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Author Archives: Ella Curry, EDC Creations

EyeCU Reading & Social Network Book Club

A Detroit native, Ebony Evans has always had a knack for creating and implementing exciting out-of-the-box ideas. Quite the event planner, she has embarked upon many different endeavors; be it a shopping trip to the Big Apple, photo shoots of all kinds, pole parties or giving her time to charities near and dear, Ebony was and is doing it!

EyeCU Reading & Social Network, is a combination of yet another creative idea, fused with one of her dynamic passions…reading. She and a host of friends together developed this idea into a reality. In addition to reading, being a devoted wife and mother, Ebony enjoys cooking, traveling, karaoke and spending time with family. Life has taught Ebony the value of surrounding herself with a close-knit circle of like-minded supportive friends, with whom she reciprocates compassion and that same support.

Ebony Evans, EyeCU Reading & Social Network book club founder is an enthusiastic reader and self-proclaimed “book nerd” at heart! Ebony has been married to her soul mate, Michael for sixteen years and together they have one high energy and very talented 10-year-old daughter, Essence. Essence’s “bigger than life” personality and sleuth of extracurricular activities keep Ebony and Michael very busy and very proud as they watch her grow!

EyeCU Reading & Social Network is made up President Ebony, Secretary Samara, Treasurer Bayyinah and members Chineda, Monique, Rhena, Satanya, Stacye, Tamara & Tina.


BPM: Please tell us about your book club. Where are you located?

EyeCU Reading & Social Network is in the Metro Detroit area with satellite members in both California & Arizona.

BPM: How did your book club get started? When did your group begin, what year?
Some of our members have known each other dating back to high school. In 2010 a small group of us, most of whom are avid readers got together for dinner one evening to hear Ebony’s thoughts on creating a book club. Her ideas were embraced, the details were discussed and the first group of EyeCU Reading Officers was in place. From there Ebony hosted a meet and greet/tattoo party to introduce EyeCU Reading to other women that she thought would like to join. And just like that… EyeCU Reading and Social Network hit the scene!

BPM: How many members do you have?
EyeCU Reading & Social Network currently has 10 fabulous members!

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization?
The purpose of EyeCU Reading & Social Network is to promote literacy in the African American community with an emphasis on African American women. To support primarily, but not exclusively, the works of African American authors. To encourage community involvement through charitable endeavors, support and motivation. Our club was born from the vision of providing an avenue for women to fellowship with a primary focus on reading thought provoking books, networking with other book clubs, attending literary events and meeting fascinating authors. We also want to show our beauty and boldness in all that we do!

BPM: Tell us about your bookclub and any contributing members. What is the demographic of your group?
EyeCU Reading & Social Network consist of a diverse group of women with a wide range of professional backgrounds and varied interest. We look forward to seeing each other at our monthly meetings to not only discuss that month’s read but to get caught up on each other’s lives, offer advice or sometimes just an ear and have some of the absolute best laughs.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month?
Each member is responsible for hosting a monthly meeting. As the host, you also select the book for that month. Regardless of the genre all are required to read the book and write a corresponding review. This process really empowers the group with the opportunity to embark upon all sorts of stories and topics, as we have a diverse range of interests amongst us.

BPM: Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month?
Certainly! As we are all avid readers, we read, discuss, share excerpts, links and review many books outside of the monthly selection.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
Most definitely! EyeCU Reading & Social Network’s social media is used to share our featured books and connect with authors and other readers. Recently we have even had a few scheduled “live” interactions with authors on social media as well.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color?
While our goal is to support African American authors, we are open to reading and have read authors of all ethnicities.

BPM: Do you support self-published authors?
Yes! We absolutely support self-published authors. Book club member Stacye Lewis aka Kaylynn Hunt is a talented self-published author of several books. Ebony is on the cover of two of her books, “Love With A Vengeance” and “Catching Dreams. Not all talented authors have a big house book deal so we definitely support and acknowledge authors both small and large.

BPM: Do you borrow books from the library?
We do! We do! We do! We feel it’s important to support our community libraries. So many people don’t realize or take advantage of the local libraries. And we super love FREE!

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read?
We pretty much read it all! From Christian based to the most erotic and everything in between. The diversity of our group and our variety of interests leads us to open our minds to literature of all kinds.

BPM: Have the types of books changed over time?
As our group, matures, it seems that yes, the types of books have changed over time. While we started out reading lots of urban fiction, we’ve evolved to reading pretty much everything! We’ve even indulged in and enjoyed Sci-Fi; a genre that wasn’t even on our radar at first.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

College Life 202: Core Principles (The College Life Series, Vol 4) by J.B. Vample


College Life 202: Core Principles (The College Life Series, Vol 4) by J.B. Vample

After a tense winter recess, Chasity Parker, Malajia Simmons, Sidra Howard, Emily Harris, and Alexandra Chisolm return to Paradise Valley University to finish out their sophomore year. It doesn’t take long for their problems from last semester to spill into the new one.

Malajia throws caution to the wind and gives a questionable love interest another chance. The promising new relationship soon becomes filled with jealousy and disrespect. Refusing to give up and ignoring all voices of reason, Malajia winds up losing more than she bargained for. After finally coming to terms with her true feelings for Jason Adams, Chasity realizes that she must face her fears and tell him the truth, or risk losing him. If that weren’t hard enough, Chasity unexpectedly comes face to face with her birth mother. Learning the shocking truth about who her parents are, Chasity is forced on an emotional roller coaster she is unsure she will ever get off of.

Sidra is desperately trying to keep her stress-induced temper in check. But when problems with her messy neighbors intensify, Sidra is forced to reveal her angry side as she takes matters into her own hands. Emily’s growing need for alcohol to cope with stress is pushing her further into a state of depression. When her grades continue to take a nosedive, her mother’s threat of a school transfer becomes imminent. Defeated, Emily fears that if things don’t change, she will lose both her independence and sanity.

The new semester brings forth rising tensions. Hurtful words are taken in and harsh truths are dished out. However, the girls learn that no matter how bad things get between them—when it matters—they have each other’s back. If they hope to survive this next phase of college life, they’ll have to.

 

The College Life Series follows the lives of five young black women as they make their journey through their four years of college at Paradise Valley University. Chasity Parker, the troubled beauty, Malajia Simmons, the party girl, Sidra Howard, the prim princess, Alex Chisolm, the self proclaimed “know-it-all”, and Emily Harris, the shy mommy’s girl are five main protagonists, thrown together by chance. Bringing to college different voices, vastly different backgrounds, and different ways of confronting challenges.

This series touches on different issues that affect college aged people; such as class pressure, family drama, personal drama, relationship issues, peer confrontations, discovery and friendship. This ill-assorted group discover in this new environment and through unlikely friendships who they are.

More About The College Life Series by J.B. Vample

College Life 101: Freshman Orientation (The College Life Series, Vol. 1)

College Life 102: Social Learning (The College Life Series, Vol. 2)

College Life 201: Sophomore Studies (The College Life Series, Vol. 3)

College Life 202: Core Principles (The College Life Series, Vol 4)

Order the series here: http://www.jbvample.com/books.html

 

About the Author
J.B. Vample resides in Philadelphia, PA. Although she majored in Computer Science at UMES, her first love has always been writing. The concept of her current book series came to her at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has dreamed that readers would fall in love with her characters and their stories. In 2015, after years of writing for only herself, she decided to share her work with the world. “College Life 101: Freshman Orientation” is her first published book and book one of “The College Life Series.” Aside from writing, J.B enjoys reading and listening to music.

Website: http://www.jbvample.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbvample
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jbvample
Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/JessycaVample
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/thecollegelifeseries

#TheCollegeLifeSeries #Characters #characterdriven #NewAdultfiction #YAfiction #reader #serieswriter #bookseries #blackcharactersrock #blackauthorsrock #drama #humor #Gethooked #chooseyourteam #teamMalajia #teamChasity #teamSidra #teamAlex #teamEmily

 

 

A Bee on My Bike by Vera Harris

A Bee on My Bike by Vera Harris
While visiting his grandmother on a summer school break, a young boy’ discovers the wonders of being young and the wisdom that life can bring.

Zach and His Cat by Vera Harris
When a young boy’s family adopts a cat to add to their family, Zach learns a valuable lesson on responsibility.

Testimonials for Books by Vera Harris

I purchased “A Bee on My Bike” and “Zach and His Cat” for my GG Daughter several weeks ago. She was delighted! Both books are pleasing to the eye for young children, the illustrations are outstanding and the concepts are just what KG students and early elementary students need! Thank you Ms. Harris for these outstanding books!
– Review Written By Lynda Mubarak

“This is very clever read for children. There are great sight words to help with spelling tests. The beautiful illustrations make it a great nighttime story for the kiddos.”
– Felicia M. (5.0 out of 5 stars)

“A must purchase for those that have children, grands, nieces, nephews, godchildren, and mentees. Reading this book will not only teach them a lesson but it will be one that they will never forget.”
-Review Written By Amazon Customer (5.0 out of 5 Stars)

“This was such a great book. My granddaughter enjoyed it so much”
– Tujuana Walker (5.0 out of 5 Stars)

“I have 6 nieces and nephews and they each enjoyed this book! Great for kid reading.”
– Amazon Customer (5.0 out of 5 Stars)

“This was a great read for children. Absolutely loved it!!!”
– Amazon Customer (5.0 out of 5 stars)

“Great book for beginning readers!”
– Nitia L. Harris (5.0 out of 5 stars)

“Good book with bright colored illustrations!!”
– Carolyn Elkins (5.0 out of 5 stars)

“I am so proud of you. When reading these two verses below you came to mind. Way to go Ms. Vera. May prayers that God continues to bless you!!!  Psalm 20:4 – “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

Matthew 17:20 – “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'”
– Cassandra (5.0 out of 5 Stars)


Order Zach and His Cat by Vera Harris  and  A Bee on My Bike by Vera Harris

#YA Reader,  #Juvenile, #Fiction, #Children  #Action,  #Adventure
Available on OutskirtsPress.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and wherever books are sold.


MEET THE AUTHOR

Even before I started Happy Reading Self Published by Vera in 2014, I’ve always had an interest in becoming a book author. I love creating fun stories that captivate the hearts of little kids, and so I worked hard to make my dream into a reality.

My grandson inspired me to write my first book! My first books, A Bee on My Bike and Zach and His Cat both appeared in Storymonster.com, Storytime Pup, North Texas Book Festival, the African America Book Expo, featured on the Author Lounge Radio Show, DFW Literacy Fest, Writers Showcase’, Authors and Small Business Owners’, Children’s Books Read Aloud on YouTube and numerous booking signing at Half Price Book Stores throughout the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex.

Readers can take a look at my books at the Dallas Public Library, Ellen Brooks West Memorial Library Forney, TX, Houston, TX Public Library, and Savannah, Georgia Public Library.

I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my family, most of whom fondly call me “Sister.” Aside from these hobbies, I also love working in the church and being a volunteer reading partner for the Dallas Independent School District.

As a Retired Combat Army Veteran, I served the U.S. Army with honor and distinction for 30 years and earned two Bronze Star Medals in combat, and various commendations, certificates, and other medals and honors.

Please visit my website at: veraharris.vpweb to learn more about my work and future events.


Vera Harris books are available online, in libraries, and in numerous School Districts.

https://www.amazon.com/Vera-Harris/e/B00WCAID14
https://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478728436#author

 

 

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey takes a look at our friends from Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard five years later.

Life makes the distinction between lasting or lust and forever or not. Nearly five years ago, the contrasting lives of these unlikely friends became cemented. Through all their differences, they toiled through the grit of building friendships and finding love. Now it truly begins. Perry and Robert Nichols have finally transitioned from living a lie into living that life. Despite her once-pretentious facade, Perry now touts a coveted life—one she never apologizes for. What matters is her marriage, her two children, and the success of her upscale business, Lux Body & Soul. Perry’s wrath abruptly becomes unleashed once being betrayed, causing her life to quickly unravel. When everything she holds dear is put at risk, Perry must call on Harlem Brooks.

Harlem Brooks, the good boy gone bad, has returned to the city. He has cleaned up his act and is no longer the judge’s prodigal son. Harlem is back at the firm, committed and living a more suitable life. As his determination increases to spare Perry from ending up behind bars and keeping her family intact, he is unknowingly blind-sided by what is awaiting his own. When he returns to the office late one night seeking any crucial evidence to turn around a plummeting trial, Harlem makes a shattering discovery. Now more than ever he longs for what his brother has . . . his own family. Like many men, Harlem hasn’t quenched his insatiable needs. What he desires most is the one thing he can’t have. Erika Townsend’s beauty is alluring to Harlem, but what intrigues him most is her resilience. That unshakable strength is what Harlem needs now more than ever.

Torie Matthews is finally settled and happy after marrying Quinn, her best friend and kindred spirit. In the face of their marital bliss, there has been immense heartbreak. When their marriage receives yet another devastating blow, Torie questions whether their bond is strong enough to endure.

EXCERPT:  View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

“Sooo, are you coming?”

“Are you going to let me smoke my weed?” she asks in a lowered voice as if there’s a tap on our phone. Simone starts laughing at her request. “I know ya’ll hussies got me on speaker. Who is that—Simone?”

“Yes, yes, yes! I don’t even care, just get here! Auntie, are you really still smoking?” I laugh at the visual of her pulling from a roach at her age, while catching me up on her always so eventful relationships.

“You still freak’n on that fine husband of yours? Uh-huh, let’s not forget that I found your big girl box of tricks, toy chest or whatever you call it. Yep, I saw it tucked in the back of the guest room closet on my last visit.” Her laughter quickly transforms into gasps and no longer audible words other than, “Oh Jesus, I can’t breathe . . . ha, ha, ha . . . oh Jesus! Ree, what you call those silver balls in that box again? Wait . . . and you put them in where?” Aunt Dot’s now laughing and probably pissing all over herself, or at least I hope so, for laughing at me and reminding me of how humiliated I was.

“Anyway Ree, it’s not like Quinn’s still the mayor . . . Hasn’t he completed his four-year term?”

“Yes, but seriously Auntie, when are you gonna give that up? You can’t have grown-up diapers and still smoke blunts,” I giggle along with Simone as I chastise her.

“I can do whatever I want! Besides, they’re panty liners and when I do get to the point of needing grown up diapers, you better be pulling that damn plug!”

“Oh, here we go!” I roll my eyes at the phone while looking over at Simone.

“Oh no, hussy, we had a deal! Have you forgotten? It’s a deal that you negotiated. I got you that mangy little kitten that Nana and your mommy frowned on in exchange for you pulling the plug the day that my body commits treason. Remember that?”

“I was SIX!” I defend as I take her off speaker.

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A Life Not My Own by TM Brown

A Life Not My Own by TM Brown. Non-fiction. Memoir.

In A Life Not My Own, Tina Brown shares her personal experiences of child abuse and neglect, her struggles as a teenager and in her young adult life.

The book started as a journal and was her attempt to address many of the secrets she had pushed to the back in her mind. As the memories continued to resurface, she was forced to address the issues that ultimately led to her sharing her past with readers around the world as a powerful force of inspiration.

You can purchase this memoir on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jDKsna

More books by TM Brown
https://www.amazon.com/TM-Brown/e/B00BTFCLAW/

 

 


 

Struggles of the Women Folk (Tethered Angel) by TM Brown
This is the story of Georgie. She is a young black girl growing up in the 1940s in a small, rural town in Virginia. Life is hard and she dreams of better life. She experiences great loss and heartache. She loses friends and family, as well as the love of her life. And still, she remains strong. This emotional and inspiring story has a gritty dialogue. TM Brown’s signature writing style is captivating. You will find it difficult to stop reading once you begin… You can purchase on Amazon here:

2016 Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Book Award WINNER for Struggles of the Women Folk

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

If Oprah Winfrey reads Struggles of the Womenfolk by T.M. Brown, it will probably be made into a movie one day. I say this because I know Oprah feels strongly about a lot of things, and two of the things she feels most strongly about are the struggles of women and the struggles of black people who grew up in the particular time and era of the South after slavery and before the civil rights movement. I was ten years old in 1968 so I missed the worst of the post-civil war life depicted by T.M. Brown in Struggles of the Womenfolk, but I remember the atmosphere of hate and oppression. Struggles of the Womenfolk opens in 1944 and the author captures the tone of the time and era brilliantly.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and compare Struggles of the Womenfolk to The Color Purple. Struggles of the Womenfolk worked better for me personally because it is less poetic and more realistic in my own humble opinion. T.M. Brown lets the characters tell their story and many of them are not poets, though their lives are the stuff that poetry is carved from. The dialect and dialogue are accurate. The depictions of black life at that time are accurate and direct. Struggles of the Womenfolk may be fated to become an American classic and for me it confirmed something I have always suspected: no matter how bad it is for the men, it is worse for the women. A great American novel.

Download Struggles of the Women Folk (Tethered Angel) by TM Brown – http://amzn.to/2jCWqO0

 

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Into The Mist: A LaShaun Rousselle Mystery by Lynn Emery

Into The Mist: A LaShaun Rousselle Mystery by Lynn Emery

LaShaun Rousselle is on the hunt again!

A six-year-old girl vanishes. The main suspect is found brutally murdered. What’s the connection? Psychic LaShaun Rousselle is on the case, because these are far from ordinary crimes.

 

Excerpt: Into The Mist

“To recap your story, you went out to party when you didn’t even know where your six- year-old kid was, left your three youngest here alone, got back drunk after one in the morning, woke up, saw the writing and decided something was wrong.” Det. Anderson pressed his lips together.

Sherry flinched. “I didn’t leave until almost ten, so really it wasn’t all that long.”

“Uh-huh.” Anderson put on his sunglasses and looked away from her.

Sherry faced LaShaun. “They say you’ll know. Tell me what this says. Where’s my girl?”

“I don’t recognize these letters, Sherry,” LaShaun replied. She read regret in the woman’s eyes.

“We’ll have to do some more research,” Chase added. “Det. Anderson, take a set of pictures for the department. Work with Deputy Wilcox to scrape samples of the ink off. We’ll send it to the state police lab for analysis.”

Det. Anderson hissed low. “Right. We’ll track down who decided to be an artist in the middle of the night.”

“It wasn’t me. Tante Alice and grandmamma says it’s evil. If that’s true, then they got my Dina and no tellin’ what they done to her by now.” Sherry’s voice rose to a hysterical whine. “It don’t take long to hurt a little girl.”

At Chase’s signal, the female deputy stepped forward and took her by the arm. Their voices faded as Sherry allowed the deputy to lead her away. “C’mon, ma’am. I’ll take you over to your mama’s house like you said. Let’s pack a few things.”

LaShaun turned to Chase. “Where are the other children?” Read the rest of this entry »

 

STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

The current global workforce has changed tremendously during the past decade and your workplace is part of that change. Labor trends, increased use of technology for goods and services, and the reduction of workers at all levels has generated a need to view employment and self-sufficiency in a new light. If you have children, they will need to be able to work in a 21st century work environment with a diverse workforce which will entail jobs which are being developed as they enter elementary grades or high school. STATIONS is the quick resource guide that offers suggestions and time-proven strategies to parents and professionals who interact with children and young adult workers.

STATIONS is a collection of essays that provides food for thought as we make our way through the different situations, events, stages, circumstances and parental decisions that will ultimately affect personal lifestyles and career options.

STATIONS examines childhood academic and social skills, and addresses the challenging task of teaching children to be healthy and financially sound while preparing them to thrive and survive in a global workforce driven by cutting edge technology and ongoing competition. STATIONS is concise, amusing, informative and frank in its discussion of life’s everyday circumstances including social media and proactive workplace practices that affect all of us from the first job through career changes during an employment history.

 

STATIONS EXCERPT: Are Your Kids Competing in STEM?

You spent too much money and time in Lost Wages,Nevada, purchased the latest versions of Kindle and the iPhone, and shared your summer vacation report with anyone who cared to listen on the back lot or front office at work. Now what? You have used up your bragging rights for the summer season. How about something new, exciting and educational for the kids?

Do you know that the fields of science, technology,engineering, and math (STEM) are begging for sharp young minds with fresh ideas and innovative thinking? Your child represents one of those young minds. You don’t need to be reminded that your children are highly intelligent. They can name every space-related cartoon character, identify their mutant friends or foes and describe the planets they inhabit. Do you notice how their eyes light up when an enemy craft is landing? Their toy boxes are filled with action figures that represent long, hard battles and conquests. In other words, your children are already playing games containing futuristic models and know which channels to surf on Saturday morning to find the leaping, flying creatures!

So, instead of the usual Disney World, SeaWorld, Six Flags, or the expensive, tropical island family trip, consider enrolling your child in a NASA Summer Day Camp next year, and make it a family affair. This unique hands-on experience will put your child in touch with several categories of STEM and open another world for career investigation. The NASA online interactive activities will also teach them to appreciate the world of internet technology on a different level. At NASA your children can actually explore the many occupations connected with space exploration and meet the people behind the scenes who plan and execute the missions.

It’s also important for children to know that behind every highly visible occupation there are hundreds of people in the background who work very hard to make the overall project successful. Just think, after this trip your daughter (yes, daughter) might announce that she will be designing space suits for future astronauts instead of fashions for movie stars. Likewise, your son may decide to create the next generation of transformers or robots used for planet exploration or spaceship repair. It’s even possible that the little cook in your family may consider a career as a nutritionist for space travelers. Who knows? Your youngsters may even develop a new interest in astronomy.

When your coworker brags about his trip to the islands, smile and tell him about your five-year-old daughter’s NASA Camp Kennedy experience and her new aerospace vocabulary. If your coworker is still standing, tell him your sixth grade son loves basketball and soccer, but is also involved in the U.S. Army’s eCybermission Competition. His team has a chance to win $5,000 in cash if the members can identify and resolve an issue in the community using the classic scientific method. Checkmate! Blast off!

 

Order STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak
GENRE: Young Adult – Parenting, First Generation College Students, College Student Affairs Programs, Urban Education, Elementary – HS Student Success Programs, Workplace Readiness, At-Risk Youth Programs, Displaced Worker Programs
STATIONS is available for purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Mubarak/e/B01ELLYYGO

 

About the Author
Dr. Lynda Mubarak is a native Texan and Army veteran. She is a retired teacher and special education facilitator with 37 years of experience in special needs instruction, adult ESL education at Tarrant County College, and developmental writing at Strayer University. Her love for books began when she was a child and could not attend the Waco Public Library. Dr. Mubarak is an active volunteer with several Ft. Worth organizations. She loves crossword puzzle competitions, live theater, contemporary music history and traveling with her husband. She loves spending time with her two rescue dogs, Ebony Joyce and Shorty Junior. Dr. Lynda is also a co-host on The Author’s Lounge Radio Show, Fish Bowl Radio Network, Grey Stream, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Central Time, #fbrnus.

 

 
 
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