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Category Archives: Author Interviews

Red September by Marita Berry

Red September, is a contemporary, fiction, romance novel. It’s a coming-of-age narrative that tells the story of Constance (Connie) Brown. Set amidst the poverty of the 1950’s on an island in the Caribbean. After their father dies, Connie and her siblings live in fear of their alcoholic and abusive mother. Connie life changes when Nathaniel (Nathan) Hart, a charismatic twenty-one-year-old man arrives from New York City on family business. When they meet it is love at first sight for both.

However, Connie is forced to marry Mr. Henry, a wealthy landowner, for financial gain. He moves her into his home on the hill overlooking the town. Though this may seem like a fairy tale ending, events begin to unfold and secrets are revealed that subsequently fractured the center of angst that all of Connie’s conflict revolve around. Her life is riddled with lies, masquerades, and broken dreams.

Connie is left with the task of coming to terms with strong, ambivalent feelings towards her mother, staying in a loveless marriage, or risk everything for her independence and ultimately find her place in the world with Nathan.

Customer Reviews on Amazon.com

 

5.0 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed the book. It was a page turner from the beginning to the end. I would definitely recommend this book for the young and the old. I brought five books for my friends and family.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By Rico
One of the best books I have read lately
I have always felt that the most compelling gift that a writer possesses is the ability to describe places and characters in such authentic detail that the reader sees himself/herself there in the flesh watching the story unfold. This was my experience as I read Marita Berry’s “Red September” and being transported to a small fictional Caribbean island,Taino, that featured the same people, culture, beauty and poverty familiar to my own upbringing. On one hand it is the story of a mother who was dealt a cruel hand, losing her father at an early age, living with an abusive alcoholic mother and having the responsibilities of adulthood thrust upon her at much too early an age. Among those responsibilities was having to care for her siblings. Thirty years later with a family of her own she tries to understand the mother who had caused her so much pain and discomfort in her early years and she finds solace retroactively in telling the stories of her upbringing to her daughter, Brenda and at the same time finding room to forgive her abusive mother. “Red September” is much more than a story of struggle and survival. It is also a love story with it’s own twists and turns of the heart. This is one of the best books I have read lately. My advice to you, the reader, is to get a copy and lose yourself in a great story of love, forgiveness and a mother’s triumphant survival in the end.

5.0 out of 5 stars.
This book is a wonderful love story, chapter after chapter is gets more endearing that make you want to keep reading. A great buy!!

4.0 out of 5 stars.
A great story of an innocent woman coming into adulthood through unexpected trials and tribulations and how things work out.

4.0 out of 5 stars. By S. Stone
This was a Giveaway on Goodreads. Thanks so much!
I really enjoyed this heartwarming debut novel by Marita Berry. The story travels from the West Indies in the 1940’s to New York City in the 70’s. It’s the story of a young girl has to endure the harshness that her mother’s drinking evokes. Forced to marry their landlord in exchange for a place for her mother and younger siblings to live, raped, and becoming a mother herself at the young age of 16, it is a story of survival, of hopelessness, and of a love seemingly destined not to survive. Recounting her past to her daughter, Connie relives that love and what it has meant through the years. I will definitely look for more works by this author.

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The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore

When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons, their wedding summons a legend to town. Mr. El Walker, the great guitar bluesman, comes home to give a command performance in Plainview, Indiana, a place he’d sworn—and for good reason—he’d never set foot in again.

But El is not the only Plainview native with a hurdle to overcome. A wildly philandering husband struggles at last to prove his faithfulness to the wife he’s always loved. And among those in this tightly knit community who show up every Sunday after church for lunch at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, are the lifelong friends, known locally as “The Supremes” —Clarice, facing down her longing for, chance at and fear of a great career; Barbara Jean, grappling at last with the loss of a mother whose life humiliated both of them, and Odette, reaching toward her husband through an anger of his that she does not understand.

Edward Kelsey Moore’s lively cast of characters, each of whom have surmounted serious trouble and come into love, need not learn how to survive but how, fully, to live. And they do, every one of them, serenaded by the bittersweet and unforgettable blues song El Walker plays, born of his own great loss and love.

 

Edward Kelsey Moore Book Reviews

“This lusty novel sings with life, saluting friendships through dreams, marriage and long-held secrets.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Summer Books”

“Moore’s bluesy, breezy novel takes readers through life’s highs and lows and in-between times when no one knows what is coming next; its air of folksy optimism should appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Fredrik Backman.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Edward Kelsey Moore, besides being laugh out loud hilarious, has a profound understanding of human nature. This gift, combined with his clear love and affection for his characters, makes him a truly remarkable writer. This book is a joy to read.”
—Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

“Spending time with the Supremes is like slipping into a warm embrace of love and laughter, soul-searching and sass. There’s nothing these three strong women can’t handle, and that includes the legacy of the pain inflicted by fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. Edward Kelsey Moore has crafted a novel that beautifully illustrates the healing power of forgiveness.”
—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

“The arrival of Edward Kelsey Moore’s new novel had me singing anything but the blues. Even better cause for celebration? Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean are back . . . and what a supreme encore it is!”
Julia Glass, author of A House Among the Trees and Three Junes

 

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

It was a love song. At least it started out that way. The lyrics told the tale of a romance between a man and the woman who made his life worth living. Being a blues song, it was also about how that woman repeatedly broke the man’s heart and then repaid his forgiving ways by bringing a world of suffering down on him. The beautiful melody soared and plunged, each verse proclaiming rapturous happiness and gut-wrenching pain. Here, in a church, this piece of music couldn’t have been further outside its natural habitat. But the tune’s lovely mournfulness echoed from the back wall to the baptismal pool and from the marble floor to the vaulted ceiling and settled in as if the forlorn cry had always lived here.

As the song continued and grew sadder with every line, I thought of my parents, Dora and Wilbur Jackson. The blues was Mama and Daddy’s music. Nearly every weekend of my childhood, they spent their evenings in our living room, listening to scratchy recordings of old-timey blues songs on the hi-fi. One of those might have been as sorrowful as the dirge ringing through the church, but I couldn’t recall hearing anything that touched this song for sheer misery.

Mama preferred her blues on the cheerier and dirtier side—nasty tunes loaded with crude jokes about hot dogs, jelly rolls, and pink Cadillacs. The gloomy ballads, like this one, were Daddy’s favorites. I never saw him happier than when he was huddled up with Mama on the sofa, humming along with an ode to agony. He would bob his head to the pulse of the music, like he was offering encouragement to a down-in-the-mouth singer who was sitting right next to him, croaking out his hard luck.

Sometimes, before sending me to bed, my parents would allow me to squeeze in between them. They’ve both been dead for years now, but their bad singing lingers in my memory. And, because I inherited their tuneless voices, I remind myself of my parents every time I rip into some unfortunate melody. Whenever I hear a melancholy blues, I feel the roughness of Daddy’s fingertips, callused by years of carpentry work, sliding over my arm like he was playing a soulful riff on imaginary strings that ran from my elbow to my wrist.

I’d be ordered off to bed when Mama’d had enough of the dreariness and wanted to listen to a record about rocking and rolling and loving that was too grown-up for my young ears.

Even though the song rumbling through the sanctuary would have been a bit dark for Mama’s taste, she’d have loved the singer’s wailing voice and the roller-coaster ride of the melody. And she wouldn’t have let this song go unnoted. If she had been in the church with me, she’d have turned to me and declared, “Odette, your daddy would’ve loved this song. Every single word of it makes you wanna die. I’ve gotta write this in my book.”

My mother’s “book” was a calendar from Stewart’s Funeral Home that she kept in her pocketbook. The cover of the calendar showed a gray-and-white spotted colt and a small boy in blue overalls. They were in a meadow, both of them jumping off the ground in an expression of unrestrained bliss. Above the picture were the words “Jump for Joy,” and below, “Happy thoughts to you and yours from Stewart’s Funeral Home.” Whenever Mama ran into something that she felt was remarkable enough to merit celebration, she wrote a note on that day’s date so she’d never forget it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)

Canada, 1860—While on a mission for Black, Elbert notices the lovely Anna Baker for the first time. Unable to think of much else, he leaves Canada to pursue the beauty that has captured his thoughts.

Anna is unnerved by the man with the lifeless eyes, who is relentless and forward in his approach. She offers nothing of herself to the intimidating stranger, but fate has a different plan. When Anna is assaulted by slave catchers on the streets of Boston, Elbert finds his manhood tested to the limit. He steps in to help, but the consequences prove devastating, and both are sold into bondage. As Anna learns the horrors of slavery, she comes to understand there is more to the foreboding stranger than meets the eye.

Elbert and Anna manage to escape—with the help of the legendary Black. But freedom is not enough to satisfy Elbert’s bruised ego. He wants the pound of flesh owed, and he will stop at nothing to collect.

 

The Uncaged Mind is a passionate story of love and healing despite the ugly backdrop of slavery. Native New Yorker Joan Vassar is an avid storyteller who enjoys weaving a great tale.

 

Elbert: The Uncaged Mind by Joan Vassar (Black Series Book 2)
Romance. Suspense. Adventure. Historical.
Sexy Black Men in love with Sexy Black Women
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5H67VA
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elbert-joan-vassar/1124695784?ean=9780692780077

 

 

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A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C Booker

A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C Booker

 

“A Calm Heart Effect” is a book of poetry and prayers about life’s relationships of love and friendship. The poems are earthy with emotions exposed, and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family. The author’s wit and wisdom come through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader. The author’s premise is “a heart needs to be whole to hold love”. She also believes that “minding your heart business” will help to turn your life and love right side up. This book is for adult readers who are seeking answers with a spiritual basis to help them cope and heal from relationship issues.

“A Calm Heart Effect” was written to bring true feelings to the light in order that peace of mind can be achieved. The author’s hope is that the readers can also experience a calmness of heart as they engage their minds into something other than the BIGness of life’s problems.

 

Purchase A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C. Booker
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548024317
Poetry > Inspirational > Transformational literature

 

About the Author
Lola C. Booker is the mother of two grown children and a retiree from the Talladega County School System in Alabama. She has been a full-time writer for most of her life. Nothing has separated her from the pen and paper, and she hopes it never will. “A Calm Heart Effect” is her first published book of poems and prayers. She is a prolific writer, having written hundreds of poems and prayers over a span of years. Her poems are earthy with emotions exposed and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family.

She is a skilled wordsmith, weaving her wit and wisdom through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader. Her belief is that “when life and love are turned upside down, minding your heart business ll help to turn your life and love right side up”. Her hope is that the reader will be able to relax with her book and relate at a heart level. Her premise is that “a heart needs to be whole to hold love”. Her book of poems and prayers is designed to help the reader with their own “heart business”.

 

EyeCU Reading & Social Network Book Club

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
The propulsive second novel in a new contemporary trilogy about unforgettable love, scorching desire, and dangerous secrets.
https://www.amazon.com/Seducing-Abby-Rhodes-J-Mason/dp/1250052262/

 

Praise for J.D. Mason Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That Church Life by Teresa B.

That Church Life by Teresa B.

“From beginning to end, That Church Life has you on the edge of your pew. What made this book a page turner: Three ladies on different spiritual paths that come to a head at the beginning of a major tragedy. The book unfolds as Missy, the preachers kid and heir to the megachurch throne is broken, bloody and on the run in these Durham, North Carolina streets!

The Church Gal Crew is leading the way to Salvation at Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.

Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.

Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.

These three best friends drift away from each other and the church but come back together through spiritual downfall, relationship crises, drug addiction, and even murder. Can the crew survive the drama involved in That Church Life?

 

Chapter Excerpt: That Church Life-Teresa B. Howell

“Lord, forgive my sin!” echoed down Burlington Street and off the row of brick tènements. I ran back and forth, screaming the words at the top of my lungs with a preacher’s tone. Is this happening to me? Is this a dream? Help please! Feet red and bruised, where are my shoes? Why wasn’t anyone helping me?

Could they not hear me screaming? Fluttering eyes continued as I looked up at the horizon. I was not surprised to see window shades pulled up and people glaring from their homes. All those empty stares watching me for a story, but not to help. I stood in the middle of the street feeling insecure and paranoid while dabbing at burning ears as my anxiety go the best of me. Tinges of red on the edge of my fingertips confirmed all my fears. Blood! But how? Where? Got to find some place to hide. Numb and still very confused, my chanting became even louder than before, “Lord, my God! Help me, Lord!”

The screams and the crying did not cease. “Lord, please forgive me for my sin.” The scene of violence was stuck in my head: Oxygenated blood gushed slowly out of his body and onto the brown carpet of the pastor’s study. The stranger’s hands were large and strong as he wrestled with the two of us. The handgun concealed in his boot was braced with his second hand before it went off six times. We all fell to the ground simultaneously. The musician laid there, still holding onto the candid smile he had when he walked in. The sound of the gun going off pierced my ears over and over again. The thought of losing someone I loved so intensely created shivers from my head to my toes.

 

More About The Church Gal Crew

NATALIA FREEMON
Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.

MICHELLE HANKS
Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.

MISSY JONES
Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 
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