black women in corporate and non-corporate America. The material shared inside can be used to build a substantial pipeline of leaders that position Black girls to move forward.

In this book, Raye Mitchell, Esq, an accomplished Harvard Law School attorney and power and influence expert-turned philanthropist, and fierce advocate for women and girls, presents a comprehensive deep dive into how to solve this on-going crisis of invisibility by answering two critical questions; How did we get here? What do we do to rise-up and lead forward?

Focused on assisting millions of women, girls, and leaders across all sectors to disrupt the status quo, this book presents a blueprint of much-needed paradigm shifts to address the source of the leadership crisis facing corporate and non-corporate America when Black women are excluded from the leadership table and the C-suite. If we want to solve the leadership crisis that is keeping Black women invisible at the highest levels of leadership, we have to repair the leaks in the foundation and pipeline of how we engage young women and girls.

Black women and girls are derailed at the beginning of the leadership pipeline, and those that make it in loose ground with every step.

On January 7, 2018, in her memorizing and worldly acclaimed acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Award, Oprah Winfrey issued a promise of a new day. Invisible No More is a plan of action that acts on that promise of “Me Too” for inclusion and participation at the leadership table for young Black women and girls and to help create that new day where the leaks in America’s leadership pipeline that have left young Black women and girls falling through the cracks are forever plugged.

 

 


Chapter Excerpt: Invisible No More


Author’s Note –  “We See You”

“This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you. We see you.”  Tracee Ellis Ross, 2017 Golden Globe winner for her role in ABC’s Blackish

 

On October 4, 2017, Sgt. La David Johnson, along with three other U.S. soldiers, was killed in action in West Africa when Islamic State militants attacked them in Niger. His body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday, October 17. Sgt. Johnson was a Black man who left behind a young widow with two young children and a third on the way. His widow, Myeshia Johnson, was only twenty-four years of age. Not so soon thereafter, the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, called her. Rather than deliver culturally responsive condolences to the young widow of a fallen solider killed in the line of service, Trump utilized the power of his office to disrespect the Black woman and her family. Mrs. Johnson found the tone and content of the condolence call from the commander-in-chief to be disrespectful. She felt unheard and disregarded. In response to sharing her account of events surrounding the ill-fated call, Trump, again utilizing the power of the U.S. presidency, effectively called the widow a liar in public.

 

This lack of cultural humility, sensitivity, and civility is astounding yet sadly unsurprising. Make no mistake! Young Black women and girls are invisible and under siege in all sectors of society. It seems there are few safe spaces for young Black women to be heard or validated.

 

We, as Black women and girls, are being silenced, and we are losing inter-generational connections, intra-generational connectivity, as well as our visibility. The general gender uprising, which calls for more women to advance in leadership and gain access to the C-suite, is not about increasing the number of Black women or women of color in leadership positions. The fight for gender equality is not about us as Black women. We are only supplemental to the conversation, and for the most part, our perspectives are, at best, left out of core leadership decisions .

 

National Crisis
These observations are not merely an academic, ‘feel good’ moment. Corporate and non-corporate America faces a national crisis today. The number of African-American chief executive officers (CEO) is so low that we are losing the race to achieve true diversity at the leadership table and in the C-suite. Shockingly but unsurprisingly, no Black women have run Fortune 500 companies since Ursula Burns retired as Xerox’s CEO in January 2017. None. After American Express’s Kenneth Chenault retires in February 2018, there will be only three Black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies: Ken Frazier of Merck, Roger Ferguson of TIAA, and Marvin Ellison of J. C. Penney.

The lack of Black women at the C-suite level indicates a persistent problem in how we develop and groom future leaders. Corporate America is a microcosm of America itself. Structural barriers assign certain values to preferred groups and disadvantage and exclude Black women and people of color not included or invited in the group on the rise. This book captures and documents the reality of the insidious systemic, structural, and institutional barriers firmly entrenched in our system of leadership preparation. Misperceptions about Black people abound, and race and gender discrimination are well documented in a country founded on the premise of White female power, privilege, and preference, leading to the suppression of Black women and girls and perpetuating myths of delegitimization.

 

Broadening the Base. Building the Pipeline.
Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders, is intentionally focused on creating an engaging plan of action to change the game for our young Black women and girls. This book proposes asking and answering three questions, but first I must provide a word of caution—my thoughts are intended to be provocative and spark difficult follow-up conversations.

Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls Rise Up as Leaders does not merely analyze how and why the status quo persists but provides solutions for forward thinkers in corporate and non-corporate America to reverse these trends and champion young Black women and girls to not just lean in but rise up. Almost all competitive organizations in sports, arts, and other sectors employ talent scouts, who build and maintain pipeline programs, build early relationships, and nurture talent. Invisible No More is a plan of action to usher in new thinking and new actions to build the pipeline of Black women leaders at the c-suite level.

Invisible No More speaks to the needs of Black women and girls who seek the traditional corporate c-suite path and as importantly, for those that do not seek the traditional corporate c-suite career path. These women instead elect to define their success based on their net social impact and contributions. In reality, the true “c-suite” for these women and girls is connected to another set of Cs—the ability to be competitive, confident, and competent, and contribute as change leaders and independent entrepreneurs in charge of their own futures. Regardless of the path chosen, the need is urgent now.

 

(   Continued…  )
© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Raye Mitchell.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

 

About the Author

Raye Mitchell is on a mission.  Mitchell is committed to being part of the amazing journey and united efforts to help young Black women and girls assert their power and their presence.  For far too long their voices have been muted, their stories ignored and their experiences have been rendered invisible.  Mitchell wants to help build bridges and lend to a positive effort to find peace and common ground based on mutual respect, equality and share visions of justice and inclusion.

Mitchell is the founder of the New Reality Foundation, Inc., and CEO at the Winning Edge Institute Inc. She is a power and influence expert, attorney, author, speaker and activist.  Mitchell is a member of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund network providing legal support for women and girls affected by harassment. Mitchell has received national acclaim for her work mentoring women and girls of color to help them beat the odds and excel as leaders.

Mitchell is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California (USC), the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (B.S.) and the USC Marshall School of Business (MBA).  She is a native of Los Angeles, California.  Website:  www.DrRayeMitchell.com

 

 
 
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