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Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

 

A clash between Cherokee Indians and their former African slaves comes to a head in the tribal town of Feather Falls.

 

On the same day Sput Louie McClendon is evicted by reviled town tycoon Goliah Lynch, her husband mysteriously vanishes. Has he fallen prey to bushwhackers or timber thieves? Or is Lynch behind his disappearance?

Alone and desperate, Sput Louie turns to town elder Two Bird for help, but with racial tension between the two factions, are his intentions pure?

As Sput Louie’s frantic search for her husband intensifies, she stumbles onto a dark twisted family secret – one that could not only have devastating implications for her, but the entire town of Feather Falls.

 

 

Reviews for Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

“Seeds of Deception has characters you’ll love, a plot that pulls you in and twists you’ll never see coming.”
— Pamela Samuels Young, author of Anybody’s Daughter anf Abuse of Discretion, NAACP Image Award winner

 

“Hypnotic prose, vivid characters. I was blown away. A masterful first novel.”
— Dwayne Alexander Smith, author of Forty Acres, NAACP Image Award Winner

 

“I wish I could go back and meet all her characters again. Haven’t stopped thinking about them yet. Easily one of my favorite reads this year.” — Lisa Bobbit, reviewer, ReadInColour.com

 

“Ms. Walker’s writing is uninhibited and honest.”
— C. Knight, Book-a-licious Book Club

 


 

 

EXCERPT: Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

Goliah T. Lynch, known as Old Crow behind his back, was a man of considerable coin. He was arguably the most powerful mixed-blood in Feather Falls, being half-white and half-Cherokee. He was also the man who had owned both Sput’s and Benjamin’s families during slavery.

Sput wanted to spit bile. She knew Benjamin did as well.

That her two older sons were not around gave Sput some small solace.

“Here come the boys.” Benjamin jutted his chin towards the prairie to the left of Goliah Lynch.

She followed his nod. Sure enough, there was Hunter Big, her oldest, trailed by Archie, her middle son. They both knew of her and Benjamin’s loathing for Goliah. They’d cut their teeth on it.

Hunter Big was a bison of a man. He swung a rope-tied red fox from his left hand and carried a bow in his right.

Just like Benjamin, Hunter Big knew by heart the rise and fall of the land. He strode wide and shrewd towards them now.

Trying to keep up with him was Archie, Hunter’s twin brother. They neither looked alike nor were alike. Archie was the only member of the family who had managed to amass any schooling in his 20 years on earth. Hunter, on the other hand, saw no need for the alphabet if it couldn’t back him up in a bear fight.

The two boys flanked their parents and their youngest brother L.B. as they watched Goliah’s wagon roll to a stop.

“Osiyo.” Benjamin greeted first.

At the Cherokee greeting, Goliah flinched like he had been pinched.

“I have a hundred head of new cattle coming in,” he said, skipping any semblance of social pleasantries.

No surprise to Sput there.

“Well, suh,” Benjamin began.

What was a surprise to Sput was hearing her husband refer to this particular man as “sir.” She whipped her head around to give Benjamin a questioning stare. Was that a smile she saw stretching at his lips? A nasty shiver went down her spine, as her ire heated up. But then, she understood how desperation could make a man like Benjamin sacrifice his skin in order to save his bones.

“I — I don’t have a mule no more —” Benjamin continued.

“Cauth we ate him.” L.B. hooked his thumbs around the shoulder straps of overalls that didn’t quite reach his ankles. “He died firth. Then we ate him.”

Benjamin was not sidetracked. “But if you supply a horse,” he went on as if L.B. hadn’t said a word, “I can rope a steer, brand it, and castrate it with the best of ‘em. Never lost a steer to a snippin’ yet.”

Archie jumped right on board with the idea of any one of the McClendons being hired out. “They don’t call Pa Snippin’ Ben for nothing.”

“And Hunter here,” Benjamin pointed with a proud nod of his head, “he can break a bronco into a cow pony in no time. And Archie can rope and ride a salty one all day long,” he said, rounding out the recitation of McClendon family skills.

Goliah began a slow, guttural laugh. “I’m not looking to hire you.” His laugh grew. “I’m looking to evict you.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Reviews for Two Steps Past the Altar by Patricia A. Bridewell

Pharmaceutical sales representative, Sasha Edmonds, is a motivated high-flyer with a stellar track record at Wexel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Being the top sales rep and having a fiancé who loves her is more than she could ever imagine. But it’s not enough. Her obsession with climbing the corporate ladder is the number one goal that she strives to reach by any means necessary. Until she learns that her mother requires a new medication for her life-threatening medical condition.

When she discovers that her fiancé, Damien Taylor, may be cheating, she breaks off their engagement. In the midst of healing, she becomes captivated with Wesley Dunbar, a wealthy pharmaceutical businessman that may hold the cure for her mom and Sasha’s wounded heart. Although she attempts to resist Wesley’s romantic overtures, his charm, status, and kindness open a window of opportunities to consider.

While Damien tries to woo her back into his life, her involvement with Wesley becomes complicated. A surfeit of lies and deception causes a web of mixed emotions as she struggles to help her mom and determine whether Damien or Wesley is the real love of her life.

Reviews for Two Steps Past the Altar by Patricia A. Bridewell

 

4.5 stars – An independent career woman learns about love and forgiveness
“This story had me captivated as I followed Sasha’s journey to maturity. How would she respond to the curve balls thrown at her? Which love interest would she choose in the end?

You will enjoy following Sasha’s journey as she navigates betrayal, misunderstandings, and detours with her friendships, love interests, family, and career. A story of redemption, forgiveness, friendships, growing up, and most of all love.” 4.5 stars on this one!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Read!
“Patricia Bridewell delivers a five-star read where passion collides with mistrust and leads to doubt, as a workaholic bride-to-be navigates a career shakeup while trying to get her best friend through her wedding. In the meantime, she secretly plots to cancel her own nuptial plans. I could not stop reading this book until I found out if holy matrimony would prevail.”

 

Absolutely wonderful
“A wonderful story of love and forgiveness. I do admire Sasha for the way she handled Wesley and her employer. Damien’s behavior was disappointing at Tamar’s wedding but with the help of God he redeemed himself. Great book. A must read.”

“Sasha Edmonds is a pharmaceutical rep at Wexel Pharmaceuticals who is at the top of her career. Her fiancé Damien Taylor loves her dearly but she’s all about climbing the corporate ladder. Her father Bishop is the pastor of the church. Her mother has a life-threatening illness that needs medications. In the story, Sasha has doubts about the relationships with everyone. She meets Wesley who has the medications that her mother desperately needs. Her and Wesley’s relationship becomes complicated. What will Sasha do to get what she wants and at what price?

I read this book in a couple of days because I really enjoyed it and wanted to know what was going to happen next. So, I kept turning pages until I finished it. This is my first time reading something by this author. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. I like how the chapters flowed one after the other. The characters were well developed and relatable. The themes in this story are forgiveness, friendships, restoration, and redemption. The plot and suspense were unpredictable. I like how the storyline went smoothly and I could comprehend this story. I recommend this book and I give it 5 stars.”

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

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

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

 

 


 

 

Excerpt: Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

CHAPTER 1

Thirty days. Mensah ended his prayer with the last words he’d heard from his father. He had thirty days to marry. Never mind that he didn’t have one female in mind, while he knew his mother had at least two. Mensah blanched at the thought – he wasn’t into marriage, couldn’t see what his brothers did – one woman, love, and eventually children running afoot. He then thought of his oldest brother, Helem, the next in succession, or that was until he’d dropped the bombshell a week ago – he and his wife were planning on moving from Libertad Isle to London. Helem didn’t want to be king. Their father had announced a year ago that he would retire the next Independence Day and Helem would rightfully take his place. That was how it had always been, since Libertad and its surrounding islands had been founded nearly three centuries ago. Then a month ago, Helem broke the news to his parents and officially abdicated leaving him to be the next in line – next be sworn in as king of Libertad Isle, but in order for him to assume the crown, he had to have a wife.

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

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

As he turned from the balcony, he stopped. Movement captured his attention. He trained his obsidian-colored eyes across the varying hues and types of plush tropical foliage and flowers that rested several feet from the crystal blue terrain of the Caribbean Sea. Mensah spotted a lone figure as it swam toward the shore. He watched intently as the figure reached the shore line, then rose slowly from the pristine water. He blinked, turned his head slightly to the right then narrowed his dark eyes, his full lips pursed. The figure had on a black wet suit that allowed him to make out the outline of hips and ample bosom. Reaching for his cell phone, he paused. His thick eye brows rose as the female pulled the wet suit down to reveal a white one-piece that stood in amazingly stark contrast to her mahogany skin. Absently, Mensah licked his lips. He loved mahogany.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No. Have you?”

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

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

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

Mensah watched his brother as he narrowed his eyes.

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

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

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

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

Trinity shook her head, picked up Cousteau’s leash and the remaining samples she had retrieved from the sea. For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what was killing off the jelly fish in large quantities and decided to ship several carcasses to a colleague in San Diego. As a result of the jelly fish dying, larger marine habitat was being affected as well. Just today, she had encountered what she thought was a rather lethargic bottlenose dolphin. To Trinity, the behavior of the mammal was more than odd – this species exhibited a natural curiosity of their surroundings. She had come across this female dolphin several times during her exploration, recognizing it from others she’d encountered by the deep marks on her dorsal fin. She had named the dolphin Dolly and found her to be quite curious, swimming and diving alongside and jumping up and out of the water over Trinity. On this day the playfulness and curiosity were missing – instead Dolly just swam alongside her.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt: Love For Liberty by Ann Clay

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey (Love Like It’s Hot Box Set)

Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey (Love Like It’s Hot Box Set)

Abisola Tersoo, a gracious woman of beauty, kindness, and focus, knows there has always been a plan for her future. Someday she will take over her father’s business and Max Osborne, a man dear to her family’s heart, is to be her husband. Just when Abisola has accepted her life always goes according to plan, Thomas Hoffmann, a fantasy of a man, brings chaos into her life in the best and worst ways. Torn between following the plan with a real man and risking it all for a fantasy, Abisola learns she may not have a choice.

Thomas Hoffmann didn’t realize he was looking for someone special until Abisola walked into his life. A man of the world, he had become a little jaded, but Abisola’s quick wit and creative spirit sparked an interest in him unlike any he had ever experienced. One who lives in the moment, he can see spending the rest of his moments with Abisola, but others’ plans may get in the way.

 

 


 

Excerpt: Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey

Chapter One

Mind racing, Abisola stood before her boss. In the three years she’d been employed at Osborne and Associates, she’d never been called in like this. An accountant, she found most clients were hush, hush when it came to their money and didn’t blame them. She was just as hush, hush about her own finances. Maybe this was about a new “delicate” project. It was only June, and she’d already been assigned four this year.

“Please…” Sandy motioned to the leather loveseat off to the side of the modest office.
Seated, Abisola faced Sandy.

“I apologize.” Sandy glanced at her watch. “I need to leave in a few minutes, so let me cut to the chase.”

Now that Abisola had more time to think, she’d bet this was about the embezzlement case she’d worked on for the District Attorney who’d needed a forensic accounted. Her cousin had convinced them to use Osborne and Associates, and Abisola in particular. Needless to say, she’d done an excellent job. Or so she thought.

Old episodes of Law and Order were the closest Abisola had come to being in a courtroom. Looking back, she probably should have turned down the offer, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After her expert testimony, the defendant decided to plead guilty for a lighter sentence, so she couldn’t have done too bad, she told herself.

“My grandson….” Choked up, Sandy looked away.

Worry shifted from herself to Sandy, she hugged her supervisor. “It’s okay.” Sandy’s first grandchild had been born a month ago at only twenty-two weeks gestation and admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She prayed silently for the baby to someday be a healthy, loving man. “Whatever you need. I’m here for you.”

“Thank you.” Sandy wiped away the tears building in her big blue eyes. “I needed that.” She took a moment to compose herself. “It was so hard leaving him, but I had to come back. It wasn’t fair dumping everything on you.”

“You didn’t dump anything. Your priorities are straight. Family first.” Abisola’s father owned a successful flooring company. Her mother told her that even when they were struggling to get the business up and running, her father always prioritized family time. He said too many used growing their business as an excuse to neglect their family.

“How did I know you’d say that?” Small wrinkles formed around Sandy’s mouth with her smile. “I appreciate the way you stepped up. You helped make a difficult decision much easier. You see… I’m retiring and moving to Boston to help my daughter.”

“What?” Abisola knew she’d heard wrong.

“Leadership’s taking this opportunity to reorganize the company. Nelson’s agreed to buy my and Andre’s shares.”

Outdone, Abisola took a second to process what she’d been told. “So the company will no longer be Osborne and Associates?” Thirty-two employees in total, the firm was small but mighty.

“He’s leaning towards Osborne Financial. We’ve hired a marketing firm to help decide. With the restructure, we believe you’d be the best person to head up the accounting department. If you keep your nose clean until I officially retire, the job is yours.” She laughed lightly. “Since your nose has never been dirty, I think we’re good.”

“I’m… I’m floored. What about Max?” she asked of Nelson’s son who worked in the personal finance arm of the company. With the company being so small, they didn’t have managers, so Abisola assumed Max would buy into a partnership role when one opened.

“Andre’s having a similar conversation to ours with Max. Let’s be honest. The past year, Andre’s been out more than he’s been in. Max pretty much runs things over there.”

“I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say. Thank you. Thank you.”

“You earned it. Even when I’m out, I keep tabs on things. I saw in the first day or so that your co-workers were coming to you for answers they usually come to me for. By the end of the first week, you were running the department and doing an outstanding job. And those daily updates you’d send!” Eyes wide with excitement, Sandy patted her chest. “Be still my heart. You saved me so much time and worry. Yes. You should be a director. You’re a natural.”

Faint knocking at the door drew their attention. Nelson Osborne, senior partner, poked his head in. Disappointment filled his eyes. “Oh no, you already told her, didn’t you?” He entered fully, closing the door behind himself.

Sandy smiled. “Your fault. Who takes meetings this early anyway?”

Ready to leap a tall building in a single bound, Abisola beamed with pride. “Thank you both for believing in me.”

“You earned it.” He looked at Sandy. “I hate to cut this short, but I need you to join this too early meeting for a few minutes before you cut out.” He chuckled. “That was a good one.”

Abisola loved how Nelson laughed at his own jokes.

* * *

Seated at her desk, Abisola exchanged her cell phone for her iPad. She longed to call her parents and tell them the good news, but her mother had the uncanny ability to turn a two-minute conversation into two hours. She scrolled through a few photos on her tablet of her parents laying tile in her condo. She’d gotten an amazing deal on two units in her building that were in major need of renovations. Nelson and his wife, Mesha, even came by a few times to help out. Work done, she missed the extra time they’d spent together updating the units.

She opened the custom-made planner program her parents had gotten her a few years ago. People often teased her about planning every minute of her life. Why anyone would try to make her way through something as complicated and important as life without planning was beyond her comprehension.

Lacey, her best friend, said the level Abisola planned was a manifestation of her controlling tendencies, but Abisola didn’t agree. As a child, Abisola didn’t choose what she ate, clothing, instruments she’d play, sports she’d participate in, languages she’d learn, if she’d be home schooled. Her high-level life plan had been written before she was born, and her parents made adjustments as necessary. They instilled the importance of preparation into Abisola.

She’d also heard the word controlling in relationship to her parents, but her college friends had been wrong. She went to work for her father when she was ten and loved every minute of it. According to the life plan her parents had created, she would have worked for him fulltime after she completed her Masters in Business Administration.

That was not the life Abisola wanted. Had her parents been controlling, they would have given her a hard time. Instead, they told her skipping college was not an option, but she could choose her major. They’d wanted her to stay in Arizona for college. They’d compromised and allowed her to complete undergraduate in Arizona and her graduate studies out of state. Someday her father’s business would be hers, so she continued working for him as part-time as an accountant. Since she loved laying tile, she did small jobs occasionally. Controlling people weren’t good with compromise, and her parents were experts at it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

 

Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

At the center of a fierce, fiery, and invisible battle is Dr. Garnet Gibbs, a history professor, who is considered to be both a guidepost for and a mystery to many on the job. After hours, she often finds herself caught in a vortex of drama surrounding her family, associates, and friends.

Although she tries to offer support as best she can, the shenanigans of all involved may prove to be too much for her, especially given the potpourri of players in her world, including: Jamay, her adopted daughter; R.J., her grandson, whose father is facing challenges as he serves overseas; Kemal and Manuela, a kinky church couple; Tario, a Que Dog, whose frivolity and wry wit lead to his nail-biting confrontation with death, igniting a spirited rally in the city.

Then there’s Nieko, a gay gentleman, who is rethinking his sexuality but whose ex-boyfriend is making it tough; Rusty, an avowed redneck, who makes a shocking decision since he believes President Trump is taking too long to do something about the current state of affairs; and Celeste, her what-comes-up-comes-out co-worker, who has a knack for catching people off guard with her uncanny sense of humor.

Critical interactions reveal key life lessons, but not all interchanges end on an upswing.

Set in modern times, Two ’Til Midnight is a soap-operatic dramedy that presents two distinct and separate worlds that thrive together, both influencing the other in their own unique way. Ultimately, their coexistence produces a jaw-dropping ending that no one sees coming.

Something’s brewing. Someone’s watching. And time is running out! Midnight is fast approaching. What will go down when the clock strikes twelve?!

(Recommended reading for ages 18+ and includes discussion questions at the end for reading groups and book clubs)

 

 

Book Reviews: Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

“It’s a cosmic battle royale…Resonates like a live wire…[D]elivers a stunning conclusion that will leave you pondering long after you’ve turned the last page. Five-plus stars to Two ’Til Midnight.” –Publishers Daily Reviews

“In Two ’Til Midnight, author Bernard L. Dillard does an amazing job of storytelling while integrating several of today’s hard-to-discuss topics. . . . This book is not for the faint of heart.” –San Francisco Book Review

“Dillard skillfully weaves each character’s part into the plot…[He] has done an exceptional job creating a novel that will be enjoyed…This is highly recommended reading.” –Reader Views

“Readers who stick with the myriad of characters and [the] blend of supernatural influences, daily life challenges, and confrontations between [two] worlds will find Two ’Til Midnight an engrossing, multifaceted story.” –Midwest Book Review

Read more and watch the book trailer: http://bernarddillard.com/new-author

 

 


 

Chapter Excerpt: Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

 

“I don’t know. It just seemed wrong to me. I knew Schmidt wasn’t all there sometimes, but I never thought it would come to this.”

“Well, honey, I’m glad you spoke up. That wasn’t right.” She adjusted her nightgown and took one last look at the bathroom mirror before turning in. “You did the right thing.”

George was hesitant to accept her praise. “I hope so. It just didn’t feel like me. It was like I wasn’t myself. It’s hard to explain. At the moment, I just felt like I had to step in and say something. Honestly, Schmidt didn’t seem like himself. Something had to be controlling him. If I hadn’t said anything, I really think he woulda shot the kid.”

“Things were going that bad?”

“Only because Schmidt kept pushing the issue. And the way he looked at me when I told him that was enough. He just had a different face.” He spooned her and placed his arm around her stomach. His breath was a little tart, but she had gotten used to it.

“Imagine if you hadn’t spoken up and said anything. It might be a different story on the television. It may have been one of those stories again. Another one shot dead where the cop claims that he felt threatened.”

“It’s just not right, baby. I’ve seen all kinds of stuff on the beat. I feel sort of in a bubble because I know the violence will never probably happen to me and probably not you either since we’re both lily white.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won by Dr. Geneva Jones Williams

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won by Dr. Geneva Jones Williams
Listen to the BAN Radio Show interview with Ella D. Curry and Dr. Geneva:  http://tobtr.com/11304155

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won demonstrates the power of inspired leadership-how an ordinary person can use his or her personal influence to transform reality. In this riveting, true story of how a spiritual, soft-spoken basketball star became a fearless advocate for the oppressed and powerless in his community, a decades-old battle for social change gains new relevance.

Ermon K. Jones’ two college degrees, sports fame, charisma and good looks meant nothing when he was denied the right to apply for a job and buy a new house in his own hometown. How he fought back against a segregated society, outdated thinking and even hate crimes made a lasting difference for his family and for the lives of countless others.

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams, an expert on influential leadership, uses interviews with her heroic father, her own recollections and the historic record to share lessons from the past that can help resolve the worst conflicts and divisions of our time.

Purchase Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Jersey-Shore-Ignited-Change/dp/1480871486

 

 


Connect with Dr. Geneva Jones Williams

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams Is A Powerful Change Agent.

She is a spark that ignites change and positively impacts communities, classrooms and corporations. She is cited among the Top 100 women influencers or “game changers” in Detroit that get things done in the community through collaboration – using her oft-called-upon confident communication skills, to the tune of over $100 million dollars raised.

A defining moment came when, as a teenager, her family received hate mail and had crosses on her family’s front lawn saying “get out” of their home in New Jersey. Inspired by her father’s tireless role as courageous civil rights leader, leadership became an emphasis of Dr. Geneva’s [Williams] career.

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams Speaks At Educational Institutions, Major Corporations, Non-Profit Organizations, And Small Businesses Nationwide.
Well known for her celebrated career as a non-profit leader and trail-blazer, she became the first female executive vice president of the United Way in southeastern Michigan. Always up ready to roll up her sleeve for a challenge, she became the founding president of City Connect, Detroit’s first public/private philanthropic organization to secure national funding for community problems. Dr. Geneva blazed trails also as the first female president and chief executive officer of United Community Services and has also launched many organizations that help people and make a difference for others.

Seeing her dad in action shaped her view about what you’re expected to do in life: overcome the tough times, raise up, train and ignite leaders to make impact in urban communities and leave a legacy of greatness for generations to come.

 

Her Mission Is To Encourage Civic Leaders And Every Citizen To Get Involved And Take Risks In Ways That Really Make A Difference In The Lives Of Others.
Dr. Geneva is gifted in inspiring others. As a practitioner and scholar in public-private collaboration, her main strength, however, is in using collaboration to lead change and solve community problems.

Through her director’s role with Figure Skating in Detroit, she has forged a partnership with the Michigan Women’s Foundation and links Detroit girls with valuable community leadership and resources.

 

Dr. Williams Walks Her Talk. She Is Deeply Involved In Many Organizations Making A Difference
Whether it’s revolutionizing the way an organization does business, or inspiring individuals to lead with greater purpose, Dr. Geneva is committed to stimulating big thinking, while facilitating and delivering the tools needed to ignite unimaginable success.

Her career has lauded many awards for her work for including Bank of America’s Local Hero award; Ford Motor Company’s Heritage Award; and the National Association for Community Leadership’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She is among Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women identified by Crain’s Detroit Business.

As a master leadership strategist, she works with GenX women entrepreneurs and nonprofit executives to provide proven strategies to be more influential at work, home, and in their community. She helps startups develop and mentors GenXers and Millennials to succeed in their careers and explore possibilities beyond the corporate world.

Dr. Williams walks her talk. She is deeply involved in many organizations making a difference including serving leadership and consultant roles for organizations including Western Michigan University, Detroit Public Schools, First Independence Bank, Kresge Foundation, The Links, Inc., and the NAACP.

It’s clear she was called to stand up, stand out—and lead!  She has engaged public and private partners in fundraising programs that brought more than $100 million in national and local money to Detroit’s youth, urban neighborhoods and working poor.

Her passion for facilitating exciting and life changing conversations that spark solutions to issues in the community, has led her to host the IGNITE 2 Impact podcast syndicated through iTunes. Her topics include her 4 Cs: communication, community, confidence and collaboration, and “getting and keeping it together” for today’s busy GenX and Millennial women.

With an innate gift of bringing together all kinds of working to establish an ‘all hands on deck’ strategy, she pushes the envelope to spark success of programs in the community. Currently Dr. Geneva is traveling the world facilitating workshops, speaking on panels and at conferences. Her focus is on community development and coalition building.

 

She Is The Leader’s Leader Encouraging Others To “Get Their Leadership On” To Learn Luminary Leadership Lessons And Make An Impact For Greater Purpose.
“My father’s example gave me a strong belief in reciprocity: that those who have received much in life should be willing to give back, and should do so with enthusiasm. Ultimately, the giver gets as many or more benefits than the receiver,” said Dr. Geneva Williams.

For Speaking Engagements, Workshops And Media Interview Requests contact Dr. Geneva J. Williams at her email: info@drgenevaspeaks.com

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 
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