Author Archives: Ella Curry, EDC Creations

Explore Books by D. Michele Jackson

The Travels to the Promise Trilogy by D. Michele Jackson

Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us by D. Michele Jackson

How do you trust God will never fail you?

Lyrical and poetically-charged, “Amazing Grace” is a memoir of love, loss, and rebirth. As a farewell of sorts, D. Michele Jackson, an only child, writes about how her life is forever changed after her mother’s death. A woman of great faith, D. Michele knew firsthand the power of prayer to overcome trials and tribulations. D. Michele always turned to God; she would pray, and God would answer.

Nearly every prayer was responded to until one prayer—a prayer that wasn’t answered—led her to have a deeper, more meaningful take on things. With this new relationship, one with more give and less take, one where prayers aren’t answered, D. Michele discovers that the Lord has a plan and a path for her.

Book Reviews: Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us

Midwest Book Review
Faith is simply a powerful thing. “Amazing Grace: A Tribute to You, The Story of Us” presents Donna’s story of how her faith carried her through a dark time in her life and allowed her to move on after the devastating loss of her mother. Hoping to inspire faith and bringing light to Jesus’ greatest gift, “Amazing Grace” is worth the read for those going through a rough time themselves.

Praise from Grateful Readers

Carol Franklin says, “I received your book on Saturday and could not put it down…I just want to say thank you, and GOD has done great work through you.”

Carol Jones says, “We all have a gift given from God, and sometimes life has to take unforeseen turns before we realize our true talents…Donna, a registered nurse by trade, has, through an unforeseen turn, came across her GIFT. She has written and published a story that only she could.”

Val Parker says, “I can’t put this book down. It is so good with so many memories; it made me cry…excellent job…”

Retha Mae Farley says, “Wow. What a great book. I’m at a loss for words. You did a really good job. I know this is the beginning for you.”

Alberta Herde, RN, says, “I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book…I never experienced someone so in love with their mom and able to put it in writing. I never read anything like it before. It’s just beautiful… God bless.”

Zach Myers says, “This book is an inspiring story of a girl growing up in Philadelphia, PA, with her mother, who was her Rock and foundation in finding a strong bond with Christ. This book shows how in keeping Christ first, all things are possible. It takes you through how people can live with little and believe in Jesus and have so much; how if you put God first, He will make a change in your life.

Mommie was a living angel who guided this young lady through the path of life, showing her the way to Jesus without pushing her. If you love Jesus, this book will show you the faith you seldom see. It will inspire you to want to know Jesus more and want to become closer to Him. If you don’t know Jesus, this book will show you the love of Christ and how He can impact and change your life.

This book reminded me or the relationship I had with my mother and how I coped with her passing and reiterated Jesus can and will see you through anything and everything, it shows Jesus is the light and the way to life and living. Thanks for this production Donna, the book was an enjoyable read, and I am looking for more literature from you (the Writer) in the future! Highly recommended!”

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Tracey Edmonds And Shaun Robinson Are Developing ‘The Ex Files’ At Lifetime

The Ex Files: A Novel about four women and faith is reportedly in development at Lifetime from executive producers Tracey Edmonds (Soul Food, Jumping the Broom, BET’s Games People Play) and Shaun Robinson (Executive producer of Lifetime’s Seven Deadly Sins movie series with Bishop T.D. Jakes) a source close to the situation tells Shadow And Act.

Shadow And Act reached out to Lifetime for comment. The novel was written by Victoria Christopher Murray.

Being Mary Jane scribe Patrik-Ian Polk has been tapped to write the adaptation. The official description of the novel reads: There are four ways a woman can handle heartbreak: she can fall apart, seek revenge, turn cold, or move on.

In The Ex Files, four women find faith, friendship, and healing under the unlikeliest of circumstances. Kendall, Asia, Vanessa and Sheridan each have an “ex” in their lives.

Whether from a broken marriage, the shocking loss of a loved one, or a shattered bond of trust, the pain is real and the wounds deep. Will they ever heal?

When their pastor asks the foursome to meet weekly for prayer, they can’t imagine they will have anything in common. Then a devastating tragedy strikes and these strangers are forced to reexamine their choices. Will they find true friendship? Or will prayer— and their circle of support—be enough to see them through?

MarVista is the studio. Edmonds Entertainment and RobinHood Productions are the production companies.

About the Author
Victoria Christopher Murray
is the author of more than twenty novels including: Greed; Envy; Lust; The Ex Files; Lady Jasmine; The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil; and Stand Your Ground, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Winner of nine African American Literary Awards for Fiction and Author of the Year (Female), Murray is also a four-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Visit her website at

Visit Victoria Christopher Murray author’s page at Amazon

Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Novel (The Seven Deadly Sins Book 3) by Victoria Christopher Murray

Passion, money, and a deliciously devious twist: Greed is the newest novel in award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s Seven Deadly Sins series—“the drama of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (Booklist)—and soon to be a Lifetime movie.

You can’t put a price on love…

Zuri Maxwell isn’t happy. Her job is a grind, and money is always tight. Her boyfriend Stephon is the best part of life, but between his income as an artist and her commission-based paycheck, they are barely scraping by.

When Zuri meets a sleek entrepreneur eager to pick her brain, she jumps at the chance to talk business with someone who has everything she wants. As he wines and dines her, Zuri starts moving in elite circles, and she faces a crossroads: Will she give up the stable, loving life she knows for one that glitters, but may not be gold?

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Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir by Benilde Little

Author Benilde Little Opens Up About Her Breakdown

Watch the introduction here:

The nationally bestselling author of ‘Good Hair’ and ‘The Itch’ discusses her first book of nonfiction, a “momoir” about her own journey caring for aging parents, raising children, being married, plunging to the depths of depression, and climbing her way out.

Powerful, relatable, and ultimately redemptive, ‘Welcome to My Breakdown’ is a remarkable memoir about the power within us all to rise from despair and to feel hope and joy again.

Read an excerpt from the book, Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir by Benilde Little, go here today.

Benilde Little is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair, The Itch, Acting Out and Who Does She Think She Is? She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, Jet, People Magazine, Heart and Soul, More magazine, among many others. She has had numerous media appearances including NPR, the Today Show, and Tavis Smiley.

The Go On Girl Book Club selected Good Hair as the best book of the year. Natalie Cole bought the film rights. Benilde’s writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Honey Hush and About Face. She was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

A former reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Star Ledger, People and senior editor at Essence, she has been a creative writing professor at Ramapo College. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, two children and dog.

BPM: You are known for your novels, Good Hair, The Itch, Who Does She Think She Is?, Acting Out, why nonfiction, why now?
It wasn’t a conscious, creative choice to write a non-fiction book. It was the place I was emotionally in, where this was all I could write. The feeling of hopelessness, grief and sadness was so all consuming that I had to get it out of me. I suppose I could’ve approached those feelings in a fictional form, but that never even occurred to me; wasn’t a thought. It was not the write format. Toni Morrison has said to write the book you want to read. I believe that, but I also know that this was a book I had to write and I did write it for me.

BPM: Welcome to My Breakdown, the title of your new book suggests a light tone, but the book is anything but. You write that when your mother died you weren’t sure how you would survive. Was it difficult for you to write about your depression?
Sometimes, but not as much as one might imagine; I wrote this book in pieces, so sometimes when I was writing about it, I wasn’t consistently living with it. When I’d research other writers talking about their depression, William Styron and David Forster Wallace, in particular, but also Terrie Williams, in her book Black Pain (in which she writes about her own depression and others’), I felt less alone.

Feeling less alone helped me to feel somewhat better. What was hard was re-reading the descriptions of that time. There were times when I’d scan it and other times when I’d cry and sometimes I could read it at a remove.

BPM: Do you think that this book might encourage candid conversations in all communities, but particularly the African American community about depression?
That is my sincere hope. I think it will. It’s been said that the book is honest and bare and I think that will give some people permission to take a deep look at one’s self in an honest, and hopefully compassionate, way.

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Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting

Terrie Williams knows that Black people are hurting. She knows because she’s one of them.

The senseless murder of unarmed Black men have ripped open the wounds of a nation. Treated as if we are simultaneously invisible while highly conspicuous, ignored when we are in need and profiled when we are simply proceeding.

The attack on the lives of Black men like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Abner Louima and Oscar Grant serves as a reminder that Black lives in America are not valued. These not so uncommon instances of police extremism often shatter the trust between law enforcement and the people they are meant to protect.

It is Black Pain that is simmering under the surface of this allegedly color blind and post-racist country, it is Black Pain that inspires protests for justice, and it is Black Pain that police in Ferguson were attempting to detain and mask. Treating our fellow Americans as anything less than human, undermines the principles we fought for as a nation during the civil rights era.

We’ve seen this over and over again, where police brutality, directed primarily toward Black men, often renders the community, collectively and individually, into an extreme state of shock…it effects our men, our women and our children. 

According to Dr. Dawn M. Porter, a Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, the trauma that can result from these repeated experiences can lend itself to the development of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which all too often goes unnamed and untreated.  An inability to deal with the stress of witnessing blatant injustice of this magnitude, can cause people to act out of unresolved trauma and erupt in rage and anger often in response to a complete sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

Whether you witnessed the murder of Michael Brown, saw the sketches of his bullet riddled body or listened to the circumstances surrounding his death (his body was left in the streets for 4 hours and then shuttled away in an SUV-an ambulance was never called), we have all been deeply scarred by the unnecessary death of this young man and others like him.

The extraordinary events taken place a few years ago have re-opened many wounds and has raised a lot of questions. Are we valued in our own communities? What do we do and where do we go with the pain we are experiencing? How do we begin to heal as a people, as a community, and finally as a nation from such trauma?

The reality is, it is impossible to experience a trauma of this nature and go about our daily lives as if we didn’t just witness and experience the pain of watching the death of another unarmed brother go thus far unpunished. As you begin to deal with your reaction to these tragedies, use the strategies I provided in when Trayvon Martin was killed.

Seek Help: 
Consider reaching out to a professional counselor or therapist to help you process what you feel. There is no shame in getting help. I find that therapy is the gift that keeps on giving. It helps me to clarify my thoughts and process heartbreaking situations like this. Counseling can be a necessary lifeline. We cannot be or breathe properly if we don’t release the unresolved pain, wounds, scars and trauma of our childhoods. We cannot be all that God has called us to be. The trauma of racism is accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder for many and a great, hidden sense of pain for most.

Redefine “Strength”:  We often confuse being “strong” with being silent. True strength lies in knowing when to ask for help, when to let the tears flow, when you are overwhelmed. The death of our black men is one that has taken a great toll on our collective psyches… no time for silence. Be strong enough to be proactive in healing your heart as you work to seek justice.  

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Posted by on February 24, 2020 in Uncategorized


Meet Sherryle Kiser Jackson


Multi-published author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her family.

BPM: What topics does your latest book address? Why?

I started with what it meant to be a missionary. My sister is the President of the Missions Ministry at my church and has been on several missions’ trips. We’re so different in that respect. To be real, I know I am not selfless enough most of the time to shed my comfortable existence to the degree where I can be of service.

My question when starting this novel became can servants also be self-serving in the process of helping others. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see a totally selfish person try to navigate that landscape. I mean, imagine your most self-absorbed friend or high maintenance family member leaving their cell phone, tablet or priceless wardrobe pieces behind for the barest of necessities.

My main character sets off on a mission’s trip to Haiti with the goal to find his birth father. He’s a fatherless child trying to answer a lifetime of questions about the man that helped conceive him. In the midst of that struggle I layered an interracial love story and all the issues that brings. I’ve connected with some great people on Pinterest who support the missionaries in their lives and found a community dealing with the absentee of loved ones similar to that of military families with a loved one on a long deployment.

BPM: Did you conduct alot of research for this book, Submissionary (Seek. Find. Release)?
Yes! Have you heard of Symbaloo? It’s like a dashboard of websites all in one place. Some might find it interesting to see the sites I used to get insight into pre and post quake Haiti. Check it out:

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write personally poignant and hopefully impactful and uplifting literature. It’s my version of Christian fiction that is neither preachy nor compromised. My goal is never to write a salacious story. I think many equate that with being a really good story. In reality most of us don’t live on that extreme. With storylines centered around the root of my character’s decisions and the impact on their relationships, my literary work speaks to women and Christians specifically. I call it my brand of soul satisfying reads.

BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in showing faith in action which is not an elaborate Hollywood set washed in white light, full of one-liners and magic tricks. I am also on a mission to take the dirty laundry off the clothes lines of our community, sweep the streets clean of other people’s business and bring virtue back.

BPM: Faith allows you:
Faith allows me the freedom to hope and face life’s challenges, to call out inconsistencies in the world, but particularly, inconsistencies in my life that are contrary to what God ordained and promised. I suppose ( in fact, I know) I can get as arrogant, self-absorbed or ratchet as the next person, BUT, something reminds me to, “act like I know.” I have to act like I know Him, and that I am profoundly different because I know Him. Yep, I preach to the choir. It’s characteristic of my brand. I am the one that gives you the gentle reminder – Seriously, you better act like you know!

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Criticism makes me reassess. I’m sure it depends on the spirit in which the criticism is given. I can’t say I am one with great discernment of people’s motives. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I receive it in love. I get my feelings hurt sometimes. Ultimately, I know what to take from critism and what to discard.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
Everyone is to a certain degree. I mean, I am a teacher as well, and not just by profession. I am keenly aware that we have a role to edify one another. So when I see people follow my RSS feed, or on social media, I am conscious of the message I put out.

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
When I am fearful I become unproductive. Fear is something I work to get under control right away. Besides the fact that the Bible suggest that fear is a fabrication because the Lord hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, for that reason, a wise woman once said, “I aint got time for that.”

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming a business owner?
It surprised me that it is completely different from my natural, creative being. Although, publishing yourself can both work to lessen and add to your stress. You have the leeway to let a story unfold organically, but you have the added pressure to put out a quality product and be responsible for all parts of the product. You have to take note of the persuasions in society to be seen and heard among the rhetoric of the day.

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom are:
The greatest threat to literary freedom are those that try to silence the story tellers Choked out of major and mom and pop bookstore shelves alike that are closing by the dozens, we fail to recognize the soul and essence of who we are. We feel all our stories must somehow have to be the same. We sometimes become divisive in our pursuit to compete with each other for readers. It is important that our work be as diverse as we are. It is also important that the authenticity of our stories, and not solely money or notoriety be the aim of the storytellers.

BPM: How has your writing evolved:
I now know I don’t have to hammer every point. Readers desire a distraction not constant direction. I am a wordsmith that can sometimes get happy in the turn of a phrase, but I’ve learned I cannot forget my audience.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
A career may be the hope, writing is a definite gifting. It’s cathartic. You may hear some writers speak of the words to a story just flowing at a point in their process. I think this is an accurate account of what gifting truly is. There is a natural ebb and flow to things. When you are working in your gifting there is a point you can tuck into the flow and the story comes out naturally.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Read. Write. Be brave and find your own voice.

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
Besides the seven novels, and one anthology, I am most proud of my offerings to my church magazine, Kingdom Living Magazine. In one edition I wrote an article called, “What is Special Needs” that highlighted those differently-abled members of our congregation and their caregivers. Many family members came to thank me for the recognition the article garnered them.

BPM: What you know for sure:
I know for sure that God’s Word is true. Do I understand every part of the Bible? Do I understand why people don’t get along and most of us have to suffer great pain in our lives? No. The Word says, now, we only know in part like looking through a glass darkly, but one day we will know as we are known. Deep, I know.

BPM: Life’s greatest teacher is:
Life’s greatest teacher is experience

BPM: Success means:
You attempt to live out your purpose.

BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
If I am successful it will do all three; educate, illuminate and entertain..

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
The printed book may become obsolete, but a well-written story doesn’t lose its potency if you engage the mind of the reader.

BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers:

My literary legacy will show that words live beyond the pages if they are true and authentic.

Purchase Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Submissionary is the first Indie release on her own imprint Holy*Ghost*Writing* Besides the Christian values and romantic leanings readers are accustom to with Sherryle’s work, Submissionary dares to take a look at the struggles of pre and post quake Haiti. Submissionary is one of the projects Sherryle is imagining for a short or feature film.

Watch the Submissionary movie trailer:
Books by Sherryle:

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Posted by on February 23, 2020 in #BondingThruBooks


Intimate Conversation with Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author & Speaker, Kimberla Lawson Roby, has published 28 books which include her faith-based, nonfiction title, THE WOMAN GOD CREATED YOU TO BE: Finding Success Through Faith—Spiritually, Personally, and Professionally, as well as her novels, such as BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, SIN OF A WOMAN, A SINFUL CALLING, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER, THE PRODIGAL SON, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, SIN NO MORE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.

Kimberla Lawson Roby has sold nearly 3 Million copies of her books, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence, Upscale, Black Christian News,, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, The Austin Chronicle and many others.

Over the years, Kimberla has spoken to thousands of women at conferences, churches, expos, workshops, luncheons, libraries, colleges, universities and bookstores. She shares her own personal journey straight from her heart and has a strong passion toward helping women become all that God created them to be.

Kimberla is a professional member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), she is the 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2017 SOAR Radio Trailblazer of Honor award, the 2017 Southwest Florida Reading Festival Distinguished Author award, the 2016 Black Pearls Magazine Author of the Year, the 2017 AAMBC Christian Fiction Author of the Year award and the 2014 AAMBC Female Author of the Year award, the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 African-American Literary Awards Show (New York, NY) Female Author of the Year award, the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

Kimberla’s books deal with very real issues, including women empowerment, sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, problems within the church (and the consequences), Christian/family/moral values, drug and gambling addiction, marriage, infidelity, single motherhood, breast cancer, infertility, sibling rivalry, domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, mental illness, and the care-giving of a parent to name a few.

In addition, Kimberla’s books offer a message of redemption, forgiveness, and the realities of everyday life.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.

To share your thoughts with Kimberla regarding her work, please e-mail her at:

If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement, booksigning event, or media interview with Mrs. Roby, please contact her by email at

BPM: Why did you decide to write your non-fiction title, The Woman God Created You to Be: Finding Success Through Faith—Spiritually, Personally, and Professionally?
Interestingly enough, I never thought I would write or publish any nonfiction books. Especially since, for more than two decades, I’ve always written fictional stories. But in October 2016, after waking up with the words Hearing God’s Call and Finding Your Purpose at the forefront of my thinking, I knew God had given me those words for a reason.

At first, I thought they were going to become the title of the book itself, but as it turned out, they became the title of one of the chapters. It’s important for me to say, too, that no matter how much I tried to push the idea of writing a nonfiction book out of my mind, I didn’t find peace until I moved forward with it.

BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
I always outline my books and then write one chapter at a time in the exact sequence that those chapters will appear in the final book. I use my computer, and for my first draft, I try to write no less than one chapter per day. Then, when my book is complete, I work on rewrites and revisions.

BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
It definitely can be, but the key to dealing with stress is to find balance and to incorporate that balance—in all areas of our lives. This is something I struggled with for years, and it is also the reason I wrote a chapter in The Woman God Created You to Be, entitled “Suffering in Silence, Mentally and Emotionally.”

BPM: What was the most challenging part about telling your own story?
For me, the hardest part about writing this book was having to relive some of the very trying and painful times I have experienced in my own life. But what I ultimately realized was that, if I wanted to help other women in a way that I had been praying for, being transparent and sharing my own personal stories was very necessary.

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The Woman God Created You to Be: Finding Success Through Faith— Spiritually, Personally, and Professionally by Kimberla Lawson Roby



Kimberla Lawson Roby admits that for years, she wasn’t being the real woman God created her to be. Yes, she has always loved God and tried her best to honor Him, but what she eventually discovered was that building and maintaining her own personal relationship with God—and making Him her top priority—was the key to finding joy in all areas of her life.

Now, in The Woman God Created You to Be, Kimberla has bravely—and transparently—written about her flaws, fears, and failures, as well as her faith, courage, and successes.

From experiencing divorce to marrying her soulmate of twenty-nine years…from hopelessly searching for the perfect job to becoming a New York Times bestselling author…from suffering in silence with anxiety to concentrating on self-care…from struggling with the loss of her mom to finding strength, comfort, peace. and understanding—Kimberla takes you on a journey that will help you do the following:

  • Become the Best Spiritual You (Seven Days Per Week)
  • Become the Best Personal You (Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically)
  • Become the Best Professional You (Without Jeopardizing Your Faith)

Kimberla reminds us that when we trust and depend on God—heart, mind, and soul—He will empower us to do more than we ever thought imaginable. He will help us see that we are more than enough, and that He has already given us everything we need to become the women He created us to be—spiritually, personally, professionally…and beyond.

Kimberla’s books 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.

Excerpt from The Woman God Created You to Be


A Question Every Woman Should Ask Herself

Are you the real woman God created you to be? Have you wanted to become her? Have you wondered how to make that happen? If so, then you’re the amazing woman I wrote this book for. You’re the woman who wants to become even better than she already is. What you want is to become the best you can be in all areas of your life.
But, first, I think it’s only fair that I answer the opening question myself.

So here goes…For longer than I realized, I wasn’t being the real woman God created me to be. Not spiritually, personally, or professionally. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have always loved, honored, and trusted God, and even though I have sometimes failed at it, I have also tried to be a great wife, daughter, sister, bonus mom, nana, aunt, niece, and friend. I’ve tried to be a great business professional, too. Still, I wasn’t being the true woman that God wanted me to be.

But how could I?

Especially when it was years before I discovered that attending church on Sundays wasn’t enough—and that building and maintaining my own personal relationship with God, and reading His Word, were the keys to becoming…the real woman He wanted me to be.

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Nina Foxx, president of Clever Vixen Media, LLC on BAN Radio Show

Nina Foxx, Clever Vixen Media, LLC was a special guest on BAN Radio Show discussing the 2020 Writing Sisters Summit–In The Sands.

Listen to the show here:

The Writing Sisters Summit was born in 2019 with the intent of bringing together writers, male and female, who want to hone their craft with and learn from other writers.

In 2020, The Retreat will take to the Sands of Taos, NM, featuring workshops by Seattle based NAACP Image award nominated writer, playwright and filmmaker, Nina Foxx, along with several of the writer-friends that she met through the course of her twenty years as a published author.

Nina created the summit with the intent of spurring creativity and creating community among writers that want to deepen and expand their craft and learn how to prepare their work for publishing.

Foxx says “When we used to get book tours, I’d cross paths with other writers on the way to the independent bookstores and we had a community to help encourage us and learn. They felt like a family of close coworkers in an otherwise solitary occupation and we helped each other be more creative. The death of the indie bookstore has basically killed those bookstores and that connection, too. I want to re-create that.”

This year’s summit adds a wellness component reflecting Nina’s belief that strengthening the mind-body connection will help one focus on craft while understanding the underlying motivations for what is put on the page.

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Black from Scratch by Chalet Jean-Baptiste

Ella D. Curry, president of EDC Creations Media Group is featured in the beautiful coffee table art book Black from Scratch!

Black from Scratch honors the roots, history and legacy of our people. We celebrate our stories from Africa to the Caribbean to America.

Our stories do not begin with slavery. Our stories date back to kings and queens, warriors and war princesses.

We know the Black story to be RESILIENT. We recognize the Black spirit as STRONG and POWERFUL. We have been a part of and witnessed Black EXCELLENCE.

We want to be a part of that history that honors the legacy and lives of those who are proud to be Black from Scratch.

Order your paperback copy today:

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Black Dresses Stain by Chalet A. Jean-Baptiste

Black Dresses Stain by Chalet A. Jean-Baptiste

For any woman who’s ever loved someone. This books celebrates the stories of women who has loved and lost, adored and despised, been loyal and betrayed.

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Black Dresses Stain by Chalet Jean-Baptiste is for any woman who has ever loved a man. Every woman who has ever loved and hated; adored and despised; been loyal and betrayed; been in love and left alone; and had to find themselves again has issues they hide, emotions they deny and feelings that are difficult to reconcile – especially in today’s society.

The stories portray different woman and their lives – each of them struggling to carry on while hiding insecurities, secrets, and lies. Each of them triumphs in different ways. Each of them takes you on a journey – to feel what they feel but can never say. Embrace each character, breathe for them, and let yourself live again!

Chalet Jean-Baptiste was on BAN Radio Show

Listen to the BAN Radio interview with host Ella D. Curry and Chalet Jean-Baptiste. Chalet is the author of Black from Scratch, Black Dresses Stain and ReLive. Listen from the BAN Radio page:

This was one of my most powerful shows of 2019! We addressed so many issues, such as generational curses/conflicts, losing one’s self in relationships, the damage of sexual molestation, finding forgiveness, family secrets, etc.



Our new Crown Holders bookstore is up and running! The shelves are stocked with great gift selections. Did you know you can send anyone a book gift via email. Yes! They don’t even need a Kindle to read the book.

Check out our new book shelves:

Come by and explore new releases and a few classic novels.

I placed all of the books that were featured in Black Pearls Magazine in one place:

Here are all of the books that were sent to Black Pearls as ARCs, review copies or were purchased by Sankofa Lit readers.

There are about 20 books on this list that will come out in 2020 that are a part of a series we read in 2019. Pre-orders are an author’s best friend.


Seducing the Pen – Black History Month Showcase

Seducing the Pen – Black History Month Showcase
Listen to the show here:

Each year thousands of people – educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers – devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. We want to help with this state of affairs, so we encourage readers to purchase books to give as gifts 365 days a year.

Featured Authors and Books

  • The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.
  • My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell
  • The Wolf Queen Series by Cerece Rennie Murphy
  • Failure to Protect by Pamela Samuels Young
  • The Last Tribe of Levi: Richmond, Virginia by Karen Sloan-Brown

Historical Pearl Page Recorded Readings

  • Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker
  • The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas
  • Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

All of the books featured during Black Books Weekend can be found right here:

Books make incredible gifts for our young readers too! I curated a list to get you started. More books added as we review them:

Please share with your family and friends.

EDC Creations is proud to announce readers to awesome writers who write with purpose and have profound messages in their books! Our goal is to help improve our visibility in the reading world. Our tours are geared toward introducing authors to avid readers!

Readers can visit the main tour page and find out more about each author:


Let EDC Creations Join Your Team

If I had to make 4 suggestions to new authors or business owners it would be:

  1. Social media profiles are not as good as having your own website. Everyone in business…needs a control center, your website! That website will house the options to purchase your product/services, samples of your work and it should provide visitors with a way to connect with you. Audio and video are a must.

  2. Get a newsletter or an opt-in to capture the email addresses of your followers. Start a newsletter that really pours into your audience! Entertain, educate, empower, and most of all nurture the people you care about. Let your audience inside your world and invite them to be a part of your team. Give, give, give!

  3. You can not do this alone! Create your team as soon as possible. Find those go to people, create a plan and activate it together. The key is having a plan and working it. You will feel lost and un-accomplished if you can’t measure your results and it won’t always be about money.
  4. If you are launching a new product or service in 2020, you need to pick up one of our packages today!

You can view my current promotional packages here:

I gotcha on the first 3, you just have to make the first move to add me to your team!


Write for Crown Holders

Crown Holders Transmedia Submission Guidelines
Join our team of writers, see details here:

The Crown Holders Transmedia team of contributors are a network of writers who are strong, intelligent and driven! Their mission is to uplift, support, and encourage the Morning Tea and Sankofa Lit community.

They are Believers! With their combined wisdom, they give a perspective on life from all ages and from all walks of life.

If you would like to submit your story or inspiration for the online magazine, monthly newsletter and our blog, please read the entire page and submit your material to Ella D. Curry, the editor.

Crown Holders is now a verified Amazon Influencer! I’m loving the new stores. Check out our new book shelves:

Check out our influencer store for Kids Lit:

I’m always looking for beautiful ways to showcase my clients and their amazing books! Have fun exploring our talented writers and poets.


Cheryl Lacey Donovan Book Launch on BAN Radio Show

Cheryl Lacey Donovan was a featured author on BAN Radio Show. She is celebrating the launch of her new book, RestoreHER, with host Ella D. Curry.

Listen from your PC, phone, tablet or digital device at:

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is a Motivational Speaker, Talk Show Host, Transformation Expert, and National Bestselling Author. Join us for the online, radio launch party to celebrate the release of the non-fiction title, RestoreHER: 7 Steps to Healing Enlightenment, and Renewal.

Please share this message and tell all of your friends!


The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.

The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II

Could you find the courage to do what’s right in a world on fire?

Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States.

“The Last Thing You Surrender” is the intertwining story of two families from the Jim Crow South – one black and poor, the other wealthy and white – through the carnage of World War II, an ordeal that will threaten their faith and challenge everything they know about race hatred and love.

An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman’s life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kind of patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion.

Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone’s mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed?

Nora Jean M. Goodreads 5-Star Customer Review for The Last Thing You Surrender 
This is a POWERFUL read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is an avid reader. The language is beautiful although the story is haunting. The character development is very real, and it makes the reader hurt even more for these people who become important to the readers’ lives. This is an area of history that we do not learn in school, and the author has provided an imitate portrait of this time. Read this book!

Reader Review from Grayson Hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars | A New Classic

The best novels not only entertain us with good characters, an interesting story and skillful prose; they show us something about what it means to be a human being. Tolstoy, Joyce , Faulkner, Hemmingway, Updike, Morrison, Baldwin, Wright, Momaday, to name just a few, have created timeless works that are timeless stories of the human experience. With “The Last Thing You Surrender”, by Leonard Pitts, Jr., we have a new classic.

It is fitting that it is a story about race, as it would seem the brains and souls of men and women, especially in America, need to continue to evolve. But this book, The Last Thing You Surrender, is more, much more, than a dry treatise on that subject. It is a love story, a human story, a story of war and peace, it is a story about the love, pain, the joys and sorrows that pass between a parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, sister and brother.

It is the story of what is learned and lost between forces of good and evil. It is eloquent, heartbreaking and beautiful. It is a new classic. Read it, America; read it, world. And learn some more about that most tremendous gift of all that the Creator gave us: the ability to see things through another’s eyes, to care deeply about someone other than one’s self, in short, to love.

Reader Review from Sheila Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars | Powerful, compelling and important story

Since first reading Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s columns in the Miami Herald almost 18 years ago, I have found that if Pitts has something to say, I want to read it. . . in fact, I need to read it. He can put complex, often difficult, ideas into beautiful words that show the reader his point of view, educating and helping the reader gain empathy and understanding.

I ordered Pitt’s latest book, #TheLastThingYouSurrender, as soon as it was released – and it was everything I expected and more. It is a deeply researched work of historical fiction, with a compelling story that is hard to put down. I tried to keep from racing through the book, as I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters who became friends, and who showed me the world through their eyes – which is why we read!

Yes, there are parts that are very difficult to read, but part of the power of this book is to show us, to remind us of the brutality of parts of our history that get glossed over as some of us extol the “good old days.”

I highly recommend this book, and hope Mr. Pitts will write a sequel to show us how they carry their inspiration and motivation into battles to come.

Editorial Review: The Last Thing You Surrender
Leonard Pitts, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, turns again to America’s fraught history of race relations in this unflinching, gritty WWII saga. It centers on a trio of finely drawn characters, two black and one white, all from Alabama, whose worlds collide because of Pearl Harbor.

Marine Private George Simon—wealthy, religious, white—survives the sinking of his ship because Eric Gordy, a black messman, rescues him. Eric dies, and while George recuperates, he pays a condolence call on Eric’s widow, Thelma. Thelma and her brother, Luther Hayes, a bitter alcoholic, are living with the memory of their parents’ lynching 20 years earlier.

George and Thelma begin a correspondence after he returns to active duty; she takes a job in a shipyard. Luther, deciding this is a white man’s war, tries to evade the draft but ends up serving with a tank battalion in Europe. George endures horrific conditions in the Pacific as Thelma faces growing racial hostility at work, culminating in a brutal moment of violence that compels her to make a difficult decision.

While remaining true to his characters, Pitts brings the story lines to realistic conclusions even as he holds out hope for the future, resulting in a polished, affecting novel. —Janelle Walden Agyeman, Agent Marie Brown Assoc.


Chapter Excerpt: The Last Thing You Surrender

Luther stood on top of the tank. He felt his mouth fall open. He felt his mind fumble for language. But there were no words.

It was a camp of some sort, barracks arranged in neat rows. And hobbling, shuffling, tottering toward them from every direction came an assemblage of stick men in filthy black-and-white striped prison suits. Maybe some of them were women, too. It was hard to tell. The creatures seemed sexless.

Dazed, Luther dismounted the tank. His mouth was still open.

The creatures swarmed the colored tankers. It was difficult to believe they were even human. Their eyes were like those of small, frightened animals, peering out from the caverns their eye sockets had become. Their mouths were drawn tight against their bony jaws. You could look at them and see where tibia met patella, count their ribs by sight. They were little more than skeletons wearing rags of flesh.

And their eyes gleamed with a madness of joy, an insanity of deliverance at the sight of the colored tankers. They shook clasped hands toward Heaven, they smiled terrible, toothless smiles, they looked up at the Negro soldiers like penitents gazing upon the very throne of God. A woman—at least he thought it was a woman—took Luther’s hand and lifted it to her cheek. Her grip was like air. She held his skin to hers, which was papery and thin, almost translucent. Her face contorted into an expression of raw, utter sorrow, and she made groaning sounds that did not seem quite human. It took Luther a moment to realize that she was crying because her eyes remained dry, no water glistened on her cheeks. She had no tears left in her.

And Luther, who had never touched a white woman before, who had never so much as brushed against one in a crowd, who had avoided even that incidental contact with a kind of bone-deep terror accessible only to a Negro man in the Deep South who grew up knowing all too well what messing with a white woman could get you, could only stand there, stricken and dumbfounded, as this woman pressed his hand to her cheek. He was a man who had seen his parents tortured and burned to death before his very eyes at his own front door by white people. It had never occurred to him that their capacity for bestial cruelty was not limited to the woes they inflicted upon Negroes.

But here was the proof, this poor thing whose gender he had to guess, this creature whose age might have been 16, might have been 60, holding his hand in her airy grip, crying without tears.

Luther looked around. The place reeked of death and shit, a stink of putrefaction that surely profaned the very nostrils of God. Naked and emaciated bodies lay stacked in piles exactly like cordwood, only their gaping mouths and sightless eyes attesting to the fact that once they had been human and alive. Flies droned above it all in great black clouds, a few of them occasionally descending to walk in the mouths and eyes of the dead.

At length, the crying woman got hold of herself. Luther gently took back his hand. She gave him a shy, weak smile, touched her feathery hand to his shoulder—some sort of thank-you, he supposed—and wandered slowly away. Luther watched her go, still dazed, still failed by language. And he still struggled to understand. It had never occurred to him, not even in his angriest, most bitter imaginings, that something like this was possible.

How could white people do this to white people?

How could anybody do this to anybody?

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Leonard Pitts Jr. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.





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A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx

A Letter for My Mother 
by Nina Foxx

Whether they’re from the US, Caribbean, India, or the UK, all of the contributors to A Letter for My Mother share one thing in common: thoughts that have been left unsaid to their mothers and mother figures—until now. In this moving book, thirty-three women reveal the stories, reflections, confessions, and revelations they’ve kept to themselves for years and have finally put into words. Written through tears and pain, as well as joy and laughter, each offering presents the mother-daughter bond in a different light.

Heartfelt and deeply meaningful, A Letter for My Mother will inspire you to admire and cherish that special relationship that shapes every woman.

Excerpt from A Letter for My Mother 

My ex-husband’s mother was dying. During the time I was married to him, our relationship had been at best, tenuous. I married her oldest son and she never forgave me for that, or at least it seemed that way in my head. I couldn’t seem to understand some of her ways and she couldn’t understand mine. I was from a different place than she and my life was different than both hers and that of her daughters. At times, she seemed to resent me for that. Some days, she went from insulting me, my family, my upbringing and lifestyle in one sentence to embracing me and trying to nurture me, all in the space of a twelve-hour period. It was infuriating. I retaliated, resisted, rebelled and refused to accept. I’d already had a mother. She’d died when I was six, and no one could replace her. Various female members of my biological family had given me all the mothering I thought I would need so I saw no need to accept any from a stranger.

Over the years, our relationship changed and softened, especially after the children came, but I’ll admit I was never comfortable with her. When I divorced her son, I thought I was walking away from her family too and struggled with the link that lay between us and the desire to do the right thing. I was more compelled to stay in contact with family than my ex-husband was, but didn’t want to overstep my bounds by staying in touch with his family for my children. Divorce was a relationship quagmire I had a hard time negotiating. I wanted my children to know and love their family, all of it, but I didn’t want to be the uncomfortable bridge that made that happen. My mother-in-law didn’t care what I felt. She was always going to be here, and though my last name had changed, she still offered her opinion, advice and whatever else she felt like when we spoke, making me still more uncomfortable.

I knew she was ill, but I still felt as if I’d been knocked off my feet when I received the call that she was dying. Tears and confusion flooded my brain. At first, I couldn’t understand why I was not emotionless. My sister, the main mother figure in my life, explained my reaction to me and encouraged me to tell my mother-in-law what I had to say to her before I no longer could. She assured me that even though I was unwilling to admit it, I was close to this woman and couldn’t avoid being unnerved. We had developed a relationship over the years. My sister encouraged me to write down what I wanted to say to the woman before she died if I was unable to speak the words. The result was the letter that led to this book.

As I wrote, I realized that although she and I were very different, my mother-in-law had been mothering me all along and didn’t care whether I wanted to accept it or not. Because I had been raised to do the right thing, I started out treating her with respect, and even though my respect was peppered with defiance, it didn’t stop me from loving her. Over time, I treated her with respect not because I was supposed to, but because I had come to respect her.

I finished my letter and my mother-in-law died three hours later. I was as devastated as if she had given birth to me, but I did feel some relief that I had said to the universe the things I wanted to say but hadn’t been able to for the fifteen years our families had been linked by my marriage to her son. In writing my letter, I discovered that I had been so stressed by our relationship because I wasn’t open to mothering and mother-wisdom of the kind that we receive from the more seasoned members of the female community. I don’t know why this was. Perhaps it was because my own wound from losing my mother so young had not yet healed, some thirty-plus years later. I read my letter over and over, and as I did, it occurred to me that I was not alone.

As females, we have a way of nurturing others, usually children and men, but we are often reluctant to nurture and share with each other. As young women, we are often mean girls (or the victims of them). We might make a few close friends as young adults, but throughout our lives, many of us are very slow to let new women in. Rather than embrace each other, we push away. We argue with and resent our mothers, and more often than not, fall prey to the idea that our mothers-in-law and stepmothers, all “outside women,” are evil rather than a source of support or knowledge. As we do so, we miss our lessons until finally we only see them in hindsight.

I invited other women to write a letter to a mother in their lives, someone who guided them when they didn’t want to be guided and perhaps someone they’d never thanked. In the letter, they were to tell them what they wanted them to know. The recipient of the letter needn’t be alive or biologically related, just someone to whom they had things to say to but lacked courage or foresight to be able to say those things, a thank you. Many of the writers I asked to participate agreed to do so right away. What I hadn’t counted on though were those authors that were my friends who would refuse to participate. They had no issue with the concept.

Instead, their reluctance was based on where they were in their own personal journeys with the mother figures in their lives. Some were not able to say anything positive so chose to say nothing. Others had no idea what they would say or they hadn’t worked through their feelings about that mother-daughter relationship yet and they feared the experience would be too painful for them. There are emotional wounds that only another woman can inflict on you, and theirs had not yet begun to crust over. I received many calls and notes from those who did choose to participate, often filled with apprehension and tears. 
This task I was asking of them was harder than any of us had imagined, yet those who got through it reported experiencing a catharsis they had never counted on. The relationship that was closest to us proved to be the hardest to be honest about and the hardest to resolve. Writing these letters, love letters to our mothers, forced us to let go of the anger that had hung around our necks for years and let it float away from us. We had to give the bad memories to the universe and embrace the good and how that had shaped us into adulthood.

While I read the submissions, my love and respect for these women grew exponentially. I’d asked them to participate because I respected them and where they were in their craft and professional lives. I challenged them to look beyond the ordinary and find something positive in their relationship with their mothers. This proved to be harder for some than others, but once I was given a glimpse of their journeys and the women that had helped to shape them, they were all much bigger in my eyes. This process was like therapy for many of us, and as we navigated the murkiness of our childhoods, our paths through our womanhoods became that much clearer.

Charlenne T. Greer died on a Friday in May, 2012.  Cigarettes killed her. She was not my mother or even related by blood.  Still, I am thankful for her lessons.

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx
Genre: Creative Non-fiction

Meet the Author
Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at or her blog at

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Posted by on February 16, 2020 in Uncategorized


The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Sometimes the Secrets in Your Past Can Unleash the Power of Your Future

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed…

In the Land of Yet
At the edge of the Forbidden Forest
A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir. And her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past. But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.

Read The Prologue from The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) –

Purchase The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I)
by Cerece Rennie Murphy –

The Wolf Queen (2 book series) By Cerece Rennie Murphy

Follow the Seducing the Pen Tour for The Wolf Queen books:

About the Author
National bestselling and award-winning author Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy. Mrs. Murphy has since published seven books.

In addition to recently publishing her first time-bending romance titled, To Find You, Mrs. Murphy released the 2nd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son. Mrs. Murphy is currently developing a fantasy adventure, titled The Wolf Queen and a 2-part space opera.

Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at

The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Read an excerpt:


The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi (Book II) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

To claim their future, she must avenge her past.

War has come to the Land of Yet and though the wolf has awakened within her, Ameenah Yemini has just begun to understand the legacy behind its magic.

Without the wisdom to wield it, she knows she is no match for the treachery of the Hir, whose lust for absolute power threatens everything she holds dear.

Her only chance – Yet’s only hope – is for its people to band together and fight.

But the Hir’s iron grip reaches deeper than they ever realized and the land that once stood together is more divided than ever. While Ameenah travels to the isolated Province of Harat in search of allies and the remnants of the mythical Amasiti, the man she loves must take a different road, each uncovering terrible secrets, centuries in the making that could unravel their rebellion before it has time to take root.

In a desperate race to rally a force strong enough to defeat the Hir, Ameenah’s quest plunges her into the depths of a cursed land to recover what remains of an age-old promise—but the cost of saving her people just might be her life.

The final chapter of The Wolf Queen adventure is here.

Purchase The Wolf Queen (2 book series) By Cerece Rennie Murphy:

Follow the Seducing the Pen Tour for The Wolf Queen books:

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Writing Sisters Summit Takes to the Sands in 2020

Writing Sisters Summit Takes to the Sands in 2020

The Writing Sisters Summit was born in 2019 with the intent of bringing together writers, male and female, who want to hone their craft with and learn from other writers.

In 2020, The Retreat will take to the Sands of Taos, NM, featuring workshops by Seattle based NAACP Image award nominated writer, playwright and filmmaker, Nina Foxx, along with several of the writer-friends that she met through the course of her twenty years as a published author.

Nina created the summit with the intent of spurring creativity and creating community among writers that want to deepen and expand their craft and learn how to prepare their work for publishing.

Foxx says “When we used to get book tours, I’d cross paths with other writers on the way to the independent bookstores and we had a community to help encourage us and learn. They felt like a family of close coworkers in an otherwise solitary occupation and we helped each other be more creative. The death of the indie bookstore has basically killed those bookstores and that connection, too. I want to re-create that.”

This year’s summit adds a wellness component reflecting Nina’s belief that strengthening the mind-body connection will help one focus on craft while understanding the underlying motivations for what is put on the page.

Other faculty members include Foxx’s writer-friends, Kwame Alexander the author of 32 books and New York Times best-seller and winner of the Newberry Medal. Kwame is also the founding editor of Versify, an imprint of Houghton-Mifflin.

They will be joined by Carmen Green, Romance Novelist and Georgia- based writing professor. Several of Carmen’s works have been made into TV movies.

Wellness faculty include Jami Jones Ervin, Columbus, OH based Life Coach and pastor, and Albina Rippy, yoga instructor and owner of the Blue Sky Retreat Center, where the summit will be held. “I was so moved by what Nina was trying to do and it spoke to my own writing journey. I took a chance and reached out and asked if I could be the Yoga Instructor for the retreat.”

Originally from Kazakhstan, Albina and her husband Roger taught yoga at the US White House twice as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative and is a teacher of Yoga Studio owners, based primarily in Houston, TX.

The Summit will be held on October 15-18th at The Blue Sky Mountain retreat in Taos, NM. For more information visit

Seattle- resident Nina Foxx is the author of over 17 works in multiple genres. She has won multiple African-American Literature Awards, is an NAACP Image Award nominee and was short-listed for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.

As a filmmaker, she has produced works that have been selections at numerous film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, HBO’s Run & Shoot Film Festival and The Urban MediaMakers Film Festival. She has produced several plays based on her books, with the help of grants from the City of Seattle. She and her husband Barry own Clever Vixen Media. Together they produce literary events.

An Engineering psychologist by trade, she works at a major media company in User Experience and is a frequent speaker at technical conferences. She volunteers her time on the local and national level promoting STEAM careers for under-served youth, often focusing on the value of storytelling in technology occupations.


RestoreHER 7 Steps to Healing Enlightenment, and Renewal by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

RestoreHER 7 Steps to Healing Enlightenment, and Renewal by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

We spend our days rushing from one task to another at work and home only to drop into our beds at midnight , completely exhausted. Our society has changed a great deal since our parents were in their prime.

Today we are addicted to speed, see busyness as a status symbol, take care of not only our children, but also our aging parents, and work as many hours as possible to keep ahead of the Jones’. It’s no wonder most of us ignore ourselves and our own needs. It seems like there is simply not the time to do more than grab food on the go and snag a few hours of sleep before starting it all again.

Read excerpts from the book and order your copy, go here:

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Intimate Conversation with Antoinette R. Davis

Creative, a dreamer, loving and helpful, those are just some of the words used to describe Ms. Antoinette R. Davis. “Nette” as she is called by her closest friends and family members, has always had a way with drama. She is a dreamer and she encourages others to do the same.

Antoinette attended Baltimore City public schools and went on to Strayer Business College where she majored in Business Management.. Antoinette stepped out on faith in 2009 and started her own business first selling artwork that’s when a friend at the time asked her to write poetry for some of the artwork she was selling and from there the writer in her was re- birthed.

In 2010, Antoinette started writing poetry on book markers, journals, planners and put together her first poetry book that included a CD of poetry to music. Antoinette shocked her family and herself when she completed a CD of spoken word entitled “A Scent Just for Her.”

All of her writings seemed to gravitate to the spiritual side in her and when asked why she simply replied, “That’s where my heart is now. It’s a pleasure writing with you in mind,” Antoinette loves to be creative and let her mind takes her and the readers places they can only imagine.

Antoinette’s novels are thought provoking; she discusses issues people want to read such as domestic violence, race and love and she takes pleasure doing so. Her mother speaks to the support of her writings, “I knew my daughter was creative at an early age and I am very proud of her and the love she has for people. You can find her hidden in every novel she creates.”

BPM: It is such a pleasure to have you join us to discuss, The Key to My Pain. Describe yourself in three words.


BPM: What drove you to publish your first book or create your first series? How long have you been writing?

I have been writing 10 years now. I was going through a bad time and I needed to channel my pain into a different direction and writing helped me to do that and once I did that I wanted to help others with my writing.

BPM: Describe what you do outside of writing to expand your business or brand.

I promote through social media. I’ve done speaking engagements at centers for women and book signings and I throw parties and invite book clubs and other authors.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your body of work/books?

You need an editor. You cannot edit your own book no matter how careful you are.

BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?

I chose fiction because I wanted to take people minds places, exotic places, dark places and I find that you can do that with fiction with a twist of realness.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?

The Key to My Pain is the title and it deals with depression and abuse in a household. It gives a story of men dealing with mental abuse from childhood to adulthood.

BPM: Introduce us to the people in the book! Give us some insight into your main characters.

Okay, Carolyn is a loving submissive wife who is being abused by her husband but she refuses to leave him. Rodney Jr. is the eldest son who is determined to be a professional basketball player despite his father’s firm stances on him not playing ball but becoming a respected professional.

Rodney hates his mother because she won’t leave the man that is tormenting the family and then there’s Rodney Sr. A big black mean son of a gun. He’s a womanizing whore, LOL. He has women all over Baltimore and the babies too. He even slept with the neighbor and her sister. When he walks into the house so does the devil and if you don’t talk right or look at him right you’ll catch a right and left hook.

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Let The Truth Be Told (4 Book Series) by Antoinette R. Davis

Let Truth Be Told Vol 1 (Let The Truth Be Told) by Antoinette Davis

From Book 1: Claudia Ellison is straight out of Baltimore; she’s just graduated from college and ready to bring major changes to her social and financial situation however there are some missing pieces. Claudia wants a husband, a baby and a successful career but living in Baltimore, Maryland men are not plentiful and the one man her heart longs for is in the federal penitentiary and the men she’s been dating are not up to part.

Claudia befriends the new First lady of her church and leans on her for advice and guidance when her world starts spinning out of control but it seems the First Lady of the church wants to put her own spin on Claudia Ellison.

Let Truth Be Told Vol 2 (Let The Truth Be Told) by Antoinette Davis

Vol 2, This is a thrilling novel about an upstanding family enthralled with lies. Claudia just said I do to pastor Terrence Madden and saying Good-bye to her worldly way of living.

Transitioning into the First Lady has it’s challenges especially now that Claudia has a baby and a career. The Ellison family faces one obstacle after another and they are holding together by a thread. It’s going to take everyone in the family to pull together if they expect to survive.

Let The Truth Be Told Vol 3 (Let The Truth Be Told) by Antoinette Davis

We left off in Vol 2 with a new addition to the Ellison family, Constance Ellison. Hold on tight because she did not come in peace she came to take down her half-siblings with the help of a surprising source. Constance refuses to let go of the idea that her father left a will and his illegitimate child was left out of it. Constance came to get what is hers and take more in the process. Constance will touch each one of her half-siblings, one by one in an attempt to ruin them all.

Let The Truth Be Told Vol 4 (Let The Truth Be Told) by Antoinette Davis

Constance is ready to strike and the time is now. She has set everything into motion and Michael’s incarceration is just a mild technicality for her. Constance has new plans with a new love and her new lover will surely to shake the foundation in which the Ellison are standing on.

The near-death experience Phyllis had made Terrence revisit his former occupation but only this time he’s working it from another angle. Lisa is done with trying to hide her sexuality and after a few sequences of events, she steps out of the closet completely and into an unexpected love affair that has her in a whirlwind. New unlikely alliances will be formed and some truths will be told however, lies will lead to a loss of life.

Purchase the Let The Truth Be Told (4 Book Series) by Antoinette R. Davis:


The Mountain We Climb by Dr. Wayne Swan

This Book is the Road Map to the Kind of Life You Deserve

Most people want to accomplish great things—improve their own lives and make the world better in some way. You might be thinking, But why does it have to be so hard?

Life can seem like a constant battle—helping a loved one who just won’t listen, paying the light bill when there’s not enough money to go around, finding happiness when everyone around you says it’s impossible.

Yet some people make “impossible” things happen: someone becomes a millionaire; somebody breaks a world record; someone else reaches the summit of a mountain; one person inspires millions while many struggle to even influence a single person.

What Draws Out the Greatness We Have Inside?

Contrary to popular belief, we all have the potential to do great things, to create the kind of life and happiness we desire. If you felt even the slightest doubt as you read that, you need to read this book!

You don’t have to be told that there is a lot of negativity and opposition in life; if not from the people and things around us, then from our own insecurities from within.

Seeing the accomplishments of others gives us hope . . . it inspires and motivates us. We are able to see that “doing the impossible” is in fact possible. But this isn’t enough. We need to know how!

The Secret

There is one thing that every person who achieves something great has, and it is how to tap into the mother lode of power and unstoppable greatness that lies mostly dormant within us all! The answer is having a GUIDE.

Many things seem impossible to us; especially when trying to solve them with no real guidance, no know-how to doing it right. The smart way to proceed is by learning from those who can show you the road map. The Mountain We Climb is your secret road map to the life you deserve.

“I can only compare the experience of reading The Mountain We Climb to being guided through life’s challenges by a wise mentor, a loving father, and a caring best friend. Dr. Swan has achieved that rare feat of successfully combining inspirational and practical guidance with a moving personal story.” — Liana Hall, Esq., Writer and Mental Health Activist

The Mountain We Climb by Wayne Swan
View book details on Amazon –

DR. WAYNE SWAN – Speaker, Mentor, Certified Divorce Coach

Dr. Wayne Swan is a Motivational Speaker, Mentor, Life Coach, Entrepreneur & Certified Divorce Coach. He regularly speaks to and works with clients in Bermuda as well as internationally in places such as: Africa, Europe, UK and the USA.

Wayne has accomplished the feat of reaching the summit of the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Returning to the base of the mountain a different man, he shares his revelations and learning for overcoming “impossible” odds in life, as they apply to mountain climbing or life’s daily struggles.

Visit his website today:

Seducing the Pen Tour page:


The Pride of an African Migrant by Massocki Ma Massocki

The Pride of an African Migrant: In Remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga, a Martyr of Globalisation, Murdered by the UK Border Regime on a British Airways Flight to Angola by Massocki Ma Massocki

Why was this book written and what is the mission behind this project?
The Pride of an African Migrant outlines barbaric acts of torture to which African asylum seekers are being subjected to in the United Kingdom.

The book was written in remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga, an African asylum seeker who was tortured and killed by the UK border regime at London Heathrow Airport on a British Airways flight to Angola on October 12, 2010, after resisting his deportation.

Having peacefully protested against the killing of Mubenga, a fellow asylum seeker, Massocki Ma Massocki, the author, was arrested and detained naked in a cold cell. After some time, even the place he was staying at was set on fire, ready to kill him.

Despite this, each year, the terrifying Mediterranean Sea and the dreadful Sahara desert claim the lives of at least 5,000 African migrants en route to Europe. And those who have conquered the sea and the desert still have to survive, in the land of Europe, the barbarism and inhumanity of immigration officers.

The Pride of an African Migrant aims to fight xenophobia and promote harmonious coexistence between all living beings, in particular, between migrants and Europeans, and heighten people’s compassion and wisdom, which are imperative for world peace. The book’s goal is also to make Africans aspiring to migrate to the European Union or the US be more informed of the issues related to their plans so that they can be better prepared.

The Pride of an African Migrant is a frank expository conversation for today and of all time. It is a book that every immigration player should read—from potential migrants to diplomatic staff, immigration officials, foreign policy advisors… every person with a migrant family member or neighbour.


‘Where is the human in migration? In an age of immigration as political posturing and propaganda, Massocki presents a collage of dreams, journeys, tears, wills… even death. This book is an intimate retelling of lives and stories that strips migrants of convenient agenda-driven labels, baring them stark to the reader. With blood running in their veins, vulnerable to fear, driven by ambition—the emotive human is at the centre of Massocki’s latest work.

The Pride of an African Migrant is a frank expository conversation for today and of all time. It is a book that every immigration player should read—from potential migrants to diplomatic staff, immigration officials, foreign policy advisors… every person with a migrant family member or neighbour.’ —Pierced Rock Press


‘Mixing politics and philosophy with the personal, Massocki recounts his troubling yet powerful tale of migration from Africa to Europe. His memoir weaves in a rich and unusual variety of voices: from individuals he met along his journey, to those of presidents, philosophers, musicians and academics. The result is a provocative, political memoir that seeks to inform people of the realities of migrating to Europe: a call on Africans to embrace their pride and dignity.’
—Dr Melanie Griffiths, University of Birmingham, England, UK

‘This is a contemporary mental, physical, and political odyssey. I have not come across such a graphic and personal account of a migrant’s extensive experience of former Prime Minister Theresa May’s “hostile environment” in all its finery. It is a powerful book. The more I go back to it, the more I see its potential to change minds—those of migrants and even those of people not forced to migrate. I think its publication is very significant.’
—Bill MacKeith, founder–member of Campaign to Close Campsfield and End All Immigration Detention (also involved with the Bail Observation Project (BOP), National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) / Right to Remain, Migreurop, Barbed Wire Britain, and Detention Forum)

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Posted by on December 26, 2019 in #StorytellersBookTour


Create Crown Holders Sisterhood Audio Presentation

Come on in, have a seat! I would like to invite you to create an audio presentation for the Crown Holders Sisterhood. 

We are looking for uplifting, motivating stories of over-coming obstacles or lessons that will empower women! We want to learn from 100 women who inspire, motivate and entertain audiences with their stories…their voices!

Your presentation will be posted on the Crown Holders Transmedia website. Also, I will play your podcast on BAN Radio Show. The recordings will become part of our Crown Holders web-series that will be live-streamed to Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

There are NO fees for this service. But, this can not be used solely to promote a product or service. We are truly seeking to pour into and uplift the women in our community.

I understand we are all busy women, so I created a simple way to share your story on the webinars. Here’s a way for you to pre-record your message on your own schedule. Listed below are the details on how to create the audio campaign and the materials needed. We look forward to showcasing your service, company or your book. Read this entire page to answer most of your questions.

I will need your recording back as soon as possible. This page is long, but I want you to have all of the information to make the process seamless. This email breaks down the process of recording to the finest detail. After the recording is made and you have submitted all of your material, I will email you with the link to the presentations.

You can speak on any subject that is important to you. The topics can range from parenting, caring for aging parents, being a empty nester, to how to create a product or service. You are free to speak on whatever moves you and will educate others!

Here are my suggested Topics for Your Women of a New Sisterhood Podcast:

Becoming a Visionary
Business Strategy
Career Development
Care-giving for Terminally Ill
Caring for Aging Parents
Coping with Depression after Losing a Child
Diversity in the Workplace
Empowerment for Divorced Women
Entrepreneurship Inspiration & Tips
Finance & Money Management
Finding Hope After Losing a Child
Harnessing the Power of Prayer
Health & Wellness Tips & Advice
Helping Women Return to Work after 50
How Did You Start Your Business
How to Survive Domestic Violence or Adult Bullying
Living a Vision Driven Life vs. a Condition Driven Life
Living an Intentional Life
Recovering from Addictions
Relationships for Single & Saved
Social Media Influencing
Starting Online Brands & Business
Surviving a Cancer Diagnosis

Practice or plan what you want to say before recording. Do not mention a time- sensitive offer or discount because this recording will be re-purposed several times over the next few months.


1.  Select a topic that’s important to you and prepare a speech for our audience. Create your webinar in the TED TALK fashion of presentation. You can record up to 20 minutes. Do not go over this time.

Introduce yourself, give the title of your session. Next, explain what we will learn today. Give a 1-minute intro into how you can serve the Women of our New Sisterhood Community and what your company/book/wisdom offers the audience. Let the audience be sold on your expertise!

Next move into your planned speech. Imagine them right before you! Ask them questions. Give them a call to action. Pull them into this ‘conversation’ and really show them how much you care about their success.

2.  Try to keep it entertaining and informative. Do not use this like a sales advertisement. The first 10 minutes are crucial to holding the online listener’s attention for the entire session.

Please do not make multiple recordings. If you make a mistake simply STOP the recording by pressing the (#) pound key. You can re-record as many times as you like, just don’t hang up to stop recording. Multiple recordings will slow down the entire process for ALL of the other speakers.

3.  At the end of your lesson/speech feel free to discuss your products or services and include ways to reach you. Please keep your advertisement to 1-2 minutes at the very end. At the end of your presentation, share your websites, blogs and all your social media info.

You can gently promote your services, charity, book, product or signature program. If you have a book, please tell the audience WHY you wrote it and HOW it shapes their lives.

4.  Please do not mention any dates, times or any events. Do not advertise any events or special occasions! If you mention release dates or events it limits what I can do with the recordings. It limits your presentation’s visibility on future programs.



Hit the (# key) to STOP the recording and re-record. You can keep re-recording the same session over and over until it’s correct. Do NOT hang up to start over. If you need a do-over, immediate press the (# Key).

Create Your Crown Holders Sisterhood Podcast
Call this number:   (201) 283-9143    PIN: 158-535-351#

— To record message, select option (1) when prompted.

— Press the (# Key) to STOP and SAVE the recording when you are finished talking and reading.



I need your information back as soon as possible. Email me if you have questions: Please submit all of your information in the body of ONE email. Do not send any type of text file, Word document or PDF file. My assistants will not open any text related files for security reasons. You can attach images as .jpeg or .png files only!

1. Give me the title of your session.
Email me the title of your session and the promotional material. You are free to discuss any topic that will educate, entertain and uplift women. You do not have to query me to see if this is a good topic. We would like to shy away from topics on politics, violent crimes and disciplining children. Other than that…go for it!

2. Submit your bio written in 3rd person, 200 words, no more.
Include your website address and other information about your company, book or service. Select ONE service or product and submit the material needed to promote it.

My goal is to drive people to you with the interviews/podcasts. I will promote your product or service online for 7 days in 2020. Submit your confirmation and promotional material as soon as possible. 

3. I need the following information about the speakers:
— Title of the presentation and subjects discussed
— Recorded podcast and the promotional text for your product or service
— Bookcover art or eFlyer (Large: at least 360 x 504 pixels)
— Speaker’s personal head-shot only (Large: 300 x 300 pixels)

4. Please share inks to connect with you on social media websites. List any that fit your brand. They are all optional. Give the full URL:

Twitter Link:
Zoom, Loom, Live Leap or

Thank you in advance for joining us. I will do my very best to help increase your exposure and to provide the community with tools to better their lives! Our goal is to keep this to a bare minimum of emails.

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
About Me:
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Expert – Internet Publicist – Brand Strategist


Book Club Interviews

Interviews for the Black Pearls Magazine Book Club Edition

Hello  All Social Clubs and Readers,

Black Pearls Magazine  is celebrating the rise of  social clubs, book clubs, author circles and literary groups!   We would like to showcase all member, presidents, social club creators, and book reviewers on the front page of Black Pearls Magazine

Bi-Monthly, we will publish a printed version of Black Pearls Magazine!  It would be an honor to include you in the next edition.  If you do not belong to a specific group, you can still answer the questions as an avid reader!   We want to hear your story as well! We are dedicated to the promotion of quality literature. 

This email seems long, but it includes the interview questions too.  There is still time to get  you and your club on the front page.   There are no deadlines; submit the interview when  you have the time.  

Please send photos of the group AND of the president alone, so that the readers can really enjoy the organization.  Feel free to share this interview with as many readers or bookclubs that you know!


Book Club Questions for Legacy Book

Please select at least 6-7 of the questions to answer.  You may answer them all if you like.  Submit the actual questions AND the answers back in the BODY of a email.  Include the names of all the officers in the interview.

Q:: Give us the history on your organization or blog. Share with us your leader’s name and any other officers in the group. What year did you start? Where are you located?  How many members do you have?

Q:: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the year or provide services for the community?

Q:: As a loyal reader, what are some of the things you want to see more of or less of in books?

Q::  Has there been any books that helped shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life? Q::  What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?

Q::  Are you satisfied with the legacy black books will leave our future generations?  Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? If so, who?

Q::  Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in the books you read?

Q::  Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? Does the price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase?  Would you ever stop buying printed books?

Q::  What are some of the changes you have seen in the last 5 years, in publishing, that you dislike?

Q::  Speak directly to the writers of the world, what advice would you offer them on capturing a reader’s attention and keeping it?

Q::  How may we find out more about you or your group?  Please share your FB link, website address and public email address. 

*** We Appreciate YOU! ***

Let us share a new book with you!  To show our appreciation, we will provide all the people who share their story with us a book gift.  Please email us your home mailing address and we will send you a new book for review purposes!  Books are mailed out each Saturday via media mail, arriving to you in 10-16 business days.  The books are from all genres and all types of writers and poets.


*** How to Submit the Interview ***

1.  Send the interview questions AND the answers back in the body of ONE email. We will send back all interviews that do not fit these requirements!  Do not send any type of text or Word document. The only thing you need to attach are photos. Send all interviews to this email address ONLY:  Follow all of the instructions please.

2.  At the beginning of the interview, include a bio written in 3rd person, 80 words or less. At the end of the interview include your email address, Facebook, Twitter and website information.

3.  Spell and grammar check the interview BEFORE sending it to EDC Creations.  Make sure all hyperlinks are correct.

Thank you in advance for considering a spotlight in the Black Pearls Magazine. We look forward to promoting you and your group to our 165,000 opt-in EDC Creations Newsletter readers too!  

Ella Curry, President of  EDC Creations Media

Black Authors Network Radio-Founder

Black Pearls Magazine Online -Founder

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Posted by on November 15, 2019 in #SeducingThePenTour, Bookclub Spotlight


I Am God’s Work of Art by Yvonne Strachan

I Am God’s Work of Art by Yvonne Strachan

Every child is a blessing from God. No matter where they come from, how they look physically, their gender, or nationality.

I Am God’s Work of Art inspires children to become one with themselves and to embrace their unique characteristics, personality, and appearance.

This book empowers children always to know that they are special, creative, wonderful, and love unconditionally by God. Each reader is assured that they have a special purpose to fulfill.

I Am God’s Work of Art builds the confidence of children, reminding them to be confident and courageous in everything that they do. Children will also be inspired to do everything that they desire to do in life and to stay in their own unique lane.

This book is filled with inspiration and power that will assist children to be victorious and never to reject embracing their greatness.

Purchase I Am God’s Work of Art by Yvonne Strachan

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Books by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Set in the powerful backdrop of the 1960s civil rights movement, Memphis Blues will test the loyalty and strength of three people whose dreams were deferred.

Will the women and the handsome doctor who controls them find their true callings? If so, at what price?

Nadine was looking forward to getting her first real job, then starting a business. But when she finds herself pregnant before she even finishes high school, the young man’s mother forces them into wedlock. It was not the life she had planned.

Carrie also saw her plans for a better life derailed after a fling leaves her pregnant with twins. At the center of their angst is Cyrus, a man not yet ready to be a father…with his wife…or his girlfriend. Still, Cyrus manages to keep the two lives separate while coveting the life he really wants.

What’s Done in the Dark
Secrets don’t stay buried for long. Years later, when the three of them accidentally meet at a protest rally, everything changes. The fireworks that ensue suddenly alter the dynamic of these relationships forever.

Purchase Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Get your paperback copy of Memphis Blues SIGNED by the Author!
$15 plus Shipping and Tax –

Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry
Book Signing:

Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Lust…Betrayal…and Dirty Deals

Savvy newswoman Jan Malone finally earns a coveted anchor spot at a Washington, D.C., television station when unforeseen circumstances turn her world upside down.

To regroup, she and her best friend Kelly Mahoney take an adventurous African vacation where they meet wealthy businessman Abdou Nyassi. He and Jan begin a hot and heavy romance that has him talking marriage.

Jan’s socially connected mother does some digging and gets a tip about Abdou that sets off alarms. Her warning prompts Jan to put her investigative skills to use.

Soon, Jan unravels a nefarious plot that thrusts her into a world of crime, corruption, and political deceit. She turns to Kelly and street hustler Darius Hooks for help, but will their motives be pure?

CAPITAL SINS exposes dark truths about ambition, greed, and human nature.

Purchase Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Get your paperback copy of the NEWLY RELEASED Capital Sins SIGNED by the Author! $15 plus Shipping and Tax at

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Books by Karen Sloan-Brown

The Designated Ones: From Jerusalem to Ethiopia by Karen Sloan-Brown

It’s 2014. Grieving the loss of family members and friends killed in a plane crash, renowned megachurch pastor Priscilla Sinclair sits on her patio, prepared to take her own life. But before she can end it all, a stranger shows up at her Virginia home and changes everything.

Trying to strengthen her faith, the stranger challenges Priscilla to lean on God’s promises and on the examples of faith left to her by her ancestors. He tells her a story she has never heard before. The story goes back over 3,000 years, beginning with Aaron, God’s designated high priest during the Exodus, and explores the line of designated ones through the times of King David, Solomon, the exile in Babylon, the crossing of the Arabian Desert into Saba, the migration across the Red Sea into Axum, the birth of Christ, and the lives of the generations that have followed.

In this thrilling journey through history, Priscilla is given a chance to go from failure to faith and live to fight another day. But will she accept the stranger’s challenge?

Purchase The Designated Ones: From Jerusalem to Ethiopia by Karen Sloan-Brown

The Struggle: From Kenya to Jamaica by Karen Sloan-Brown

In part two, The Struggle, in the year AD 490, her ancestors battle in religious wars for 1000 years until the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade. They are sold as slaves and shipped to a sugarcane plantation in Jamaica. Two hundred years later, Adam is sold and shipped to a tobacco plantation in Virginia.

In this thrilling journey through history, Priscilla is given a chance to go from failure to faith and live to fight another day. But will she accept the stranger’s challenge?

Purchase The Struggle: From Kenya to Jamaica by Karen Sloan-Brown

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Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier

A year after Rico’s death, Chloe is still working to piece her life back together after learning of his betrayal and sickness. Though she wants to be with Shane, she senses that it may be too soon to move on, given that she is broken inside. After recommitting her life to God, she learns to love again, but just when she thinks she’s over the past, Raegan resurfaces.

Rico’s lies initially introduced them to one another, but Chloe’s mother has an even bigger lie that has remained hidden for over thirty years. Can Chloe handle it? Will she allow yet another secret to keep her from experiencing the love that Shane is so willing to give?

If she allows God to mold her heart, out of the shadows of her pain will come love, forgiveness and a sense of peace unlike she’s ever known.

Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier

Excerpt from Out of the Shadows

“Look at that smile. What did Shane say to you?” Kelly teased.

“Whatever. He just does what he always does.”

“And what’s that?”

Make everything better, Chloe thought to herself as her smile widened, but she said to Kelly, “I think we have more pressing things to deal with.” She recalled the day that she and Shane were outside playing tag the day before they started fourth grade. She must have thought she was part of someone’s stunt team because she jumped over a hedge of bushes trying to catch him and skinned her knee in the process. Shane immediately ran into the house for bandages and alcohol to patch her up. He even prayed and asked God to make it better so that her first day of fourth grade would still be good. She wasn’t sure why that particular thought popped into her head just now, but it was a reminder that he’d always wanted to do whatever he could to make things better for her.

“Maybe. But if Shane can put a smile on your face after that scene you put on in there, I need to talk to him too.”

Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier. Read an excerpt of Chapters 1-3:

Excerpt from Out of the Shadows

“So here’s this woman who slept with my husband, got pregnant, lost the baby, and I forgave her. I wasn’t supposed to see her again. That was supposed to be the end of it. Now here she is with her perfect little life dancing right back into mine. I never even conceived a child with Rico and here she is with three children! It’s not fair and I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I’m angry, Shane. Angry at her and at my parents. And I feel really helpless but I’m trying to get over it. I had a good talk with God last night, so I’m trusting that He will help me through it.”

Chloe didn’t realize that tears had escaped her eyes in her frustration. Shane slid his chair around next to her and took a napkin to dab at her cheeks. “I’m sorry sweetheart. I’m here for whatever you need. It seems like a lot to take in, but we can get through this together. Can I pray with you?”

Read an excerpt of Chapters 1-3:

Purchase Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier


Failure to Protect by Pamela Samuels Young

Failure to Protect
by Pamela Samuels Young

The author of the award-winning thriller Anybody’s Daughter is back with an addictive read that tackles bullying and its devastating aftermath.

What Really Goes on Behind School Doors?

When the classroom is no longer a safe space for her child, a grieving mother is determined to seek justice for her bullied daughter. Enter hard-charging attorneys Angela Evans and Jenny Ungerman. From the very start, the two lawyers face more than an uphill battle.

An ambitious school principal is far more concerned about protecting her career than getting to the truth. She flat out denies any knowledge of the bullying and prefers to sweep everything under the rug. But just how low will she go?

As the battle enters the courtroom, the attorneys fight hard to expose the truth. But will a massive coverup hinder their quest for justice?

Excerpt from Failure to Protect by Pamela Samuels Young


Nobody cares about me. Not even God.

Just because I’m a kid, grown-ups think I don’t have problems. They tell me stupid stuff like, Bailey, you have to learn to stand up for yourself. Or Just ignore them and they’ll leave you alone. And the lamest one of all, Just pray about it. God’ll handle it.

I tried that last one about a thousand times. But like I said, God don’t care about me.

Even if I reported Kenya Jackson to my new teacher, it wouldn’t help. Mrs. Phillips is really nice, but all she’s going to do is send me to the principal’s office. Then Kenya will be even meaner to me for getting her in trouble.

That’s what happened when I told on a girl at my old school. After she got in trouble, she waited until there weren’t any adults around and pushed me into a restroom stall and stuffed my book bag in the toilet. I never told anybody about that.

I want to tell my mom what’s going on at my new school, but she’s got enough to worry about. She just got promoted to be the first black marketing manager at her company and now she works even harder than she did before. After she gets home, she still has more work to do on her laptop. The other night, she fell asleep right in the middle of helping me with my science project.

Since we moved to our gigantic house in Baldwin Hills with the dope view and a supposedly better school, she thinks everything’s all good and that makes her happy. I’m glad to see her smiling again. We were both super sad for a long time after my dad died. I guess she hasn’t noticed that I’m not smiling yet.

At my old school in Inglewood, when the principal told her that maybe I’d be “more successful in another environment,” my mom almost lost it. I was ready to lose it too. Anybody would be more successful if they weren’t being  bullied all the time.

I wish my mom could understand what I’m going through. She wants me to be more like her, but I can’t.  Sometimes she says stuff that really hurts my feelings.

I just don’t understand why you can’t make friends.You have to try harder to meet other little girls. When I was nine years old, everybody wanted to be my friend.

Well, nobody wants to be friends with me.

One time, I almost told my mom what was going on at Parker Elementary. But then I got scared that she would say it’s my fault because I don’t know how to make friends. So, I just keep it to myself. Every morning, right before I walk into school, I get the worst stomach ache you could ever have. It feels like a bunch of hot rocks are playing foosball in my stomach.

If my mom knew about Kenya spitting in my face, it would be one hot mess. She’s usually very professional, but if she found out what was really going on, she would turn straight ghetto and go off on everybody at the school. Then she’d end up in jail and I’d have to go into foster care. That’s what happened to my friend Trey in first grade when his mom slapped the cashier at Walmart.

Okay, I wouldn’t really have to go into foster care. I would probably have to go live with my granny in Oakland or my Uncle Marcus in Atlanta.

If I had my choice, though, I’d rather stay with my Uncle Dre. He’s really my godfather, but I pretend like he’s my uncle. One time, when he picked me up from school, I tried to tell him about Kenya always roasting me. I was surprised that he didn’t even know what roasting was. After I explained that it means dissin’ you real hard, he just hugged me and told me I had to toughen up.

You’ll be okay, he said.

But he’s wrong. I’m definitely not going to be okay.

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Unfortunately Francine by Joan Vassar

Unfortunately Francine

(Unfortunate Series Book 1) by Joan Vassar  Georgia, 1995–A gentle push from her sister causes Francine Adams to agree to one date with the handsome, Jalal Dorsey. When his ex-girlfriend makes an appearance, a perfect evening takes a turn for the worse. Blinded by humiliation and desperate to put distance between herself and the drama, Francine flees the upscale eatery. Unfamiliar with Atlanta, she wanders down a dark side street and encounters a series of unfortunate events.

Troy Bryant has spent seven years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon his release, he realizes the man he was before prison is gone. Now, he’s everything he was wrongfully accused of. After witnessing a young woman running from a restaurant in the heart of Atlanta, Troy follows her hasty retreat down an unlit side street, forever changing the course of both their lives.

Troy decides to keep her–no matter the cost, and Francine is forced to need the man who stole her from her life. Two souls collide, and a dark romance begins to bloom. Unfortunately Francine spins an erotic tale of anger, love and acceptance.

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Excerpts from Unfortunately Francine

“Truce is for the man who approaches me from the front not from the back.” ~Troy

“All races commit crimes against their own. People perpetrate corruption where they are most comfortable. Statistically, black on black crime is no higher than any other race. It’s prejudice that keeps a slanted black experience in the forefront of the nightly news.”

“Troy almost laughed out loud as he came to understand that he would have to submit to her–to get her to submit to him.”

“Unfortunately, we live in a society that is unforgiving of the poor and people of color. And often times as black folks, we fall under both categories.”

Reviewed by Ebony Eyecu Evans

Was he a good man who did bad things or was he a bad man who did good things?

Well, let me start by saying….Whatever Troy Bryant is or isn’t, he’s FOR SURE THE MOST INTENSELY ANGRY, CONTROLLING, EROTIC AND SEXIEST VILLAIN I’ve ever encountered. I mean…NEVER HAVE I EVER read such a dark and deliciously disturbing romance that’s kept me riding a wave of conflicting emotions. With captivating character development and meticulous detail, this multilayered twisted plot is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
Bravo!!! Joan Vassar OUT DID HERSELF with “Unfortunately Francine!” Can’t wait to see what comes next! –Ebony, EyeCU Reading Approved & Highly Recommended

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The Key to My Pain by Antoinette R. Davis

Have you ever shared your deepest darkest pain with someone you love and someone you thought loved you? 

The Key To My Pain takes place in Baltimore City in the early to mid-seventies, when racial tension is still high from the late nineteen sixty’s riots.The family of five are living just enough with Mr. Batchler being a police officer after leaving Vietnam and Mrs. Carolyn Batchler is a loving mother and wife to three aspiring sons.

Mrs. Carolyn Batchler is in love with her husband Rodney Batchler Sr.  He promised to give her the family she never had but always wanted but she didn’t know her dreams of a happy ever after would unlock doors she never dreamed of.

Rodney Batchler Jr. the eldest of the three sons, he wants to be a basketball superstar, Edwin Batchler wants to be an artist and the youngest of the three Corey is just trying to find himself.

Rodney Sr. runs his house like a jail and his family like a warden. Carolyn is forbidden to work because Rodney Sr. wants to keep her subservient and he controls his sons with pure fear.

Verbal, mental and physical abuse happens every single day in the Batchler home. There is not day Carolyn can open her eyes and enjoy the beauty of the sun nor the sound of the rain.  Rodney Sr. has single handedly  put her internal light out with abuse and now her sons are starting to look at their mother as weak, helpless and a fool.  The abuse is not limited to Carolyn, oh no. Rodney Sr. keeps his sons in line with the same mental, physical and emotional abuse he uses for his wife.

Experiencing abuse will and can lead you to the arms of people you think you can trust until the day that person unlocks the pain you gave them the key to. Love, Pain, Forgiveness and Hurt is all wrapped up in this 230 page novel.  Follow the journey of the Batchler family as they discover life through tainted vision.

Message from the Author

I dedicate this novel, The Key To My Painto every person who has ever witnessed domestic violence and to everyone who has shared their pain with a person they trusted and loved only to have them use your deepest darkest pain to hurt you. You can’t trust everyone with the key because they will unlock doors you have closed.

Chapter Excerpt:  The Key to My Pain

The long awaited visit.

Will somebody get the front door,” yells Chetta. The housekeeper is making up the beds and doesn’t hear the door so Chetta walks out of the kitchen to get the front door.

Chetta opens the door, “Hello.”

“Hello my name is Carolyn Batchler and I am…” Before Carolyn can finish introducing herself Chetta cuts her off.

“I know exactly who you are; please come in.” Carolyn walks in and looks around.

“Let me take your coat and have a seat.” Before Carolyn can take her coat off and have a seat Rodney Jr. walks down the staircase and looks right in his mother’s face.

Carolyn remains standing, “Hello son.” Rodney stands at the bottom of the staircase in a stare.

Chetta looks at her husband, “Rodney say something you’re being rude.” Chetta whispers. It’s been twenty three years since they both laid eyes on each other and Carolyn has dreamed of this day.

Carolyn walks over to Rodney, “Hello son.” A cold chill goes up Rodney’s spine and it causes him to shake. Chetta stands next to her husband looking on at the two of them and waiting for Rodney’s response.

“It’s been twenty three years since you walked away from me and I‘ve never stop thinking about you,” tears roll down Carolyn’s cheeks as she breathes easy. “I’ve watched you play basketball all through college and the NBA; I even watched when you went to the Olympics and won a gold medal. I have a photo album full of pictures when you were featured in the newspaper.”

Carolyn looks at Chetta, “You two had a beautiful wedding.”

“Thank you Mrs. Batchler,” says Chetta. Rodney turns to walk away from his mother.

“Do not walk away from me Rodney Jr.”

“Why should I stand here and talk to you?”

“Because like it or not I am your mother.  I am the women who gave life to you,”

“That didn’t seem to matter when you were letting your husband take life from me.”

Chetta steps in, “Excuse me Mrs. Batchler.” Chetta pulls Rodney to the side.  “This is your mother and she has come to talk to you at least hear her out.  Honey this is what you need to get your head in a better space.  You have spent years not living up to your full potential as a father and a husband; now is the time to get your questions answered,” Chetta whispers to him

“Rodney please talk to me,” asks Carolyn.

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Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

“Unveiled” promises to become a Book Club Favorite!

Attorney L. Morgan Franklin finds her well-ordered life at a prestigious New Orleans law firm, turned upside down when her half-brother, Winston, dies in their small hometown of L’Ouveture, Louisiana. When it becomes evident that Winston’s death may not be as it appears, Morgan begins a search for answers that lead her to new discoveries about the people she loves the most. The mysteries of family, life and love all converge in this story of one woman’s refusal to accept things as they are.

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Crown Holders Interview:  Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson
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Excerpt: Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

Grief and the sickeningly sweet smell of too many flowers hung heavy in the warm air of the late August afternoon. Morgan felt the weight of tears shed and hearts breaking. She rubbed her hands down her black silk suit when she walked slowly toward the simple wooden coffin that held the body of her beloved baby brother, Winston. “Half-brother.” She could almost imagine her mother, Marie, standing in front of her and uttering the word “half” as if it were some sort of disease. Morgan breathed deeply and pushed Marie’s words from her mind as she exhaled. They had no place here.

Winston’s mask-like, powdered face somehow belied the words “heart attack” that still echoed in her head. Morgan stepped away from the coffin and quickly brushed away her tears. She fled the church and barely heard the words of comfort tossed her way. Outside there would be air she could breathe without inhaling the pain of the mourners.

Morgan moved quickly once outside. Her legs felt somehow lighter than they had only moments before. She breathed deeply for the first time since she had received the news of Winston’s death a week ago and headed for the sanctuary of her car. The tinkling melody of the car alarm signaled her safe haven. She slid onto the butter-soft, caramel-colored leather seat and found comfort in its warmth. She cranked up the car, rolled down the electric windows, and turned on the CD player. The soulful sound of Jill Scott’s voice surrounded her as she watched the family file out of the church and head toward limousines with the words Garrett Bros. painted in gold across the rear doors and windows. Of course, it would be Garrett Bros. They were still the only mortuary in town that “knew how to do colored.” Morgan had heard her maternal grandmother, Essie Baptiste, say that many times while she was growing up. Mama Essie, as everyone lovingly called her, had made everyone in the family vow to take her body to Garrett Bros. when her time came. Although it had been three years since Mama Essie passed, Morgan still felt her presence in this place. This thought alone eased the tension in her neck and removed the large knot that had taken up residence in the pit of her stomach.

Morgan fanned herself slowly with the funeral program, which created a pleasant albeit warm breeze. Winston’s high school graduation picture grabbed her attention as she placed the program on the seat of the car. At eighteen and dressed in his tuxedo, he still had the face of a little boy. Her stomach tightened as she remembered missing his graduation because of a last-minute work assignment.

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Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

Young Detective Maxine Hill is always busy performing community service, investigating issues, and exploring future careers. However, Maxine is facing a special challenge this year. This time it’s very personal. Follow our little problem solver as she finds a solution for a unique situation. Detective Maxine Hill is on the case again and she’s on the way back! If you enjoyed Maxine’s New Job, you will like Book II of the series, Maxine Listens.

Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens
Maxine Listens #RWYK Great Read Certified

One afternoon Maxine Hill began to notice some changes in her vision during her math class. Her teacher, Mr. Norman, was explaining a process on the whiteboard and his writing was completely blurred. She knew she would eventually grow tired of asking Mr. Norman to repeat the instructions, even the ones written on the board. Maxine finally asked to be moved closer to the front of the class. After a few weeks she realized the new seating arrangement did not seem to be helping. Mr. Norman had also noticed her squinting her eyes on several occasions and decided to call Maxine’s mother, Mrs. Hill, and discuss the situation.

“Mr. Norman, I am so glad you brought this to our attention. I am noticing how Max has to adjust her glasses several times when we are working on a puzzle, playing Scrabble, or watching a movie. I’ll call our ophthalmologist and make an appointment immediately,” said Mrs. Hill.

Maxine did not like the sound of that. She did not enjoy visits to the doctor’s office, especially when her eyes had to be dilated.

“Oh no, not another eye appointment,” Maxine uttered in a slow moan. “The eye drops don’t hurt Mom, but the ride home is rough because the sun seems extra bright after my eyes are dilated.”

“I know honey, but Dr. Chambers has to look inside those beautiful brown eyes to see what’s going on,” Mrs. Hill replied.

Maxine smiled.

That night, Maxine sat on the couch with her Dad watching TV. When she briefly took her eyes off the screen she caught a glimpse of her cat, Amos. He was sitting on her mother’s favorite chair.

“Shoo Amos! Get down from there!” Maxine waved. Amos scurried off the chair onto the floor. “Wow!” she shouted, “I am so glad tomorrow is Friday! It’s been a busy week at school and I’m looking forward to enjoying the weekend.”

“Well,” replied Mrs. Hill, tapping her foot against the carpet, “if you want to enjoy the weekend then you better head upstairs and get ready for bed. It’s a school night. Do you know what time it is young lady?”

“Please Mom!” Maxine begged, “It’s only 9:30 and tomorrow is Friday.”

“I know honey,” said Mrs. Hill as she sat down on her favorite chair, “but you need all the rest you can get because we have your early morning appointment with Dr. Chambers. I have your doctor’s note prepared for the attendance office tomorrow explaining your late arrival, so go upstairs and get ready for bed. Right now!”

“OK Mom. I can’t believe I forgot all about my eye appointment. Nighty-night, Dad,” Maxine said reluctantly, dragging her feet across the floor and adjusting her glasses.

“What did you say Max?” Mr. Hill asked.

“I said . . . NIGHTY-NIGHT, DAD!” Maxine raised her voice and laughed.

Mr. Hill nodded and smiled as Maxine gave him a big hug, scooped up Amos and ran up the stairs. The next morning, Maxine and Mrs. Hill left early to avoid the traffic which seemed to swell between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, especially during the weekdays. Maxine noticed the construction workers drilling and operating the huge cranes as they passed the detour signs. The highway was filled with red dust blowing from the machinery.

“Mom, when are they going to finish this interstate? They have been working on this since I was in second grade,” said Maxine with a frown on her face. Mrs. Hill smiled, “Baby, you might be a senior in high school before it’s completed. Road construction sometimes lasts for years.” Maxine sighed, put her head back on the seat, closed her eyes and listened to her favorite musical group on the radio for the remainder of the ride.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, Maxine sat on the red leather chair next to Dr. Chambers’ rack of magazines, and began looking over the latest issues. Hmm, where are the kid’s magazines? I don’t want to read the Ladies Home Journal, thought Maxine. As soon as she found a copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids with an interesting article named “Girls on The Mound,” the receptionist walked into the patient waiting area with a folder in her hand and announced, “Maxine Hill.”

“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.

Moments later, Maxine sat quietly as Dr. Chambers began his eye exam. “Max, your mom says you have been having some vision problems in class lately.”

“Yes, mostly in math class when I’m looking back and forth from the whiteboard to my notebook,” answered Maxine.

“Well, your exam shows no serious vision concerns, but your prescription needs to be upgraded for another pair of glasses. This is not unusual for your nearsightedness. We will discuss contacts as you get older. Until then, you will be just fine. However, I would like to see you in six months,” explained Dr. Chambers.

Mrs. Hill smiled and thanked Dr. Chambers. Maxine shook Dr. Chambers’ hand and walked out to the receptionist’s counter while her mom waited on the instructions for the next appointment. A few minutes later they left the doctor’s office and headed for B. H. Obama Elementary School.

As they walked to the car, Maxine said, “Mom, I saw some cool, round purple frames in the 20-20 Optical Store window in the mall last week. Can we take my new prescription there this weekend and see if they can measure them for me?”

“We sure can Max. It’s a deal,” Mrs. Hill gleamed.

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Lynda Mubarak. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Your Copy of Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak 
Picture Book for ages 6-10. Genre: Children’s Literature
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The Stations for Kids Series is a collection of stories emphasizing early childhood literacy, human compassion, and community service. Each story can be used as a classroom supplement to teach social skills, personal and civic responsibility, and encourage career exploration. The characters are family members who find themselves facing everyday life challenges, but they find ways to address, solve or cope with each situation.

Dr. Lynda believes that social skills and community service are an integral part of early childhood education. In addition, these two components are essential in creating a balanced child who understands that he or she is part of a global community.  Visit our website today:

The Detective Maxine Hill SeriesNow available in Spanish!

Great for young readers age Level: 6 – 10.  Diversify your home library collection and encourage others to do the same.Meet the Detective Maxine Hill characters:

El Trabajo Nuevo de Maxine (Spanish Edition) by Lynda Jones-Mubarak 

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak
Shorty y los Sullivans son mis vecinos. Los Sullivans parecen agradables y amistosos, pero tengo algunas dudas acerca de la Sra. Sullivan. Hmmm, creo que la Sra. Sullivan está ocultando algo. ¿Es una agente secreto? ¿Es una espía alienígena? ¿Es un robot? Mi mamá piensa que hago demasiadas preguntas, ella dice que debería convertirme en una científica forense o una detective. ¡Guau!, Es para pensarlo. Ambas carreras resuelven misterios. ¡Genial! ¡Sigue a Maxine Hill a medida que revela el misterio de la Sra. Sullivan, su vecina!
Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle ebook.

Maxine Escucha (Spanish Edition) by Lynda Jones-Mubarak 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak
Maxine Hill continúa con sus técnicas de investigación para revelar misterios and acertijos mientras practica servicio comunitario y la compasión humana en la escuela y en su comunidad. Un diagnóstico médico envía a Maxine en un viaje para conseguir respuestas a una inquietud muy personal. ¿Qué descubrirá Maxine esta vez? ¿Tendrá éxito? Sigue a la joven Maxine Hill a medida que busca revelar y abordar otro reto importante.
Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle ebook.


La serie Stations for Kids es una colección de historias que enfatizan la alfabetización de la primera infancia, la compasión humana y el servicio comunitario.
Cada historia se puede utilizar como un suplemento en el aula para enseñar habilidades sociales, responsabilidad personal y cívica, y alentar la exploración de carreras.

Los personajes son miembros de la familia que se enfrentan a desafíos de la vida cotidiana, pero encuentran formas de abordar, resolver o enfrentar cada situación.

La Dra. Lynda cree que las habilidades sociales y el servicio a la comunidad son una parte integral de la educación de la primera infancia. Además, estos dos componentes son esenciales para crear un niño equilibrado que entienda que él o ella es parte de una comunidad global.

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Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda Mubarak

Dr. Lynda Mubarak is an award-winning author and a retired special education teacher. She was an avid reader in elementary school and her love for books continued during her career in education. Her Stations for Kids Book Series promotes early childhood literacy, community service, human compassion, and career exploration. Dr. Lynda is a graduate of Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Nova SE University. 

Dr. Lynda is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), International Literacy Association (ILA), Metro Authors Group, and the North Texas Book Festival, Inc.

Dr. Lynda’s first book, Stations: Change Your Career – Change Your Life (2016), was nominated for “Up and Coming Author Award” at the 2017 Indie Author Legacy Awards. Carver ParkMaxine Listens and Maxine’s New Job received the Certified Great Read Award, by the Reading With Your Kids Foundation.

In addition, Maxine’s New Job won the prestigious Henri Award for excellence in the children’s category by the 2018 Christian Literary Awards

Dr. Lynda is also the author of an ebook, The Author in You: New Writers Searching for a Theme. Dr. Lynda is currently working on the next installment of the Detective Maxine Hill Series.

Dr. Lynda has established a lifetime partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of each book sold is donated to feed families in need. She loves crossword puzzles, painting birdhouses, live theater, and traveling with her husband, Kairi. Visit the  Stations for Kids website today:

BPM Describe yourself in three words.
I am funny, optimistic and creative.

BPM What drove you to publish your first book? How long have you been writing?
I did not write my first book until I retired as a special education teacher and facilitator. I have been writing professionally for three years.

BPM Introduce us to the people in the book, Maxine Listens. Give us some insight into your main speakers.
The main characters in Maxine Listens are 5th grader student Maxine Hill and her parents, the Hills. Maxine is an only child with a pet cat named Amos. She spend hours reading, doing community service with her family at a local food pantry. Maxine enjoys solving mysteries, puzzles, and other family, neighborhood and school events. She is often told by her mom that she asks far too many questions. Her family thinks she may have a future career in law enforcement as a detective or in forensic science as an investigator or researcher. Maxine reads constantly, is president of her school book club, plays Scrabble with her BFF, Amanda Grayson, and often enrolls in courses offered at the local library including American Sign Language and Creative Writing. Mr. and Mrs. Hill are often amazed by Maxine’s interest in anything and everything from architecture and engineering to learning Mandarin Chinese.

BPM Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Maxine’s mothers tells her, “Max, if you want to learn the truth about a person or a group of people, take some time to learn how they live, work and play.” I think so much time is spent analyzing or over-analyzing people or other cultures that we often forget that life experiences are different for all of us and we are all products of the events and backgrounds in our life. Your view of life can transition as you mature and grow. How you feel about a person or situation at 20 may be totally different by the time you reach 35. We all live our lives in phases.

BPM Tell us about you most recent work with the community.
I have a lifetime partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of each book sold by Stations for Kids is donated to the food bank to assist families in need and displaced workers. I am honored to part of an organization that provides so much for so many!

BPM What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I was surprised by the families that related to my themes in my first and second Maxine books. The story topics are common to all families and Maxine offers some simple solutions to the challenges faced by each family in the stories. The solutions are doable and simple to implement.

BPM Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Writers are often overcome with the term ‘writer’s block’. What I have discovered as many will affirm, is that ‘writer’s block’ is another term for distractions. Daily distractions keep you from focusing and remaining grounded until your book is completed. Finances, children, job issues, aging parents, ill family members, or personal medical issues can be a deterrent to your book project. It often becomes difficult to stay on course while keeping your purpose on target, and allowing your faith to provide the strength to forge ahead. You must select a time each day or on the weekend to pull away from everyone for a few hours and continue your writing journey. It is essential if you truly want to become an author.

BPM What project are you working on at the present?
I am currently completing Maxine’s Hands, Book 3 of the Detective Maxine Hill Series. Maxine continues to learn new concepts and apply her knowledge of community service anywhere it is needed. In progress is a Stations for Kids website which will be completely kid friendly and interactive.

BPM What legacy to you hope to leave future generations of readers with your writing?
I would like to instill a love of reading and writing to the readers of my writing. I want them to know that reading my book or other great literature will allow your mind to flourish, explore and navigate through life and its challenges. In addition, reading will increase your critical thinking skills and provide a way to understand mankind in general. They also need to know that everything you need to know about yourself and life has been recorded in a book somewhere.

BPM What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Readers can get in touch with me by email at

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Maxine’s New Job 
by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
(Book I, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

2018 Christian Literacy Awards Winner: Maxine’s New Job Maxine’s New Job won the prestigious “Henri Award” at the 2018 Christian Literacy Awards for outstanding literacy work in the Children’s Books division. 

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Maxine Hill is an inquisitive fourth grade student who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is also on a quest to find out why her neighbor, Mrs. Sullivan, is acting so weird. Mrs. Sullivan is always outside sitting on the front porch with her two rescue dogs or working in her flower bed. However, she seems to get very nervous when Maxine talks to her about everything. What is going on with this lady? Is she a robot spy? Is she an alien? Is she working for the CIA? Follow Maxine Hill as she solves the case of the strange neighbor!

Age Level: 6 – 10  |   Length: 58 pages 



Maxine’s New Job: #RWYK Great Read Certified

5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by Elizabeth Wroten, @ Home Librarian Book Reviews

We’re back in the world of Shorty and the Sullivans, this time across the street with Maxine Hill,  a precocious fourth grader. Maxine is an adorable girl with big glasses and a big heart. Her family is gentle too and I enjoyed meeting them. The illustrations have a cozy feeling to them as we see into the places in Maxine’s world.

The book is definitely on the long side for a picture book. Obviously this isn’t unheard of, I simply tend to prefer keeping picture books shorter and saving more complex stories for transitional chapter books, but that’s totally a personal preference. I think the story and length does make the book a better fit for older audiences, first or second grade and up. If you could get your third and fourth graders into it, it would be great!

From a social justice standpoint I thought this book really tackled some interesting problems. Maxine and her family support being involved in community and helping out how and when they can. They volunteer at a food pantry once a month and started to do so after Maxine noticed an unhoused man and began asking questions. (Side note, I wish the book had called him unhoused instead of homeless.)

I really love that her family is so willing to engage in this way and the way Mubarak has written it, it comes across as genuine and sincere instead of didactic.
It’s this ethic of service that leads Maxine to help Mrs. Sullivan, her neighbor across the street, solve a problem. It turns out Mrs Sullivan is functionally illiterate, largely because she struggled so much in school learning to read, never got the help she needed to be successful, and then dropped out of school. I have never seen a picture book that takes on this issue, but it isn’t an uncommon one.

I know my library system has a program for adults who are illiterate or need more reading instruction and it isn’t the only program like that out there by any means. It might not be super realistic that a fourth grader is going to help a woman with learning disabilities to learn to read, but I love books that take a positive stance on children stepping in and stepping up, even if it’s not totally plausible.

I think it’s a representation of sorts. It shows kids they can help and puts faith in them. No need to squash their optimism and willingness to do good. If anything I think it encourages them to stay engaged and find ways they can help even if it doesn’t look exactly the way they first think it will.

5.0 out of 5 stars Review written by Jedlie
Maxine’s New Job written by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak and illustrated by Adua Hernandez introduces us to a young girl named Maxine Hill who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is a fourth-grade student who is full of curiosity and wants to take up a career of forensic scientist when she grows up. Maxine is concerned by her neighbour Mrs. Sullivan’s strange behaviour and is determined to track down the cause.

She embarks on a fact-finding mission and finds out that Mrs. Sullivan was dropped out from school when she was in seventh grade and can’t read! Fortunately, Maxine with the help of her supportive family takes up a new job of being a tutor to Mrs. Sullivan and teach her how to read.

Maxine’s New Job is a nice introduction to what a neighbor is and the role a neighbor should play. Teaching service and helping others can’t be done through direct instruction. You can share positive examples of service via stories in great children’s books and Dr. Lynda’s book does a wonderful job at teaching kindness, service, and helping others. I especially love the sense of community that is prominent throughout the book. It introduces kids to what a community service is and the importance of serving people in need.

It’s a good lesson for our children to learn, that although everyone has deficiencies in some area, there is always something we can do to help if we are looking for opportunities and making ourselves available. I love the line said by Maxine’s mom “When a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know”. It’s a sweet story about open hospitality and generosity to those around us.

What I particularly liked about this book is that it features a young black girl as an adorable protagonist of the story. We know that all children love seeing faces like theirs within the pages of their picture books, but it can be hard to find books starring kids of color. Dr. Lynda’s book not only gives children of color an opportunity to see themselves in stories but also helps broaden the perspective of all children by fostering children’s sense of empathy and connection with characters who might look different from themselves.

The illustrations are so beautiful, and the plot is captivating. You’ll love this friendly little girl who has quite a fun and busy school life but takes the time to check on her neighbour and help her by teaching how to read. Highly recommended to kids of all ages!

BOOK EXCERPT:  Maxine’s New Job 

It was a warm, bright Sunday morning and a special time for the Hills. Once a month on Sundays, the Hill Family spent four hours at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. Max had asked her parents several important questions after watching a homeless family standing on a corner last year. That’s when Mr. and Mrs. Hill decided that Max needed to learn how community agencies serve people in need. The Hills contacted the pantry and made arrangements for the family to volunteer one day per month. Maxine enjoyed the community service hours. Her job was filling each family meal box with a can of green beans and cereal. Mr. and Mrs. Hill worked in the pantry kitchen.

“Max, when a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know. Never forget that,” said Mrs. Hill. “OK mom, I won’t forget,” said Maxine.

The Hills completed their four volunteer hours and shook hands with the families before leaving. Max thought, Wow, it feels great to help someone who is having a difficult time. Mom says we should continue to do this once each month and I think she’s right! The Hills stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat and returned home so that Max could prepare for the first day of school.

The first day at B. H. Obama Elementary School was awesome! Maxine listened as the new principal welcomed the students and the parents. She was happy to see her classmates from the past year and she saw some new faces. The lunchroom had been repainted and it looked completely different. Maxine also discovered that she would be in the new wing of the school because the student enrollment had increased. Wow, everything was new in this area from the desks to the lockers! And to make it even better, she didn’t have to share a locker this year. 

At the end of the day, she had shared some summer memories and made new friends. Maxine also had several school papers to take home. One of the papers was a flier about open house in a few days. When the evening school bus stopped on the corner, Maxine and four neighborhood kids hopped off and began walking home. As Maxine walked, she smiled, looked down at her new sneakers, and thought about all the new changes at school. She was trying to decide whether she wanted to join the chess, robotics or Scrabble club. When she looked up, she was facing her house and Mrs. Sullivan was watering the flowers in her little red well next door.  Hmm, the Sullivans may want to come to my school’s open house, so I’ll give the flier to Mrs. Sullivan, thought Maxine. 

She ran over to Mrs. Sullivan, handed her the flier and began discussing the first day of school. Maxine talked very hurriedly about the first day of school and said good-bye quickly. She knew it was time to get home and take Amos outside. Mrs. Sullivan listened and nodded, but had a concerned look on her face as Maxine walked away.

Maxine thought about asking Mrs. Sullivan if she was feeling alright, but she thought about what her mom said last week, “Max, please try to be courteous. You ask so many questions. Maybe you should be a detective!” She thought for a minute, walked back into the house, ran up the stairs and called Amos. It was time for his afternoon walk and his favorite doggie treat. I’ll talk with Mrs. Sullivan later thought Maxine.

 Amos ran out of the bedroom, rubbed his head against Maxine’s leg and ran downstairs to the front door. He was ready to take the afternoon walk around the block. After walking with Amos and waving at the neighbors, Maxine and Amos slowly walked back to the house. Mrs. Hill was busy preparing dinner. Today was Monday, so it was going to be chicken tacos, Maxine’s favorite. Maxine looked at the Sullivan house from the kitchen window and inquired, “Mom, have you ever noticed anything strange about Mrs. Sullivan?”

“Max, what may seem strange or unusual to you could be normal behavior for another person.” responded Mrs. Hill. “I know that Mom, but she seemed uncomfortable when I spoke to her about my first day at school. She looked very uneasy when I gave her the announcement about the school’s open house”, stated Maxine. “Maybe she had something on her mind Max. People sometimes look at you when you are talking, but they are thinking about other important things. We all do it from time to time”, explained Mrs. Hill. I know Mom is right, thought Maxine but no one should look that weird if I’m discussing school or a piece of paper.

Maxine sat down at the kitchen table and enjoyed the tacos and ice tea with Mrs. Hill. Mr. Hill always worked late on Mondays so Maxine and Mrs. Hill had their special time to talk about all the new school developments. Amos was curled up in a furry ball under her chair. The first day of school had been great and she ended the day with her favorite meal!

Before Maxine went to bed she thought about Ms. Parker’s remark after math class ended today. “Max, if you are still thinking about becoming a detective, you should also consider a career as a forensic scientist. Both jobs require an interest in science, working with many pieces of information called clues, and solving mysteries”, explained Ms. Parker.
I think I need to go to the library tomorrow at school or the city library on Saturday morning to see what this forensic thing is all about! thought Maxine.

The next day Maxine decided to finish her lunch early and ask the lunch monitor for a pass to go to the school library. When Maxine entered the library, she walked over to a student computer and began her search for detectives and forensic scientists. Maxine was surprised to learn that uncovering mysteries was one of the oldest sciences in the world. Wow! So solving mysteries involves reviewing pieces of evidence or clues and building a story or opinion around the material piece by piece. This sounds like fun!

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

Purchase Maxine’s New Job by Lynda Jones-Mubarak
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ABOUT THE AUTHORDr.  Lynda J. Mubarak is a retired special education teacher, facilitator, and adult ESL adjunct who read constantly as a child.  Dr. Lynda is an advocate for early literacy and life long learning. She loves to create stories for young children with an emphasis on community service, global empathy, and human compassion.  She is a graduate of  Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, Nova Southeastern University and she is an Army veteran.

Dr. Lynda is a co-host of The Author’s Lounge Radio Show at the Fish Bowl Radio Network. She enjoys crossword puzzles, live theater, and traveling with her husband, Kairi, and their rescue dogs, Ebony Joyce and Shorty Junior.  Dr. Lynda has established a life-long partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of all book sales will be donated to the CFB to assist families in need. Visit our website today:


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Please consider joining the EDC Creations team by becoming a blog tour host, radio interviewer, chat host or by purchasing Books  by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak featured here and giving them to children in your family or network. We welcome the community into the program and will support any of our partners with promotion and book gifts in return. Spread the word…we want to bring more entertainment, education and enlightenment to the community! Download bookcover image and author photo from this page.


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1. Please share this flyer links on your social media pages. Each tour page has all of the details about the book and the author. Take what you need to add to your blog, social media walls or website. Here is the tour link:

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Maxine Listens by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Carver Park by Lynda Jones Mubarak

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Stations for Kids Founded by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

STATIONS FOR KIDS is dedicated to early literacy and community service. The best way to ensure your child’s personal and career success is to begin the learning process as soon as possible. Academic success is always necessary, but your child also needs to see how he or she fits into the world community. A combination of community service and applicable educational concepts will give your child a balanced view of the world. Visit our website today:

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Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole

Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith

by Michele Nicole

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Michele Nicole was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised in Queens Village, NY. She left New York in 2001 to attend North Carolina Central University where she graduated. She stayed in North Carolina for eleven years and eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA to be closer to family. She is a servant leader, entrepreneur, photographer and traveler. She is also the author of the book Are You Done With Him?




Twitter– or @michelenmitchel

Fanpage —

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The Greatest Gift Is Your Support!

Please consider joining the EDC Creations team by becoming a blog tour host, radio interviewer, chat host or by purchasing Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole featured here and giving it to a friend. We welcome the community into the program and will support any of our partners with promotional gifts and book gifts in return.

Spread the word…we want to bring more entertainment, education and enlightenment to the community! Download book cover image and author photo from this page and share on your social media pages today.

1. Please share this flyer links on your social media pages. Each tour page has all of the details about the book and the author. Take what you need to add to your blog, social media walls or website. Here is the tour link:

2. Let Ella D. Curry know that you are joining the tour by leaving your website or blog address in the comments section at the end of the page. You can also email her at: to claim your subscription gift box or book gift package.


Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole


Biography & Autobiography/Personal Memoirs

Body, Mind & Spirit/ Inspiration and Personal Growth

Religion/Christian Living/Personal Growth & Development


Stripped for Greater is a non-fiction thematic autobiography that chronicles the tough experiences of Michele Nicole in her homeless experience on the streets of Atlanta, GA. Michele depicts her experience as a religious rite of passage that was designed to elevate her on a higher spiritual level. Michele brings a personal, introspective lens on the challenging and sometimes mundane day to day activities of living out her car, bathing in public restrooms and having breakfast at various continental servings at local hotels. In her time surviving as a homeless woman, Michele journeys through various self-revelatory lessons that she would learn about herself and her relationship with God.

The theme that Michele announces through various points of her journey is that being homeless was God stripping her of her dependence on everything so that He could teach her how to depend on him. In additional, the greater represents the place that God would take her into after her time being homeless. Although the theme is present in the story, I’d like to see the story lead to “greater works” as depicted by scripture for the Christian walk. Though we share with Christ in his sufferings, we also shall reign with Him as well, according to Christian doctrine. I think Stripped for Greater would deliver a much stronger purpose if the “Greater” was tied to a much more powerful destination. Perhaps to achieve this, more recounts of Michele’s life after being homeless should be added to the story.

Michele delivers Stripped for Greater in a causal and sometimes comedic voice that allows the reader to understand her persona. You feel as if the story is being told to you over a casual lunch with a friend. The story does well with offering descriptive wording to assist with the experiences Michele faced from day to day while being homeless.

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I had $0.06 in my bank account and $5 in coins in my purse. As I sat in the car, the reality of this season of my life just hit me…homeless.

I am homeless.

I looked at myself in the mirror and the conversation in my mind began. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You. YOU failed us. You are 46 years old and you have nothing. You are stuck. You are yet again in “starting over” mode. You are not all here, you are functioning broken.

How do you go from having a job with benefits, having your own business as a travel agent, having almost paid off all your debt and making plans for the next season of your life, to sitting in the front seat of a car with $0.06 in the bank and $5 in your purse, your items in a borrowed storage unit, your clothes in a travel garment bag, a job paying $8.50 per hour working 15-25 hours per week and you have two college degrees?

How the hell did this happen to us Michele…please tell me…I would like to know.”


“Michele’s book reminded me of my own story of struggle. Her words painted a very clear picture for me that immediately took me back to when I lived in my car. This book will inspire and encourage anyone that is currently down, that they can recover and excel.” -Pastor Johnson

“Your book has truly inspired me to be a better me. While reading, I found myself reading the scriptures that you referenced. It has motivated me to let peace be still, and listen for my directions from the most high.” – Ms.Tracy W.

“Truly an easy, inspirational page turner. As I was reading, I laughed and reflected on God’s amazing grace. The author is truly gifted. I look forward to sharing and reviewing this book with my book club.”- Ms. Karese M.

“I loved everything about the book , the emotional roller coaster, the scare, the bravery, the encounter with strangers later to know they was messengers God angels ,the willingness to learn how to obey and trust in oneself and in God. I recommend this book to anyone who needs reassurance that you’er not alone. This book goes to show you that no matter the place ,the time, the situation , if you feel you are lacking something in life or you feel lost, need change in yourself take a leap of faith ,believe , in the journey ,the change the season. Thank you Michele Nicole. P.S part 2 please” – Ms. Michelle J.

“I do not know where to begin. When I started reading, I immediately felt chills and the tears started. I found that the book is so relatable because a lot of the experiences that Ms. Michele went through or have gone through. I remember being homeless for half the time that she was when I was in high school with my mom and twin. We stayed in a couple of family houses for no more than a week and then in an extended stay.

There were days were money was so tight and we both went to different schools. I was in Atlanta and my sister in East Point. My mom works in Riverdale and I was in the Magnet Program where I was miserable due to being overweight, teased and bullied. Talk about a wake up call and stress build up, huh??

We made it through after a while and discovered who was really for us. I am so thankful that Stripped For Greater was written because I can start to finish my healing from grief and put my energy into my livelihood. Its a new dawn, its a new day and I a feeling good. Ms. Michele, this book is powerful, motivational and life changing and the best 10 hours spent. I appreciate you. Thank you!! – Ms Mariah

Watch the Stripped For Greater Video Book Trailer (The How) –

“I am a Believer, who was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. Let me tell you something, when you ask God to teach you, you do NOT get to choose the HOW.” – Michele Nicole Mitchell


It was time for some truth. It was the type of truth that needed to be said out loud. Would I offend God if I told Him what I was wrestling with? Would it insult Him after all He had done for me? Would it bring shame to me if I admitted out loud what I was struggling with internally? Would He separate Himself from me? After all He has done, I should have a different perspective, right? I believe the time has come to tell Him out loud what I already knew internally.

Look, let’s cut the nonsense. He Is God, and since He is God, there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. The fact is, He already knows, and He is waiting on me to be honest with MYSELF. He is waiting for me to admit it out loud, so my ears can hear it. But when I do, what happens next? Well I guess that is what I would find out because I was not going to hold it in and pretend any longer.

Well, I opened my mouth and said, “God, I believe but help the part of me that has un-belief. I don’t trust you anymore and my faith is wavering. I am frustrated belonging to you. You are silent when I need you to speak. You are elusive when I need you to be near. Belonging to you always requires sacrifice but I am tired of sacrificing for your name’s sake. I am sick of being yours. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to walk away but then where am I going to go? Will I go to the enemy? Don’t I have a say in what I choose for me? I have been raised in the church but church ain’t working for me anymore. Something is shifting in me that require more. I am sick of this. I just don’t… I can’t…it’s just…you know what… I’ve had enough. Yeah, I know what you have done for me since I have been homeless, and I know how you have covered me and taken care of me all my life, but I want more.

This agitation in me is causing me to be angry and pissed off and…I can’t continue like this…I just can’t with you…I just can’t.”

I stopped walking. “Did I just say out loud what was really in my heart towards God? What the hell was I thinking?” I said.

( Continued… )

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

AMAZON PAGE: Michele Nicole Mitchell

GENRE: Biography & Autobiography/Personal MemoirsBody, Mind & Spirit/ Inspiration and Personal GrowthReligion/Christian Living/Personal Growth & Development


Purchase from Barnes And Noble

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Michele Nicole was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised in Queens Village, NY. She left New York in 2001 to attend North Carolina Central University where she graduated. She stayed in North Carolina for eleven years and eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA to be closer to family. She is a servant leader, entrepreneur, photographer and traveler. She is also the author of the book Are You Done With Him?

BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.

I will start with my name. I am Michele Nicole Mitchell. I was born in Trinidad, West Indies. I came to the United State when I was about 7or 8 years old. My favorite thing to do is travel and I love to cook. I value gathering folks at my home once a quarter and having transparent conversations with women of different ages and experiences so we can eat, fellowship, pray, cry, laugh and pour into each other. My objective is to live for when I leave, so I pour out and that is the best receiving I can ever get.

I am a Believer, who was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. Let me tell you something, when you ask God to teach you, you do NOT get to choose the HOW.

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?

The first published book was a coming of age experience. It was about a one night stand that lasted for 3 years. I compromised my integrity and standards in the hopes of getting a man that was emotionally wounded, unavailable and chose not to commit to loving himself, to see my value, worth and love me. I discovered my sexual self at his expense and also discovered that you cannot heal someone who desires to stay broken. The journey was painfully therapeutic. It caused me to see and accept the part I played in my own demise.

BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?

My most recent work is entitled Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith. It is a very transparent and honest book. I am a Believer, that was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass.

This book shares with its readers the process and series of life events that occurred that taught me how to Trust God, even when I felt like I could not Trace God. I am working with my distributors to make the book available for electronic devices.

Watch the Stripped For Greater Video Book Trailer (The How) –

BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

When you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. As I began to learn to trust God during my season of un-belief, there were encounters with individuals that showed me how much He loved me and how far He would go to protect me. In my emotional state of “functioning broken”, He still used me to help others and meet their need at our point of meeting. My lack of trusting God and being a believer that was struggling with un-belief never stood in His way of taking care of me, it stood in my way of surrendering to Him.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?

Writing is not easy for me to do, but it is not difficult. What I mean by that is that for me writing is therapeutic and confrontational. I write from my perspective but as I write I am reminded that I am not the only one that was part of the event. That those who played their part in the event not only did I have an encounter with them but they had an encounter with me.

As I mature as a writer I am understanding that there is more than one perspective and more than one experience. Being a writer that is learning the value of understanding that transparency changes lives, writing, just like God, causes me to stop looking out of a window and start looking into a mirror.

I do not feel lonely during the creative process but I do feel the weight of understanding that it is important to convey the moment in a simple relatable way so someone who reads it can honestly say “its not just me”.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?

Start writing from where you currently are in your journey. Stop trying to start from the beginning and frustrating yourself with thinking that it should go from A to B to C to D. Writing does not always have a systemic flow. Sometimes its a memory that surfaces, write that. Sometimes its s song that triggers an emotion or memory, write that.

Write from where you are. I love the feel of pen to paper because I feel as if there is a connection with what is about to be born, from the intangible to the tangible. When I first started writing, I wanted to see my progress, so what I would do is write then stick that sheet of paper on my living-room wall. There was no order to the writing but as it came, I wrote. Then I would step back and look at what came out of me.

Eventually, I began to stick the paper on the wall in order of the earliest memory forward. Then I wrote the connecting dots in-between. That is exactly how I wrote my first book Are You Done With Him. An old journal, memories, paper on the living-room wall, a song that reminded me of the yesterdays and lots of giving myself room to breath and heal. Write from where you are.

BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

When I was instructed that my journal was to become a published book, I sat in the living-room with all my journals, my niece laptop, a pen, notepads a cup of hot lemon water and stared out the window for hours. The challenge for me was the acceptance of what writing this book was about to do in my life, and that is, my voice was about to be born. Writing this book would be me accepting the mandate on my life, and that mandate is to go back and strengthen my brethren. For those who read this book, it might be just a book, but for me, it’s the accepting of my ministry as a fore-runner. It is knowing that I play a part in a bigger story that is being told.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

The most personal thing that I learned from writing this book, is that when you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. What I also learned, was that God is very patient and kind towards me. His Grace, is my best friend.

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?

There was a time when I would feel offended when someone disagreed with my writing. However, because I am maturing, I am listening to opinions that do not necessarily reflect mine. Now one thing I will not do is give someone permission to verbally stomp me or stab me with their opinions simply because they were confronted and the truth agitated them, that is something that they will have to wrestle with, but I do value a different perspective that is healthy in its presentation.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?

I would not say that me being a believer that was struggling with un-belief is under represented, but there are a lot of Christians that are struggling in their walk of faith that would never admit it. There are many believers that will not say “I need help learning to Trust God even when I cannot Trace God”. There are many believers who think that God cannot handle hearing the truth about whatever situation, emotion or disappointment their heart and mind is dealing with. Personally I think it is disrespectful to Him, to not be honest with Him and with ourselves.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?



Twitter– or @michelenmitchel

Stripped For Greater Fanpage:

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Non-fiction > Transformation Self-Help > Christian Growth > Autobiography > Memoir

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Love For Liberty by Ann Clay

Love For Liberty by Ann Clay (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Mayor Liberty Kennedy is hell-bent on preserving Versa Village’s legacy, but that’s not why she agrees to Rani Brooks’ proposition. Everyone knows that she and the city councilman are feuding rivals. His proposition at first is far-fetched, but it doesn’t take long before his blazing kisses are the only expansion she yearns for.

Councilman Rani Brooks will move mountains to win Liberty’s love, even if it means backing her village development project. He could care less about the public works expansion at first, but if it will get him what he wants, Liberty as his own, he’s all in.

Versa Village is in for an unforgettable Independence Day treat. Kisses by day, and fireworks by night.

Excerpt: Love For Liberty by Ann Clay

“Mayor.” Rani’s eyes lowered to meet hers. She saw the fire in them, and it stirred the part of her she worked hard to ignore whenever he neared. After last night at the Bergman Fundraising Gala, the gentle touching and sweet kisses, the mere remembrance had her longing for more than his scalding glance.

“Councilman,” Liberty responded with a slight raise of her chin. What is he doing here this early in the morning? Man, you’re going to be the end of me. I just know it. He towered above her with broad shoulders, massive chest, and powerful arms bulging against his fitted, heavily starched shirt. His clean-shaven face drew her attention immediately; high cheeks and unforgettable eyes, hidden behind heavy dark lashes, lured Liberty into his hold without effort.

Rani garnered a lot of female attention: Being single with no children, the head of his family-owned business, and extremely handsome made him one of the most desirable men within a hundred miles of Versa.

He’d won the chair of the city council at the same time she was elected mayor. Until then, they’d practically moved in different circles. And like every other member of the council, with the exception of the city manager and herself, he worked for the village part-time. He didn’t normally come to city hall until the day of the monthly council meeting.

She moved past him as quickly as her clicking heels could take her across the marble floor. She would not be tortured by Rani Brooks. She had too much on her plate today. Once she escaped Rani, she sighed, but her relief would be brief. She saw the small crowd gathered at her office door once she turned the corner. She released an audible groan. “Lawd, give me strength.”

She picked up her pace and shifted the folders she carried from one arm to the other, momentarily shoving Rani to the back of her thoughts. She smiled as she neared the cluster. “Good morning. It’s always a pleasure to see you all. What brings you here at such an early hour?”

The lie struck a nerve in her head; she knew full well that she would much rather have arrived at her office without drama. And where was her assistant, Justin? He usually ran interference for her. She groaned. The interruption did not fit into her plan for the day. She’d hoped to jot down some notes before the Economics Development tiger team meeting this morning. The planning team needed her signature before the proposal went to the city council in a couple of days. If all went well and the council and the residents agreed on the proposal, she would plan a ground-breaking celebration in time for the Fourth of July to denote a landmark celebration for Versa.

Justin appeared, out of breath. “Sorry, Mayor Kennedy. I tried to man the front entrance. Apparently…”

So where did all of these people come from? Liberty tried not to frown. Instead she smiled and prayed it looked genuine.

“Not a problem, Justin. I have an open-door policy, and I’m here to serve.”

But she did have a problem, at least this morning. She hoped her displeasure didn’t show on her face. “Please, come in.” She tilted her head toward the closed door and dumped the folders into Justin’s waiting arms. “Just give me a minute to grab a pen and pad.”

The sound of grumbles followed her into the reception area, where cool air greeted them. The late spring weather in the southern region of the country seemed hotter than usual, and wilted everyone bold enough to stay outside for more than an hour.

Liberty reached across Justin’s desk and grabbed a pad and pen before turning to meet the crew now clustered in the room. She put on a smile as she glanced across the faces of each person. “All right! Good morning, again. What can I do for you?”

Mel Worrell spoke first. He moved closer than she liked. She almost stepped back, but stilled.

“We see the need for the development in Versa, but,” he turned and pointed to the people behind him, “we want to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact our community, especially our businesses.” He looked down into her face. “Sure, we can use some of the improvements you’re talking about. We came to make sure you know where we stand.”

Liberty paused before speaking. “Certainly I understand your concerns, and of course you’ll have the opportunity to voice all of them at the next council meeting.”

“That’s just it!” Maxine Oliver moved forward. “Seems to me there’s a whole lot of fussing and not enough discussing at these darn meetings. It’s just plum crazy. Now, here’s what we need you to do, young lady. In this proposal of yours, you need to make sure you’re not putting the burden on us. We pay our share, and we want to be sure this won’t hurt our businesses.”

Liberty raised a brow at the woman’s reference to her, as if she were a wayward child being reprimanded. She had to admit that since Rani Brooks joined the council, things hadn’t progressed as she’d liked. Their behind-the-scenes bickering had been recounted by those who witnessed it and was now public knowledge.

Before Maxine could continue, Connie Jenkins interrupted. “You and Rani need to take your spatting someplace else.”

“Certainly, Councilman Brooks and I have our differences, Mrs. Jenkins, but I assure you we’re on the same page when it comes to this public works project.”

She was lying through her teeth, for the development would undoubtedly meet resistance. She knew in her heart that if Rani Brooks, the councilman who headed the budget committee, had anything to say, he would certainly be opposed.

Then she once again remembered last night. Both of them had seemed to forget, at least temporarily, that they stood on opposite sides of the issues.

She had run for mayor to make a difference in Versa. Willie Martin, the previous mayor, had sat in this office for two decades, collecting the measly pay and attending social events like he’d been crowned king. A forward thinker, she vowed to improve the village. In the past, council members had proposed projects like this one that required the use of city funds, and often met NIMBY (“Not in my backyard”) opposition from residents. Of course, these oppositions were incredibly frustrating for Versa’s officials.

Still, determined to see this project through, she advocated the positives, like restoring their severely dated infrastructure and providing needed jobs for the residents. Liberty visited surrounding villages and saw how they’d made notable progress. She wanted those things for Versa. After all, her late father, the village’s first architect, had loved Versa. Liberty insisted on preserving its rich history and unique structures. Still, upgrades to public works needed much attention: better drainage, upgraded power sources and telecommunications services, and digital public infrastructure. The council had neglected restoration attempts over the last decade…a failure on their part. It was time to make changes, and she saw fit to make them. She had made a promise to her father that she would try, and she had ideas on how to make it work. This year marked the village’s centennial. What better time to keep a promise and simultaneously set plan’s for Versa’s future?

“Well, just so you know, most of our businesses can’t afford more taxes. It’s bad enough we’re scraping by now.” Mel stood his ground, frowning at her.

“Trust me, Mr. Worrell, I’m on your side.” She moved the pen across the pad, jotting down notes to look into later. She’d planned ahead of time to reassure the residents that the land use option would ease their tax burden. This concept had worked in other villages and she was prepared to share her plan on how to get this done.

“Hmph! Where have I heard that before?” Connie muttered.

“Please, bring your concerns to the meeting. We can discuss them then. I will address them as best as I can. I promise.”

Liberty looked up from her scribbling, her eyes straying across the room, and there he stood just outside of her open door, arms folded against his chest. Where did he come from, she wondered. They glared at each other in silent opposition, causing her to miss part of Maxine’s question. She quickly turned her attention to the woman. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Oliver; can you repeat that?”

“When can we get a look at this proposal of yours?”

“The proposal is drafted by the Economics Development tiger team and should be released tomorrow, which will give you plenty of time to prepare your questions,” she answered, then took another glance at the door.

Rani had vanished.


Rani turned to go after Liberty once she turned the corner, but stalled. He originally intended to ask her about the proposal. At least that was the lie he told himself. Liberty’s soft touch had haunted him all night. He decided to use the proposal as a way to engage her again. He’d been waiting for her when she entered the corridor between lobby and parking garage. After she passed him and while contemplating his dilemma, he paced the lobby until he couldn’t stand it any longer. He needed to touch her again, or he’d go crazy. He hurried toward her office before he changed his mind again. When he arrived at her office door, he found her trapped in the reception area. He silently watched for a few moments before she glanced his way, paralyzing him where he stood. He considered helping, but decided to stay out of the debate for now. The moment she looked away, he moved, choosing to approach her later, after the crowd had departed.

Rani walked to the water fountain, dipped his head, and took several gulps of the cool liquid. Satisfied, he headed back to Liberty’s office. He inhaled heavily before releasing the trapped air when he saw the crowd had dispersed. Stepping into the now empty reception area, he caught a glimpse of Liberty as she bent over Justin’s desk. The sight stirred a yearning he’d long fought to control. The dark fitted skirt hugged her rounded hips, and tapered closely around her small waist with a blouse tucked into the folds of it. In that moment, he remembered how Liberty’s hourglass figure pressed against him had made his blood boil. Her eyes widened when she noticed him, then narrowed in a glare. She’d caught him admiring her; even so he hoped she wouldn’t deny him a few minutes to get reacquainted, as they’d done last night.

“Got a minute?” he asked, not recognizing his own voice. Seeing her made him lose control.

“Not really. You might want to make an appointment, Councilman.”

She stood to her full height, the dark skirt with a blue top hiding nothing from his imagination. Liberty’s well-endowed figure made her hard to forget. After their brief encounter last night, he had a hell of time getting her out of his system. In those few hours they spent together, they’d set aside their differences and enjoyed a cozy night; laughing, talking, sipping wine, and yes, touching one another when they slow danced. The music reached the garden terrace away from the main entrance, allowing them some privacy. When he kissed her, she hadn’t resisted.

“Last night.” He folded his arms across his chest.

She sucked in a short breath. “What about last night?”

He watched her trembling hand push stray hair from her face. Her reaction made him drop his arms. He wished he could leap forward and fold her into his embrace. Admittedly, he wanted more of what they shared last night, and he didn’t care if Justin witnessed it or not. But reasoning took over, so instead he tried again to have a conversation without prying eyes and listening ears.

“We need to talk, and it can’t wait.”

Seconds ticked by, filling the silence between them, and just when he thought Liberty wouldn’t give, she turned and headed to her private office. “Let’s talk in my office, please.”

He followed closely and once inside asked, “Open or closed?”

“Closed, please. Thank you.”

Rani closed the door and moved to the side of her desk, not giving her a chance to escape behind her desk. He took her hand and drew her toward him until their bodies stood mere inches apart. He leaned in, his face so close to hers their lips nearly touched. She trembled in his grasp, and the awareness of her response made him eager to taste her lips. Liberty’s lids dropped, elevating the passion between them. He controlled his urge, although he wanted to kiss her more than he wanted to breathe.

“Look at me, Liberty.”

Her eyes fluttered open. They harbored the same passion that was stirring through his blood. Unable to resist any longer, Rani captured her lips and savored their softness. He slid his arms around her waist, bringing her closer. She surrendered willingly as her arms eased around him. He lingered, pressing her gently and possessively against him. Once he lifted his head, she dropped hers against his chest. Their breathing matched and they remained joined until he finally stepped back without releasing her.

“What are we doing, Liberty?”

She stared without answering. Eventually, she stepped away completely, moving around the other side of her desk to escape. Before she could reach the door to see him out of her office, he blocked her path and faced her, silently demanding an answer.

“I don’t know.” She looked away. “I don’t know.”

“Something about last night…I can’t shake it. I don’t think I want to.” They’d been interrupted last night before he got the chance to ask that very question.

“Look, we both have jobs to do, and Versa depends on us to do exactly that, our jobs. Now, if that’s all you wanted to talk to me about, then this meeting is over with, Councilman.”

He stared at her in disbelief. “You’re telling me that what happened between us last night has no relevance today?”

“I think we should keep our distance, Councilman.” She gestured for him to step aside, and he complied.

Liberty moved to the door and pulled it open. He was halfway out before turning. “That’s not as simple as you think, Mayor. Have lunch with me?”

“No, but thank you. Enjoy your day, Councilman Brooks.”

“We’ll talk later,” he said with bold confidence. He left her office without looking back, not giving her a chance to have the last word.

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ann Clay. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Love Like its Hot! is a searing, sensuous box set featuring stories of love and romance from six of today’s hottest contemporary romance writers! Each story surrounds the Fourth of July holiday, bringing passion and heat to life. This box set abounds with smart, witty, and loving characters these authors are known for and their readers have come to expect. The featured writers for this BLISTERING e-box set are: Ann Clay, Barbara Keaton, Deatri King-Bey, Donna Hill, Nicki Night,Xyla Turner.

Purchase Love Like It’s Hot! Box Set of Novels

An avid reader and lover of positive, strong men, award-winning author, Ann Clay began her writing venture in 1999. She has been duly recognized for her warm-hearted stories, bursting with memorable characters, places and special moments. Venturing into several genres, Ann still prefers her romantic versions of life and living. She resides in Southern Illinois with family and loves hearing from her readers. Check her out at, by email at, Ann Clay on Facebook, annclaywrites on Twitter, or annclay35 on Instgram.

Other Books by Ann Clay

More Than a Bargain
Waving From the Heart
A Fresh Encounter
Cupid’s Connection
A Love for all Times
Protective Custody
Blue Autumn in the Bayou
Final Play
Beyond the Blue Cypress
A Perfect Blend
Worth the Ride
Faith in Ordinary Things
Game Changer
Love on the Run

Intimate Conversation with Ann Clay

An avid reader and lover of positive, strong men, award-winning author, Ann Clay began her writing venture in 1999. She has been duly recognized for her warm-hearted stories, bursting with memorable characters, places and special moments. Venturing into several genres, Ann still prefers her romantic versions of life and living. She resides in Southern Illinois with family and loves hearing from her readers.

BPM: What inspired you to become a romance writer? How long have you been writing?
I absolutely love reading which led me to writing. I love tender stories about romance and fantasy. I like how they impact not just the hero and heroine, but their family and friends as well. I started writing professionally in 1999.

BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve found a voice in my work, no matter what genre I’m writing in. My stories tend to write themselves… and I let the characters have their way. I get my story concepts from places I’ve visited or from simply people watching. I like watching how people interact with one another. I pretend I know what’s going on in their lives and that helps me create storylines or writing projects. I’m always looking for an angle or a secret that connects the reader to the characters. I like relatable characters, but I also like a hero and heroine readers will love from the beginning to the end of the story. The more I do these things, the better I get at telling their truth.

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Oh boy…let’s see. It’s definitely a craft you have to practice on a regular basis. Sometimes finding time to write is challenging because I still have a full-time job. Some days I just don’t feel like it, but do it anyway. It definitely requires commitment and should become a way of life if you’re serious about the craft.

BPM: How has writing romance novels impacted your life?
Every story written/told has elements of romance in them. Which to me means that romance is a genre that touches every reader of the written word. Life has taught me joy, anger, sadness, and love. Love is what I like best. I enjoy both historical and contemporary romance, although I tend to stick to contemporary when writing romance. Pure romance, to me, appeals to all the five senses. I enjoy escaping into a good love story, even if I have to create one myself.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your body of work?
That I like the characters I write about, and they’re people readers can relate to. And so far, I’ve been true to this format. I still have readers who ask about characters as if they’re members of the ‘family.’ It’s inspiring and what keeps me on the task.

BPM: How do you find or make time to write? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
It’s sometimes hard, especially because I travel extensively. Sometime I just write small notes to add to a project later. I try to be consistent and write something every day. If I’m working on a project, I will make daily goals for myself because I have an end date in mind.

Definitely a pantster. I build my characters, and after that, they’re out of my control! Well, not always. I do build potential encounters and develop potential conflicts and encounters I think will keep the story interesting. However, I do allow my characters to drive the story.

BPM: Have you considered writing in another genre?
I didn’t really read romance at first, but when I stumbled on AA romance, I was hooked. And mostly that’s what I write. I do write some women and inspirational pieces, but romance is my baby. It depends on where I am in life at the moment, which dictates what project I will start. I have several pieces still in draft that I have to go back and finish. I’ve also written a children’s book and a hilarious pet book. The pet book is yet to be published. Oh, I also started a funny christian book entitled, Church in an Uproar.

BPM: What is your story in Love Like It’s Hot about?
Love For Liberty is a political romance that has village resident whispering. The secret love affair and a much needed city improvement project in Versa Village, sets the tone for a surprise the villagers least expects. The mayor, Liberty Kennedy is a freshmen politician, while her love interest, the city councilman, Rani Brooks, is seasoned; in politics, in business, and in the art of persuasion. Fireworks are igniting from all sides.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Liberty Kennedy has her work cut out for her. She’s smart, influential, and has a vision for making improvements. A freshmen politician, she finds herself in a love affair with the chairman of the Village Council. In the public they’re seen as rivals, but given the right circumstances, that rivalry turns into passion and create drama for the village they represent. Yet she is determined to finish the improvement project she started.

The hero is strong, ambitious, but respects family, work, and decency. Rani Brooks does his best to give Liberty space to do her job, but he is intentional in his resolve, making her his main focus. He knows what he wants and will do what it takes to get it (her).

BPM: What was your hardest scene to write, the opening or the close?
The opening is always the hardest scene for me. I’m desperate to catch the reader’s attention at the very opening. I really strive to make the first few pages so engaging that the reader refuses to put the story down. I’m still working on it. One of these days I’m going to master this task. You’ll see!

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Sometimes I’m so focused on the task that I don’t always enjoy the journey of completing the task. There is a point in the book where Liberty has to take several steps back to realize that she doesn’t have to do all the work by herself. Like a lot of us, we work hard, but not always smartly.

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
I’m a morning person, so I like quiet time. I listen to music. I like sitting in the park or on patio, watching nature. I also watch people and how they interact with one another. I’m always intrigued by what I hear and see.

BPM: Do you want each book to stand on its own or do you prefer to write series?
I like both. But, I tend to write my series in such a manner that they can stand alone, and the stories are not required to be read in any particular order.

BPM: Does writing energize you?
It does. There are so many stories in my head. They, the characters, talk to me non-stop. So, to quiet the voices, I have to put pen to paper.

BPM: Do you believe in writer’s block?
I believe you come to a point in your writing where the plot is not playing out as you would like it to. It is the moment when you are force to step back and re-evaluate where the story is going. For some authors it’s as simple as taking a break or working on something else. For others, it may take discussing the plot with a trusted reader or writing partner.

BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?  
I’m not too interested in paranormal, mostly because I’m just not interested. I’m also not too keen on erotica. I have to feel some connection with the characters, and to me these characters are only interested in the sex, and not necessarily the relationship. I could be wrong about that, but that’s how I see it.

BPM: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?  
Sometimes love scenes are challenging because you want to make them as visual, natural, and often enough as possible to keep the story moving. I try not to be too graphic, but I do understand readers want to feel like those scenes are not robotic or unnatural. Most of my readers want lots of love scenes They want them hot, tender, sensual, and passionate all roll into one.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have couple of series I’ve started…Love’s in the Air, and Durbin Enterprises, both comprise of three books. Durbin Enterprises is all mapped out and I’m about halfway done with the first story, and have a single chapter for the other two stories. It’s a working progress.

I’m also working on a contemporary story entitled, Two Black Cats. It’s about two brothers from New Orleans. I’m actually pretty excited about this project and hope to have it released in late summary, early fall.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work beyond this collection. Available on Nook and Kindle?
I just tied up the Gumbo Love Series with four books. The last story takes place in Texas, but still have the bayou country feel. Worth The Ride is available both in print and eBook and can be found online. Also, Faith in Ordinary Things was released last year. It’s a little book of inspiration and funnies. It too is available in print and eBook formats.

BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Readers can email me, follow me on my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at conferences. I’m gamed for it all. My Twitter handle is annclaywrites, and my Facebook is simply my name. My website is and the email is I will be attending a number of book club and writing events this year. Would love to connect with readers there.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Readers can just google me, normally it brings up all of my work. They may also search in Amazon or go to my website. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. I would love hear from readers; if they’ve read my work I ask that they please leave a review, especially in Good Reads. That would help me out greatly. Thanks so much!

Don’t forget to look for Ann’s upcoming projects, including the Winter Games Series entitled Romance on Ice; and the new series, Love is in the Air and Durbin Enterprises. Happy Reading!

Books featured in the Love Like It’s Hot Boxset
* Ann Clay – Love for Liberty
* Barbara Keaton – Heat at First Sight
* Deatri King-Bey – Best Laid Plans
* Donna Hill – Summer Sizzle
* Nicki Night – Sweet Heat Rising
* Xyla Turner – The Fourth

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Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

Love Like It’s Hot Celebrates Independence Day – a day celebrated around the country – and will never be seen quite the same as six of today’s contemporary, nationally best-selling romance authors bring the heat in this box set filled with unique stories of impassioned love and intense romance! The Fourth has never been hotter – be sure to Love Like its Hot! Available at Amazon & B&N.

Featured Authors in “Love Like It’s Hot!” Book Set: 

* Love for Liberty by Ann Clay

* Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

* Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey

* Summer Sizzle by Donna Hill

* Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

* The Fourth by Xyla Turner 

Love Like its Hot! is a searing, sensuous box set featuring stories of love and romance from six of today’s hottest contemporary romance writers! Each story surrounds the Fourth of July holiday, bringing passion and heat to life.

This box set abounds with smart, witty, and loving characters these authors are known for and their readers have come to expect. The featured writers for this BLISTERING e-box set are: Ann Clay, Barbara Keaton, Deatri King-Bey, Donna Hill, Nicki Night,Xyla Turner. 

Purchase Love Like It’s Hot! Box Set of Novels

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi is going to be king of Libertad Island whether he likes it or not. To add to it, he must marry on his county’s Independence Day. An infamous playboy, the soon to be king realizes that he has no real prospects and doesn’t want the ones his mother has selected for him. He changes his mind once he sees the stunningly beautiful Trinity Nehemiah, someone he knows is his match in every way. The thing is, how to get her to marry him within 30 days.

Dr. Trinity Nehemiah is searching for a bacterium that is impacting the beautiful aquatic life of Libertad Island. Finding its source and coming up with a cure is her only charge, not the island’s handsome playboy who is set on getting under her skin and in her bed. Little does Trinity know, the soon to be king is more than interested in her bedroom skills.

Excerpt: Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton


Thirty days. Mensah ended his prayer with the last words he’d heard from his father. He had thirty days to marry. Never mind that he didn’t have one female in mind, while he knew his mother had at least two. Mensah blanched at the thought – he wasn’t into marriage, couldn’t see what his brothers did – one woman, love, and eventually children running afoot. He then thought of his oldest brother, Helem, the next in succession, or that was until he’d dropped the bombshell a week ago – he and his wife were planning on moving from Libertad Isle to London.

Helem didn’t want to be king. Their father had announced a year ago that he would retire the next Independence Day and Helem would rightfully take his place. That was how it had always been, since Libertad and its surrounding islands had been founded nearly three centuries ago. Then a month ago, Helem broke the news to his parents and officially abdicated leaving him to be the next in line – next be sworn in as king of Libertad Isle, but in order for him to assume the crown, he had to have a wife.

Mensah wasn’t like his two brothers – Helem had settled down at the tender age of 21, marrying the only woman he’d ever dated – a woman from the island who had been born and raised to marry royalty. That was nearly fourteen years ago. Then there was his baby brother, Olabisi, who was about to marry his childhood sweetheart. While she hadn’t been raised for royalty, she was beloved by their parents, who were already talking about the children they would have.

“What do I do?” he looked up into the sky. He was a playboy, loved women, the very shape, color, smell and sway of their hips. He wasn’t ready to settle down and he knew that there was no one who would ever capture his heart – he’d seen too many women vie for his attention, not because they liked him, or were willing to get to know him, but because they knew that 29-year-old Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi was not only rich, but in line for a throne and a country he never thought he’d reign over.

As he turned from the balcony, he stopped. Movement captured his attention. He trained his obsidian-colored eyes across the varying hues and types of plush tropical foliage and flowers that rested several feet from the crystal blue terrain of the Caribbean Sea. Mensah spotted a lone figure as it swam toward the shore. He watched intently as the figure reached the shore line, then rose slowly from the pristine water. He blinked, turned his head slightly to the right then narrowed his dark eyes, his full lips pursed.

The figure had on a black wet suit that allowed him to make out the outline of hips and ample bosom. Reaching for his cell phone, he paused. His thick eye brows rose as the female pulled the wet suit down to reveal a white one-piece that stood in amazingly stark contrast to her mahogany skin. Absently, Mensah licked his lips. He loved mahogany.

He depressed a single digit then finally placed the cell to his ear. “Imam? Who is swimming on the east side of the island?”

Mensah absently nodded, his dark eyes fixed on the well-built female, as he listened to the head of security describe the stranger who had just slid out of the azure blue ocean and began crossing the isolated beach of white sand. “I see. Thank you, Imam. No. No, there are no problems. I will see father later. Shalom.”

The loud clang of the phone hitting the top of the railing before coming to rest on the marble flooring of the terrace momentarily stole his attention from the vexing view. He returned to his fixation, watching intently as she pulled the band from her hair, loosening twisted tresses to rest on her shoulders as she walked further from the ocean. Mensah even smiled when he noticed a large dog rush to her side. He watched as she knelt down, taking something from the animal’s mouth, looked it over, shook her head and then pitched the item over her shoulder. She rose, signaled with her hands toward the dog and then headed into the lush green foliage.

He had things to do. Heads of state to meet with concerning some additional business expansion for the island, lunch with a potential client, a tour of a newly opened resort and a dinner date with a woman he had met in the states who was coming to visit.

“Mensah?” from behind he heard his name called and recognized the voice as that belonging to his older brother, Helem. No matter the recent news, he smiled at hearing his brother’s voice.

Older by five years, Helem was always considered the most level headed of the three of them as evidenced by the types of business ventures he secured that would bring greater wealth to the already rich island. Mensah’s youngest brother, Olabisi, had been a child prodigy, playing over ten various instruments by the time he was five. Olabisi was a genius and a scientist, and was truly their mother’s favorite – only because mother had never had to scold him like she had Helem and Mensah. Especially Mensah.

Mensah smiled at that thought – he and his brothers were adventurous in just about everything – from sports to business; but one thing they didn’t share with Mensah was his adventurous spirit when it came to chasing women. Hands down, Mensah was a master.

“I’m on the terrace, brother,” Mensah responded, reluctantly turning his head from the mahogany beauty as she disappeared into the brush.

“Shalom,” Helem greeted his brother, wrapping him in his arms, kissing him on both cheeks. Mensah returned the loving gesture. “Have you eaten breakfast?”

“No. Have you?”

Helem shook his head. “Let’s go across the island and grab something. There’s much we have to discuss to get you ready and then I want to show you something on one of the other islands.”

Mensah absently grabbed his sun glasses and picked his cell phone up from the terrace floor. His curiosity, momentarily interrupted, had returned with a vengeance. He immediately wanted to know who the mahogany beauty was and he wasn’t willing to wait to ask his father.

“Go ahead. I’ll catch up with you in an hour.”

Mensah watched his brother as he narrowed his eyes.

“Ummm, uh. Okay. But do not stand me up, Mensah.”

“I won’t. I just got something to look at … I’m mean, look into.”

The sound of Helem’s laughter trailed behind him as he headed out of his brother’s living suite.

“Come on, Cousteau,” Trinity called out to her dog, a Cane Corso Mastiff, which she had gotten from her father as a puppy. “You can’t eat everything on this island. What are you trying to do, get us deported?” She tugged at her dog’s large jowls and smiled when Cousteau responded with a loud whine. “Oh, no, there will be no begging today.” She motioned with her hands, using sign language, to indicate she meant “no.”

Trinity shook her head, picked up Cousteau’s leash and the remaining samples she had retrieved from the sea. For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what was killing off the jelly fish in large quantities and decided to ship several carcasses to a colleague in San Diego. As a result of the jelly fish dying, larger marine habitat was being affected as well. Just today, she had encountered what she thought was a rather lethargic bottlenose dolphin.

To Trinity, the behavior of the mammal was more than odd – this species exhibited a natural curiosity of their surroundings. She had come across this female dolphin several times during her exploration, recognizing it from others she’d encountered by the deep marks on her dorsal fin. She had named the dolphin Dolly and found her to be quite curious, swimming and diving alongside and jumping up and out of the water over Trinity. On this day the playfulness and curiosity were missing – instead Dolly just swam alongside her.

She slipped her wet suit from her body down to the white one-piece bathing suit she wore underneath. Pulling her hair from its band, she paused. Cousteau stood by her side. She looked up just as the lone figure left the expansive terrace which overlooked the ocean. She had never seen anyone standing there, even though she had seen lights on when she would come out at night.

She loved the island and had jumped at the chance to work there when her friend from college, Olabisi, called her and asked her to come to investigate the odd findings among the island’s aquatic life.

Dr. Trinity Marie Nehemiah had arrived on the large island, established in 1785 by escaped slaves with the help of a rogue Moor pirate by the name of Enrique El LeSans who deposited some 200 captives on the island along with a share of booty – food, tools, jewels and gold – that had been seized from a slave frigate, the Brigantine Dembia, heading to America. Trinity loved listening to Olabisi proudly reveal the rich history of the island named Libertad Isle – Libertad meaning Liberty in Spanish. Olabisi went on to mention that the island closest to Libertad was named after the pirate, with inhabitants adding the word “saint” in front – thus the nearby island was known as St. LeSans.

Olabisi was third in succession for the crown. His father, who had hired Trinity, was the king of the grouping of five islands, with Libertad its largest with nearly 50,000 inhabitants. Economically sound, the island boasted a healthy, robust tourist trade, rare mineral deposits found in the multitude of caves that dotted the islands and the vast deposits of crude oil beneath the sea floor. Olabisi’s father, King Busarah, had assumed the throne when his mother, the queen, died at the ripe age of 100 some twenty years prior.

Trinity first met King Busarah when he had personally flown to San Diego to meet with Trinity and her father, Nigel. The king had assured Trinity’s father that she, Nigel’s only daughter and the baby of his clan of four boys, would be safe on Libertad Isle. He’d personally see to it.

She had frowned on the meeting – at 28 she had seen more of the world than most women, and men for that matter, her age had, but that still didn’t preclude her older brothers and father from being a little too over protective. So, when King Busarah met her father, he not only gave his word to protect her, but saw to it that Trinity would have whatever she needed, including a private villa, security, servants and transportation – a moped, a high-speed jet boat and a helicopter whenever she needed to travel the farther islands.

Travel on each island was limited to small vehicles, bicycles and mopeds. A boat was needed to access the nearby surrounding islands – islands King Busarah’s ancestors helped to establish and added to the wealth of Libertad Isle.

Trinity agreed to the villa and two modes of transportation, a moped and motor boat, which is what she needed for her work, but she shunned a security detail and servants. She had Cousteau for protection, was pretty handy with a weapon and more than adept at cooking and cleaning.

Her thoughts back to the present, Trinity began singing a medley of Aretha Franklin tunes as she and Cousteau walked the trail leading to the three-story villa a short distance from the beach. At night, she loved to sit out on the roof-top veranda in one of the oversized pieces of patio furniture. The veranda boasted an unobstructed view of the ocean and provided her with one of her favorite past times – watching a full, high moon, its reflection rippling atop the ocean, surrounded by bright, winking stars overhead. Adding to the pleasing aesthetics were the sounds of the tide rolling in and out. Many a night, as she lay in her queen-sized bed covered by an ivory canopy of netting the sounds from the ocean had lulled her to sleep with Cousteau lazily lying at the foot of the bed. No matter what Trinity did, she couldn’t break Cousteau of the habit of sleeping at the foot of the bed – a habit her dog had taken up once they moved to the island.

Trinity stopped singing when Cousteau moved from her side to stand in front of her, a low growl emitting from her massive jowls.

“I have never been a pet’s meal,” Trinity heard the deep voice tinged with a noticeable island lilt. She watched as a tall, muscular man, his smooth skin a warm sepia, his eyes shaded by sunglasses, stepped out onto the path. “How vicious is that large animal?” He pointed then held up his hands in surrender. Trinity raised her right eyebrow when she noticed that Cousteau stopped growling as she sat on her hinds.

“Well, she’s not what I would call vicious,” Trinity replied, patting Cousteau on top of her large head. “But she is quite fond and protective of her master – she takes her time to warm up to strangers.”

“Good to hear,” he replied.

Trinity waited, watched the smooth-skinned brother watch her. She couldn’t see his eyes, but knew from the way he stood nearly motionless that he was studying her intently. She decided to break the spell. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“I was just wondering who was swimming in the waters.” He angled his head toward the crystal blue sea.

“Who wants to know?”

For Mensah, he wanted to keep her talking, wanted to hear the clear, warm, perfect cadence of her slightly raspy, but alluring voice. Closing his eyes briefly, he was glad his eyes were shielded behind sunglasses, for he couldn’t help but stare at the mahogany beauty standing in front of him. The sunglasses allowed him to feast unabashed, eyeing her from the tops of her crown of burnish bronze, sun-kissed mini-locs, to the cleavage of her ample breasts peeking from the top the white one-piece swim suit, down to her narrow waist, shapely hips and long, muscular legs. Legs made for wrapping around a man’s waist.

Mensah shook his head slightly and forced his eyes to train on her face, noting the shape of her lips – smooth with a slight pout. If he had no home training, he would have grabbed her and sampled the bewitching mouth, sure the feel of his lips would be just the beginning …

He thought she had asked him something, he knew he heard the sound of her of husky voice, wanted to hear her call his name, more than once. Crazy. He’d never …

“Again, who wants to know?” he heard her ask. Her question pulled him from assessing her mouth to staring into her eyes, which he noted was an arresting color – a light auburn with flecks of gold. He shook his foot, thinking one of the small island salamanders had scurried across it, but when he glanced down, he saw nothing.

He stepped closer and could see the sun playing off the varying colors of brown, bronze and gold mingling in the micro locs resting on her shoulders.

“How rude of me,” he said, removing his sunglasses. He placed his hand out toward her. He noted her pet watching the interaction, thought better, then placed his glasses in his breast pocket before placing his hands in the trouser pockets. “I am Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi, son of King Busarah Ahmed Kwasi and heir of Libertad Isle. My friends and family call me Mensah. And you can, too.” He affected a sensuous smile.

Trinity tapped down the urge to respond with a less than feminine retort – something that rhymed with truck. She didn’t release the items in her hands to return the gesture and held back the chuckle that wanted to bubble forth following his introduction – she wondered why on earth he had to tell her his whole name, who his daddy was and his stately position on the island. To say she was so unimpressed would be outright rude. Instead, she smirked when in fact she really wanted to gawk – she had seen some good-looking men in her day, her brothers and father were quite handsome, but the man standing in front of her was shockingly gorgeous. Yes, he was truly fine – his full lips were perfect, and luscious, and looked as if they were made for kissing – and his handsome broad nose, with nostrils that flared slightly, and his chiseled, clean shaven head and square jaw made her think of Tyrese. He was too good looking – just scrumptious – with eyes so dark they looked like stones of onyx. And his deep voice – OMG – could melt the panties off a woman. She caught the glint of a diamond stud. Nothing overly ostentatious, but enough to let you know it was there.

She shook her head, thinking, so, this is the playboy prince of Libertad. Trinity had heard a lot about him. But she’d be doggone if she would get caught up in the web of this infamous playboy’s antics. His reputation had truly preceded him. Just the other day she had overheard several of the women in the square talk about his sexual exploits going so far as to say he had bedded five women in one night and that he was quite healthy in the nether region. Trinity didn’t stick around to hear the rest – she had brothers and knew that their father frowned on loose ways, be it from men or women.

“Nice to meet you, my name is Trinity. And sorry I have to run, but I have some specimens I need place in the refrigerator soon.” She waited a beat and watched as his eyes took on odd emotions – one she recognized as unsurety. She didn’t wait for his response, nor did she bother introducing herself using all of her credentials. She bid him good bye before speaking to her dog. “Come, Cousteau.” She stepped around Mensah and continued to the villa. One thing she would not do is become involved with the King’s sons – especially this one.

Trinity kept her head high, refusing to look back over her shoulder to get one last glance at that sepia god standing at least six foot something, his arms straining the light Gosselin fabric of his button-down shirt, and the way the linen pants made a wicked puzzle of his massive thighs. Yeah, she had checked him out, but she didn’t want any parts of a man who made sport out of bedding women. No, she wanted nothing to do with Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi, son of King Busarah she silently mimicked.

Cousteau walked a few paces in front of Trinity as they neared the gate to the villa. Unable to resist, Trinity turned as she opened the gate and saw Mensah still standing in the same spot where she’d just left him. She wanted to laugh as he stood stone still, his hands now on his hips and his chin jutting upward. Guess he’s never been dismissed she mused and then chuckled under her breath, Well, there’s always a first time for everything.

( Continued… )

Heat at First Sight By Barbara Keaton. © Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

A Chicago native, Barbara Keaton loves the city and says she cannot imagine living anywhere else. Educated in Catholic schools up until 12th grade, Barbara credits the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest order of black nuns, and her late maternal grandfather, Thomas Hill, for her love and respect of the written word.

Barbara’s first romance novel, All I Ask, was published in 2000. Since then she’s gone on to write thirteen total romance novels which celebrate black love. In addition to her books, she’s also written several articles and editorials that have appeared in various publications: Today’s Black Woman Magazine; The Chicago Crusader; The Chicago Defender; The Chicago Reader; Bronze Thrills; True Confessions; and, Affaire de Coeur.

Barbara holds a MS in Journalism from Roosevelt University and belongs to several civic and professional organizations, namely Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she’s an avid reader and writer. Married to a minister, Barbara has no children of her own, but she considers her niece and nephew, Stephanie and Matthew, and her step-daughter, Candice, as her “babies”. In addition, she’s a grandma and a great-aunt. Barbara lives by a personal credo: I ANSWER TO TWO—MY GOD AND MYSELF! You can check Barbara out at Facebook:

#SeducingThePen, #UnwrappedLit, #Bookish, #BookBoost, #TwitterBookClub, #AfricanAmericanAuthors, #NewBookAlert, #BlackGirlReading, #Bookstagram, #TBR, #TwitterBookClub, #InstaBooks, #InstaReads, #Bookstagram, #BookNerd

Intimate Conversation with Barbara Keaton 

A Chicago native, Barbara Keaton loves the city and says she cannot imagine living anywhere else. Educated in Catholic schools up until 12th grade, Barbara credits the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest order of black nuns, and her late maternal grandfather, Thomas Hill, for her love and respect of the written word.

Barbara’s first romance novel, All I Ask, was published in 2000. Since then she’s gone on to write thirteen total romance novels which celebrate black love. In addition to her books, she’s also written several articles and editorials that have appeared in various publications: Today’s Black Woman Magazine; The Chicago Crusader; The Chicago Defender; The Chicago Reader; Bronze Thrills; True Confessions; and, Affaire de Coeur.

Barbara holds a MS in Journalism from Roosevelt University and belongs to several civic and professional organizations, namely Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she’s an avid reader and writer. Married to a minister, Barbara has no children of her own, but she considers her niece and nephew, Stephanie and Matthew, and her step-daughter, Candice, as her “babies”. In addition, she’s a grandma and a great-aunt. Barbara lives by a personal credo: I ANSWER TO TWO—MY GOD AND MYSELF! You can check Barbara out at Facebook:

BPM: What inspired you to become a romance writer? How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was like 11. My first diary is dated Jan. 1975; and I really don’t recall not writing. In regards to romance, I wrote All I Ask when my first marriage began to crumble – it was all that I had wished my first husband had been. After my divorced in 1998, I sent the manuscript to Genesis Press – got a letter some months later saying welcome to Genesis Press. In 2000 All I Ask hit the shelves and with a small break in novel writing, I’ve been writing ever since. Also, I love a GOOD love story, even more so Black love!

BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Wow, this is a good question. Once I wrote a heavy romantic story – light on drama, heavy on romance. And even I loved it. The hero and heroine were totally into each other from first glance. When I saw the reviews I realized that I had achieved what I set out to do. Then I wrote a romantic suspense, that didn’t start out that way – again, the views came back and I was like: that was what I was aiming for. So, over the years, I’ve tried to draw characters who are realistic, yet very loving, low drama, instant chemistry, going the distance to prove their love, while drawing more complex characters.

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Not sure about that. I do realize that there are changes in the business and I need to be aware of and abreast of those chances and how it may impact my work.

BPM: How has writing romance novels impacted your life?
It has been my outlet – my way to tell a story that hopefully plants in readers minds that we as people of color love – we love true, we love hard, we love to eternity. I truly enjoy creating the types of characters who are strong, independent, loving, protective – engaging in non-traditional professional roles. I’ve written about lawyers, archaeologists, and now a prince.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your body of work?
I love my characters – they are sorta like me or are who I once dreamed I could be. Also, I’ve learned that if I stay true to myself that all would work out. I had a publisher that wanted me to roll over into interracial – I wanted then, and I still want to now, showcase black love.

BPM: How do you find or make time to write? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Deadline is a serious motivator and when its on I write every evening after I get home from work. I don’t write at work – its a lot going on anyway. Before I re-married in 2012, I used to write on the weekends as well. With a hubby, I must save some time for him! 

I’m a pantster – I don’t find plotting out the story too appealing – I like letting the characters run away with very little restraint from me. As a matter of fact I’m a serial pantster – all of my work has been created this way. I consistently build on what I’ve started until I get this feeling inside that says: oh, yeah, Barbara – that’s it!

BPM: Have you considered writing in another genre?
Actually I have, in women’s contemporary. But for now, I’m still hooked on romance!

BPM: What is your story Heat at First Sight from the Love Like It’s Hot Book Set about?
A notorious playboy has to assume the throne of his island country because his father is retiring and his oldest brother is abdicating. In order for him to be king, he must be married. Well, he has no prospects and he doesn’t like the two women his mother chose for him. Then he meets the marine biologist hired to research what’s impacting the marine life. When the playboy prince sees her – its game on! Yet, he falls hard for her and sets out to marry her within 30 days – on the day of the island’s Independence Day. Will he succeed in getting her to agree?

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Mensah is a super smart, extremely intelligent business man who works to ensure the financial longevity of the island his family has ruled over for centuries – since the middle passage. An unapologetic playboy, he has a side of him he won’t show women. His having to assume the role of King as well as having to marry to do so has him flustered until he meets Trinity.

Trinity Nehemiah is a doctor of marine biology. She’s independent, smart and loves her work researching eco impacts on large bodies of water. The youngest of four boys, she loves adventure. When she meets Prince Mensah, she’s attracted on sight, but his show of arrogance turned her off. After a dinner with him and his family, she sees something there and allows him to insinuate himself into her life and her research – realizing no man had ever truly been interested her, in what drives her, nor her what her passion is.

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Change is inevitable and change can be good.

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
I’m a chatty person who loves a good book, a good movie and hanging with people. I talk to just about everybody I come into contact with. I’m also a news junkie and I get out of sorts if I haven’t heard any in a couple of days. And I do ease drop on conversations heard in the store, at the beauty salon. LOL! As for where I write, I have a home office – so that’s where I write.

BPM: Do you want each book to stand on its own or do you prefer to write series?
Both, even though I’ve written two books that were connected – All I Ask and By Design.

BPM: Does writing energize you?
Yes, it does. I’ve got tons of characters running around in my head, trying to love and make it on paper!

BPM: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I do – there are times when I’ve written lines that just don’t flow – that just doesn’t make me smile or engage me. I’ve learned, though, to set it aside and allow myself to become distracted by something else. If it still isn’t quite right I start over or save it and store it – it may be useful in something else.

BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
S&M/bondage- I’m way too sensitive for it, too sappy and don’t want to be spanked. Besides, to me, there is nothing loving or romantic in being beaten or chained.

BPM: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Anger – I’m rarely angry; oh, I get miffed, a bit upset, but anger is a hard emotion for me – it means being knocked off my square, so to speak, and anger tends to cause individuals to use hurtful words. I know that once words are out there they can take on a life of their own and angry words can and does irreparable harm. I know – I still remember things said to me out of anger or things I’ve said.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a series I’ve started…its about Football. I’m hoping to interest someone one of these days. I’m also working on a story about a single father.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work beyond this collection. Available on Nook and Kindle?
I re-edited and re-released a short story: Show Me. Its an older woman, younger man romance. It’s available at and B&

BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Email:, Facebook:, Twitter: @barbarakeaton26

Love Like It’s Hot Featured Authors

* Love for Liberty by Ann Clay
* Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton
* Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey
* Summer Sizzle by Donna Hill
* Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night
* The Fourth by Xyla Turner

Other books by Barbara Keaton:

All I Ask
To Love and Honor: Homeland Heroes and Heroines Anthology
Unfinished Love Affair
By Design
Nights Over Egypt
Love for All Seasons Anthology (Spring Fling)
One in A Million
Destination Romance Anthology (Show Me!)
Good With His Hands Anthology (Mr. Telephone Man)
Clean Up Love
Show Me! (reissue 2019)


Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas by Chef Rome

Celebrity Chef Rome Pays Homage to His Culinary Roots with New Cookbook

Celebrity chef, Army veteran, and health correspondent Jerome Brown celebrates his Southern roots with his new cookbook Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas. In the book, the Personal Chef to the Stars showcases a compilation of family recipes, client favorites and low-calorie meals indigenous to North and South Carolina.

Chef Rome makes it no secret that he loves his home state of North Carolina, so it should be no surprise that his newly released cookbook is a celebration of sorts to the state’s cuisine and culture.

In the book Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas, the Personal Chef to the Stars showcases a compilation of family recipes, client favorites and low-calorie meals featuring frog legs, oxtails, marsala meatloaf, and other Southern delicacies indigenous to North and South Carolina.

“I put everything I could into this book, and I did it with love,” said Chef Rome, who has cooked for athletes and celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Colin Powell, Byron Cage and Cam Newton. The former Food Network Star and featured Epcot International Food & Wine Festival chef prides himself on putting a healthy spin on Southern cuisine, helping many of his clients, like former NBA great Shaquille O’Neil, lose weight.

Similar to his bestselling cookbook, Eat Like a Celebrity: Southern Cuisine with a Gourmet Twist, Chef Rome included stories of his family and the influence that Carolina has had on his life and on the country as a whole.

“If you loved Eat Like a Celebrity, you’re absolutely going to love Carolina Soul,” Rome said. “I talk about the origins of Pepsi and some of my favorite restaurants along the Carolina coast. This book is nothing more than being authentic, giving readers what is within me.”

He added that Carolina Soul is especially special because his family contributed to bringing the book into fruition. For instance, he prepared many of the recipes in his sister’s kitchen, and he added the meatloaf recipe because it was specially requested by his nephew. Additionally, the book celebrates everything related to the history of North and South Carolina from its college-related color scheme to the photos placed throughout the book.

Carolina Soul has already amassed tremendous sales through social media. Carolina Soul was published by Prosperity Publications, LLC and is currently available for order on both Chef Rome’s and Prosperity’s websites.

Explore the Cook With Rome website:
Chef Rome ranked #8 in the world. Co-owner of Rhema Restaurant Group. US Army Trained.

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