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Category Archives: Book Spotlights

Sin of a Woman (A Curtis Black Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

“Kimberla Lawson Roby has reached a pinnacle
most writers only dream of.” – Rockford Register Star

After her very public divorce from Dillon, Raven Black is recovering nicely.  Dillon has done everything he can to discredit her, but Raven has learned from her mistakes and him.  In fact, she’s intent on using every bit of Dillon’s revenge and betrayal, as she prepares to take what is hers—and more.  Her ambitions have never been so great, and Raven always knows how to get what she wants.  She also won’t allow anything or anyone to get in her way.

She has become her ex-husband in more ways than one and is slowly leading those connected to her down a terrible path of destruction.  But playing with the lives of innocent people has dire consequences—the kind that Raven won’t see coming.  Raven, of all people, should know that what happens in the dark will eventually come to light…and that there’s only so far you can run before your past catches up to you.

Chapter 1

Raven—Pastor Raven Jones Black, that is—scanned the interior of her massive second-floor office, smiled, and strolled closer to the large picture window. But as she gazed down at all the vehicles that were lined up in the church’s parking lot, it was still hard to believe that everything had evolved so quickly. And in such perfect order, too. Yes, having a one-thousand-plus-member congregation was all that she’d hoped for, but she wasn’t sure she’d expected to see her dreams come to pass in only two years. Of course, it hadn’t hurt that nearly two hundred members from her ex-husband’s former church had joined right away. Because had they not, she knew her ministry would have taken a lot longer to build.

Raven gazed around her office again, admiring her espresso-colored Italian leather sofa, matching loveseat, two oversized chairs, CEO-style mahogany desk, and executive chair. When they’d first purchased New Vision Christian Center and had moved into the building six months ago, the pastor’s study had been only half the size it was now. But the more folks had joined the congregation and paid tithes and offerings on a regular basis, the more upgrades Raven had been able to make—both at the church and for herself. From tearing out a wall and doubling the size of her office to clearing out her closet at home and stepping up her wardrobe game, she’d made lots of changes for the better.

To tell the truth, she’d always dressed in expensive clothing, even when she’d been married to that awful ex-husband of hers, Pastor Dillon Whitfield Black. But today she only wore suits that came from some of the highest-end stores people shopped at. In fact, the couture-style fuchsia jacket and skirt she wore now had come from Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She didn’t get the opportunity to shop there often, what with her residing in Mitchell, Illinois, but whenever she did fly to New York for a ministry engagement, she never left before spending at least a little time at Bergdorf, Barneys, or Saks’s flagship location. She did the same thing at the Neiman Marcus flagship store when she visited Dallas, and although some people might not understand her great desire to live well and have the best of everything, she knew it was only because they didn’t know her story. Her childhood horror story. Her reason for deciding early on that when she became an adult, she would never go without any of the things she wanted, not if she could help it.

What was so amazing, though, was that regardless of how great her life seemed to be going, she still reflected on her blemished past. She certainly didn’t want to, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t forget about her very public and very nasty divorce from Dillon. She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t spent time in prison for stealing a hundred thousand dollars from her former father-in-law, Reverend Curtis Black. She couldn’t dismiss the fact that she’d once struggled with a very serious gambling addiction.

She hadn’t even known Dillon back when she’d worked as CFO for his father’s church, and now, she regretted the day she’d contacted him. But when she’d heard about the fallout between him and his dad, she’d decided to reach out to Dillon, letting him know that she understood his pain and that she could help him build a much larger church than the one Pastor Black had founded. This, of course, had secured Dillon’s undivided attention, and not long after she’d been released from prison, they’d begun seeing each other and had gotten married. Raven had truly loved him, too, and she could tell he’d loved her—at least for a while. But then greed and power had become a lot more important to Dillon, and he’d commenced having an affair with another woman. And then a second one.

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I Believe in Butterflies by Marian L. Thomas

A new book written by Award Winning Author, Marian L. Thomas
will no doubt spark fresh debates on the one drop rule
when it launches in May, 2017

 


The book, I Believe In Butterflies, is a fictional story that follows three women as they navigate life’s often rocky terrain in search of hope, courage, and love. One of the main characters, Lorraine—has lived twenty-three years believing that she is a white woman. When she discovers that her long-held belief is nothing more than a fallacy, all she has held dear is shattered.

“At the heart of Lorraine’s story, lies the foundation of what the one drop rule represents—social classification,” Thomas stated.

The one-drop rule is a historical term for the social classification of individuals with black ancestry. It dates back to 1624 but was coded into law in 1924. Some celebrities including Halle Berry accept the one drop rule. The actress cited the one drop rule when the question arose about whether her daughter with her ex-partner, Gabriel Aubry (French-Canadian) was white or black. In an interview with Ebony magazine, Berry stated, “I feel she’s black. I’m black and I’m her mother, and I believe in the one-drop theory.”

Born to a white mother and a black father, outgoing president, Barack Obama fully identifies himself as black. When asked to declare his race on a 2010 census questionnaire, Mr. Obama checked the box for African American although he could have checked white or black and white.

There are celebrities, however, that take a firm stand on the rejection of the one-drop rule. So whether they are for it or against it, I Believe In Butterflies just might give the one drop rule new life, or at the most, create a platform for discussion on the topic.

I Believe in Butterflies is the second book that Thomas has written that broaches the issue of race. The other being- Blue Butterfly. She said: “People ask me why I use butterflies in some of my book titles. My books are written for women, and as women, we go through the caterpillars of life that transform us into something beautiful.”

 

 

Book Review:  I Believe in Butterflies

“I Believe in Butterflies is about self-discovery on many levels and at many ages. It’s about black and white relationships, music and mystery, and questions of love on. As lies, truths, and growth intersect, readers are drawn into a story that’s ultimately about finding and keeping peace. What is the real face of freedom, and how can past experience be overcome to regain new family connections?

“I Believe in Butterflies asks many questions, provides many answers, and ultimately comes full circle after traversing changing worlds and lives. As bridges between past and future are formed, readers swept along in the rising tide of emotion and discovery framed by I Believe in Butterflies will find this a powerful saga of black lives and family ties transformed by truth.

“Readers seeking powerful, evocative stories of self-discovery and connection will relish this pull on one’s heartstrings for its psychological depth and focus on concurrent life journeys that hold both puzzles and, ultimately, solutions.”
-D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

I Believe In Butterflies will be available in paperback formats on online retail sites including Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.
For further details, visit: www.ibelieveinbutterfliesbook.com

 


About the Author

Award-winning author, Marian L. Thomas, has five engaging and dramatic novels to her credit. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on local, national and online radio stations.

Watch the I Believe In Butterflies Book Trailer
To view the official book trailer for I Believe In Butterflies, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mpSkOrcErQ

 

 

 

 

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Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

“Hold on for the ride of your life…with unimaginable consequences.” ‑‑Mary B. Morrison

 

Debut author Lisa Renee Johnson delivers an edgy, sexy novel about a man who has it all—until one night changes everything…

Dubbed the “  Sex Doctor”   on his local radio show, psychologist Donathan James advises callers on their sexual issues. With his gorgeous and brilliant neurosurgeon wife, Sydney, at home and women flirting with the hot doctor everywhere he goes, Donathan is living the high life. But when he wakes up naked and drugged in a hotel room, with no memory of the evening before, the doctor suddenly has problems of his own.

Soon, Donathan’s sexy stalker is sending him photographic evidence of what they did that night, turning up in his office to rant about her unstable past, and demanding they meet again and again. All Donathan wants is his life back—and for his wife not to find out. But when the relentless stranger goes too far, it leads him to discover his beloved wife has secrets of her own. Now, to save their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. James will have to hold on tight to survive the bumpiest ride of their lives.

 

Praise for Dangerous Consequences

“Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson, Waiting to Exhale meets Fatal Attraction!  Johnson makes a stunning debut with a well-written, fast-paced, suspenseful novel full of engaging, realistic characters and dramatic twists at every turn.  Readers will be engaged until the shocking end, but not to worry – book two is in the works.” —RTBookReviews, 4 Stars

 

“Hold on for the ride of your life . . . with unimaginable consequences.” —Mary B. Morrison

 

“An edgy tale eager to be told. The pace is blazing hot!” —Victor McGlothin

 

“A fast-paced, suspense-filled, dramatic curve ball that will keep you turning the pages.” —Sistah Friend Book Club

 

Purchase Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson
https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Consequences-Lisa-Renee-Johnson/dp/149670794X

 

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Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma

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

 

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

 

Nandi’s Unexpected Gift Book Reviews
Read more Amazon book reviews, go here.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Book Excerpt: Nandi’s Unexpected Gift

When her mother finally pulled up in the driveway, Nandi jumped to her feet and sprinted to retrieve the carefully crafted list from under her pillow.  Before her mother even made it to the front door, Nandi was already at the entrance, jumping up and down, flailing her arms about, and yelling, “Mama, Mama, I finished my birthday list!”

Her mother sighed as she rubbed Nandi’s cheek and replied, “That’s wonderful, baby doll, but give me a chance to get settled for a minute before I take a look at what you got, okay?  Today was a long day at work, and I just need some peace and quiet.  Also, I need you to grab another umbrella and help me get the rest of the groceries out of the back seat.”

Reluctantly, Nandi put her list down and ran back to her room to get an umbrella.  She didn’t realize all the noise she’d been making had woken her grandmother from her slumber.

“Hey, now, Di-Di, what have I told you ‘bout runnin’ in the house?” her grandmother said.  “Child, one day you gonna fly into a wall like a lost bird or knock over a lamp.”

“Sorry, Grandmama Janie,” Nandi replied respectfully. “I’m just excited to show Mama my birthday list.  I finished it up last night.”

“That’s fine and dandy honey, but you still can’t go around runnin’ like a wild boar.  You almost scared your poor Grandmama to death.  I ain’t no spring chicken no more,” she said with a heavy sigh. “Now let me take a look at this list that’s got you actin’ all crazy.”

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ama Kuma.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Copies of Nandi’s Unexpected Gift
Genre:  YA, Children’s Book (8-11)
https://www.amazon.com/Nandis-Unexpected-Gift-Ama-Kuma/dp/1524619124

About the Author

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

Website:  http://www.amakuma.net
Twitter:  @ama_kuma1
Instagram:  amakuma_author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ama_kuma1
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/NandiUGift

 

 

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A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey takes a look at our friends from Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard five years later.


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.

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey
http://www.authortraceyfagandanzey.com

 

 


Tracey Fagan-Danzey was raised and educated in the woodsy suburb of  New Canaan, Connecticut.  Following her attendance at Fairleigh Dickinson and Fairfield Universities, Tracey obtained her credentials as a Professional of Human Resources.  All the while Tracey continued to pursue her natural craft of writing.

To further her aspirations of becoming a published author, Tracey elevated her commitment by becoming a participant of the Westport Writers’ Workshop and critique groups. Tracey continues to reside in Connecticut with her beloved son Tanner Ryan and doting husband Tony.

Jasper’s  Cafe On The Boulevard is a rework of  a debut project titled “Where Is The Box For Someone Like Me?”  This project advanced in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. See here: http://www.authortraceyfagandanzey.com/music-page

 

And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson

AND THEN THERE WAS ME
by Sadeqa Johnson


“And Then There Was Me is a well-written, thought-provoking novel that many women will relate to.” —Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times best-selling author of Copycat

 

“A story of one woman’s journey toward the life she deserves, with plenty of satisfying and surprising twists along the way.” —Kirkus Reviews
Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.

And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.

 

Purchase And Then There Was Me
https://www.amazon.com/S adeqa-Johnson/e/B007CMM4EY

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In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28.

Do you find yourself wondering about the expiration date of your “meantime place?” Are you struggling to hold on when you have no idea what God’s end game is?

 

Multi-published award winning author, entrepreneur and Purpose Champion, Unoma Nwankwor takes readers on a hopeful exploration of Jeremiah 29. Along the way, she provides strategies to remain anchored during the uncertainties of life. Storms come to move us out of place, but as Christians we must not only survive but thrive with persevering confidence.

Blending undisguised personal testimony, biblical references and in your face realisms, this book shows readers how to push past the stagnation of life’s uncertainties by successfully navigating the dark places, walking the walk of faith with hope for a favorable end, having peace by learning to trust God and relinquish control to Him. We can’t dominate our areas of influence in excellence if we give up every time we hit a rocky patch. This book will leave you equipped with tools and tips needed to help you push through the process by maintaining confident expectations for today and tomorrow.

Bonus: With the paperback, you’ll receive the Light Pearls in the Dark Prayer Journal. It contains 40 days of praise/worship song suggestions and anchor verses that will help you strategically defeat the enemy’s plan of sowing doubt in your dark place. It also provides space for you to write personalized prayers. Record your testimonies in accordance to the fulfillment of His promise.

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