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Author Archives: Ella Curry, EDC Creations

FREE TO BOOKCLUBS: First Three Episodes of The Last King

A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com

Available for download now:  The Last King: Book 1, Volume #4 by A. Yamina Collins
 http://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Book-Yamina-Collins-ebook/dp/B00M9AU9QE

In episode #4 Emmy accepts an invitation to the home of Gilead and Markus – and when she enters their home, a whole new world of wonder opens up to her.

Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in—she’s six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore—she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George’s newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people whose Great Ancestor marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings because God considers the Edenites’ possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a “Glitch” —an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen “property” of immortality and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead’s Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead’s vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite’s greatest threat—they’re also their greatest love.

 
 
 

The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell

The Devil Made Me Do It
by Colette R. Harrell


The Devil Made Me Do It
 
is Christian Fiction at its best. The novel is full of lessons about passion, pain and God’s abundant blessings. Filled with suspense, laughter and touching moments, this page-turning novel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Colette is a new author to definitely watch. Brava, Ms. Harrell. — Victoria Christopher Murray, Bestselling Author

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?


Excerpt from The Devil Made Me Do It

Prologue

1975

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (Genesis 1:2).

Two ominous figures sat in quiet contemplation, the larger one’s head was gargantuan in nature, and foul droplets of acidic mucus fell from his protruding fangs. The smaller one stood sixteen feet tall and his rapier tail was wrapped protectively around his middle. He sat as still as cold hard stone. His sinister eyes were yellow rimmed and telegraphed evil cunning. He was known as The Leader. Their silhouettes cast eerie shadows against the backdrop of the smoke-filled flames that spewed from the lake of fire.

“Ummm, this is my favorite place. Listen to the melodic sound of souls screaming in agony—it is music to my ears. If you concentrate, you can hear the desperate pleas for release. Yessss . . .It allows me to know that all is right in our world,” The High Master said.

The Leader shuddered as the menacing timbre of The High Master’s voice snaked fear around his chest. For him, it was equal to the singe of demon skin from a thousand innocent prayers; he loathed it. His tail subconsciously tightened as he awaited his newest orders.

The High Master continued, “These human souls are pathetic with their self-serving natures. They frighten at the sound of our bumps in the dark, but create havoc in their own lives. What idiots they are and not fit for company until they have totally crossed to our side. And even then they tire me soooo . . .”

The Leader didn’t stir; his thoughts were of survival. He refused to speak. He knew a wrong word could cause such suffering and pain. The High Master’s punishments are prompt and fierce. One seeks death, but yet, death will not come.

The High Master continued his tirade, his grimace displaying double rows of slime-covered fangs. His was a chilling profile. “Your charges are young. Both are being raised in good homes, and, as a result, they are overconfident creatures. Leader, do not underestimate their youth; innocence is a powerful weapon. In their kingdom, the weak become strong. But we must prey on that weakness and use it to our advantage. You must destroy them before they complete their purpose. I am giving you this head start; you must not fail.”

After speaking, he stood his full twenty feet in height, his shoulders reared back as his frame vibrated with his frustrated bellowing. “In the beginning, we owned their world. After the fall, we adjusted; the land we were given was dark and empty, but we were content with our lot. Then He whose name is not spoken, created man, and we were once again demoted. All we seek is our rightful power, our rightful place. Make haste, bold one, and steal, kill, and destroy all that stands in your way.”

The Leader bowed his head in submission.

“And, Leader—this was a most productive conversation. You are learning.”

The Leader’s tail unwrapped from his torso as he swiftly rose and slithered toward his point of ascent into the Earth realm. He was determined not to fail.

Chapter One 

The Detroit pollution and cold, foggy weather covered Esther Wiley’s shivering body in crisp, arctic shades of blue gray, reminiscent of watercolors dancing in the jelly jar after her arts and crafts class. She shivered, but stubbornly refused to let her mother put a scarf around her small head. She was going to be Cinderella. Cinderella didn’t wear an old ugly scarf. Well, maybe when she was cleaning, but she wasn’t trying to be that kind of Cinderella. No ashes to ashes and dust to dust for her. She was all about glass slippers and diamond tiaras.

Esther’s round cheeks were rosy from the wind, her hated freckles beet red glowing in contrast to the caramel cream of her skin. Her knobby knees were pressed together whenever she wasn’t bouncing from foot to foot in the frigid air. She was on a mission. She wasn’t allowing a hideous scarf to mess up her hair in exchange for a little warmth. She had endured two hours of “hold the grease jar lid on your ear pain” that produced silky pressed hair. There was torture in the quest for straight tresses. In her seven-year-old mind, her priorities were clear.

Esther’s petulant voice screeched. “Mama, how much longer do we have to wait? I can’t stand it. I want to try on the glass slipper—right now.”

“Mind your manners. In a moment, I’m going to give you what your Grandma Vic used to call a private deliverance in a public place.”

A curl of warm breath escaped when Esther sighed. She turned away, rolled her eyes, and then stared defiantly at her mother. The same hands that calmly cuddled her at night now moved restlessly after giving up trying to place a warm scarf on Esther’s head. Esther didn’t dare speak. She had badgered her mother to bring her and her two best friends to downtown Detroit for the Cinderella contest. When they arrived, the line to enter the historical skyscraper snaked around the building. Two hours later they still couldn’t see the front entrance. As the wind bellowed, time stood still, but because of her mother’s mood, she resisted the urge to tell her she was freezing.

She peeked at her friends’ reaction to her mother’s scolding. She could see Sheri and Deborah were indifferent to her embarrassment; their faces tense as they craned their necks to see the start of the line.

Esther puffed warm breath into her mittens. “Y’all shouldn’t have come if you didn’t want to wait.”

Sheri’s elfin face was etched in anxiety. Her shoulders sagging, she grimaced at the time on her watch. She leaned forward in a panicked whisper. “You know I had to sneak out of the house to come. If my mama finds out I’m here, I’ma get a whipping.”

“You should have told her,” Deborah smacked her sour grape gum, then twirled it around her finger.

Sheri’s jaw tightened. “I tried.” She pointed her finger in a mock role play of her mother. “‘Ain’t no such thing as Cinderella, and sho’ ain’t no Prince Charming. Get in them school books. There isn’t anything worse than being ignorant.’ Y’all know how my mama gets.”

 
 
 
 

What We’re Reading Now on The Storytellers Online Book Tour

What We’re Reading Now on The Storytellers Online Book Tour.  Listed below are all the authors reading we have for the tour.  Click on any link to read an excerpt from the book or to hear the author read to you!   Enjoy and don’t forget to share with other book lovers.


Be The Change!  #WhatIWantWednesday: The One That I Want
The call to action:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7dqvf7x/

The Scroll by Parrish Smith
Inspiration from America’s Most Revered Spiritual Leaders
https://www.smore.com/hdy02

Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C70ynN0x/

Unbreakable by William Fredrick Cooper
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCmFC414/

Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CR50mX54/

The Last King by A. Yamina Collins
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ChSqWGY4/
Read Last King for free: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/csaugust2014.html

The Legacy by Necole Ryse
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ClJZpwXx/


THE SHIFT by M. Ann Ricks

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CwzJNlXx/

He Wasn’t My Daddy
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CTFHSXkx

Our Curious World of Mirror Images
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCxrbGxx/

Troublemaker by Trice Hickman
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CppKRq4x/

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP74sz4x/


Taming The Female Impostor by Dr. Sherine Vie

AudioNote URL:   http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C82d9Psx/

How to Book It to the Big Screen
Lights, Camera, Action … Taking your book from print to the big screen or stage is an exciting and proven method to expand the reach of your audience.
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CH11NNQx/


Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CR0Fbb8x/


Dream and Pretense: The Ramseys  by AlTonya Washington

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/Ch96RRyx/


And Then There Were None

 AudioNote URL:   http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7t9s4yx/


More Than I Can Bear by E. N. Joy

AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ClGT9Vdx/


The Devil Made Me Do It

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CTbzCdmx/


Trust In Us  by AlTonya Washington

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCzCWfCx/


Isle of the Beasts

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/Cpw0JwNx/

Sister Betty Says I Do
 AudioNote URL:    http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP4qRDNx/

Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C8pZsXtx/


Something About April

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C2XJ9G3x/


Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CHcHYqlx/

 
 

Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young

Pamela Samuels Young Tackles
Horrific World of Child Sex Trafficking



Is Anybody’s Daughter Ever Safe?

Based on the real-life horrors faced by thousands of girls, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young takes readers deep inside the disturbing world of child sex trafficking in a fast-paced thriller that educates as much as it entertains.

Thirteen-year-old Brianna Walker is ecstatic. She’s about to sneak off to meet her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she met on Facebook.  But Brianna is in for a horrifying surprise because her boyfriend doesn’t exist. Instead, Brianna unwittingly becomes the captive of a ring of drug dealers- turned-human traffickers who prey on lonely girls from dysfunctional homes. But they’ve made a big mistake in targeting Brianna because she doesn’t meet either of those criteria.

Brianna’s Uncle Dre, a man with his own criminal past, is determined to find the niece who is more like a daughter to him. Rather than sit back and rely on police to bring Brianna home, Dre scours the dark corners of Los Angeles looking for her. He is stunned to learn that the trafficking of children isn’t just happening in other countries. It’s occurring at epidemic levels right in his own backyard.

Dre is not alone in his desperate search. Loretha Johnson knows this world well. A social worker who previously lived “the life,” Loretha now dedicates her time to saving as many young girls as she can find. She turns out to be an invaluable resource for Dre, who ultimately gets a lead on The Shepherd, a mastermind in the trafficking world whose every move is fueled by ego and greed.  Dre vows to bring The Shepherd’s reign of terror to an end, even if he has to break the law to do it.

While Brianna makes a futile effort to thwart her captors, Dre is getting closer and closer to finding her. The woman he loves, attorney Angela Evans, knows the dangers faced by sexually exploited children because she represents them in juvenile court. Angela lends her moral support and, eventually, an important clue to Brianna’s whereabouts.

As he races against the clock, Dre ultimately comes up with a daring plan—one that puts many lives in danger, including his own. But will he find Brianna before it’s too late?

“Sex traffickers often recruit children because not only are children more unsuspecting and vulnerable than adults, but there is also a high market demand for young victims. Traffickers target victims on the telephone, on the Internet, through friends, at the mall, and in after-school programs.”  —Teen Girls’ Stories of Sex Trafficking in the U.S. –  ABC News/Primetime


CHAPTER 11

Day One: 10:50 p.m.

By the time Dre left Angela’s place and headed east on Slauson, it was approaching eleven o’clock. He thought about calling ahead, but decided against it.

As his Volkswagen Jetta chugged up the winding streets of Baldwin Vista, he gave some serious thought to upgrading his ride. Fancy cars were a pretense Dre didn’t care about. But maybe it was time to up his game just a little. Especially since Angela, hopefully, was back in his life.

He reached the top of the hill on Cloverdale Avenue and rolled to a stop in front of a huge three-story home that had a view of downtown L.A. on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. He turned off the engine, dialed a number and waited.

“Hey, man, I need to talk.”

“So talk.”

“In person.”

“Sounds serious. When?”

“Now. I’m outside.”

As Dre had expected, Coop welcomed him into his home.

Cooper “Coop” Ford had been his unofficial mentor in the drug trade. Dre had modeled himself after this simple man who ran his operation like a business and had the smarts to get out when he’d collected enough cash to invest in legal operations. Coop now owned a chain of laundromats, several apartment buildings and two neighborhood bars, all in the hood. He treated his workers fairly and kept his businesses legit.

Greeting him at the door in a T-shirt, sweat pants and bare feet, Coop led Dre into his office, walking him down a marbled hallway lined with expensive African art. Coop had wooly salt-and-pepper hair. His penetrating eyes and the deep folds in his face conveyed a hard edge that seemed out of place in such posh surroundings.

After closing the double doors of his office, Coop perched himself on the edge of an antique desk. The impressive space had two walls of books that Coop had actually read. He was partially responsible for Dre’s keen interest in biographies. Coop lived with a wife he’d never married and their two teenage girls.

Dre sat across from him on a cream-colored leather couch.

“What’s up, youngster? You’ve got me a little concerned with this late-night visit.”

“My niece is missing.” Dre looked down at his hands. “She’s only thirteen.”
Dre quickly recounted everything they’d learned from Sydney. “I’m thinking this Jaden dude she went to meet was probably some sexual predator. Since he’s operating in Compton, he’s gotta be a brother.”

“That’s a crazy situation. I can’t keep my girls off Facebook. I’ll never understand why everybody needs to put all their business in the street.”

“I gotta get her back,” Dre said. “I’m trying to figure out where to start. I was hoping you might have a connection to some dudes who might know something.”

“Man, I don’t associate with perverts.” He stood, grabbed a bottle of Brandy from a shelf and poured himself a drink. He raised the bottle in Dre’s direction.

“You still a teetotaler?”

Dre nodded.

Coop took a long sip of his drink and returned to the same position on the edge of the desk. “Man, I’m truly feelin’ your pain. I hate to do this, but I gotta put something on your mind.”

Dre tensed. “I’m listening.”

“The drug biz we knew is no more. These fools out here have no integrity. They ain’t trafficking crack or meth. They’re trafficking girls. Young girls.”

Angela’s comment about Brianna possibly being a victim of sex trafficking came back to him with the force of a solid punch in the stomach.

“I thought that craziness only happened to women from Mexico or the Philippines.”

Coop shook his head. “Not anymore. Girls are the new crack, my brother. The Crips, the Bloods and even the Sureños, a Mexican gang, are in on it. They call themselves guerilla pimps. They’re literally snatching girls off the street, breaking ’em down and forcing ’em into prostitution. Having ’em turn ten, twenty tricks a day. The younger the better. Pimping girls is easier, cheaper and less likely to get you shot or land you in jail for any serious time. And unlike a kilo, one girl can be sold over and over and over again. There’s a ready supply and an endless demand.”

Dre locked his arms across his chest. He didn’t even notice that his leg was bouncing up and down. It had been hard enough for him to imagine Brianna in the hands of some pedophile. To think of her being turned out by a pimp was more than he could handle.

“There’s only one dude I know of with the time or the brains to run a scam on Facebook like the one you just described,” Coop continued. “You need to start with The Shepherd.”

Dre squinted up at him. “Who the hell is that?”

“His real name is Rodney Merriweather. Smart young cat, barely thirty, if that. I heard he took a lot of flack from the roughnecks in his neighborhood growing up. So he hooked up with the Stoneside gang when he was at Dorsey High for protection. He went down south to college, then came home with some education and reunited with his boys. He started calling himself The Shepherd and talking himself up. The neighborhood dudes were impressed because he had a college degree and they started believing the hype. Eventually he was running things.”

“Sounds like he just made up this persona and everybody fell in line.”

“Basically. But the dudes out there today ain’t like us, man. They’re ruthless. They have no soul.”

You had to be soulless to sell young girls. Dre was no saint, but he could never pimp women, much less children.

“Pimpin’ is high tech now,” Coop continued. “Cuz of the Internet. That’s where they make the real money. Don’t have to have girls walking the track. They arrange everything over the Internet. Set up a motel room and just run the dudes in and out. A hundred, two hundred dollars a pop.”

Dre brushed a hand down the back of his head.

Coop reached over and squeezed his shoulder. “Sorry, my brother. But I had to be real with you.”

“Where can I find this punk?”

“He owns a couple of liquor stores and runs City Stars on El Segundo.”

“The strip club? I used to hang out there back in the day. I thought some older cat owned the place.”

“He sold it several years ago. The Shepherd owns it now. The liquor stores and the club are just a front. His real operation is running ho’s. I also hear he’s also got loads of property, in South L.A. as well as the Valley. He drops in at City Stars from time to time. Easy to spot. Clean-cut-looking guy. Always flossin’. Drives a Bentley. But he runs three or four deep so you may have trouble getting to him. You should also talk to his old bottom bitch.”

“His what?”

Coop smiled. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe how square you are. Bottom bitch. A pimp’s ride-or-die chick. Her name’s Loretha Johnson. Used to be one of the baddest strippers to ever hit the pole. She’s out of the game now. Runs a home that takes in ex-prostitutes. You might be able to find her walking the track in Compton trying to coax young girls off the streets. She’ll probably have some helpful information about The Shepherd and I suspect she’ll be glad to give it up.”

“If he has Bree, I’m gonna get her back. Then I’m personally goin’ after The Shepherd,” Dre said, getting to his feet.

“You gotta approach this with your head on straight,” Coop warned. “Getting your girl back should be the only thing on your mind right now.”

“It is,” Dre said as he moved toward the door.

He would find Brianna and bring her home. Then somebody was gonna pay.

( Continued… )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Pamela Samuels Young. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


Purchase Anybody’s Daughter  (Angela Evans Series No. 2)

Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Mystery;  Thriller and Suspense
Download available  or  Paperback:   http://amzn.com/B00GC7UI8E
Read an excerpt from the book here: http://pamelasamuels-young.com


Now in Audiobook:  Anybody’s Daughter, Angela Evans Series, # 2 by Pamela Samuels Young: http://bit.ly/LM8OGs

About the Author
Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney and Essence bestselling author of the legal thrillers: Every Reasonable Doubt, In Firm Pursuit, Murder on the Down Low, Buying Time, Attorney-Client Privilege, and Anybody’s Daughter. She is also a natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.

In addition to writing legal thrillers and working as an in-house employment attorney for a major corporation in Southern California, Pamela formerly served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. The former journalist and Compton native is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s School of Law. She is married and lives in the Los Angeles area.

A popular motivational speaker, Pamela also speaks on the topics of writing, diversity, discrimination law and pursuing your passion. Pamela is married and lives in the Los Angeles area, where she attends Hope in Christ Community Church in Compton.

To schedule Pamela for a speaking engagement or book club meeting via speakerphone, Skype, FaceTime or in person, visit her website at: http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com. There is also a multitude of ways to connect with her.

Contact Pamela Samuels Young
EMAIL: pamelasamuelsyoung@gmail.com
WEBSITE: http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground by Michelle Spady

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground
by Michelle Spady (Author)  and  Bradford Spady (Illustrator)

Written in poem format, the book uses vibrant illustrations, and a good dose of positivity to encourage children to look at bullying from another perspective.

ShoozyQ and her “crew” persuade a schoolyard bully to change his behavior without being mean and abusive themselves-something that is often overlooked in books with an anti-bullying message.

The colorful drawings and simple, effective language all tie together to make ShoozyQ an exciting read for kids, and a learning tool for parents and teachers.   There are activities at the end of the book for parents and educators to practice with the children.

Purchase ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

Kindle Edition
ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

Link: http://amzn.com/B00J2I039Y

Paperback Edition
ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

Link: http://amzn.com/0991460014
General  Education-Picture Book for K-4th grade
Available at Amazon.com, IBooks, Kindle, IngramSparks, CreateSpace & B’Artful.com for bulk discount.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR

Michelle M. Spady & Bradford O. Spady:  The Mother and son team co-produced the anti-bullying tale.  Mrs. Spady is a former school teacher and child care center owner.  Mr. Spady is a cartoonist and character designer attending art school.  Together they formed their company B’Artful, dedicated to promoting emerging artists and writers. This is their fourth book project together.

Simply Spare Time Founder and Executive Director, Michelle Morgan Spady, believes that every moment in a child’s life is precious. With an entrepreneur’s passion to succeed and a desire to make a difference in the lives of children, Michelle first launched her childcare enterprise in 1999. An in-home state-licensed center, SpayTech Children’s Academy (DBA  Afterschool.com) served children from infancy to five years. Immediately, Michelle’s childcare program became recognized as “state-of-the-art.” Featuring a strong academic curriculum, Michelle provided her young chargers with an introduction to technology. Enthusiastic word of mouth resulted in a waiting list, and her innovative early program has now graduated into Simply Spare Time, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to stimulating the imagination of children and teens, through programs, and activities that help them to grow mentally, physically and socially.

Michelle attended Virginia State College, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English and a minor in Business Education.  After graduation, not sure if she wanted to teach, she completed a course in real estate.  And later, to keep up with the “changing times” studied and completed two years of Instructional Technology at George Mason University.

An avid educator with over 25 years of experience, the resident of McLean, Va. has held professional teaching licenses in Virginia, Louisiana and Utah. Her subjects include English, reading, and computer technology.  Her creativity, unique approach to learning, and love of teaching, has brought her distinguished recognition, such as a nomination from one of her schools for the Arlington Public School’s “Teacher of the Year” Award.

With a hunger for what it would be like to work for a major corporation, Michelle left teaching for a while and went to work for a major Fortune 500 company as a Network Systems Analyst, and  a short stint as a Major  Accounts Sales Representative. Upon completion of her first year at the company, she was awarded the, “Systems Analyst of the Year” award by her manager and team.

Michelle and her husband, Arnett suffered the loss of a 9 month old son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while at his baby sitter.  In her grief during this horrific tragedy, she became a long time, award-winning advocate for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) research; Michelle is also a former President and spokesperson for the National SIDS Alliance. Once, on behalf of the Alliance, she substituted for actor Lloyd Bridges and his wife and gave a moving  testimony before the Senate Appropriations sub-committee requesting  millions of dollars for the continued  research of SIDS through NICHD. Still yearning to be parents, Michelle and Arnett later went through the Black Adoption Project with Fairfax County and adopted an infant son (their only child) who is now a junior at Langley High School. Their son diagnosed later, with Asperger’s Syndrome, introduced Michelle to another aspect of education, Special Education, and further extended her passion and love for children with special needs.

Michelle’s first taste of the “entrepreneurial” bug came when she and her husband learned of a potential opportunity for a lottery in the state of VA.  Together with two other relatives, they formed a company and named it GOVA, Inc. (Games of Virginia).  They formed a team of experts that helped them to form a partnership, and sub-contract with one of the largest gaming companies in the country. GOVA, Inc. was awarded the service and training contract with the VA State Lottery for what would become a 12 year partnership. Michelle served as VP of the company and oversaw the daily operations.  She managed all aspects of the contract, and met monthly with the VA State Lottery team to insure implementation of the multi-million dollar award, with fidelity.

Michelle is a faithful member of Shiloh Baptist Church, McLean where she is VP and sings in the choir, her husband is a Trustee and her son a Jr. Usher. She and her husband were co-chairs for Shiloh’s 135th Anniversary which brought together the Mclean community and many local and state leaders and officials.

Michelle is now working on her “bucket list”.  She is taking vocal lessons, and has dusted off the family’s piano. Other items on the list include opening a recreational center for youths and writing a book.


Some of her other accomplishments of impact include:

•    Designed, and implemented  “Mobilizing the Masses” A health forum, dealing with women and children’s health issues held on Capitol Hill involved leading politicians and community.

•    Spearheaded a “Boyz to Men” workshop with participation of leading members of the U.S. House of Representatives to focus on issues dealing with minority male teens. The workshop gathered over 100 teen boys from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area as well as House Majority Whip and other key members of Congress.

•    Designed, initiated and implemented a summer VA College and university tour for African-American male teens.  Program dubbed “The B.A.R. Academy”. (Boys about Art & Reading). The B.A.R. Academy brought together local male teens from McLean, Reston, Herndon, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Supported students financially challenged. Students met with prominent physicians at Johns Hopkins University, and Presidents of universities.

•    Organized a community trip to  Alex Haley’s home and the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN. Personally supported students who were financially challenged.

•    Partnership with the Allen Etiquette Institute to teach classes to teen girls in Washington, DC summer work program.

CURRENT PROJECTS INCLUDE

•    Planning a trip during summer of 2011 for students to participate in Disney’s YES (Youth Education Series) program to “give students real-world learning experiences at Disney Theme Parks and provide newfound insights, skills and knowledge to motivate and inspire students.”

•    Co-Chairing a fundraising campaign for the National Kidney Transplant Foundation to help a friend who needs a kidney.

•    Re-launching her “for profit” business After-school.com!


NOTABLE AFFILIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

•    The Links, Incorporated-Appointed-Eastern Area Director for Services-to-Youth Facet—Oversaw 75 chapters in the Eastern Area.  Each chapter responsible for community service and outreach and mentoring to youths in their communities.

•    National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.-President (Elected) (three terms)  National President’s Leadership Award for community service

•    Jack and Jill of America, Inc.-Team leader and coordinator for children’s activities

•    Son’s School’s PTA’s and PTO’s

•    McLean Chamber of Commerce-Member


NOTABLE PAST AWARDS, ACHIEVEMENTS & RECOGNITION

•    Alpha Kappa Alpha-Human Mankind Award for health and community service to youth
•    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome-President’s Award – Testified before Senate Appropriations committee on behalf of SIDS and NICHD requesting funding for SIDS research in amount of $17 million-grant awarded
•    TV Interview with SIDS team on Tom Brokaw Nightly News
•    Home interview with Discovery Channel for SIDS
•    SIDS Survival Guide for Parents-Authored and submitted two articles for publication
•    Marian Wright Edelman STAND FOR CHILDREN award for participation
•    She has received numerous local and national awards for her outstanding leadership and advocacy on behalf of women and children’s issues.


Michelle’s “KEYS FOR SUCCESS”

•    Integrity
•    Respect
•    Ethical Behavior
•    Positive Thinking
•    Loyalty
•    Work & Family
•    Empowerment

Michelle Morgan Spady, Author & Publisher B’Artful, LLC
B’Artful Website:  http://www.bradspadyart.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/bradspadyart


 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Troublemaker by Trice Hickman – Chapters 1 & 2


Every joy has its challenges. . .

After twenty years, childhood best friends Alexandria Thornton and PJ Brightwood have reunited–and fallen in love. Alex’s artistic nature as a spoken word artist, and PJ’s success as a talented surgeon promise a bright future. But their happiness brings unexpected complications for those they care about most. . .

A devoted wife, loving mother, and successful businesswoman, Victoria Thornton is a pillar of her suburban Atlanta community. But when her daughter, Alexandria, becomes engaged to the son of Victoria’s former lover, her past mistake threatens her orderly life. As the impending marriage reunites both families, it reignites old feelings that test all of their relationships–and all of their boundaries. . .


Praise for the Unexpected Love Series

“Trice Hickman is an amazing writer and storyteller!” –Kimberla Lawson Roby

“Looking for Trouble is a fantastic saga about family, friendship, love, status and destiny.” –RT Book Reviews

“A humorous and entertaining novel.” –Urban Reviews on Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies

“Hickman hits all the high notes in this charming modern romance where love and loyalty trump race.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Unexpected Interruptions


Read an Excerpt from Troublemaker by Trice Hickman

CHAPTER 1

Allene

“You can never go wrong doin’ right” Allene Small whispered to herself as she thought about the events that were about to unfold. She couldn’t count the number of times she’d repeated those words during the nine decades she’d lived on earth, or in the six that she’d spent as a spirit waiting to reemerge into the world she’d once known.

Allene had enjoyed a rich, full life in her day. She’d experienced ups and downs, joys and heartbreak, and eventually, the calm peace that living ninety-eight years had brought her. She’d been widowed at a young age, outliving her beloved husband and eventually all her siblings and her children, as well as some nieces and nephews. She’d witnessed fiery crosses burning in the night, emblazoned with hatred and fear. She’d endured oppression before joining activists who fought for justice, civil rights, and social change. She’d watched one decade roll into the next as presidents and heads of state came and went, by consequence of elections or death. And she’d seen men ride in horses and buggies, fly planes in the sky, drive motorized vehicles along busy streets, and then miraculously walk on the moon.

Allene felt grateful and blessed to have lived long enough to experience things that many had not. She was also thankful that for as long as she could remember, she’d known an invaluable truth most couldn’t fathom—that there was life after life. The peace she’d found in that knowledge had comforted her during times of trouble.

Now as she sat in her trusty old rocking chair, surveying the colorful flowers that graced the large wrap-around porch where she’d been sitting all morning, her heart held excitement and caution about what she knew lay ahead. She took a deep breath and inhaled the sweet fragrance of the rose, azalea, and magnolia bushes flanking the front of the house. “This old place sure ’nuff has stood the test of time,” she said with a smile. “Isaiah and Henrietta would be right proud, God rest their souls.”

Allene loved being back in Nedine, South Carolina, the small town where she’d lived out the best parts of her days. She looked out as far as her eyes could see, noting that while some things had changed, so many had remained steadfastly the same. The large, white placard displaying THE SMALL PROPERTY in black calligraphy still towered at the edge of the road a few hundred feet away, announcing to visitors that they had reached the grounds of the grand residence that her son, Isaiah Small, had built from the ground up.

At the time, Isaiah’s had been one of the largest homes in Nedine as well as the two surrounding counties, and today it proudly continued to hold that distinction. This was a huge feat for a black man, then and now. After Isaiah died, Allene had moved from her tiny house a few miles up the road, and settled into the quiet comfort of living with Isaiah’s devoted widow, Henrietta, whom Allene had loved as her own daughter.

After Henrietta passed away, John, Isaiah’s and Henrietta’s son, cared for the house with great love and attention. Even though John had moved away to Raleigh, North Carolina, to start a banking empire and carry on in his father’s successful footsteps, he’d made sure to preserve the family homestead where he’d been born and had many fond memories of growing up. Several times a year, John, along with his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Victoria, would return to Nedine to make sure the house was well maintained and that any necessary repairs were made.

once John’s age and declining health prevented him from making trips to his beloved hometown, he’d hired a property management company to oversee the upkeep. After his death, his daughter, Victoria, had picked up the torch and seen to it that her father’s birthplace was kept in good order. Allene was proud that her son’s legacy was still intact, along with much of the land, rental properties, and other real estate holdings that had been passed down from one generation to the next.

“They’re all gonna be here soon. Even the ones who ain’t supposed to come,” Allene said with reserve. “But then again, I reckon that ain’t such a bad thing, ’cause nothin’ happens by mistake. There’s a plan for everything, we just gotta play it out to the end.”

Allene nodded to herself as she looked up into the gray, stormy sky. It had been raining nonstop since early this morning. Heavy at times and light at others. Allene felt happy every time she heard the pitter-patter sound and the fresh smell that God’s liquid glory created in its wake. She remembered back to the days she’d spent in her tiny home, and how she’d loved to listen to the rain dance atop her roof and beat against her windows. The natural rhythm had been soothing, and always made her feel a sense of peace—as if whatever had been wrong could be made right by the water that came and washed things away.

Allene wished so badly that the rain could clear out the troubles awaiting her family. Having the gift of prophecy, she was able to see some of the challenges that were on the horizon, and the struggles her loved ones were surely going to face. She wanted to intervene by warning them of what was coming, and tell them what they needed to do in order to avoid the problems heading their way. But age, wisdom, and experience had taught her that some things couldn’t be interfered with, or manipulated. Only time, patience, and living through the situation could rectify whatever was wrong.

This was why Allene knew that choosing to do the right thing would never lead her down the wrong path. She’d been a witness to situations that had borne out that evidence time and time again, and she knew without a doubt that bad intentions could easily lead to devastating consequences. Conversely, she also knew that if one had good intentions and did what was fair and just, regardless of the circumstances, things would eventually unfold into a favorable outcome.

Allene knew that some of her family members were carrying heavy burdens, and to her disappointment, one in particular was plotting a hidden agenda, heading in the wrong direction by ignoring what was right. “Lord, help me guide Alexandria so she can help our family,” she whispered aloud, looking up into the sky. “I waited a mighty long time to come back, and now, I’m ready. I just hope they’re ready, too.”

It had been nearly a year since Allene had first made her spirit form known to anyone in the land of the living. She’d reached out to Alexandria, her great-great-granddaughter, because she’d known it was time to make contact. Alexandria was a special young woman, who, like Allene, and Allene’s great-grandmother before her, possessed the gift of prophecy.

The gift of prophecy was a precious ability that had been passed down through the generations, only by way of the female members of their family, dating back to the Akan people of Ghana, West Africa. The gift was a sacred and valued treasure that people both revered and feared within Allene’s family, as well as the outside community.

During Allene’s lifetime, her gift had allowed her to foretell events in advance of them happening. She could discern good from bad in the blink of an eye. She could sense when danger was approaching or when peace would prevail. She knew people’s thoughts without ever having to engage them in conversation. And she could accurately declare good fortune or disappointing loss for those seeking her advice on any given situation.

Now as a spirit in the land of flesh and blood, she possessed those same abilities along with the added benefit of being able to exist between two worlds. Allene walked within the supernatural realm, able to communicate with others who shared the gift, like her great-grandmother, Susan. Even though she was able to see family and friends who’d passed on, she couldn’t communicate with them unless they possessed the gift of prophecy. The living world was much the same way, only there, things were more complicated because life was still happening, unfolding in real time, which always presented challenges.

After years of patiently watching and waiting, Allene was glad when the time finally came that she could return to the world she’d once known. She was there to help Alexandria, who had struggled with her abilities for most of her life, but had now come to terms with the extraordinary gift she’d inherited. Just as Susan Jessup had been Allene’s guide on her life’s journey, it was now Allene’s turn to do the same for Alexandria.

Allene continued to watch the sky and listen to the rain fall as she thought about what was going to happen two weeks from now. She could see the blessings, as well as the trouble that was going to ensue once everyone gathered under one roof. Tempers would flare and hearts would be hurt by deception. Long-held secrets were going to be revealed, weaknesses would be exposed, and a devious plot to steal and control was going to be uncovered. Allene could also see that there would be heated moments and tension between family members and friends.

“Sometimes people just got to go through things in order to make a change,” Allene said to herself.

She knew that hearts, minds, and loyalties would be tested when her family came together for a grand celebration two weeks from now, and unfortunately, someone was going to meet their demise before the weekend came to an end.

“I’ll see you soon, baby girl,” Allene whispered into the air, sending words of love and comfort to Alexandria. “You just hang in there and know that everything’s gonna be all right.”

CHAPTER 2

Alexandria

Alexandria smiled as she stretched her long, shapely legs across PJ’s buttery-soft leather sofa. “Now that I’ve finished cooking, it’s time to relax” she said aloud. She ran her fingers through the mass of thick curls atop her head and let out a deep breath of relief, glad she was finally able to relax after her long day. She’d been busy from the moment she’d stepped out the door this morning with a coffee mug in one hand and a toasted bagel in the other. Her life had been more hectic in the last year than she could ever remember. So much was changing so fast, but with that change she felt the hope and excitement of new possibilities that lay ahead.

She breathed a sigh of relief when she thought about the fact that this Friday would be her last day of work at a job she’d dreaded since the day she’d started. She was an attorney, on the fast track, employed with the prestigious downtown Atlanta law firm of Johnson, Taylor, and Associates. Alexandria had worked there since she’d interned with them while still in law school. Now, six years later, she was ready to step out of what she’d been academically trained to do, and take hold of the direction in which her heart had always led her, which was to pursue her passion as a writer and spoken-word artist.

Alexandria thought about her promising future as she lay on her back and flipped through one of her many bridal magazines. Even though her wedding day was just one month away, and all the major details had been planned to a tee, she still couldn’t resist looking at pictures of happy couples, replete with bountiful flowers and their wedding parties in tow, all overflowing with nuptial bliss.

Alexandria smiled every time she thought about how happy she was and how much her life had significantly changed since this time last year. It seemed as though it were just yesterday that she’d broken up with her old boyfriend, Peter, and in less than twenty-four hours, fate, along with her grandma Allene’s sage advice, had led her down a completely different path to peace, understanding, and true love. Now she was engaged to PJ, her childhood best friend who’d walked into her life and changed her world.

She could still remember her grandma Allene’s words. Speak what’s in your heart. Say what it is that you desire, and watch it walk into your life.

Alexandria had heeded those words and still lived by them today. She knew that speaking what she wanted, and then trusting and believing with indomitable faith that her desires would be met in abundance, was the reason PJ was in her life. As she looked at the beautiful gowns of silk and tulle, she raised her hand in the air, as if in praise, and gave thanks for her blessings. “Amen,” she said quietly.

She was thankful for this joyous time in her life, and she planned to savor every moment because she was all too aware of the trouble that was lying in wait on the other side. Gritty realities and unpleasant truths were about to surface, not just in her life, but in the lives of family and friends whom she loved. She knew the road ahead was paved with detours, rough patches, and a few hazard signs. But she also knew she’d get through them thanks to her faith, her grandma Allene, and the amazing gift of prophecy she now embraced.

“Thank you, Grandma Allene,” Alexandria whispered. “I love you for showing me the way.”

As soon as her words floated into the air, Alexandria knew that her grandma Allene’s spirit had entered the room. Whenever she felt a warm breeze, a gentle, unexplainable tug at her arm, or smelled the unmistakably sweet scent of magnolias—which had just wafted by her nose—she knew it was her great-great-grandmother communicating with her.

Alexandria inhaled the fragrant, uniquely Southern scent that always made her feel safe and at ease. That sense of comfort and security was very different from the turmoil and strife she’d experienced in the past whenever she thought about her gift.

Communicating with spirits and having premonitions were abilities that had burdened Alexandria since she was five years old. She’d always felt different and out of place, constantly trying to navigate where she stood in a world filled with uncertainty. Her lack of grounding and understanding of her gift had made her afraid of the supernatural powers she possessed. But all that had changed last summer when Allene had contacted her for the first time.

Initially, Alexandria had been leery, and she hadn’t want any part of the mysteriously frightening world that had been haunting her since she was five years old. Many times she could remember waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and covered with fear, terrified of the voices that belonged to spirits from another world that she couldn’t see or touch.

She also recognized that the ability to know what was going to happen in a given situation before it took place wasn’t always a good thing, and it had quickly become a heavy weight on her shoulders. She’d worried about things that kids her age didn’t have to deal with. She’d witnessed accidents, death, and destruction, and it had made her fearful of doing something as normal as dreaming at night because of what she might see. She’d often stood helpless with her knowledge, not knowing what to do or in whom to confide, so she’d learned how to ignore her gift and block out visions whenever they threatened her peace of mind.

But once her grandma Allene had come into her life and shown her the beauty of her gift, along with the strength and infinite possibilities it held, a new world had opened up to her for the first time.

She’d been hoping that her grandma Allene would soon make contact with her again. She missed hearing the old woman’s comforting voice and the soothing, down-home Southern accent it carried. Allene hadn’t communicated with her in nearly three months, which had initially alarmed Alexandria. But then she remembered Allene’s promise—that she’d always be there to guide and protect her. Alexandria knew she’d have to wait patiently and trust in Allene’s words, which were solid and rooted in love.

The one thing that Alexandria longed for more than anything was to talk with Allene face-to-face, instead of speaking in whispered tones through visions that always seemed to end much too quickly. During one of their talks, Alexandria had asked Allene to appear to her in the flesh.

“Grandma Allene, I want to see you. Can you come visit me?” she’d asked.

( Continued… )

 Excerpted from Troublemaker by Trice Hickman.  © 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Trice Hickman.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


About the Author
Trice Hickman
is a self-proclaimed Southern girl, and award-winning, bestselling author. Trice’s love of reading and the power she recognized in the written word inspired her to become a writer. After receiving rejection letters from every agent and publisher she submitted her work to, Trice was determined to bring her stories to life. She self-published her first three novels to great success, and shortly thereafter, landed a multi-book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books) where she is currently published. When she’s not busy writing and reading, Trice enjoys cooking, traveling, decorating, and meeting good people. Learn more about Trice at http://www.tricehickman.com.

Download Troublemaker (An Unexpected Love Novel)
by Trice Hickman

[Kindle Edition]
Link: http://amzn.com/B00IKOTMC0

Purchase Troublemaker (An Unexpected Love Novel)
by Trice Hickman

Link:  http://amzn.com/0758287267


Meet the Author
Trice Hickman
is a self-proclaimed Southern girl, and award-winning, bestselling author. Trice’s love of reading and the power she recognized in the written word inspired her to become a writer. After receiving rejection letters from every agent and publisher she submitted her work to, Trice was determined to bring her stories to life. She self-published her first three novels to great success, and shortly thereafter, landed a multi-book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books) where she is currently published. When she’s not busy writing and reading, Trice enjoys cooking, traveling, decorating, and meeting good people. Learn more about Trice at http://www.tricehickman.com.

Author website: http://www.tricehickman.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tricehickman
FB:  http://www.facebook.com/tricehickman

Unexpected Love Novel Series – More Books by Trice Hickman
* Looking for Trouble
* Unexpected Interruptions
* Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies
* Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

Books by Trice Hickman
http://www.amazon.com/Trice-Hickman/e/B002N44944
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/trice-hickman/2106303

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale by J.M. Lominy

The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale
by J.M. Lominy
(Coming Feb. 2015)


 “Politics is a rich man’s dream, a poor man’s nightmare, and a pain in the ass to all.” —J.M. Lominy

Killing had always been sweet for Pierre-André François, the ruthless assassin known as The Little Rose. Wherever he struck, fear closely followed, his victims left as bloody works of art. The finishing touch on his canvas was a carefully placed rose, a signature on his deadly motif that haunted crime scenes, not to mention the police investigating them.

A man who takes joy in killing should never fear dying, and in fact, The Little Rose embraced death. So finding himself alive—after what he knew should have been a fatal dance with his foe, Millard Le Beast—was disappointing. Not only was the Beast stronger and faster, he slaughtered Pierre-André’s dearest love and revealed ugly truths behind Pierre-André’s most cherished memories. The Little Rose expected to slip from this life, if not from the Beast’s brutal blow then from the pain of those revelations and living without his longtime paramour.

But now, awakened, fully recovered (in body, anyway), and a fugitive on foreign soil, The Little Rose is forced to carry on. Having lost all desire to laugh, love, and kill, his sole purpose remains to avenge his loved ones’ deaths. But how can Haiti’s most feared assassin find the truth about his past with no motivation for the future?

Fortunately, revenge has no shelf life.

The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale Details:  http://jmlominy.com/books/the-fatal-rose-an-assassins-tale/


The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale  by J.M. Lominy

PROLOGUE

Above, the stars and the moon were hidden, a jet-black swirl draped around them making the sky seem not to exist, producing a strange but steady silence, giving pause to the wind. As if afraid of the darkness, the coconut trees barely moved against a teasing breeze making its way off the Haitian coast. That same breeze brought first, slave ships, and eventually, tourists in search of paradise—the Haitian experience was open to all. Foreigners came in droves to see and interact with the French-speaking Negroes.
   
Tonight, paradise was on valium, nodding to the beat of an unheard drum. Nocturnal insects lazily injected their nightly chorus into a harmony of darkness, tickling the silence with ancient songs of the ancestors. Barking dogs could be heard bickering back and forth like old women, disrupting what should have been a quiet, pleasant Wednesday night. The roads were deserted except for street vendors and homeless peasants making their beds on the side of the road.
   
At ten o’clock, two identical sounds thundered in the night, destroying the fabric of normalcy. The sounds echoed for what seemed an eternity, shaking the soul of every living creature within miles. The dogs went into hiding, and people in their yards scurried inside, locking their doors, the chorus of insects replaced by silence.
   
Gunfire had erupted in Pétion-Ville—a town in the mountains east of the capital Port-au-Prince, named after the great Haitian general who became president, for life, of a splintered Haiti. Even now—one hundred and fifty years later— Haiti remained divided like a suicidal schizophrenic, determined to paint a path toward a slow, painful death by gnawing her extremities up to the elbows.
   
It was close to the presidential election, two weeks to be exact. On the heels of the gunshots a citizen on the outskirts of Pétion-Ville whispered into his frightened spouse’s ear, “Haitian politics,” and returned to sleep, knowing that unless a bullet came racing into their home, they had nothing to fear. They had no political affiliation. Besides, guns were only in the hands of the police, the military, and the grand nég.
   
Although the sleeping man was partially right, it was not the police, the military, or the rich shooting this night. If he’d known the chaos that would ensue because of the vile act preceding those two shots, he would have run to the picture of Jesus that decorated his wall, begging for peace and tranquility in his country—or packed up his family and boarded the next ship sailing away.
   
Shamed and disliked, the former president, Paul Magloire, fell victim to a tsunami of public discontent nine months ago, the thirteenth of December 1956, to be exact, and went the same way as many before him—exiled. Four candidates clamored to replace him, clashing for the office that proved to be lethal to more than a handful of former presidents. Early in the campaign, a fifth candidate—an unknown with an aristocratic name—acquired sufficient votes in his district to pose a formidable challenge. When the mysterious candidate was discovered to be a snarling, stubborn donkey, he was promptly disqualified. The donkey’s owner and campaign manager publicly professed his innocence during an interview from prison. He argued that if Americans can have a donkey and an elephant on their ballots, what made Haitians any different? One particular radio personality was outraged by such mockery in the face of a serious election. But a competitor raised the argument that at least a donkey would do what it set out to do and not break promises, and that all the candidates except those he endorsed were less qualified than the sniveling but honest ass.
   
Radio advertisements flooded the airwaves as the various contenders vilified opponents and justified themselves as puritanical, as the people’s choice, energizing the populace. Candidates’ slogans read of liberty, equality, and fraternity— promises that had been doled out to the people before, from the mouths of wolves tending to the soon-to-be slaughtered sheep. They rang as true as a white rhinoceros parading along the Champ de Mars, as true as those who swore on the Virgin Mary that their candidate would liberate the Haitian people from years of suffering. Friends and neighbors swore to their candidates’ righteousness in friendly debates that went on without insult— intellectual duels of differing philosophies sprang up in living rooms like sugar cane during the rainy season.
   
Politics had become the national pastime, second only to religion or soccer, and not necessarily in that order. Pedestrians could not go very far without hearing government in one conversation or another, from the street shoeshine boy to the businessman out for lunch. Most were passionate about their candidate. These debates spilled over into the region’s poorest neighborhoods, where residents kept their sharpened machetes close at hand, in adherence to the philosophy of muscle and steel. They saw their candidates as saviors from poverty and would not think twice to malign anyone who dared to openly challenge them.
   
On this night, the echoes of gunfire proved how quickly the nation’s volatile mood could explode into an inferno of violence. A political whirlwind was brewing, with a power so destructive only God could foresee.

****

Two Haitian men lay dead, contorted in a pile, their eyes and chests unmoving, lungs ignoring the surrounding sweet island air. Smoke and gunpowder hovered nearby like clouds of gnats. Blood from their wounds pooled onto the dirt, fertilizing the devil’s garden below.
  
 The blossoms of red seeping through the victims’ military blue guayabera shirts testified to the reality of their death and to their killer’s marksmanship. Next to their corpses lay two useless shotguns, weapons that proved too slow against a quicker foe, a phantom that dispatched death faster than one can produce life, impregnating its victims with darkness before disappearing like a shadow on a black canvas.
   
The victims were clueless about their fate until the screaming projectiles informed them that Death had arrived, an unwelcome guest who seldom knocked before entering to take what she deemed to be hers. They had no time for a final confession and were probably at the gates of hell wishing they could repent. A tragedy that was neither Greek nor Roman but Haitian— paradise was awaken by the fires of hell, announcing that turmoil would soon follow.

READ THE ENTIRE EXCERPT AND FIRST CHAPTER HERE:  http://jmlominy.com/preview/

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, J.M. Lominy. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


BOOK 2:  The Fatal Rose, An Assassin’s Tale (Coming Feb. 2015)

Purchase The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale
Available on Kindle and Nook.  ISBN-13: 978-0988827707
Order here:  http://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Lominy/e/B00D4FID66


Meet the Author

Life began for J.M. Lominy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  As a husband, father, nurse and veteran Lominy has been making room to write since 2000.  Specializing in Historical Fiction, he is the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Deadly Rose, An Assassin’s Tale.

His work, both poetic and determined in voice, places an emphasis on the Haitian experience as witnessed through the life of passionate characters.  Mr. Lominy currently resides in Georgia with his wife and his three sons.  Visit J.M. Lominy at:  http://jmlominy.com

Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jmlominy
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/JMLOMINY
Twitter:     https://www.facebook.com/JmLominy

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sultry Pleasure by Lindsay Evans

A hot Miami night. A glittering gala. And a gorgeous billionaire wants to spirit her away. This might be a fantasy for most women, but not Diana Hobbes. She’s at a charity event representing the nonprofit adoption agency she has poured her heart and soul into. And despite the hot body, easy charm and luxury ride of playboy Marcus Stanfield, Diana has nothing in common with him.

Marcus is unaccustomed to having women refuse him. So he is surprised by Diana’s brush-off – and intrigued. Angelically kind and devilishly sexy, Diana is worth more than a little effort…so an epic seduction campaign begins. Lavish evenings, small touches, and grand gestures all say “I want you.” The desire is mutual, the tension maddening. But which will Diana ultimately choose: holding back… or giving in?


Excerpt from Chapter One

 Marcus Stanfield walked into the party already looking for the exits. On a Saturday night in Miami, he’d much rather be on his boat or partying with friends than bleeding away the night at a charity ball he had had no real interest in attending. The music was calm and laid back, acceptable jazz that blended into the background while Miami business professionals and philanthropists wove through the crowd in their formal dinner wear—black tie and tails, cocktail dresses, diamonds dripping from necks and wrists.

As Marcus glanced over the crowd, he heard the sound of a woman’s laughter, husky and low, from nearby.

The woman’s laughter was rich and deep, with a hint of naughtiness. A combination that drew him like a bee to honey. His ears latched on to the laughter while his eyes tracked the room for the source of the sound. Soon he found it.

Two women stood together. One was still laughing, her head thrown back, a hand propped up on her hip. She was slender and pretty, light-skinned with wavy black hair down to the middle of her back.

But, inexplicably, it was the woman standing next to her that drew and kept Marcus’s attention. She had dark skin, angelic features, and straightened hair pulled back in an elegant French roll. Even from across the room, he sensed her innocence. While her friend was dressed in a purple satin dress that caught her at mid-thigh and clung to her slender but generously proportioned body, this woman wore ice blue.

She smiled faintly at something her friend said, her full mouth tilting up at the corners with mild amusement. Marcus looked back at the friend with her killer  body, white teeth and long hair that fell in thick waves over her luscious breasts. She was definitely more his type, a woman who would want him for his money, and never anything else. The safe type.

But the woman in blue was who he wanted.

“Good evening, ladies.” Marcus approached them with his charming smile firmly in place.

The laughing woman gave him a considering glance, a quick but thorough evaluation of what he was wearing, how he looked, what he was worth.

“Good evening.” She greeted him with a predatory smile. “You’re Marcus, right?”

“I am,” he said. “A pleasure to meet you.”

The woman he wanted treated him like he was intruding on their conversation. She was even more beguiling up close. Not traditionally beautiful but exquisitely made with her large eyes, wide mouth and narrow chin.

“I’m Trish,” the long-haired one said, offering her hand to shake. “And this is my best friend, Diana.” She nudged her friend, as if encouraging her to be nice to Marcus.

Diana extended her hand in greeting. “Marcus.” Her voice was carefully neutral.

“Don’t say my name like that,” he said with a grin. “So formal. Especially when I came over here intending to ask you to dance with me.”

A frown settled on her angelic face. “I don’t dance.”

“She’d love to.” Trish smiled even wider to make up for Diana’s lack of welcome, then nudged her friend again, this time directly into Marcus’s arms. “Enjoy, honey!”

Marcus took Diana’s arm and led her to the dance floor where they were playing Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”

“Thank you for dancing with me,” he said.

She looked up at him, her eyes large and serious behind a veil of thick lashes. Her narrow chin jutted out.

“You know very well I didn’t agree to dance with you,” she said. Her full mouth glistened dark red under the lights.

“You don’t strike me as a woman who’d let herself be talked into something she didn’t want to do,” he murmured as they moved to the beat of the song. “Whatever small part of you wanted to come with me, I’m grateful for it.” He smiled, strangely charmed by her coolness. Her reaction to him was completely different from what he usually got from women.

At his look, Diana pursed her lips, the lines of her face softening. “I’m sorry. It’s just been a long day. Everyone here seems to think just because I work for a non-profit, that means I’m going to whore myself out to the one with the biggest bank account.”

Damn. She was definitely not his type at all. With other women , he knew what they wanted, and they knew what he could give. Sex for money: a transparent transaction. But he didn’t want to let Diana go yet.

“If it makes you feel any better, you don’t have to whore yourself out to me at all.” Marcus dipped his hips close to hers as they moved to the music, then pulled back. “All I want is a dance.”

She looked at him with a hint of doubt in her sparkling brown eyes. “A dance is all you really want?”

Marcus smiled. “For now.” He spun her around to the rhythm of the song, then pulled her back seamlessly into his arms. “Later I was thinking of trying to tempt you with dinner, maybe a late night walk on the beach.”

The corner of her mouth twitched. “I’ve already eaten, and I try to avoid the beach at night.”

“Why is that?”

She looked at him with a pointed rise of an eyebrow. “Sharks.”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lindsay Evans.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Purchase Sultry Pleasure by Lindsay Evans
Genre: Romance.  Amazon link:  http://amzn.to/1dzwicR


Meet the Author

Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans currently lives in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She currently writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at http://www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.

Twitter: @LindsayEvansXOX
Website: http://www.LindsayEvansWrites.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/LindsayEvansXOX

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries


Southern Exposures by Ann Jeffries

Law school student Vivian Lynn Alexander could no longer fight the undeniable truth that she had to end her three-year love affair with her college sweetheart, Carlton Andrews, to have the career she dreamed about in law. Nor could she deny a growing interracial passion that she felt for former basketball icon Chuck Montgomery—that is, until she met his best friend, Derrick “Dunk and Jam” Jackson, who was an even bigger star than Chuck. Both medical doctors now, Chuck and Derrick find that they have no medical skills to keep them both from falling hard for the attractive, young Georgetown Law student.

Kenneth and Benjamin Alexander are brother and best friends, but as different as night and day. Kenneth, the older, the cool, calm and collected President of his San Francisco-based electronics and security telecommunications company, and Benjamin, the dashing young US Air Force jet fighter pilot, stationed in San Diego. Yet they came to the same conclusion: They were both falling in love with the same woman—the beautiful and alluring JeNelle Towson, owner of INSIGHTS, a Santa Barbara landmark emporium of style and grace.

Despite their individual and desperate problems, the three of five Alexander siblings rally at perilous risk to themselves and others they care about when everything is on the line and the weight on all of them is the greatest. Two is company, but three is a family.

Book Reviews for Southern Exposures 

“Ann Jeffries definitely has a skill for storytelling. There is vitality and high drama in Southern Exposures. The author did an excellent job with honing in and focusing on the three main, important characters of which the drama surrounds. I fell in love with the Alexanders. Job well done!” — Jessica Tillis, Author/Editor

“Loved the way Ann Jeffries described the activities . . . I felt as though I was there witnessing everything that she was describing. She immediately got my attention with the colorful . . . attention to details. The book is very warm. The characters have to face challenges and each does it in a different way. Loved the focus on loving family—members of the family loving each other and believing in each other.” — Brenda Irons LeCesne, Esq.

“There are a lot of promising plots within the story. I thoroughly enjoyed . . . this novel. I think Ann Jeffries’ ability to create emotion is a true talent. She did a great job creating suspense. The characters’ stories seemed most authentic and entertaining. Language and dialogue over all . . . is a strong area for Ann.
— Karen R. Thomas, President, Creative Minds Book Group

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion (Volume 3)
Purchase: http://amzn.com/099150030X  


Touch Me In The Morning by Ann Jeffries

In Summer County, South Carolina, Satarah Whitfield, head Emergency Room nurse battles to save the lives of countless accident victims of the record-breaking blizzard. She did not have time to think about her husband’s and sister’s betrayal when they absconded with every dime she had leaving their twin boys behind for her to raise. For one patient, a young boy whose name she did not even know, she risks her career to save his life by performing an unauthorized surgery that, if it goes wrong, could land her in prison. She only hopes that, if her own missing son needed extreme measures to save his life, someone would step up to save him.

In Richmond, Virginia, firefighter, Deputy Battalion Chief, Douglas Johnson, is battling to save his career after giving testimony in court against his fire department for malfeasants. That would be enough pressure to contend with, but his young, defiant adopted son is driving him to distraction with his preteen angst. If Doug’s wife hadn’t committed suicide, perhaps he would not feel like throwing in the towel.

When the chips were down neither Satarah nor Douglas have been quitters. So when Douglas learns that his boy was in a near fatal school bus accident on his way to Disney World, a trip that Douglas knew nothing about, his fear for his son’s life chases him to a South Carolina community he has never heard of and to a woman the likes of which he has never met. When these two bruised, but not broken people unite, they battle together to save their future.

Book Reviews for Touch Me In The Morning 

“I could not put my iPad down once I started reading. Loved the characters and story line which kept me guessing what was going to happen next.”  — Pauline, an avid reader.

“Ms. Jeffries has given us a love story about two adults who, having experienced some of life’s darker moments, fall deeply and passionately in love. Her characters are real life and enable the reader to eagerly ride along with them on their adventure.”  — Abraham Leib, Critic.

“I loved this novel; many times finding myself lost in their lives. The author did a fantastic job with character and plot development, and an unpredictable storyline.”  — Jessica Tillis, Author

Touch Me In The Morning (Volume 2)
Purchase: http://amzn.com/0991500377

An Unguarded Moment by Ann Jeffries
Otis Redding probably said it best in his rendition of “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right.” An affair between two married people can sometimes be more, mean more than just sex and infidelity. It can mean everything to two love-starved people.

Former Texas beauty queen, JaiHonnah Reise Chapman of African and Native American ancestry is finally moving back to the United States after studying abroad for the last four years and completing her doctorates in architecture and structural engineering at Arcadia Laboratories, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. A new career opportunity awaits her in Washington, DC, away from her wealthy, powerful, and manipulative father, Jake Hawkins, and the brutal man she married, international financier, Calvin Chapman. The last thing she needs or wants at the beginning of her professional life is to have An Unguarded Moment with another woman’s husband, her new boss.

J. Roderick Baylor, known as the sports icon JRock, has shed the highlights of his illustrious, professional basketball career, and the lowlights of his disastrous marriage to Monique, a would-be starlet. Now he has his twin, five-year-old daughters, Shelly and Shelby, a highly successful construction and development business and loving supportive family and friends around with which to build a new life. Little did he know that an illicit affair with another man’s wife, his new employee, had the power to refurbish the torn parts of his life and erect a monument to the power of love.

Book Reviews for An Unguarded Moment 

“Ann Jeffries does an excellent job of weaving her characters’ stories together and keeping the reader captivated.” — Nancy Engle, Author “Murder at Mount Joy”

“An engrossing and sensuous love story that immediately grabs your attention and keeps you involved till the last page.” — Abraham Leib, Critic

“My overall view is that this is a good, intelligent read! It’s the kind of story you never want to end.”
— Janice Sims, Author “This Winter Night”

“I really admire Ann’s smooth writing style and the appealing premise of this project.”
— Mavis Allen, Associate Senior Editor, Silhouette Books

An Unguarded Moment (Volume 1)
Purchase: http://amzn.com/0991500334 


Excerpt from Southern Exposure


A piercing scream followed by shrilled laughter tore Vivian Alexander’s attention away from reading Fahey: Treatise on Ethics. She shifted Black’s Law Dictionary to her side, and lifted her eyes to the little children playing raucous games with complete strangers, sending torrents of infectious giggles and laughter up to the high, cavernous ceiling. The vision brought a smile to her gamine face, bright brown eyes, and curved Cupie Doll mouth. She thought of her younger siblings—Gregory and Aretha—when they were at that age. She watched the children for a moment or two longer, hoping the little unguided missiles didn’t fall flat on their faces or tumble over a piece of Samsonite luggage. The children were, however, under the watchful eyes of their parents who scolded them for making too much noise and, nodding toward her, smiled apologetically. Vivian acknowledged the parents with a smile and a shrug and turned her attention to the wintery scene unfolding outside the tall, wide window. Snow was still falling, blurring her panoramic view of the airport tarmac.

It was a very cold, grey, blustery day in Chicago. Muck-blotched snow was heaped high in places on the airport landscape at O’Hare International. Ground crews dodged arriving and departing international and domestic aircraft, as they scurried to load provisions, luggage, and/or fuel into waiting airplanes. In the background, deicing trucks spewed clear, slushy fluid on the aircraft fuselage and wings.

It was the Christmas holiday season, just before New Years’ Eve. At any airport in the country, literally thousands of people were traveling. O’Hare Airport, still one of the largest and busiest in the world, was no exception despite the horrendous weather conditions. Controlled chaos would aptly describe the scene along the wide corridors of the airport’s many concourses with passengers of many nationalities in a hurry to catch a flight to some distant destination. Little shops and food concession stands were bustling with activity. Airline flight crews briskly walked, pulling their rolling essentials behind them in black leather luggage not much larger than a breadbox. Passenger loading-bay areas were jammed with people sitting or standing guard over more carry on luggage than they probably needed. Ground-crew flight attendants scurried to their appointed posts, and were immediately mobbed by travelers looking for seat assignments, checking on connecting flight schedules, or asking questions about in-flight food service. Announcement after announcement chronicled the arrival and departure of many flights.

Some babies cried while others slept, nestled peacefully in their parents’ arms. Little children continued their play, as if the melee were an extension of the just past Christmas morning enthusiasm. Occasionally, aircraft engines roared into action, as a ground crew released the front wheel of the aircraft and energetic hand signals sent it on its way.

Vivian quietly sat before one of the wide, ceiling-high windows in the airport on a padded bench with her long legs curled up under her. She was nearly oblivious to the chaos that surrounded her. She leaned back against a tall column, reading and occasionally observing ground flight crews, as they loaded baggage in steel cases into the belly of the airplane parked at the end of the long, slanted ramp. She, her parents, Bernard and Sylvia Alexander, her younger brother, Gregory Clayton, and her eleven-year-old sister, Aretha Grace, were waiting at Gate 6 for the United Airlines’ attendant to announce that the flight was ready for boarding. They would continue their trip home to Goodwill, South Carolina, a small town located in Summer County, more than forty miles from South Carolina’s state capitol of Columbia. Her return flight to Washington, DC, and Georgetown University Law Center, would not be leaving until 6:15 P.M. from Gate 23.

The Alexander family was returning from San Francisco, California, where they spent the week of Christmas holidays visiting with Kenneth James, the eldest offspring of the Alexanders. Benjamin Staton Alexander, her twenty-eight-year-old brother, an Air Force jet pilot, managed to get some time off and fly himself to San Francisco from San Diego for a few days. It wasn’t like being at home in Goodwill for the holidays, Vivian mused, but at least the family was able to spend another special time together.

They stayed at Kenneth’s home in Marin County, outside of San Francisco. Vivian was enormously proud of her oldest brother, holding him and his accomplishments in awe. Before starting his own company, he worked as the lead electronics engineering specialist for Sandoval Anniston Corporation, a huge American aircraft and electronics manufacturing operation with corporate offices based in New York and other worldwide locations. Being the thorough researcher that she was, in undergrad she used Sandoval as an example in one of many business classes she took. The company had many military contracts for sophisticated and top secret surveillance and guidance systems, as well as doing some work for the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA). She had done very well on that paper. Now Kenneth was the Executive Director of his own company, CompuCorrect, Incorporated (CCI).

For a few moments, Vivian allowed herself a respite from her intense focus on her reading of Fehey’s Treatise, as she noticed her parents talking quietly together a short distance away from where she sat. She couldn’t hear the conversation, but they always seemed to have so much to say to each other. She smiled, thinking that she couldn’t have designed two more perfect parents. Her parents would have never permitted the raucous public display that she witnessed with the young parents seated nearby and their rambunctious offspring. Her parents could do more with one look than most parents did with a good scolding. She smiled again and turned her attention away from her parents and back to her reading.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ann Jeffries. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion (Volume 3)
Purchase: http://amzn.com/099150030X  




Meet the Author

Ann Jeffries
is a native of Washington, D. C. She is an only child who enjoyed the benefits of a private school education at Allen in Asheville, NC, and a public education at the University of Maryland. She began writing fiction for her own amusement. She is currently writing novels in her Family Reunion: The Wisdom of the Ancestors series.

Ann is the recipient of many awards for leadership and public service. A speaker at colleges, universities, conferences and conventions, she has extensively traveled the North American continent, Asia and Europe. Among other things, she is an entrepreneur, an avid viewer of public television and a voracious reader of fiction.

Ms. Jeffries’ pride and joy are her family, particularly her Fabulous Four grands. She lives in Maryland and South Carolina.  Website address: www.newviewliterature.com;  Facebook @Ann Jeffries; Twitter @newviewlit; e-mail at annjeffries@newviewliterature.com 

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Mafietta 2: A House Divided by E.W. Brooks

Mafietta 2: A House Divided 
by E.W. Brooks

If you’re looking for a love story where your typical heroine wins the hot heartthrob’s heart by flaunting her beauty to win him over, you’re in the wrong place. – Minolta White, Author and Blogger

Mafietta, part 1, follows Clarke, a woman tired of bankrolling her suitors, entertaining a man she normally wouldn’t consider – a man from the underworld.

Errol, the head of the Bellow Brothers, is tired of the opportunistic women that find their way into his path. He was done with love, but meeting Clarke changed all of that.

Their perfect love story falls apart when a tragic turn of events sends Errol behind bars and forces Clarke to run the family business. When a good girl turns mafia queen, she is forced to choose between the love she’s always wanted and a lifestyle she’s grown to hate

Mafietta 2: A House Divided  instantly draws you into the Port City’s chaotic underworld as Clarke is left to choose between the man she loves and the lifestyle she has grown to hate.

Non-stop action thrillers, Mafietta 1 & 2 are a cacophony of action that expresses the deep passion and unique skill that E.W. Brooks possesses!  The Mafietta novellas are a quick escape. They are fast paced, action packed and great for the person or group looking for something to read quickly. A House Divided is the second installment in the series.  Watch thrilling videos here:  http://mafietta.com/the-mafietta-novella-series


Inside Mafietta 2: A House Divided

“I want to go back to the days when I was blind to the things you do. I want my innocence back.”
— Clarke

“These are not the type of people you just walk away from. Do you know how much money you made for them while I was gone?”
— Errol

“Money doesn’t make a man a monster. The person within does. Money merely magnifies the mirror; if you are a good man, you become a better one.”
— Admiral



Mafietta by E.W. Brooks Book Review 

“Buckle your seat belts and hide your kids because Mafietta is one relentless thrill ride from beginning to end. Female empowerment is boasted proudly in this fast paced novel. Brooks doesn’t hold back as she challenges the characters’ mental and spiritual development throughout the book. Mafietta is a highly recommended book club favorite and avid reader’s joy ride.”  —Minolta White, Author


Meet Author E.W. Brooks


“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I’ve accomplished my goal. I don’t seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”  – E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta.

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

Follow the author on Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 
http://www.mafietta.com
https://twitter.com/Mafiettaishere
https://www.facebook.com/EWBrooks
http://instagram.com/ewbrooksbooks
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EWBrooks/posts 







 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

And Then There Were None by Clay Thomas Williams

And Then There Were None 
by Clay Thomas Williams

Imagine being so full of yourself, that you ignore the obvious. You’re so busy doing you that you fail to see what’s right under your nose. Octavia’s selfish destructive behavior that was full of lies and deceit caused her life to spiral out of control until she crashed and burned costing her everything. She gambled with love and lost totally obliterating her life as she knew it.  Octavia thought she had it all; beauty, two loves, and a promising career. And in the end she ends up with nothing.  A tale of a rude awakening to one day be forced to realize life doesn’t revolve around her.

Excerpt from And Then There Were None

Audio Reading:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7t9s4yx  

I need to be in church, maybe I can get some clarity. I haven’t been to church since our Grandmother passed away; I just couldn’t find my way here. We grew up in the church and its funny, the only time I come to church now is when I have a problem. I was a pure demon for the past two years and now I need Jesus. Good thing God is a forgiving God.

Sitting in church looking for answers to my secret problem; it seemed as if Pastor Clark was in my head. God sees all, and what’s done in the dark always comes to light.

Who told him, is God sending me a personal sermon?

As I sat there waddling in my own little sea of deceit, Yvette franticly patted my leg and pointed across the church. I thought for a minute as Jesus appeared to escort my sinning behind directly to the devil in a brimstone laced chariot.

“What,” I whispered.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sister Johnson schooled us like she did when we were ten. She turned all the way around with her big yellow hat with a feather in it; rolled her big eyes with her inch long fake lashes at us, then turned back around and faced Pastor Clark.

Yvette put one finger up in a wait one minute position, reached in her Fendi bag and pulled out a pen and sticky note pad just like she did when we were ten, and began to write and handed me the note. The guy in the yellow shirt and brown suit, that’s Jason.

I shrugged my shoulders as if to say who the heck is Jason, Yvette snatched the note from my hands balled it up and proceeded to write another. She held the note in her two hands turned it to me; the note said JASON HILL FROM HIGH SCHOOL…. in all capital letters

“Oh! I mouthed silently

Yvette shook her head up and down balled up the note and let out a frustrated growl and began to write again.

“Octavia, you don’t remember him, she wrote.

I took another look at him, took her pen and sticky note and wrote back.

NO! I don’t. Why should I remember him, did I date him?

No stupid, I did. She wrote back.

Yvette started writing again. I looked away from the note and across the sea of big hats and prayer clothes to the good looking brother in the brown suit. I looked back at Yvette with an agreeing nod and whispered a sarcastic, “And?”

At this point I have had quite enough of Yvette’s little guessing game and snatched her pen and sticky note pad and wrote.

Get to the point girl, cause you, Sister Johnson and that dude in the brown suit are working my last nerve yawl gonna make me lose my religion up in here.

Remember that incident in high school and he gave me four hundred and fifty dollars, and you and me went shopping.

I wrote back. Say word?

I’m going to tell him the truth and apologize, the note said.

My eyes widened as I snapped my head back in Yvette’s direction.

“WHAT,” I said out loud.

Yvette Shhhhed me and nodded her head yes. I took her paper and began to write. “Are you nuts? He probably doesn’t remember it or you.

She wrote back I’m gonna do it anyway, to clear my conscience.

I wrote, are you serious? For ten years you’ve had a case of the “I don’t give a crap” and your conscience hasn’t bugged you in all this time. All of a sudden you see him and you’ve got a case of morals. Girrrrrl, please.

She wrote, just something I have to do; the truth shall set you free.

I wrote, well gotta do what you gotta do.

I began to think God touched this girl and urged her to clean her soul with the whole truth shall set you free thing. The truth can get you a black eye, I wanted to talk her out of it but she seemed to be at peace with her decision so I kept any further comments to myself.

Yvette made a beeline across the Church to confess to Jason.

I tried to read the look on Jason’s face as his expression changed from “Hey, it sure is nice to see you, to what the heck did this chick just say to me.”

I watched them thinking at this moment how much I admired Yvette and respected her for doing what she was doing and knowing that was something I could never do. Admit I lied, never!

“Well come on then she said in her usual playful manner, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest,” she added.

“Yvette you told him?”

“Yup.”

“Well, what did he say?”

“He said he can’t believe I thought to do this after all this time and he forgives me and appreciates my honest. Then he asked for his four hundred and fifty dollars back.

“You gonna give it to him I asked.”

“I said I felt better, not stupid.”

We laughed at the same time the way twins freakishly do.

NOT.

I guess confession is good for the soul.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Clay Thomas Williams. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.


About the Author
Clay Thomas Williams
is a freelancer, writer and copy editor for IRIDE, an exciting, nationwide, informative, motorcycle magazine. IRIDE magazine is based out of North Carolina. Clay is member of the WritersCafe.org and Premier Author with Upnext Media Group.

Clay, whose government name is actually Nat’e Elliott, talents aren’t limited to novels and print magazines but music as well. She has written tunes that are in the ASCAP’s database.

Clay Thomas Williams lives by the philosophy that every bit of fiction has a hint of the truth, and life experiences good or bad or indifferent create and shape the beautiful, brilliant black woman she is. She resides in North Carolina with her family.

And Then There Were None by Clay Thomas Williams 
Genre: Urban Fiction
Purchase:  http://amzn.com/B00JKUM2V6

 
 
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of The Lair of the Python

A chance encounter lands NBA star Dallas Avery back in the arms of the woman of his dreams. A woman he hasn’t seen in years. A woman he soon discovers just so happens to be his fiancée’s aunt! But Dallas’ fiancee, Tori, isn’t ready to give up all that she’s worked for, so she makes him a shocking offer – go through with the wedding and she’ll still allow him to be with the one woman he now can’t seem to do without. Dallas will get a family, something her much older aunt, Alicia can’t give him. Tori will get the lifestyle she clamors. And Alicia will get the love she’s longed for all her life. Everyone will get a little of what they want . . . and maybe a whole lot of what they don’t.

The details of the trio’s love life play out in the tabloids and on talk shows, making Dallas the center of an NBA scandal. And eventually, the doors slam shut on this open marriage and Dallas is forced to make a choice to end the chaos. But moving on is easier than it looks and by the time all is said and done, secrets will be revealed, passions will be extinguished, and everyone’s lives will be forever changed.

“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of Lair of the Python

“While a few books have tackled this subject in different ways, the way Naleighna Kai approaches a difficult situation is sure to be fuel for heated conversations for years to come. Open Door Marriage proves many things, but mostly that the title of my novel holds true.—Janice Pernell, author of There’s No Right Way to do a Wrong Thing.


Excerpt from Chapter 1 

THANKSGIVING – CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

NOVEMBER 22—7:23 P.M.

“You slept with my aunt?”

The words still didn’t register, even though this had to be Tori’s fifth time saying them. She glared at her fiancé, still desperately trying to come to terms with the information her mother had blasted to everyone at the packed Thanksgiving dinner table.

“Seriously? How is that even humanly possible when you didn’t know the woman four hours ago?” Tori shouted.

“Tori, l-let me explain,” Dallas stammered.

Twelve pairs of eyes were now focused on the not-quite-blissful couple standing at the bottom of the stairs just off from the dining room.

“But not here. Let’s go somewhere and talk. It’s not what you think.”

“What did you do?” Tori snapped, glaring up at Dallas. “Trip over the sheets, and your penis somehow landed in a woman nearly twice my age?”

The drumstick in Uncle Bill’s hand paused in midair on its journey to his wide mouth. Cousin Tiny’s fleshy hand flew to her overexposed bosom and came to rest somewhere above her heart. Even Tori’s father’s frozen expression of alarm would have been Three Stooges comical if the situation weren’t so tragic.

Aunt Yoli was the first to recover. “Did they just say what I think they said?”

In unison, everyone nodded.

“Girl, shut the front door and run out the back!”

A few bursts of nervous laughter sprang up around the table, but they were not nearly enough to chase away the unease that had flooded the room when Tori stepped into the house. She’d gone to drop off Aunt Rose’s drunk self at home. Tori hadn’t even been in the house good when her mother, Bernice, blurted out that she’d caught Alicia and Dallas together. Alone. In bed. In the nude. Tori had picked up from there and summed it up in one sweep. “You slept with my aunt …”

“Nothing happened, Tori,” Dallas said, his voice shaky. “I didn’t sleep with her.”

“So, my mama is lying?” Tori asked.

Dallas shifted uneasily.

“Hell naw. I know what I saw,” Bernice snapped. She had moved from the dining room table to the end of the staircase, right next to her daughter, poised as if she was ready to go to battle. “Both of you were in bed butt-ass naked.” She jabbed a finger in her sister-in-law’s direction. Alicia hadn’t moved from her spot at the top of the staircase. Probably, because she knew what was best for her. “She was butt-naked. And he was nut-naked,” Bernice yelled. “Wasn’t an inch of space between them.” She flickered a gaze a Dallas. “Look at him. You can tell he just got dressed!”

Tori closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm the emotions that warred within her.

“See, I told you Alicia wasn’t worth a damn,” Bernice, crowed with savage satisfaction. “And looks like Mr. NBA ain’t much better. You thought he was all that and a side order of fries.”

Dallas Avery was the NBA’s most valuable player, and a man most women would give their right and left ovary to call their own. But Most Eligible Bachelor or not, he had set Tori’s bitch meter into overdrive. Even with his chiseled, handsome face, towering muscular frame and million dollar bank accounts, he was now worth next to nothing in her eyes. Too bad her aching heart didn’t get that memo.

Tori didn’t know if she was more enraged or hurt that her mother had been all too willing to drive this stake through her own daughter’s heart in order to publicly disgrace Alicia.

“Tori, we need to talk about this,” Dallas repeated before adding, “in private.”

Bernice wore a satisfied smirk as she glared openly up at Alicia, who just kept staring stoically at them from the second floor landing. “The angel of the family has fallen,” Bernice said.

“Hey, Bernice,” Bill taunted with a hearty chuckle. “Bet you won’t say that when Alicia comes downstairs. You know she’s gonna put a hurting on you.”

“You mean put another hurting on her,” Aunt Yoli added, doubling over with laughter.

Tori wanted to scream. Her life was unraveling in front of her and her family was cracking jokes.

Instinctively, Bernice inched away from the staircase and back toward the dining room table. Her hands went up to the small scar on her neck, probably remembering that a year ago on this very same holiday, Alicia had ended a vicious blow-for-blow fight with a knife at Bernice’s throat. Almost gave the woman a “Sicilian Smile”—an ear-to-ear slice across the throat.

Dallas reached for Tori’s hand. “It’s not what it seems.”

She snatched away, parted her lips to give him what was left of her mind, but Cousin Tiny chimed in first. “Alicia had every right to take Bernice to the floor last year for that foul mess she said! I would’ve pulled out my own can of whoop ass behind that one.”

Tiny’s husband, Thomas nodded his watermelon-sized head.

The rest of the family finally sprang to life, also chiming in at once to defend Alicia, the one woman everyone could count on in a time of need, to lend an ear when it was called for and to dry a tear when no one else bothered to care. That she would do something as low as sleep with her niece’s soon-to-be husband was unthinkable. So the family sidestepped that issue for as long as they could, finding it more comfortable to speak on the reason no one had expected Alicia home for Thanksgiving—especially since none of them had heard from her for an entire year.

Dallas maneuvered so he was in front of Tori. “Nothing. Happened.”

“If Bernice had said that bull to me,” Bill responded, still trying to tackle the last of the drumstick, “an ass whipping would’ve been the least of her problems.” He beckoned toward the last slice of sweet potato pie at the other end of the table. “That has my name written all over it.”

“Bernice is lying,” Martha said. “Alicia’s still got looks and all, but that young stud wouldn’t pick her over Tori.” She shot an appreciative glance toward Dallas, then leaned to her right and whispered loudly in Yoli’s direction, “But, girl, he is finer than frog’s hair.”

Yoli gave him a lusty once-over. “I’d give him some my damn self. He’s the type of man who can make a woman put a for sale sign on one thigh and an open for business sign on the other. Yes, Lawd!”

Tori tried her best to tune out her family. She didn’t have the stamina to deal with them right now. “How could you do this? You’re my fiancé.”

“You’re Tori’s fiancée?” Alicia finally spoke out. She eased down the stairs, looking first to Tori then to Dallas. Her panic-stricken expression gave Tori pause. Could her aunt really have not known?

Alicia turned back to her niece. “Oh, my, God, Tori. I had no idea. I’m so, so sorry.” She didn’t give Tori time to reply as she brushed past Dallas, slipped into the nearest pair of shoes—her brother’s—and ran out of the front door, oblivious to the fact that she barely had on enough clothing to protect her from the chill in the room, let alone the sub-zero temps of a Chicago winter.

The whole crowd gasped in disbelief as Dallas grabbed his leather coat from the foyer closet. “She can’t go out there with nothing on,” he said as he stepped into his Timberlands. “I’ll be right back.”

Tori was ready to spit fire. “Are you kidding me?” she screamed as he quickly laced up his shoes, then darted toward the door. “You’re going after my aunt? My aunt!” she yelled, following him. “My heart is bleeding all over the carpet and you’re going after her!”

The front door slammed and Tori stood frozen, unable to believe what happened in the last ten minutes. Bernice’s voice snapped Tori out of her trance. “Girl, I taught you better than that,” Bernice yelled, gesturing to the door. “You’d better go get your man!”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Naleighna Kai. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.

About Naleighna Kai 
Naleighna Kai
is the national bestselling author of Every Woman Needs a Wife, with a spin-off titled, The Pleasure’s All Mine and Open Door Marriage. She started writing in December of 1999, independently publishing her first two novels before acquiring a book deal with an imprint of Simon & Schuster and most recently a book deal with Brown Girls Publishing–the offspring of mega-successful national bestselling authors—Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. She is a contributing author to a New York Times Bestseller, an award-winning author, the E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction, and a noted book club favorite on Oprah.com.

Naleighna works for a major international law firm and is the CEO of Macro Marketing & Promotions Group, as well as the marketing consultant to several national bestselling and aspiring writers. She is also the brainchild behind the annual Cavalcade of Authors events which takes place in her hometown of Chicago. Naleighna pens contemporary fiction, erotica, and speculative fiction and is currently working on her next novels:  Was it Good For You Too?,  Rich Woman’s Fetish and Slaves of Heaven.

Find Naleighnaon the web at: www.naleighnakai.com  and www.thecavalcadeofauthors.com.  Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naleighnakai  or Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NaleighnaKai 


Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00I5VFS3K

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer”, is a humorous look at the real lives of Boomers, vs. the media’s unrealistic view of some sexy, energized person that only exists in some marketing mavens’ mind. There are many of these advertising darlings out there, but Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous isn’t aimed at those Boomers, but it is for those who have survived the scrapes and bumps of life, but we are not as shiny or energetic as some of our touted counterparts. “Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous” laughs out loud at the present and then takes you on a sentimental visit to the past examining how the same situation means different results for Boomers today. Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer is a shout out to the past, examination of the present , and a celebration of life’s poignant but hysterical journey.

“Boomers have always been vocal, boisterous, have a history of implementing social and political change and can still sway advertisers with our discretionary income, if we have any money left at the end of the month. Through humor and poignancy, my new book will have fellow Baby Boomers laughing at the past and present.

It’s important for us to have a light-hearted view on life. My drugs cupboard is full to the brim with pills of all sizes and colors (if you were to see it you’d think I was making money from it) and I can’t exert too much energy without rolling on the floor with a writhing Charlie horse – but this is a small price to pay for the lives we Boomers have lived. My book celebrates all that is great about being over fifty – even if I can’t really get my eyes to focus properly on the pages!

Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer invites you along for the comical ride that is accompanied with hearty, out loud in your face laughter,” said Johnson.


Amazon Book Review

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, one reader commented, “Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer” is a great read, packed full with everyday situations that will appeal to everyone whether you’re over 50 or not. The author doesn’t just dispel the commercial myths of women over 50 , but also engages the reader with jokes of the trials and tribulations most of us have experienced or will experience after passing the big five 0.”


Excerpt: Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous: Reflections of a Baby Boomer 

I have a few words to say, “Fifty ain’t always fabulous”. There I’ve said it. I’ve said it and you know what? I’m glad I said it. You probably want to say it too, but you’re scared to say it.

Scared of the rhetoric and gasps of dis-belief that will come from those so-called cougars that you see in a magazine that are artfully draped over a cliff, as the Greek Isles dashes waves of glorious blue-green water over her. Then there is always a man staring at her with obsessed, hooded eyes.

You’re scared that your world does not measure up to the professionally made-up actors on TV. These women are shouting out a challenge to you and I suspect you think you can’t live up to the hype. However, what they’re asking us to believe is “the hype”.

My back would laugh at me and taunt me, “Go on and try it you old fool and watch what I do to you!” My upper and lower torso would be plotting their sadistic revenge if I ever thought I could lounge against hard rock. I would end up dying on that rock as the water gurgled in my lungs because I couldn’t get up.

Where is this sexy, vibrant older woman that we see on the TV? She does not live in my house nor take up residence in my mirrors. Ladies, if you were not that hot looking when you were young do not believe the hype that you will turn into this wild, unleashed, beautifully sculpted cougar. At times I look like an old toothless, clawless, scruffy house cat only waiting for a bowl of warm milk for pure contentment.


Clothes Today and Then

I remember I used to like everything tight. I liked tight jeans that showed off my perfectly rounded butt. My butt at this point does not need to be showed off; it is the most visible part of my body. It will take over any space without being invited. Even when I am staring straight ahead looking at you, my butt can be seen poking from around the back. It intrudes its way into the conversation. It is a rude, obnoxious appendage that wants to flaunt its appearance at any occasion. It is almost another person complete with its own personal 5 o’clock shadow and zip code. Neither diets, nor exercise can undo the big booty.

Dancing

I have observed some of the people in the clubs dancing today. I could not be a “Hoochie Mama Dancer” of today. I don’t think I could “Drop it Like It’s Hot”. If I drop it, it will still be there until the paramedics come to pick me and “it” off the floor. Sexual contortions and gyrations would only cause a late run to the drug store for a new heat pack. My idea of going low to the floor is to point my head down and bob it in unison to the music.


Mother-Daughter Relationships

When did I become the caregiver of my mother? Now in my 50’s the music has switched to a new tempo for both of us. In the beginning it was she who led and it was me who followed. As the last mournful sound is played the positions are switched. I was silently elected to a position that I never envisioned would come. I cannot remember the exact day that the exchange took place and our parallel worlds tumbled into a vortex and intermixed into and we have now evolved into almost a new species.

Exercise

I will not go to a gym, because I do not want to go to jail for assaulting a youngster with a perfect uplifted body in every area and strangling her after I hear for the hundredth time in an exasperated tone “ Now, really now. Is that the best we can do?” These stressful reproachful words are muttered after I can’t keep up in Zumba class or had gotten entangled in the sports equipment and had to be helped down.

( Continued… )

© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Joyce Nanette Johnson. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.


Meet the Author
Joyce Nanette Johnson
is a freelance writer based in St. Petersburg, FL. Born in Newark, NJ she grew on the central Jersey shore, in Long Branch, NJ. For many years Florida has been her adopted home. Joyce Nanette Johnson has been a contributing writer for The Tampabay Times, correspondent for the Weekly Challenger and St. Pete Bulletin newspapers, and was a columnist for Citilife Magazine. Her first acceptance was for a short story for Essence Magazine. She is the owner of Joydee Productions, which developed and produced websites for community organizations and other public relations projects. Joyce Nanette Johnson was a finalist in 2010 and 2011 Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Awards. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Communications Award presented by the Gathering of Women, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL.


Over 50 Ain’t Always Fabulous-Reflections of a Baby Boomer
by Joyce Nanette Johnson
Link: http://amzn.com/148417626X

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Male Angst: FML I Always Get "Those" Chicks by Bobby Cenoura

Male Angst Volume I. FML, I Always Get “Those” Chicks
by Bobby Cenoura

Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get Those Chicks  is the antithesis to 50 Shades of Grey. In this novel, Reggie recounts two disastrous short term relationships: the first to a weed head Vietnamese mother of two who owns a nail salon and has an obsessed “husband”; and the second to an underemployed yet overweight Hispanic mother of two with two baby-daddies and secret sauce. Add to the character mix an interesting oasis of thugs and lowlifes who are sympathetic to Reggie’s cause and help him to count his blessings.

Reggie Jenkins is on to something but he just isn’t getting it right. He is quasi-urban: too black for the mainstream, but not black enough for the underground. The passing away of people, opportunities, and relationships in Reggie’s life have left a hole that he attempts to fill with sex, drugs, and false ego. Reggie has ‘Male Angst’.

Purchase Male Angst Volume I.: FML, I Always Get “Those” Chicks
(Male Angst Series Book 1) by Bobby Cenoura

MALE ANGST VOL 1: FML, I ALWAYS GET “THOSE” CHICKS 


Under the Sea

Tara Thai is a restaurant where the theme is ‘under the sea’. The walls are decorated with elaborate aquamarine and teal-colored paint to give the diner an oceanic feel. Painted on these walls are pictures of fish and other marine life, and the lighting was composed of circular bulbs adorned with golden streamers to make them represent jellyfish floating along on an ocean blue. Even more extreme was the hoisted life-sized mannequin of a diver swimming with oxygen tank and all, suspended by thin wires as if it were deus ex machina, it was definitely a date-night restaurant waiting to drain the pockets of an unsuspecting sap if he dares to pay for a full course meal for two, appetizer, drink and desert.

We both sat across from each other scanning the menus. From time to time, I looked at her to see her face gently illuminated by the faux candle sitting in the middle of the table. It felt good to be out with a cute girl, but a creeping thought was whether or not we should go Dutch, because one, I really didn’t know her like that, and two, I didn’t want her to think that I was some punk that would just pay for her off the top. I decided that a happy medium would be to offer to pay for the dinner while suggesting that she pay the tip. That way, I would extend my hand in a chivalrous-like courtesy, while allowing her to exercise her new-age womanly right to independence.

When I go to these restaurants, my favorite dish is to order the whole fish. The fish is usually deep-fried and embellished with a chili-basil sauce. The sweetness of basil contrasted the spiciness of the peppers.  Of course, the whole fish is usually the most expensive item on the menu, because its price dared to be defiant and read: MARKET.  Not that I wouldn’t mind ordering a whole fish, but to do so with her is like a team effort.  I wanted to put it out there, since I think that it would have created a bond between us, but at the same time, I didn’t want her to think I was ordering for her.  As my thought process was churning, it was interrupted by a single robotic voice.

“Koos mey, how are you today? Would you layke to start with something to dwenk?”

I looked at Linh and she looked at me from behind her menu, almost as if we were playing peekaboo.

“Get wactha want, I got this round,” I said to her with the confidence that it wasn’t trickin’ if I had it.

“Okay…I’ll have a…Mint Mojito.”

“Okeyy, an you, sir? Would you layke something to dwenk?”

 “Yeah, I’ll have a Long Island Iced Tea.”

“Zenk yoo.”

As the lady left our table, she seemed to try hard to switch her hips, as she dragged her heels across the floor. Then I got a flashback of a lot of Asian people I knew who tended to drag their heels as they walked. I wondered why that was. Maybe, I thought, they had such strong calves that they couldn’t help it.

After a couple of sips of my drink, it hit me directly as I didn’t have much in my stomach. I was now feeling enthusiastic about the night and wanting to go balls out.

“So, have you ever had the whole Flounder before? It’s pretty good. You wanna get a whole flounder? We can share it.”

“Meh.”

There was a brief silence between us. The thing about the word “meh” is that I am not even sure if it is a word. It’s more like an expression suggesting disinterest. For a moment, it was a bit of a buzz kill, my ego expecting cooperation and companionship. I let it go and turned my attention to the menu. Then she spoke.

“Umm they have curry puffs. I love those. Do you like them?”

“They’re okay.”

The truth was that I really loved curry puffs, but since she took the whole experience down a notch with her lack of enthusiasm, I countered, letting her know that I didn’t give a crap if she wanted to continue on this “date.”  I knew that she probably recognized that her utterance of that friggin’ annoying word turned me off and she was trying to make up for it. I let her take the lead in the conversation.

“I am so glad we came here. I haven’t eaten since early this afternoon, and sometimes I become a different person when I haven’t had food.”

“Kinda like the grumpy guy on the Snickers commercial before he gets a Snickers?”

“Yeah, like that.”

Okay, so the night was still salvageable. She was actually trying to explain why she was being a drag, and I followed up with it. In an essence, she just apologized to me and I accepted it.

“So I started writing this book,” Linh said in between slurping up her soup and taking a bite of her chicken patty.

“What kind of book?”

“It’s a crime/thriller/love story.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s about a girl who belongs to a Vietnamese organized crime family, kinda like the Yakuza, and she is the daughter of the boss. And they hired a highly-trained bodyguard to drive her around, to you know, like school, shopping, etc.”

“That’s interesting. So where does the love story come in?”

“Well what happens is this body guard starts to fall in love with her, and he doesn’t show it directly, but he shows it in different ways, especially when he saves her life.”

“So does the girl end up falling for the guy?”

“Actually, that’s the thing. It’s gonna be one of those unrequited love stories. The girl is actually gonna fall for another guy who the bodyguard eventually finds out that he is from a rival crime family. Then in the end, the bodyguard is going to die saving her life…”

“And what about the guy she falls for? Is he going to end up killing her?”

“No, they are going to end up getting married and he is attempting to consolidate the wealth of the two crime families.”

“Hmm…have you decided on a title?”

“Yea, the Vietnamese Princess Bride.”

“Ahh, the Vietnamese Princess Bride, or VPB. Hey, wait a minute! Those are the initials for Vietnamese Playboys, this old school gang that wore the scorpion tattoos on their forearm?!”

“Shh!”

“Girl, you betta be careful writing shit and coding it.”

“Well at least I would have done something I love before I die.”

“No guts, no glory, they say. I think that’s pretty cool that you like to write.”

“Yeah, I just haven’t even finished the first chapter yet, but I love to read stories all the time on my Kindle.”

“Well, we have a lot in common, ’cause I like to write, too.”

“Really? What are you writing about?”

“A fictional story regarding the relationships between African Americans and Koreans in the inner city.”

“That’s interesting. Nobody’s done that before.”

“Yeah, it kind of focuses on the aspect of Koreans owning liquor stores in the inner city and how they relate-kinda how y’all own nail salons. Have you ever thought about it?”

“About what?”

“About how Blacks and Asians have a kind of interdependent ecosystem-we’re like the consumers and you guys are like the merchants-if it wasn’t for us, y’all wouldn’t eat,”
I said in a southern-like accent. She giggled and nodded her head. I continued.

“In my book, the surroundings touch the Korean characters on a deeper level; one of the female characters becomes involved with one of the brothas from the inner city.”

“Is it a love story?”

“Not really, because I want to focus more on the cultural aspects to enlighten the reader so they won’t get distracted by sexual aspects of man and woman.”

When she asked me about my book, I felt like I was connecting with her, and that we had something in common, besides the fact that we both drink and like Thai food. Our entrees had already arrived. I ordered a tofu and vegetable Pad Ka-Prao, which Tara Thai had intentionally misspelled as Ka-Pow to draw the American eye.

At our table, we dined Asian style, and it made me feel closer to her. For me, and where I’m from, people didn’t usually order different foods and share with each other. To me, black folks were every-man-for-himself when it came to dining. I briefly recalled a moment in time when I was low on cash and didn’t have money for food. This black guy named Rohan would eat chicken in front of my face without offering me any.  It wasn’t until I started to hang around with Asian people that I realized their “community pot” way of sharing food.  They always asked me if I minded dining that way (sharing), but as we ate that night, we had a mutual understanding that we were dining with a sense of camaraderie.  During this moment of total immersion, we moved about the table with our wrists, sampling and tasting different entrees and even daring to mix them.

“So what’s your deal? You know, like do you got a boyfriend or something?”

“Naw, well I don’t have a boyfriend or anything but I am divorced. I figure I would just tell you that from the jump…besides, you might actually know my ex-husband…”

“Oh really? What’s his name?”

“Luke.”

“I don’t think I know him.”

“Well, you might see him on my FB page leaving me pet messages. He just doesn’t get it.”

“Get what?”

“That it’s over.”

“Wow. So do you guys have kids?”

“We have two, but he isn’t around much anymore to see them. My sister takes care of them when I’m away.”

“Where is he now?”

“He’s stationed in Iraq.”

As soon as she said that her ex couldn’t get over her, two things jumped to my mind. They were like a push away from her and a pull toward her. I thought to myself, What type of thang-thang does she got that it’s making her ex refuse to let it go?  That gave me a curious “pull” toward her. While contemplating this, my mind suddenly became overwhelmed by images of “Hamburger Hill” and “Rambo” with some random crazed marine with a scope on top of a rifle kicking down my door for freaking his ex.  A part of me wondered if I should even try to get involved with this chick, but another part of me said, Well it’s not like she’s throwing it at you, so just enjoy the moment and see where it takes you.

(  Continued…  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Bobby Cenoura.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Bobby Cenoura
is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”.  Bobby’s newest genre entitled “Male Angst”, deals with men’s dating dilemmas, and dating market economics.


BPM:  What is the book genre, target audience and subject matter of the book?

“Male Angst”, in the broadest sense of the literary genre, deals with the displeasure a male feels because of the actions he takes or thinks he has to take to obtain desired but apparently scarce resources. The focus is primarily on the displeasure heterosexual males experience in the contemporary, post-modern dating market that they feel are attributable to heterosexual females. The genre utilizes reflection and self-analysis regarding these unpleasant situations to empower males to produce viable solutions. As an ideology, Male Angst counters quasi-feminism without being anti-female at its core.

The target audience is primarily heterosexual males 28 to 58, but women are also welcome to stick their noses in the book to find out how they cause or can mitigate Male Angst! 

The primary subject matter deals with the adult subject of dating and sex and what a man is going through to get the things he wants. There is also partying/drug use and other whimsical themes to help the plot along.


BPM:  The book is from the point of view of a main character who has two disastrous relationships. Can you tell us a little bit about them?

The main character is Reginald Jenkins (Reggie), who is a thirty-something single guy who is getting his bearings dating after getting out of a long-term committed relationship that took up most of his early to mid-twenties. Reggie realizes that the perceived quality of women he meets is drastically different than his late-teen to early-twenty years. He meets Linh, a Vietnamese mother of two in her early twenties, who still parties hard, and whose family owns a nail salon. Linh has a husband in Iraq who she stays married to solely for appearances sake.  The second woman is Leslie, an El-Salvadorean mother of two in her early twenties with two baby-daddies and sloth.

In addition to the relationships and situations with these women, Reggie talks about his current circle of friends and lowlifes and his sub-optimal job condition.


BPM:  This new book is very different from the book we last showcased called Seoul Revelations what prompted you to write from the first person and why this book? Why now?

One, because I wanted to get guys to read: I buddy of mine who read an excerpt said he could not stop laughing once he started reading it because it reminded him so much of things he went through while dating.

Two, Because Pseudo Feminism appears to be running rampant. Pseudo Feminism is the theory that the average postmodern woman will embrace the benefits of feminism but not bear the costs of feminism especially when it comes to dating. For example, a working woman who embraces the fact that she makes a professional level salary but still feels like a man should pay on the first date.

I believe it is caused by Biology and Sociology being at odds with each other in the post-modern predicament.  Biology, I believe, prompts women to desire men who can provide, while sociology prompts women to provide for themselves, thus sending a ‘mixed’ message between partner/provider. It almost as if the women who can provide for themselves look for men that are better providers than even they are. They effectively want their cake and to eat it too.


BPM:  I also noticed that there were mentions of ‘dating market economics’ in the book. How does this tie in to the genre?

Dating Market Values:  My hypothesis is that at any given age, time and other factors, each male has a dating market value. Since men are “beggars” and women are “choosers” (scientific evidence per the Bateman principle (elaborate if asked) women spend more resources on mating and therefore are the choosier sex as opposed to men, who virtually have an unlimited amount of offspring, therefore is the more “competitive” sex), a man’s dating market value must be slightly to moderately higher than the market “price” of a woman who is in her MVW (Market Value Window: period of time where a woman is in her reproductive prime, socially and legally).  Factors that affect men who are in their MVW’s dating market value are assumed as follows:

In addition, since Market Value is relative to the woman’s, the woman usually has a “-”  where the man has a  “+”.   For example, women who are considered “fat” don’t usually date men who are as fat as they are. So a man can be fat, but a woman will take him if she is relatively fatter than he is. Therefore weight after a certain poundage man decrease a man’s MV, if the woman that chooses him has a weight heavier than his, this makes him relatively lighter, and thus he gets a “+” in her eyes.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject? Inspire?
I have a few more books to put out as an urban fiction writer: A sequel dealing with the fallout from the dramatic events that took place in Seoul Revelations, and a spinoff called “Hustlin’ life”, which focuses on the drug kingpin P-Nutt and his customers, which will educate readers about what goes through the minds of hustlers and customers. Next is a book called “Southsiders”. This book is to illuminate the topic of gang life and race relations in southern California.

I plan to spend a lion’s share of my time ushering in a genre I created called ‘Male Angst’ The Male Angst series will entertain and illuminate people to the types of challenges that some men face with regard to dating and relationships. It includes novels entitled “Who Motivates the Motivator” which discusses the ins and outs of personal training and “FML I Always Get Those Chicks” which talks about the dating life of a lowly guy looking to ‘come up’.

Then I plan to write fantasy/epic novels and more intricate ‘heist’ or ‘thriller’ novels; possibly touching on cyber-security. Ultimately, I would like to be a movie producer and see my stories come alive on the big screen.

BPM: How do you feel about ebooks? Have they helped your business to grow?
Currently my feelings about ebooks are mixed, most likely because I am new to them. For example I have over 800 downloads of my book but just one review. So I don’t know if people have a habit of downloading books for later. I think ebooks are a great opportunity for an author to get their idea out relatively inexpensively. At this time I cannot say they helped our publishing company’s business grow because our publishing company has had greater success with physical book sales at events than online. That doesn’t mean the potential for growth online is not there.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online?
“FML I Always Get Those Chicks” is now available.  The movement begins, now! My publishing company, Slice of Pain, will be running a dinner and a movie raffle promotion for that as well. In addition “Black People’s Problems” will be coming out sooner than that, more than likely this month.


Follow me on Twitter:   @BobbyCenoura  or  Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/SeoulRevelations. Join the Male Angst Facebook fan page:  https://www.facebook.com/maleangst 


*  Purchase Male Angst: FML I Always Get “Those” Chicks
(Male Angst Series Book 1) by Bobby Cenoura

*  Purchase  Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Ebook Day September 18 – The Last King by A. Yamina Collins

The Last King  by A. Yamina Collins


Read an Ebook Day is September 18! We are asking all bookclubs and readers to read the digital, serial novel THE LAST KING by A. Yamina Collins on September 18! I’m going to read and review all the episodes this week!  

In episode #4 Emmy accepts an invitation to the home of Gilead and Markus – and when she enters their home, a whole new world of wonder opens up to her.

Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in—she’s six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore—she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George’s newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people whose Great Ancestor marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings because God considers the Edenites’ possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a “Glitch” —an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen “property” of immortality and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead’s Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead’s vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite’s greatest threat—they’re also their greatest love.


Download The Last King: Book 1,Volume #4

http://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Book-Yamina-Collins-ebook/dp/B00M9AU9QE
Women’s Fiction Books > New Adults > Religion & Spirituality > Science Fiction & Fantasy


A. Yamina Collins reads from THE LAST KING:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ChSqWGY4
The Last King is part fantasy, romance, religion and history. What an interesting mix for an 11 part series. This was my first time reading a serial novel and I have to say this one was excellent! I can’t wait to read the other chapters to this phenomenal storyline. I highly recommend this serial novel to the readers.  —Reviewed by Ella Curry, publisher of Black Pearls Magazine Online

Excerpt The Last King: Book I – Series 1

Chapter 1

It is doubtful the Master will ever hear of what is about to take place, Markus thinks, standing at the bank of this deserted lake. The branches on the trees around him sway peacefully, and the evening air hums a lullaby.

Markus does not suppose that the Master will hear about this and, really, what difference should it make if he does? It’s just an old homeless guy that is going to die: Markus feels no guilt about it, so how could his thoughts give him away?

In a moment, he removes his hand from the old man’s mouth because he knows the poor fool is too stunned to scream anyway—people are always speechless when they first see Markus’s wings, stretched out as they are, twenty feet on either side of him, and tonight the old man simple blinks and lets spittle hang from the corners of his lips.

Markus does not know his victim’s name, but his victim certainly knows it: Johnnie is what they call him, Johnnie Kubrick, and his very soul seems to have unzipped itself from his body and stepped outside of him. He is not just rigid but catatonic, and he longs for this to be some terrible dream he will soon wake up from.

But this is no dream, this is reality: there is a man standing before Johnnie who looks human, yet has glass wings on his back that are yellow and whose edges taper off to a thin, razor like end. The wings make a sound like metal crashing against metal as they flap – it is a harsh sound, a cold sound. And yet the wings themselves do not frighten the old man as much as what is attached to the wings do.

Johnnie’s pale lips tremble.

“Wha—what are you?” he finally stutters. He does not mean to ask questions. He means to beg for his life because he does not want to die like this—not in these shabby clothes, near a bed of water where he can easily be disposed. He wants to die in a warm room, with someone who loves him holding his hand; Johnny Kubrick wants to die with dignity, different from the way he lived.

The old man chokes on his tears, wishing he was important again, the sort of man who would be missed in death, and he tries to recall how he ever became the sort of person other people diverted their gaze from on the streets. How had he become nameless, faceless, and useless to the world? When he was a boy, he never imagined the day his red hair, so straight and neat, would be constantly matted against his head.

Johnnie wants his mother here with him, so he could take in the soapy smell that was always on her, and smile at the sight of her emerald green eyes. If Johnnie’s mother were still alive she would shield him from this boogeyman, and sing to him, like she did that Christmas morning when the cold of winter snapped at his bones but he happily cradled a shiny new firetruck in his arms.

For a moment, Markus thinks to reply to him, to answer that “what are you?” question that hangs in the air between them. It seems the decent thing to do on a night as beautiful as this one. But what is the point?

Fingering the old man’s arm with his left hand, Markus feels for the bones under the skin and swiftly splits the flesh by pushing his thumb into the forearm. Blood trickles down. The old man barely utters a sound, even as Marku plants his lips against the gushing wound.

“My blood,” Johnnie tries to explain, shaking his head. “—you shouldn’t—” he hopes this might spare his life.

Markus looks at him. “Shhhh,” he says, removing a few strands of blond hair that have fallen over his own eyes. “It’s not your blood I want anyway.”

And how he goes in for the kill.

No one will miss an old drunk, Markus concludes. And the Master will never know.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, A.Yamina Collins. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.

The Last King: Book I – Series 1
Published by author A. Yamina Collins


Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature
Follow Yamina’s Blog for more news:  http://www.yaminatoday.com 

 
Meet the Author 
A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan.  The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com.  or  follow her on  Twitter.

 






 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

What I Have Learned From Publishing My First Book by Cerece Rennie Murphy

What I Have Learned So Far From Publishing My First Book
by Cerece Rennie Murphy, author of the Order of the Seers Trilogy

A year ago, I published my first full-length story EVER– a sci-fi novel called Order of the Seers.  It took me about a year to write and almost as long to get up the courage to publish it.  But on September 4, 2012, I took the plunge, hit the send button, uploaded my file to Amazon and waited for the masses to collectively shudder in awe at the little piece of my heart that I sent out into the world.  It has been quite a journey since then, and ever since I got my head out of my you-know-where and started using it, its been kind of fun too.  How hard this journey has been hasn’t exactly been a surprise to me, but watching myself slowly evolve into a publisher has. This is a short list of some of the things I have learned so far.

1)
Welcome to the REAL world AKA you are NOT an overnight sensation.  The day my first book was published, I spent the entire day sick in bed with worry and fear.  After a week, I think I had only sold about 20 ebook copies.  I was devastated.  I told myself my book was horrible and I shouldn’t have even tried to publish it.  It took me a week to start THINKING about what I might have done better or differently.  That’s when I really started to move into the new career that I have chosen.

The Lesson: If you don’t become a bestseller your first week out, it’s not the worst thing in the world.  It’s just where you started.  Where you end up is up to you. 

2) One blog tour and one eblast does not a marketing plan make. Seriously – that was pretty much my marketing plan for the release of my 1st book.  Yes, I was very naïve about what it would take for people to find out about my book.  Most of my reluctance to developing a marketing plan had to do with a) my fear of putting myself out there and b) my general ignorance about what methods and resources were available to me.  I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that for a while.  Some things worked (I built my mailing list by going to comic/sci-fi conventions, did a cover reveal blog tour for the 2nd book along with a $.99 week long sale promotion for the 1st book) and some things didn’t (spent a ton of money on a Christmas ad campaign that cost way more than I sold in books).

The Lesson: If you have the guts to publish a book, have the guts to market it.  One barely makes sense without the other.  One of the best marketing pieces of advice that I have gotten so far is, “pick a monthly budget, no matter how big or small and do something every month to promote your book.  Keep writing and keep marketing.  Consistency will pay off.”  It has taken me over a year, but I am finally seeing the maturity and wisdom of these words.  For most writers, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

3) Guard Your Headspace AKA Read Reviews Sparingly.  I have read this time and time again from accomplished veterans of the writing profession, but this advice is so hard to heed. In the beginning, I used to check my reviews every day.  It would stress me out so much that, at one point, I was literally afraid to go on Goodreads.  A glowing review would be met with relief, quickly followed by skepticism.  A strong, but not effusive review would be picked over to death for the rest of the day.  Neither one helped me write any better, but one could shut me down for a good 24-48 hours.

The Lesson: Everyone isn’t going to like your book.  That’s a fact and it’s ok.  Find some people you trust and respect.  Get them to read and critique your work.  Modify as needed, then let it be.  Periodically, I will check the number of reviews I have when I am in the middle of a promotion.  Sometimes, if it appears that I’ve gotten a few good ones, I’ll chance a glance and feel happy, but I don’t let myself linger.  It’s just not that helpful to my state-of-mind.

4) Building Buzz Takes Time AKA Give yourself more than 4 month before you publish your 1st novel.  I decided to publish my book at the end of May 2012 and I published my 1st book in September.  This was stupid.  The process of trying to learn what I was doing while I was doing it was so stressful and crazy.  At the time, I didn’t want to give myself the chance to chicken-out, so I think I just tried to plow through it, but in the process, I missed opportunities for reviews and using other promotional resources that might have made my first release more successful. 

The Lesson: Don’t do what I did.  Give yourself time to learn the business before you dive in. (But don’t use your research as an excuse to procrastinate!)

5) The doubt doesn’t go away, but it gets more manageable as you go.  I wish I could say that, a year later, I feel like a super-awesome self-published author, but I don’t.  Most days, I feel the weight of all the things I still need to learn and do, but I can also acknowledge how far I have come.  The release of my second book in the Order of the Seers trilogy this summer was a bit less personally traumatic and much more thoroughly planned out and executed than my first release.  This was made possible only with the help of an author’s assistant, street promotion team, 3 book blog/promotion services running simultaneously, a small, but positive, collection of pre-release reviews, a week-long free sale of the 1st book and an uber-coordinated mailing list, Facebook and twitter campaign.  The result – my second book stayed on Amazon Kindle’s best-seller list for over a month in the sci-fi/genetic engineering category and made it into Amazon’s Hot New Sci-fi releases list.

The Lesson: Believe in your story enough to work on writing it, honing it and sharing it, every day that you can.

About the Author

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy 
http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS




Purchase The Last Seer (Book 3 in the Order of the Seers Trilogy)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Order-Seers-Last-Seer-Trilogy/dp/0985621036

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Download The Last King: Book 1,Volume #4

The Last King: Book 1, Volume #4 
by A. Yamina Collins

In episode #4 Emmy accepts an invitation to the home of Gilead and Markus – and when she enters their home, a whole new world of wonder opens up to her.

Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in—she’s six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore—she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George’s newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people whose Great Ancestor marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings because God considers the Edenites’ possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a “Glitch” —an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen “property” of immortality and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead’s Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead’s vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite’s greatest threat—they’re also their greatest love.


Download The Last King: Book 1,Volume #4

http://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Book-Yamina-Collins-ebook/dp/B00M9AU9QE
Women’s Fiction Books > New Adults > Religion & Spirituality > Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Last King: Book 1, Volume #4  by A. Yamina Collins
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00M9AU9QE









 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Alexis Fletcher hasn’t had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis’s fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He’s kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis’s career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?

Chapter 2 – A Christmas Prayer

Alexis stretched her arms toward her headboard, yawned, and opened her eyes. She was still a bit groggy and felt as though she’d been sleeping for days, but she smiled when she saw Chase sitting next to her on the side of her bed.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” he said, smiling.

“Good morning,” she said.

“I didn’t think you were ever going to wake up. Even when I came by last night, I couldn’t get you to say more than a few words.”

“You were here?”

“Yeah. I’d been calling you all afternoon, and when you didn’t answer I got worried. So when I left work, I decided to drop by. Thank goodness I have a key. You were really out of it, though.”

“I was tired.”

“Maybe, but I’m sure those sleeping pills had a lot to do with it, too.”

Alexis wondered how he knew about those.

“You look surprised. Which means you don’t remember anything you told me last night, do you?”

Alexis stared at him but didn’t say anything.

“You said you only took two of them, but if you can’t even remember our conversation, then that must be some very strong medicine.”

“I just wanted to sleep.”

Chase caressed the side of her face. “I know this is a tough time for you, and I’m really sorry I had to go in to the office yesterday. I never expected to be there for as long as I was. I didn’t get out of there until after six.”

“It was fine.”

“No, it wasn’t. You sounded so sad when I called you yesterday morning, and I should have been here for you.”

“It’s not a problem, and I’m good now.”

“You sure?”

“Positive.”

“You wanna go out for breakfast?”

Alexis paused because she didn’t feel much like going anywhere, but she still said, “Sounds good to me.” Then she flipped the comforter and sheet away from her and sat up.  When she stood, Chase pulled her back down beside him.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“You know,” he said, running his hand through her long hair.

“You know the rules, though, right?”

“Yeah, but how about we forget those rules for a change? Just for today.”

“Chase—” she began, but then lost her train of thought when he kissed her up and down her neck. “Chase, don’t. Breakfast ends at eleven.”

“And?”

“You know we can’t do this.”

“Baby, come on. Just this once.”

“No,” she said between breaths while pushing him away. “We agreed, remember?”

“Some agreements are made to be broken,” he said, unbuttoning her pajama top and kissing her chest.

Alexis closed her eyes and hung her head back, moaning.

“Lexi, please” he begged. “I really wanna make love to you.”

She wanted him, too, but she whispered, “No. Baby, it’s wrong.”

“But remember how good it was when we first met?”

Alexis could barely contain herself, because she actually did remember. She’d never felt better in her life. She hadn’t been with a lot of men, but none of them had made her feel as wonderful as Chase had. It also didn’t help that he looked so good. She hated to refer to him as tall, dark, and handsome because it was so cliché, but that’s exactly what he was. He was six foot two, and he had short coal-black hair with a slight wave to it. Alexis was five foot nine, though, so when she wore heels, that made her love his height even more.

Chase slid her pajama top down her shoulders, lay on top of her, and kissed her on the lips.

But then his phone rang.

Alexis tried to push him away, but he kissed her more intensely.

His phone rang again, and suddenly she heard her home phone ringing, too. When she looked at her caller ID and saw their church’s toll-free number, she knew it was a sign from God. Whenever there were new church announcements she received a recorded call, and this one couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Baby, I can’t do this,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

Chase looked at her and then lay on his back with his hands over his eyes. “You’re killing me.”

“I know you don’t like this, but I’m just trying to do what’s right. And having sex before marriage is wrong.”

Chase sighed. “Maybe, but this celibacy thing is driving me crazy, Lexi.”

She leaned over and propped her elbow on the bed. “We barely have six months to go, and then you’ll never have to go through this again.”

“It feels like a decade. But I will say this…at least you know for sure that I’m really in love with you.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I would never deprive myself this way otherwise. I’m suffering like a starved animal.”

“Whatever,” she said, laughing.

“I’m serious. You have no idea what this feels like. Women can go without for years if they have to, but men? We’re in a whole different category.”

“Like I said, it won’t be long. And anyway, you’d better check to see who called you.”

Chase reached across the bed and pulled his phone from his black leather jacket. He must have laid it there while Alexis was asleep.

“It was Mother,” he said. “You don’t mind if she tags along with us, do you?”

Alexis wanted to scream. It was bad enough that she’d had to spend hours with Mrs. Dupont on Thanksgiving, so the last thing she wanted was to see her again today. Mrs. Dupont—or actually, Geneva, since that’s what she insisted Alexis call her—had even gone so far as making disapproving facial expressions when she took a bite of both the yams and the dressing that Alexis had made, even though everyone else had raved about them.

“She’s been pretty lonely since my dad passed away, and I sort of feel bad about leaving her alone during the holidays.”

Alexis knew a number of women who’d lost their husbands, but none of them had moved in with their children. Chase’s dad had passed two years ago, so Alexis wondered why Geneva was still living with Chase. If she’d been ill or didn’t have the financial means to take care of herself, Alexis could understand it, but Geneva had a huge mansion of her own and was extremely wealthy. Not to mention, the woman was sixty-five years old and feistier than most forty-year-old women. She was headstrong and noticeably independent, so none of this made sense.

Chase continued. “Since I’m her only child, I’m all she has. But she’s definitely moving out before our wedding. She’s already promised.”

Alexis didn’t say anything, but now she was sorry she’d agreed to go to breakfast with him. She fully understood how much Chase loved his mom, and she had the utmost respect for any man who took care of his mother the way Chase did, but Geneva Dupont was a real handful and one of the most controlling mothers Alexis had met. Geneva also didn’t seem too fond of the idea that Chase had asked Alexis to marry him, but in front of Chase, she pretended she was ecstatic about it.

Just as Alexis got up to go take a shower, Chase’s phone rang again. She knew it was Geneva, because whenever Chase didn’t answer his phone, his mother waited maybe five minutes to call him again. Sometimes she called back within seconds. She did this sort of thing all the time, calling him for no reason—especially when she knew he was visiting Alexis or they were out somewhere together.

He finally answered. “Hey, Mother…no, it was in my jacket, and I didn’t get to it in time,” he said, looking at Alexis.

Alexis shook her head and left the bedroom. She’d do anything to get out of going to breakfast with this woman, but she didn’t want to disappoint Chase. All she could hope for was that her time with Geneva wouldn’t be as bad as she was imagining. Maybe Geneva would treat her nicely for a change. It would take a miracle, but that’s what Alexis was counting on.

( Continued… )

As the online publicist for EDC Creations, hired by Kimberla Lawson Roby, I have her permission to share this excerpt. 

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
 

Purchase  A Christmas Prayer  by Kimberla Lawson Roby

On Sale Date: 10/28/2014;  Novella – Pages: 192

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-christmas-prayer-kimberla-roby/1118862156

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Prayer-Kimberla-Lawson-Roby/dp/1455526045


View the full list of places to purchase A Christmas Prayer  by Kimberla Lawson Roby

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/kimberla-lawson-roby/a-christmas-prayer/9781455526048/buy/#resellers


A CHRISTMAS PRAYER NATIONAL BOOK TOUR

 
ROCKFORD, IL

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
7200 Harrison
Rockford, IL

CHICAGO, IL
Thursday, October 30, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
160 Orland Park Place
Orland Park, IL 60462

COLUMBUS, OH
Friday, October 31, 2014
7:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
1560 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240

DETROIT, MI
Saturday, November 1, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Barnes & Noble
6800 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
 

BATON ROUGE, LA
Saturday, November 8, 2014
2:00 PM
Speaking and Book Signing
Between the Lines Bookstore
Inside the McKinley Alumni Center
1520 Thomas Delpit
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


Meet Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 20 novels which include  THE PRODIGAL SON, A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press. 

Kimberla Lawson Roby  has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000.  BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Literary Excellence Award from Black  Pearls Magazine,  the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

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

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 21st title, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER will release on October 28, 2014.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

His Until Sunrise by Joy Avery

After learning her boss has scheduled a mandatory team-building excursion, financial planner Nona Rogers panics.  What does she know about camping?  Nada.  Zilch.  Heck, she doesn’t even like picnics.  And the thought of sleeping amid bugs and wild animals knots her stomach.

No way can she risk looking like an idiot in front of her colleagues.  Taking proactive measures, she acquires the services of a guide to give her a crash-course in camping.  Seven days living off the land.  How hard could it be?  Nona swallows those words when she meets the sexy titan tasked with leading her into the wild.  Getting mauled by a bear quickly becomes the least of her worries.

Mason Tinsdale’s first love has always been oil rigging.  But a horrible accident has him doubting the job—more importantly, himself.  Seven days in the Indigo Falls wilderness is just what he needs to sort out his thoughts.  Then he meets Nona Rogers.  He’s convinced the gorgeous woman is going to be far more trouble than she’s worth.  And he’s right.  However, there’s something about the feisty vixen that makes her irresistible.

Two guarded hearts.  Seven days alone.  An attraction that can’t be denied.

HIS UNTIL SUNRISE Book Trailer:   http://youtu.be/w-pVnUETcfc

Chapter One Excerpt

When her boss had called her into his office under the pretense of “good news,” Nona Rogers assumed she was on tap for a raise, a bigger office, a promotion, even. No such luck. His idea of good news had been the scheduling of a week long, mandatory, camping expedition.

Camping. She didn’t even like picnics.

Nona spurned the thought with the same amount of disdain now as she had a month ago when Mr. White had sat behind his hand-carved desk and shared the news with her.

At least he’d given her enough notice to take proactive measures. Measures that included enlisting the services of a guide to teach her the ins and outs of camping. No way would she be the only one—not to mention only female—on the company outing who couldn’t survive the wilds.

Now here she sat, in the middle of nowhere, with her hired hand, ready to tackle the great outdoors. She was still waiting to discover what was so dang great about it.

A rush of Mason Tinsdale’s oaky cologne filled her nostrils when he opened the SUV door. It also filled her with a tingling awareness. God, she loved a good smelling man.

How in the hell could she have forgotten how handsome Mason was? Time did that, dissolved the small things from your memory bank. It’d been over six years since the last time she’d seen him, at her best friend Brianna’s wedding. When she returned to civilization, she would have a few words with the woman. She could have reminded her of how fine he was.

Good-looking, brawny, and a grieving widower. A dangerous, yet safe combination.

Nona hesitated exiting the black Range Rover they’d arrived in as a mammoth-sized bird—she’d have guessed a pterodactyl, had they not been extinct—soared overhead. The creature showed minimal respect for their higher ranking on the food chain when it dropped a load the size of a dinner plate on the windshield.

Nona’s face contorted into a tight ball of disgust. Gross. She closed her eyes and shook her head. Just one more reason why she shouldn’t have been there—disrespectful wildlife.

And as if there weren’t already enough reasons: snakes, bears, rabid foxes, load-dropping pterodactyls…she could add, mouth-watering, drop-dead gorgeous man to the mix.

She and Mason hadn’t spoken much on the drive to wherever the hell they were, because she’d spent most of the four-hour ride typing away on her laptop. Yes, she was supposed to be on “vacation,” but there was work to be done. Always work to be done. She sighed inwardly. She needed a life. One that didn’t consist of all work and no play.

Somewhere between typing a memo and sending emails, she’d fallen asleep; awakening just in time to see the sign on the highway that read: Welcome to Indigo Falls. It’d been the last sign she’d seen before pulling onto a gravel road.

She’d never even heard of Indigo Falls. And she’d lived in North Carolina all of her life. The mountains in the distance told her she was far from home, and definitely out of her comfort zone.

“You okay?” Mason asked.

His velvety voice soothed her nerves. Had he been informed of her fear of the woods? If so, she would strangle her BFF. Nona flashed a half-smile. Show no fear. “Fine, yes.”

“You gonna get out?” he asked, standing inside the opened driver’s side door.

The cool breeze wafted another delicious dose of his cologne in her direction. “Ahm…yes. Yes, I am.” She gripped at the door handle like an inebriated buffoon. Mason laughed and she swore music notes floated from his mouth.

Jesus, this is going to be the longest seven days of my life.

Camping with a man who reminded her with just a sexy chuckle that she was all woman. What the hell could she have been thinking? She should have said no the second she opened her front door to see Mason there. The way her mouth had gone dry should have served as her first warning.

Sun-dried leaves and pine needles crunched under Nona’s feet when she finally stumbled from the vehicle. The crisp air was void of exhaust fumes, which was refreshing. It brought a smile to her face. She surveyed the endless mass of lush, green trees and her isolated location.

Had her best friend not assured her Mason was one hundred percent harmless—and an absolute gentleman—she would have been uncomfortable alone in the woods with a complete stranger. Well, complete if you didn’t take into consideration their brief encounter six years ago. But there was something about him she couldn’t quite put her finger on that told her she was in good hands. Maybe it had been the sight of his strong hands gripped around the steering wheel, handling the oversized vehicle with ease and precision that caused her to feel that way.

Speaking of vehicles, she hadn’t seen another one since they’d turned onto the gravel road. No people, no forest ranger, hell, not even a park sign welcoming them to the wooded area.

Nona’s cell phone screen flashed no service and alarm set in, twisting her stomach into a tight knot. How in the hell would she call for help if Big Foot attacked?

Quit being paranoid, Nona, and get yourself together.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Joy Avery.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

PURCHASE HIS UNTIL SUNRISE
Indigo Falls Romance, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book available at:  http://amzn.to/1khOWvj
http://www.amazon.com/Until-Sunrise-Indigo-Falls-romance-ebook/dp/B00MDKREOK


Meet the Author
Joy Avery
is a North Carolina native with a passion for penning contemporary romances. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cake decorating, pretending to expertly play the piano, driving her husband insane, and playing with her sixteen-pound peek-a-poo and hundred-pound Rottweiler.

There’s plenty of emotion in a Joy Avery romance. Sometimes there are obstacles and hurdles in love, and she enjoys showing this in her novels. Her stories guide readers along the rutted roads of love, delivering them to a gratifying happily ever after.

Romance is Joy’s genre of choice, because she enjoys the experience of characters overcoming the barriers that have held them back from finding true love. Plus, she loves happily ever afters.

HIS UNTIL SUNRISE is Joy’s second novel. Her first novel, SMOKE IN THE CITI, garnered attention for having well-developed and believable characters, as well as refreshing humor. She is currently working on Book 2 of her Indigo Falls series.  Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

http://www.joyavery.com
http://www.facebook.com/authorjoyavery
http://www.twitter.com/authorjoyavery
http://www.goodreads.com/authorjoyavery
http://www.amazon.com/author/joyavery

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Relentless by Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill

Relentless – Scarred by a childhood betrayal, Attorney Maxwell Montgomery vowed never to let his fate be dictated by anyone – not his parents, or God, and definitely not the church. He doesn’t need anyone including the woman who’s put her life on hold for him. He’ll be successful, powerful and rich enough to avoid ending up like his father. Maxwell’s on top of the world and isn’t ready for what’s heading his way.

The Redeemed Series is comprised of modern stories, loosely based on the attributes of the Apostle Paul and struggles he encountered with churches in the New Testament. Relentless is the first book in the series.

Excerpt from Relentless

Adrenaline surged. Maxwell couldn’t think of a greater satisfaction than hearing the jury foreman echo those melodious words, “We find in favor of the plaintiff.” The sum of the judgment didn’t quench his legal thirst, although four million dollars wasn’t bad for a day in court. Best news was that there were plenty more to come. So long as there were churches on earth, the exhilaration surfing through his body was a sensation he could ride indefinitely.

Maxwell saw the wave of reporters waiting on the courthouse steps. He jiggled the knot on his tie and straightened his Armani suit coat. “Are you ready to face the crowd,” Maxwell asked his client.

She grabbed his arm, shaking. “Do we have to go out there? Now that we’ve won, I just want to get out of here.”

Absolutely not is what he should have told her, but there was no need for further convincing. He’d proven that his plan worked best. She was walking out with a civil case victory against the almighty Reverend Morgan, the so-called anointed leader of one of the largest ministries in the tri-state area. Whatever he was supposed to be, reverend, doctor, Bishop, the well-deserved label of being a bona fide predator could also be added to his bio. No way was Maxwell going to pass up a prime opportunity to shout their victory over the airwaves. He’d send a message to the rest of the perpetrators that there would be no rest as long as Attorney Maxwell Montgomery was alive and breathing. Churches were on notice and they’d better take him serious.

He expeditiously ushered his client towards the door. She gave some resistance which didn’t deter his movement. Six months ago she was deemed a fired disgruntle employee who was pressing false charges against one of the most prestigious ministers in  Philadelphia . He kept pulling her towards the door, with the media closing in. Thanks to him, her indiscretions had been legitimized. It was no longer her fault, and on top of it, she was going to get four million, less his forty percent cut. So, as far as he was concerned, she didn’t get a say in how the rest of the day was going to play out of course. He forcefully pushed open the door leading from the courthouse and braced against the gust of wind.

The clicking sound of cameras, microphones shoved near his face, onlookers lining the steps, and incoherent chants equaled mayhem for most. But the controlled chaos was a work of beauty to Maxwell. His client was squeezing his arm so tightly that he had to peel a few of her fingers back to loosen the grip.

“Do you feel vindicated?” one reporter blurted out.

As his client stammered, Maxwell jumped in. Microphones honed in. “Justice was rendered today. The past six months have been a pure nightmare for my client. Her reputation has been maligned. She’s been hounded by church members simply because she was willing to come forward and expose the truth. She should be praised for her courage, not hounded, and today is the first step towards her getting back to a normal life.”

“Were you really expecting to win such a substantial settlement from a church?”

“It’s the only fair outcome, doesn’t matter if it’s the church or the  Vatican , wrong is wrong, and we have the court of law to right those wrongs,” Maxwell echoed, fueled with satisfaction.
           
“Do you see this as an indictment against religion?”
           
“No one is above the law.” Maxwell broke the grip his client had, and raised his arm. He knew which network had the largest viewing audience and intentionally pointed his finger directly into their cameras and said, “I’m serving notice to the corrupt leaders out there. If you think the church is going to save you, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m coming for you and you and you.” Maxwell was charged, ready to sail out of the crowd and whisk back to his office to start the next case. He reclaimed his client and began maneuvering through the crowd.

“Attorney Maxwell, is that a threat to all local clergyman?” a reporter asked.
        
Maxwell screeched to a stop. “I don’t make threats, only promises.”
        
“How many more lives are you going to ruin,” a voice shouted from the crowd. The mob was thick and Maxwell couldn’t see who was speaking. “You have ruined my family and our church.” As the woman got louder, it was like a pebble rippling in a pond. The crowd backed up and the media swarmed to her. “Who do you think you are, God?”
           
Suddenly there was a thumping sensation smothered by oos and ahs. The air felt light and the sky hypnotic. He seemed to be floating to the ground. Screams and a bunch of chatter faded out. Maxwell could see the people crowding around him. Every action was in slow motion. He wasn’t sure but guessed that this must be what peace felt like, being oblivious to pain, shielded from the chatter, naysayers, and circumstances. As he was instantly jerked out of the clouds of euphoria, Maxwell’s thoughts crashed back to reality, wielding a powerful headache with it. He placed the palm of his hand against his forehead, pressing in and feeling the coolness right above his eyebrow. He didn’t need to see the blood to know it was there.

(  Continued…  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the authors, Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill.   Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Relentless by Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill
Redeemed Series Book 1;  Coming November 1, 2014
Genre:  Drama, Faith Based; Clean Fiction with adult issues
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/relentless-patricia-haley/1118612869
http://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Redeemed-Series-Urban-Books/dp/1601626789



Meet the Authors

PATRICIA HALEY
is a trailblazer in the modern-day Christian fiction genre. She is an award winning, #1 Essence national bestselling author of twelve faith-based novels and two anthologies. She’s a senior project manager, born again believer, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Patricia lives with her loving husband and precious daughter in the Chicago, IL area. Visit her on http://www.patriciahaley.com. Become a Facebook friend at Patricia Haley-Glass or join her fan page at Author Patricia Haley.

GRACIE HILL is the award-winning author of five faith-based novels. She has also contributed to a book of anthology and written for several magazines. Gracie is an entrepreneur and a Spirit filled woman of God. She is a member of the Chicago Writers Association and lives with her husband and children in the Chicago, IL area. Visit her at http://www.graciehill.com. Follow her on Facebook and become a Facebook friend at Gracie Hill.

Contact Patricia Haley:  http://www.patriciahaley.com, phg@patriciahaley.com
Contact Gracie Hill:  http://www.graciehill.com, info@graciehill.com

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins by Alexandra Lane (2nd Edition)

What happens when you’re born into a world of darkness where there are no choices?  Where the undercurrents of evil are so strong you can’t fight your way out.  What do you do?

Minty
, a slave, was born into a world that offered no solace, no happiness but more than anything, no hope.  But on a cold, bitter night, Minty will be forced into making one of the hardest decisions of her life; to leave everyone that she knows and loves behind.  Her decision will bring forth an evil that will stop at nothing to keep her from reaching her destiny.  For it knows, it sees what Minty does not.

Jack, a loner with a dark past, and a few men will pursue her in the dark swamps of Maryland, along with Red, a sinister gray-eyed man who is the perfect embodiment of evil.

Unaware of what’s waiting for him at Little Canyon, Jack will be faced with unbelievable events that will cast him into some of the most frightening experiences of his life.

A weary search, wrought with unexplainable happenings, will begin to take its toll.  Fateful choices will be made.  Choices that will bring about an unimaginable outcome.

 

Chapter Excerpt:  The Beginning

Minty has just suffered a horrific beating by one of the slave masters who believed she  and a few other slaves were trying to escape.  She’s lying on the ground unconscious because the pain was unconscionable.  Zacharius, one of the young male slaves picks her up and takes her to her mother, Old Rit.  This is a pivotal moment in the book. 
(Readers, please keep in mind these are slaves, so they will speak differently.)

Zacharias quickly carried Minty to her mother’s quarters and stood before the door, kicking it and yelling for Old Rit to let him in. Old Rit opened the door with concern etched in her face. When she saw her daughter’s flaccid body draped in the young man’s arms, her eyes immediately reflected the fear that rose up inside her.

“She ain’t dead! She jus’ passed out,” said Zacharias.

Old Rit looked up at the young man to make sure she heard him correctly.

“She ain’t dead,” he repeated.

“Take her and lay her in dah bed.”

Old Rit scrambled around the room looking for salve and clean rags.

Zacharias gently laid Minty on the bed and then turned toward Old Rit with the front of his shirt soaked with her blood.

“I’s kin fetch some water from dah well fo’ ya, but den I’s gotta go and work dah fields befo’ old man

Brodess finds out where I is.”

Then Zacharias grabbed a small tin bucket on the floor and ran out the door.

As many times as Old Rit had seen her daughter like this, it never got any easier, for tears would still well up in her eyes, but this was the worst she had seen.

Almost immediately, Zacharias returned with the bucket, and with water spilling everywhere, he fretfully placed it on the floor in front of Old Rit then quickly left out running toward the lumber yard.

As she sat cleaning Minty’s cuts, she began to think about her daughter’s plight and what her end would be on this earth. Minty thought she had a right to humanity and to freedom, and because of that very thought, she was subjected to many beatings. She knew Minty’s stubborn nature, along with her illness, would either get her killed or sold, for she was as rebellious as a wild stallion.

However, some of the younger slaves didn’t agree with her ways. They said she was a twenty-seven-year old married woman, and she should know better. They never quite understood why she just wouldn’t humble herself and simply follow the master’s rules as they did.

After regaining consciousness, Minty realized she was lying on her mother’s bed, naked and bleeding. With her jaws tight and her face stern, she secretly promised herself and God that Ben would never beat her again.

“Ouch!” Minty yelled as her mother sat by her side spreading salve on the open wounds. But the constant writhing from the sting of the herbal ointments was making it difficult for Old Rit to apply.

“Now you’s gotta try and lie still why I’s fix yo wounds ‘cause you’s got quite a few of dem dis time,” she said.

“It hurts, Momma!”

“I’s know, baby, but you’s gotta go through dah pain to get to dah healin’.” Then silence filled the room as Old Rit worked on her daughter’s body like a skilled doctor.

“I’s had enough, Momma,” Minty suddenly said, breaking the silence. “I’s can’t take no mo. Two days ago, Zacharias told me ’bout a white man, a abolishnist that was helpin’ slaves scape ta dah North. So ’bout three months ago, I’s went to ’im, and he gave me a map showin’ me how ta get ta dah river where’s  a boat would be waitin’ that would take me up north, close ta a place called a safe house,” she explained.

“Is that what got ya like dis? Minty, ba—”

“No, Momma!” Minty shouted. “I’s got no choice.”

“Minty, you’s can’t trust ‘im, baby. You’s don’t know nuttin’ ’bout ’im.”

“If I stay, I’s gonna die.” Minty paused. “I’s gonna die, Momma. And I don’t wanna die. Not like dis… not like dis.” Then Minty broke down and began to cry.

Old Rit tearfully looked at her daughter then reached down to embrace her, but she quickly let her go when Minty screamed out from the painful touch.

Then she leaned back and looked at Minty’s body. She saw the deep bloody cuts, her bruised and busted lip, and the welt marks that were grotesquely displayed on her body. She realized that her daughter survived, once again, but the day would come when she would not. She gently rubbed Minty’s head and began to slowly shake her head in agreement.

Old Rit could see that Minty’s once vibrant spirit was slowly fading, not only from the beatings but from the struggle to be free. She knew that it was out of her hands and that it was now in God’s.

Then suddenly the door to Old Rit’s quarters violently flew open. Minty’s husband, John, burst into the room. Minty raised her head. Then she strained a little harder, looking into his eyes. Her face quickly changed.

John, a tall, average-built man, stood in the doorway breathing heavily with his chest visibly heaving up and down. He had run all the way from town when he heard the news of Minty’s savage beating. Seeing her battered body and her blood-soaked clothes lying on the floor next to the bed was more than he could take. He was neither happy nor thrilled at the fact that Minty was still alive. Instead, he was furious.

“I’s told you you’d get a beatin’ if you didn’t learn ta shut yo mouth!” he said. “Sneakin’ round here, always talkin’ bout escapin’. Where’s ya gonna go? You’s need ta stop thinkin’ you’s better than everyone else. Thinkin’ you’s kin say or do whateva you’s want. Have ya forgot that you’s a slave?” Then he slammed his fist against the door, making a small dent. “Well, let me help ya! You’s a slave, dammit!”

John abruptly turned to leave out the small quarters, but he turned back around and pointed his calloused finger at Minty.

“You’s best start thinkin’ ’bout how you’s gonna change yo ways befo’ you get both o’ us kilt.”

Then he turned and walked out the door, slamming it behind him. He slammed it so hard that it rebounded off the framed doorway and swung back open.

 “Minty, he’ll neva understand how you’s feel. He be a free man, bone that way. You’s runnin’ away and gettin’ yo freedom means him losin’ his wife and bein’ alone. Ya see how he acts when you’s talk ta him ’bout bein’ free. You’s kin see it in his eyes. He don’t want ya ta leave, and he’ll do whateva he can ta stop it. Even said he’ll tell ole man Brodess if you’s kept talkin’ bout it. You knows dis ta be true.”

Minty slowly laid her head back down and blankly stared at the open doorway. Something was changing…something in her.

 Then unexpectedly, in the midst of staggering summer heat, the whisper of a cool breeze blew in through the open doorway and encircled Minty’s face and body. The breeze felt as if God was blowing his divine breath upon her battered and bruised body. So Minty closed her eyes and welcomed the comfort that the cool breeze bestowed upon her stinging wounds.

Old Rit looked at her daughter and smiled as she gently rubbed her head, for as the old folk would say, God was whispering to her soul. 

(  Continued…  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alexandra Lane.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins. Available on Kindle and Nook

Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Vision-Angels-Alexandra-Lane-ebook/dp/B008S19ODW

Barnes and Noble.com
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-vision-of-angels-alexandra-lane/1108912950  

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

An Elderberry Fall by Ruth P. Watson


This sequel to the historical bestseller Blackberry Days of Summer reunites the people of Jefferson County, Virginia, with yet another murder and the resurrection of an evil thought to be dead and gone.

As she adjusts to a new beginning in Richmond, Virginia, Carrie Parker finds herself juggling motherhood, work, school, and increasing strains on her new marriage to Simon. Carrie and Simon are happy parents, but sometimes Carrie feels there’s something dark and evil about her little baby’s eyes, and it scares her. She vows he will not be anything like his real father—a beady-eyed womanizer now long gone.

But the past has a strange way of creeping back into the present…

Just as the dust is settling on the murder of Carrie’s stepfather, Herman Camm, everybody in Richmond is shocked to find out his memory is not yet gone. Did he really die? And what part did Carrie play? Soon she is forced to answer questions and return to a past ridden with abuse, corruption, scandal, and deceit. Will she be able to move on with her life, or will the past follow Carrie and her family wherever they go?

Read an Excerpt
An Elderberry Fall  –  Chapter 1

On February 4th, 1921, I gulped a breath of fresh air before I took the last step down the train steps onto solid ground. The brisk wind caressed my skin, and alerted me to a new reality. “So this is Richmond, Virginia,” I said to myself, gazing around at the cobblestone sidewalks and cars. My six-month-old son, Robert, had his head resting on my shoulder as I struggled with my overloaded suitcase, straining every muscle in my body, but I could not have cared less. Who would have believed a young girl like me would be here—in the big city, with streetcars and tall buildings and with colored people strutting around in fine, fashionable outfits, like the kind white folk wore in Jefferson County on special occasions? The coloreds appeared proud, like they owned the town. It felt good, and I fought to slow my heart down from the rush of anxiety. It was certainly different here. Most of the folks I knew probably thought I would live forever in Jefferson County amongst the sour memories and shame from the child I bore out of wedlock. But I was not so ready to stay there. When Simon asked me to come to Richmond, Virginia, my real transformation began.

•  •  •

My child, Robert, is beautiful. He is almost flawless. Each day I study the ridges around his little fingers, waiting to see if his tan color and fine features and that innocent, charismatic smile will remain. He favors me for the most part. However, there are times when his eyes seem dark and mysterious, and it sends chills throughout my body.

Robert, Simon and I live in a small apartment on the west side of Richmond—Jackson Heights, they call it. It’s the colored section of town. It is a fine neighborhood, with shrubbery and flowers planted tastefully in front of well kept tenement houses and single-family row homes. Our place is a small, brick, two-story house with a cast-iron fence around it. Alongside the yard is an elderberry bush, which reminds me of the sweet jam Momma made in the fall. Most of the neighborhood residents are colored and oblivious to the surrounding communities. Everything seems to be within walking distance—the grocer, tailor, the cobbler, and the feed and seed store. The corner store has everything we need. Farmers are unloading crates of vegetables every day, and hanging inside are hams, and there is a meat counter where slices of select meat can be packaged. It is well stocked, and I am overwhelmed that I no longer have to work in a field with the hot sun beaming down on me. Simon has a rooster and two hens in the backyard, mainly for eggs. But, I can imagine them on the table stuffed with cornbread dressing.

We share our backyard with a couple downstairs. They are on the front porch every day sitting in a porch swing with wide smiles swept across their faces as if the stresses of life had floated past them even though they are different from others in the neighborhood. Most people stare transfixed by their difference. The lady is white, very pale, and the man is colored. Most feel their living together is a disgrace to everyone around them. It is alright with me because they seem happy. And from where I come from, happiness is the center of life and satisfaction. The man is tall and very dark, almost as dark as a midnight sky. He is clean, somewhat handsome and solid in build. She is a petite lady of normal height, a brunette, with barely any frown lines or wrinkles and sky-blue eyes. The Halls are at least sixty years old, but they don’t look it. Directly across the street from us is another strange, but beautiful couple.

The man is rugged in appearance like most railroad workers. He has long lashes like those of a woman, thick bushy hair and flawless caramel skin. Though handsome, he is never well-groomed. His wife is also attractive. She is dark chocolate with a lot of hair that falls to her shoulders, and bounces as she walks; her pouty lips are the kind the old people swear are sexy. Those neighbors have two children. Simon and I are getting used to the newness of city life, the sounds of the streetcars, the pinging of the church clock, and the whispers of voices walking down the street. On steamy summer nights, the neighborhood seems to explode. Vague voices and outbursts of laughter are heard from blocks away. It’s a jovial place. The sounds of crickets chirping are drowned out by the hissing of the steam shooting out of the trains and streetcars starting and stopping along its route through town. The action is hypnotic. I find myself loathing going to sleep, because I relish the sounds of city life so much. It is invigorating.

I can’t help wondering about Momma and her life in a world shadowed with trees. She is alone now, with painful memories about a time all of us would love to forget. But, somehow the past always come back to you in some form. Carl, my brother, is still in Jefferson County, and yards away from my mother. He is just like my papa, strong-willed and no-nonsense. He is the strength she needs right now. When Camm was murdered, I’d waited for her to lose it all—break down in tears—but instead her face appeared less tense, relaxed. Just like for me, a burden had been lifted from my mother’s shoulders.

Simon is all I need right now. He is such a handsome man, physically and mentally strong. He is truly mine in every form, something I never thought would happen; and I adore ever inch of his being. I quiver sometimes just thinking about how complete he makes me feel. “Oh, Lawd, is this right?” I say to myself, and feel warm chills travel over my skin. He says he loves me, and acts like it, too. He is so attentive to me and Robert. Along with most women we are around, the lady across the street is always staring at my husband. I smile shyly at her, knowing she’d better stay in her place, because he has chosen me.

(  Continued…  )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ruth P. Watson.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


About the Author
Ruth P. Watso
n is the author of Blackberry Days of Summer. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and son. She divides her time between being a business owner, writer, and educator. She has a master’s degree and is currently working on a new novel and documentary.


Purchase An Elderberry Fall

www.amazon.com/An-Elderberry-Fall-Zane-Presents/dp/1593095155
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-elderberry-fall-ruth-p-watson/1117313657

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Married in the Nick of Nine by Alretha Thomas


Is it possible to meet, fall in love with, and marry “The One” within nine months? In this romantic suspense, Alretha Thomas introduces us to a woman who believes it’s possible.  Cassandra Whitmore will be thirty in nine months and she’s determined to nab Mr. Right, before then. Her A-type quest is rewarded when she meets Nicolas Harte who hails from New York.  There’s only one caveat. Cassandra soon finds out there’s something rotten in The Big Apple.


ALRETHA THOMAS IS TAKING READERS BY STORM

What a great book!  –P Diddy

Great summer read.    –Sepia Brown

A Great Read, Patricia Crowe  –Ladies of Color Turning Pages

An Amazing Read  –Yolanda Oliver of Essence of Books

WOW!! Selatha Smith  –Circle of Friends Book Club


Excerpt Chapter 1

I’m staring at the calendar stuck to my fridge, wondering where the time went. It wasn’t that long ago that I was braving long lines and rowdy crowds in the quest for the ultimate Christmas gift. Now it’s February, and I’m looking at a photo of red roses. In four days, millions of women will receive cards, flowers, candy, jewelry—and the super-lucky ones, the almighty engagement ring. As for me, I’ll spend the day lying to myself. A lot. I’ll tell myself, “It’s just another day, it’s all about the money, I’m not letting someone dictate who I should love and when.” And my favorite, “It’s a day for fools.” If you haven’t already surmised, I’m dreading Valentine’s Day.

When I graduated from college, my eight-year plan looked like this:
1) Find the perfect man, get happily married (So far, no such luck).

2) Have at least two rug rats (Likewise, considering the miserable failure of item 1).   

I remove the cap from the black Sharpie I’m holding in my death grip and place a large X on today’s date—Saturday, February 10th. I scan the previous forty X marks and replace the cap on the pen; I don’t want it to dry up like my love life. I have nine months before I turn the big three-oh, and I’m determined, by any means necessary, to be married before November 10th.

“Cass, what are you doing?”

My cousin’s high-pitched voice startles me. I tense hearing the sound of her footfalls along the hardwood floor as she makes her way from the living room to the kitchen. I take a moment and calmly say, “Nothing.”

She shakes her head, swishing her dreadlocks then snatches the Sharpie out of my hand. “You and that calendar. I don’t know why you put so much pressure on yourself. Why plan everything? Just let it happen.”

Yeah, that’s good advice. She just let it happen, and now she’s desperate to get out of a marriage to a guy with serious weight issues. It’s not entirely her fault. David is what she calls a “closet fatty.” When he and Cyn met he’d lost one hundred pounds. He managed to keep all his “before” photos out of sight until after the shotgun wedding. During the pregnancy they both gained a ton of weight. David got so big that he lost all interest in going out, having sex, and bathing—not necessarily in that order. On the upside, he’s a good guy and a great dad.

I take the Sharpie from her and toss it onto the island in my recently remodeled kitchen. “I am going to let it happen.”

With hands planted on her hips she asks, “How are you gonna let it happen when you’ve boxed yourself into a nine-month deadline? What if you don’t find ‘The One’ by then?”

“A lot can happen in a day—in a minute. I could walk out the front door and the man of my dreams could be standing on my lawn.”

She looks at me, hisses, and flounces out of the kitchen. Curious, I follow her into the living room. She draws the curtains back from the picture window, points, and says, “The only thing I see on your lawn is a pile of dog mess.”

My stomach drops at the sight of the crap. I paid extra this year to have my grass seeded; it’s the envy of the block. This is the third time my neighbor, a batterer and a dead-ringer for Denzel Washington, let his dog do his business in my yard. I ignore the smug look on my cousin’s face and say, “I don’t know why Michael lets his dog mess on my grass. Drives me nuts.”

“Why don’t you cancel with what’s his name and celebrate with me tonight?” she asks in a tone teetering between a plea and a demand.

“Cancel my date with Lawrence to celebrate what?”

“Having a black man in the white house. Did you ever think we’d live to see it?”

“Not really, but Cyn, if Barack Obama had relied on people like you to get elected, he never would have made it. It took you forever to get registered and the only vote you’ve ever cast was for Fantasia on American Idol. So stop trying to play the ‘I’m down for the black cause’ card.”

Busted, she says, “It’s ladies’ night. David’s at that teachers’ conference, and he won’t be back until Sunday. My mom’s watching Shelby. I’m dying to get out.”

“I’m not feeling the club thing. You know it’s not my scene.”

“Come on, cousin. Between David, my crazy clients, their kids, and my wild child, I’m losing it. I need to get my groove back. I’ll do anything.”

“Anything?”

“Anything.”

I go into the kitchen, grab a plastic bag from the drawer, and return to the living room. “Here.”

“What’s that for?”

“You said you’ll do anything.” I point to the yard.

Cyn, with a wide-eyed, disgusted look on her face, grabs the bag out of my hand. I open the door and watch her trudge toward the dog doo. She grimaces, snatches up the crap with the plastic bag, and looks at me, her face a question mark.

“Put it in the can around back.”

“Can’t believe I’m doing this.” Gagging, she pinches her nose and storms to the side of the house.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alretha Thomas.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Married in the Nick of Nine by Alretha Thomas
Kindle Link:  http://amzn.com/B00LG201VY

Kindle Download Available

http://www.amazon.com/Married-Nick-Nine-Alretha-Thomas-ebook/dp/B00LG201VY

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Love and Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy

One of my favorite things about the story of Order of the Seers is the many different types of love I get to explore.  Romantic love plays a strong role throughout the books, but there is also love of family, love of self, love of community and finally love for the world at large. Let me explain…

Love of Family

The first characters you get to meet in Order of the Seers (Book I) are Liam and Lillith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister whose love for each other is about to be pushed to a whole new level.  At 16 and 13 years old, respectively, these young people haven’t had a lot of experience with sacrifice.  While they both lost their father at a young age, they have lived a normal life in a modest, but comfortable home that their mother provided for them.  I’ve always believed that sacrifice is the true measure of love.  It’s easy to love someone when there is no inconvenience, no challenge and minimal effort on your part. 

But when love costs you something, that’s when you know its importance in your life. At the tender age of 16, Liam sacrifices a lot for the safety and well being of his sister.  The changes to his life are jarring and painful, with consequences he can’t even perceive at the start, but each time he is tested, he makes the choice to protect his sister, to love her, no matter what.  And slowly, as Lilli grows and learns what love is through her brother’s selfless example, she returns his love with a commitment and sacrifice of her own.

Liam and Lilli’s story is just one way that familial love is explored in the books.  Marcus Akida’s relationship with Alessandra Pino is another.  At the point where you meet Alessandra, she feels as low as a person can feel.  She is a slave – exploited for an extraordinary ability that she does not understand and can’t control.    Every person, every interaction she can remember in her young life is about someone taking something from her.  The people around her feed her, cloth her, keep her healthy only to keep her alive to exploit and she hates herself for it.  When she first meets Marcus, she has no idea what to do with his kindness.  In fact, she is immediately suspicious. His gentle demeanor is so unfamiliar that she runs from it, until he proves (and she realizes) that he is unlike anyone she’s ever met. 

Not only does he not want anything from her, he wants to offer her something she has no concept of – a vision of herself outside of the exploitation of her daily life, a vision of her own potential, her own value, her own worth.  For Alessandra, as with all of us who experience unconditional love for the first time, it is nothing short of revolutionary.  Marcus becomes her mentor and friend first, then ultimately her father.  And through his love, she becomes unstoppable.

Romantic Love
The first time, Alessandra catches a glimpse of Liam in her future, her entire world shifts.  She sees a man who holds her gently, smiles in delight at her presence and promises love with every syllable he utters.  The notion that someone could, would and WILL love her that way is intoxicating.  That simple vision gives her the courage she needs to risk everything to find him. 

But love, as any mature person knows, is not enough.  One of the things I truly enjoy about the love story between Liam and Alessandra is the necessity of finding themselves before they finally find each other.  There is a lot of awkwardness and starts and stops, which is fun (and sexy!), but there is also a lot of soul searching.  I wanted my characters to walk in to their love knowing their own value and taking the risk, not out of desperation or fear, but out of a real sense of who they are and what they want.  By the time our couple comes together, they are two people who understand themselves and can honestly say they want the same things from each other, which makes for a powerful bond to carry them through all the craziness and danger that follows.

Although Liam and Alessandra are the “romantic leads” in Order of the Seers, they are not the only ones.  Other characters represent different phases and levels of “romantic love that take you on a journey from the heights of physical love to the depths of a truly inseparable spiritual connection.

Self-love
The journey of the Seers is absolutely one of self-discovery and love.  As Seers within the Guild, they are striped of their memories, their identity, even their basic instinct to fight back.  The entire context for their being is torn away.  In place of these essential elements, they are given a purpose and identity that is solely about serving the needs of others.  When the first of this group escapes the Guild, they literally do not know who they are, what they like or dislike or even the extent of their power to see the future.  All of this they learn after they leave the Guild and are able to discover and define life on their own. 

For Marcus Akida, his unique resistance to the Guild’s mind-controlling drugs allowed the natural process of his own self-discovery and awareness to remain uninterrupted and, as a result, he becomes the most powerful Seer the Guild has ever seen.  Marcus never doubts his value, no matter how he is treated or what they use him for.  And he doesn’t stop there.  Through his optimism and understanding of his own value, he teaches Alessandra and every person he comes in contact with how to do the same.  This profound sense of his own identify – outside of the one assigned to him – allows Marcus to use his gift in a way that no one ever imagined and that spark of authenticity changes the world, bringing down an entire regime.  Marcus is who I want to be when I grow up. 

Love for Your Community and the World
With Book I, you see the Seers as a group of people just trying to survive, fighting for the right to be whom and what they are.  But as they come into their own and begin to truly understand what they are capable of, they see a higher purpose and calling for their power. 

The process begins in Iowa, at a commune where people, either by choice or necessity, are outcasts bought together by a common desire to stay hidden.  People come and go, but there are no core beliefs that bind them together. However, when the Seers arrive, their presence pushes the makeshift arrangement within the commune to evolve into something deeper – a community with a common purpose and ideals.  In turn, the Seers blossom in an environment where they are expected to give as well as receive.  As they heal from their experiences with the Guild, the bond that the commune members create with the Seers becomes even more meaningful, something that the Seers are willing to use their powers to protect.  For the Seers, it is the first time that any of them chooses to use their powers of their own free will and it is very telling that they choose to do so in service of those who have given them so much. 

The commune, like any healthy community, provides a safe place for them to learn and grow, share and trust.  These relationships become the foundation upon which the Seers expand their mandate from a personal quest to a global crusade against the Guild.


About the Author
Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.


Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy

http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS


What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?


Order of the Seers poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, romance, and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith’s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future.  Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone.  Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world.

But from within the organization, Marcus Akida, a captured Seer with powerful visioning capabilities, quietly plots his daring escape with the help of a beautiful and tortured Seer named Alessandra.  When the escaped Seers are drawn to the same remote commune in Iowa as Liam and Lilith, they each find a place where they can rebuild their lives and rediscover their passion for life and love.  As the Guild’s efforts to find them intensifies, the Seers ban together with outlaws from the commune to fight back against the organization that threatens their lives – setting off a chain of events that will unleash the full power of the Seers and change everything we know about the true potential that lies dormant in each of us.

See the Power Within!

https://www.smore.com/d299

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sultry Pleasure by Lindsay Evans

A hot Miami night. A glittering gala. And a gorgeous billionaire wants to spirit her away. This might be a fantasy for most women, but not Diana Hobbes. She’s at a charity event representing the nonprofit adoption agency she has poured her heart and soul into. And despite the hot body, easy charm and luxury ride of playboy Marcus Stanfield, Diana has nothing in common with him.

Marcus is unaccustomed to having women refuse him. So he is surprised by Diana’s brush-off – and intrigued. Angelically kind and devilishly sexy, Diana is worth more than a little effort…so an epic seduction campaign begins. Lavish evenings, small touches, and grand gestures all say “I want you.” The desire is mutual, the tension maddening. But which will Diana ultimately choose: holding back… or giving in?


Excerpt from Chapter One

 Marcus Stanfield walked into the party already looking for the exits. On a Saturday night in Miami, he’d much rather be on his boat or partying with friends than bleeding away the night at a charity ball he had had no real interest in attending. The music was calm and laid back, acceptable jazz that blended into the background while Miami business professionals and philanthropists wove through the crowd in their formal dinner wear—black tie and tails, cocktail dresses, diamonds dripping from necks and wrists.

As Marcus glanced over the crowd, he heard the sound of a woman’s laughter, husky and low, from nearby.

The woman’s laughter was rich and deep, with a hint of naughtiness. A combination that drew him like a bee to honey. His ears latched on to the laughter while his eyes tracked the room for the source of the sound. Soon he found it.

Two women stood together. One was still laughing, her head thrown back, a hand propped up on her hip. She was slender and pretty, light-skinned with wavy black hair down to the middle of her back.

But, inexplicably, it was the woman standing next to her that drew and kept Marcus’s attention. She had dark skin, angelic features, and straightened hair pulled back in an elegant French roll. Even from across the room, he sensed her innocence. While her friend was dressed in a purple satin dress that caught her at mid-thigh and clung to her slender but generously proportioned body, this woman wore ice blue.

She smiled faintly at something her friend said, her full mouth tilting up at the corners with mild amusement. Marcus looked back at the friend with her killer  body, white teeth and long hair that fell in thick waves over her luscious breasts. She was definitely more his type, a woman who would want him for his money, and never anything else. The safe type.

But the woman in blue was who he wanted.

“Good evening, ladies.” Marcus approached them with his charming smile firmly in place.

The laughing woman gave him a considering glance, a quick but thorough evaluation of what he was wearing, how he looked, what he was worth.

“Good evening.” She greeted him with a predatory smile. “You’re Marcus, right?”

“I am,” he said. “A pleasure to meet you.”

The woman he wanted treated him like he was intruding on their conversation. She was even more beguiling up close. Not traditionally beautiful but exquisitely made with her large eyes, wide mouth and narrow chin.

“I’m Trish,” the long-haired one said, offering her hand to shake. “And this is my best friend, Diana.” She nudged her friend, as if encouraging her to be nice to Marcus.

Diana extended her hand in greeting. “Marcus.” Her voice was carefully neutral.

“Don’t say my name like that,” he said with a grin. “So formal. Especially when I came over here intending to ask you to dance with me.”

A frown settled on her angelic face. “I don’t dance.”

“She’d love to.” Trish smiled even wider to make up for Diana’s lack of welcome, then nudged her friend again, this time directly into Marcus’s arms. “Enjoy, honey!”

Marcus took Diana’s arm and led her to the dance floor where they were playing Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.”

“Thank you for dancing with me,” he said.

She looked up at him, her eyes large and serious behind a veil of thick lashes. Her narrow chin jutted out.

“You know very well I didn’t agree to dance with you,” she said. Her full mouth glistened dark red under the lights.

“You don’t strike me as a woman who’d let herself be talked into something she didn’t want to do,” he murmured as they moved to the beat of the song. “Whatever small part of you wanted to come with me, I’m grateful for it.” He smiled, strangely charmed by her coolness. Her reaction to him was completely different from what he usually got from women.

At his look, Diana pursed her lips, the lines of her face softening. “I’m sorry. It’s just been a long day. Everyone here seems to think just because I work for a non-profit, that means I’m going to whore myself out to the one with the biggest bank account.”

Damn. She was definitely not his type at all. With other women , he knew what they wanted, and they knew what he could give. Sex for money: a transparent transaction. But he didn’t want to let Diana go yet.

“If it makes you feel any better, you don’t have to whore yourself out to me at all.” Marcus dipped his hips close to hers as they moved to the music, then pulled back. “All I want is a dance.”

She looked at him with a hint of doubt in her sparkling brown eyes. “A dance is all you really want?”

Marcus smiled. “For now.” He spun her around to the rhythm of the song, then pulled her back seamlessly into his arms. “Later I was thinking of trying to tempt you with dinner, maybe a late night walk on the beach.”

The corner of her mouth twitched. “I’ve already eaten, and I try to avoid the beach at night.”

“Why is that?”

She looked at him with a pointed rise of an eyebrow. “Sharks.”

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lindsay Evans.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt. 

Purchase Sultry Pleasure by Lindsay Evans
Genre: Romance.  Amazon link:  http://amzn.to/1dzwicR


Meet the Author

Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans currently lives in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She currently writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at http://www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.

Twitter: @LindsayEvansXOX
Website: http://www.LindsayEvansWrites.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/LindsayEvansXOX

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House by Nika Beamon

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House is the tale of a Nika Beamon’s quest to find the correct medical diagnosis after years of getting false assessments. This frank and engaging story takes the reader on journey through her various hospital trips, and procedures, as well as her feeling and emotions that are as real as they are raw. It also introduces them to a quirky cast of characters who go through this 17 year odyssey with her until she finally finds out that she has an autoimmune disorder.

Misdiagnosed gives a voice to the 30 million Americans diagnosed with rare diseases, who have struggled to figure out what ail them. It gives people suffering with chronic conditions, rare or not, tips on how to continue to get the best medical care possible. I also provide tips on how to care for someone who is chronically ill and the things all single chronically ill people should do to make things easier for their family and friends.

Also, Misdiagnosed serves a cautionary guide to anyone who falls ill or has a loved one suffering with an ailment in the US. A recent John Hopkins study found that hospital errors lead to as many as 40,500 patients dying annually. Also, a study published in April showed 1 in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S.

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House  has been endorsed by bestselling authors Wes Moore, Marya Hornbacher and Richard Cohen (Meredith Vieira’s husband) as well as Dr. Robert Lahita of UMDNJ and the Nation Women’s Health Network.

Purchase today at Smashwords. Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt
Link for the book:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457341

WHY BEAMON’S MISDIAGNOSED IS A MUST READ
Misdiagnosed sheds light the experiences of African American and other minorities who have a well-documented history of getting substandard or inadequate medical treatment in the U.S. A research study cited in a February 14, 2010 Daily Beast article said “race-related differences in health care cost the country 229 billion between 2003 and 2006” alone; a fact that “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called ‘just stunning and shocking.’”

Misdiagnosed serves a cautionary guide to anyone who falls ill or has a loved one suffering with an ailment in the US. A recent John Hopkins study found that hospital errors lead to as many as 40,500 patients dying annually.

The Mayo Clinic found 26 percent of cases are misdiagnosed; this number rises to a staggering 44 percent when it comes to some types of cancer according to the Journal of Clinical Onocology. These mistakes cost nearly one third of the 2.7 trillion spent in the US on healthcare. A study published in April showed one in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S.  Source


WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK

Anyone who has not had a chronic illness.
Anyone who has a chronic illness. 
Anyone who has cared for someone with a chronic illness. 
Anyone who has treated, or attempted to treat, someone with a chronic illness. 
Anyone who influences health policy in the U.S. or other countries. 

Order Links for Misdiagnosed
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457341

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosed-The-Search-Dr-House/dp/1500436674

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosed-Search-House-Nika-Beamon-ebook/dp/B00M5G9TLI

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

My Steps Are Ordered by Michelle Lindo-Rice

What happens when your husband finds out you’re in love with his brother?

Gina Ward has it all: a husband, a child, and all the finer things life have to offer. She doesn’t see herself as one of the less fortunate who needs God. But, what happens when her only son, Trey, falls ill? Will she rely on the only one who holds the world in His hands?

Keith Ward is a respected minister, but he cannot shake his inappropriate feelings for his brother’s wife. When his nephew falls ill, Keith knows he has to drop everything to be by her side. Will he finally find healing for his broken heart?

Michael Ward is living the dream life, but life as he knows it changes drastically when his son falls ill. Everything he thought to be truth will be brought into question. What will he do when he realizes he is living one big lie?

The Second Installment of the “On the Right Path” series promises to keep you turning the pages until the stunning end.

Excerpt:  My Steps Are Ordered by Michelle Lindo-Rice

It couldn’t be.

No. It was impossible.

Immobilized, Pastor Keith Ward felt suspended in time. His breath caught. His yellow tie, sprinkled with tiny red polka dots, threatened to choke the life out of him.

The voices of the choir faded in the distant echo. All around him people praised and rejoiced while Keith felt the scales around his heart chip away.

Time stood still.

No wonder she’d been on his mind. Even on his way to the podium, Keith had had to repeat scriptures to temper the need that filled his being. His psyche must have known something. Leaning forward, Keith squinted to focus into the distance. That’s her all right. She was here.

Gina Ward. His brother’s wife.

And, the mother of Keith’s child. Yes, he was a father.

Keith’s heart slammed into his chest. Its beating sounded like thunder booming to his ears. Gripping the handles, Keith eased his body out of the chair, intent on pursuing the woman who twisted his insides and stole his heart.

He had to go to her.

As he stood, Keith felt a moment of disorientation; belatedly realizing the crowd was standing and cheering. It seemed as if they were giving him a standing ovation. Flabbergasted, Keith watched Gina leave. All of his thoughts about his sermon left the forefront of his mind.

He turned his head to see his assistant, Natalie Henderson, or as he called her, “The Hawk,” gesturing towards the podium. She mouthed the words, “Go. Go,” with frantic hands.

Keith gritted his teeth, clenched his fists and closed his eyes. Lord, help me. Help me.

The crowd shouted praises, presuming he was hearing something from God. Summoning every ounce of self-control he possessed, Keith stepped up to the podium. He opened his Bible, worn from use—but he’d refused to get a new one. This one had sentimental value. Then, with authority and anointing, he addressed his parishioners waiting on a word from God.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michelle Lindo-Rice.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


Purchase My Steps Are Ordered 

by Michelle Lindo-Rice
http://www.amazon.com/Steps-Are-Ordered-Michelle-Lindo-Rice/dp/1601626673

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Intimate Conversation with Athena Lark

Athena Lark is the author of the greatly anticipated debut novel, Avenue of Palms. She graduated from the University of California at Riverside, where she received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. She has been published in; the Literary Journals, Gently Read Literature, Hippo Reads and Whistling Fire, the Florida Times Union newspaper, Jacksonville Business Journal, Jacksonville Advocate, the Albany Herald, UNF Spinnaker, and UNF Alumni Magazine. She is currently writing her memoir, Sailor Girl about her life in the U. S. Navy.

For more on the novel, check out my website at:  http://www.athenalark.com.  Also, the cinematic book trailer on YouTube is wonderfully produced:  http://youtu.be/1oxB0i8rNl4


BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?  Why now?
I was inspired to write Avenue of Palms, when I visited an old slave plantation in Jacksonville, FL.  As I walked through one of the slave cabins, I felt a presence, and then saw a vision.  Sitting in a rocking chair, in front of the large fire place, was an old slave woman.  She was crying, as she sewed on a quilt.  The vision left just as quickly as it appeared.  My heart felt very heavy, as I thought about the trials and tribulations the people who lived in the cabin had to endure.  I began to cry uncontrollably, mindless of the tourists standing outside the cabin.   After gaining some self-control, I thought about writing a book about the woman in front of the fire.  Here name would be Violet. 
    

BPM:  Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?

A great deal of my life experiences inspired my writing.  My career in the U.S. Navy gave me vast amounts of inspiration to develop characters, plots, and dialogue.
     

BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from?  Are your books plot driven or character driven?

I’ve always been a lover of books, since my early childhood.  My book ideas come mainly from observing things around me, and studying my history. 
     

BPM:  Introduce us to your current work.  What genre do you consider your book?  Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?

My research of African American history helped me enormously in writing Avenue of Palms.  Although the book is a work of fiction, there are some actual facts which laid the foundation.  Kinglsey Plantation was once a very profitable venture, for the white owner and his African wife. The dynamics of the odd couple helped me to develop my characters in the book.  Avenue of Palms is more than just another slave story. 


BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters.  What makes each one so special? What topics are primarily discussed?  Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

Violet Kingsley, the protagonist is a strong willed, courageous, and loving woman and mother.  Her journey from Africa, through the Middle Passage, and finally to the shores of Kingsley Plantation, and beyond is a tale of struggle, empowerment, revelations, and redemption.  Writing the book has confirmed the importance of knowing one’s history.  Currently the novel is not available in digital forms.
        

BPM:  What defines success for you, as a published author?  What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Many writers define success by the number of accolades the book receives, such as a good review by the NY Times.  However, to me true success is when a reader lets me know how much they enjoyed the novel, and how Violet lingers with them, far after the last page is read.  It would be ideal if Avenue of Palms was picked up by a traditional publishing company.  I’ve been told Avenue of Palms would make a great movie.  If that were to happen it would be a dream come true.  I’m also in the process of writing my memoir, Sailor Girl. 
  

BPM:  How can readers discover more about you and your work?
For more on the novel, check out my website at http://www.athenalark.com.  Also, the cinematic book trailer on YouTube is wonderfully produced.  

Purchase Avenue of Palms by Athena Lark
Purchase:  http://www.amazon.com/Avenue-Palms-Athena-Lark/dp/1493109782

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Meet the Author

 

Ella Curry Interview with Maya Angelou: Letter to My Daughter

With women making the largest strides in the arenas of politics, education, entrepreneurship and business, no other time is more poignant for Letter to My Daughter, Maya Angelou’s poetic tribute to the emotionally adopted daughters who have touched her life. In response to the question regarding the reason for her tribute, she was quoted, “I gave birth to one child–a son, but I have thousands of daughters.” No doubt with this poetic volume, Dr. Angelou will garner many more female supporters happy to draw upon her maternal wisdom.
On September 11, 2008, the seventh anniversary of a very scary and profound time in US history, Dr. Maya Angelou met with Literary Publicist and CEO of EDC Creations Ella Curry to discuss her gift of poetry to the world’s daughters. When Curry further asked about the book’s inspiration, Dr. Angelou confided, “Well, this is my 80th year and I have been celebrating it all year long. And I realize that I have much less time ahead of me than I have behind and that I have learned some lessons and am in the process of learning some.
So I thought I would jot down some of the incidents, some events which took place in my life from which I drew great lessons.”
Always a teacher and naturally so, Angelou had this to say, “In looking at that [my life’s lessons], I didn’t want to say which lessons I learned or what exactly I did with the lessons–solutions. Because I know that my readers are as intelligent and resourceful and they will read about one incident they will get one solution. They’ll gather it and then six months later, if they read it again they will find another possible lesson to be learned. I know that is the way I do when I read other people’s work…I hope that’s what will happen to my readers.”
Opening with a powerful letter to daughters everywhere, Angelou says in part, “My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still.” As Curry accurately described, Dr. Angelou, “in the rhythm of her poetry and the elegance of her prose”, expresses the numerous useful lessons in terms of the people she’s met, the places she’s been and the events of her life.
During the interview with Ms. Curry, one of the most awe-struck memories she shares is her friendship with Civil Rights Activist, Coretta Scott King. She says of their friendship, “I was brought to look at those events because a number of friends of mine have died recently and I thought back to Ms. King and how we were chosen sisters and how I miss her.” Knowing the importance of grieving time but also knowing the need to celebrate the legacy our loves often leave for us, Dr. Angelo continued, “…I felt, ‘Well maybe, maybe there’s a way I can reduce the mourning, if I can go back to that life and see what their friendship did for me.’
And as I went back, I was disheartened, heartened, I was inspired because I had been thinking about their absence and not really about the fun we had and the lessons they taught me.” Dr. Angelou goes on to describe how Ms. King’s “stick-to-it-tiveness” has bolstered a lasting memory of her influential husband that may not have been more than “footnote in history” without Ms. King’s tenacity.


Dr. Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter is packed with profound and inspirational gems designed to do what all faithful motherly advice does–educate, empower and empathize.

READ THE TRANSCRIPT FROM THE ORIGINAL INTERVIEW

Since 2000, EDC Creations has partnered with community leaders, business owners, book clubs, publishers, book stores and authors to bring readers the best representation of quality literature. Here are just a few comments on our service to the community and the quality of our work. The most important moment in EDC Creations history was our Intimate Conversations Interview with Dr. Maya Angelou, which we have shared below.


Maya Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman. Being a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, Dr. Angelou continues to travel the world making appearances, spreading her legendary wisdom. A mesmerizing vision of grace, swaying and stirring when she moves, Dr. Angelou captivates her audiences lyrically with vigor, fire and perception.

EDC Creations: Hello and welcome to the Black Authors Network Literary Show.

I am your host, Ella Curry.

Today we have with us Dr Maya Angelou.

Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable renaissance woman, who is held as one of the greatest voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, bestselling author, actress, playwright, civil rights activist, producer and director she continues to travel the world spreading her legendary wisdom.   Within the rhythm of her poetry and the elegance of her prose lies Dr. Maya Angelou’s unique power to help readers around the world.

Ella Curry: Welcome to the show, Dr Maya Angelou.
Dr Maya Angelou: Thank you very much Ms. Curry

EC: Wow you have a phenomenal new book out Letter to My Daughter, it’s a book to cherish and savor, reread and share. You were quoted as saying, “I gave birth to one child– a son, but I have thousands of daughters. I’d like to thank you for offering this book for us.
Dr Maya Angelou : Thank you for receiving it.

EC: So tell us about your new book and what inspired you to write Letter to My Daughter?
Dr Maya Angelou : Well, this is my 80th year and I have been celebrating it all year long. And I realize that I have much less time ahead of me than I have behind and that I have learned some lessons and am in the process of learning some. So I thought I would jot down some of the incidents, some events which took place in my life from which I drew great lessons. And in looking at that, I didn’t want to say which lessons I learned or what exactly I did with the lessons–the solutions. Because I know that my readers are as intelligent and resourceful and they will read about one incident they will get one solution. They’ll gather it and then six months later, if they read it again they will find another possible lesson to be learned. I know that is the way I do when I read other people’s work. So when I reread it, I think hmm, I didn’t know that was in there all the time. So I hope that’s what will happen with my readers.

EC: So in your book, Letter to My Daughter, you discuss several different topics and you remember lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ozzie David, could you talk to us about that for a minute, your memories?
Dr Maya Angelou : Yes, I was brought to look at those events because a number of friends of mine have died recently and I thought back to Ms. King and how we were chosen sisters and how I miss her. And then I thought about Ozzie and others. I thought about Max Roach and people that names many you don’t know and some are famous and some not known but famous in my heart. And I thought, What on earth? Instead of just crying and mourning really, because while we celebrate the life we should be free to mourn as well. Mourn their absence. And as I was doing that I felt, Well maybe, maybe there’s a way I can reduce the mourning, if I can go back to that life and see what their friendship did for me. And as I went back, I was disheartened, heartened, I was inspired because I had been thinking about their absence and not really about the fun we had and the lessons they taught me. I learned from Coretta, stick-to-it-tiveness.

Now I have learned that and have had other teachers to teach me that and life itself. But without Coretta Scott King just holding her faith that her husband would be remembered, I suspect that he would have. He could have become a footnote in the pages of history had she not simply stuck it. And because of her there’s the King Center because of her and all the friends of course and the supporters. But because of her there’s the King Day holiday. Without her there would not be that king memorial going up in Washington D.C.–in the Capitol. So I take from her life and even some conversations we’ve had, we traveled together to different places in the world. And when I think of that and I miss her, I’m able to look at what I got from her and be grateful to God for her life and be grateful to her for her love.

EC: Wow that is so powerful to be remembered in that way.  Ms. King and Dr. Martin Luther King will forever be icons…I was about to say the African American community, but worldwide. They created change that will forever improve our way of life.
Dr Maya Angelou : I think we have to put into that Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz as well, into that mix. …and Medgar Evers into that mix. And Fanny Lou Hamer, men and women who really sought to make a better life for African Americans and for all Americans and all people–really all people.

EC: So in 1959 through 1960 you were the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and you were appointed at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King. How did that feel? Take us back to that time.
Dr Maya Angelou ngelou: (laughter) Well you have to imagine I was young…’59, that’s 50 years ago minus one. I was young, I’m six foot tall and I was very skinny at the time and I wore my hair natural–since 1952. And there was a lot of it. (laughter) o, I think, later on Angela Davis had a lot of it, well I looked sort of like that. (laughter)


EC: Oh wow, that was a lot of hair.  (laughter)

Dr Maya Angelou .: And a number of people really, they were made really uncomfortable…people around the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in New York. One woman dropped a note in a column in the New York African American newspaper, The Amsterdam News. She wrote, “Who is this person who has come from the west coast with the savage hairdo? Don’t they have beauticians or at least barbers out there on the coast?” (laughter)

It was heavy and so exciting because you’d have to be in his presence to sense the authority that Rev. King had. And I don’t mean…I mean what is called charisma I think. It’s a sense of he was in his skin and in the right place. So I was bowled over by that–by the job. I did my best and then I fell in love with a South African freedom fighter Vusumzi Make and I married him and moved to Egypt.


EC : What traits do you see in Barack Obama that may also have been in the young Dr. Martin Luther King?  I know they both speak so very well and elegantly. Do you see traits in Barack Obama that were the same as the young Dr. Martin Luther King?

Dr Maya Angelou .: Yes, I sense some of that. Of course, Senator Obama [is living] in another time. He is very inclusive, which is a wonderful thing. At that time when Rev. King first started he was not inclusive, he wasn’t exclusive but it was only at the end of his life that he began to include openly. I mean before he said people of goodwill, African Americans or…and people of goodwill from anywhere.

But toward the end of his life when he started the plan for the Poor People’s March, that plan included… and he in fact told it to me and everybody. He said, “This is not an African American people’s march, the Negro march, it is not a Black march, this is for the poor Whites, this is for the poor Whites in West Virginia. This is for the poor Spanish-speaking people in Texas and California and Arizona. This is for the poor Native Americans on the reservations; this is for the poor Asians set apart to garden for the world and have no rights, no chances.” He said, “This is a poor people’s march”. When he became that inclusive, he really became dangerous.


EC: That’s a powerful statement and thought.

Dr Maya Angelou : Yes.

EC: Dr. Maya Angelou, we are launching the Give the Gift of Knowledge campaign at EDC Creations. That’s where we are trying to encourage parents to not so much buy those expensive toys out there and to give a book and to share our history and our knowledge with the children. In your book Letter to My Daughter, what kind of wisdom or advice do you share on parenting and with mothers?
Dr Maya Angelou : Well, I don’t know where in that book, I hope on every other page but being a parent is having such incredible power and just…you can crush a person, you can crush his spirit, you can absolutely cripple her childhood, you can do it. Or on the other hand, if you just take time and realize that you are the most important person in that person’s life. And soften your voice a little when you talk to him. Be a little kinder when you talk to her. See, they don’t know–smaller people. Children don’t know that life is kicking you in the behind. They don’t understand that. And they don’t understand that that’s why you may be kicking them or ignoring them or even abandoning them. They don’t know that. They simply know that you’re everything.

EC: Yes.
Dr Maya Angelou :  And so to be a little kinder or a lot kinder for that matter to the children– to your children and to other people’s children. And take the time to talk to them, don’t ignore them–they have minds. And they need someone to say, “Good morning, how are ya…Lookin nice over there.” They need that. What I’d like to say is…I’d like to ask that all of us have a little more patience and be kinder to the children.

Dr Maya Angelou : I think our time is up. If you have one more question, I’ll accept it.

EC: Yes, Ma’am. A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth is my favorite displays of your passion for society, what inspired you to create that powerful message that empowers our community?
Dr Maya Angelou : Well… actually, Susan Taylor.  Ms Taylor, the editor and chief of Essence magazine, called me one day and asked, “Ms. Maya, please, do we have anything we can say to the youth?  I want to put it online. I gonna put it out in the New Orleans at the Essence Jazz Festival.” And I just wanted to say something. So I said I’d try. And I as usual prayed first and began to work on that pledge. And it is, I am happy to say, Target Company took it and put in almost every newspaper in the country and put it in their stores so that the customers could have copies of it. It’s a blessing, that people in church, in fact in two churches I know, it was in the programs. And sometimes I wish they didn’t just put in and then take it out. I wish they would just leave it in the programs. Anyway, it’s there.

EC: And we appreciate it. It is spectacular. I have it posted in my daughter’s room and I try to read it often, because I’m the mother of a 13-year old. (laughter)
Dr Maya Angelou :  Oh Lord…


EC: I try to…

Dr Maya Angelou : You have your work cut out for you.

EC: Oh, yes Ma’am, I do.
Dr Maya Angelou : Yes Ma’am.  And please remember that she has no idea, she has no idea [of] her power and what is happening to you and what is being asked of you by the world, by your job and your other relationships. So she doesn’t know when you say, “OK, that’s enough…” you know, “Enough’s enough”… that you’re really not just talking to her, you’re also talking to the world. So, God bless your heart and hers as well. And thank you for the interview.

EC: Thank you so much for sharing that with us. It was an honor to have you with the Black Authors Network today, discussing your book Letter to My Daughter.
Dr Maya Angelou : Thank you very much and please continue what you’re doing.  God bless your heart.  Thank you.

EC: Thank you.

This show was brought to you by Ella Curry of EDC Creations
http://www.edc-creations.com

About Laura Major: Laura Major is a multicultural fiction author and freelance writer residing in the greater Phoenix area of Arizona. Her first novel, Mismatched was published by Amira Press in February of 2008. Laura also manages a multicultural website, Sable Lit Reviews.com, one of the few of its kind providing commentary on the multicultural impact of current events as well as multicultural book reviews.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Meet the Author

 

The Last King by author A. Yamina Collins

A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan.  The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com
First of all, congratulations on your book, The Last King, being a top 100 bestseller on Amazon!
Thank you. It’s actually been in the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. I am very excited about it, especially since the book hasn’t even been fully released, yet.
You’re releasing The Last King in episodes, right?
Right. Amazon has requested that I call the episodes volumes. So I am about to release volume (episode) 4 next.
Tell me about that process. Why release the book in pieces?
Well, actually I’m taking something old and try to make it new again. In the 19th century, authors like Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas would release segments from their upcoming books in periodicals on a monthly or weekly basis. It sort of helped to build readership and helped them connect to their audiences. And that’s exactly what I want to do.
In fact, in some cases, those 19th century writers would slowly release a book over a period of more than two years! My time frame is about a year and a half. And of course, I am doing it digitally. This is the first book in The Last King trilogy and it will be chopped up into about 14 volumes (episodes). Each episode is made up of five chapters.
So what is The Last King about?
It tells the story of a young woman named Emmy Hughes who, in modern times, innocently finds herself caught in the midst of a game of wits between two rivals – God, and these immortal beings called Edenites whose ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life.
God considers the Edenites’ possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a “Glitch” —an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen “property” of immortality and kill the Edenite off.

It turns out that Emmy discovers that she is a the Glitch of a rather imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly. Now he has to get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him.  Problem is, Glitches are not only an Edenite’s greatest threat, but also their greatest love. And so the game begins.

Wow. Okay. That covers a lot of territory. Now your book is not typical of what one thinks of when they hear the words Fantasy Romance, is It?
No. It’s a fantasy book that takes place in present day New York, well upstate New York that is. It’s a fantasy world full of cars, cell-phones and modern contraptions. But it’s still a fantasy world.
And the book covers several genres at once?
Yes. The book is classified under Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Women’s fiction, Religion and African-American literature. By the time the second book in the trilogy comes out, I am really going to have to throw in History as a category, too. Ha ha. I wish I could tailor it down to less genres, but it’s an epic book and that’s just how it’s going to be.
Do you think all those genres will deter readers?
I hope not. In fact, I am hoping that audiences are looking for something new and different. So why not go for a book that has it’s feet in a myriad of categories? Of course, it will be up to the readers to decide if I’ve done a good job of balance with all the genres. We shall see.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
 Oh, yes. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother’s living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. And I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That’s what I want to be able to do as a writer – to move people with my words.
What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Well, I must admit that, as a writer, I have always dreamed of of writing The Great American Novel. Is that a bad thing to confess? I don’t know. It’s a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires me to want to be excellent.  I guess you could say my ultimate goals, however, are to educate and inspire.
Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Absolutely. For example, I intentionally do not have my character’s curse or take God’s name in vain. I chose not to cross that line even though my main character hates God and is angry with him. I believe, as a Christian, I am not called to do those things, even in literature. So I have had to be real creative in how my characters vent their frustrations. I also could not help but bring God into the story. He is literally the One behind this intriguing game that Gilead and Emmy must play with one another. I know for some people these are not always topics they want to read about it, but I’ve tried to put it in a unique format.
Since the book takes place in New York, do we get to see a magical world in this modern-day tale?
Of course! How could I not add in some sword fighting, mind telepathy, wings, and animals who can fly? Just the sort of thing you expect to happen to a young woman who works in Brooklyn.
Nice. Well, thanks for being with us.
Thank you so much for having me!
The Last King: Book I – Series 1
Published by author A. Yamina Collins


Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature
Follow Yamina’s Blog for more news:  http://www.yaminatoday.com 

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

What We’re Reading Now: The Storytellers Online Book Tour

What We’re Reading Now on The Storytellers Online Book Tour.  Listed below are all the author’s reading we have for the tour.  Click on any link to read an excerpt from the book or to hear the author read to you!   Enjoy and don’t forget to share with other book lovers.


Be The Change!  #WhatIWantWednesday: The One That I Want
The call to action:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7dqvf7x/

The Scroll by Parrish Smith
Inspiration from America’s Most Revered Spiritual Leaders
https://www.smore.com/hdy02

Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C70ynN0x/

Unbreakable by William Fredrick Cooper
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCmFC414/

Anybody’s Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CR50mX54/

The Last King by A. Yamina Collins
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ChSqWGY4/
Read Last King for free: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/csaugust2014.html

The Legacy by Necole Ryse
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ClJZpwXx/


THE SHIFT by M. Ann Ricks

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CwzJNlXx/

He Wasn’t My Daddy
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CTFHSXkx

Our Curious World of Mirror Images
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCxrbGxx/

Troublemaker by Trice Hickman
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CppKRq4x/

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP74sz4x/


Taming The Female Impostor by Dr. Sherine Vie

AudioNote URL:   http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C82d9Psx/

How to Book It to the Big Screen
Lights, Camera, Action … Taking your book from print to the big screen or stage is an exciting and proven method to expand the reach of your audience.
AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CH11NNQx/


Over Fifty Ain’t Always Fabulous

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CR0Fbb8x/


Dream and Pretense: The Ramseys  by AlTonya Washington

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/Ch96RRyx/


And Then There Were None

 AudioNote URL:   http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7t9s4yx/


More Than I Can Bear by E. N. Joy

AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ClGT9Vdx/


The Devil Made Me Do It

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CTbzCdmx/


Trust In Us  by AlTonya Washington

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CCzCWfCx/


Isle of the Beasts

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/Cpw0JwNx/

Sister Betty Says I Do
 AudioNote URL:    http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP4qRDNx/

Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C8pZsXtx/


Something About April

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C2XJ9G3x/


Blue Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

 AudioNote URL:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CHcHYqlx/

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Intimate Conversation with Pamela Samuels Young

Pamela Samuels Young is a NAACP Image Award winning author and practicing attorney who’s taken a brief hiatus from crafting her fast-paced mystery novels to write about her newest passion: natural hair care. In her first non-fiction book, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide to Going Natural, Pamela chronicles her transition to natural hair. Kinky Coily also provides tips and resources for other women who want to begin their own natural hair journey. A bona fide natural hair enthusiast, Pamela is excited about sharing her new found knowledge in the hope of helping other women learn the beauty and versatility of their kinky coils. You can visit Pamela’s YouTube channel, KinkyCurlyPamela, and her website, http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com, for more hair care tips and videos.

Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but don’t know where to start?  Then Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural  is for you. A literal treasure trove of information, Kinky Coily is a roadmap for anyone interested in beginning a natural hair journey. You’ll find the best bloggers, the best books and magazines, as well as recommendations on how to select the right hair care tools and products.

Better yet, you’ll learn how to begin your natural hair journey, how to develop a weekly hair care regime and how to track your progress. Whether you’re transitioning from a relaxer, ready to give up your weave or flat iron, or already rocking your natural locs, Kinky Coily: A Resource Guide for Going Natural will open your eyes to the true beauty and versatility of your naturally kinky coils.


Review for Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide

“Everything you need to know in order to embark on and succeed in your natural hair care journey is listed in this book … Awesome job!   Five stars!!!” Written by Tanishia Pearson-Jones

BPM: Pamela, why did you go natural? How did you start the journey from permed hair to natural hair?
I decided to go natural after my hair started falling out from a relaxer. One day I had a head full of hair and only a few months later, I had patches of bald spots. My hair was shedding at an alarming rate every single day and neither I nor the hair stylist I was seeing knew how to stop it. A friend of mind had recently gone natural and introduced me to her natural hair mentor, Deanie. Deanie met me at the beauty supply, told me about sulfates and moisturizing, recommended conditioners and protein treatment, and gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. After the very first treatment, my hair stopped falling out—immediately. That’s when I became a believer and set out on a journey to take charge of my own hair care.

BPM: Did you go for the “big chop” or did you transition to natural hair with braids or a wig?

Initially, I refused to do the big chop. I just didn’t want to sport a teeny weenie after. So I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig. But after about three months, I got tired of putting on a wig every morning and taking it off every night. So I did it. I chopped it all off and I’m so glad I did.

BPM: We saw your YouTube videos.  Amazing! You are so brave to share your story with millions, what inspired you?
I’ve learned so much about my natural hair. For example, I had no idea my hair had a natural wave pattern. So many people see my hair and say, “My hair would never do that.” I would’ve said the same thing. That’s because we don’t know our hair!  I’m on a mission to change that. Your readers can view all of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/KinkyCurlyPamela

BPM: What three tips would you offer women who are thinking about going natural?
My top three tips are:  1) No sulfates! Either wash with a conditioner (co-wash) or find a sulfate free shampoo; 2) stay away from the heat, that means flat irons as well as blow dryers; and 3) moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Kinky hair needs moisture!  I deep condition at least twice a week and moisturize and seal nightly.

BPM: What products do you use? Share with us your favorite products.
Unfortunately, the same products don’t work for every hair texture. You’ll need to experiment to find out what works best for you. I have kinky, tightly coiled hair. So if you have a looser curl pattern or if your hair isn’t as coarse as mine, the products I love won’t work for you.

That said, my can’t-do-without products are: Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner, Organic Roots Stimulator’s Temple Balm and Curl Refresher, and Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner. I love Herbal Essence for co washing. I also love mixing my own oils. My favorites are amla oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and peppermint oil.

BPM: How long did it take for your hair become more healthy in your opinion?
It took about three months before I noticed my bald spots growing in. Within about six months, I really saw a change. My hair grew back much thicker and healthier.

BPM: How did you wear your hair to work during the transition?
I hid my damaged hair underneath a wig, until I finally broke down and did the big chop. I have to say, though, my Mommy wig was quite cute. I still plan to wear it sometime.

BPM: Do you think our hair has a lot to do with our body image and self-esteem?
Absolutely! I don’t care what I’m wearing. If my hair isn’t right, I don’t feel good about myself.

BPM: Research helps us learn to embrace our beautiful hair. Did you do a lot of research?

Tons of research. I recommend that everybody read The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. That book is an encyclopedia on kinky hair. I learned so much from that book. And I lived on the internet and YouTube. My favorite bloggers are Curly Nikki, Naptural 85, KimmayTube, Mahogany Curls and African Export. I owe those sistas a debt of gratitude for everything they taught me.

BPM: What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
All the compliments I get about my hair. Women always come up to me to ask about the products I use and I’m always glad to share.

BPM: How will your book Kinky Coily motivate women to consider moving toward natural hair care?

I think when they see other women taking charge of their own hair, they will feel free to do the same.

BPM:  Readers, here is the official introduction to the Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.
Fall in Love with Your Natural Hair!  Have you been thinking about transitioning to natural hair, but can’t figure out how to get started? Then Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide is for you. In this literal treasure trove of information, attorney and award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young shares the natural hair care practices, products, and online resources that took her from hair disaster to natural hair heaven! Just one glance at the Pamela’s “before” and “after” photographs will convince you that you too can take charge of your own hair care. So don’t wait, get started on your own natural hair journey now!

What You’ll Find Inside:

• Tips on beginning your hair journey.
• How to develop a hair care regimen.
• Ways to track your progress.
• The best books, bloggers, products and more!

To ensure that your natural hair journey is a success, be sure to check out the Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal, which will guide you in creating a natural hair regimen and will also help you track your progress. Whether you’re transitioning from a relaxer, ready to abandon your weave or anxious to give up the flat irons, Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide will empower you to discover the true beauty of your naturally kinky coils!

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book and your how-to-videos?
I want them to have the confidence to take charge of their own hair care. I’m not trying to put hair stylists out of business. But I want women to know they can remedy their own hair care problems. If I’d known everything I know now when my hair started falling out, I could have stopped my shedding. My hair was damaged from the heat and badly needed moisture. I was also getting touch ups too often. But I didn’t that because I knew nothing about the care of my hair. Now I do!

BPM: What advice would you give a person who wants to tell their hair care story?
Take good notes during your hair care journey. I keep a journal and took pictures every three months. After you finish your book, ask for constructive feedback from family and friends.

Connect with Pamela Online
http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
http://www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung
http://www.youtube.com/kinkycurlypamela
http://www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung


FOLLOW HER BOOK TOUR HERE

http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/tour-dates/index.html


Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal  by Pamela Samuels Young 

Are you ready to go natural? Then the Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal will help make your natural hair journey a rousing success! You’ll find step-by-step instructions for creating a hair care regimen, scheduling your hair time and tracking your progress. Journal your way to fabulously natural hair with the Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal.

Be sure to check out Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, the companion book to this journal. In this must-read guide for any wannabe natural, attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young shares the natural hair care practices, products and online resources that took her from hair disaster to natural hair heaven!

Visit Pamela at PamelaSamuelsYoung.com and YouTube.com/KinkyCoilyPamela.

Kinky Coily Natural Hair Journal
by Pamela Samuels Young
http://www.amazon.com/Kinky-Coily-Natural-Hair-Journal/dp/0985734183

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Meet the Author

 

Intimate Conversation with Cerece Rennie Murphy

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

BPM:   What moved you enough to sit down and actually start writing the first book in the Order of the Seers Trilogy?
When I got the idea for Order of the Seers, it felt like a blessing to me, this incredible gift and I just didn’t want to waste it. The story came to me in such a complete way, with character names and backstories, plot lines – even the title of the story came to me.  I felt convicted to try and bring it to life.  To me, each story is a gift and the journey to telling that story is a privilege.  It was never a question of *if* I would write it. It also helped that, in the beginning, I had no inkling of trying to publish Order of the Seers as a novel. I think if I’d had that notion from the start, I would have been too intimidated. Instead of worrying about if my story was “publishable”, I was able to focus on writing.

BPM:   Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely, though I have to say that I don’t do it intentionally.  All my questions about God, what our true purpose is on this earth and what we are truly capable of and meant for as a species are in Order of the Seers.  My own struggles to find and protect my identity are reflected in characters like Alessandra, who has so much self-doubt when you first meet her, and Liam whose guilt weighs him down to the point where he becomes a different person.  Self-discovery and determination are big themes in the Order of the Seers Trilogy because they are themes that I relate to on a very personal level. 

Family is also very important to me and, in retrospect, I can see how I got to explore the idea of family in a variety of ways throughout the book.  I’m not someone who grew up with a lot of family around me, but I learned that family doesn’t have to mean people who are related to you by blood.  Someone who knows you and loves you for exactly who you are can be family, too.  Family can be the people you claim and those who claim you.  The story’s main villain, Crane Le Dieu, is basically an amalgamation of all my worst fears.  Almost every aspect of his personality terrifies me.  I think I would faint if I met him in the street.


BPM:   Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  Why?

So far, my book ideas come from questions that are on my mind that I would like to explore, but I also have at least two books planned that came to me in a dream, so who knows.  I’ll take inspiration anywhere I can get it!  I read one reviewer who described my books as “very character-driven” which I took as a compliment because it said to me that she liked the book because she cared about the characters and that’s ultimately what defines a good story for me.  All kinds of cool stuff can be happening in a book, but if I don’t care about the characters then I can check out of almost any story pretty quick.  But to be completely honest, I don’t think about any of that when I’m writing.  In fact, I try not to come with any personal agenda.  I believe the story exists already.  As a writer, I think my job is to see that story clearly and try to describe it to the readers as best I can.  I’m following the story that is taking place in my head and trying to write it down as true to that vision as possible. 

My only exception to this rule is when I chose not to expound on a particular aspect of a story because I am trying to keep the pace of the book pretty tight.  At the end of each chapter, I want there to be a reason why you need to turn the page and I try very hard to keep the story from meandering into territory that might compromise the pace.  Other than that, the characters and the story are in charge and the more I can keep my own agenda out of it, the better the story turns out. 

BPM:   Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
Right now I am working on the final book in the Order of the Seers Trilogy, which is about a group of people who can see the future and are enslaved for that ability.  The entire trilogy takes you on a journey as they escape the group that hunts them, rebuild their lives and start fighting back.  Through books 1 and 2, you watch these characters evolve from a group of people who are just trying to survive to a community that answers a much larger calling to restore a legacy that was broken for every man, woman and child on earth.

The Order of the Seers Trilogy falls solidly into the science fiction genre, but if you enjoy a lot of action, mystery and suspense in your stories, you could still enjoy this book even if you aren’t into science fiction. Both books are available in Kindle and Nook.  Book I is also available in audiobook.

BPM:   Introduce us to your books!  Take us inside the world of your main characters. What makes each one so special?
Sure.  The book starts out with Liam and Lilith (Lilli) Knight, a brother and sister who are about to have their world turned upside down when they discover that their parents died to hide a secret so powerful the people hunting them will stop at nothing to get it. Before this happens, Liam and Lilli are your typical American teenagers, living life day-by-day without a care in the world. What makes these characters so special to me is how they come together to create this safe haven for each other.  The adversity they endure could have easily torn them apart, but instead they form this incredible bond of familial love that helps them weather all the storms in their lives.

Marcus Akida is another main character that I love.  Before he was captured, he had a wife, a son and was a leader in his community.  In some ways, he is the character who’s lost the most in the book, but he is anything but bitter. His spirit is gentle, optimist and kind, despite everything that has been taken from him.  He never losses himself to the brutality around him and as a result becomes the most powerful Seer.  His character was very much inspired by Colin Powell and Nelson Mandela, people I deeply admire for their compassion and integrity.      

BPM:   What topics are primarily discussed?  Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
You know, even though Order of the Seers is science fiction, at its core this is a story about the importance of self-discovery and finding your true purpose.  The story is set in the real world for a reason.  Now more than ever, we need to encourage people to unleash their greatest potential so that it can be used to heal this world.  The Seers in this story are doing the same thing, and while the powers may seem a bit extreme, the potential for each and every one of us to change the world is VERY real.

The journey of writing this story has taught me so much, but I think there are two main things that I discovered about myself. The first is that I can write a full-length story (and then some).  Before this book, I never knew that about myself.  In fact, I used to tell myself that I couldn’t write anything longer than about 5 pages.  So, to be working on my 3rd book with another 5 books in varying stages of development is just incredible to me. People ask me if this is a dream come true and I tell them, “No,” because I never dreamed of doing anything like this. This experience is literally, beyond my wildest dreams.

The second thing that I’ve learned about myself is just how afraid I am of putting myself in front.  The fear factor for putting my self, my work and even my picture “out there” for the world to judge and criticize is huge for me.  It’s gotten better since I started, but only be degrees. (The fear used to be enormous, now it’s only huge.) Three years ago, when I published my 1st book, I hid under the covers the entire day, sick with worry.  By the time I released my second book less than a year later, I actually had the presence of mind to go have lunch with a friend to celebrate.  I may have felt a little queasy, but I kept everything down.  That’s progress!

BPM:   What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I have many levels of success that I hope to achieve with my writing.  The first and foremost is to write each story I am given to the best of my abilities and to be obedient to God’s will for them. I know that if I can do that, then someone will read my books and enjoy them, be inspired by them and maybe even change a little bit for the better.  If I can achieve that, then I would have accomplished a great deal.

For the next level of success, I would like my writing career to be financially self-sustaining.  It’s a very competitive market out there, but I would like my publishing business to be profitable.  Ultimately, I would like to make enough money from my writing to retire my husband.  I have the best partner in the world and I would love to see us both have the financial freedom to pursue our passions.

BPM:   What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
You know, I don’t have expectations for the book because you never know how a story will (or won’t) impact a reader. It’s such a subjective experience.  On the most basic level, I’d like them to have been entertained by the story and satisfied by the conclusion.  On a deeper level, I hope that after finishing Order of the Seers, readers will be more curious about the limits of their own potential and examine their own spiritual relationship more closely as it relates to their unique purpose and calling.


BPM:   Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?  How can readers discover more about you and your work?

I definitely want to say THANK YOU for the opportunity to do this interview! It’s given me a great chance to reflect on my journey as a writer and I so appreciate that.  If anyone would like to learn more about my upcoming projects, you can visit my website at http://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com.  You can also visit my  Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/205753729546299.

 
Purchase The Last Seer (Book 3 in the Order of the Seers Trilogy)

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Order-Seers-Last-Seer-Trilogy/dp/0985621036


Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy:

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/cerece-rennie-murphy
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Intimate Conversation with Janet Autherine

Janet Autherine was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. She grew up in Philadelphia and she went on to study at the Pennsylvania State University and Boston College Law School. After launching her legal career in Washington, D.C., she was eventually drawn back to the sunshine, and she now lives in Florida with her husband and their three sons.

Her juvenile nonfiction book, Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters  is inspired by her own journey from poverty to a successful legal career.  She believes that every obstacle can be a stepping stone to success.  The book teaches children and young adults to recognize the greatness they were born with and empowers them to nourish the virtues of love, faith, courage, leadership, happiness, gratitude and confidence within themselves.

Her book conveys the following message: Every child matters.  Every child is unique.  Every child has been born with greatness.  Her personal journey is discussed on the website:  http://www.GrowIntoGreatness.com, in the post, MY STORY.

BPM:  Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
I was a shy child who loved reading and music.  Books were my best friend and I spent a lot of time with fictional characters from each book that I read.  Those stories stayed with me and I began to visualize my own stories.  I write because there are many stories in my heart that I would love to share with the world. I know from personal experience that a good book can inspire and empower children and take them on journeys that are greater than their current circumstances. I would love for every reader to feel empowered to “roar to their own beat.”

BPM:  Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on a personal and professional level. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it? 
Growing up in Jamaica, I was raised by a village of people of great faith.  They instilled in me a love for reading, excellence in academics and always doing more than is required.  When I moved to Philadelphia, I lost my way because of the criticism of my introverted nature and strong Jamaican accent. I had a difficult time finding my voice.  Early in my legal career, I began to listen to my heart and the people close to me to determine my strengths; I identified 3 things – writing, listening and giving meaningful advice.  My friends always told me that I was a good listener and that I gave great advice but it came so naturally that I did not value those traits.

I discovered that your voice does not have to be the loudest in the room to have an impact, and in both my writing and my legal career, I have been able to embrace these gifts.  It took about 30 years to own my God-given strengths, I hope that the book, Growing into Greatness with God, will empower children and young adults to own their great talents and gifts at a very young age.

BPM:  How can one live an authentic life, true to self, personally and professionally?
Search your soul and identify the things that will motivate you to get up every morning and live life boldly.  I attended a workshop by life coach, Theresa Watts Campbell that helped me to discover that I am motivated by meaningful relationships, a peaceful existence and the desire to make an impact.  I now say yes to the things that fit into those 3 core values and no to the things that are a distraction from my core values.

The key to living an authentic life is to identify what is non-negotiable in your life, focus on those things and rarely stray from that path.  The book, Growing into Greatness with God, fits into my desire to make sure that every child is reading, writing their own stories and embracing their gifts; I had to say no to several other opportunities that would have distracted me from that goal.

BPM:  How do you balance your personal life with your professional?
I am a wife and mother of 3 young boys. I also have a full time job in the legal field, I write and market my book, Growing into Greatness with God, and I find time to exercise and to spend time with my friends.  I learned from Ms. Oprah Winfrey and other successful women that you can have it all but usually not all at once.  This means prioritizing yearly (this year I will write my second book), monthly (this month, I will eat well and lose 5lbs), weekly (I will reach out to 2 friends that I love this week), daily (my most important goal today is to teach my son how to play chess).

Spend 3 to 5 minutes before getting out of bed to meditate on your 3 most important priorities for the day. Be realistic with your expectations so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.  If you can accomplish the things that are most important to you, every day will be a success.


BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?

The words of inspiration and empowerment in the book, Growing into Greatness with God has been in my heart for many years but I was not sure how to present the stories.  One night, I was reading, of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by President Barack Obama, which inspires children through stories of great Americans, such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson and I had my answer.  I wanted to inspire children in the same manner but using the beautiful bible stories that empowered me when I was growing up.  I started writing and remained focused until the book was published.


BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 

The main characters in Growing into Greatness with God are heroes of the Bible.  Each character represents a powerful virtue, such as wisdom, courage and loyalty.    David stepped forward when everyone else was fearful and bravely fought the bully, Goliath; he was a small boy but he had a brave heart. When faced with pressure from his peers to pray to the King, Daniel stayed true to his own beliefs even though it meant sleeping with a den of lions.  Ruth demonstrated loyalty and confidence by refusing to leave her elderly mother-in-law even though it would have been acceptable to do so in her community.  Through their stories, as well as “actionable” words of wisdom, children and young adults learn to embrace their unique gifts and “roar to their own beat.

BPM:  Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.
There are numerous books available to children but certainly not enough that were written to inspire and empower them. Our kids are often told to be average, to fit in with the crowd and to hide their talents.  If we can encourage our kids to discover their talents and then embrace them in the spirit of love and gratitude, we will build a generation of confident leaders.

BPM:  How does your new book, Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters, relate to your spiritual journey?
The book, Growing into Greatness with God, was born from those early bible study groups in church.  The stories of young David (the boy who defeated the Giant), Daniel (a man who stood without fear among lions), Solomon (the wise king) and Ruth (the loyal friend), as well as many others, all resonated with me.  We were too poor to afford the latest toys and there was no television in our home, so these characters became my heroes.  We were poor but it didn’t define our lives; we were rich in love, faith and community, and we had big dreams. 


BPM:  Your book is titled, Growing into Greatness with God.  How do you define greatness?

We are all unique beings, so greatness will mean something different to each person.  I think  greatness is finding your natural talent, fueling it with passion, planting it in well nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars.  You must then use everything that you have achieved to serve others.  Service is the heart of greatness; for me, there is no greatness without service.


BPM:  What do you think about the culture of bullying in our schools?

It breaks my heart that fear instead of love is consuming some of our children.  I say fear because most bullies are acting based on their own fears and insecurities.  They seek to feel better about themselves by hurting others.  When children feel whole on the inside, there is no need fill that void in their spirit by hurting others.  Unfortunately, we cannot always protect our children from mean-spiritedness, but we can empower them with the knowledge that they are unique, their thoughts and feelings are important, that God is with them even when they feel alone and they can overcome any obstacle.  I hope that in some small way Growing into Greatness with God can help children shine a positive light on themselves.


BPM:  What challenges did you face as a student?

In 1982, I moved from Jamaica to Philadelphia to live with my mother and my brothers.  I had to adjust to a new country, a new household and the typical middle school anxieties.  I was a shy, introverted child and I struggled to find my voice; it didn’t help that my voice had a very strong Jamaican accent.  For many years, I didn’t speak up as much as I needed to – I feared saying the wrong words and getting into trouble; I feared being teased because of my accent; I wasn’t familiar with the sound of my own voice.  Fortunately, my upbringing gave me a quiet confidence; I was raised to believe that I was a good person, a good student and that I could achieve anything if I was willing to work hard.  This is why I believe that we should empower kids with the confidence to believe in themselves and their strengths at a very early age so that they can face any challenge.


BPM:  How can parents use your book, Growing into Greatness with God, to inspire their children?

As a parent, I know how helpful it is to have a book that sparks discussion with your children.  Each chapter of the book offers stories, practical advice that kids can relate to, and actionable wisdom.  As an example, the chapter, Growing in Love, teaches kids not to focus on their outward appearance but the love and beauty in their hearts.  Kids are encouraged to identify the things that they love and to follow their dreams.  Parents can help their children with the “action” items in the book, such as – perform an act of kindness for a stranger, write 3 things that you love about yourself or establish a pen-pal relationship with a child in another country.  The book ends with 24 questions kids and their parents can answer together, or teachers in a classroom setting or bible study group can moderate.

BPM:   Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
As a mother of 3 boys, I often feel like I am talking to a wall when I shared valuable  life lessons with the boys.  As I was writing  Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters,  all the advice that my elders gave me came flooding back.  I learned that we need to be mindful about what we say to our children because even though they may seem disengaged, they are listening and they are watching our words and deeds.

BPM:  Do you feel as if your writing is making a positive impact on readers, women, or the world?
As a new writer, I am a work in progress when it comes to making an impact but I love when kids get excited about reading, Growing into Greatness with God and I love when mothers tell me that they read it every night with their children.  I want  children to go to bed with positive inspiration and wake up feeling good about themselves and ready to take on any challenge.

BPM:  A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time.  What legacy do you hope to leave with your books?
Every child needs to feel special!  I want the legacy of Growing into Greatness with God to be the empowerment of children.  After reading this book, every child should walk a little taller, knowing that he or she in uniquely made and molded with only God’s finest ingredients, filled with the virtues of faith, courage and love, and has amazing talents to share with the world. 

BPM:   What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working to build a community of authors who seek to inspire our children.   I would love to get inspirational books into the hands of every child, especially those who would not be able to afford these books.  The first step is to support these authors by sharing their stories on my website – http://www.GrowIntoGreatness.com.

The next step is to create a multicultural author’s event that will benefit the community by exposing under-served communities to those who can inspire a new generation of writers and leaders.

BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Growing into Greatness with God is available on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Into-Greatness-God-Daughters/dp/0991200004

Additional information about me, additional advice for parents, giveaways  and information about upcoming projects is available on my website: http://www.GrowIntoGreatness.com.

Connect with  Author Janet Autherine

Twitter:  http://www.Twitter/Autherine
Pinterest:  http://www.Pinterest.com/Autherine
Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/GrowingIntoGreatness
Growing into Greatness: http://www.GrowIntoGreatness.com

Purchase Growing Into Greatness with God: Seven Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters by Janet Autherine.  Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Into-Greatness-God-Daughters/dp/0991200004



 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Intimate Conversation with Renee Daniel Flagler

Renee Daniel Flagler is an award-winning writer, creative writing teacher artist, and an award-nominated author of six novels. Her latest books are Raging Blue, the sequel Still Raging and the upcoming, Society Wives, which has been optioned for film. Renee is currently at work on her next novel, The Second Wives Club and is scheduled to release her first romance series in 2015 through Harlequin’s Kimani Romance imprint under the pseudonym Nicki Night. Find Renee online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or at ReneeDanielFlagler.com.


Renee’s work has been described as “deliciously dramatic.”

BPM:  Introduce us to your latest book in the Raging Blue series. What genre are the books?
Blue Holiday reaches the end of her rope, her marriage, and her long-time friendship with BFF, Mia Reynolds. She’s ready to move on but now her husband, the infamous bad-boy baller, Jaylin Mack, is cut from the team because of his erratic behavior and without Blue he’ll be broke. Their chances of reconciliation are doused the moment a salacious secret is revealed. As far as Jaylin is concerned, if he can’t have his wife, living off her trust fund will do just fine. Problem is, he forgot a woman in love will put up with a lot. But a woman enraged…will make you pay.  Raging Blue is Contemporary women’s fiction and is available as an e-book, wherever e-books are sold.

In Still Raging, the rage escalates in this fast-paced sequel to Raging Blue as the battle between ex friends, Blue Holiday and Mia Reynolds, takes a new turn when inexplicable things begin to happen that could potentially destroy Blue and Gavin Gray’s relationship. Blue suspects that Mia is behind the bizarre happenings and is determined to get to the bottom of it all. Peyton King, Blue’s friend and wife of star basketball player, Kendrick King, is dragged into the mayhem when Mia shows up on their doorstep to drop the staggering bomb that Kendrick could be the father of her infant daughter. Mia isn’t interested in breaking up their marriage; she just wants Kendrick’s money so she could recover her lavish lifestyle.

Peyton and Kendrick’s marriage has finally gotten on track but Mia’s news threatens to rock the happy foundation they built. Peyton resorts to desperate measures to regain a semblance of peace and to get Mia and that illegitimate child of hers out of their lives for good.

Still Raging unravels a newly tangled web of secrets, deception and desperation.


BPM:   What topics does this series address?  Why?

Raging Blue addresses various relationship issues, as most of my books due. However what’s interesting about Raging Blue is that it touches on a popular issue in our society today and that is the dynamic women making more money than men.  The New Yorker magazine featured an article on this topic earlier this year. Many woman are ambitious and ofter make more than their spouses or significant others. But this dynamic is changing relationships and marriages in many ways and begs many questions. I like dealing in the realm of relationships because everyone can relate to them. The two things that people in life are always in search of, or want are love and money.

BPM:   Who does your work speak to?
I think my work speaks to the modern woman mainly but there’s something in there for men as well.


BPM:   You believe strongly in:

My Lord, family and living a fabulous and passionate life.


BPM:   You are humbled by:

Too many things to count. The one thing I never had was a big ego. It humbles me when readers enjoy my work. It humbles with fellow authors appreciate what I bring to the table.

BPM:   Faith allows you to:
Do anything I set my mind to!


BPM:   Criticism makes you:

MAD! Just joking. It makes me take a second look and think about where I could make improvements. It helps me to grow as a person and as a writer.


BPM:   A talent mind:

A talent mind: …is a terrible thing to waste!


BPM:   Three artists on your playlist:
 
Tamela Mann, Jay Z and Eric Benet


BPM:   What writer would you consider a mentor:

I can only pick one? Darn…Eric Jerome Dickey, Victoria Christopher Murray…Okay, I cheated. There’s more but I’ll stop here.


BPM:   Your  fondest childhood/college memory:

Back in high school, My best friend and I created a video tape along with some other friends. In the tape we re-created the “Oh Diane,” commercial, made music videos to Keith Sweat’s song I Want Her, Aretha Franklin’s Respect and Stephanie Mills, If I Was Your Woman. It was horrible and hilarious at the same time!


BPM:   What surprised you the most about becoming…

The biggest surprise about become a parent was the natural way I fell into being a mother. No mother is perfect, but I didn’t things to fall in place like it did. Instinct is an amazing thing.


BPM:   If  you weren’t a writer, you would be:

Still working as a marketing professional in corporate America. However, I used to dance—actually I still do—but back in the days, I wanted to be the next Debbie Allen. Fame was my movie!


BPM:   What you learned from your readers:

Patience and how to work harder.


BPM:   The greatest threat to literary freedom is:

Cookie cutter stories that don’t stretch the imagination.


BPM:   How has your writing evolved:

I’ve always written and loved to write. However, I can clearly see the growth in my writing from my first book to my most recent one. I love taking workshops and classes to learn more. The biggest challenge was doing in the MFA program and learning from my professors about how to work at becoming a better writer. This program has had a tremendous impact on my writing. I learned new techniques and put much more thought into story outcomes, characters and plots. My craft has improved with every effort that I’ve engaged in to improve it.


BPM:   The first thing you do when a book is released:

Plan a slammin’ book release party!


BPM:   Your favorite promotional tool:

As a professional marketer, I engage in many effort. I’m not sure if I have a favorite but I stay on Facebook like it’s nobody’s business.


BPM:   Advice you would give a new author:

Learn the business inside and out and continue to hone your craft—always.


BPM:   Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:

Being able to and being considered qualified to become a teaching artist and teach writing to children in public schools.


BPM:   What you know for sure:

Is that I would be where I am in my writing career without the blessings I’ve received from God.


BPM:   Will the printed book ever become obsolete:

Hard core book lovers who enjoy having a book in their hands would like to believe that it won’t. (Like me.) However, I do believe that it’s quite possible. Think about it, when’s that last time you listened to a cassette? How many people download music to their mp3 players as opposed to buying a CD these days. I believe that value of the physical book will increase overtime because there will be less of them. Sometime in the future, they will be like collector’s items. Even my kids are using computers more as opposed to getting everything from a textbook. We have some time to still love on our beloved books but a day will come when seeing someone with a book in their hand could be a rarity.


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

The understanding that they all have a voice that’s worthy to be heard. The understanding that pasts don’t dictate futures & lastly, life is meant to be lived in color.

Connect with the Author
http://www.ReneeDanielFlagler
http://www.Twitter.com/ReneeFlagler
http://youtu.be/vawVysnyaqs
http://www.Facebook.com/ReneeDanielFlagler
http://www.amazon.com/Raging-Blue-ebook/dp/B00954M38Y


RAGING BLUE SERIES

Multicultural Fiction.  Subject matter: Relationships, friendships, addiction.


Purchase Still Raging (Raging Blue) by Renee Daniel Flagler

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Raging-Renee-Daniel-Flagler-ebook/dp/B00N81F1X4
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/still-raging-renee-daniel-flagler/1120257211

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Meet the Author

 

Intimate Conversation with Mz. Robinson

Mz. Robinson, born in Huntsville, Alabama is a licensed Realtor and the author of the tantalizing Love, Lies, and Lust Series. Mz. Robinson is an avid reader and advocate for literacy. Although, she began writing as a child, it was not until much later in life that she began to pen short stories. After falling in love with the characters she created, she turned one of her short stories into her debut novel: What We Won’t Do For Love. After completing her first manuscript, Mz. Robinson took a break from writing to pursue other career opportunities.

Five years later deciding to pursue her passion, she secured a home with G Street Chronicles. Today Mz. Robinson has ten published novels. When she’s not writing Mz. Robinson enjoys reading and shopping. She is currently working on her next title and other projects.


BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

This is book 7 of the Love, Lies and Lust series. I wanted to tie all the books together and answer any questions my readers may have before ending the series.

BPM:  Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
Yes, I use my personal experiences, the lessons I was taught as a child and the errors I’ve made as an adult in each character I write. So, there is a little piece of me in every book.

BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Some of my books come from my vivid imagination, others come from the things that I’ve done. My books are character driven. I want my readers to know, love and hate the characters in my books. I want them to feel like they’re walking in their shoes, experiencing all their emotions and by doing so I think it further enhances their reading experience.

BPM:   Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book?
My current work is Damon and Octavia: The Final Lie. This book concludes the Love, Lies and Lust series and exposes all the lies and secrets told throughout the series. I consider it to be contemporary fiction and it’s available in all digital formats. It is also coming in paperback soon.

BPM:   Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
My main characters are Damon and Octavia. Damon is special because he’s what I consider a “Bad Boy in a designer suit”. He’s the kind of man that can attend the opera or feel at home at a Hip Hop concert. He’s the perfect “Book Boyfriend”. He’s a professional and a family man. He loves Octavia to the point that he’s willing to do anything to maintain the sanctity in their marriage, including committing murder. Octavia is special because she was once the queen of the phrase: “I don’t need a man”; until she met Damon and he knocked her off her feet and taught her the true meaning of love.  She’s strong and although she’s not perfect, she’s a great example of a dedicated wife and mother.

BPM:   What topics are primarily discussed?  Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I discuss love, honesty, and forgiveness. I learned that being in love can be complicated and that two people who are truly dedicated to the survival of their relationship, can make things work even if one or both of them have done wrong.

BPM:   What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
As a published author my definition of success is being able to reach and touch readers of all races and social classes. I don’t want to just entertain but it is my hope that someone will be inspired and motivated by me and my work. If I can help and touch others in some way then in my book, I’m successful.  I have several ambitions for my writing career but breaking into television and movies is definitely at the top of my list.

BPM:   What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
My expectations for this book are that it will leave my readers pleased with the ending of Damon and Octavia’s story. I hope and desire them to be satisfied with the entire series.  After reading this book, I would like my readers to please leave a review and tell a friend.

BPM:   Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
I would like to thank each and every person who has read this series and my other work. I would also like to thank you for granting me this interview. To my readers: I love you and I’m forever grateful for your support.

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

You can find me on Facebook at Author-Mz Robinson, on Twitter @ AuthorMzR, and follow my blog at http://www.mzrobinsonwrites.com.

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/AuthorMzR
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Mz.Robinson

Damon & Octavia – Part 7 of The Love, Lies & Lust Series by Mz. Robinson

Damon and Octavia have been through more than most couples could ever imagine, and managed to survive it all. From love to lies to lust and even murder, they’ve seen it all. Now the only thing the two of them want is to raise their children in peace and love each other to the fullest. There’s just one problem…Damon has one last secret and this secret refuses to die.

When Octavia forges an unlikely friendship with the woman on the other side of Damon’s deception, things get hot and heavy in more ways than one. Soon, Damon is faced with the dilemma of confessing his transgression and losing the woman he loves.

When everything is put on the table and all lies are exposed, will Damon and Octavia’s marriage survive or will everything the two of them have fought so hard to maintain come crashing down, along with their love?

Damon & Octavia has 55 Five-Star Book Reviews
Purchase the book today:  http://goo.gl/7TJGjf

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Mafietta 2: A House Divided by E.W. Brooks

Mafietta 2: A House Divided
by E.W. Brooks

If you’re looking for a love story where your typical heroine wins the hot heartthrob’s heart by flaunting her beauty to win him over, you’re in the wrong place. – Minolta White, Author and Blogger

Mafietta, part 1, follows Clarke, a woman tired of bankrolling her suitors, entertaining a man she normally wouldn’t consider – a man from the underworld.

Errol, the head of the Bellow Brothers, is tired of the opportunistic women that find their way into his path. He was done with love, but meeting Clarke changed all of that.

Their perfect love story falls apart when a tragic turn of events sends Errol behind bars and forces Clarke to run the family business. When a good girl turns mafia queen, she is forced to choose between the love she’s always wanted and a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.

Mafietta 2: A House Divided  instantly draws you into the Port City’s chaotic underworld as Clarke is left to choose between the man she loves and the lifestyle she has grown to hate. 

Non-stop action thrillers, Mafietta 1 & 2 are a cacophony of action that expresses the deep passion and unique skill that E.W. Brooks possesses!  The Mafietta novellas are a quick escape. They are fast paced, action packed and great for the person or group looking for something to read quickly. A House Divided is the second installment in the series.  Watch thrilling videos here:  http://mafietta.com/the-mafietta-novella-series


Purchase Mafietta 2, Contemporary Fiction-Suspense-Thriller http://www.amazon.com/Mafietta-2-A-House-Divided/dp/1499178956


Inside Mafietta 2: A House Divided

“I want to go back to the days when I was blind to the things you do. I want my innocence back.”
— Clarke

“These are not the type of people you just walk away from. Do you know how much money you made for them while I was gone?”
— Errol

“Money doesn’t make a man a monster. The person within does. Money merely magnifies the mirror; if you are a good man, you become a better one.”
— Admiral


Mafietta by E.W. Brooks Book Review 

“Buckle your seat belts and hide your kids because Mafietta is one relentless thrill ride from beginning to end. Female empowerment is boasted proudly in this fast paced novel. Brooks doesn’t hold back as she challenges the characters’ mental and spiritual development throughout the book. Mafietta is a highly recommended book club favorite and avid reader’s joy ride.”  —Minolta White, Author


Meet Author E.W. Brooks

“I hope to continue to put out content that people want to read. If something I write can take someone away from the stresses of their day, I’ve accomplished my goal. I don’t seek to change the world with my books, I have a blog for that, but I do hope to entertain it.”  – E.W. Brooks

Growing up in a small town fueled E.W.’s desire to see more and led her to larger cities where she always kept abreast of events via the nightly news and local newspapers. Brooks was intrigued by the stories of those who made an effort at a better life; on the wrong side of the law. Her curiosities led to much research and her writing, Mafietta.

E.W. Brooks is an Army wife, big sister and mentor with a big imagination. She is the founder of the Campbell Sisterhood, a group of women who support and empower each other as well as other Army Wives. Brooks also donates 10% of book proceeds to the Military Matters Project. However, she says her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family and seeing the smiling faces of those she’s helped to find a bit of light along their journey.

Follow the author on Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 
http://www.mafietta.com
https://twitter.com/Mafiettaishere
https://www.facebook.com/EWBrooks
http://instagram.com/ewbrooksbooks
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EWBrooks/posts

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries


The Wisdom of the Ancestors Series by Ann Jeffries

Southern Exposures by Ann Jeffries

Law school student Vivian Lynn Alexander could no longer fight the undeniable truth that she had to end her three-year love affair with her college sweetheart, Carlton Andrews, to have the career she dreamed about in law. Nor could she deny a growing interracial passion that she felt for former basketball icon Chuck Montgomery—that is, until she met his best friend, Derrick “Dunk and Jam” Jackson, who was an even bigger star than Chuck. Both medical doctors now, Chuck and Derrick find that they have no medical skills to keep them both from falling hard for the attractive, young Georgetown Law student.

Kenneth and Benjamin Alexander are brother and best friends, but as different as night and day. Kenneth, the older, the cool, calm and collected President of his San Francisco-based electronics and security telecommunications company, and Benjamin, the dashing young US Air Force jet fighter pilot, stationed in San Diego. Yet they came to the same conclusion: They were both falling in love with the same woman—the beautiful and alluring JeNelle Towson, owner of INSIGHTS, a Santa Barbara landmark emporium of style and grace.

Despite their individual and desperate problems, the three of five Alexander siblings rally at perilous risk to themselves and others they care about when everything is on the line and the weight on all of them is the greatest. Two is company, but three is a family.


Book Reviews for Southern Exposures 

“Ann Jeffries definitely has a skill for storytelling. There is vitality and high drama in Southern Exposures. The author did an excellent job with honing in and focusing on the three main, important characters of which the drama surrounds. I fell in love with the Alexanders. Job well done!” — Jessica Tillis, Author/Editor

“Loved the way Ann Jeffries described the activities . . . I felt as though I was there witnessing everything that she was describing. She immediately got my attention with the colorful . . . attention to details. The book is very warm. The characters have to face challenges and each does it in a different way. Loved the focus on loving family—members of the family loving each other and believing in each other.” — Brenda Irons LeCesne, Esq.

“There are a lot of promising plots within the story. I thoroughly enjoyed . . . this novel. I think Ann Jeffries’ ability to create emotion is a true talent. She did a great job creating suspense. The characters’ stories seemed most authentic and entertaining. Language and dialogue over all . . . is a strong area for Ann.
— Karen R. Thomas, President, Creative Minds Book Group

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion 
Purchase: http://amzn.com/099150030X  


Touch Me In The Morning by Ann Jeffries

In Summer County, South Carolina, Satarah Whitfield, head Emergency Room nurse battles to save the lives of countless accident victims of the record-breaking blizzard. She did not have time to think about her husband’s and sister’s betrayal when they absconded with every dime she had leaving their twin boys behind for her to raise. For one patient, a young boy whose name she did not even know, she risks her career to save his life by performing an unauthorized surgery that, if it goes wrong, could land her in prison. She only hopes that, if her own missing son needed extreme measures to save his life, someone would step up to save him.

In Richmond, Virginia, firefighter, Deputy Battalion Chief, Douglas Johnson, is battling to save his career after giving testimony in court against his fire department for malfeasants. That would be enough pressure to contend with, but his young, defiant adopted son is driving him to distraction with his preteen angst. If Doug’s wife hadn’t committed suicide, perhaps he would not feel like throwing in the towel.

When the chips were down neither Satarah nor Douglas have been quitters. So when Douglas learns that his boy was in a near fatal school bus accident on his way to Disney World, a trip that Douglas knew nothing about, his fear for his son’s life chases him to a South Carolina community he has never heard of and to a woman the likes of which he has never met. When these two bruised, but not broken people unite, they battle together to save their future.


Book Reviews for Touch Me In The Morning 

“I could not put my iPad down once I started reading. Loved the characters and story line which kept me guessing what was going to happen next.”  — Pauline, an avid reader.

“Ms. Jeffries has given us a love story about two adults who, having experienced some of life’s darker moments, fall deeply and passionately in love. Her characters are real life and enable the reader to eagerly ride along with them on their adventure.”  — Abraham Leib, Critic.

“I loved this novel; many times finding myself lost in their lives. The author did a fantastic job with character and plot development, and an unpredictable storyline.”  — Jessica Tillis, Author

Touch Me In The Morning 
Purchase: http://amzn.com/0991500377 

An Unguarded Moment by Ann Jeffries
Otis Redding probably said it best in his rendition of “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right.” An affair between two married people can sometimes be more, mean more than just sex and infidelity. It can mean everything to two love-starved people.

Former Texas beauty queen, JaiHonnah Reise Chapman of African and Native American ancestry is finally moving back to the United States after studying abroad for the last four years and completing her doctorates in architecture and structural engineering at Arcadia Laboratories, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. A new career opportunity awaits her in Washington, DC, away from her wealthy, powerful, and manipulative father, Jake Hawkins, and the brutal man she married, international financier, Calvin Chapman. The last thing she needs or wants at the beginning of her professional life is to have An Unguarded Moment with another woman’s husband, her new boss.

J. Roderick Baylor, known as the sports icon JRock, has shed the highlights of his illustrious, professional basketball career, and the lowlights of his disastrous marriage to Monique, a would-be starlet. Now he has his twin, five-year-old daughters, Shelly and Shelby, a highly successful construction and development business and loving supportive family and friends around with which to build a new life. Little did he know that an illicit affair with another man’s wife, his new employee, had the power to refurbish the torn parts of his life and erect a monument to the power of love.

Book Reviews for An Unguarded Moment 
“Ann Jeffries does an excellent job of weaving her characters’ stories together and keeping the reader captivated.” — Nancy Engle, Author “Murder at Mount Joy”

“An engrossing and sensuous love story that immediately grabs your attention and keeps you involved till the last page.” — Abraham Leib, Critic

“My overall view is that this is a good, intelligent read! It’s the kind of story you never want to end.”
— Janice Sims, Author “This Winter Night”

“I really admire Ann’s smooth writing style and the appealing premise of this project.”
— Mavis Allen, Associate Senior Editor, Silhouette Books

An Unguarded Moment 
Purchase: http://amzn.com/0991500334 


Excerpt from Southern Exposure


A piercing scream followed by shrilled laughter tore Vivian Alexander’s attention away from reading Fahey: Treatise on Ethics. She shifted Black’s Law Dictionary to her side, and lifted her eyes to the little children playing raucous games with complete strangers, sending torrents of infectious giggles and laughter up to the high, cavernous ceiling. The vision brought a smile to her gamine face, bright brown eyes, and curved Cupie Doll mouth. She thought of her younger siblings—Gregory and Aretha—when they were at that age. She watched the children for a moment or two longer, hoping the little unguided missiles didn’t fall flat on their faces or tumble over a piece of Samsonite luggage. The children were, however, under the watchful eyes of their parents who scolded them for making too much noise and, nodding toward her, smiled apologetically. Vivian acknowledged the parents with a smile and a shrug and turned her attention to the wintery scene unfolding outside the tall, wide window. Snow was still falling, blurring her panoramic view of the airport tarmac.

It was a very cold, grey, blustery day in Chicago. Muck-blotched snow was heaped high in places on the airport landscape at O’Hare International. Ground crews dodged arriving and departing international and domestic aircraft, as they scurried to load provisions, luggage, and/or fuel into waiting airplanes. In the background, deicing trucks spewed clear, slushy fluid on the aircraft fuselage and wings.

It was the Christmas holiday season, just before New Years’ Eve. At any airport in the country, literally thousands of people were traveling. O’Hare Airport, still one of the largest and busiest in the world, was no exception despite the horrendous weather conditions. Controlled chaos would aptly describe the scene along the wide corridors of the airport’s many concourses with passengers of many nationalities in a hurry to catch a flight to some distant destination. Little shops and food concession stands were bustling with activity. Airline flight crews briskly walked, pulling their rolling essentials behind them in black leather luggage not much larger than a breadbox. Passenger loading-bay areas were jammed with people sitting or standing guard over more carry on luggage than they probably needed. Ground-crew flight attendants scurried to their appointed posts, and were immediately mobbed by travelers looking for seat assignments, checking on connecting flight schedules, or asking questions about in-flight food service. Announcement after announcement chronicled the arrival and departure of many flights.

Some babies cried while others slept, nestled peacefully in their parents’ arms. Little children continued their play, as if the melee were an extension of the just past Christmas morning enthusiasm. Occasionally, aircraft engines roared into action, as a ground crew released the front wheel of the aircraft and energetic hand signals sent it on its way.

Vivian quietly sat before one of the wide, ceiling-high windows in the airport on a padded bench with her long legs curled up under her. She was nearly oblivious to the chaos that surrounded her. She leaned back against a tall column, reading and occasionally observing ground flight crews, as they loaded baggage in steel cases into the belly of the airplane parked at the end of the long, slanted ramp. She, her parents, Bernard and Sylvia Alexander, her younger brother, Gregory Clayton, and her eleven-year-old sister, Aretha Grace, were waiting at Gate 6 for the United Airlines’ attendant to announce that the flight was ready for boarding. They would continue their trip home to Goodwill, South Carolina, a small town located in Summer County, more than forty miles from South Carolina’s state capitol of Columbia. Her return flight to Washington, DC, and Georgetown University Law Center, would not be leaving until 6:15 P.M. from Gate 23. 

The Alexander family was returning from San Francisco, California, where they spent the week of Christmas holidays visiting with Kenneth James, the eldest offspring of the Alexanders. Benjamin Staton Alexander, her twenty-eight-year-old brother, an Air Force jet pilot, managed to get some time off and fly himself to San Francisco from San Diego for a few days. It wasn’t like being at home in Goodwill for the holidays, Vivian mused, but at least the family was able to spend another special time together.

They stayed at Kenneth’s home in Marin County, outside of San Francisco. Vivian was enormously proud of her oldest brother, holding him and his accomplishments in awe. Before starting his own company, he worked as the lead electronics engineering specialist for Sandoval Anniston Corporation, a huge American aircraft and electronics manufacturing operation with corporate offices based in New York and other worldwide locations. Being the thorough researcher that she was, in undergrad she used Sandoval as an example in one of many business classes she took. The company had many military contracts for sophisticated and top secret surveillance and guidance systems, as well as doing some work for the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA). She had done very well on that paper. Now Kenneth was the Executive Director of his own company, CompuCorrect, Incorporated (CCI).

For a few moments, Vivian allowed herself a respite from her intense focus on her reading of Fehey’s Treatise, as she noticed her parents talking quietly together a short distance away from where she sat. She couldn’t hear the conversation, but they always seemed to have so much to say to each other. She smiled, thinking that she couldn’t have designed two more perfect parents. Her parents would have never permitted the raucous public display that she witnessed with the young parents seated nearby and their rambunctious offspring. Her parents could do more with one look than most parents did with a good scolding. She smiled again and turned her attention away from her parents and back to her reading.

( Continued… )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ann Jeffries. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Southern Exposures: Family Reunion 
Purchase: http://amzn.com/099150030X  



Meet the Author

Ann Jeffries
is a native of Washington, D. C. She is an only child who enjoyed the benefits of a private school education at Allen in Asheville, NC, and a public education at the University of Maryland. She began writing fiction for her own amusement. She is currently writing novels in her Family Reunion: The Wisdom of the Ancestors series.

Ann is the recipient of many awards for leadership and public service. A speaker at colleges, universities, conferences and conventions, she has extensively traveled the North American continent, Asia and Europe. Among other things, she is an entrepreneur, an avid viewer of public television and a voracious reader of fiction.

Ms. Jeffries’ pride and joy are her family, particularly her Fabulous Four grands. She lives in Maryland and South Carolina.  Website address: www.newviewliterature.com;  Facebook @Ann Jeffries; Twitter @newviewlit; e-mail at annjeffries@newviewliterature.com 

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Introduction to the Order of the Seers Trilogy by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Introduction to the Order of the Seers Trilogy
by Cerece Rennie Murphy

What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?


The Order of the Seers trilogy poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, romance, and adventure in a science fiction novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith’s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world. But from within the organization, Marcus Akida, a captured Seer with powerful visioning capabilities, quietly plots his daring escape with the help of a beautiful and tortured Seer named Alessandra. When the escaped Seers are drawn to the same remote commune in Iowa as Liam and Lilith, they each find a place where they can rebuild their lives and rediscover their passion for life and love.

As the Guild’s efforts to find them intensifies, the Seers ban together with outlaws from the commune to fight back against the organization that threatens their lives – setting off a chain of events that will unleash the full power of the Seers and change everything we know about the true potential that lies dormant in each of us.

The Red Order – Book II  in the Order of the Seers Trilogy continues the epic battle for freedom which began in Order of the Seers, revealing the secret motives behind an organization that exists to exploit and a renegade movement that seeks to usher in the next phase in human evolution.

So begins The Last Seer – Book III  in the Order of the Seers Trilogy – When the fall of one nemesis unleashes an even greater danger into the world, Lilli, Joel and the Lost Seers must stand against a new enemy with the means and the will to destroy all of mankind, starting with those they hold most dear. As the Seers mobilize to confront this new evil, the Guild tries desperately to uphold the crumbling world order on which it depends. When their attempts to manage the crisis fail, the members of the Guild are forced to place themselves at the mercy of an unlikely ally.

But the Guild isn’t the only one interested in maintaining control. An agreement made in secret threatens to destroy any hope of a peaceful alliance before it can be made and as the betrayals unfold, no one is safe against a power that will stop at nothing to get what it wants.

To defeat this threat and ensure the survival of the human race, the Seers must push the boundaries of their abilities beyond any limits they have known and risk crossing the line between life and death. How far would you go to protect what matters most?


Purchase The Last Seer (Book 3 in the Order of the Seers Trilogy)

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Order-Seers-Last-Seer-Trilogy/dp/0985621036


About the Author

Cerece Rennie Murphy
fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.”

In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy: 
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/cerece-rennie-murphy 
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/e/B008G6XXBS 

 
 
 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground by Michelle Spady

ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground 
by Michelle Spady (Author);   Bradford Spady (Illustrator)

Topical New Children’s Book by Mother and Son Team Tackles Bullying in a Surprising Way

Written by Michelle Morgan Spady and illustrated by her son, Bradford O. Spady, ‘ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground’ is an unusual and creative new book about a topic on everyone’s minds: bullying, and what to do about it.

Sometimes, the road to success is not a simple one – and no one knows that truism better than Michelle Morgan Spady. A former educator, Spady has endured hardships beyond many people’s wildest nightmares – including the death of her firstborn son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, an event that devastated her, and changed her life forever. It was only many years later that the light began to shine once more – when Spady and her husband welcomed their son, the man she now calls “a visual storyteller”.

With the formation of their company, ‘B’Artful’, dedicated to promoting emerging artists and writers and the release of their second book together, the duo are on a roll. Michelle Spady and Bradford O. Spady co-produced the anti-bullying tale, titled: ‘ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground’.

Written in poem format, the book uses vibrant illustrations, and a good dose of positivity to encourage children to look at bullying from another perspective. ShoozyQ and her “crew” persuade a schoolyard bully to change his behavior without being mean and abusive themselves – something that is often overlooked in books with an anti-bullying message.

“I’ve witnessed many children being bullied over the years,” says Michelle Spady. “Normally, when we discuss this with children, we don’t emphasize how vital being positive is – ShoozyQ doesn’t need to be cruel or ‘tough’ to stop the bully. She also doesn’t just ignore it and hope it will stop. Instead, she uses her powers of persuasion to intercede and change the bully’s mind about his actions. It’s a compelling message of love, gentleness and compassion.”


ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the playground

Sometimes you can find a bully on the playground. This story about a bully on the playground is written in poem format. It is about a little girl named ShoozyQ and a group of her friends who call themselves the “AB Crew” which stands for anti-bully. They are against bullying and there is one on their playground who has been harassing them and their friends. One day ShoozyQ and her AB Crew walk to the playground to confront the bully. You’ll be surprised at the tools that they use to talk to the bully. There is a surprise ending. In the back of the book are activities for parents and teachers to use to talk with students about bullying; vocabulary; role plays, and discussion questions. The colorful drawings and simple, effective language all tie together to make ShoozyQ an exciting read for kids, and a learning tool for parents and teachers.

“We include activities so that educators can get the discussions going with children,” says Michelle Spady. “It’s important to keep the ball rolling after the story is over, and really get to the root of what the kids have learned from ShoozyQ’s experiences.”

After the successful release of their first book, ‘An Artist and His Obsession’, Michelle Spady and Bradford O. Spady are hard at work on their company ‘B’Artful’ and on further projects. “Working with my son is just a joy. He is 100% an artist and a visionary. He’s an inspiration to me, and others and he shows himself through his work.”

Continuing: “Currently, my son and I are working on a comic book and the story is about bullying on another level – hazing at a college. The comic will be titled, ‘7 Days to 2 Tell’. The students will make a moral judgment as to whether they should tell what they saw. Obviously, this subject is close to our hearts and it’s something we feel passionate about communicating to others. If we preached kindness more often, I think it would change the lives of our children.” 

‘ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1djn5r5 


About the Author 

The author, Michelle Morgan Spady, is a retired child care center owner, and teacher of English and Computer Technology. Ms. Spady loves reading and writing and tells many of her stories from her memories of days in the classroom and on the playground. She says that her writings are enriched by the illustrations provided by her artist son, whose love is in creating characters for her to develop in her stories. They work as a mother and son team.

Michelle Morgan Spady, Author & Publisher B’Artful, LLC
B’Artful Website: http://www.bradspadyart.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bradspadyart


ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground
General Education-Picture Book for K-4th grade
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/ShoozyQ-AB-Crew-Bully-playground-ebook/dp/B00J2I039Y 

Available at Amazon.com, IBooks, Kindle, IngramSparks, CreateSpace & B’Artful.com for bulk discount

 
 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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