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Category Archives: Author Interviews

BPM Interview with Author/Poet ME

ME was raised in the dirty South: the inner-city neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, Florida. He considers himself a classic old-school gangsta, a hustler, and a scholar. He is also a Vietnam-era veteran.

ME wrote and illustrated a comic strip book in the seventh grade, and in college, he penned articles for the newspaper of the University of the District of Columbia. But it was not until he spent time in a maximum-security federal prison that he had the time to focus on polishing his writing skills. Like a diamond formed in the wall of a volcano due to prolonged, intense heat, he gradually transformed into a poetic prophet of truth and love—a poetic Picasso from the hood.

OPEN YOURSELF TO SOMETHING UNIQUE!

ME is the pen name of the author. ME represents the Mirrored Mankind of existing as human beings. The author identifies himself, to the reader as ME, a paradox to those who ask about the author’s identity. So, ME is a shrewd alter ego of you woman. A reflection of the imperfections ME be’s in you, you be’s in…who ME, Yeah you. ME places the reader in his space, his fate, his yai eye. He writes for all who doesn’t exist as ME. Who can only be but a mystical reflection of humanity’s Spirit Jewel. ME.

BPM: Tell us about your new book. What topics are discussed?
My book, FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels introduces an innovative, creative writing style of Poetic Intellectual Art. It incorporates a mix of profound insight and spiritual wonders of Love, Life and Relationships.

FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels has a central subject matter of Love is forging upon the FOUR ways we experience Life: Mind, Spirit, Body and Soul. Spirit Jewels manifest as creative masterpieces of poetry, prose, short stories, and plenty of game! And yes, it will be available on Amazon Kindle in May, 2018.

 

BPM: What was your hardest section to write, the opening or closing?
Neither. It was in the middle. The short parable story: “Sleeping Beauty (Based on a True Story).” ME was challenged on how he could effectively reach and awaken our ‘Baby Girl‘ Spirit Jewels of society. Sweethearts, lost in a deep sleep… within the dark side of Love and Life. Caught up in a asshole’s destiny… of dumb shitz. What’s the answer? How can Sleeping Beauty be awakened?

 

BPM: Do you try to deliver to readers what they want or let the subject matter guide your writing?
Both, ME writes to deliver to readers what they Need and Want. Readers want to ‘Connect’ with material they can relate to. The deeper the better. The subject matter does this and much more. It’s Got Game! A raw creative edge steeped in truth. Just what Readers need.

 

BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
No, there is no subject ME wouldn’t write about because everything under the sun has a story. ME knows that the truth speaks for itself. As a writer, he simply shines a spotlight on IT.

 

BPM: Is there a certain type of scenario that’s harder for you to write than others?
Oh no. As a Spiritual Gangsta who is a writer, the rawness of his ‘connection’ to whatever it is…ME expresses in its purity. It’s all game.

 

BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
It was destiny. ME was born as a writer. Bred to be a writer. Compelled and driven by humanity’s malignant genocidal ignorance of the truth… to write. Any way, ME began writing in Jr. High with a comic strip book. And with some newspaper articles here and there. ME embarked on a destiny of writing when he was incarcerated in 1980, bank robbery. “Spirit Jewels” is now those crushed fermented wines laid before you.

 

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
One: The sheer joy and challenge in such Creative Force of Impulse.
Two: The sheer POWER from ME “Ability” to connect humanity’s mind, spirit, body, and soul.

 

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Uhmm. When your book is entitled FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels, such writings must personify a Spiritual Reality. So, when you’re a Spiritual Gangsta, writing is a Spirit Jeweled Reality.

 

BPM: What was the most surprising things you learned from this project?
On the business side, I saw how cynical people are. On the personal side, how cynical people are in NOT telling ME how they really feel about ‘Our Book.’ They simply refuse to reveal their true feelings about how deep it is to them…Soul personal.

 

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonates with your journey.
CROWN JEWEL: *Oprah*In the book of Spirit Jewels, the summit of our “Inner (Soul) Chapter” on Love there is ‘ME’ Crown Jewel, Oprah. Baby Girl embodies ME celestial alter ego, his Aquarian Sista in this Age of Aquarius. She IS the Crown Jewel of ME super egoed journey.

 

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state of mind that you find inspirational?
Yes, the ‘Geometric Grid‘ of knowledge with mind, squared with the raw body of what matters and unparalleled feelings soul deep… that it generates a Spirit Fire of empowering inspirational insights and visionary wisdom.

 

BPM: Does writing energize or you?
Based on the geometric principles ME outlined on his inspirational states above, it’s logical to conclude that writing energizes and empowers ME. There is no other way it could be.

 

BPM: What are the top three things that make you feel happy and fulfilled?
1. The Power and Majik of God and feeling aware and connected with such Godness… Mind, Spirit, Body, and Soul. There is no greater ‘High.’
2. The Power and Majik of Love. Since God is Love, such empowerment of Oneness, connecting and joining with Life and what matters is majikal.
3. You Woman. Your essence and presence is a divine gateway to our immortality, our destiny… to our rawest ecstasy. ME greatest inspirations.

 

BPM: What make you forget about the world around you?
Only God and the Universe’s cosmic wonders can make ME forget the world around ME. ME get ‘Hope-Fully’ pro/found in such GRAND-NESS.

 

BPM: What strengths did you use to achieve two major goals in Life?
1. The positive development and application of positive energy forces.
2. Focus of Vision.
3. Perseverance.
These strengths helped ME achieve: The goal of being a writer and completing our book – FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels. And the goal of being a ‘consummate’ businessman, first and foremost, as an independent self publisher.

 

BPM: What other projects are you working on at the present?
Re-Drafting the outline for my next book, ‘For Everything, There’s A Time.’ A novel that has a mix of everything in it. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, science, spiritual and historical romance… as it transcends time.

Re-Structuring a scientific thesis ME wrote on METAPHYSICS. The alter ego to his Spirit Jeweled work of art. Metaphysics is the highest science of all. What can be greater than knowing the ‘Nature of Reality and Existence.” Such knowledge must be based on the Logical Propositions of Absolute Reality…you know as God.

 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
The author, ME, is based on his website/blog: spiritjewelsinc.com. Created designed for the customers to explore his book, life and works. And as a ‘Gateway’ connection to the Best of You thru ME!

ME’s Website: spiritjewelsinc.com
FB Profile: goo.gl/r1YkYx
FB Page: goo.gl/LMtEtb
Twitter: twitter.com/spiritjeweler
FB: https://www.facebook.com/For-You-Woman-Spirit-Jewels-322681971234925/

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Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love by Natasha D. Frazier

Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love
by Natasha D. Frazier

 

Listen to this amazing Women’s History Month interview with Natasha D. Frazier on BAN Radio Show – http://tobtr.com/s/10676309.  We discussed living The Life Your Spirit Craves and how often times God calls you to step into your purpose but you hesitate and hinder others from enjoying the gift of it.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

Kensi Jacobson believed in that truth with all of her heart, but when she’s up for a promotion for her dream job as assistant editor-in-chief of The Big Apple Chronicle, she hits a roadblock. She put in the work and trusted God for what she believed was her season of elevation, but her boss’ idea of a promotion was to send her to Pepperton, TX for another assignment. This new assignment pairs her up with a handsome widower, Darren Shaw, who helps her learn that delay and disappointment can sometimes become a catalyst for something greater.

Seemingly burdened with the fact that she is the only one in her circle who isn’t married with children and a career that isn’t headed in the direction she planned, she begins to wonder when her time and season are coming.

Will Kensi learn that Kairos – God’s perfect timing, is much more powerful than Chronos – her chronological timetable, and trust that things will fall into place at the right time? What begins as a crush to her ego and life plan may become the perfect time for love and everything else she’s wanted.

 

About the Author

Natasha D. Frazier accepted the call to write in 2011. Since then, Natasha has authored three devotional books. Her first book is The Life Your Spirit Craves, a 30-Day devotional and journal that encourages readers to seek, accept and pursue their God-given assignment. Her second book, Not Without You: 365 Days in the Lord’s Presence, encourages readers to make devotion a part of their everyday life by seeking God daily through prayer and reading His Holy Word. Not Without You has been nominated for the Henri Award. The Henri Award recognizes excellence in Christian literature.

The Life Your Spirit Craves for Mommies is a 52 week devotional for mothers that encourages them to see God at work in their lives through their role as a mother. Both devotionals in The Life Your Spirit Craves series won the Readers’ Choice Award presented at the Christian Literary Awards.

Natasha is also the author of the Love, Lies & Consequences, Christian-fiction series that focuses on real and relevant issues in today’s society, such as pre-marital sex, adultery, blended families and more! Currently, the series contains three published titles: Love, Lies & Consequences, Through Thick & Thin, and Shattered Vows. She is also the author of How Long Are You Going to Wait and Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love.

Natasha D. Frazier resides in Houston, TX metro area with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations.

Natasha and her family are members of Higher Dimension Church in Houston, TX. Natasha is also a member of the Houston Area Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

 

Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love by Natasha D. Frazier
Download from Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079H691LM

 


Excerpt from Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love

 

It seemed as if most of the town had the same idea to head to the coffee shop after the tree lighting ceremony. There was only one table left in the place and it was closer to the door than they would have liked. Kensi held the table while Darren ordered their drinks. He returned to the table with a goofy smile plastered across his face. He draped his jacket over her shoulders and took the seat across from her.

“I’m sorry. This is not what I pictured when I asked you to have coffee with me. I was thinking nice and cozy, not dodging wind chills.. I won’t keep you here too long.” Spending a few moments with her here and there wasn’t working for him anymore. It was time he did something about that before it was too late.

“Believe it or not, I’m okay.” She smiled to reassure him.

Kensi wrapped her hands around the mug of caramel latte sitting in front of her and then rubbed her hands along her arms each time someone walked into the coffee shop. The gush of wind gave her chills and temporarily drowned out the sound of the holiday music playing over the speakers.

“You’re not the New Yorker I thought you were,” Darren teased.

“What kind of New Yorker did you think I was?”

Darren peered over his cup of hot chocolate at Kensi, careful to keep his eyes locked on hers while he took a sip. He could go on and continue beating around the bush about how he felt, but he knew all too well that the next minute wasn’t promised. He thought he had forever with Jessica and that proved not to be true.

“How about we not worry about what I thought and let me get a chance to see for myself? I want to date you, Kensi, seriously and exclusively, once your assignment is over.”

Kensi’s eyes grew wide with surprise. She took several sips of her latte in order to compose her thoughts and contemplate her response. She was aware that he was fond of her, and that feeling was mutual. However, she wasn’t expecting him to be so direct. In a matter of seconds, her mind went into complete overdrive as she pondered her decision. If she said no, that would go against all the whining that she’d done to God a few weeks ago about her turn for happiness.

But saying yes could mean that she would likely have to move to Pepperton if things went well. She’d need a new job. She’d have to give up New York and months of the cold weather that she loved so much plus she’d be even farther away from her family.
She closed her eyes for a moment to calm down and reel her mind back into the present. Although those things were important, that could easily be worked out later. She liked him, so she owed it to herself to see if their relationship could grow wings.

“I’d like that too,” she finally answered.

“Good. You had me worried here for a second,” Darren said with a nervous chuckle.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time getting to know the woman behind the camera and the pencil.”

“Of course you are!” Kensi joked, breaking up the seriousness of the moment.

Darren reached across the table and squeezed her hand. Tomorrow was the theatrical production and he had never looked forward to it more than he was now. Closing the curtains after the Christmas program tomorrow set the stage for them to move forward to see what life had in store for the two of them-together.

———

To get away from the town’s eyes, Kensi and Darren went to Houston for their first official date. After early morning church service, they set off to spend the day having fun without everyone in Pepperton watching their every move. They wanted to enjoy each other’s company without the questioning looks or those who felt comfortable enough to simply ask if they were dating.

Upon Raegan’s suggestion, their first stop was at the Breakfast Klub. When they arrived, patrons were standing in a line wrapped around the small yellow building.

“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” Darren asked, circling the building trying to find a parking space.

“Yea,” Kensi answered, checking the GPS on her phone. “Raegan said there may be a line, but it moves fast. Apparently that is all part of the experience.”

“Well, we have nothing but time today, so let’s check it out,” Darren said as he pulled into a parking space in a muddy parking lot across the street. “Before you get out, let me come around to check that area near your door. It’s quite a bit of mud around here.”

Darren dodged a couple of muddy sections in the grass and went around to help Kensi out of the car. Luckily there was only a small puddle of mud near her door and he helped her over it by allowing her to use his arm to steady herself.

The duo walked side by side to the restaurant to get a place in line. Before making it to the end, a familiar voice called out to her. She had been so focused on getting in line that she didn’t hear her name until Darren mentioned it. They turned around to see Raegan and Caleb waving to them. She should have expected to see them after mentioning that they would be coming to Houston.

“We saved you guys a spot in line,” Raegan said after giving Kensi a tight squeeze. She then whispered to Kensi, “Now you know that I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to see who my friend was taking road trips with, right? I love you,” she said and squeezed once more before pulling away.

“Introduce us, Kensi,” Caleb interjected.

Kensi shook her head, smiled and proceeded with introductions. Caleb shook hands with Darren and Raegan greeted him with a friendly one-armed hug. Kensi stopped and spoke to the couple standing behind them, because she didn’t want people getting offended because they skipped line. The couple was warm and friendly, holding a conversation with the group until they made it to the front of the line to place their orders.

Scanning the menu, Darren asked, “What’s good?”

“Everything. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Cami got me hooked on this place while she was pregnant. I can’t tell you how many times I had to bring her out for the wings and waffles or place a to-go order. They should know us by name as much time and money as we spent here,” Caleb answered.

Darren ordered the wings and waffles, while Kensi ordered the shrimp and grits. Raegan and Caleb both ordered the wings and waffles, along with the famous cappuccino. They found an empty table to seat four, sat down and chatted while waiting for their breakfast.

“Darren, I’m sorry we’re imposing on your time with Kensi, but when she mentioned that you guys were coming, I suddenly had a taste for wings and waffles. It is so good!” Raegan apologized and praised the food.

“They’re best friends, Darren. She’s not sorry. She’s coming to check you out, but the food is good,” Caleb countered, and everyone chuckled.

“It’s cool. It’s probably a good idea that we all get to know each other. Maybe you can convince her to move to Texas.”

“Y’all know I’m a city girl, specifically a New York City girl. No Pepperton, Texas, for me,” Kensi added. Raegan sat across from her and they had a conversation without saying a word. They both knew that given the right conditions, she’d leave New York.

“We’ll see about that,” Darren added and took a sip of cappuccino.

Raegan took the reins of the conversation and questioned Darren about his background, where he grew up, why he moved to Pepperton, his future plans and where he saw Kensi fitting into those plans. As much as she enjoyed the food, she didn’t stop her interrogation when it arrived.

Darren answered her questions as if he’d been preparing for them his whole life. His responses were perfect, almost too perfect in Raegan’s opinion. Though he didn’t appear to be the type who would treat Kensi badly, Raegan didn’t want this to turn out to be another Rico type situation. He was far from that type, but it made Raegan wonder if he was hiding something too.

“Well that was intense!” Kensi finally added when Raegan finished her line of questioning. Neither Caleb nor Kensi stopped Raegan, only piggybacked on a question here or there.

“Nah it’s all good. She’s just looking out for you. Any good friend would have done the same thing. Besides, I’d probably be concerned if she didn’t grill me like a piece of meat,” Darren said and chuckled. The others burst into laughter at his comment and commenced friendly chatter until Raegan and Caleb had to leave and get back to their children.

Caleb and Darren left tips for the waitress before rising from the table and meeting the ladies out front. Kensi and Raegan had walked out just minutes before them, using the excuse of needing to use the restroom to talk privately.

Kensi and Raegan were standing in front of the building to the right of the long line that seemed to have no end. Raegan gave her smile of approval to Kensi after offering a few encouraging words.

“I like him for you, Kens. He seems really nice. I wasn’t trying to embarrass you, but you know I’ve learned my lesson from not asking enough questions.”

“Amen. I think our entire circle learned from you,” Kensi agreed.

“If I can help you avoid a Rico situation, you best believe I’m going to be inspector gadget.”

“And amen again,” Kensi agreed and chuckled.

“Bring Darren by again sometime, Kens, if you all have the time,” Caleb said when they caught up to the women standing outside. “It was good to meet you bro.” Caleb shook Darren’s hand once more after the couple hugged Kensi and bid their goodbyes.

When Caleb and Raegan reached their car, Raegan asked, “So what do you really think about him?”

“I think that given enough time, he could be a good match for our little Kensi.”

“Stop talking about her as if she’s a little girl,” Raegan said and giggled after swatting his shoulder. “Maybe she’s found her perfect match, just like we did.”

Caleb agreed by leaning across the center console and pressing his lips against hers. If Kensi had finally found what they had, she should count herself blessed.

“I guess we’ll see. Let’s get home to our babies.”

( Continued… )

 

Kairos: The Perfect Time for Love by Natasha D. Frazier
Download from Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079H691LM

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Intimate Conversation with Dr. Raye Mitchell


Dr. Raye Mitchell is a social entrepreneur working to change the way change is made.

She is an award winning humanitarian and both a trainer in the field of leadership as a social entrepreneur leadership and a practicing social entrepreneur as the Chief Social Entrepreneur (“CSE”) of The New Reality B-Corp, a California benefits corporation. (“NRB”) a Certified Social Impact Enterprise™, a boutique legal and business firm providing expertise and services for social entrepreneurs and social impact ventures.

Dr. Raye Mitchell is the founder of the New Reality Foundation, Inc., and CEO at the Winning Edge Institute Inc. She is a power and influence expert, attorney, author, speaker and activist. Mitchell is a member of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund network providing legal support for women and girls affected by harassment. Mitchell has received national acclaim for her work mentoring women and girls of color to beat the odds and excel as leaders.

She is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California (USC), the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (B.S.) and the USC Marshall School of Business (MBA). She is a native of Los Angeles, California.

 

BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
I have considered myself a storyteller and writer all my life in one form or another. In spite of this, a different question is when did I decide to go public with this passion and persistent drive to be a writer of non-fiction and fiction works and why?

As a marketing and branding professional and litigation attorney in the entertainment industry, I was always involved in persuasive writing, storytelling and trying to get others to listen to the stories of my clients. But, several years ago, my inside voice that craved to be a writer succeeded in overtaking my outside voice that consistently focused on perfecting my skills as an entrepreneur, businesswoman, and an attorney. Upon reflection, it is now clear that I had been fully engaged as a creative writer all the time by merging my professional commitment to advocating, justice, and fairness by writing about my experiences with the civil justice system and persuading juries to return justice for my clients in situations of injustice.

 

BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I have evolved creatively by honing my craft as a writer in multiple sectors by and expanding my creative decision-making zone-which is my way of saying I have permitted myself to write. outside of my comfort zone. I am always yearning to learn how to write better and how to take unique writing skills from one sector and apply to another. It is my way of shaking myself up to find a new perspective on a familiar storyline.

 

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Yes. I went public with my creative writing projects in about 2010. I gained my courage when I was so humbled and yet inspired by my humbled encounter with an apparently homeless woman, Margie, I began assembling a collection of words of self-respect and success from notable female role models, past and present and produced an anthology based on quotes to inspire and inform. The story of Margie first appeared in my first significant book entitled, The Evolution of Brilliance: Voices Celebrating the Importance of Women“.

The story of Margie began outside a high-profile restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. Margie approached me outside of this very expensive restaurant. For some reason, Margie, who appeared to be homeless, singled me out of a group of at least twenty people. Looking me directly in the eye, she said, “Can you help me?” She was carrying a cup meant to collect loose change. Assuming myself to be polite and assuming she only sought money, I turned to leave and simply said, “Sorry. I cannot help tonight.” I turned to leave. Margie stepped in closer, and the men in my group started to make a protective move, but we all stopped. Margie then said, “Can I ask you something?”

“Yes,” I replied. Without hesitation, she added, “How can you say you cannot help me when you do not know what help I need?”

I stopped, and for the first time that night, I looked into Margie’s eyes and made a personal connection, realizing that she may have just been trying to advance her life utilizing the only tools she had at her disposal. I said, “You know, you are right. What help do you need?” All Margie wanted was prayer and the chance to be counted as a person in this world as she strived to rebuild her life. Even though I was a stranger and she knew nothing about me, I was humbled that she entrusted me with her simple request for help. Margie’s story and my decision to be a published writer thus came to life in 2011.

I turn to my writing to tell stories about experiences and stories that sometimes you just want to share with God because God has no judgment. I want to write stories about our experiences as Black women and girls being judged and how we deal with that burden and opportunity to rise above the judgment.

 

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
My writing has helped me be a better person. My quest to shift gears from being a full-time entertainment attorney with my law firm to being a full time humanitarian and writer has not been easy. I thus began translating these challenges, hurdles, setbacks and disappointments into my creative energy to tell the story. I then discovered the personal power of telling the story, no matter how difficult the journey. My writing has transformed my sense of well-being and wellness. My writing has also helped me find another way to merge my passion for helping others, especially women and girls with my technical skills as a writer, storyteller, and even a persuader.

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There Is Sunshine After The Rain Making It Through Life’s Struggle by Patricia A. Saunders

There Is Sunshine After The Rain Making It Through Life’s Struggle by Patricia A. Saunders

Sitting there with the pieces of your life around you, there seemed to be a pattern. There was faith, love, deceit, lust, and loss—in that order. You didn’t think you were deserving of love. That is why everything was being taken from you, and you were ready to give up on life. Through your poetry, faith, and learning from your past, you can rewrite the story. It was after coming through all the experiences and being stronger, you realized there is always a new chapter.

There Is Sunshine After the Rain will take you on the journey of a young girl growing up in Connecticut, who had to take some stumbles along the way to come into her own and realize instead of tearing herself down for the decisions she made, there is a lesson.

Love is greater than anyone can imagine and can warm you like the sunshine after the rain. You went from the beginning, the journey, the test, and the testimony to say, “There Is Sunshine after the Rain.”


Purchase There Is Sunshine After The Rain: Making It Through Life’s Struggle

Genre: Poetry > Biographies & Memoirs > Women
https://www.amazon.com/There-Sunshine-After-Rain-Struggles/dp/1543918662

 

 

Chapter Excerpt from There Is Sunshine After the Rain

There were men who came into my life that I loved with all my heart over the years. One man after another disappointed me for specific reasons. I found some had wandering eyes, cheated on me with my best friend while I was away at school, or I found out that they said all the right things, but their actions spoke another.

My wall went up to protect my heart and my new love became my job. I strived to be the best at whatever position I had. The people at my job were my friends, my family, and my child that I never had. There was something still that I felt missing, and it was on a trip to California that I felt my calling. I came back to tell my elderly parents that I was leaving, and it was my father who looked in my eyes and said, “I won’t always be here.”

Something in his tone let me know that it was the right decision because I needed to become independent. I had family in California, so I had support. Within two months I had given notice at my job, packed two suitcases, sold my belongings and had a one-way ticket to California.

I knew no one except my family, and I slowly began to venture out to the unknown. I was working sometimes two jobs to make ends meet. Because I couldn’t go back to Connecticut. Because I didn’t want to fail.

My father’s health was declining and I would come back annually to see him. I had so much excitement to see him that I would just lie on the covers next to him. Just listening to him breathe and feeling protected from the storm. I remember like it was yesterday I came home after he had surgery. It was snowing and I went outside to shovel the snow. Being that I was the youngest, a girl, and my parents always paid a neighborhood kid to do this. Well the kids had all grown up and moved out of the neighborhood. I never had done this task of shoveling. Something that my father had done for years and made it seem like the snow was as light as a feather.

He sat and watched me and I struggled, but he stayed in the window from afar. It felt like the muscles within my chest had exploded and I was in so much pain, but I couldn’t let my parents down. I thought I had done a good job. While I was inside recovering from the ordeal, my father had changed clothes and slipped outside. Shovel in his hands and as the man of the house—no matter if he had a hole in his side, wasn’t to lift anything, and was supposed to be recuperating—he was still going to be the man and complete the task.

When I saw what he was doing, I lost it because of the fear he would injure himself. We got into the biggest argument. I was leaving the next day and we were still mad at each other. I kissed him goodbye and sat on the shuttle crying all the way to the airport. It was something within my being that knew that it was the last time I would see him. I wanted to become the protector and do everything in my power to show him I could be strong, I could provide, and I was the woman he raised me to be. He, being the proud African American patriarch of the family, not wanting to be seen weak, even in the months before his death wanting to be remembered as strong. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Stations: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

Stations: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

The current global workforce has changed tremendously during the past decade and your workplace is part of that change. Labor trends, increased use of technology for goods and services, and the reduction of workers at all levels has generated a need to view employment and self-sufficiency in a new light. If you have children, they will need to be able to work in a 21st century work environment with a diverse workforce, which will entail jobs which are being developed as they enter elementary grades or high school. STATIONS is the quick resource guide that offers suggestions and time-proven strategies for parents and professionals who interact with children and young adult workers.

STATIONS is a collection of essays that provides food for thought as we make our way through the different situations, events, stages, circumstances and parental decisions that will ultimately affect personal lifestyles and career options.

STATIONS examines childhood academic and social skills, and addresses the challenging task of teaching children to be healthy and financially sound while preparing them to thrive and survive in a global workforce driven by cutting edge technology and ongoing competition.

STATIONS is concise, amusing, informative and frank in its discussion of life’s everyday circumstances, including social media and proactive workplace practices that affect all of us from childhood through adulthood.

 

Review from Amazon

“The aptly titled STATIONS is probably best appreciated as an extended Public Service Announcement on personal, social and professional fulfillment and wellness from the perspective of a visionary educator and citizen invested in the survival of present and future generations.
The fact that the experience opens with a shout-out to grandmothers is creatively deliberate, as the persona compares her world with that of her grandchildren and mentees. But this grandmother is not a despairing, garment-rending fossil lamenting the passing of the good old days. Rather, she rejoices in the new social, cultural and technological realities that were unimaginable in her youth, exhorting millennials and older folk in transition to employ these new realities on the journey toward healthy self-realization.

In reading Stations, three sayings from my own childhood were reinforced: “An old man sitting down can see farther than a young man standing up” (African proverb); “The child is the father of the man” (Freud); And gladly would he teach, and gladly learn’ (Chaucer, describing the divinity student in The Canterbury Tales). And while each station on the narrative journey dispenses advice, it is never preachy or condescending. In fact, Mubarak, an experienced educator, skillfully combines personal narrative with a somewhat controlled stream of consciousness, revealing her own vulnerabilities and past mistakes along the way. The result is a light-hearted, easy-to-read exploration of the relationships between skills identification, education and training, fulfillment, project commitment, success, and personal and communal responsibility. The tone and structure of each chapter, or vignette, is designed to reach a generation where sound-bytes and images are the preferred mode of communication. Advice and encouragement are underscored by non-intrusive statistics, anecdotal accounts, imagined scenarios, and resource references.

As an educator in global languages and cultures, advisor and mentor, I recommend Stations to all students, parents, teachers, employers, and friends. School Guidance Counselors, and college Student Affairs and Career offices would do well to include this tome on their lists of recommended readings.” (Ezra S. Engling)

 

STATIONS EXCERPT

Are Your Kids Competing in STEM?

You spent too much money and time in Lost Wages, Nevada, purchased the latest versions of Kindle and the iPhone, and shared your summer vacation report with anyone who cared to listen to the back lot or front office at work. Now what? You have used up your bragging rights for the summer season. How about something new, exciting and educational for the kids?

Do you know that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are begging for sharp young minds with fresh ideas and innovative thinking? Your child represents one of those young minds. You don’t need to be reminded that your children are highly intelligent. They can name every space-related cartoon character, identify their mutant friends or foes and describe the planets they inhabit. Do you notice how their eyes light up when an enemy craft is landing?

Their toy boxes are filled with action figures that represent long, hard battles and conquests. In other words, your children are already playing games containing futuristic models and know which channels to surf on Saturday morning to find the leaping, flying creatures!

So, instead of the usual Disney World, SeaWorld, Six Flags, or the expensive, tropical island family trip, consider enrolling your child in a NASA Summer Day Camp next year, and make it a family affair. This unique hands-on experience will put your child in touch with several categories of STEM and open another world for career investigation.

The online interactive activities will also teach them to appreciate the world of internet technology on a different level. At NASA your children can actually explore the many occupations connected with space exploration and meet the people behind the scenes who plan and execute the missions. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tradition by AlTonya Washington

Tradition by AlTonya Washington

New Island has been quiet for a long time-too long. Now, the time has come to return to a place where a tradition was born. Some will return to honor it. Others will return to destroy it.

Off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina New Island was home to many things-among them stories of resilience and rebirth. New had been home to Frayzer Guthrie before the depraved events of a night 16 years prior removed him from his home and the girl that he loved. When business motivates his return, Fray finds that the girl is now a woman and that his feelings for her have remained unchanged.

Ellia Taylor was still very much in love with the boy-now man-she’d dreamed of spending the rest of her life with, but how could they ever go back to what they were? Things had changed and that fact was about more than the passage of time. New Island was a place of resilience, rebirth… and revelations that would scandalize the names of many powerful families. New Island’s dark tradition was an ugly story that was at last ready to be told.

Watch the “Tradition” Book Trailer on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IxOTvLX2XYc

 

 

Review Written by Edwina Putney   |   5.0 out of 5 stars

Tradition by AlTonya Washington is an amazing story that shows how family traditions of horrific acts and the ensuing cover-ups can destroy lives in those and future times. The destruction of the teen love and lives of Frayzer Guthrie and Ellia Taylor, as well as the relationships and lives of his cousins, Warwick and Zyon, and her cousins (their girlfriends) Seela and Moira. Hideous, secretive acts, reminiscent of those perpetrated by slaveowners against slaves, were performed on Ellia and her cousins, which caused hatred of and estrangement from Frayzer (Fray), Warwick (War), and Zyon (Zy).

But sixteen years later, the guys have never stopped seeking revenge against those responsible for the dark legacy handed down and perpetuated in an updated, yet still despicable, version. And then there is knife-toting Ellia, who nurses the anger and betrayal, yet knows deep down that her love for Fray never truly died. When he returns to New Island, apologizes and romances her, then gets her help in uncovering buried evidence, we see the truth in ‘a thin line between love and hate’. It’s not an easy path to recover from feelings of guilt on his part and betrayal on hers. So the question is, can they?

AlTonya Washington does an amazing job with fusing the historical and present-day, showing the cycle of romance, and the depths to which people are willing to sink to preserve their ill-gotten gains. Then, even after resolving the mystery, Ms. Washington ends the story with a “wow” moment from the past which will definitely affect Fray, War, and Zy in books two and three of the trilogy. I can’t wait! Kudos to AlTonya Washington for a good beginning to another promising series.

 

 

Excerpt from Tradition by AlTonya Washington

Fray judged he’d gotten about three hours of sleep the night before. Not bad, considering 4 was usually all he needed.

Besides, he didn’t think he was in the mood to hear anyone tell him everything would be alright. He couldn’t believe that-not after last night. The way El looked at him when she’d pulled away- it hadn’t been fear.

Well…it had, but not fear toward him, he surmised. What he saw in her eyes last night was something deeper, closer to despair. More than anything he’d wanted to stay with her- to refuse to leave until she told him what had put that look in her eyes.

Of course it could’ve only been one thing. Memories of the branding ritual had taken their toll on his concentration more than a few times over the years. He’d trained himself to get by on little sleep because when his mind was at rest, all he could see was El’s face. Her lovely face terror-stricken. He could feel her bracing against his hold and hear her shrieking his name- begging him to help her- to make it stop before she’d gone silent and refused to beg anymore.

Fray rubbed his fingers over his head and kicked the tangle of covers from his feet. He wanted a shower and was stalking naked into the bath when his room door came alive with the sounds of impatient knocking. Frowning, he switched courses and went to peer through the privacy window. Finding El on the other side, cleared his mind of everything including the state of his dress-or undress as it were. He whipped open the door.

“Are you okay?” His rough voice had turned softer in the wake of concern. The gray-flecked depths of his eyes mirrored that concern as they fixed on her face. He spared a moment to appraise the cut of her dress, but he forbid himself to think about what he’d give to see her out of it.

Ellia didn’t notice his reaction to her clothes. Her eyes had already drifted below his waist.
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Audio Excerpts from Black Hearts White Minds by Mitch Margo

 

Black Hearts White Minds (A Carl Gordon Legal Thriller) by Mitch Margo is Black Pearls Magazine featured book of the month. Jo Lena Johnson, Publisher at Mission Possible Press, shares audio book reviews from Black Hearts White Minds by Mitch Margo, listen here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WH1DrKWL

 

The year is 1964 and Carl Gordon is an ill-prepared New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who has lied his way into a transfer to Stockville, Alabama, where he is supposed to monitor and enforce the Civil Rights Act. In a matter of days, the Ku Klux Klan takes aim at him, the outside agitator. Carl has agreed to represent Oleatha Geary, a black family matriarch who has inherited a mansion in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood. Carl and Oleatha are engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. It’s anyone’s guess who will survive multiple assassination attempts, let alone whose integrity will remain intact.

Carl’s 12-year-old son, John, is unwelcome on Stockville’s white basketball team because of who his father is, and it seems there’s nowhere else for him to play. But ever-resourceful and impulsive Carl makes other plans for John, unwittingly putting John’s life, and the life of his new teammates, at risk. Ultimately, the young players don’t care as much about color lines as they do the lines on the basketball floor.

Visit https://mitchmargo.com to explore your options to purchase the book. Black Hearts White Minds is available in print, Kindle ebook and audio book. Published by Mission Possible Press. Distributed from Ingram and Baker & Taylor. 

 

 

Black hearts and White minds?

Carl Gordon is nothing if not impulsive.

He’s a New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who tries to escape the nightmares of his wife’s death by lying his way to Stockville, Alabama to enforce the Civil Rights Act. He arrives unprepared for life in the segregated South, where the Ku Klux Klan controls the town. It’s not long before the Klan turns its attention to the outside agitator, him.

Oleatha Geary wants no part of it.

She’s the tough and tender Black family matriarch, who inherits a grand home in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood called Northwoods. She doesn’t want the home, but she’s pressured by her adult children to fight Stockville’s most powerful white citizens.

Stockville, Alabama is about to explode.

It’s the summer of 1964. Stockville is Alabama’s 5th largest city and its powerful white citizens think they’ve got “their coloreds” under control. Not so fast. Segregation is crumbling. Nonviolent protests have started and a clandestine group of Malcolm X disciples is planning its revenge against the KKK.

Come decide for yourself…Black Hearts White Minds.

 

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