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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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Books by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Set in the powerful backdrop of the 1960s civil rights movement, Memphis Blues will test the loyalty and strength of three people whose dreams were deferred.

Will the women and the handsome doctor who controls them find their true callings? If so, at what price?

Nadine was looking forward to getting her first real job, then starting a business. But when she finds herself pregnant before she even finishes high school, the young man’s mother forces them into wedlock. It was not the life she had planned.

Carrie also saw her plans for a better life derailed after a fling leaves her pregnant with twins. At the center of their angst is Cyrus, a man not yet ready to be a father…with his wife…or his girlfriend. Still, Cyrus manages to keep the two lives separate while coveting the life he really wants.

What’s Done in the Dark
Secrets don’t stay buried for long. Years later, when the three of them accidentally meet at a protest rally, everything changes. The fireworks that ensue suddenly alter the dynamic of these relationships forever.


Purchase Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry
https://www.amazon.com/Memphis-Blues-Cheryl-Mattox-Berry-ebook/dp/B078PNG3QC

Get your paperback copy of Memphis Blues SIGNED by the Author!
$15 plus Shipping and Tax – http://www.cherylmattoxberry.com/memphis-b

Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry
Book Signing: https://youtu.be/6xNbejAbD8Y
Interview: https://youtu.be/4LP51A9ueM4


Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Lust…Betrayal…and Dirty Deals

Savvy newswoman Jan Malone finally earns a coveted anchor spot at a Washington, D.C., television station when unforeseen circumstances turn her world upside down.

To regroup, she and her best friend Kelly Mahoney take an adventurous African vacation where they meet wealthy businessman Abdou Nyassi. He and Jan begin a hot and heavy romance that has him talking marriage.

Jan’s socially connected mother does some digging and gets a tip about Abdou that sets off alarms. Her warning prompts Jan to put her investigative skills to use.

Soon, Jan unravels a nefarious plot that thrusts her into a world of crime, corruption, and political deceit. She turns to Kelly and street hustler Darius Hooks for help, but will their motives be pure?

CAPITAL SINS exposes dark truths about ambition, greed, and human nature.

Purchase Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733252401

Get your paperback copy of the NEWLY RELEASED Capital Sins SIGNED by the Author! $15 plus Shipping and Tax at http://www.cherylmattoxberry.com

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 


Connect with Dr. Geneva Jones Williams

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams Is A Powerful Change Agent.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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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”.

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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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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 »

 

For Brooklyn’s Love (The Philadelphia Heights Series) by Quinteese


Quinteese Michele Featured Author on BAN Radio Show with Ella D. Curry

 

Quinteese Michele is a novelist from Philadelphia, PA. A fashion and entertainment writer, For Brooklyn’s Love, is her first contemporary romance novel. She is with Masterpiece Inked Publications, under the guidance of bestselling celebrity author, Mya Kay (Before Empire and The Clover Chronicles: Battling Brelyn).  She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. where she writes contemporary romance with Christian elements and freelance writes for magazines.

 

Join us for the live Crown Holders Conversation with Quinteese Michele
Wednesday night, April 10, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Call into BAN Radio Show: (323) 642-1298
BAN Radio Chatroom: http://tobtr.com/s/11241565
Please note that all shows are on Eastern Time Zone (Maryland)

 

 

For Brooklyn’s Love (The Philadelphia Heights Series) by Quinteese

Brooklyn Myers loves her best friends, Tessa and Laila. They are indeed, sisters. They’ve each been on a journey of self-discovery since graduating from college. After a year of struggling to find work in their fields, Brooklyn is the first to find her groove and take a leap of faith into entrepreneurship. She writes a book, Brooklyn’s Basement, based on the four years she spent in a sex trafficking ring and launches an online boutique called, Brooklyn’s Closet. With Tessa and Laila as her business managers, things are starting to look up for them.

Then, one cold weekend in the fall, she goes to a business conference hosted in downtown Philadelphia. There, she meets Barry Carter, a handsome businessman, and owner of Carter Sports Management & Consulting, a sports management company.

They bump into each other at the food truck on their lunch break. As they share their personal stories over lunch, Barry notices a sadness in Brooklyn that makes him want to explore her world. He listens to her heart and decides that even with his recent heartbreak, she’s worth pursuing.

Months go on as Brooklyn and Barry get more acquainted, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Eventually, Barry decides that he wants Brooklyn to be more than his friend and will do anything to protect their newfound courtship.

Just as their love journey goes deeper, Barry’s ex, Simone, shows up, begging him to take her back. Brooklyn does her best to endure Simone’s antics, but after she’s confronted by Simone while working with a major client, she walks away, not caring that Barry can’t control Simone’s actions. She’s had enough.

As weeks go by, Barry becomes more determined to fight for the woman he knows is meant to be his wife. He’ll do anything to get her back – even if it means he has to risk getting hurt again. Will Brooklyn realize that bumps and bruises come with real, God-fearing love or will she allow the past that haunts her to push away the man she knows God sent her way?

 

Purchase For Brooklyn’s Love (The Philadelphia Heights Series) by Quinteese from her website at: www.quinteese.com or bit.ly/ForBrooklynsLove

 

 

5 Essentials to Help Women Protect Their Health and Wellness When Mastering Negotiations

5 Essentials to Help Women Protect Their Health and Wellness When Mastering Negotiations.
Raye Mitchell, Esq – https://bit.ly/2Cp8Cv6

Health and Wellness are Prime Ingredients For Women Who Want to Brew Their Secret Sauce for Success as Master Negotiators

Honored to Join the 2018 Fall Digital Hollywood Conference. Here’s What I Want to Add to the Conversation

On October 17, 2018, I join an elite panel hosted by the Alliance for Women in Media, Southern California Affiliate, at the prestigious Digital Hollywood Conference in Los Angeles. The mission for this panel of Hollywood executives is to discuss insider secrets on how women become master negotiators.

The topic is, of course, timely as we continue the era of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement, in which women of all backgrounds are committed to correcting the power imbalance favoring white males, not women and people of color. Long before I joined the #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement as a lawyer in the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund network, I committed my platform to help women and girls negotiate better outcomes, resolve conflicts, and reach favorable agreements in high-conflict environments and situations, often while enduring overt and subtle forms of bias and hostility.

 

PANEL @DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD (@dhollywood): This session is moderated by award-winning broadcast news journalist K.J. Matthews (“AC 360,” “The Situation Room,” “New Day,” “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” “Erin Burnett OutFront,” “Larry King Live,” “Nancy Grace,” and “Morning Express with Robin Meade”). @KJMatthewsstvwith panelists:

• Joel Eisenberg, Film and TV writer/producer and partner, Council Tree Productions #joeleisenberg

• Julia Verdin, Veteran filmmaker, writer and award-winning director, founder of Artists For Change (@juliaverdin)

• Sandy Abrams, TheCEOm.com, Author of Breathe to Succeed. (@sandyabrams, #Breath & #Mindset.)

As I prepared my notes for the panel, I wanted to focus on a message that I could contribute that would help women in the audience enhance their ability to get in the game, stay in the game, and level up their ability to negotiate the game. Whether confronting a contract or salary negotiation, a #MeToo challenge, or opportunities to advance their initiatives in Hollywood, blue-collar workplaces nationwide, and personal adventures, most women do not want to win battles by compromising their self-care and self-worth.

In general, negotiation or its processes deal with bargaining, seeking to discover common ground, or reaching an agreement to resolve a conflict or divergence of opinion or perspective. The effective component of tough negotiations is the ability to find common ground so stakeholders walk away with a sense of balance for all involved.

Of course, in today’s world exchanges are sharp, hostile, and reflective of deep divides. The unfortunate reality is that we inhabit an environment in which we are fighting to hold the line and regain ground lost to progress on the age-old issues of bias, inequality, and fairness. We are in an era of unprecedented upheaval and persistent testing of our ability to innovate, move the needle forward, and resist the urgency of now that seeks to divide and to create conflict and discourse as the only means of civil engagement. This level of hostility taxes our ability to maintain our health and well-being.

 

Women as Negotiators
Despite the above mentioned, women are uniquely positioned to yield tremendous power at the bargaining table and lead as transformational negotiators with a knack for addressing complex problems. However, to succeed and navigate effectively, we must do more than master a set of negotiation skills; we must draw upon our power centers and influence expertise and our inner agility skills, which are not just skills based. We must be healthy, well, and of good spirit in the process so the struggle for equality does not destroy our well being during the journey.

 

 

Guarding Our Health and Wellness
We can both win and lose simultaneously if we are not mindful of our health and well being in the process of “getting to yes.” In my experience, there are at least five key health and wellness practices that can meaningfully contribute to the mindset needed for being a master negotiator. Many of these principles are intuitive, but too often ignored in traditional courses and discussions regarding the strengthening of leadership and negotiation skills. Taken together, with other core negotiation skills’ development, they can be the essential ingredients for making your personal secret negotiation sauce, leading to inner agility and effective negotiation skills development:

 

1. Start with a check on the tendency toward extreme positions. So many times, we become enraged and pursue an issue based on principle. However, a health and wellness perspective compels you to pause while remaining engaged in action so you can create a safe space for clear judgment, original thinking, and speedy, purposeful action. The pursuit of a principle can be costly emotionally, if unchecked.

 

2. Next, enhance your ability to measure risks and rewards. Negotiations are not always about money and power, and often, people caught in the rhythm of a give-and-take negotiation focus on a position, not their best overall interests. In a health- and wellness-focused world, listening—and thinking—from a holistic perspective is a critical means of encouraging the discovery of original, unexpected, breakthrough ideas.

 

3. Then, identify and mix-in more options and alternative outcomes. One way to generate a breakthrough in complex, difficult, and stalled negotiations is to introduce a wild card that changes the nature of the questions and issues being negotiated. Asking yourself challenging health- and wellness-based questions may help unblock your existing model of what a workable solution may be.

 

4. Now, thwart efforts to play to your perceived weaknesses. Health and wellness paradigms are really extensions of well-honed emotional intelligence skill models merged with a heightened agility and influence quotient (AIQ) that embraces mindfulness and conflict de-escalation expertise to find common ground and bridge divides. Self-care is different from self-absorption. Most of us are familiar with the emotional quotient (EQ), but AIQ empowers your thinking of yourself regarding self-care and being a conflict de-escalator to help make the task of leading a negotiation exciting instead of terrifying.

 

5. Finally, prepare for and give more power to playing the long game. In complex negotiations and in this hyper-conflict-driven era, finding common ground solutions is rarely straightforward. Instead of drawing a hard line in the sand, a health- and wellness-based sense of sensibility may help move you and your negotiation from here to there in a journey where is “here” is a stuck position, and there is a solution down the road.

 

To be clear, these steps are foundational thoughts that may provide a framework for developing an integrated set of interrelated touchstones in your journey to being a master negotiator and sculpting the life you want to live.

 

ABOUT RAYE MITCHELL, Esq – Raye Mitchell is a Harvard trained attorney, a conflict resolution and negotiation expert, speaker, and award-winning author of How Women Negotiate From a Position of Strength. Raye provides online training, leads workshops, and retreats focused on integrating health and wellness insights into negotiation and conflict resolution skills’ development, having fun, and assisting individuals, organizations, and teams in sculpting the life they want to live. Raye is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Irwin Award presented by the Book Publicists of Southern California for her Life Above Average Empowerment Book Series that supports everyone’s journey to elevate their lives, be well and have fun in the process regardless of age, race, gender or body size. Follow Raye’s story at http://www.RayesJourney.com and her website at http://www.DrRayeMitchell.com. Follow on Twitter @drrayemitchell, #LifeAboveAverage.

 

 

ABOUT AWM SOCAL –  Alliance for Women in Media, Southern California Affiliate (AWM SoCal) is the local affiliate to the Alliance for Women in Media, a national, nonprofit organization. We extend membership to qualified professionals in the media and entertainment industries. Founded in 1952, our mission is to advance the impact of women in media by educating and acting as a resource to our members, the industry and our community. AWM SoCal is dedicated to empowering career development and driving positive change for our industry and societal progress. The Southern California Chapter of Alliance for Women in Media offers local benefits to its members. Visit Alliance for Women in Media SoCallearn more. @AWMSoCal

#BeatTheOdds, #LifeAboveAverage, #RayeMitchell, #InvisibleNoMore

 

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/

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Intimate Conversation with Mary Honey B. Morrison

Mary Honey B. Morrison was recently on BAN Radio Show discussing her August new release, Head Games and her other 2 non-fiction titles. Listen to the show here: http://tobtr.com/s/10895553. I will post her other books in my comments section.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison believes that women should shape their own destiny. Born in Aurora, IL, and raised in New Orleans, LA, she took a chance and quit her near six-figure government job to self-publish her first book, Soulmates Dissipate, in 2000 and begin her literary career. Mary’s books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists. Mary is actively involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, and in 2006 she sponsored the publication of an anthology written by 33 sixth-graders.

In 2010 and 2014, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB. Her wonderful son, Jesse Byrd, Jr., is the owner of Oiseau Clothes and writing novels for adolescents. Mary currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Mary Honey B Morrison on Facebook, Twitter @ marybmorrison, and at MaryMorrison.com.

Purchase Books from Mary B. Morrison 
http://marymorrison.com/product-category/books

 

 

FEATURED BOOKS ON BAN RADIO SHOW WITH MARY & ELLA D. CURRY 

* Head Games by Mary B. Morrison

* Dicks are Dumb: A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Right Man by Mary B Morrison

* Never Let a Man Come First: A Female’s Guide to Understanding Male Behavior by Mary B Morrison 

 

 

Head Games by Mary B. Morrison –   Women’s Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison delivers a sizzling, twist-filled tale of four competitive friends, a dangerous bet—and high-stakes consequences no one can afford to win . . .

 

From childhood games to career challenges, Trymm, Dallas, Kohl, and Blitz have stayed the best of friends—and each others’ toughest competition. These bachelors live to party up, sex it down, and get it all. And now they’re betting on which of them can “date-and-dump” the most women in a month—and post the proof on social media. Winner takes all: a cool million dollars. But this game is about to get all-too-real…

Trymm has no problem bedding married women looking for quick-and-dirty satisfaction . . . until he falls hard for one he can’t have. A cynical ex-soldier battling PTSD, Dallas woos a hopeful bride to exhaust her savings for picket-fence promises—just to humor his boys. Kohl enjoys his best one-night stand with a mysterious beauty—but his recklessness backfires big time after he exposes her. And Blitz thinks he’s giving a powerful Fortune 500 executive the business—until he gets played…

Now everything they care about most—money, family, and friendship—is on the line. All the right moves won’t keep them safe—especially from each other. And the only way out of the game is to concede or risk everything on a dangerous gamble they can only lose…

Purchase Head Games by Mary B. Morrison
http://a.co/32skn6j

Download books by Mary B. Morrison
https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B001ILIDYU

 

 

 

 

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

 

Maxine Hill is an inquisitive fourth grade student who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is also on a quest to find out why her neighbor, Mrs. Sullivan, is acting so weird. Mrs. Sullivan is always outside sitting on the front porch with her two rescue dogs or working in her flower bed. However, she seems to get very nervous when Maxine talks to her about everything. What is going on with this lady? Is she a robot spy? Is she an alien? Is she working for the CIA?

Follow Maxine Hill as she solves the case of the strange neighbor!

 

 

STATIONS FOR KIDS INTRODUCTION

STATIONS FOR KIDS is dedicated to early literacy and community service. The best way to ensure your child’s personal and career success is to begin the learning process as soon as possible. Academic success is always necessary, but your child also needs to see how he or she fits into the world community. A combination of community service and applicable educational concepts will give your child a balanced view of the world.

All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon in ebook format, hardcover and paperbacks.

 

AMAZON
https://www.amazon.com/Maxines-New-Job-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak-ebook/dp/B07CQPB1JT/

BARNES & NOBLE
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maxines-new-job-lynda-jones-mubarak/1128565433

 

 

EXCERPT: Maxine’s New Job by Lynda Jones-Mubarak

It was a warm, bright Sunday morning and a special time for the Hills. Once a month on Sundays, the Hill Family spent four hours at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. Max had asked her parents several important questions after watching a homeless family standing on a corner last year. That’s when Mr. and Mrs. Hill decided that Max needed to learn how community agencies serve people in need. The Hills contacted the pantry and made arrangements for the family to volunteer one day per month.

Maxine enjoyed the community service hours. Her job was filling each family meal box with a can of green beans and cereal. Mr. and Mrs. Hill worked in the pantry kitchen. “Max, when a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know. Never forget that,” said Mrs. Hill. “OK mom, I won’t forget,” said Maxine.

The Hills completed their four volunteer hours and shook hands with the families before leaving. Max thought, Wow, it feels great to help someone who is having a difficult time. Mom says we should continue to do this once each month and I think she’s right! The Hills stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat and returned home so that Max could prepare for the first day of school.

The first day at B. H. Obama Elementary School was awesome! Maxine listened as the new principal welcomed the students and the parents. She was happy to see her classmates from the past year and she saw some new faces. The lunchroom had been repainted and it looked completely different. Maxine also discovered that she would be in the new wing of the school because the student enrollment had increased. Wow, everything was new in this area from the desks to the lockers! And to make it even better, she didn’t have to share a locker this year.

At the end of the day, she had shared some summer memories and made new friends. Maxine also had several school papers to take home. One of the papers was a flier about open house in a few days. When the evening school bus stopped on the corner, Maxine and four neighborhood kids hopped off and began walking home. As Maxine walked, she smiled, looked down at her new sneakers, and thought about all the new changes at school. She was trying to decide whether she wanted to join the chess, robotics or Scrabble club. When she looked up, she was facing her house and Mrs. Sullivan was watering the flowers in her little red well next door. Hmm, the Sullivans may want to come to my school’s open house, so I’ll give the flier to Mrs. Sullivan, thought Maxine.

She ran over to Mrs. Sullivan, handed her the flier and began discussing the first day of school. Maxine talked very hurriedly about the first day of school and said good-bye quickly. She knew it was time to get home and take Amos outside. Mrs. Sullivan listened and nodded, but had a concerned look on her face as Maxine walked away.

Maxine thought about asking Mrs. Sullivan if she was feeling alright, but she thought about what her mom said last week, “Max, please try to be courteous. You ask so many questions. Maybe you should be a detective!” She thought for a minute, walked back into the house, ran up the stairs and called Amos. It was time for his afternoon walk and his favorite doggie treat. I’ll talk with Mrs. Sullivan later thought Maxine.

Amos ran out of the bedroom, rubbed his head against Maxine’s leg and ran downstairs to the front door. He was ready to take the afternoon walk around the block. After walking with Amos and waving at the neighbors, Maxine and Amos slowly walked back to the house. Mrs. Hill was busy preparing dinner. Today was Monday, so it was going to be chicken tacos, Maxine’s favorite. Maxine looked at the Sullivan house from the kitchen window and inquired, “Mom, have you ever noticed anything strange about Mrs. Sullivan?” Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Better Late Than Never (Rev. Curtis Black Series) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

The deepest, darkest secrets of Reverend Curtis Black are revealed at last!

Curtis Black is no stranger to scandal. Throughout the decades, he as done much in the public eye, both good and evil. But what most people don’t realize is that Curtis has been hiding an abusive childhood that has affected him in horrifying ways.

Sadly, when his estranged sister becomes alarmingly ill, his buried past returns without warning, and his youngest daughter, twelve-year-old Curtina, becomes the kind of problem child he never thought she could be…and this is only the beginning.

Worse, all the public scandals they’ve experienced over the years now seem like mere child’s play compared to the turmoil they are facing in private. And who could have known that their deepest wounds would come from within?

 

Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Curtis was a nervous wreck. He and Charlotte had just parked in his sister’s driveway, gotten out of his SUV, and walked up to the beautiful brick home. Charlotte grabbed Curtis’s hand, squeezing it tighter than usual, and Curtis rang the doorbell. During the drive there, he’d said a number of silent prayers, trying to calm his thinking and uneasiness, but now his heart beat faster and faster, and he took a couple of deep breaths, trying to regain his composure. Charlotte looked up at him. “Everything is going to be fine. You did the right thing by coming here.”

Curtis continued holding Charlotte’s hand, still attempting to calm his nerves, and finally his brother-in-law, Jason, opened the door. He smiled. “I’m so glad you made it. Please come in.” Curtis hugged Jason, as did Charlotte, but then he saw a young man in his mid-twenties walking toward them. He knew it was his nephew, Eric.

“It’s good to see you, Uncle Curtis.”

“It’s good to see you, too, son.” Curtis hadn’t known how either of Trina’s children was going to react when they saw him—especially when they’d known for years that their mom had wanted nothing to do with Curtis—but here Eric had even called him uncle. Curtis looked at Jason. “So, does she still not know about me coming?”

“This morning I told her that she was going to have a surprise visitor this afternoon, but that was it.”

“Well, I just hope that seeing me doesn’t upset her too much. Because we all know how she feels.”

“I know,” Jason said, “but things are different now. And she’s different…because of what she’s going through.” Curtis nodded, and then he, Charlotte, and Eric followed Jason down a long, shiny wooden corridor and around a corner. They stopped in front of a door that Jason lightly knocked on and eased open. A beautiful lady in her early thirties stood up from a recliner, and just as Curtis had known right away who Eric was, he knew this was his niece, Amber. She was the spitting image of her mother, and Curtis had to stop himself from crying.

“Is she awake, sweetie?” Jason asked his daughter, and then he looked over at his wife, lying in the king-size bed, propped against two pillows.

Amber walked closer to where all of them were standing. “She is.”

“How are you?” Curtis asked her.

“I’m okay, Uncle Curtis,” she said, with sad eyes and hugging him. “I’m so glad you came.”

“Me too,” he said, and once Amber hugged Charlotte, Curtis moved closer to the side of the bed and saw Trina watching him. Her skin was a bit pale, dark circles outlined her eyes, and although her hair appeared soft and curly, it wasn’t longer than half an inch. Curtis guessed that as a result of her chemo treatments, she had likely cut it. Because from the time she’d been a child, she’d had gorgeous thick, wavy hair.

Curtis half smiled at his sister, still not knowing what to expect. “I hope you don’t mind our coming to see you.”

To his surprise, Trina smiled back. “I don’t, and it’s good to see you, Curtis. I mean really, really good to see you.”

Curtis had never felt more relieved about anything than he did currently. He’d been so prepared for his sister to turn away and ask him to leave, yet she’d done just the opposite. Curtis leaned down and hugged her, and she held him as well. Then she and Charlotte embraced.

“Thank you for coming, Charlotte,” Trina told her. “I really appreciate it.”

Charlotte smiled. “Of course.”

Curtis wasn’t sure what to say next, and apparently no one else did, either, because the room fell silent. But finally, Jason spoke. “Why don’t you both have a seat? And can we get either of you something to drink?”

“No, I’m fine, but thank you,” Curtis said.

“I’ll take some iced tea, if you have it,” Charlotte added.

Amber smiled. “Well, hopefully my baby brother hasn’t drunk all of it. Because that’s what he usually does.”

“Whatever, girl,” Eric said, laughing. “You just made a huge pitcher of it this morning, so who could drink all of that, anyway?”

“You,” she said, and everyone laughed.

“Well, for your information, there’s plenty left.”

Amber playfully punched her brother on his shoulder and then looked at Charlotte. “I’ll pour you a glass now.”

“Why don’t I come with you?” Charlotte said, already following Amber. “That way Curtis and Trina can spend some time together.”

“I think that’s a great idea,” Jason added, and he and Eric followed the two women out of the room. Curtis continued standing, just wanting to look at his sister. She stared back at him, but since neither of them seemed to know what to say, Curtis asked her a question. “Do you mind if I pray for you?”

“No, not at all.”

Curtis held Trina’s left hand with his right one. “Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you right now, first thanking You for another day, and most of all, thanking You for allowing me the opportunity to reunite with my sister. Thank You for answering my prayers. Then, Lord, I now ask that You would please remove all pain and discomfort that my sister is experiencing and that You would heal her body completely. Lord, please make her whole again. Please allow her illness to only serve as a test that will ultimately become her great testimony. And if there is anything that we can do here on earth to help her, Lord, please speak to our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Please give us the wisdom we need, along with total direction. Because while we know that the prognosis Trina has been given doesn’t look good to us as human beings, we also know that only You have the final say. So, Lord, I am asking You to heal Your child. I am asking You to perform one of Your awesome miracles on my dear, sweet sister. Lord, we ask this and all other blessings in Your Son Jesus’s name. Amen. Amen. Amen.”

“Amen,” Trina said, opening her tear-filled eyes and holding her brother’s hand a bit more securely than before. “Thank you for praying for me, and…” Her voice trailed off, as she took a deep breath and swallowed tears. “Well…I just want you to know just how sorry I am. How truly sorry I am for everything.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

The Urgent Need to Reconfigure Leadership Platforms for Black Women and Girls

Make no mistake. Young Black women and girls are under siege. We are being silenced and we are losing generational connections, intra generational connectivity, and our visibility. The gender uprising that is calling for more women in leadership and access to the c-suite is not about increasing the number of Black women or women of color in leadership. The fight for gender equality is not about us. We are supplemental to the conversation and perspectives at best and left out of core leadership decisions for the most part.

 

About the Author
Dr. Raye Mitchell is an award winning humanitarian passionate about supporting women and girls. She is a Harvard Law School and University of Southern California graduate who commits her time, energy and creativity to public speaking on women and girl as global leaders. She is a published author and entertainment producer. Dr. Raye Mitchell is a real-life “fixer”, and innovation expert who helps people create breakthrough impacts. As an inspirational speaker, Dr. Mitchell works with individuals and corporate clients to train and inspire women to lead forward as next generation global leaders.

A successful entrepreneur, Dr. Mitchell is now acclaimed as an entertainment producer and social entrepreneur recognized for her contributions in mentoring girls and young women to become global leaders. She is the author of several books, most recently “Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders”, “When They Go Low, We Go High: How Women of Color Master the Art of Persuasion to Win Big Battles”, “How Women Negotiate From a Position of Strength: Protecting Branding and Intellectual Property Rights”, “Obstruction of Justice: Finding Grandma’s Bible”, and “The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to Make Breakthrough Impacts That Take You Forward”.

Dr. Mitchell is developing new entertainment projects and writing her next book on how women and girls can advance themselves, our community and as global leaders.

 

Media Kit for Dr. Raye Mitchell: https://www.drrayemitchell.com/media-kit-1

 

Books by Dr. Raye Mitchell
https://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Raye-Mitchell/e/B0061ONNV2

 

Website: http://www.DrRayeMitchell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rayemitchell
Twitter: @drrayemitchell or https://twitter.com/drrayemitchell
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/NewHopeNewReality
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/author/rayemitchell

 

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.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

 

Chapter Excerpt from There Is Sunshine After the Rain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Review from Amazon

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

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

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

 

STATIONS EXCERPT

Are Your Kids Competing in STEM?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Carver Park by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

CARVER PARK by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
Carver Park is a children’s non-fiction book appropriate for grades 2 – 4.

It would seem that growing up in segregated Waco, Texas in the 1950s would be filled with challenges and disappointments for any African-American child, but little Lynda Jones learned everything about the world near and far from her beloved books and the travels of her father during WWII.

Carver Park gives us a view into the life of one child who found that regardless of society’s circumstances, the people in our lives provide us with the knowledge and support required to learn and succeed in a time of great social unrest and historical change.

 

JOIN THE SEDUCING THE PEN BOOK TOUR
https://www.smore.com/xhn65-stations-for-kids

 

EXCERPT:  Carver Park by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Mama worked at a Catholic hospital in Waco for many years. During one particular year the hospital was crowded with adults and children with a disease called Polio. One day she said, “The nuns wanted to know if you would demonstrate how an Iron Lung works during the Heart of Texas Fair and I told them yes!” When I inquired about an Iron Lung Daddy described it very slowly. “An iron lung is a machine that breathes for you when your lungs are too tired and weak to do their job. People with Polio need extra help in order to breathe.”

One day nurses came to our school and everyone in our school was given the Polio vaccine. Mama explained, “Everyone in the hospital including the doctors and nurses had to take the vaccination to keep from catching the disease. And, everyone in our country must take the vaccine.” It was a very scary time in America and I was waiting for the fair day!

On the day of the fair Mama dressed me in my best night gown. The nurses put me in the iron lung and put a pillow under my head. The fair visitors walked by and stared at me through the glass windows of the machine, which looked like a big shiny spaceship. I wanted to see how the iron lung worked so I held my breath, but the machine pulled the breath right out of my body and pushed air right back in. It was like magic! I really felt important. I was the only African American kid in the fair that year!

( Continued… )

 

Purchase CARVER PARK by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
https://www.amazon.com/Carver-Park-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak/dp/162676851X
Children’s Books > Geography & Cultures > Where We Live > City Life

 

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Dr. Lynda Jones Mubarak is a native Texan and was raised in Waco and Fort Worth, Texas. She is a retired special education teacher, facilitator and a US Army veteran. She has served as a private school administrator, adjunct writing and ESL professor, and is currently a co-host of The Author’s Lounge Radio Show at Fish Bowl Radio Network.

Dr. Lynda is a graduate of P.L. Dunbar High School, received her BS in Elementary Education from Texas Christian University, MEd in Elementary Education from Texas Wesleyan University, and EdD from Nova Southeastern University.

She enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, and traveling with her husband, Kairi, and their two rescue dogs; Ebony Joyce and Shorty Junior. Always a lover of books as a child, Dr. Lynda decided to follow her dream of becoming an author of children’s books after retirement. Dr. Lynda is currently working on her third book.

BPM: What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to become a writer, but never discussed it with anyone. I have probably been writing mentally all my life, but didn’t begin putting my thoughts on paper until about 10 years ago.

BPM: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I don’t second guess myself as much during my writing now. If I think about a story plot, I let it flow and work out the flaws later.

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Yes, writing is very spiritual because it is very personal. Your story is yours and it involves all your senses and emotions. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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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First Husband by Lutishia Lovely – Book 10 The Hallelujah Series

First Husband by Lutishia Lovely, Book 10 The Hallelujah Series

Lance Elliott was a child prodigy. He read adult books at the age of five, mastered five instruments by the time he was twelve, graduated with a Master’s Degree at twenty-one and by the time he was twenty-five had received a doctorate in divinity. A few years later he was offered an Associate Pastor position at one of the most prestigious and conservative ministries in Washington D. C. Now, five years later and with the head minister nearing seventy, there’s talk of Dr. Elliott taking the reins. He’s being pressured to marry his longtime girlfriend. Everyone believes she will be a good partner and a great first lady. Everyone but Lance. And the woman keeping his secret.

Malachi Clark IV was born into ministerial royalty. His great-grandfather was a founding board member of an influential religious organization boasting thousands of churches and almost two million members. No one doubts that Malachi IV would not only eventually replace his father in the pulpit, but will also marry and produce Malachi V to continue the legacy. No one except Malachi. He’s doubted his ability to fulfill this obligation since the age of seven, when he learned the word for why he felt different from other boys. When he met an openly homosexual man, and knew that he was gay.

When these two men meet, their lives change in a way that affects everything they know and everyone they love. In gaining each other they have a lot to lose…maybe even their lives.

 

Lutishia Lovely Bookshelf: http://www.lutishialovely.com/bookshelf

Excerpt from First Husband: http://www.lutishialovely.com/upload/325910/documents/F5F9DDA6D8AE55F9.pdf

 

The Hallelujah Series (in order)
Sex In the Sanctuary
Love Like Hallelujah
A Preachers Passion
Heaven Right Here
Reverend Feelgood
Heaven Forbid
Divine Intervention
The Eleventh Commandment
A Date With Destiny
First Husband


The Shady Sisters Trilogy

The Perfect Affair
The Perfect Deception
The Perfect Revenge


The Business Series

All Up In My Business
Mind Your Own Business
Taking Care of Business

 

About the Author
Lutishia Lovely is a multi-faceted creative artist and the national bestselling author of more than two dozen novels. Her latest release, A Date With Destiny, is the 9th installment of the wildly popular Hallelujah Series.Other Hallelujah novels include Sex In The Sanctuary, Love Like Hallelujah, Heaven Right Here and Divine Intervention.

Lutishia also wrote the Business Series (All Up In My Business, Mind Your Own Business, Taking Care of Business) and the Shady Sisters Trilogy (The Perfect Affair, The Perfect Deception, The Perfect Revenge). Her novels regularly appear on bestseller lists including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Black Christian Book Review, and have been nominated for several awards, among them Best Contemporary Fiction (Sex In The Sanctuary) by the Southeastern Arts Association, Best Multi-Cultural Fiction (A Preacher’s Passion, Heaven Forbid) by Romantic Times Book Review and Best Mystery/Suspense (The Perfect Deception) by African-American Literary Awards Show. Lutishia’s novels were voted one of 2014’s Top Reader Picks by Black Pearls Magazine. In 2015, she received a Legends and Leaders award from the same publication. A Literary Quest award from the Cameron Jackson Library was presented in 2011.

While writing currently takes up much of her time, Lutishia is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, song writer and producer. Her professional memberships include the Author’s Guild, Romance Writers of America and OSB Screenwriters. Follow Lutishia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @ LutishiaLovely, and visit her website, LutishiaLovely.com.

 

Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal

Christine Bailey comes from a privileged background, always sees the good in people and swiftly falls for the enigmatic and handsome Awesome Petté, who exemplifies charm, intellect, and ambition. She believes he is her soul mate but will soon discover she has been living in a fool’s paradise because he will slowly draw her into a sinister plot that will leave her asking, “What type of monster did his parents create?”

 

Praise for Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal


Amazon Review written by Passionate about Romance

5.0 out of 5 stars
This is a story that every single woman searching for a husband must read. Awesome was a man many women will fall for; smart, handsome, driven and charming. Except that he had a LOT to hide. I wanted to kill him several times. But his wife was loving, trusting and stood by him against all odds. She needed to doubt and ask deep questions at times. She is every good man’s dream wife, except Awesome’s. But life hands him the pay back he deserves. Love this book.


Amazon Review written by Alretha Thomas

5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome Pette and his friend Webster are on a mission to get rich by any means necessary. Christine Bailey has an insatiable sexual appetite. Her need to get busy in the sack makes her the perfect target for Awesome’s diabolical schemes. Vivienne starts the novel off slow and steady and then it picks up speed. It moves so fast I was swiping my screen like a mad woman, wanting to know what dirty deed Awesome was going to do next, and how the story was going to end. Awesome is relentless in his pursuit of Christine’s fortune and like a lot of women who want what they want, she turns a blind eye to the obvious. I don’t want to spoil it for the next reader, but you’ll be on the edge of your seat, wondering when and if Awesome will be exposed. You’ll have to read the book to find out.


Amazon Review written by Jordan Stringfellow

5.0 out of 5 stars
Like so many women, Christian, a young woman with access to wealth and information, but little worldly knowledge or experience, suffered from the belief that the charming and handsome Awesome could be trusted and taken at his word. All he had to do was treat her nice, romance her, and show her a good time in bed, for a short time, I must add, and she was caught-up in his self-centered lair.

I really enjoyed this book! Neal managed to speak volumes of wisdom and insight through an entertaining and enthralling tale from her witty character name choices to the ultimately satisfying conclusion. “Deception In Plain Sight” is a definite must read for any and every woman today, whether young and relatively inexperienced at dating, to more seasoned ladies seeking healthy relationships in the current maze of thorns and narcissistic tricksters. An enthusiastic 5 stars!

 

Read a preview from Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal
https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?asin=B00MU5HSWQ

 

 


 

Book Excerpt: Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal

Introduction

Alone in her majestic manor, Christine Petté knew something was wrong when she came home to an empty house and found a beautiful small chest on her husband’s desk. The wooden box, with its intricate handcrafted patterns and sparkling gems, reminded her of a piece that one would find at an auction house or in a museum.

She never questioned her husband’s business affairs, but some strange occurrences got her wondering about him, his business, and his inner circle of friends.

There were bizarre phone calls all hours of the night, secret meetings with individuals she never knew or met and packages delivered to the house by scary looking messengers. Then, someone broke into the house while she and her husband were dining at a restaurant in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Her husband’s office was the only room ransacked. Furnishings, papers, and DVDs were scattered all over the place, but the intruder, as far as she knew, took nothing. Two thousand dollars in cash, a Cartier watch, and gold coins worth over five thousand dollars were in his top desk drawer, all visible to the naked eye.

“Honey, what were they looking for, and how could they have missed those items, which were in plain sight?” she asked, reaching for her cell phone.

As she was getting ready to dial 9-1-1, her husband grabbed the phone out of her hand. “There is no need to call the police. It is Halloween; it was probably some kids playing a practical joke. Instead of adorning the house with raw eggs and toilet paper, they decided to remove the spare key from under the doormat, let themselves in and rummage through my office. Nothing is missing. There is no need to get the police involved.”

A spare key under the doormat; this is news to me, Christine thought.

Some neighbors did leave their doors unlocked and would place an extra key under the mat or hide it in a flower bin. There were occasional break-ins, but major crimes rarely occurred on the quiet block.

She decided not to pursue the matter. Her husband’s tone, body language, and demeanor made it quite clear.

Leave well enough alone. Let sleeping dogs lie dead. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tradition by AlTonya Washington

Tradition by AlTonya Washington

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

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

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

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

 

 

Review Written by Edwina Putney   |   5.0 out of 5 stars

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

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

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

 

 

Excerpt from Tradition by AlTonya Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ellia didn’t notice his reaction to her clothes. Her eyes had already drifted below his waist.
Read the rest of this entry »

 

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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.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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 »

 

Intimate Conversation with Mitch Margo

A former reporter for The Detroit News and Los Angeles Herald Examiner and a syndicated columnist for 14 years, Mitch Margo is a native New Yorker and St. Louis trial lawyer. He’s witnessed the clash of cultures which are woven into his first novel, Black Hearts White Minds.  Much of the story is drawn from his personal experiences, interviews, and hundreds of hours of research. He credits his eclectic law practice for a new storyline every few days.

As general counsel to the Missouri Valley Conference, and a former youth coach, Mitch has an insider’s view of basketball that enables him to write about it authentically. He’s also a member of the Washington University Sports Hall of Fame, at one time holding the school record in just about every baseball statistic. He’s proud of his days as a student/athlete, but hasn’t lost sight of the fact that you can’t get too much farther from Cooperstown and still be in a hall of fame.

 

BPM:  Have you always been a writer?  Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve enjoyed writing and reading for as long as I can remember. I’m a child of Watergate and that’s why I was drawn to journalism as a young man. But I also loved creative writing, which is what journalism has now become!

BPM:  You are a lawyer, how has that influenced you and your writing?

Most people think being a trial lawyer is what they see on TV — lawyers making impassioned speeches in courtrooms to edge-of-their-seat jurors. Not so. Most of a trial lawyer’s communications are written in briefs and motions to the judge. 95 percent of all lawsuits are settled before trial. So being a persuasive writer is a great advantage and persuasive means succinct, clear and even entertaining. Most lawyers write in long, complicated, boring sentences. I assume that judges curse them and love me.

 

BPM:  Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?

Black Hearts White Minds (BHWM) is a story about a time in history that few experienced and most would rather ignore. I wrote the book about the Civil Rights movement because I missed it. In 1964 I was nine years old and growing up in New York. After reading Black Hearts White Minds, I hope readers are left with the feeling that they’ve lived in the Deep South during segregation just like the characters. I hope they take away the frustration of the African American community that was constantly harassed and kept in a different form of slavery by a white power structure driven by money, power and ignorance.

BPM:  Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Carl Gordon is the main character, but really only one of the “important” characters. He drags his 12 year old son from New York to Stockville, Alabama to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act and he’s remarkably unprepared for what he is about to encounter — the Klan, local law enforcement, the black community. But he’s also a great lawyer and a quick learner. He’s a hero in his own way, but no more so than Micah, a Black, self-taught intellectual auto mechanic who also happens to be the strongest man in Frost County, Alabama, and a disciple of Malcolm X. And by the way, Carl and Micah hate each other.

BPM:  Was there a real-life inspiration behind your development of characters?

Three of the characters are drawn from people I know or have known in the past. Did I mention I love those people? Think about it, they’re interesting enough to make a fictional character out of them alone. Now that’s a real life character! The rest of the characters are composites of people I’ve known, stories I’ve read and my imagination. I think all writers will tell you that there are ribbons of themselves running through their characters. That’s certainly true for me. Maybe that’s why writers become such good friends with the characters they create.
BPM:  How did you come up with the title for Black Hearts White Minds?

This book had more working titles than I can remember. I would list them for you, but one of them might just be the name of the sequel. (Spoiler alert!) My publisher, along with a focus group came up with Black Hearts White Minds and I love it. A Black Heart could be attributed to several of the characters, black and white. So could a white mind. “Black” and “white” have more than one meaning each, and nothing is just black and white. Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Legend of Diddley Squatt 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.

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? As he was putting some of the leftovers out on the rickety back fence for the animals – today 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. My friends will talk to you, you’ll see.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

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 for A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

The storyteller is back! It’s been two years since Jaspers 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 A View From Harlem is one you won’t want to miss.
— JT Belangela -Blogger and Goodreads Reviewer

 

Purchase A View from Harlem: A Story of Redemption by Tracey Fagan Danzey
(Cafe Hearts Book 2)  Link: http://a.co/0rqMbhY

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

 

 

 

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Longtale Children’s Books Series by Duane Filer

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. This is his seventh book. For more about Duane and his artist endeavors, visit him at http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler.

 

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 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 (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 (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

 

 

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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Still Loving by Sheryl Lister- March 2018

Still Loving by Sheryl Lister. Coming March 20, 2018.
Malcolm Gray is Lauren Emerson’s biggest regret. Eight years ago, a breakdown of trust cost her a beautiful future with the most charming man she’d ever met. Now a career-making opportunity brings the nutrition entrepreneur home, where she hopes to declare a truce with her ex-love, the star running back of the Los Angeles Cobras. But their first encounter unleashes explosive passion…and unwanted memories of the precious dreams they once shared.
Malcolm can’t forgive Lauren for her betrayal after they had pledged their eternal devotion. But her play-stopping curves alone are a turn-on he can’t resist. He knows he’ll never get over her—nor does he want to… Is their love worth a second chance? Or is he risking heartbreak again? As they jockey for position, a new set of rules could change the game for both of them.
Excerpt from Still Loving by Sheryl Lister:
“Look, Malcolm, I know this is awkward for both of us.”
“Awkward? Is that what this is?” Malcolm leaped to his feet and she instinctively took a step back. “Awkward doesn’t begin to define what this is. Why are you here?”
Lauren frowned and folded her arms. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“You could’ve taken a job anywhere. Why here?” he asked through clenched teeth. “I don’t want you here.”
She placed her hands on her hips and leaned up in his face, her dark brown eyes flashing with anger. “Because this is where I wanted to work. I was offered an opportunity few get and taking it meant being closer to my family. What was I supposed to do? Check with you first? Newsflash, Malcolm Gray, I don’t need your permission for my job choice and whether you like it or not, I plan to be here for a long time!”
Something within him snapped and before his action registered in his brain, he hauled her into his arms and crushed his mouth against hers in a hungry and demanding kiss. Malcolm expected Lauren to push him away, slap him or make some kind of protest…anything, but she didn’t. She kissed him back. And in the way that drove him crazy, like only she could.
“Malcolm,” Lauren whispered.
Finally, sanity returned and he jumped away from her as if he had been burned. What the hell am I doing? His breath came in short gasps and his heart thumped erratically in his chest. His gaze was drawn to Lauren’s lips, still moist from his kiss and the rapidly beating pulse in her neck, which didn’t help matters. He needed to leave now. Malcolm stepped around her, crossed the office in three strides and snatched open the door. He paused and turned back. “This changes nothing. I still don’t want you here.”
 

Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories by Charles R. Butts Jr.


Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories by Charles R. Butts Jr.

A compilation of four diverse and entertaining short stories.

 

The title story, “Running In Plain Sight” chronicles the journey of Leander Sills Jr. At the age of ten, he was forced to flee after the brutal murder of his parents and his subsequent retaliation. Follow his travels as he tries to stay a step ahead of those seeking vengeance.

“If All Minds Are Clear”, tells the story of Reverend Brantley Wilkerson II. A young, handsome and charismatic minister on the rise and newly engaged to the pastor’s daughter. But when a potential indiscretion lurks and could possibly derail his dream of being named pastor of Grace Baptist Church, will he reach his dream, or will he fall from grace?

“Home”, follows the story of P. Randall Spires. Born an albino, he can’t shake the pain of being disowned by his father at eighteen. Now forty-eight and a successful securities trader living in Seattle, he yearns to exorcise a haunting nightmare and reconnect with his family. Can he reconcile the present by healing his past?

“A Balanced Imbalance”, begins with another failed suicide attempt by Zachary Price, who is living with bipolar disorder and cycling from the highest heights of mania to the darkest depths of depression. With his quality of life nonexistent and everything to live for, is he willing to give his doctor, his medications and therapy one last try, or will he end it all for good?

 

Excerpt: Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories by Charles R. Butts Jr.

 

Chapter One

June 20, 1902 Attapulgus, Georgia

 

It was mid-afternoon on a sweltering and humid summer day. The sun was bearing down and I was weeding the crops when I heard what sounded like gunshots. Scared out of my mind, I ran to the house as fast as I could to see what was going on.

When I reached the doorway, I froze; both Papa and Tully Bates were lying on the floor covered in blood, holding shotguns. Half of Tully’s head was blown off, so I knew he was dead. Pa was moaning and trying with all his might to move. Mama, seven months pregnant, was lying on her back near the stove. Her clothes were nearly ripped off, she’d been stabbed a few times and wasn’t moving. I’ll never forget that far away look she had in her eyes. Tully’s son, Buddy, who wasn’t much older than me, was standing near the corner holding a blood-covered knife. Enraged, in one motion, I grabbed Pa’s shotgun and blew Buddy clean across the room. His blood bathed the floor and quite a bit of him splattered all over the walls. Everything happened so fast. I stood there catching my breath and trembling. I didn’t snap out of it until I heard Pa calling out to me.

Covered in blood and gasping for air, he said, “Lee, there’s not much time, I need you to listen to me. Run out to the barn, climb up to the loft, look under the second bale of hay and bring me that box.” I did what he asked, and when I came back, he said, “Open it up, put all the money in your pocket, and the land deed in the bib of your overalls. Take my hat and boots too, you’re going to need them. Mark my x on the back of the deed and give it to Reverend Pope. Tell him I’m donating this land to the church so they can build a school, a separate house of worship and a cemetery. This land’s gotta always stay in colored hands, I worked too hard for it. Tell him to bury me and your Ma’s bodies here, and to save four or five plots for yourself. When it gets dark, I want you to go down to the rail yard, and sneak on the southbound train headed for Florida.”

He continued, “Now go on, get going. I’m sure somebody who heard the shots is probably on their way out here now. You’re big for a ten year old, and you have to be a man now. Your Ma and I love you something fierce. You are a product of our love, and no Ma and Pa has ever been more proud than we are. Give me your hand son, and go with God. Take hold of His hand and keep us in your heart always. Be a good man and be strong. Don’t start trouble, but don’t run from it either. Always be willing to stand your ground and defend yourself. Find work wherever you go and keep moving. You’re bigger and stronger than most men, and I believe you can outwork them too. Never stop looking over your shoulder.” He smiled, relaxed his calloused grip and passed from this world to the next. With tears in my eyes, and a painful lump in my throat, I put on Pa’s hat, slipped on his boots – the first pair of shoes I ever owned, and ran into the woods.

Crouched down and hidden in the woods about a mile away from the farm, and scared out of my mind, I watched the orange sun set before making my way over to Reverend Pope’s place. I handed him the deed, along with Pa’s instructions. I also told him everything that happened. Short and thin, with kind eyes and a garbled voice, he was extremely grateful for the land. Grateful, but saddened for Ma and Pa, and scared for me at the same time. He and Mrs. Pope covered me, said a prayer for Ma and Pa before he blessed me, anointed my head with oil and sent me on my way. Before sending me on, Mrs. Pope packed some fried chicken and pound cake for me to take along. A bit taller and bigger than her husband – she was really pretty.

Reverend Pope handed me a few dollars and said, “Go with God son, and be forever blessed. I’ll do everything your Pa asked me to, and we’ll always be praying for you. Find a way to let me know how you’re doing from time to time. Your Pa was right, it’s not safe for you here. I imagine those boys will turn this town and county upside down looking for you.”

( Continued… )


Purchase Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories by Charles R. Butts Jr.

https://www.amazon.com/Running-Plain-Sight-Other-Stories/dp/1988367050

About the Author
Running In Plain Sight and Other Stories is a compilation of four diverse and entertaining stories. It’s the second book written by Charles R. Butts Jr., a former soldier of the U.S. Army and a postal employee for over thirty-three years. When he’s not reading or writing, Charles enjoys spending time with Shawanda, his wife of twenty-one years, and his children Amber and Trey. Influenced by Langston Hughes, Walter Mosley and James Baldwin, he hopes to entertain and provoke thought in the reader.

 

 

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 »

 

Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young


A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

The award-winning author of “Anybody’s Daughter” is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.


Abuse of Discretion is a 5-Star Read!  Here’s what readers are saying:


CeeCee

The author made this story so real for me that there were moments I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat!!! As a parent there were times I wanted to grab Graylin and just shake him; however, this book served as a great lesson of trust and faith.


Urban Reviews

Pamela Samuels Young gives us a signature courtroom drama and mystery that is anything but typical. You get a bird’s-eye view of the confusing juvenile criminal justice system…This book drives the point home about knowing what your child is doing on their computers and cell phones at all times. Abuse of Discretion is a fast-paced, emotionally charged novel with surprising plot twists that Pamela Samuels Young is known for.

B. Eaves
Abuse of Discretion was a fantastic read…I had pre-ordered and was happy to see it on my Kindle..A page turner couldn’t put it down I loved this series. The stories kept getting better with each read with great characters.

Burgundy
This book took me a couple of hours to read. I could not put it down…This book had my emotions all over the place. I was mad. Sad. Happy. Disgusted. This book is definitely worth reading.

TC
Author Pamela Samuels Young always write about our society’s problems, especially youngsters. She knows intimately what she is writing, always trying to open our eyes and be better parents, grandparents.

Tangerine
Great read! …This story is an eye opener and had me full of emotions. Kudos to Pamela Samuels Young on a wonderful story 🙂

Gloria J. Waldren
You have great characters that keep us on the edge of our seats. It is a wonderful book and I loved reading it. Please never stop writing you are an awesome writer.


Purchase Abuse of Discretion (Dre Thomas Series Book 3) by Pamela Samuels Young

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TZXXNC/


Explore Legal Thrillers by Pamela Samuels Young

http://pamelasamuels-young.com/books/index.html

 

 


 

Chapter 1

Graylin

“What’s the matter, Mrs. Singletary? Why do I have to go to the principal’s office?”

I’m walking side-by-side down the hallway with my second-period teacher. Students are huddled together staring and pointing at us like we’re zoo animals. When a teacher at Marcus Preparatory Academy escorts you to the principal’s office, it’s a big deal. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I’m a good student. I never get in trouble.

Mrs. Singletary won’t answer my questions or even look at me. I hope she knows she’s only making me more nervous.

“Mrs. Singletary, please tell me what’s wrong?”

“Just follow me. You’ll find out in a minute.”

I’m about to ask her another question when it hits me. Something happened to my mama!

My mama has been on and off drugs for as long as I can remember. I haven’t seen her in months and I don’t even know where she lives. No one does. I act like it doesn’t bother me, but it does. I’ve prayed to God a million times to get her off drugs. Even though my granny says God answers prayers, He hasn’t answered mine, so I stopped asking.

I jump in front of my teacher, forcing her to stop. “Was there a death in my family, Mrs. Singletary? Did something happen to my mama?”

“No, there wasn’t a death.”

She swerves around me and keeps going. I have to take giant steps to keep up with her.

Once we’re inside the main office, Mrs. Singletary points at a wooden chair outside Principal Keller’s office. “Have a seat and don’t move.”

She goes into the principal’s office and closes the door. My head begins to throb like somebody’s banging on it from the inside. I close my eyes and try to calm down. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s probably just—Oh snap! The picture!

I slide down in the chair and pull my iPhone from my right pocket. My hands are trembling so bad I have to concentrate to keep from dropping it. I open the photos app and delete the last picture on my camera roll. If anyone saw that picture, I’d be screwed.

Loud voices seep through the closed door. I lean forward, straining to hear. It almost sounds like Mrs. Singletary and Principal Keller are arguing.

“It’s only an allegation. We don’t even know if it’s true.”

“I don’t care. We have to follow protocol.”

“Can’t you at least check his phone first?”

“I’m not putting myself in the middle of this mess. I’ve already made the call.”

The call? I can’t believe Principal Keller called my dad without even giving me a chance to defend myself. How’d she even find out about the picture?

The door swings open and I almost jump out of my skin. The principal crooks her finger at me. “Come in here, son.”

Trudging into her office, I sit down on a red cloth chair that’s way more comfortable than the hard one outside. My heart is beating so fast it feels like it might jump out of my chest.

The only time I’ve ever been in Principal Keller’s office was the day my dad enrolled me in school. Mrs. Singletary is standing in front of the principal’s desk with her arms folded. I hope she’s going to stay here with me, but a second later, she walks out and closes the door.

Principal Keller sits on the edge of her desk, looking down at me. “Graylin, do you have any inappropriate pictures on your cell phone?”

“Huh?” I try to keep a straight face. “No, ma’am.”

“It’s been brought to my attention that you have an inappropriate picture—a naked picture—of Kennedy Carlyle on your phone. Is that true?”

“No…uh…No, ma’am.” Thank God I deleted it!

“This is a very serious matter, young man. So, I need you to tell me the truth.”

“No, ma’am.” I shake my head so hard my cheeks vibrate. “I don’t have anything like that on my phone.”

“I pray to God you’re telling me the truth.”

I don’t want to ask this next question, but I have to know. “Um, so you called my dad?”

“Yes, I did. He’s on his way down here now.”

I hug myself and start rocking back and forth. Even though I deleted the picture, my dad is still going to kill me for having to leave work in the middle of the day.

“I also made another call.”

At first I’m confused. Then I realize Mrs. Keller must’ve called my granny too. At least she’ll keep my dad from going ballistic.

“So you called my granny?”

“No.” The principal’s cheeks puff up like she’s about to blow something away. “I called the police.”

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