Author Archives: Ella Curry, EDC Creations

R.A.R.E (Reading And Rapping Experience) Book Club

Patricia Turner Smith is the presiding president of RARE Book Club. Patricia resides in Memphis, TN and lives each day enjoying retirement. She is the mother of two daughters and one granddaughter. Patricia is an active member of the Orange Mound Energizer Line Dancers, Family and Friends a group of members from various churches that meet to share ideas to improve the community and provide assistance to the less fortunate. Patricia volunteers her time by reading books to elementary school students at various schools and assisting the teachers when administering tests. She bowls monthly with a group of retired coworkers and of course, she enjoys reading. Patricia’s motto is Dream Big, Be Strong and Don’t Worry About Tomorrow Because God Is Already There.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! What is the name?  How many members do you have?
The ladies of RARE Book Club is located in Memphis, TN. R.A.R.E (Reading And Rapping Experience) was founded September 7, 1997. We will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of RARE this year. There are twelve active, unique and energetic members of RARE. The ladies enjoy reading and rapping about various book selections. They are imaginative, and don’t hesitate to put their twist about a story line.

RARE Book Club Officers:
President, Patricia T. Smith
Secretary, Debora Williams
Chaplain, Charlene Hill
Treasurer, Sarita Baker
Asst. Treasurer, Yolanda Marshall
Web Masters, Lisa Puckett and LaTrecia Dyson
Members: Tawanda Hardy and Angela Dickerson
Event Coordinators, Katrina Burns, Barbara Spann and Sandra Brown

BPM: What is the purpose of your organization? Does the name of the club have a special meaning?
The ultimate goal of RARE is to read and have book discussions, network with other book clubs, coordinate and host author’s book signing events and all other literary influences as we promote the importance of literacy. The ladies of RARE have a “Reading And Rapping Experience” during our book discussions. They have shown enthusiasm and dedication for literacy by collectively reading 801 books from September 15, 2015 thru August 26, 2016. It is their goal to read books, have intelligent discussions and promote the importance of literacy. RARE was presented the 2016 award by BWABC (Black Writers and Book Clubs) Literacy Rocks Association. for “Reading the Most Books”.

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years? What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
RARE’s goal is to infuse intellectual minds, strengthen sisterhood, offer their time and service within the community and build lasting relationships thru literacy genre. The ladies of RARE collectively volunteered approximately one hundred twenty-four (124) hours of community service from September 15, 2015 thru August 26, 2016. RARE was presented the 2016 award by BWABC, Literacy Rocks Book Club Community Service Award for their commitment to serve others in the community. We rise by lifting others. The community hours included volunteering at Hope House, RARE’s adopted organization. Hope House of Memphis provides preschool and social services for families affected with HIV/AIDS. Our investment in Hope House is an investment in the community. The ladies of RARE support Hope House by helping to provide a healthy and clean environment. They clean the facilities that the students and staff use on a daily basis.

Each year we donate and deliver out door toys such as hoopla hoops, bubbles, balls and other toys for the children based on the request of the staff. The volunteers took the time to interact with the children during play time. They adopt a family of at least four each year at Christmas and purchase everything on their wish lists including toys, clothes, cook ware, bake ware and gift cards for the mother. Their other volunteer opportunities include participating during Black History events, walking for Breast Cancer Awareness and participating in the 5k one and a half mile marathons that raise money for various organizations including St. Jude and Heroes in Recovery.

RARE also works with and supports the efforts of YLT (Young Ladies Today Making A Difference Tomorrow), a nonprofit organization in Southaven, MS. The organization helps to enrich the lives of young ladies ages 5 thru 18. The mission is to impact their lives and make a difference through mentoring, community service, tutoring, arts, reading and building self-esteem. RARE will definitely leave a lasting legacy in the community. Read the rest of this entry »


Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

Circle of Sisters of Columbus Interview with Helen Gibson and Georgette Martin

Helen Gibson, Circle of Sisters Book Club is a straight country girl from Alabama who currently resides in Columbus Georgia. She is a lifelong reader who honestly cannot remember a time that she did not have a book in her hand. She’s told that even as a toddler she was reading magazines upside down!

BPM: Please tell us about your book club, store or blog! 
Our Book Club started after many years of me and a fellow reader saying “We should start a book club in our church when we finish….”. There was always another program, another event, another ‘something’ that made us hold back starting the club. In 2009, when we both got our first Nooks we again talked about starting a book club, but held off. It wasn’t until 2016 that we finally realized there will always be SOMETHING going on so let’s just do it. We decided to have an interest meeting to see how many were interested but rather than invite only members of our church, we also invited other friends and coworkers. We were truly astonished about how many readers were members of our own congregation and had no idea we all shared a love of books. That was amazing for us! We now have 23 members to include 6 out-of-state members who join us via Skype orWhatsApp Messenger.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
Since we are located near a military base, our group is diverse: single, married, young, older. We are a lively bunch!

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? When do you select the books?
The first few months of the club, it was difficult selecting books. No one wanted to actually nominate a book; we got a lot of “whatever the group decides…”. After talking it over, my co-president and I decided to just make the selections ourselves since everyone wasn’t participatory in nominating and voting. For 2017, we made book marks for the year’s selections with no problems. Every other month we read an AA book; we decided early on that we would not limit ourselves to a particular genre of books. This has worked well for us during our first year. We read one book a month for discussion, but if we read a particularly good book in between we make sure we tell the others to get it.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule?
Right now we are reading Destiny Lingers by Rolonda Watts. Georgette and I met Rolonda at the NBCC last year and purchased her book; from the buzz we have received so far everyone is enjoying it. A few other books that we will be reading this year are Glass Houses by Brian W. Smith, Private Sins by Brenda Barrett, and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. We just finished The Perfect Affair by Lutishia Lovely and whew what a ride that was!!

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Do you prefer to read digital books?
Early on we made it clear that it did not matter how you read the book. We just encouraged reading; that was our main goal. We do, however, stress the importance of supporting AA authors, buying their books instead of sharing their books, and leaving reviews for the books we enjoy. So far, the price of e-books has not been questioned and has not hindered our reading selections. Although most everyone in the group has an electronic reading device, I don’t think we will ever stop buying DTB. I visit our local B&N store at least once a week.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
Since our club is still relatively new, we have not had the opportunity to host any special events or participate in any type of charity work. Hopefully, as we enter into our second year we will be able to help spread the joy of reading! We are also thinking of ways to annually celebrate our club of sisterhood reading so maybe an annual get-a-way is on the horizon for us. We’ll see.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?
If you want to start a book club…JUST DO IT…don’t wait for ‘whatever’ to happen or not happen. Just send out the invites and start your club. If only two people show up, meet and keep it moving. If you’re already in a book club, enjoy the experience and don’t stress about the rest.



Lines that Bind Book Club

Lines that Bind Book Club, based in Atlanta, GA, was established in February 2017. The group is comprised of 5 Grown Women who have chosen to remain small for the purpose of having deep, intellectually stimulating conversations that thoroughly dissect their monthly reads on various levels. Each member is an avid reader with a strong passion for a great read. For them, the best works are those that leave them hungry for the next book.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! 
Lines that Bind Book Club originated with 3 young ladies who would discuss books in such detail during their leisure time that the idea for a book club was inevitable. Joined with an additional 3 members, Lines that Bind was formed to bond and interact on a Grown Woman’s level with a maturity that leaves the meeting refreshed and not drained. The interactions with these ladies is enlightening, they draw strength one from another from the wisdom that is embodied in them individually and collectively.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name of the club/blog or store have a special meaning?
The purpose of our group is to come together and share not only opinions, but experiences, failures, skills, joy, pain and laughter. Lines That Bind, while a social outlet, is also a group that hopes to make a difference in each other’s lives, their family and community. What really makes us unique is the personality that each member brings to the group; to include the realist, inspiration, pessimist, optimist and the visionary. These temperaments bring about hearty discussions and passionate dialogue that we all enjoy and look forward to.

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years?
The focus of the group has been to gain understanding from the author’s writing that can be applicable to everyday life – some of which has brought forth an enriched knowledge and some has given delightful entertainment.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
Our president, Melesia Tillman brings a thirst of reading with the perspective of reality, Ziyesha Kehinde is filled with an understanding approach of reason, Shy Armstrong is our no holds barred, abrupt and to the point perspective, Antanya Chung is not only inspirational but highly intelligent in her thought process of how and why things occur in the manner that they do and Norlita Brown enlightens the group with interesting perspectives from that of an author who is also an avid reader. With each meeting we evolve, we grow, we bond.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation?
The availability of a reading guide helps with the organization and fleshing out of the topics to discuss. Our book club conversations stay on topic, but cover every nook and cranny as it relates to the book, the characters, the development and underdevelopment, the author’s writing style, the climaxes of the story, the highs and lows, the disappointments and satisfactions. In essence, LTB gets to the heart of the book and have even created story lines that would have also worked or that they would have loved to see transpire in the book. The conversations are topics that the authors themselves would love to be privy to before and after publication as LTB leaves no page untouched in their thought process.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? When do you select the books?
The selections are made by the group for the next month during the current month’s reading selection.

BPM: Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month?
Yes, many of the members are avid readers and as the group has bonded through books, they continue to discuss other reads that are not included as the selection of the month.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
LTB is currently in the embryo-tic stage, but plans to have a Facebook page in the near future where they will openly discuss the books they have read and give unbiased opinions of the author’s work from their perspective.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors?
Lines That Bind loves reading books by authors of color, self-published authors and they do borrow books from the library, however, they are not limited to any of these categories. They are open to all genres and all races.

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
If the book provokes an emotion, whether sadness, joy or anger; we tend to dwell on that book and look at reading more from that author.

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
LTB has written online reviews to retailers and plans to do more. We handle bad reviews or books that flopped, the only way we know how – honestly. We understand that an author will never know where their work can be strengthened if we sugarcoat or mislead them, so what we say is our honest feedback of how we felt the book read for us.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule?
LTB is currently reading The Long Fall by Walter Mosley. We wanted to read a mystery and thought that Walter Mosley’s past work has proven to be excellent.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
Lines That Bind is very interested in hosting a few special events that would incorporate socializing and meeting of the minds with other book clubs in the metro Atlanta area. Additionally, we would like to look at working with local charity groups that encourage, promote and foster literacy. We hope to help support the value of reading in both children and adults…to assist in exploring the world through reading!

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
We purchase our books both online and the bookstore. Some of us prefer to read a digital book for the convenience and some of us are traditionalist and prefer to have the actual book in their hands. Sometimes it is nothing like holding a book in your hands and turning the page because you are anxious to find out what comes next.





Qiana Drennen -Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB)

Interview with Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB)

Qiana Drennen is the founder and president of Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB), the fastest-growing book club in the United States. In a little over 2 years, DRMRAB has expanded from its humble beginnings as a Facebook Group, to chapters in 27 cities nationwide and 1 in the United Kingdom. In that short time, they were awarded the 2016 AAMBC Literary Award for Book Club of the Year, and were also recipients of a 2017 Black Excellence Award. Our members are not only avid readers, but they are also actively involved in their communities. Initiatives have included sending water to residents of Flint, Michigan, and helping underprivileged families with their back-to-school and Christmas needs.

DRMRAB members have earned the nickname, “The Paperback Gang,” due to their high level of participation at the many book festivals held throughout the year, and their voracious appetite for purchasing paperback books. Members are proud of their expansive bookshelves, many of which hold books with personal, handwritten notes and signatures from their favorite authors. Their motto is: “We are not just a book club, we are a movement.”

BPM: Please tell us about your book club, store, or blog! What is the name? Where are you located?
QIANA: Don’t Read Me, Read A Book is based out of Columbus, Ohio, with chapters located throughout the United States and on Facebook. DRMRAB started online as a Facebook group in January 2015. I started the book club because I wanted my own group, instead of administering someone else’s. Fast forward to April of the same year, when I became acquainted with a couple of local readers and decided to start an in-person club that would meet once a month here in Columbus. A very good friend of mine, author Fabiola Joseph, suggested that I start offering readers in other cities a chance to organize under the DRMRAB umbrella. So, in February 2016, the first chapters began. Our Facebook membership has grown to over 2,000 members and our chapter members now total over 200 and growing! Our board consists of Vice President Terria Miller, Head Administrator Taheerah Brown, and Director of Charity and Volunteering Monica Redman.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name of the club/blog or store have a special meaning?
QIANA: DRMRAB promotes literacy in the African-American community, while supporting authors in a positive, judgement-free environment. We stand out from other groups for a few reasons. First, our members support the authors we read by purchasing thousands of paperback books. With the popularity of eBooks, common thought was that paperbacks were dead until we came along and showed everyone how false that assumption was. Second, we host and participate in face-to-face discussions with authors, and you really don’t see that anymore. The name of our organization has a very special meaning to me. My favorite cousin (who passed away last year) helped me come up with the concept during a battle for my attention, while I was trying to read. That memory is so dear to my heart, that I give out a yearly award in his honor.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group?
QIANA: Amazing! That’s the best way to describe the ladies and gentlemen of DRMRAB. We are more like a family, helping one another and staying in touch through all of the ups and downs of life. The main reason we’re amazing, is because we are already killing three Afro-American stereotypes.

1) “If you want to hide knowledge from a black person, put it in a book.” We’re a book club.
2) “Men surely don’t read.” We have a male chairman, as well as male chapter members.
3) “You can’t successfully put a large group of black women together in one place, at one time.” We have an all-chapter meetup at least twice each year.

We are open to anyone. DRMRAB has members from their early 20’s to late 70’s, male members, LGBT members, couples, Caucasians, lawyers, nurses, teachers, IT professionals, etc. With DRMRAB, the only demographic that matters is reading. We have a wide range of personalities who all mesh well together. Mostly everyone starts out shy, but quickly become comfortable when they join our DRMRAB family.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
QIANA: Yes, I’d love to. Pricey: Playing in Traffic because it’s really well written and shines line on a subject matter that really isn’t talked about which is human trafficking. Niya: Rainbow Dreams because it’s so much more than just a story about a lesbian rapper. It’s one of the most touching love and coming of a age stories about two young girls coming into their own. Both novels were written by Fabiola Joseph, and are must reads.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?
QIANA: When I decided to do this, I didn’t ask for guidance or advice. I had my own original ideas and didn’t want to water them down with someoneelse’s opinions or judgments. So, just like I would with any other business, I sat down and did my research and put my ideas into action. My advice is to thoroughly research the landscape and don’t just conform to what other clubs are doing. Hold onto your creative and original ideas, and strive to find that special “something” that will set your organization apart from others.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Does the price of eBooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
QIANA: I love my paperbacks. I mean LOVE them. And I’m proud to say that 95% of DRMRAB members feel the same. Hence, our nickname The Paperback Gang. Most of our purchases are made directly from the author. We are also huge supporters of African American owned book stores Like Hood Book Headquarters (2407 E 7 mile, Detroit,Michigan). Michele Moore who is an Essence bestselling author owns this store. It’s the hottest store around and they host the best book signing that we have ever attended. You will never see a Hood Book event without a member of DRMRAB in attendance.

The price of an eBook doesn’t really matter, because we want that paperback. If the book is only available on eBook, then we don’t care about the price. If we want to read it, we’re going to read it. The day DRMRAB stops buying paperbacks will be the day that the world runs out of paper and ink. Read the rest of this entry »


Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

“Hold on for the ride of your life…with unimaginable consequences.” ‑‑Mary B. Morrison


Debut author Lisa Renee Johnson delivers an edgy, sexy novel about a man who has it all—until one night changes everything…

Dubbed the “  Sex Doctor”   on his local radio show, psychologist Donathan James advises callers on their sexual issues. With his gorgeous and brilliant neurosurgeon wife, Sydney, at home and women flirting with the hot doctor everywhere he goes, Donathan is living the high life. But when he wakes up naked and drugged in a hotel room, with no memory of the evening before, the doctor suddenly has problems of his own.

Soon, Donathan’s sexy stalker is sending him photographic evidence of what they did that night, turning up in his office to rant about her unstable past, and demanding they meet again and again. All Donathan wants is his life back—and for his wife not to find out. But when the relentless stranger goes too far, it leads him to discover his beloved wife has secrets of her own. Now, to save their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. James will have to hold on tight to survive the bumpiest ride of their lives.


Praise for Dangerous Consequences

“Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson, Waiting to Exhale meets Fatal Attraction!  Johnson makes a stunning debut with a well-written, fast-paced, suspenseful novel full of engaging, realistic characters and dramatic twists at every turn.  Readers will be engaged until the shocking end, but not to worry – book two is in the works.” —RTBookReviews, 4 Stars


“Hold on for the ride of your life . . . with unimaginable consequences.” —Mary B. Morrison


“An edgy tale eager to be told. The pace is blazing hot!” —Victor McGlothin


“A fast-paced, suspense-filled, dramatic curve ball that will keep you turning the pages.” —Sistah Friend Book Club


Purchase Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson


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Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
Coming July 18, 2017

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.” – Kirkus

When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.

After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink–and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.

Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas–until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.

A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out, in Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason?


Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
The propulsive second novel in a new contemporary trilogy about unforgettable love, scorching desire, and dangerous secrets.


Praise for J.D. Mason Books

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.”
– Kirkus on Seducing Abby Rhodes

“A heart-pounding and terrifyingly awesome story!”
– RT Book Reviews Top Pick on The Real Mrs. Price

“Readers are taken on a phenomenal journey that elicits gasps when the bombshell hits. Mason pens another astounding work.”
-RT Book Reviews on Crazy, Sexy, Revenge

“Taut, suspenseful and unforgettable. Run, do not walk, and get this book!”
-Zane, New York Times bestselling author on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Mason’s characters create an addictive drama with universal themes of laying claim to family–and to the truth.”
-Publishers Weekly on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Effortlessly leaves no stone unturned in the lives of these tormented characters. Mason will take your breathe away.”
-Romantic Times Book Reviews on You Gotta Sin to Get Saved

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Stacy Johnson-Leonard, Mo’Red Production Founder

Stacy Johnson-Leonard, Mo’Red Production Founder

Stacy Johnson-Leonard is a wife, mother and entrepreneur. Stacy started Mo Red Production in 2006 because she was Momager to her young daughter and music artist Young Star. Stacy’s greatest strengths are her creativity, drive and leadership. She thrives on challenges, and looks forward to prevailing over them.

Before deciding to her work full-time at Mo Red Production, Johnson-Leonard was an avid reader and supporter/friend of several authors. With encouragement from friends, Stacy incorporated author promotions under the umbrella of Mo Red Production. Stacy is a Blog Radio Co-Host at Jones Vlog Spot.

Fast forward to the present; Mo Red Production,is a now a positioning and branding firm that helps authors and business owners increase their sales volume. Stacy Johnson-Leonard is a content marketing professional who is responsible for, increasing client Brand by converting readers, consumers, attracting visitors to website and closing them as customers. In other words, Stacy sees herself as an Industry Liaison because Stacy connects authors to their readers and readers to their authors. Stacy loves promoting author brands and events. Stacy often refers to her books as babies and the autographs of the authors as their birth certificates.

Mo Red Production clients include Amazon and National Best Selling authors:

Blessed Selling Author E.N. Joy (Joylynn Ross), Amaleka McCall, Akil Victor and JL King


Mo ‘Red Production – “Where Creativity and Originality meet Promotion”

Mo Red Production has worked with music artists, Marcus Devine, Tiffany Bryant, Dorrell Mays,Young Star, Dion Black, Branu, and Music and Film executive, Tanya Robinson.

Stacy attends Greater Works Christian Center and lends an ear and voice in ministry, to those in her community, family and friends. Stacy enjoys helping others through life’s journeys of peaks and valleys.

In 2017 Stacy was recognized with the Community Leader Award by Black Pearl Magazine and Tour Coordinator for JL King’Red Production’Red Production


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