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The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.

The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II

Could you find the courage to do what’s right in a world on fire?

Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States.

“The Last Thing You Surrender” is the intertwining story of two families from the Jim Crow South – one black and poor, the other wealthy and white – through the carnage of World War II, an ordeal that will threaten their faith and challenge everything they know about race hatred and love.

An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman’s life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kind of patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion.


Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone’s mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed?

Nora Jean M. Goodreads 5-Star Customer Review for The Last Thing You Surrender 
This is a POWERFUL read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is an avid reader. The language is beautiful although the story is haunting. The character development is very real, and it makes the reader hurt even more for these people who become important to the readers’ lives. This is an area of history that we do not learn in school, and the author has provided an imitate portrait of this time. Read this book!

Reader Review from Grayson Hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars | A New Classic

The best novels not only entertain us with good characters, an interesting story and skillful prose; they show us something about what it means to be a human being. Tolstoy, Joyce , Faulkner, Hemmingway, Updike, Morrison, Baldwin, Wright, Momaday, to name just a few, have created timeless works that are timeless stories of the human experience. With “The Last Thing You Surrender”, by Leonard Pitts, Jr., we have a new classic.

It is fitting that it is a story about race, as it would seem the brains and souls of men and women, especially in America, need to continue to evolve. But this book, The Last Thing You Surrender, is more, much more, than a dry treatise on that subject. It is a love story, a human story, a story of war and peace, it is a story about the love, pain, the joys and sorrows that pass between a parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, sister and brother.

It is the story of what is learned and lost between forces of good and evil. It is eloquent, heartbreaking and beautiful. It is a new classic. Read it, America; read it, world. And learn some more about that most tremendous gift of all that the Creator gave us: the ability to see things through another’s eyes, to care deeply about someone other than one’s self, in short, to love.

Reader Review from Sheila Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars | Powerful, compelling and important story

Since first reading Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s columns in the Miami Herald almost 18 years ago, I have found that if Pitts has something to say, I want to read it. . . in fact, I need to read it. He can put complex, often difficult, ideas into beautiful words that show the reader his point of view, educating and helping the reader gain empathy and understanding.

I ordered Pitt’s latest book, #TheLastThingYouSurrender, as soon as it was released – and it was everything I expected and more. It is a deeply researched work of historical fiction, with a compelling story that is hard to put down. I tried to keep from racing through the book, as I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters who became friends, and who showed me the world through their eyes – which is why we read!

Yes, there are parts that are very difficult to read, but part of the power of this book is to show us, to remind us of the brutality of parts of our history that get glossed over as some of us extol the “good old days.”

I highly recommend this book, and hope Mr. Pitts will write a sequel to show us how they carry their inspiration and motivation into battles to come.

Editorial Review: The Last Thing You Surrender
Leonard Pitts, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, turns again to America’s fraught history of race relations in this unflinching, gritty WWII saga. It centers on a trio of finely drawn characters, two black and one white, all from Alabama, whose worlds collide because of Pearl Harbor.

Marine Private George Simon—wealthy, religious, white—survives the sinking of his ship because Eric Gordy, a black messman, rescues him. Eric dies, and while George recuperates, he pays a condolence call on Eric’s widow, Thelma. Thelma and her brother, Luther Hayes, a bitter alcoholic, are living with the memory of their parents’ lynching 20 years earlier.

George and Thelma begin a correspondence after he returns to active duty; she takes a job in a shipyard. Luther, deciding this is a white man’s war, tries to evade the draft but ends up serving with a tank battalion in Europe. George endures horrific conditions in the Pacific as Thelma faces growing racial hostility at work, culminating in a brutal moment of violence that compels her to make a difficult decision.

While remaining true to his characters, Pitts brings the story lines to realistic conclusions even as he holds out hope for the future, resulting in a polished, affecting novel. —Janelle Walden Agyeman, Agent Marie Brown Assoc.


 

Chapter Excerpt: The Last Thing You Surrender

Luther stood on top of the tank. He felt his mouth fall open. He felt his mind fumble for language. But there were no words.

It was a camp of some sort, barracks arranged in neat rows. And hobbling, shuffling, tottering toward them from every direction came an assemblage of stick men in filthy black-and-white striped prison suits. Maybe some of them were women, too. It was hard to tell. The creatures seemed sexless.

Dazed, Luther dismounted the tank. His mouth was still open.

The creatures swarmed the colored tankers. It was difficult to believe they were even human. Their eyes were like those of small, frightened animals, peering out from the caverns their eye sockets had become. Their mouths were drawn tight against their bony jaws. You could look at them and see where tibia met patella, count their ribs by sight. They were little more than skeletons wearing rags of flesh.

And their eyes gleamed with a madness of joy, an insanity of deliverance at the sight of the colored tankers. They shook clasped hands toward Heaven, they smiled terrible, toothless smiles, they looked up at the Negro soldiers like penitents gazing upon the very throne of God. A woman—at least he thought it was a woman—took Luther’s hand and lifted it to her cheek. Her grip was like air. She held his skin to hers, which was papery and thin, almost translucent. Her face contorted into an expression of raw, utter sorrow, and she made groaning sounds that did not seem quite human. It took Luther a moment to realize that she was crying because her eyes remained dry, no water glistened on her cheeks. She had no tears left in her.

And Luther, who had never touched a white woman before, who had never so much as brushed against one in a crowd, who had avoided even that incidental contact with a kind of bone-deep terror accessible only to a Negro man in the Deep South who grew up knowing all too well what messing with a white woman could get you, could only stand there, stricken and dumbfounded, as this woman pressed his hand to her cheek. He was a man who had seen his parents tortured and burned to death before his very eyes at his own front door by white people. It had never occurred to him that their capacity for bestial cruelty was not limited to the woes they inflicted upon Negroes.

But here was the proof, this poor thing whose gender he had to guess, this creature whose age might have been 16, might have been 60, holding his hand in her airy grip, crying without tears.

Luther looked around. The place reeked of death and shit, a stink of putrefaction that surely profaned the very nostrils of God. Naked and emaciated bodies lay stacked in piles exactly like cordwood, only their gaping mouths and sightless eyes attesting to the fact that once they had been human and alive. Flies droned above it all in great black clouds, a few of them occasionally descending to walk in the mouths and eyes of the dead.

At length, the crying woman got hold of herself. Luther gently took back his hand. She gave him a shy, weak smile, touched her feathery hand to his shoulder—some sort of thank-you, he supposed—and wandered slowly away. Luther watched her go, still dazed, still failed by language. And he still struggled to understand. It had never occurred to him, not even in his angriest, most bitter imaginings, that something like this was possible.

How could white people do this to white people?

How could anybody do this to anybody?

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Leonard Pitts Jr. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Last-Thing-You-Surrender-Novel/dp/1572842458

Barnes&Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-thing-you-surrender-leonard-pitts-jr/1128941167

Publisher:
https://www.agatepublishing.com/titles/the-last-thing-you-surrender

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38225249-the-last-thing-you-surrender

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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 »

 

Books by Natasha D. Frazier

Shattered Vows: Love, Lies & Consequences Book 3 by Natasha D. Frazier

Rico gambled with his marriage when he cheated on Chloe. Breaking his vows and risking everything for temporary pleasure, he lost his wife’s respect and trust.

Rico returns to God, searching for a quick fix to win Chloe’s heart back, but his heart is the one that is changed. He is a self-proclaimed changed man, willing to go the extra mile to restore his marriage, but he just may be too late.

Has Chloe given up on him? She has forgiven him before, but this is different. “I’m sorry” isn’t enough when vows have been shattered. With the law and the Word of the Lord on her side, she finally gathers enough courage to walk away.

But then tragedy strikes. Is it enough to make Chloe stay, or will she start a new chapter in her life?

 

Listen to a reading from Shattered Vows: Love, Lies & Consequences: https://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CPR8L6bk

 

REVIEWS – SHATTERED VOWS (LOVE, LIES & CONSEQUENCES BOOK 3)

“With this being book 3 in the series, the book definitely kept your attention. There was a great balance of happy, sad & keeping God involved in your decisions. I like the way author takes us through the view of both husband & wife.”

“Loved the interwoven storylines and how everyone seemed to learn from their mistakes. The way forgiveness is expressed is inspiring.”

“It is tough to read books that end the way Shattered Vows ended. When we pray for God’s help, we must trust that His ways are greater than our ways. I am truly convinced that it is nothing but the love of God that gets us through the tough times. The love of God is what caused each character to have a heart of forgiveness. Thank you Natasha for sharing the love of God through your writing.”

 

EXCERPT: SHATTERED VOWS (LOVE, LIES & CONSEQUENCES BOOK 3)

“I want my wife back,” Rico said after careful contemplation of his question.

“Umm hmm. Well seeking direction from God is definitely the best start, but much is going to be required of you; so let’s start from the beginning. Tell me what happened. What is it that brought you to this place? Your wife leaving you and all. And please tell the entire truth. These sessions will only work if you’re honest,” Pastor Lewis reminded Rico.

Rico leaned back in his seat, blew out a chestful of pent-up air, rubbed his hands along his pants and thought for a moment. Sessions? Plural? He had been hopeful that he would get his answer today, but he was more than desperate, so he was willing to do everything it would take to start anew with his wife.

“Long story short, I met this woman who was absolutely breathtaking. I took her out a few times, talked to her on the phone repeatedly and I began to fall for her. She seemed so perfect. When I realized what I was getting myself into, I ended it. But I guess it was too late because she ended up pregnant with my baby,” Rico shared shamefully.

Pastor Lewis studied him for a moment. He noticed Rico’s eyes were lit up when speaking of this woman and that concerned him. He jotted down some notes on a pad.

“What compelled you to start seeing her even though you were married?”

“Man, I mean, sir, I don’t even know. It was never supposed to go so far. It was casual at first, but she became serious.”

“Wait one moment. I am a pastor but I’m also a man. So you and I both know that if she was becoming serious, you were giving her a reason to be. Did you tell her you loved her? That you would leave your wife and marry her? What was it?”

Rico shook his head at the thought of everything he’d told Raegan. It felt awkward to share those things with the pastor. Actually telling someone everything he did made him feel dirty, because he knew he was wrong. He didn’t want the pastor to think of him as some dirty womanizer, because that wasn’t who he was. He was just a guy who got caught up in the moment, in his opinion. 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 »

 

Intimate Conversation with Michele Nicole Mitchell

Michele Nicole was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised in Queens Village, NY. She left New York in 2001 to attend North Carolina Central University where she graduated. She stayed in North Carolina for eleven years and eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA to be closer to family. She is a servant leader, entrepreneur, photographer and traveler. She is also the author of the book Are You Done With Him?


BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.

I will start with my name. I am Michele Nicole Mitchell. I was born in Trinidad, West Indies. I came to the United State when I was about 7or 8 years old. My favorite thing to do is travel and I love to cook. I value gathering folks at my home once a quarter and having transparent conversations with women of different ages and experiences so we can eat, fellowship, pray, cry, laugh and pour into each other. My objective is to live for when I leave, so I pour out and that is the best receiving I can ever get.

I am a Believer, who was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. Let me tell you something, when you ask God to teach you, you do NOT get to choose the HOW.

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
The first published book was a coming of age experience. It was about a one night stand that lasted for 3 years. I compromised my integrity and standards in the hopes of getting a man that was emotionally wounded, unavailable and chose not to commit to loving himself, to see my value, worth and love me. I discovered my sexual self at his expense and also discovered that you cannot heal someone who desires to stay broken. The journey was painfully therapeutic. It caused me to see and accept the part I played in my own demise.

BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work.  
My most recent work is entitled Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith. It is a very transparent and honest book. I am a Believer, that was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. This book shares with its readers the process and series of life events that occurred that taught me how to Trust God, even when I felt like I could not Trace God. I am working with my distributors to make the book available for electronic devices.

Watch the Stripped For Greater Video Book Trailer (The How) – https://youtu.be/Z3tdtcNpH7U


BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

When you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. As I began to learn to trust God during my season of un-belief, there were encounters with individuals that showed me how much He loved me and how far He would go to protect me. In my emotional state of “functioning broken”, He still used me to help others and meet their need at our point of meeting. My lack of trusting God and being a believer that was struggling with un-belief never stood in His way of taking care of me, it stood in my way of surrendering to Him.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Writing is not easy for me to do, but it is not difficult. What I mean by that is that for me writing is therapeutic and confrontational. I write from my perspective but as I write I am reminded that I am not the only one that was part of the event. That those who played their part in the event not only did I have an encounter with them but they had an encounter with me. As I mature as a writer I am understanding that there is more than one perspective and more than one experience. Being a writer that is learning the value of understanding that transparency changes lives, writing, just like God, causes me to stop looking out of a window and start looking into a mirror.

I do not feel lonely during the creative process but I do feel the weight of understanding that it is important to convey the moment in a simple relatable way so someone who reads it can honestly say “its not just me”.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Raves and Reviews: Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson

An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon of his youth.

This dynamic book explores gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of addiction—all framed within the story of Jackson, his family, and his community. Lauded for its breathtaking pace, its tender portrayals, its stark candor, and its luminous style, Survival Math reveals on every page the searching intellect and originality of its author.

The primary narrative, focused on understanding the antecedents of Jackson’s family’s experience, is complemented by poems composed from historical American documents as well as survivor files, which feature photographs and riveting short narratives of several of Jackson’s male relatives.

The sum of Survival Math’s parts is a highly original whole, one that reflects on the exigencies—over generations—that have shaped the lives of so many disenfranchised Americans. As essential as it is beautiful, as real as it is artful, Mitchell S. Jackson’s nonfiction debut is a singular achievement, not to be missed.

 

 

Raves and Reviews

 

“[A] vibrant memoir of race, violence, family, and manhood…Jackson recognizes there is too much for one conventional form, and his various storytelling methods imbue the book with an unpredictable dexterity. It is sharp and unshrinking in depictions of his life, his relatives (blood kin and otherwise), and his Pacific Northwest hometown, which serves as both inescapable character and villain…It’s Jackson’s history, but it’s also a microcosm of too many black men struggling both against their worst instincts, and a society that often leaves them with too few alternatives…His virtuosic wail of a book reminds us that for a black person in America, it can never be that easy.”
—Boston Globe

 

““While never shirking from the various harms his family members inflict on themselves and each other, Jackson consistently writes about them, and truly all the people we encounter, from a place of grace…One of the book’s many treasures is Jackson’s attentiveness to providing historical context for the forces shaping his family and the place they call home…Jackson’s searing intelligence is on full display throughout the work, but it is particularly notable when he takes on the problems of gentrification, white supremacy, and corporations that gain their wealth off the bodies of the poor. Equally striking is the author’s unflinching commitment to turn his critical eye inward…a spellbinding narrative.”
—NPR.org

 

“A vulnerable, sobering look at Jackson’s life and beyond, in all its tragedies, burdens and faults…Jackson dissects the darker realities of his hometown [and] his explorations feel strikingly unguarded.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

 

“Exuberant maximalism is [Jackson’s] mode … The detours recall the hectic narrative nonfiction of the ’90s and early aughts, by writers like Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace.”
—The New York Times

 

“[Survival Math is] dense and rich, alternately blunt and tender, with references that run the gamut from Snoop Dogg to Adam Smith … in recalling his own struggle, what Jackson has created is a monument to the marginalized—and it’s every bit as harrowing and beautiful as its architect’s life.”
—Willamette Week

 

“In prose that is both poetic and brutally honest, Jackson [explores] his family’s story as a lens into the history of his community. Themes like fatherhood, addiction, sex work, national pride, prison, race and violence against women can feel broad and universal, and Jackson expertly grounds these experiences within America’s legacy, via the inclusion of thoroughly-researched historical and religious references. And yet Survival Math is also deeply personal…Jackson powerfully disrupts various binaries, showing how academic scholarship and accessible writing can merge, how empathy and accountability can overlap, how self and social critique are interconnected.”
—Salon.com

 

“Beyond his own past, Jackson juxtaposes his history with those of his male relatives to illustrate the hardships of class and race on a generational level, creating a timely narrative centered around what it takes to survive in America.”
—Time, 11 New Books to Read this March

 

“Jackson, the author of the novel The Residue Years, writes about his own childhood in Portland, Ore., and the entrenched racism and economic inequality that shaped his community. Along the way, he interweaves poems and narratives from members of his family. As Jackson puts it in his author’s note, “Our stories of survival are inseparable from the ever-fraught history of America.””
—New York Times, 12 New Books to Watch for in March

 

“Jackson revisits his early years in a black Portland neighborhood, telling the stories of his struggling family members and analyzing the marginalizing cultural forces around them.”
—Entertaintment Weekly, 20 new books to read in March

 

“Vivid and unflinching … Mitchell’s memoir in essays chronicles the struggles of friends and family with drugs, racism, violence, and hopelessness and puts a face on the cyclical nature of poverty.”
—Boston Globe, Most Anticipated Books of 2019

 

“An extensive and illuminating look at the city of [Jackson’s] childhood, exploring issues like sex, violence, addiction, community, and the toll this takes on a person’s life.
—Buzzfeed, Most Anticipated Books of 2019

 

“This is more than Jackson’s story, and as he traces his great-grandparents’ exodus from Alabama to Portland and the subsequent lives of his relatives…he captures the cyclical nature of poverty and neglect…The prose is a stunning mix of internal monologue and historical and religious references that he incorporates to tell his story…Thanks to Jackson’s fresh voice, this powerful autobiography shines an important light on the generational problems of America’s oft-forgotten urban communities.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred

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Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

“A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).

Purchase Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

Editorial Reviews for Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

“Heavy is a gorgeous, gutting book that’s fueled by candor yet freighted with ambivalence. It’s full of devotion and betrayal, euphoria and anguish, tender embraces and rough abuse…the liberation on offer doesn’t feel light and unburdened; it feels heavy like the title, and heavy like the truth…Salvation would feel too weightless—as if [Laymon] could forget who he is and where he has been. This generous, searching book explores all the forces that can stop even the most buoyant hopes from ever leaving the ground.”
—New York Times

“With echoes of Roxane Gay and John Edgar Wideman, Laymon defiantly exposes the ‘aches and changes’ of growing up black in this raw, cathartic memoir reckoning with his turbulent Mississippi childhood, adolescent obesity, and the white gaze.”
—O Magazine

“[Heavy] take[s] on the important work of exposing the damage done to America, especially its black population, by the failure to confront the myths, half-truths, and lies at the foundation of the success stories that the nation worships. In the process, Laymon … dramatize[s] a very different route to victory: the quest to forge a self by speaking hard truths, resisting exploitation, and absorbing with grace the cost of being black in America while struggling to live a life of virtue…You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down, but not because [it is] breezy reading. [It is], in Laymon’s multilayered word, heavy—packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities.”
—The Atlantic

“Heavy is one of the most important and intense books of the year because of the unyielding, profoundly original and utterly heartbreaking way it addresses and undermines expectations for what exactly it’s like to possess and make use of a male black body in America … the book thunders as an indictment of hope, a condemnation of anyone ever looking forward.”
—LA Times

“Staggering … Laymon lays out his life with startling introspection. Heavy is comforting in its familiarity, yet exacting in its originality … Laymon subtitled his book, ‘An American Memoir,’ and that’s more than a grandiose proclamation. He is a son of this nation whose soil is stained with the blood and sweat of his ancestors. In a country both deserving of his love and hate, Laymon is distinctly American. Like the woman who raised him and the woman who raised her, he carries that weight, finding uplift from sorrow and shelter from the storms that batter black bodies.”
—Boston Globe

“Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love … Kiese Laymon is a star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful. Heavy is at once a paean to the Deep South, a condemnation of our fat-averse culture, and a brilliantly rendered memoir of growing up black, and bookish, and entangled in a family that is as challenging as it is grounding.”
—NPR.org

“Weight is both unavoidably corporeal and a load-bearing metaphor in novelist-essayist Kiese Laymon’s sharp, (self-)lacerating memoir, addressed to the single teen mom turned professor who raised him to become exceptional…a deeply personal book, where race, class, and the scars of sexual violence are front and center.”
—New York Magazine

“Laymon’s memoir is a reckoning, pulling from his own experience growing up poor and black in Jackson, Mississippi, and tracking the most influential relationships, for better or worse, of his life: with his brilliant but struggling single mother, his loving grandma, his body and the ways he nurtures and punishes it, his education and creativity, and the white privilege that drives the world around him…with shrewd analysis, sharp wit, and great vulnerability — Laymon forces the reader to fully consider the effects of the nation’s inability to reconcile its pride and ambition with its shameful history.”
—Buzzfeed

“Laymon examines his relationship with his mother growing up as a black man in the South, exploring how racial violence suffered by both impacts his physical and emotional selves.”
—Time

“Spectacular … So artfully crafted, miraculously personal, and continuously disarming, this is, at its essence, powerful writing about the power of writing.”
—Booklist, starred

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Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

Young Detective Maxine Hill is always busy performing community service, investigating issues, and exploring future careers. However, Maxine is facing a special challenge this year. This time it’s very personal. Follow our little problem solver as she finds a solution for a unique situation. Detective Maxine HIll is on the case again and she’s on the way back! If you enjoyed Maxine’s New Job, you will like Book II of the series; Maxine Listens.

 

Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens

 

One afternoon Maxine Hill began to notice some changes in her vision during her math class. Her teacher, Mr. Norman, was explaining a process on the whiteboard and his writing was completely blurred. She knew she would eventually grow tired of asking Mr. Norman to repeat the instructions, even the ones written on the board. Maxine finally asked to be moved closer to the front of the class. After a few weeks she realized the new seating arrangement did not seem to be helping. Mr. Norman had also noticed her squinting her eyes on several occasions and decided to call Maxine’s mother, Mrs. Hill, and discuss the situation.

“Mr. Norman, I am so glad you brought this to our attention. I am noticing how Max has to adjust her glasses several times when we are working on a puzzle, playing Scrabble, or watching a movie. I’ll call our ophthalmologist and make an appointment immediately,” said Mrs. Hill.

Maxine did not like the sound of that. She did not enjoy visits to the doctor’s office, especially when her eyes had to be dilated.

“Oh no, not another eye appointment,” Maxine uttered in a slow moan. “The eye drops don’t hurt Mom, but the ride home is rough because the sun seems extra bright after my eyes are dilated.”

“I know honey, but Dr. Chambers has to look inside those beautiful brown eyes to see what’s going on,” Mrs. Hill replied.

Maxine smiled.

That night, Maxine sat on the couch with her Dad watching TV. When she briefly took her eyes off the screen she caught a glimpse of her cat, Amos. He was sitting on her mother’s favorite chair.

“Shoo Amos! Get down from there!” Maxine waved. Amos scurried off the chair onto the floor. “Wow!” she shouted, “I am so glad tomorrow is Friday! It’s been a busy week at school and I’m looking forward to enjoying the weekend.”

“Well,” replied Mrs. Hill, tapping her foot against the carpet, “if you want to enjoy the weekend then you better head upstairs and get ready for bed. It’s a school night. Do you know what time it is young lady?”

“Please Mom!” Maxine begged, “It’s only 9:30 and tomorrow is Friday.”

“I know honey,” said Mrs. Hill as she sat down on her favorite chair, “but you need all the rest you can get because we have your early morning appointment with Dr. Chambers. I have your doctor’s note prepared for the attendance office tomorrow explaining your late arrival, so go upstairs and get ready for bed. Right now!”

“OK Mom. I can’t believe I forgot all about my eye appointment. Nighty-night, Dad,” Maxine said reluctantly, dragging her feet across the floor and adjusting her glasses.

“What did you say Max?” Mr. Hill asked.

“I said . . . NIGHTY-NIGHT, DAD!” Maxine raised her voice and laughed.

Mr. Hill nodded and smiled as Maxine gave him a big hug, scooped up Amos and ran up the stairs. The next morning, Maxine and Mrs. Hill left early to avoid the traffic which seemed to swell between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, especially during the weekdays. Maxine noticed the construction workers drilling and operating the huge cranes as they passed the detour signs. The highway was filled with red dust blowing from the machinery.

“Mom, when are they going to finish this interstate? They have been working on this since I was in second grade,” said Maxine with a frown on her face. Mrs. Hill smiled, “Baby, you might be a senior in high school before it’s completed. Road construction sometimes lasts for years.” Maxine sighed, put her head back on the seat, closed her eyes and listened to her favorite musical group on the radio for the remainder of the ride.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, Maxine sat on the red leather chair next to Dr. Chambers’ rack of magazines, and began looking over the latest issues. Hmm, where are the kid’s magazines? I don’t want to read the Ladies Home Journal, thought Maxine. As soon as she found a copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids with an interesting article named “Girls on The Mound,” the receptionist walked into the patient waiting area with a folder in her hand and announced, “Maxine Hill.”

“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.

Moments later, Maxine sat quietly as Dr. Chambers began his eye exam. “Max, your mom says you have been having some vision problems in class lately.”

“Yes, mostly in math class when I’m looking back and forth from the whiteboard to my notebook,” answered Maxine.

“Well, your exam shows no serious vision concerns, but your prescription needs to be upgraded for another pair of glasses. This is not unusual for your nearsightedness. We will discuss contacts as you get older. Until then, you will be just fine. However, I would like to see you in six months,” explained Dr. Chambers.

Mrs. Hill smiled and thanked Dr. Chambers. Maxine shook Dr. Chambers’ hand and walked out to the receptionist’s counter while her mom waited on the instructions for the next appointment. A few minutes later they left the doctor’s office and headed for B. H. Obama Elementary School.

As they walked to the car, Maxine said, “Mom, I saw some cool, round purple frames in the 20-20 Optical Store window in the mall last week. Can we take my new prescription there this weekend and see if they can measure them for me?”

“We sure can Max. It’s a deal,” Mrs. Hill gleamed.

( Continued… )

© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Lynda Mubarak. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

 

 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak will be released on March 23, 2019
Picture Book for ages 6-10. Genre: Children’s Literature
Purchase books:  https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Mubarak/e/B01ELLYYGO

 

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Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson is the author of Survival Math. His debut novel The Residue Years was praised by publications, including The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Times (London). The novel won the Ernest Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, and it was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, TED, the Lannan Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Salon, and Tin House, among other publications. He serves on the faculty at New York University and Columbia University.

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson. Survival Math is about the calculations Mitchell made to survive his youth in 1990s Northeast Portland, and we wanted to reach out to you because it is absolutely perfect for book club discussion. The book explores difficult topics—addiction and gun play, masculinity and near-death experiences—all framed within the stories of the author and his family’s experiences in Portland. But of course, the book is about something much bigger than one family. Mitchell illuminates the forces that led his family and his community to this point, from the Great Migration to gentrification, and he does so with humor and style.

So far, the book has been praised by some of the most talented writers on the planet. Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward called the book “virtuosic.” Author of Orange Is the New Black Piper Kerman says Survival Math is “an unforgettable mix of sharp humor, wide interrogation, and indelible tragedy.” Pulitzer Prize winning poet Terrance Hayes says Mitchell’s “insights into how black men survive become insights of everyone’s survival.”

 

 

Excerpt: Survival Math

Survival Math EXODUS

My exodus occurs after years wandering the wilderness of my hometown, the crucible that included working a part-time, and only-time, gig at the Oregonian’s downtown insert facility stacking pallet after pallet of inky-ass newspapers. For bread to live. For bread to leave. The day in question, I got a phone call from someone who, for the love (and just maybe his liberty), I’ll call Brother A. Brother A called me to plead a ride to his apartment in the burbs to sweep for dope after his dope-dealing roommate, a dude who’d already done a nickel in the pen on a drug charge (which, by the way, is not judgment, but context), had just got knocked by the Feds. Brother A explained he needed the ride because his main squeeze had wrecked his Jeep, and he couldn’t think of anyone more fitting than me, of all people on God’s verdant earth, me, to be the one to shuttle him.

Heeeeeelllll no! That should have been my answer. But that was not my answer. My answer tugged me out of my job at the end of my shift and into the forest-evergreen Lexus I’d bought in the bygone unblessed days when I sold more than weed. It sent me bolting out of my job and into my ride to swoop Brother A from someplace close and hit Highway 26 with most dubious sense.

Guessing now is as good a time as ever to mention that this was the age during which I might’ve been selling weed—twenty sacks, eighths, half and whole zips, and in the most blessed of times, half and whole pounds. Selling chronic, stacking newspapers, and throwing parties because evermore this brother, a brother, every brother should diversify his hustle. No mights or maybes to that.

Memories from that age, hypothetical and otherwise, seldom feature date stamps, but I can assure you this incident occurred May 2002 AD, which I know for truth because one of my homeboys and me had just thrown a well-attended Memorial Day shindig, and between my cut of the door and profits from the weed I may have been selling, I had a knot of bills in my inky work jeans—which accounts for why at the time I was feeling at least extra medium about myself. Brother A and I traded lightweight banter en route, and before I knew it, we’d reached his apartment complex, grounds of such expanse, there was plenty of time for my pulse to cease between the moment I pulled into the lot and when I found a place to park my tree-colored ride. Can’t speak for Brother A, but in that interstice of arriving and stepping a wary foot out of my ride, I had visions of police swarming us from bushes and vans, seizing discomfited me, slamming my cheek against unforgiving asphalt, and KABLOWING! on cuffs.

We did not—word to Yahweh—get ambushed that moment. We hustled past a passel of blithe youngsters and mounted a flight and a flight and a flight of stairs and stood at the threshold of his apartment door (my heart athunder) and asked each other again and for the last time if we should enter, which, inhale, of course we did.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

No one was inside. Good sense says I should’ve left Brother A to brave his fate alone but instead I sat on the living room couch while he proceeded to sweep his roommate’s room and the hall closets and every place else he could think to look. He didn’t find any meth, but he did find cooking supplies and utensils, which he took straight to the kitchen to scrub and scour. Meanwhile, I sat on the living room couch doing my best impression of ecclesiastical calm.

“Man, I can’t believe we was so spooked,” I said.

“Yeah, we silly,” he said. “Like the police worried about us.”

He paused and motioned at me. “Shit, I almost forgot. Come check this out.” This is when Brother A led me to his bedroom, pulled a pound of weed from a stash spot, and flaunted a sample. “This some killer,” he said. “Smell it.” What may or may not have happened next now seems like an act of intercession bestowed by my great-grandmama or some other churchgoing kin. That act, amen, was using my shirt to grab the plastic bag and inspect a few fluffy, sticky, fragrant stems. I put the weed back and mentioned how fast it would sell and may or may not have asked him if he could cop for me.

He and I strolled back into the living room—me to the couch and Brother A back to washing possible evidence down the drain. Seconds later I heard footsteps on the stairs. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Heard them and said to myself, Here come those kids. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Thought to myself, Wow, them some heavy-footed-ass kids. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Mused, Boy, there must be more kids than I thought. That’s when Brother A hustled over to the peephole, said, “Oh, shit! POLICE!” and broke for his bedroom.

Before I could move, a mob of police, sheriff, and DEA bum-rushed into Brother A’s crib. “Get on the ground! Get on the ground now! Keep your hands where we can see them! Get down! Get down!”

Oh. My. God! I thought, and dropped to my knees then prostrate.

Brother A darted into the living room and ranted, “Let me see your warrant. Let me see your warrant,” and in an instant, they spun him face to wall and cuffed him. One officer jerked me off the carpet and asked if I was carrying drugs, if I had anything in my pockets that might cut or poke him. No, I said. And he emptied my pockets, beheld my cell phone and pager and the knot of cash—most of which, let me remind you, I’d made from my Memorial Day shindig and some of which I may or may not have made from serving fat sacks of chronic. More officers appeared, one of them tugging a stout German shepherd. That same officer informed me that if the dog hit on anything from my pockets, he’d confiscate it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir  by Audrey and Larry Jones, MD


Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir  by Audrey and Larry Jones, MD

https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Through-Ceiling-Family-Memoir/dp/0692099883

 

The memoir of Audrey and Larry Jones and their three sons demystifies ADHD in childhood and beyond. 

A blend of love, humor and real-life irony, Falling Through the Ceiling makes sense of the nonsensical, shedding light on the challenges of living with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). These stories offer the real-deal reality of living with a house full of ADHD, including the ups, downs and chaos of what happened and the consequences of such. The authors, a married couple of 45 years, offer experience, practical insight and what they learned from counselors, research and their own mistakes to assist people coping with children and adults who are affected by ADHD.

Sharing their personal life challenges with the effects of ADHD, this is a real, sometimes painful, story written to help families recognize and navigate to controlling chaos and unlocking the gifts of ADHD in their children and themselves.

“We were struggling to make it and created codependency and unhealthy enabling habits. What we did, and what we didn’t do, to help our sons  didn’t work, many times. The behaviors simply continued and morphed. If we had it to do all over again, we would have done things better and differently. We feel that other parents, by walking with us through our journey, will gain strength and courage to move from frustration to stabilizing behaviors and living resiliently.”
Audrey and Larry Jones, authors, Falling Through the Ceiling

 

Purchase Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir by Audrey and Larry Jones, MD
https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Through-Ceiling-Family-Memoir/dp/0692099883/

Paperback: 200 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692099883
ISBN-13: 978-0692099889
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches

 

 

About Audrey R. Jones & Larry A. Jones, MD

Married over 46 years, Audrey and Larry Jones are parents, grandparents, and fun-loving mates who enjoy each other’s company, civic, volunteer and cultural activities and frequent traveling. They had a whirlwind spring romance in 1970 as college students, married in late summer of 1972, and in four years had three sons, one right after the other.

As expensive, dangerous behaviors continued to be repeated, they sought help from teachers and therapists regarding their children. During his adolescence, each child was diagnosed with ADHD, just as hyperactive disorder was becoming a recognized clinical condition. For at least 20 years of his career as a pediatrician Larry did not link his children’s symptoms and signs of ADHD to himself.

In 2008, Audrey was stricken with an illness, which took its toll on her health and led to a permanent disability. Her gift of recovery included an opportunity for Larry and Audrey to seriously reflect on their sons’ actions, starts and misfires as young adults pursuing college educations and meaningful employment as they all lived with the challenges of ADHD. Rather than just writing about the road to recovery, Audrey and Larry chose to tell their whole story, with the intent of helping other families acknowledge and address behaviors that can adversely affect couples and families.

Message from the Authors
For us Falling Through the Ceiling is a blend of love, humor and real-life irony. We make sense of the nonsensical by shedding light on our challenges of living with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Our stories are examples of the things that can happen when ADHD runs rampant and untreated for parent and three sons. That is what defines the universality of our stories. We fell into the same trap as many other parents, thinking that Drew, Jay, and Rob were just lazy and willfully not completing assignments in school. Parenting is probably the most humbling experience of your life. Few of us are trained in parenting and we encounter events in our children’s lives, which should lead us to professional counselors and therapists. Our darling children can throw us off kilter because they really do the darndest things.

We were struggling to make it and created codependency and unhealthy enabling habits. What we did, and what we didn’t do, to help our sons didn’t work, many times. The behaviors simply continued and morphed. If we had it to do all over again, we would have done things better and differently. Hopefully our stories will give other parents relief, support, courage and solutions.

Connect with the Authors Online
Website: http://enabletables.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fallingttc
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fallingthroughtheceiling
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fallingthroughtheceiling

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Intimate Conversation with Audrey and Larry Jones, MD

Audrey Robinson Jones left Kansas to attend Wellesley College, graduating in 1972 with her degree in anthropology/sociology, planning to be a social worker. Instead, she worked in healthcare administration for almost 30 years with her husband, including running his multi-office pediatric practice for 24 years. She also earned master’s degrees in healthcare administration and business.

She became managing partner of an airport concessions company and purchased two business franchises with her sons. At the same time, she and her husband built a loving home with three sons. As life unfolded, her sons and husband were diagnosed with ADHD. Managing businesses and four ADHD males took its toll on her health.

In 2008, Audrey was stricken with an almost fatal autoimmune disease. Recovering and retired, Audrey remains a vital force, including participating with Larry in several international health missions trips. At home, she continues to lead a local food pantry, something she’s done for over fifteen years, in addition to family advocacy activities.

 

Larry Albert Jones, MD, grew up in the 1950s with an overprotective mother and grandmother in a poor section of Memphis, Tenn. His childhood was greatly impacted by the village of educators and church folks who recognized his intellect. That village launched Larry to Wesleyan University, Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Unfortunately, he lost his mother to cancer before his 20th birthday, but his path was set. He began to notice how much time he required to maintain his college GPA as he prepared for medical school. Keeping his eye on the prize, he persevered, never considering that he would later be diagnosed with ADHD.

For at least 20 years of his career as a pediatrician and parent, he did not link his children’s symptoms and signs of ADHD to himself. While being an effective and popular clinician, he lived in denial about his own diagnosis.

Larry is currently a departmental medical director for the SSM Healthcare System. With treatment and counseling, Larry is pursuing community projects, including facilitating a STEM program with elementary school students in Ferguson, MO.

 

BPM: As doctors and parents, how has that influenced your writing?
AUDREY: We had difficulty understanding my husband, the doctor’s, behaviors and the learning and attention struggles that he had in medical school, residency, and working in his own practice. He was still in denial even after our sons were diagnosed with various types of ADHD. But Larry did not receive a final diagnosis and begin treatment until my psychologist recommended testing.

We started thinking seriously about how our stories would help other parents and affected adults understand what ADHD looked like and the path to unlocking their talents and gifts. I wanted to share this story because both Larry and I thought we could help parents like the ones in his practice who were silently suffering from the effects of ADHD in their families.

LARRY: The clash of parent vs. physician is a major struggle that other professionals will have as parents as well. In work situations you have control, over your life, but as a parent you have much less control and you are faced with situations that are challenging and filled with emotion and doubt about whether you are doing the right thing. My objective was to write as a parent while using my clinical background to provide depth and understanding.

 

BPM: Tell us about your new book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
LARRY: We want parents to understand that they are not alone and that there is help available, and how to find that appropriate help.

AUDREY: We want our readers to: Recognize defiant, daring behavior leading to failures, including sexual acting out, running away from home and inviting danger.  Find the resources necessary to support your children in growing through ADHD to unlock their exceptional personal gifts. Get out of the way of progress to do everything to make your family whole and healthy, even admitting when you’re wrong. Nurture their children to become independent adults with clear and realistic goals, along with the solid approaches to achieving them.

 

BPM: Give us insight into your primary message.
AUDREY & LARRY: Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir is a book about the challenges encountered by both parents and children as they cope with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We provide our accounts in a parent-to-parent view of the obstacles in raising children with ADHD.
We want to inspire parents and adults living with ADHD symptoms to stabilize frustrating behaviors which allows the gifts of the ADHD brain to emerge and flourish.

 

BPM: How do you find or make time to write?
AUDREY: We worked with a writing coach and editor because of my impairment from my illness. It has truly taken a village to bring the project together.

LARRY: Working full-time, I could only write evenings and weekends. Many of the stories required lengthy discussions to recall all of the details of the events. Audrey and I had the discussions during walks and driving trips.

 

BPM: How much research went into sculpting this story?
AUDREY: Since our sons were diagnosed, I have sought answers from educators, therapists, other mental health professionals, and all types of counselors. I tried to read books that I really didn’t understand. I began reading articles online during my recovery because of our grandchildren.

LARRY: I was able to draw on my experiences treating families with gifted ADHD children.

 

BPM: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?
AUDREY: My favorite chapters to write was “Falling Through the Ceiling” because for the first time our son shared his personal recollection of trials controlling his behavior. I told the story as an example of why parents needed to see God’s grace in parenting. When he literally fell through the ceiling from the attic to our home office, he just called it a painful lesson that changed his perception of the consequences of his behavior.
LARRY: My favorite chapter is the “Samurai Swordsmen”. It was through this trauma that we discovered the strength of the bond between our two youngest sons. The two were always squabbling about something and never seemed to be friends. Rob protected Jay from getting into trouble for cutting him. Then after the surgery Jay made himself available to help Rob in any way that he could to express his love for his brother.

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Afraid To Love You by J. Brinkley

After losing her husband in a tragic accident, Stephanie Dennard finds herself a single parent of two beautiful daughters. After years of struggling alone, she is suddenly swept off her feet and finds comfort in the arms of a new man, a handsome smooth talking truck driver named Mike. Mike soon moves into the home Stephanie shares with her young daughter, Anita, a teen who possessed exotic features much like her father. She had a passion for helping others and dreamed of one day becoming a nurse, just like her mother.

LaSonya, on the other hand, looked just like her mother, but possessed the business acumen of her father and pursued a career in business management. LaSonya was the perfect ‘big sister’ and loved Anita dearly. Anita and LaSonya, the both, dislike Mike but is their dislike for him misplaced or is there a more sinister side to him that hasn’t yet surfaced?

Stephanie finds herself torn between the man she loves and the daughters she adores. Will she be forced to make a decision between them? While Anita is left fighting the demons that accompany nightmares, bitter memories, and depression, LaSonya is left trying her best to hold the family together, while searching for her own piece of happiness.

Will the family ever regroup? Will Anita ever be the same innocent carefree spirit she once was before evil crept in to rob her of all that was pure?

 

 

Purchase Afraid To Love You by J. Brinkley
Genre:  Women Fiction, Urban Fiction
https://www.amazon.com/Afraid-Love-You-Jonas-Brinkley/dp/154071425X

 

Chapter One:  Afraid To Love You by J. Brinkley

Lightening spider webbed through the dark stratosphere, summoning a low bellied rumble reverberating throughout the valley. The evening was gloomy and the rain poured down fiercely, making it hard to see the road. The gusty wind blew rain harshly up against the SUV. The windshield wipers struggled to perform effectively. The windows began to fog. He reached to turn on the defrost but that didn’t do any good. Still, Dontae wasn’t at all bothered by the harsh weather.

He was listening to the smooth sounds of Boney James’ Hold on Tight streaming through the Bose speakers in his SUV, reflecting on his family, his day at work, and the huge contract he had just landed. Dontae was a very hard working family man who loved his family with all his heart. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for them. They meant the world to him, and they loved and adored him just as much.

He had put in a lot of hard work, dedication and long hours at the architectural firm where he worked as a freelance architect. Both he and his family, a loving and loyal wife and two beautiful daughters, had sacrificed a lot over the years and it was finally paying off. He had landed a multi-million dollar contract to design a new shopping mall being built in the city. Yes, life was indeed good. He was planning on telling the family they could finally take that much overdue vacation they had been planning for years but somehow never managed to get around to, and he could go ahead and purchase some life insurance that his wife, Stephanie, had been asking him to do.

The rain and gusty wind became more intense, making it virtually impossible to see the road. His windows fogged up even more.  “Shit!” he said, then took a deep breath and exhaled.His SUV came to slow halt at the red light. The traffic was fairly thick but his vision was blurred by the heavy rain. The light turned green; he put his foot on the accelerator; the SUV propelled to the mid-section of the four-lane street. Bright lights flashed from his peripheral.

Suddenly he heard the menacing sound of screeching tires and could even smell the burning rubber as the driver of the oncoming vehicle tried desperately to stop in time. Before he could turn his head to face the moving object that was quickly closing in on him, he was side smashed by it viciously, damaging his body and sending him into a state of unconsciousness.

Red and blue lights flashed while police and ambulances occupied the intersection where the accident had taken place. Police officers investigated while the paramedics put the victims on gurneys and wheeled them onto the back of two waiting ambulances.

The detective and two deputies rode out to the address listed on the registration inside Dontae’s SUV. When they pulled up in the yard, the lights were on inside the house. The area was quiet; the heavy rain had slacked off to a slight drizzle. They strolled casually up the walkway until they reached the front door and knocked three times. A chubby dark skinned woman opened the door wearing her pajamas.

“Ah, hello, ma’am. We are so sorry to bother you at this time of night. However, my name is Detective Lawson,” the detective politely informed Stephanie while pulling out his Raleigh, North Carolina badge to show her. “I would like to know if you, by any chance, know Mr. Dontae Mitchell?”

“Yes, I do. He is my husband. What’s wrong?” Stephanie asked curiously.  The stout detective took his brim off and held it in both hands feeling a bit nervous. “Well, ma’am, I’m afraid to impart this news, but I must… your husband was in a terrible crash over on Jefferson mid-section a few hours ago,” Detective Lawson informed her.

“Oh my! Is he alright?” Stephanie asked frantically.

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New Books Siera London

 

A Walk Through Endurance (Series Intro for The Men of Endurance Book 1) by Olivia Gaines and Siera London:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CN5K3FT

 

Abel Burney hated flying and today he was stuck on a plane with the worst turbulence he’d ever experienced. Grabbing the hand of the attractive lady next to to him for comfort, his fears soon abated. It didn’t take long for Abel to realize she had a calming effect on him overall.

Julie Kratzner was on assignment for a year to cover the Endurance Capital of the world, sporting events. The small town was charming, but not as charming as Abel Burney. He came to her rescue more than once showing her that life and the small things in it needed to be enjoyed.

Come take a walk through Endurance and fall in love with the little moments which make life oh so big.

 

 

The Men of Endurance Series by Siera London and Olivia Gaines
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DN83SJ4

* A Walk Through Endurance (Series Intro Book 1) by Olivia Gaines and Siera London

* Intervals of Love (The Men of Endurance Book 2) by Olivia Gaines

* Staying The Course (The Men of Endurance Book 3) by Siera London

* Going The Distance (The Men of Endurance Book 4) by Siera London

* The Art of Persistence (The Men of Endurance Book 5) by Olivia Gaines

 

 

About the Author

Siera London writes about Sassy, Sensual heroines and the Alpha Males that love them, flaws and all.

Siera London is a bestselling author of contemporary fiction to include romance, fantasy, and mystery/thrillers. She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating life’s challenges and triumphs to a satisfying ever after. Intelligence, wit, emotion, drama, and romance are between the covers of every Siera London novel. Siera lives in California with her husband, and a color patch tabby named Frie.

Visit Siera London’s website: https://www.sieralondon.com
Follow Siera on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/siera_london
Follow Siera on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/siera-london
Follow Siera on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsieralondon

 

 


 

Going The Distance by Siera London (The Men of Endurance Book 4)

The “risk it all” student. The “play it safe” professor. An improbable pair, but there’s no textbook for love. Welcome to Endurance, California the single dad capital of the west.

Music major Autumn Raine is used to taking care of herself. So when an eight-year-old’s prank brings her face-to-face with her secret crush she’s grateful for the rescue, but this close encounter has Autumn wishing for private lessons.

After a failed marriage, single father and college professor, Rui Conners is committed to raising his daughter alone, but Autumn is bandaging his wounded heart one smile at a time.

What’s the problem? She has no idea he’s interested and Rui’s relationship with his ex-wife is far from ancient history.

How will these two people used to flying solo, find the perfect note to make their duet go the distance?

 

 

Staying The Course by Siera London (The Men of Endurance Book 3)


Welcome to Endurance, California the single dad capital of the west.

Ivy’s struggling to survive. For the sake of his son, Owen is trying to live. The wanderer and the widower….and a second chance at love.

Ivy Summer’s poor choices have deposited her at the last knot in the proverbial rope. With forty dollars to her name and a broken shoe heel, she walks into the town of Endurance desperate and searching for a way back home. But this street-savvy lady is used to taking care of herself and fighting for everything she has. She’ll do what’s necessary to survive—even take on a grumpy mountain man in the middle of the night.

Single father, Owen Tate wants to be left alone, especially by the sexy trespasser who demands entry into his bar. She has a truckload of attitude, a penchant for manipulation, and a ton of baggage trailing behind her. Yet Ivy’s zeal for life might be the kick in the pants a wounded man needs to bury the past.

How will two people used to staying the course change direction and learn to fight for each other?

 

Book Reviews: Staying The Course by Siera London

 

5-STARS
I love the way this little town of Endurance plays such a significant role in the lives of single fathers. This is a much needed genre of writing because the world is going more in this direction. The storyline was amazing, wasn’t your “I know what’s going to happen next” kinda setting. Continue the great work, looking forward to reading some more from this author.

5-STARS
Loved Owen and Ivy’s story! Loved their friendly and sexy banter. As only a four year old can, Cai stole the show.

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Little Girl Arise by Tarkisha M. Wallace

Little Girl Arise by Tarkisha M. Wallace

Mark 5:41 says, “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little Girl, I say to you, arise.'” Little Girl Arise speaks to the little girl inside every woman. The little girl who suffered a tragedy that caused her to abandon her purpose. Little Girl Arise provides essential principles to restore the life she thought was spiritually dead. This book will help every woman recognize her true purpose, and give her the steps to aligning her life with God’s plan.

Purchase Little Girl Arise by Tarkisha M. Wallace
Kindle eBook: http://a.co/d/69yqaY0
Paperback: http://a.co/d/hzNKIUw

 

Tarkisha M. Wallace offers the book, ebook, workbook, and purpose minder at Amazon.

 

Little Girl Arise Workbook by Tarkisha M. Wallace
Little Girl Arise speaks to the little girl inside every woman. The little girl who suffered a tragedy that caused her to abandon her purpose. Little Girl Arise provides essential principles to restore the life she thought was spiritually dead. This book will help every woman recognize their true purpose and give them steps to aligning their life with God’s plan.

To promote further understanding and use of the principles shared in the Little Girls Arise book, this is a workbook component. I recommend that you use the book and workbook together; however, if you choose to engage in your workbook once you complete the reading, you will gain the same wisdom, insight, understanding, and growth. In the Little Girl Arise workbook, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in activities associated with each chapter you’re currently reading or have previously read.

Take advantage of each of these opportunities because they’re of great importance to your arising. As a believer and a counselor, I know that as God reveals things to us, we have to put them in practice; we have to strategize, plan, prepare, and most importantly, pray. He has led me to use this as a tool to help us in each area. I pray that it blesses you the way it blessed me. I pray that it honors God in a way that you know He is real, and His intentions for you are far greater than you can imagine. I pray that this is the thing that gets you back in motion towards your purpose. I hope your little girl gains all the wisdom, understanding, empowerment, and strength that she needs to arise.

Purchase Little Girl Arise Workbook by Tarkisha Wallace
https://www.amazon.com/Little-Arise-Workbook-Tarkisha-Wallace/dp/172880308X

 

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Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

 

From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

 

 

Praise for Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

 

“Sherry Jones takes us on a remarkable journey of heartbreak and empowerment. Josephine Baker’s Last Dance is a bold and beautiful book about a bold and beautiful life. This book left its mark on me.”
– Susan Crandall, author of The Myth of Perpetual Summer

 

“The mesmerizing chanteuse who shattered race barriers and hearts across the world is brought to vivid, unstoppable life in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance. The champagne swirl of the Jazz Age fuels this amazing, untold story of a defiant woman who fought her way from poverty to become the toast of Europe, infamous for her bawdy act and banana-peel-barely-there skirt. Jones’s Josephine is complicated and human: a courageous artist on a quest for freedom under the haunting legacy of race inequality; she emerges as not only a fantastic icon from the past in her own right, but also as a mirror and example for today. “
– C.W. Gortner, author of Mademoiselle Chanel

 

“[An] entertaining portrait of a groundbreaking woman. Hand this to fans of Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife (2011), Liza Klaussman’s Villa America (2015), and other tales of Jazz Age artists.”
– Booklist

 

“The extraordinary story of a unique and unrivaled icon…Jones delivers a satisfying life of one endlessly fascinating person.”
– Kirkus Reviews

 

“If you loved The Paris Wife, you’re going to love this… Sherry Jones’s new Fall release is an inspiring novel that women everywhere will find to be an important piece of literature in helping to bring about total equality in our current world.”
– PopSugar

 

 

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Unlawful Seduction (Lawyers in Lust Series-Book 2)

Unlawful Seduction (Lawyers in Lust Series-Book 2) by Sassy Sinclair

 

The #MeToo movement takes center stage in this lustful legal thriller that turns the table on sexual harassment in the workplace. Dana Herrington has it all. General counsel at a Fortune 500 company, a fabulous beachfront home and enough money to buy all the trinkets she could ever want. The instant she lays eyes on Spencer McIntyre, she wants him too. There’s just one problem. Spencer is the company’s newest attorney and Dana is his boss.

Spencer makes it clear that he’s happily engaged and tries to keep things professional. But Dana is used to getting what Dana wants. When she turns up the heat, will Spencer fall prey to her seductive ways or rock both their worlds by accusing her of sexual harassment?

 

EXCERPT – Unlawful Seduction

Chapter 1

 

Spencer McIntyre stepped into the room and Dana almost let out a moan as she stood to greet him. The man wasn’t just attractive, he was physically exquisite. Well over six feet with olive skin and dark wavy hair, a rugged sexiness vibrated off him like heat from a scorching flame.

“Dana?” Wallace actually nudged her elbow.

She’d been in such a trance, Dana hadn’t even realized that the gorgeous hunk had extended his hand.

“I’m sorry,” Dana said, offering him her own. “I don’t know where my mind was just then.”

Spencer’s warm, gigantic hand encased hers. He flashed a smile that almost made her wet.

Hmmmm. Large hands.

Dana wondered how large and warm another particular body part might be.

“You have an impressive resume,” Dana began, as they sat down around the table.

“I’m kind of a data privacy nerd.” Spencer actually blushed. “My friends give me a hard time because I like reading new case law just for fun.”

Dana let Wallace ask Spencer the first few questions while she quietly appraised him. She tried, but couldn’t quite pinpoint his heritage. He was almost certainly a half-breed. Basic white boy with a mix of Italian, Brazilian or maybe even Persian. There was a hint of Matthew McConaughey in both his smile and his confident swagger.

Even through his suit, she could tell that he lifted weights. It would be a blast to snuggle up to that hard body. She imagined herself straddling him and slipping her tongue between his luscious lips while unbuttoning his shirt and massaging his broad chest.

Spencer’s ring finger was bare. Another plus. Dana had no problem sleeping with a married man. A woman who couldn’t keep her man from straying deserved to lose him. But the absence of a wife made things less complicated.

“What do you think about that, Dana?”

Damn. She’d zoned out again. Dana had no idea what they’d been discussing. She’d have to wing it.

Her lips angled into a potent smile. “You’re the most impressive candidate we’ve seen so far.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

Who Would Think That One Act of Love Could Affect Four Generations?

 

On December 29, 1930, Mildred “Millie” Mayfield gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Addie. Millie teaches Addie three things that she feels matters most in life; inner beauty, reading books and giving your “special something’ only to the man you marry.

Addie lives up to the first two.

On one autumn night in 1949, Addie falls for the irresistible red curls and vibrant green eyes of a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks. Neither knowing that the consequences of their love would have lasting effects.

Known as one of the greatest white jazz pianists in New York, Timmy Taylor never had a reason to question his identity – until truth and betrayal strike. Will Timmy be able to push past the pain?

Beautiful and talented, Nina Taylor inherited her father’s gift, but not his looks. Certain that’s how he made it big, she dives deep into a deadly obsession. Will Nina learn to love the skin she’s in before it’s too late?

Spanning from 1920 to 1996, this captivating tale of secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness will pull at the strings of your heart, and keep you turning pages while you pray for a happy ending.

 

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Powerfully evocative and winding in its story of uncertain connections and alienation, The Caged Butterfly will delight women’s fiction readers who seek strong multicultural stories of enlightenment, and family connections honed through generations of interaction and self-examination.” ~D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review on The Caged Butterfly

 

CELILA L. BOOK REVIEW
“The Caged Butterfly by author Marian L. Thomas is the heartrending story of the Mayfield/Taylor family spanning four generations ranging from the 1930s-1990s. While the character-driven plot touches on relevant social issues…ultimately it is a story of love and forgiveness… Every so often, I have the pleasure of getting lost in a book that I know will stay with me. The author’s writing style pulls in the reader and seamlessly weaves the plot between generations and different geographical cultures. Rich in dialogue and featuring a memorable cast of well-developed characters…I’m pleased to give this well-written book 4 out of 4 stars. The intricate plot will appeal to an eclectic audience. Readers who enjoy books about family relationships and related social issues will appreciate it. Fans of The Help will likely enjoy this book, too.”~ Celilia_L, Book Reviewer, Onlinebookclub.org on The Caged Butterfly

 

BookBub is a hot place for authors to meet new readers! Marian L. Thomas is listed there so let’s all show her our support by following her titles on BookBub today: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marian-l-thomas

 

 

 


 

Georgia Readers Heads Up – Marian L. Thomas will release The Caged Butterfly on October 23rd! If the weather permits, she has 2 marvelous events planned for the month. Details below:

October 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Town Center Prado – Bldg. 3
BARNES & NOBLE Bookstore
Book Signing and Discussion
50 Barrett Pkwy Suite 3000
Marietta, GA 30066

October 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Edgewood Retail – Moreland Ave
BARNES & NOBLE Bookstore
Book Signing and Discussion
1217 Caroline Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

To read excerpts from MLT books visit http://www.marianlthomas.com

#thecagedbutterfly #bookrelease #bookevent #atlantaevents #atlantabookevents

 

 

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Worth The Ride (Gumbo Love Book 4) by Ann Clay

Catch up on the Brooks Family with the GUMBO LOVE Series. The series kicked off with the oldest brother, Travis’s story in Blue Autumn in the Bayou, followed by middle brother, Michael in The Perfect Blend. The last and final chapter of the Brooks siblings end with the youngest, Trisha Brooks, as she heads off to Texas in Worth The Ride.  

Trish Brooks shocks her family when she jets off to Texas to pursue a veterinary degree. The New Orleans City girl in a small town is not the only adjustment she makes. How about trading her Stelios for worn cowgirl boots, or even better, falling into the arms of the handsome rancher, Denver Baldwin. He’s dangerously handsome and at first, wants nothing to do with her.

Denver Baldwin is put off by the mouthy, know-it-all city girl he finds mucking his barn. Yet, when he decides she doesn’t have a clue, the flame she ignites has him changing his tune. And just as things heat up, Trish’s three linebacker brothers challenges his worth. For Trish he will wrestle with any bull, any day.

The heat of Texas can’t contend with the fire brewing between Trish and Denver, and their journey, although rocky at first, ends ups a voyage neither will forget. A bumpy journey turns city lights to moonlights, and a love worth the ride.

Purchase Gumbo Love (4 Book Romance Series) by Ann Clay
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CWW3BY8/

 

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My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One by Glenn W. Powell

My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell

Sergeant Glenn W. Powell’s MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is the story of a most unlikely young man who leaves his working-class environment of Toledo, Ohio, to become a soldier. Seeking excitement and a way to “make something of himself,” Glenn Powell’s journey exceeds his wildest dreams—a journey that began in basic training in Fort Hood, Texas ends at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue—the most important address in the world.

MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL is about so much more than Glenn Powell’s military journey, but about poignant memories of family, friendships, sacrifices, and love—central to his story is Ronda Holloway, the beautiful young woman he falls in love with in Manheim, Germany, and, who joins him on his life journey as wife, soulmate and mother to their two sons.

MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL offers readers a glimpse into Sergeant Glenn Powell’s 30-year transformation from the much-beloved boy who seeks more in life…to the man, who discovers it—in adventure, in friendships, and in service to three American presidents. a service he delivered with pride, unquestioned loyalty, distinction and in the end, great admiration.

Purchase My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Baggage-Call-Aboard-Force/dp/1986878406/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/LAST-BAGGAGE-CALL-ABOARD-FORCE-ebook/dp/B078KQ9Z89
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-last-baggage-call-aboard-air-force-one-glenn-w-powell/1128407880

 

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Conversation with Sergeant First Class (SFC) Glenn W. Powell 

 

Sergeant First Class Glenn W. Powell (Retired), is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1982, and retired in 2002. During his military career, he served as a heavy vehicle driver, a squad leader, and non-commissioned officer.

In September, 1991, SFC Powell joined the George HW Bush White House as a chauffeur, and in 1992, was promoted to transportation coordinator for the white house Press Corps, serving in the Clinton Administration. In December 1995, he assumed the duties of transportation supervisor for Air Force One. In January, 2001, during his service under President George W. Bush, SFC Powell was transferred to the White House Military Office, Customer Support and Organizational Development where he served as deputy director.

SFC Powell retired with distinction from the Military in 2014. He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the United States Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He received U.S. Service Ribbons for both domestic and overseas service. Glenn and Ronda Holloway Powell have been married for 25 years, and have three sons, Darius, Warren, and Glenn, II. They reside in Virginia.

BPM: How does a man go from basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey to a prestigious career at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a Deputy Director in the White House Military Office?
ANSWER: The journey wasn’t easy but it all boiled down to hard work, dedication, and individuals seeing your potential for success.

BPM: Entering the military at an early age can be challenging for some young people. What was your experience like and looking back would you do this all over again?
ANSWER: At first that experience was very hard. It was my first time being away from home and being in an environment that I couldn’t control. It forced me to grow up quickly and provided the additional resources and discipline that I needed to become a man. Without question, I would do it all over again.

BPM: Tell us about your new book, MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship.
ANSWER: The book is about my personal journey from being a teenage father in Toledo, OH. Making the hard decision to leave my son in order to provide for him. Serving my country that I hold in high regards. Finding love and building a family. Constantly leaving my family to fulfill my military obligations while serving the Office of the President, and establishing lifelong friendships.

BPM: What was it like to be in service to three American presidents?
ANSWER: It was one of the greatest honors that an individual in the military can aspire to have. It isn’t the norm for a military person to be able to serve three Presidents, due to the fact that we relocate after four years on that assignment.

BPM: Being aboard Air Force One had to be amazing! What is one of the most beautiful places you visited?
ANSWER: The first place was South Africa, where I was afforded the opportunity to go on safari, but more importantly to tour Robin Island during President Clinton’s visit, and have the pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela. The other place was China, and being able to walk the Great Wall of China, and standing in Tiananmen Square.

BPM: What was your most interesting chapter to write in your book MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL?
ANSWER: For me, the most interesting chapter to write was Chapter 15, Second Chances. Writing this chapter allowed me to be vulnerable with how I felt during 911 and multiple health issues that I had faced.

BPM: Were there ever times you wished you could share your story with the world before writing the book?
ANSWER: Yes, there were, but because I’m such a private person and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my story.

BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
ANSWER: I have been writing my story my whole life. Keeping notes in my head internally. I just never knew that I was a writer. It wasn’t until my cancer diagnosis, that I decided it was time to put the thoughts and feelings to paper.

BPM: How has writing MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL impacted your life?
ANSWER: It has allowed me to be more open with regards to my personal life. It has allowed me to share the upbringing that has made me what I am today.

BPM: What advice or bit of wisdom would you share with the young man leaving home for the first time seeking adventure?
ANSWER: I would say, try not to be afraid but open for opportunities that came your way. Your destiny has been pre-determined, so follow your heart.

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
ANSWER: I would view writing as an outlet, as everyone has many views on spiritual practice and I don’t want to offend anyone with my views.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned from this project?
ANSWER: The one thing that was most surprising, was finding out my family history. Everyone isn’t always able to trace their family origins.

BPM: Share one specific point in your past that is resonating with your present situation or journey.
ANSWER: To always treat others the way that you want to be treated.

BPM: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
ANSWER: It is both energizing and exhausting. It energizes me by allowing my creative juices to flow. It is exhausting because you really don’t know just how much work goes into bringing a project to life.

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The Legend of Diddley Squatt: A Novella from a Brother Fella by Duane Lance Filer

The Legend of Diddley Squatt: A Novella from a Brother Fella by Duane Lance Filer

Sometime during the middle of the twentieth century, a black child is born in Rundown City, Mississippi, to rundown parents. After Diddley Squatt’s sixteen-year-old mother splits the scene and leaves him in the care of his grandmother, Momma Squatt, Diddley settles into a new life within her three-story hotel/brothel, the Copp-A-Squatt Inn.

As he grows older and is nicknamed Young Didd, the boy is unfortunately bullied because of his unusual name and life circumstances. Luckily Diddley develops a thick skin and learns that love is better than hate, thanks to the nurturing, lessons, and mentoring provided by his grandmother and the strong ladies who, along with a goo-gaggle of Inn customers that include famous musicians, soldiers on leave, and politicians, visit the brothel.

While on his unique coming-of-age journey, Diddley also uncovers the mystical powers behind a magical harmonica that allow him to bond with creatures he never imagined could become his best friends, and who could somehow lead him to a new destiny.

In this urban novella, a black boy growing up in the south must somehow learn to find his way in life after his mother abandons him, with help from well-meaning people.

 

Listen to a reading from The Legend of Diddley Squatt – http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C758D31k

 

5-Star Book Review Written by Ernest Hamilton
A story of overcoming life’s oddities and the ability to persevere by finding the best that humankind has to offer. I Loved this funky tale of bullying and hope. It took me back to the days of the chitlin circuit when blacks could only stay in certain areas, YET THEY HAD A BALL! I love the various characters and how they each had a hand in making sure Diddley made it through his initial life years. This story needs to be made into a movie!!!

 

Excerpt: The Legend of Diddley Squatt by Duane Lance Filer

Didd was on the back porch of the Copp-A-Squatt; just sitting on the porch looking out into the back woods with his trusty harmonica in his mouth – playing this old blues tune known as “Squirrel Meat Stew” he had picked up. These old houses really never had any back fences, and backyards just ran out into the woods. This was good, because deer, possums, raccoons, and rats – all these different animals would run up to the end where the brown grass part ended – and you could bond with the animals.

Didd loved to just sit on the porch and watch and feed the animals. When nobody was looking, he would rumble through the trash bin where Oscar (one of Momma’s house men others called a “pimp”) and the other help would throw the garbage after eating. He’d dig through the trash and get the leftovers – squish them in a paper bag and place it out on the edge of the backyard/woods area. He’d sit there and watch the animals come eat. They loved the food. Then, one day, something really strange happened!

Didd was putting some of the leftovers out on the rickety back fence for the animals. He put out some pork-chop bones, some un-eaten grits, some egg remnants, burnt toast – all just laid it across the fence, when this possum came up and acted like he wasn’t scared at all.

Then to Didd’s amazement the possum started talking: “Thanks young Diddley. All the animals have been watching you from afar and we appreciate all the food you bring out here to us. It all tastes good and keep it coming.”

“Possum’s can’t talk?” Didd said.

“Why not? Why can’t we?” said the possum, “you humans just think we can’t talk because you can imagine the trouble we would be in if humans knew we could talk. We just choose not to talk. But to some few humans that we feel comfortable with, we will talk. Diddley Squatt, you are one of the few humans we feel comfortable talking around. My friends will talk to you, you’ll see.”

“Wow” said young Diddley. “I love all animals. I mean I really like animals more than people. Animals always let you know how they feel.”

“You’re welcome” said the possum. “My name is Percy Possum– and I’ve been hanging back here in Momma Squatt’s backyard for years. Lots of action at this whorehouse, so there is always a lot of extra discarded food in the garbage. I hope we can be friends.” Percy extends his free hand while holding onto his food with the other.

Young Diddley had seen this before from the johns, the shaking of hands, and knew he must respond. So, he shifted over to the back of the fence and shook Percy’s free hand. The bond was set!

Before he left, Percy said, “You don’t happen to have any fresh food on you young Didd- do you?”

“I have my lunch, a tomato sandwich. Sorry, but I don’t eat meat. I could never eat something that once breathed like me. One of the johns said that makes me a “VE-GEE-TARIAN. You are more than welcome to my sandwich,” said Didd as he pushed the sandwich into Percy’s paws.

Percy switched his tail in happiness. “Thanks, I can share this fresh tomato sandwich with the rest of the animals. We possums eat anything – we even have a few ‘vegetarians’ that I’m aware. I knew you were special; and keep playing that harmonica. We animals sense something magical when we hear you playing. See you later young Diddley,” said Percy.

“I’m sure we will be talking more in the future. Like I said, you are one of the exceptional ones.” Percy slowly crept back into the woods; his teeth holding the bag of discarded food and the tomato sandwich bag in his hands.

“Wow!’ was all Diddley could say.

( Continued… )

© 2017 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Duane Lance Filer. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase The Legend of Diddley Squatt: A Novella from a Brother Fella
Science Fiction & Fantasy > Magical Realism > Paranormal & Urban Life
https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Diddley-Squatt-Novella-Brother/dp/1532033842

 

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Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes

Multicultural Children’s Books
by Quentin Holmes

Quentin “Q” Holmes has dedicated his life to empowering the world’s youth. His books are filled with colorful characters, rising action and page-turning suspense.  “I want to inspire young readers to think “outside the box” and realize that teamwork and individuality is the greatest formula for success.” ~ Quentin Holmes

Author, entrepreneur, and brand creator Quentin Holmes (known to his friends as Q) has dedicated his life to empowering the world’s youth through trendsetting literature, media, and fashion. The son of a hardworking father whose career advancement moved the family to nearly every region of the country, Quentin gained exposure to people from a wide range of different social, economic and racial backgrounds. In the end, the family’s economic status was greatly improved and the Holmes children were afforded opportunities that previous generations did not have. Rooted in a family tradition that valued education, Quentin earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Michigan. Taking classes and socializing with young people from all over the world enriched Quentin’s already well-rounded perspective of social diversity. Suburbanites, children of farmers, inner city kids, and people from Third World countries were all striving for the same goal of a college degree.

Quentin began to realize that for the students he went to college with, the kids he grew up with, and even for himself, life is not as much about where you’re from as where you’re AT and where you’re going. Drawing on his firsthand experience with young people from a wide range of different social backgrounds, Quentin developed his first brand, At Wear apparel. Since its launch in 2003, the brand has gained national attention; Quentin marketed At Wear for five years and was featured in Slam Magazine, Dime Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, BlackVibes.com and the feature film, The Reunion.

Since 2009, the Real Street Kidz Multicultural Book Series has brought a much-needed voice and powerful cultural influence to the preteen book genre (ages 7-12). The life long lessons of hard work leading to success that Quentin learned during his upbringing are beautifully illustrated through his characters. The theme of teamwork echoes at the very heart of the entire series, calling on preteen readers to embrace these indispensable lessons.

Likewise the main characters in Johnny Skip2 and Sporty Lou bring vital multicultural characters to life, but this time for his younger readers (ages 3-6). Both picture books; like their Real Street Kidz predecessor, diligently seek to inspire, embolden, and entertain a brand new generation of children.

Learn more about the Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes
Author Website | http://www.quentinholmes.com
Amazon Author Page | amazon.com/author/quentinholmes
Facebook Author Page | fb.me/AuthorQuentinHolmes
YouTube | http://www.youtube.com/c/QuentinHolmes
Quentin Holmes email: quentinholmes@hotmail.com

 

 


 

New Multicultural Picture Books from Author Quentin Holmes

Parents, teachers, and youth workers know all too well the joy of finding reading material that both educates and inspires children through great story-telling and eye-catching artwork. Sporty Lou, and Johnny Skip2 are the kind of books that parents seek out, due to its conscious duality in design to both entertain, and educate, while always appealing to the heart. Both books diligently seek to inspire an entire generation of children to dream and strive for greatness.

About Sporty Lou: Soccer King by Quentin Holmes
The Sporty Lou picture book is for kids 3-to-6-years old and adults who LOVE sports! Sporty Lou is a spunky determined kid with a big heart and bigger imagination. At the feet of his ‘mighty dad’, Sporty Lou is taught the basics of soccer. He struggles and falters but his little body holds a giant heart that won’t back down from a challenge! Cheer along as Sporty Lou’s imagination turns his backyard into a stadium full of roaring fans. Will he ultimately give in or take his first steps towards becoming a true sports legend?

About Johnny Skip2: The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Skip 2 in Australia
Johnny Skip2 is a world traveler; a collector of small things, and an adventurer all wrapped up into one little kid. But he needs your help. Come travel with Johnny and his little dog Grounder as they journey to the wonderful land of Australia in search of native muntrie berries. Adding to the adventure is a mother kangaroo that has lost her ‘joey’ and this leads Johnny on a quest to find her. The Johnny Skip 2 adventure offer new sights and colorful Aussie phrases from ‘The Land Down Under.’ Johnny Skip2 is a great interactive read-a-long that kids will love reading over and over again.

Purchase All of the Multicultural Early Reader Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes
– Easy-to-read, empowering and entertaining stories for young children
– Picture Books & Coloring Books. Available in hardcover, softcover & eBook

For more information please visit: https://www.amazon.com/Quentin-Holmes/e/B00J1QJ1FO
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Children Books: LongTALES for ShortTAILS by Duane Filer

LongTALES for ShortTAILS” is a children’s short-story collection that totals sever interesting stories. To date, Duane Lance Filer has completed and self-published three of the stories in the series. The stories are about real and imagined stories that kids from 2 – 13 years-old will enjoy.

LongTALES for ShortTAILS,” written by Duane Filer, that will leave your kids enthralled and excited. Each book contains eye-popping color illustrations by Jay DeVance III. Below is a brief summary of these three storybooks. Please share this flyer with your friends and family. Give the Gift of Knowledge…Give Books as Gifts!

 

About the Author
Duane Lance Filer grew up in Compton, California and had one of the greatest, richest childhoods one could have growing up in an “inner” city.  Duane’s dad Maxcy Filer was involved in the west coast civil rights movement, and during the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Duane got to witness and was involved in some wild and crazy events during this important time in American history.   Since birth, Duane has possessed an extraordinary memory; an insatiable imagination; and a fascination with writing.  He started writing in high school, through college, during his 30-plus work years, and into his present retirement.   Duane’s funky writing projects and painting can be viewed at his website   http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler.

Email:  duanelancefiler@gmail.com
Website:  http://duanelancefiler.wix.com/duanelancefiler
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/duane.l.filer
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/duane-filer-950b7054/

 


 

FastJack Robinson by Duane Filer
(Longtale #1 Children’s Books)

Fastjack was coming to spend the summer with his grandrabbits- Grandpaw and Grandmaw Robinson, in Bunny Junction. Fastjack Robinson had moved to Hare City, but always loved coming back home to visit his beloved grandrabbits as well as his childhood friends House Mouse and Stooley the Pigeon.

After a big welcome-home supper of carrot stew and rabbit tea, Fastjack was informed by the squeaky voiced House Mouse that the notorious, mischievous Grabbit Rabbit was wreaking havoc in Bunny Junction by stealing pies and other carrot items from the families in Bunny Junction. Little did the Grabbit Rabbit know that, like a young Jackie Robinson, Fastjack Robinson was the fastest rabbit in the world!

Somebody in Bunny Junction had to stop the notorious Grabbit Rabbit. So Stooley, House Mouse, Grandpaw, and Grandmaw devised a plan to catch the Grabbit Rabbit. It’s Fastjack to the rescue!

 

Purchase FastJack Robinson by Duane Filer
Link: http://a.co/bswk8tD

 

 


 

Ms. Missy: Bishop's First Dog by Duane Filer

Ms. Missy: Bishop’s First Dog by Duane Filer

(Longtale #2 Children’s Books)

Who out there doesn’t remember their first pet? Bishop’s first dog turns out to be the beautiful diva Missy. Plus, Missy soon has a surprise for the family. “Ms. Missy – Bishop’s First Dog” is a true story concerning my family’s first pet – Ms. Missy the diva dog!

Follow along as Bishop, oldest child of the Morrow household, learns the ins and outs of owning and taking care of a dog. Bishop has daily duties of feeding and caring for Ms. Missy; bathing her in the Morrow backyard with younger siblings Maxine and Kelvin; and training Missy in the ways of the pet and human world. Time passes, as both Missy and the Morrow family grows with additional kids.

One day, Missy disappears, and young Bishop feels it is his fault because he scolded Missy too hard. Bishop feels terrible, and fears she has run away for good. When Missy is finally found, she has a surprise of a lifetime for the Morrow family!

 

Purchase Ms. Missy: Bishop’s First Dog (Longtale #2) by Duane Filer
Link: http://a.co/2gshwsU

 

 


 

Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer

Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer

(Longtale #3 Children’s Books)

The year is 2050. The space shuttle to the moon has been a reality since 2030. There have been scientists, explorers, politicians, entertainers and celebrities; just about every type of scientific type person has been or has plans to go to the moon…but no ordinary people have been included? Black, white, brown, or yellow…no regular ordinary people have been to the moon.

Finally, in 2050, the USA government has decided it is time to send some regular folks to the moon. A contest was held to pick three lucky souls to be sent to the moon. Each person selected could bring a friend. And the best part is that the government claims once the lucky winners get to the moon, there would be a surprise waiting for them.

Young Duncan (Dunk) Sylers, 11 years old and from the city of Compton, California, enters the contest. You guessed it – Young Duncan wins and decides to take his younger cousin Drew on the exploration of a lifetime. Follow along as Duncan, Drew, and the other winners (including a wanna-be hippie who brings his parrot as his guest; as well as an aging actress and her equally washed up boyfriend) travel toward the moon. Do they succeed? You’ll have to read the book.

 

Purchase Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer.
(Longtale #3 Children’s Books. For sci-fi lovers.)
Link: http://a.co/4Sm4WWG

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Duane Lance Filer
LongTALES for ShortTAILS

Duane Lance Filer is a retired funkster extraordinaire, writer, painter and musician who grew up in Compton, California with six brothers and sisters. He and his wife, Janice, have two adult children and currently reside in Carson, California. For more about Duane and his artist endeavors, visit him at: http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler

 

BPM:  Tell us about your most recent work with children’s literature. Available on Nook and Kindle?
I have a children’s short-story collection of 3 picture book stories ready to blow your mind!  I call it “LongTALES for ShortTAILS.”   It’s about real (from my youth) and imagined stories that kids from tots to teens will enjoy.   Here’s a quick look at what the stories are about:

Fastjack Robinson –  Like a young Jackie Robinson, Fastjack is the fastest rabbit in the world!  Somebody in Bunny Junction has to stop the notorious Grabbit Rabbit, so it’s Fastjack to the rescue.

Ms. Missy-Bishop’s First Dog – Do you remember what it was like when you got your first dog?  Bishop’s first dog turns out to be the beautiful diva Missy.  Plus, Missy soon has a surprise for the family.

Duncan and the Chocolate Bar –  A story of the futuristic Duncan as he wins a contest and is one of the youngest to ever travel to outer-space.

 

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A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

#SeducingThePenTour: A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey takes a look at our friends from Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard five years later. READ MORE: http://a.co/0rqMbhY

Life makes the distinction between lasting or lust and forever or not. Nearly five years ago, the contrasting lives of these unlikely friends became cemented. Through all their differences, they toiled through the grit of building friendships and finding love. Now it truly begins. Perry and Robert Nichols have finally transitioned from living a lie into living that life.

Despite her once-pretentious facade, Perry now touts a coveted life—one she never apologizes for. What matters is her marriage, her two children, and the success of her upscale business, Lux Body & Soul. Perry’s wrath abruptly becomes unleashed once being betrayed, causing her life to quickly unravel. When everything she holds dear is put at risk, Perry must call on Harlem Brooks.

Harlem Brooks, the good boy gone bad, has returned to the city. He has cleaned up his act and is no longer the judge’s prodigal son. Harlem is back at the firm, committed and living a more suitable life. As his determination increases to spare Perry from ending up behind bars and keeping her family intact, he is unknowingly blind-sided by what is awaiting his own. When he returns to the office late one night seeking any crucial evidence to turn around a plummeting trial, Harlem makes a shattering discovery. Now more than ever he longs for what his brother has . . . his own family.

Like many men, Harlem hasn’t quenched his insatiable needs. What he desires most is the one thing he can’t have. Erika Townsend’s beauty is alluring to Harlem, but what intrigues him most is her resilience. That unshakable strength is what Harlem needs now more than ever.

Torie Matthews is finally settled and happy after marrying Quinn, her best friend and kindred spirit. In the face of their marital bliss, there has been immense heartbreak. When their marriage receives yet another devastating blow, Torie questions whether their bond is strong enough to endure.

 

Editorial Review
The storyteller is back! It’s been two years since Jasper’s Café on the Boulevard was released, and the time away has served Tracey Fagan Danzey well. This natural storyteller has returned with a punch delivering a strong story that blends humor, drama, action and of course, unforgettable characters. A View From Harlem centers around Harlem Brooks, a handsome, successful lawyer with no interest in settling down with one woman. It appears that Harlem has life in the palm of his hand until an unexpected discovery about his family leaves him questioning everything he holds dear.

But it doesn’t stop there! In true storyteller form, Tracey has woven in several engaging plotlines that deal with love, faith, loss, infidelity and redemption. Tracey’s characters both supporting and main come to life and have you feeling like you’ve known them forever. (Trust me when I say that you’re going to want to invite Aunt Dot to Christmas dinner!) If you’re looking for a modern read that seamlessly has you laughing one minute and wiping away a tear the next then the View From Harlem is one you won’t want to miss.
—JT Belangela -Blogger and Goodreads Reviewer

 

About the Author
Tracey Fagan Danzey is an author and occasional blogger who has been described more than once as a natural storyteller. It is her passion for writing that allows her to create an experience, conjure emotions and share vivid views for her readers through her pictorial descriptions. To further pursue her craft and aspirations of becoming a published author, Tracey elevated her commitment by becoming a member of the Westport Writers’ Workshop, critique groups and book clubs.

“Where Is The Box For Someone Like Me?” is a project that advanced in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and has since developed into Tracey’s debut novel, “Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard”.
https://www.authortraceyfagandanzey.com

 

 

Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

For Randal, it is love at first sight when he lays eyes on Leah. After a short, whirlwind romance, Leah leaves all she knows behind in New Orleans and moves to Savannah, Georgia to marry her newfound love, only to exist in secrets.

Now, seven years of bliss, Leah and Randal welcome beautiful, twin daughters—Leanne and Brooklyn. After several hours of intense labor, Leah falls madly in love with her babies. Randal, on the other hand, not so much. With a heart of ice, Randal makes an unconscionable decision that changes Leah’s life forever, and eventually determines his demise.

After Randal being the breadwinner and taking care of everything, Leah now finds herself heartbroken, clueless, betrayed, and alone. With only Brooklyn by her side, she embarks upon a new life, with Randal’s secret constantly haunting her.

 

Excerpt: Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

Feeling weak, Leah laid her head on the pillow and rubbed her hands across her stomach. Randal sat back in the chair next to her.

“We have a problem, Leah. We can only take one baby home.”

She tried to lift her head off the pillow, but she didn’t have the strength. She felt lightheaded. “What are you talking about? The nurse said both could go home in two or three weeks. They’re doing fine, Randal. Don’t worry.”

“The darker one has a weak heart and will have to stay until her heart gets stronger. The doctor says there is a slim chance.”

Leah sat up in bed. “The nurse didn’t say anything about her heart. I don’t understand.” She started to cry and Randal gently pushed her back against the pillow and kissed her cheek. He was compassionate with his wife.

“I told the doctor and the nurse that I would tell you, but don’t worry yourself sick about it. Did you get a good look at the child? She looks Black. She doesn’t look White, by no means at all. How can we take her home anyway, even if she does get stronger?”

“You’re not suggesting we leave her here when she has a home to go to. We have two children, Randal, and two will go home with us. I can’t believe you would even think of something so cruel about your own child. What on earth has gotten into you? You need to think about what you just suggested. My babies are going home with me.” Leah wondered what had gotten into him. What could he be thinking? She closed her eyes, but her body shook like a leaf on a tree. Their baby was too dark for him; she felt as though he threw a glass of ice-cold water on her face to wake her up.

Randal kept his voice low, but his tone was cold. “I fell in love with you before I discovered you weren’t White. The baby doesn’t look White at all, and everyone will know we’ve been living a lie. She can’t go home with us,” he said adamantly, his ice-blue eyes hard on her.

When she looked in his eyes, so cold and relentless, there was no way to convince him otherwise. They were disagreeing about their children, and as far as Leah was concerned, both babies were going home; both babies were hers.

( Continued… )


Purchase Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips

Women Fiction.  Available in print and ebook.
Download Link: http://a.co/7mw9jLm
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0989184722
https://www.smore.com/qsj2r-two-sided-heart

 

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Patricia Anne Phillips

Patricia Anne Phillips currently resides in Los Angeles, California. She has written eight novels, Romance and Women Fiction and is now working on her new novel. Website address: http://www.patriciaannephillips.com.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
My most recent work is Two-Sided Heart that begins in the seventies in New Orleans to Savannah Georgia, Kenya and ends in Los Angeles. It can be purchased on eBook. I think Two-Sided Heart is my best work and will take readers on an interesting journey.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
The main character who lives throughout the book is Leah Mann. She experiences a double tragedy and heartbreak that most women won’t and can’t imagine.

BPM: Is there a specific place that you find inspiration in?
One day I would like to go to Kenya. From what I’ve read I find it interesting.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed writing about the different characters in different places with so much in common.

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book?
It took a year and of course some research.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
Write about a place and characters that you can’t stop thinking about.

BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about more often?
I write topics for adults all ages.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned that my problems are not as complicated compared to the characters in my book.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing takes me places and to new heights that I’ve never experienced before.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
A best seller and hearing that readers will purchase a book just by the author name.

BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your book with the world?
Three of the tools I’m using are marketing on the internet, mailing bookmarks and contacting book clubs.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a project in mind but haven’t decided what state to place it in.

Purchase Two-Sided Heart by Patricia Anne Phillips
Women Fiction. Available in print and ebook.
Amazon Download Link: http://a.co/gfWvYY1

 

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Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak


Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Shorty and The Sullivans is a children’s story that demonstrates how a friendship can develop from some very unusual circumstances. It also teaches young children that one should not make judgements based on appearance including color or size. The message of the story emphasizes that observation over a period of time will often determine the true value of a situation.

 

Book Excerpt:  Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Every Saturday morning Mrs. Sullivan shopped at the Johnson Supermarket. Archie, the manager, and the cashiers knew her because she always bought the same meat, veggies, milk, fruit, dog food and doggie treats. They also knew Mrs. Sullivan because big, happy Ebony Joyce was always with her, wagging her tail and looking at the other customers as they walked by. Archie didn’t mind Ebony Joyce being in the store because she was a friendly dog. The customers like rubbing her ears, the kids like rubbing her back and Ebony Joyce never barked.

Ebony Joyce walked a little slower in the store than Mrs. Sullivan, but that was alright because she took her time going up and down the aisles of the store to search for the best bargains, especially on the meat and dairy aisles.

One day a cashier asked Mrs. Sullivan, “How old is Ebony Joyce?” Mrs. Sullivan replied, “We don’t know Ebony J’s age. When we moved into our house years ago we found her hiding in the shed in the back yard. We fed her, gave her a bath and she’s been with us since then.” The cashier smiled and Mrs. Sullivan smiled. She paid for her groceries, rolled the grocery cart out to the car and put the groceries in the trunk while Ebony waited for her to open the car door.

Mrs. Sullivan drove home while Ebony J looked out the window at the passing cars, big buses, and the people jogging along the sidewalks or talking on their cell phones.

When Mrs. Sullivan returned from grocery shopping Ebony J always waited quietly next to the kitchen sink while Mrs. Sullivan put the food away. Ebony knew when the last paper bag was emptied there would be a doggie treat for her. She loved the treats!

One morning, Mrs. Sullivan noticed that Ebony J was not awake when she began to cook breakfast. She was usually the first one awake in the mornings and watched Mrs. Sullivan as she prepared the coffee, toast, turkey bacon and eggs.

(  Continued…  )

 

Order Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak
Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Paperback: 60 pages

Shorty and The Sullivans is a children’s book appropriate for grades 1-4.
https://www.amazon.com/Shorty-Sullivans-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak/dp/1626768552

 

About the Author
Dr.Lynda Jones Mubarak is a native Texan and was raised in Waco and Ft. Worth. She is an Army veteran, retired special education teacher, and college ESL adjunct. Dr. Lynda’s love for reading and books began when she was an elementary student and continued during her teaching years. She is the author of Stations, Carver Park, and Shorty & The Sullivans. Dr. Lynda loves to travel, live theater and crossword puzzles. She is currently a co-host on “The Author’s Lounge Radio Show”, Fish Bowl Radio Network, Grey Stream, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, CST, and she is busy writing her fourth book.

Website: http://www.lyndamubarak.com
Instagram: https://ljmubarakstationsforkids
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamubarak

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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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Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of the Clean Colored Girl Chronicles Book Series by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions is about peeling through the pain in life, love and relationships. Get encouraged through thought-provoking stories from one woman’s life as she shares how relationships made her and broke her.

Broken Conditions (Clean Colored Girl Chronicles) by Jo Johnson
Available in print ebook and audiobook: http://a.co/aFqJ8FM

 

Reviews for Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions is an honest account of the life experiences of a “clean colored girl.” The author doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here. She simply tells the stories that many women, colored or otherwise, can relate to. The stories that shape who we become over and over again; growing up a product of divorce, the struggle of the mother-daughter relationship, and MEN! These are stories of failure and brokenness and growth and resilience. Johnson’s storytelling is such that you’ll place yourself in the back seat of that Cadillac with the trumpet player’s friend as he starts to urinate in a cup. You’ll experience the terror of hiding in the bathroom as a drug-addicted man kicks in the back door. You can taste the excitement of living out your dreams in Los Angeles and the fulfillment of finding God and purpose. This is a good and quick read that will leave you wanting Volume 2.” – Faith Conner, Host, The Platform 314 Podcast

 

Broken Conditions is fantastic! It reminds me of books like Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert or Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. It’s real and keeps you reading. How lucky Jo Lena is to have an amazing and interesting life. She was always starting “projects,” i.e. relationships, endeavors, etc. in the book that weren’t always necessarily for the betterment of her soul. Just her filling the holes. Channeling this book into a movie; now that’s a better project. Everyone is soul searching and will connect with her story.” – Shannon Tocco

 

Broken Conditions is the perfect book for a quick weekend read. Jo Lena does an excellent job of being relatable and real. In fact, I almost felt like she and I were sitting on my couch with a cup of Joe while she told me about her life. From struggles as a child and rocky relationships in her 30s to triumph as a business woman, Broken Conditions takes you on a journey that shows you exactly why Jo Lena Johnson is the “Absolute Good Resilience Coach.” – Katy Beigel

 

“I’m sorry, but then again, I’m not sorry, because God has a way of using us and our stories for his good. In reading Broken Conditions, I saw myself, my mother, the stepfather and men in my own life. As a child, we are in a play called “Life” and it just happens. After growing up in a whirlwind, I had to make conscious decisions not just for myself, but for my three sons. I didn’t want to succumb to drinking, drugs, and being a whore. The love and respect I had for my kids made me respect me. I have this survivors guilt, how did I go through so much in life without going crazy, going to jail, or even dead? My discovery is, I’ve been kept by God to share the only truth I know. This life doesn’t belong to me, and I must share his grace and mercy even when I don’t fully understand the purpose or plan of the journey. I love you so much for sharing, and allowing me to be a part of your journey.” – Delena Evans

 

“Reading Broken Conditions made me feel like I wasn’t alone, not that I would want someone to ever go through my situation of life, but the reality is that these issues are more prominent than mentioned. The book made me think about the many ladies and gentlemen like me going through obstacles and over hurdles of life because of the dysfunctional conditions in which they were raised has an adverse effect on their being. Their normal adaptation has repercussions for their tomorrow.” – Robin Thomas

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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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Sneak Peek at Black Hearts White Minds A Carl Gordon Legal Thriller by Mitch Margo

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Sneak Peek at Black Hearts White Minds
A Carl Gordon Legal Thriller

CHAPTER 2

Oleatha Geary stared out her front picture window waiting for 3 o’clock. That’s when three generations of her family gathered for Sunday supper at her modest home. Attendance was mandatory. At 54, the family matriarch maintained much of the elegance she had as a young woman. Carrying an extra 20 pounds with flair, she had a fondness for flower patterned dresses, most of them made by her own hands on the Singer. Oleatha adjusted her shortly cropped, chemically relaxed hair and beamed at her three children and five grandchildren coming through the front door.

Her first born, Micah, was a tough, muscular auto mechanic and part-owner of a Sunoco service station. Much taller than the other Gearys, Micah had calloused hands, earned dismantling and reassembling car engines. His neatly trimmed mustache, sprinkled with grey, covered his entire upper lip, nearly hiding a one-inch scar at the corner of his mouth, which he refused to discuss.

Lenore Geary, Oleatha’s second child, was 33 years old and beautiful as art. She had Oleatha’s curvy outlines, high cheeks, hazel eyes and buttery cinnamon skin. She had earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education from Ohio State University. Convincing her parents to let her go North to attend Ohio State over a full scholarship to Spellman took unrivaled logic and steadfast perseverance, strong points for the young woman who was so much like her mother they could hardly stand each other. Lenore had a teaching job lined up in Ohio, and Stockville firmly embedded in her rearview mirror, when her father suffered a massive stroke two weeks after her college graduation. Within days of the funeral, Oleatha contracted tuberculosis. Lenore moved back home temporarily to cook, clean and nurse Oleatha back to good health.

“You know she did this on purpose,” Lenore said to her brothers at the time.

“People don’t will themselves into tuberculosis,” said Micah.

“I thought you knew Mama,” said her other brother, Thomas, agreeing with Lenore.

Lenore became a substitute teacher at George Washington Carver High School while she tended to her mother. In less than a year Oleatha recovered while Lenore was teaching social studies and humanities full-time. She was the most popular teacher in school with both students and faculty.

The youngest son, Thomas, grew to appreciate the formality of being called Thomas rather than Tom. Where Micah was big and powerful, Thomas, age 31, was lean, quick and compact. He earned a scholarship to Hampton Institute in Virginia where he majored in political science and returned from Hampton with informed and confident opinions, the charming optimism of his father and a wife named Evie. Thomas was the assistant executive director of the United Negro College Fund, and he started the Stockville chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

 

FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels by Author/Poet ME

FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels by Author/Poet ME

For You Woman: Spirit Jewels introduces an innovative creative writing style of Poetic Intellectual Art that incorporates a mix of profound insights and spiritual wonders of Love, Life and Relativity. Its central subject matter of Love is forged upon the FOUR ways we experience Life: Mind, Spirit, Body and Soul. For You Woman: Spirit Jewels manifest as Creative Masterpieces of Poetry, Prose, Short Stories and Propositions. That is capped with a chapter on The Art of Love.

Spirit Jewels is a phonetic metaphor of a ‘Spiritual’ adventure of enchanting philosophical visions and revelations of our most intimate, intense and powerful needs with shrewd poetic twists that seduces the senses. Majik and mysticism permeates the avant-garde life-force that this book generates. It’s a truly unique, gourmet, reading experience.

 

Is Love the True Religion?

What if a normal young man were kept away from women for thirty years? Meet ME, a man who loves women with the same innocence and passion he had when he was forced to give them up thirty years ago. During those years, he wrote about women and love, bestowing flesh on his dreams, and out of that struggle to remember and keep alive the passion of youth has come a unique volume of stories, poetry, and articles aptly titled, For You Woman: Spirit Jewels. Raw, optimistic, and powerful, For You Woman helps readers remember how it was to love without restraint or caution, believing that love is sacred, the gateway to God.

Time stopped for ME when he was shut away from women, and his musings on life, God, Goddess, love, passion, eroticism, and fulfillment provide the reader with abundant food for thought. Framed in the Black English of the ghetto and the prison, For You Woman loses nothing in translation. While the language is raw and untutored, the subject matter is love in all its forms and all its faces, written of with great passion and delight. Grammar police, of which I am one, may not approve, but as Marshall McLuhan, professor, philosopher, and public intellectual suggested, “The medium is the message,” and it is proved in this case.

The author, calling himself ME, is a philosopher of love and truth whose writing skills and insights were honed in the belly of the underworld. As a retired bank robber, ME is, in his own words, an intellectual thug, a spiritual gangsta whose crystallized experiences provide shrewd twists, unique perspectives and visions. He is an artistic scholar, a hopeless romantic, a mystic voyager, and a spiritual awakener of and for mankind’s destiny.

 

Book Review written by Dan Neumann  

An Inspiring, Engaging, Entertaining, Enlightening Book

Nathaniel Thurston (ME) wrote a body of poems, essays, and micro-stories that you’ll end up reading like a devotional. Each poem is typically only a page or two long at the most, but you’ll be tempted to digest and reflect on its truths for a time before going on to the next page. The elephant in the room, of course, is Thurston’s 30-year residency in jail. For some of you purchasing “For You Woman,” that may be the reason why you’re interested in the book in the first place.

I’ll tell you now that it comes through strongly that these writings amount to a legal prison break. He has broken through the bars and the bondage of incarceration by communing with the spirit of God/Goddess/Love– freeing his mind and soul. This book reminds the reader that sex shouldn’t be sought for carnal lust, but for the unparalleled spiritual connection it can afford if we’re in the correct state of mind.

Thurston is more-or-less speaking to females in general in his poetry, but don’t let that discourage male readers. These poems will inspire you to recognize the divinity in women (and even woo them). Due to the maturity and the unadulterated veracity of the message, “For You Woman” is NOT bedtime reading for youngsters.  –Review Written by Dan Neumann

 

 


MESSAGE FOR THE READER

The contents of this book are designed to appeal to your HIGHER MIND, to your elusively hidden divine intelligence. Its subject matter is designed to advance maturity. As Intellectual Spiritual Art it is NOT by editorial protocol. Whereby you will notice the author’s SIGNATURE Imprint is his lower case i’s. In order to absorb the maxims of profound truths that is contained herein, it is suggested that you re-read very carefully these contents. You will marvel in what you discover and will be inspired in the way it grows on and with you. So study the concepts and the wisdom it offers, while enjoying such artistic wonder. It’s all you.

For You Woman is a tribute, a celebration of you Woman for that female essence – the Soul of our existence. That other half of ‘godness’ that’s so special, beautiful, so precious to we men. Me salute you, ‘cause you’re ‘like that!’ You deserve to be enshrined in your Immortality.

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Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes

 

 

Brand New Multicultural Picture Books from Author Quentin Holmes

Parents, teachers, and youth workers know all too well the joy of finding reading material that both educates and inspires children through great story-telling and eye-catching artwork. Sporty Lou, and Johnny Skip2 are the kind of books that parents seek out, due to its conscious duality in design to both entertain, and educate, while always appealing to the heart. Both books diligently seek to inspire an entire generation of children to dream and strive for greatness.

 

About Sporty Lou: Soccer King by Quentin Holmes
The Sporty Lou picture book is for kids 3-to-6-years old and adults who LOVE sports! Sporty Lou is a spunky determined kid with a big heart and bigger imagination. At the feet of his ‘mighty dad’, Sporty Lou is taught the basics of soccer. He struggles and falters but his little body holds a giant heart that won’t back down from a challenge! Cheer along as Sporty Lou’s imagination turns his backyard into a stadium full of roaring fans. Will he ultimately give in or take his first steps towards becoming a true sports legend?

 

About Johnny Skip2: The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Skip 2 in Australia
Johnny Skip2 is a world traveler; a collector of small things, and an adventurer all wrapped up into one little kid. But he needs your help. Come travel with Johnny and his little dog Grounder as they journey to the wonderful land of Australia in search of native muntrie berries. Adding to the adventure is a mother kangaroo that has lost her ‘joey’ and this leads Johnny on a quest to find her. The Johnny Skip 2 adventure offer new sights and colorful Aussie phrases from ‘The Land Down Under.’ Johnny Skip2 is a great interactive read-a-long that kids will love reading over and over again.

Purchase Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes
– Easy-to-read, empowering and entertaining stories for young children
– Picture Books & Coloring Books. Available in hardcover, softcover & eBook

For more information on both books please visit: amazon.com/author/quentinholmes

 

 


 



Intimate Conversation with Author Quentin Holmes

Author, entrepreneur, and brand creator Quentin Holmes (known to his friends as Q) has dedicated his life to empowering the world’s youth through trendsetting literature, media, and fashion. The son of a hardworking father whose career advancement moved the family to nearly every region of the country, Quentin gained exposure to people from a wide range of different social, economic and racial backgrounds. In the end, the family’s economic status was greatly improved and the Holmes children were afforded opportunities that previous generations did not have.

Rooted in a family tradition that valued education, Quentin earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Michigan. Taking classes and socializing with young people from all over the world enriched Quentin’s already well-rounded perspective of social diversity. Suburbanites, children of farmers, inner city kids, and people from Third World countries were all striving for the same goal of a college degree.

Quentin began to realize that for the students he went to college with, the kids he grew up with, and even for himself, life is not as much about where you’re from as where you’re AT and where you’re going. Drawing on his firsthand experience with young people from a wide range of different social backgrounds, Quentin developed his first brand, At Wear apparel. Since its launch in 2003, the brand has gained national attention; Quentin marketed At Wear for five years and was featured in Slam Magazine, Dime Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, BlackVibes.com and the feature film, The Reunion.

Since 2009, the Real Street Kidz Multicultural Book Series has brought a much-needed voice and powerful cultural influence to the preteen book genre (ages 7-12). The life long lessons of hard work leading to success that Quentin learned during his upbringing are beautifully illustrated through his characters. The theme of teamwork echoes at the very heart of the entire series, calling on preteen readers to embrace these indispensable lessons.

Likewise the main characters in Johnny Skip2 and Sporty Lou bring vital multicultural characters to life, but this time for his younger readers (ages 3-6). Both picture books; like their Real Street Kidz predecessor, diligently seek to inspire, embolden, and entertain a brand new generation of children. Read the rest of this entry »

 

A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister


A Touch of Love (The Grays of Los Angeles) by Sheryl Lister: http://amzn.to/2xM4eQV

Lexia Daniels can’t deny that her café’s most loyal customer is as tempting as any of the delicious treats she bakes. Burned by a bitter divorce, she tries to keep her desire in check around Khalil Gray, but the gorgeous ex-model is intent on seduction. Then a devastating accident reveals the complicated man behind the perfectly sculpted body… A man she can’t seem to resist.

At first, Khalil sees Lexia as a sexy challenge. But after an explosion shatters his world, she becomes the only person he can’t seem to push away. And every sign around him is telling him he needs her close. Khalil is happy to explore their erotic chemistry as long as it means resisting real emotion. But playing by his old rules could cost him the love he never thought he’d find…

 

Excerpt: A Touch of Love by Sheryl Lister

Chapter 1

“What the hell do you mean they were charged twice?” Khalil Gray stopped in his tracks. He met the disapproving glare of a grandmotherly woman and offered up a tight smile. Lowering his voice, he repeated the question.

“I have no idea,” Felicia McBride answered. The twenty-six year-old college student worked as the assistant manager at his fitness center, Maximum Burn. “There’ve been four calls since you left with members saying their accounts were debited twice this month. They’ve already been corrected, but I have no idea why it happened in the first place.”

He ran an agitated hand down his face. “Thanks, Felicia. I’ll check it out when I get back.”

He ended the call, still trying to figure out what was going on. He had owned the gym for five years and never had a problem before. Khalil continued through the lobby toward the elevators and jabbed the button with more force than necessary. He toyed with stopping in Oasis Café for his favorite low-fat apple cinnamon coffee cake, but because of traffic and construction across from the Wilshire District office building, he was already fifteen minutes late for the Wednesday morning staff meeting at his family’s home safety company. The elevator doors opened and he stepped back to allow the stream of people exit before boarding and riding the car up to the sixth floor.

Khalil greeted the receptionist and walked briskly down the hallway to the large conference room. He slid into a vacant seat and turned his attention to what his older brother, Brandon was saying. Brandon had taken over as CEO of the company nine months ago. Their father, Nolan Gray, had started the company upon his discharge from the Army after being disheartened by the difficulty in getting services and accommodations for the disabled. He’d decided to do something about it by designing them himself.

Their father’s best friend, Thaddeus Whitcomb—who had lost the lower part of his leg while serving—joined the company as a minor partner and vice president. The two men had a long-standing agreement that there would always be a Gray at the helm as CEO and a Whitcomb as vice president. Currently, only Brandon and their older sister, Siobhan, worked for the company. He listened as each department gave updates. After the last person finished, Brandon directed his attention to Khalil. “Khalil, you’re still going to be meeting with production about your equipment, right?” Khalil nodded.

“Next week. The second gym is scheduled to open in June and I don’t want any delays.” They had broken ground a year ago on the now three-level center and the building would be completed in four weeks, barring any problems. He wanted all the equipment to be ready for installation.

“So, roughly three months until opening day. Let me know if you run into any difficulties. Is there anything else?” Khalil glanced at the wall clock. It was almost eleven. Any hope he had of getting that coffee cake dissipated. When no one spoke, he pushed the chair from the table and started to stand.

“I have one quick thing.” He dropped back into his seat and groaned inwardly. He loved his sister-in-law, but couldn’t she table her comments until the next meeting? Brandon had met Faith Alexander when he’d come to her rescue after a car accident. Unbeknownst to either of them, Faith was the long lost daughter of Thaddeus Whitcomb, and rightful heir to the VP position. Uncle Thad, as they affectionately called him, had been looking for his daughter for twenty-eight years after his wife divorced him.

Khalil smiled inwardly remembering all the fireworks that followed when Brandon found out the woman he had rescued and begun dating was actually going to be his second-in-command. Brandon hadn’t been too happy since he’d grown up thinking he would head the company alone—a fact that Brandon had reiterated several times. Things had worked out between Brandon and Faith and they had married six weeks ago. Khalil tuned back into Faith discussing the new intern program. It gave him an idea about doing something similar at the gym. A few minutes later, the meeting ended.

“Hey, Khalil. I want to talk to you before you leave.” He shot a glare at Brandon. Another five minutes passed before his brother made it over to where Khalil stood impatiently waiting.

“Why are you frowning at me like that?” Brandon asked.

“Because it’s after eleven and my coffee cake is probably gone by now.” He strode out of the conference room, leaving Brandon to follow. “If you want to talk, we need to do in on the way downstairs.” Brandon chuckled.

“Weren’t you grumbling about that three weeks ago when you were here?” He pushed the down button on the elevator. Khalil only attended the weekly staff meeting when he had something on the agenda.

“Yeah, and you’d better hope it’s not all gone again. Dad’s staff meetings never ran this long. You’re taking this CEO thing way too far.”

“Well, we have two new products in the design phase and have to finalize plans for our interns who’ll be starting soon, so there’s a lot to discuss.”

When the elevator arrived, they joined four other occupants and rode down to the first floor without speaking. As soon as the doors opened, Khalil hurried across the lobby to Oasis Café. The only things left in the display case in the spot where the coffee cake usually sat were the tipped over sign and crumbs. Behind him, Brandon laughed softly. “Guess you’ll have to get here early next time.” Before he could tell his brother where to go, a tall, pretty woman approached. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Black Hearts White Minds: A Novel by Mitch Margo

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.




Praise for Black Hearts White Minds and Mitch Margo

“As I read Black Hearts White Minds, I was reminded by turns of Harper Lee, Willie Morris, and John Grisham. Like Grisham, Mitch Margo is an attorney; like Morris, he’s a former journalist, and like Lee, his writing is evocative with a moral center straight and true.”
-Richard H. Weiss, Former Daily Features Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

“The early sixties are often thought of as a time of lost innocence. Margo reminds us that the era was anything but innocent in the American south. His novel rings with authenticity and his characters’ struggles in the fictional town of Stockville, Alabama foretell the problems we still face today. Stockville is not really so far from Ferguson.”
-Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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That Church Life by Teresa B.

That Church Life ( Books 1 & 2) 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 »

 

Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle

“Art, like love, redeems, and love, like beauty, is imperfect.” – Beautiful Imperfections

Wabi sabi, a Japanese term for finding beauty in imperfection, perfectly describes Keith James, “the girl with the boys’ names,” who travels from the Midwestern U.S. to Toronto and on into the world of fine art and big money. Like pieces of raku pottery amidst the porcelain, Keith, her mentor, a brilliant Haitian-born art historian, and the handsome Jewish art dealer who becomes her husband, are all standouts in a world that views them as outsiders. Through loss and love, they discover that art, like love, redeems, and that love, like beauty, is imperfect.

 

Top Amazon Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars By Darlini Martinion
I am so impressed with the writings of Marjorie Vernelle! Not only is this novel a page turner, but the amount of information revealed about the art world is amazing. In some ways, It almost feels like an art class! Not knowing much about Toronto, it was very interesting to not only learn a lot about Canada, but what its like to attend University outside of the USA. Woven in between and all around the story is a beautiful love story. I found Keith to be an amazing character and so admire her courage and strength to overcome all of the obstacles presented to her. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with the ending in this novel.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars By Galen Hazelhofer
This is a wonderful story especially if you are interested in art. If you are not, there is a lot you can learn here. The references are wonderful and you feel like you are in the middle of the art world yourself as Keith does her gallery work and hangs out in the upper echelons of society from San Francisco to Toronto and her visits in between. It is a wonderful story line and I would love to see the movie!

 

5-Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Beautiful Imperfections is a literary fiction novel written by Marjorie Vernelle. Some might think that the Survey of Art History class that Keith James took to fulfill the Religious Knowledge class in her first year at the University of Toronto was the defining moment in her life, and indeed, in many ways, it was.

Dr. Lucien Montreux, the brilliant, assured and enigmatic Haitian professor and art expert, immediately enthralled her with his energy and fire, his intelligence that seemed to gleam from his eyes, like flashes of diamonds. He was the guardian of the mysteries of the art world and, in introducing them to her in his own inimitable way, he became her mentor, friend and inevitably her lover. The young Nebraskan sophomore’s eyes were caught not only by the lovely and charismatic man conducting the class as if it were a symphony, she was also drawn to the very pale and beautiful young man sitting just a few seats away and down one aisle. She was fascinated by his long, dark curls and lustrous black eyes, his intelligent and measured responses to Montreux’s lecture. David and the professor would become the two most important people in her life, satellites orbiting her world, but her defining moment had actually taken place some days earlier when Sadie Lee Celestine James attended the Frosh dinner as a new student, and in a moment of clarity and inspiration, had become Keith James, someone who was “jazz, sharp, modern, improvised, like a cool, clear note blown straight from the trumpet of Miles Davis and well worth consideration.”

Even more than that transcendent first lecture where Keith meets Montreux and David. I was stunned by the passage quoted above relating Sadie Lee’s transformation into Keith.

Marjorie Vernelle’s literary fiction novel, Beautiful Imperfections, is as grand and glorious as the Turner landscapes Keith loves so much and as complex and nuanced as Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain. The art lover and aspiring artist in me instantly felt at home in Keith’s world and loved learning with her the intricacies of her craft as an art expert and gallery owner. Vernelle’s descriptions of life in San Francisco had me feeling like I was back there myself, and the spell she weaves about Toronto made me almost consider braving those winters to experience that city first-hand. There’s music in these pages, and not just the jazz evoked by Keith’s brilliant name change — add a bit of Stravinsky and some discordant new classical works and then stir in some rich classical symphonies as those three lives swirl, clash and continue their endless striving to connect. But most of all there’s the art, the Turners, the five little De Koonings that mean so much in so many different ways and cause oh, so much pain, the hidden Old Masters that could save Keith from the total tragedy that befell after the San Francisco earthquake.

And there’s her own art, Keith’s own visions of light and color. All these things swirl and conspire to delight the reader. I love this book. It’s beautiful and perfect. Beautiful Imperfections is most highly recommended.

Purchase Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle
Link: http://a.co/0ahoFYv
Women’s Contemporary Fiction

 

 


 

Chapter Excerpt: Beautiful Imperfections by Marjorie Vernelle

Keith James, a young black woman and her mentor Lucien Montreux, a Haitian art historian, are at a fundraiser in which people’s valuables are being appraised in hopes of finding some treasure. Keith finds her treasure in Dr. Montreux.

I set up the table for an appraiser, had reference books at the ready, and took the tickets of those who came, making sure that they matched the number of items they had paid to have appraised. Then I observed. It was painful really. The jade dish that someone’s great grandfather had brought back from his adventures on the China Sea turned out to be nothing but soapstone, proven when the appraiser could scratch the bottom of the dish with a coin and leave a tiny mark. The printed picture brought lovingly across the sea from Ireland by a great ancestor in the 18th century was just that century’s equivalent of a calendar picture: no value then, no value now. I had to admit that my aesthetic tastes, still developing at the time, let me know when some of these family treasures were just ugly junk, then, now, and forever.

I performed my duties professionally, though, without comment or expression. Lucien Montreux was there working on Saturday, just across the room from where I was. I was surprised to see him at this more ordinary event, as he had been very present on Thursday evening to work with the wealthy patrons of the gallery. After taking the ticket and getting each client settled for his or her appraisal, I would sit with one ear attuned to what the appraiser was saying and with both eyes on Montreux. I could not hear what he was saying, but I could watch his manner. Each appraiser received the next client in line, but I noticed that some of those shown to Montreux seemed to hesitate, showing reluctance. Obviously, it was a bit odd for them to see a black specialist sitting there, though Hamilton-Colbert only hired the best appraisers. Montreux for his part was completely unconcerned, greeting each client with charming and gracious manners. As he talked about the object they had brought to him, I would see them lean forward in interest. From time to time, an assistant for one of the other appraisers, someone younger and newer to the business, would come asking for advice. Seeing their expert be the man whom others went to for advice seemed to convince the skeptical. I found out later that Montreux always volunteered to be of assistance to those new to doing public appraisals, which created a visible acknowledgment of his talent that smoothed his way with the reluctant public. I marveled at his strategy. “Sly old fox,” I thought.

As I watched Lucien Montreux, a memory came to me of a Japanese raku teacup I had seen at Hamilton-Colbert. It might have belonged to Sen no Rikyu, the 16th century master of the tea ceremony and vassal of Lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Oddly shaped, that cup was far from the static, pure, porcelain beauty of Old Japan. However, its dark surface had an attractive shimmer. The irregular rises and falls in its form pleased the hand, finding a way to fit perfectly no matter how the cup is held. Sitting by itself it attracted the eye by its difference. Among other pieces of raku, it held its own, playing its unique part like an instrument in an orchestra. Lucien Montreux was that masterpiece of raku. He did not fit the porcelain model. The irregularity of his being in this setting caught the eye. The beauty of his talent and expression drew one to him, just like the soft shimmering finish and odd form of that teacup moved one to desire it. He was the prize, the rare object, by some standards imperfect in form, yet beyond measure in its beautiful allure.

I noticed from across the room that Dr. Montreux would look up from his appraisal work and smile at me. I had sent him a formal letter of thank you, but I had not contacted him otherwise since that windy day on campus when our paths had crossed. As things wrapped up on that Saturday, I excused myself for a moment to go across to talk to him. He looked up and watched me as I approached. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

“Charge of an Angel”, the first of the “Love and Redemption Series”, continues as Leona Tillard, the survivor of an uncensored childhood love, begins her journey into the heart of “Unfathomable Love”.

When Leona graduated from high school, she joined the United States Army.  It was then she learned there was plenty of love to go around; after all, the Army is one place men outnumbered the women.  Her only dilemma was figuring out which love was the best love for her to embrace.

Hearing the words ‘I love you’ heals our souls.  The ironic thing about it, very seldom do two people share the same meaning for love.  This is usually fine until someone else’s meaning of love changes our lives forever.

In “Charge of an Angel”, Leona Tillard asked for your help as she survived her daily childhood nightmare.  Today, she is asking you to help her to choose the right man to love forever.  Do I love the soldiers or do I love my big brother’s best friend?

Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it?  Trust me, you too just might choose the wrong one.  Let’s see if we can save Leona once again.

Order Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley
Top Customer Review Written by Cold Coffee
Unfathomable Love (Love and Redemption Series Book 2)

Those of us who read Linda’s book ‘Charge Of An Angel‘ have been waiting to read ‘Unfathomable Love’. Main character Leona Tillard is now a young adult and on a journey to wholeness in her life. How does love factor into this journey and where does God fit into her life?

Meet the people in Leona’s young adult life including some from her childhood. You will be privy to letters and a narrative that might bring up memories of your own. I quote not to spoil the story, but to enlighten you so you will want to read further.

“The next morning when I woke up everyone was gone. According to the note I found in the kitchen, they had gone to the grocery store. As I looked around at our home, my heart was heavy. The pain-free home I once visited had become a place of progressive doom. Dennis and I had brought misery to this house. They called it evil, I called it pure darkness. While I was looking in the refrigerator for something to drink, the home line phone rang. At first, I didn’t want to answer it. I felt like hiding myself for a while, but the phone kept ringing. Reluctantly, I answered it.”

Even the description of Leona’s “Grandma Tillard” might carry you back to your own childhood when a grandmother’s presence and warm embrace brought a sense of belonging, even when you didn’t know how lost you were.

Follow Leona as she graduates high school and joins the Army primarily as an escape. The green uniforms and rigid routines brought some level of isolation, but ultimately a new world emerged. This new world is filled with attractive, buff, single men with desires. The problem, how is she to find the right man and will he embrace love the same way she does?

When you read, allow Leona’s story to waken within your sub-conscious to things that might need a healing touch. Healing is a journey that takes a lifetime to achieve.

I, (Theodocia McLean) endorse ‘Unfathomable Love’ (Love and Redemption Series Book 2). I encourage you to read ‘Charge Of An Angel’ (Love and Redemption Series-Part 1) by Linda Diane Wattley.

Excerpt: Unfathomable Love by Linda Diane Wattley

“Lord God, so much love, help me choose!”

While lying in bed I wondered about the God who created this world. What did this God expect for us to do with our lives after being damaged by the adults around us?  I wasn’t the only one hurt by Bruce. Mark and Dennis had suffered also only they both fled to avoid the pain, but I was still there. Trapped during the horrible wake of what Bruce created.

What did this God expect me to do? Run away, too?  All of this just when I was finally getting a chance to know my mother and real father, why?

As much as I hated it, I felt myself becoming angry with God.

“Leona, Mark wants to talk to you, hurry up he has a class to get to soon!” yelled Mom.

“Here I come,” I yelled down the hall, jumping out of bed.

“Mark, what’s up?  You’re still coming home, aren’t you?” I asked when I took the phone from Mom.

“Calm down, sis. I’ll be there.”

“You better,” I laughed. “So, what’s up?”

“I can sense something is wrong, Leona. What’s going on with you?”

My face grew hot. “What are you talking about Mark? I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. I know what’s going on.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but he was starting to freak me out.

“Mark, knock it off. What are you talking about?”

He let out a sigh. “I don’t want you to be angry with God,” he finally said.

My mouth fell open with shock. “How did you know? I didn’t tell anybody.”

“You told God. Now just listen to me for a minute.  One day you will understand. When we entered this world, we entered a pre-existing twilight zone. Duality rules here. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this; God is our true Father, and this is all that really matters.”

“Now you sound like the Mark I know and love,” I said with a smile on my face.

“You should feel stronger. In fact, our whole family should feel stronger. This is what happens when a link is empowered with truth.”

“Is it because we’re connected?” I asked.

“Exactly, we make each other weak or strong whether we know it or not. God is with us all the time.  We can’t be disconnected from Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or not, God owns us.”

“So, you’re saying no matter what happens to us, our connection with God keeps us heading right into His plan for our lives?”

“Exactly, wow we feel and think about our lives doesn’t matter. God sees His plan and He doesn’t deviate from it for anybody. To God, everything is on course. Girl, you got me running my mouth. Let me get off this phone. I’ll see you soon.”

“Love you, Mark!”

While lying in bed I wondered about the God who created this world. What did this God expect for us to do with our lives after being damaged by the adults around us?  I wasn’t the only one hurt by Bruce. Mark and Dennis had suffered also only they both fled to avoid the pain, but I was still there. Trapped during the horrible wake of what Bruce created.

What did this God expect me to do? Run away, too?  All of this just when I was finally getting a chance to know my mother and real father, why?

As much as I hated it, I felt myself becoming angry with God.

“Leona, Mark wants to talk to you, hurry up he has a class to get to soon!” yelled Mom.

“Here I come,” I yelled down the hall, jumping out of bed.

“Mark, what’s up?  You’re still coming home, aren’t you?” I asked when I took the phone from Mom.

“Calm down, sis. I’ll be there.”

“You better,” I laughed. “So, what’s up?”

“I can sense something is wrong, Leona. What’s going on with you?”

My face grew hot. “What are you talking about Mark? I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. I know what’s going on.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but he was starting to freak me out.

“Mark, knock it off. What are you talking about?”

He let out a sigh. “I don’t want you to be angry with God,” he finally said.

My mouth fell open with shock. “How did you know? I didn’t tell anybody.”

“You told God. Now just listen to me for a minute.  One day you will understand. When we entered this world, we entered a pre-existing twilight zone. Duality rules here. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this; God is our true Father, and this is all that really matters.”

“Now you sound like the Mark I know and love,” I said with a smile on my face.

“You should feel stronger. In fact, our whole family should feel stronger. This is what happens when a link is empowered with truth.”

“Is it because we’re connected?” I asked.

“Exactly, we make each other weak or strong whether we know it or not. God is with us all the time.  We can’t be disconnected from Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or not, God owns us.”

“So, you’re saying no matter what happens to us, our connection with God keeps us heading right into His plan for our lives?”

“Exactly, wow we feel and think about our lives doesn’t matter. God sees His plan and He doesn’t deviate from it for anybody. To God, everything is on course. Girl, you got me running my mouth. Let me get off this phone. I’ll see you soon.”

“Love you, Mark!”

( Continued… )

© 2017 All rights reserved.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Linda Diane Wattley.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Book purchase website: 

About the Author

Linda Diane Wattley is a proud veteran of the United States Army.  Born in Akron, Ohio attended the University of Akron majoring in Psychology. Over twelve years, a religious/philosophical columnist for the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 2016, she addressed PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by writing, “Soldier with a Backpack, Living and Dying Simultaneously” which made her a nominee for the ‘Best in Nonfiction’ during the African American Literary Awards Show.

Currently, she shares her “Love and Redemption Series” a dramatically written series promising to get victims to healing.

Email: universalove26@yahoo.com
 

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Behold the Dreamers (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

 

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

 

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • A New York Times Notable Book • Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book

 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The New York Times Book Review • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Refinery29 • Kirkus Reviews

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Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

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Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma


Nandi has been inspiring girls all across the country, and she loves meeting new little faces. Grab your little ones a copy of Nandi’s Unexpected Gift today!  Give Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma as a gift today!

With her 10th birthday coming up, Nandi is eager to receive a special gift that she’s never asked for before, something that makes her feel like she’s really growing up and becoming more like her big sister Vanessa. She and her buddies Anara and Lila have some very important studying to do for school, but Nandi’s excitement about her birthday causes her to lose focus and head down a path she wasn’t expecting to go. In the end, it’s her Grandma Janie who teaches her a very important lesson and gives her the best gift she’s ever received. The unexpected gift her grandmother gives her is not only a gift for Nandi, but for you as well!

 

Check out Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma
Genre: Children’s Book (8-11)
https://www.amazon.com/Nandis-Unexpected-Gift-Ama-Kuma/dp/1524619124

 


Book Reviews

“In Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, Ama Kuma creates a character and a community full of Black love and Black beauty where children not only thrive to be their very best, but also see their beauty reflected in their culture and the nurturing of mamas, grandmas, teachers and friends, especially in the face of life lessons that yield the greatest gift of all: Love.  All children will see themselves in Nandi and her struggle.  At time when representation of Black children in American publishing is lacking, Ama Kuma gifts us Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, a story that is, in the words of Alice Walker, a ‘temple of our familiar.'”
-Tony Medina, Poet, Children’s Book Author, Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University

“As a mother to a young girl, I look for diversity in the books I choose for her to read.  Ama’s story Nandi’s Unexpected Gift not only celebrates the beauty of our young brown girls, she captures the sense of family, and our values as well.  Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is a story for young and older audiences.  I was able to share and enjoy this story with my daughter along with the beauty of seeing a young girl who mirrored her reflection.  This is a timeless story, by a truly extraordinary author.  I can’t wait for the next story in Nandi’s journey.”
-Elle Henry, Managing Editor/Owner, Tres Chic Edits                                                                                              

“There is a certain urgency to the life of a young African American girl discovering what makes her unique in a world that seems to demand that everyone fit some standard that is based on how we look or what we wear.  It is a journey shared by many youth, one often too mysterious and difficult to understand.  But here, in Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, author Ama Kuma creates an intimate space for discovery through a familiar experience rendered anew through the life of Nandi, one super smart and adventurous young African American girl.  Nandi is delightfully engaging as she counts raindrops during thunderstorms, climbs trees, makes up lyrics to the jazz her grandmother plays at home, and basks in the love of her family. Set in the lush landscape of Polk County, Florida, this story illuminates an important rite of passage in Nandi’s life as her tenth birthday approaches.  There are unexpected challenges for her to face, even in the magical realm of her dreams.  Avery-Liell-Kok’s illustrations reflect the vibrant lives of the characters revealed so lovingly by Ama Kuma’s writing.  And the book is certainly a crucial affirmation of the spectacular lives of African American girls.  It centers, lifts, and celebrates them.  It is one of those children’s books that will be remembered for years to come; the kind that you hold onto far into your adult years.  It is a book you pass to others, knowing they will find themselves in the pages and hold onto what’s discovered there.  It is a treasure of a book, an absolute gift of a story.”
-Nina Angela Mercer, Playwright/Interdisciplinary

“Nandi’s Unexpected Gift gives its readers a gift: a story that brings to life intriguing and thoroughly human characters whose time together captures a slice of their lives and finds joy and wonder in the ordinary elements that make up their days.  The adept way in which the story entwines the characters’ conversations and the accounts of their actions makes this story one that will draw in readers and convince them to turn the pages to find out what happens next.”
-AuthorHouse Editorial Dept

 


Meet the Author

Ama Kuma was born Alexia J. Hogan in Orlando, FL.  The pen name “Ama Kuma” was adopted after a trip to Ghana in 2007.  As a child, she loved to read, sing, dance, and climb trees.  Her passion for language and art continued to grow as she grew older, and she loved to learn about people from all walks of life.  She studied English at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Africana Studies at New York University before returning to Polk County to teach elementary school.  Ama currently resides in her hometown of Orlando, where she enjoys writing, painting, singing, playing the piano, and going wherever the wind takes her.

Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is her first published book.
Website:  http://www.amakuma.net

 

 

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Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Founders of Sistahs and Friends – Yvette Barrett, Malinda Burden and Priscilla Myers. In December, 2014 we lost our 4th founder, Theresa Jackson.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How did your club get started?  Does the name of the club have a special meaning? How many members do you have? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club started in 1997, in Chicago, when 4 young professional co-workers, Priscilla Myers, Theresa Jackson, Malinda Burden and Yvette Barrett discovered they shared a common passion. That passion was the love of reading and the desire to share their thoughts with each other. We had our first book club discussion in a conference room during our lunch hour. It was such a great experience that we decided to continue and called ourselves, Sistahs Bookclub. Later on we had a male that wanted to join us. So in fairness to him and other potential males, we changed our name to Sistahs and Friends Bookclub. We started with 4 and currently have 12 members.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something in particular that makes your group different from other groups? 

Sistahs and Friends unites mature women and men from diverse backgrounds together in sister and brotherhood. We promote spiritual, motivational and intellectual development and awareness through the reading of fiction and non-fiction books, embracing the style and diversity of each member and each author. What we thought would be just a past time, for getting together among friends and sharing views on literature, led to so much more. We increased our membership, produced a mission statement, elected officers, created by-laws, paid dues, and 19 years later we are still Sistahs and Friends Book Club.

BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?

Sistahs and Friends exemplify the true essence of sisterhood. Our legacy will be that true Sistahs support, lift and motivate each other not tear them down.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group? How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole? 

Our members are mature professionals who all grew up from various backgrounds and areas in the city of Chicago. We started this group 19 years ago as “Bubbies” and have grown into mature outgoing, outspoken women who love a great book, with a great meal, a great glass of wine and a great discussion. These is no room and no tolerance for pettiness and or catiness. We may not always agree on the rating of a book but we will always have a great debate regarding the merits of our selections or lack thereof.

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? Has it been difficult to get people to join the group or to stay in the group? Do you have an online version of the group?

We look for someone who will fit in our circle and have the passion for reading as we do. When a vacancy occurs, we invite the potential member to a meeting to ensure that their personalities mesh with the current membership. We have never had a problem attracting members however in the beginning we had problem retaining them. Some members were not committed to reading which lead to the creation of bylaws which have proved to solve the problem. Our current members have been active 10 years or more.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?

By everybody sharing their own opinion of the book it leads to great conversations. Sometimes we can walk into the meeting ready to give a low rating and after much discussion it can easily be adjusted higher. Our sistahs are definitely not shy, they are very outspoken and will tell you like it is with no regrets. Many authors have experienced the brutal truths of Sistahs and Friends. Sometimes a reading guide is helpful but we don’t always use. We have very creative members who come up with games, quizzes, etc. to engage the group and stimulate conversation during the meeting.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club’s season is from September – May. During the May meeting members randomly select a month to host for the next season. It is the responsibility of the host to select the book for the month which she is hosting. Most of the members make their selection based on recommendations from family and friends, reading over the summer or just reading reviews on-line. There have been times when some of us have read another book and discussed it outside of the book of the month for the bookclub. We share our book selections (2011 to present) on our website.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?

In the early years of Sistahs and Friends we only read books by African American authors. However over the years we have developed an appetite to broaden our horizon and not limit ourselves. During the years we have supported all authors as well as self-published authors and invited some of them to attend our bookclub discussions (via in person, Skype, FaceTime and conference call). Yes, a few of our members still borrow books from the library but the majority have Kindle or a Reader.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? Have the types of books changed over time? 

The types of books we prefer to read has changed over the years, in the beginning we read books by authors like E. Lynn Harris, Michael Baisden, James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, Zane and J. California Cooper. The books dealt with short stories, sex and relationships respectively. As we have matured so have our books. Today, we read books by authors like Brandon Massey (Don’t Ever Tell), Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), Pamela Samuels Young (Anybody’s Daughter), Dwayne Alexander Smith (Forty Acres), and Daniel Black (Perfect Peace) and Naleighna Kai (Every Woman Needs a Wife). As you can see our selection of books have expanded and our members have welcomed all authors regardless of ethnicity.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?

Here are a few that received the highest rating that we give – (5stars) Good To The Last Drop.
Standing at the Scratch Line – Guy Johnson
Forty Acres – Dwayne Alexander Smith
Perfect Peace – Daniel Black
Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skoot
The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
My Soul to Keep – Tananarive Due
Redeeming Love – Francine Rivers
The Douglass Women – Jewell Parker
No Regrets – Patricia Haley

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?

Sistahs and Friends started out doing a grab bag each Christmas but decided that we wanted to give back to the community instead. So now we do just that. We have worked with Chicago Public Schools, DCFS, and St. Joseph Children’s Hospital. Through them we have provided children with everything from clothing, school supplies to toys. This year we decided to change our focus gave to a domestic violence shelter. We provided them with purses filled with all the day to day necessities. We are very proud of our accomplishments and it fills us with such satisfaction to see the smiles. Sistahs and Friends have an outing once a year in the summer (during our break) to do something fun with each other (dinner, painting, plays, and architectural tours). We have also hosted a luncheon, had weekend trips to Wisconsin, San Francisco and next year our 20th Anniversary (TBD).

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t start out with committed members. It took us at least 10 years before we had truly committed members. We had to develop bylaws to vet out serious readers versus those who were only in the club to eat, drink and be merry. As a result, some members have come and gone. Also, don’t look for members who are all exactly like you. You will end up with the Stepford Book Club and this will make for very boring conversations. What has kept us going over the years is our passion for good reads, our like of each other and our mutual respect of each others differences.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events and discussions? Do you have a website or social media pages?

We would love to receive an invite for future events, chats and discussions. You can follow us below on our website and Facebook.

Website: sistahsandfriendsbookclub.com
Facebook: Sistahs and Friends

 

 
 
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