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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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Books by Karen Sloan-Brown

The Designated Ones: From Jerusalem to Ethiopia by Karen Sloan-Brown

It’s 2014. Grieving the loss of family members and friends killed in a plane crash, renowned megachurch pastor Priscilla Sinclair sits on her patio, prepared to take her own life. But before she can end it all, a stranger shows up at her Virginia home and changes everything.

Trying to strengthen her faith, the stranger challenges Priscilla to lean on God’s promises and on the examples of faith left to her by her ancestors. He tells her a story she has never heard before. The story goes back over 3,000 years, beginning with Aaron, God’s designated high priest during the Exodus, and explores the line of designated ones through the times of King David, Solomon, the exile in Babylon, the crossing of the Arabian Desert into Saba, the migration across the Red Sea into Axum, the birth of Christ, and the lives of the generations that have followed.

In this thrilling journey through history, Priscilla is given a chance to go from failure to faith and live to fight another day. But will she accept the stranger’s challenge?

Purchase The Designated Ones: From Jerusalem to Ethiopia by Karen Sloan-Brown
https://www.amazon.com/Designated-Ones-Jerusalem-Ethiopia/dp/1944440143

The Struggle: From Kenya to Jamaica by Karen Sloan-Brown

In part two, The Struggle, in the year AD 490, her ancestors battle in religious wars for 1000 years until the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade. They are sold as slaves and shipped to a sugarcane plantation in Jamaica. Two hundred years later, Adam is sold and shipped to a tobacco plantation in Virginia.

In this thrilling journey through history, Priscilla is given a chance to go from failure to faith and live to fight another day. But will she accept the stranger’s challenge?

Purchase The Struggle: From Kenya to Jamaica by Karen Sloan-Brown
https://www.amazon.com/Struggle-Kenya-Jamaica-Karen-Sloan-Brown/dp/1944440151

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Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night 

Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

Love Like It’s Hot Celebrates Independence Day – a day celebrated around the country – and will never be seen quite the same as six of today’s contemporary, nationally best-selling romance authors bring the heat in this box set filled with unique stories of impassioned love and intense romance!   The Fourth has never been hotter – be sure to Love Like its Hot! Available at Amazon & B&N.

Featured Authors in “Love Like It’s Hot!” Book Set:

* Love for Liberty by Ann Clay

* Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

* Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey

* Summer Sizzle by Donna Hill

* Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

* The Fourth by Xyla Turner


Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

Erin Isaacs is at the point in her career where she’s paying her dues. She’s giving her PR career everything she’s got even if it means having to deal with a harsh and intimidating boss. She’s doing all she can to prove herself in this company and the industry, which is dominated by a few who all seem to know one another. And her boss is very well known across the industry.

When Real Estate Developer and luxury hotel owner, Noah Lucas becomes her PR firm’s newest client, Erin immediately deems the sexy billionaire off limits because fraternizing with clients is a no no! Erin is supposed to go on vacation but that boss of hers makes her cancel it to take on a new assignment on short notice. Noah just happens to be the client.

Erin must travel to the pre-grand opening of Noah’s new luxury hotel to explore the resort and spa and gather research for their PR campaign. Sweet heat rises under the tropical sun heating up Noah and Erin’s desire for one another. An affair with him could jeopardize her career, but their inability to resist one another takes them on an exploration of paradise and the possibility of love. There’s so much at stake for Erin. Winning would mean that she could have Noah and her career but was winning even possible?

 


Excerpt from Chapter One:  Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night 

“Who is that?”

Erin Isaacs looked up just in time to get a peek at the gorgeous man walking into the conference room with her boss.

“He’s beautiful,” her co-worker Janel continued in a dreamy voice as she leaned against Erin’s desk.

Erin’s hand was back on her keyboard. “I have no idea, and with all the work piled on my desk I don’t have the time to find out.”

She pretended to be unfazed, but she saw the man. She saw every inch of his tall, dark, handsome presence, with skin that looked as though he’d been freshly dipped in caramel. The Douglas Group had a strict rule about fraternizing with employees and clients. So, whoever he was, it didn’t matter. He was off limits. Besides, with the hours they worked, who had time to date anyway?

Despite Erin’s dismissal of the gorgeous stranger, Janel folded her arms and continued to stare in the direction of the conference room. By now the door was closed.

“What are you trying to do, use x-ray vision to see this guy?” Erin teased.

“No, I’m trying to fasten the image of him to my mind so I can see him in my dreams. That’s as close as I’ll get to having a man in my bed. Ha!” Janel barked out one of her short, high-pitched laughs.

Erin shook her head and couldn’t help but smile. Janel was always good for squeezing a laugh out of her. She was also one of the few fellow public relations associates Erin believed she could trust. PR was a competitive environment with one associate constantly trying to outdo the other.

“I guess I’ll get back to work. Hopefully, they’d be out of there before I go to lunch. I need to see him one more time to perfect the impression of him in my mind.”

Erin looked up from her computer and tilted her head. “Really, Janel, you need to get out more. That way you won’t have to imprint images of good-looking men on your mind at work.”

“Pfft. Like you have a life.” Janel playfully waved her off.

“We’re so pathetic.” Erin slouched her shoulders into a dejected posture to emphasize her point. Both women burst out laughing.

“No, but really,” Janel said through her laughter, “we are pathetic.” She pushed away from the side of Erin’s desk. “Just let me know when that door opens up.” She rounded the short wall dividing their cubicles and sat down. “I want my last glimpse. I have to get my excitement somehow.”

Erin shook her head. She knew Janel’s life because she lived it. Every now and then, she’d get out to a movie or dinner. Other times, she’d invite her besties over to binge watch shows with her. “Dammit!” she feigned anger. “Could we be more pathetic?”

The women laughed again. Janel took a loud bite of an apple. “Nope. I don’t think so,” she said through a mouthful.

After more laughs both women set their attention back on work, but Erin’s mind wandered to her lonely existence. She spent a lot of time alone, but wasn’t necessarily lonely. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d gone out on a date. Erin allowed her mind to wander back to the many woeful attempts at dating she’d endured before taking a hiatus from those misadventures; back to the beginning when she’d put her profile on a dating site and was notified she had a match.

She’d excitedly tapped through the screens to see who it was, wondering if he was good-looking. Was he American? She loved men with accents—loved men of different cultures. And there he was, pictured next to her profile shot with the app encouraging her to respond to him before time ran out. Below that encouragement was a red ‘X’ and a green heart. Later she found out she’d been matched with a cheater and went back into the site to delete her profile. This time she jabbed the red ‘X’ under his picture so hard she almost broke a nail. Erin wondered if his new wife knew he was married but still looking.

If it weren’t for Erin’s two closest friends, Simone and Tori, she would hardly leave the house. Erin kept long hours and by the time she got home all she wanted to do was eat and sleep. And then there were the events. In PR, there were always events to attend—breakfast events, lunches, meetings, receptions, cocktail parties, galas, launch parties, grand openings. When she first started at The Douglas Group—one of New York City’s premier full-service PR firms, those events excited her. But now the honeymoon was over. It was work. The non-stop, overly competitive environment sharpened her skills but proved to be exhausting at times. It was a good thing loved her job and the world of PR in general. Her calendar was filled, which was why she didn’t stress over not having a boyfriend. She simply didn’t have the time.

“Focus,” Erin mouthed to herself and returned to the work in front of her. An endless list of unread emails awaited her attention.

Every few seconds her cell phone buzzed with text notifications. Erin zoned out the noises of the office—telephone conversations, easy listening music flowing from the built-in speakers, employee chatter, nails clicking against keyboards—and dug into her current assignment. She was working on developing a few media pitches for a new client. After cranking out a few more emails to media contacts and finishing up changes to a contract her boss had requested, Erin was about to stand when Janel popped up from her cubicle. Erin craned her neck toward Janel’s towering body.

“Shh!” Janel put her finger to her lips but kept her eyes on the conference room. “The door is opening.” A hush came over their side of the office.

Erin shook her head. “I can’t believe you, Janel.” Erin waved her off, collected the documents sliding out from her printer and placed them in a folder.

“I hear them. He’s coming out!” Janel whispered.

Erin chuckled, stood, and gathered the folder along with some other papers in her hand and walked through the cubicle city toward her boss’s office. After placing the files where she’d been directed to put them, Erin walked out of the office hoping her boss wouldn’t demean her changes too much. She’d been hailed as a great writer by everyone but her Kristin Douglas. That woman had never uttered a nice word to Erin since the day she said, ‘You’ve got the job.’ With her mind on the condescending feedback she anticipated, Erin failed to see the conference room door open wider.

Before she could stop herself, she had collided into the gorgeous man Janel had been waiting to see. His body was so taut she bounced off him. The man reached out and quickly caught her by her arms to keep her from falling back. The feel of his strong hands sent a jolt of energy squiggling down her arms. Embarrassed, she jerked away, apologizing profusely. In her peripheral, she caught Kristin’s annoyed expression—eyes so tight they narrowed to slits.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“It’s no problem at all.” His voice…low and velvety. The accent. Caribbean. Melodic. Beautiful. It seemed to travel slowly down Erin’s spine. She could close her eyes and listen to him all day.

Erin’s core tightened. She swallowed. Until this point, she had yet to look into his face. She lifted her eyes and the next apology caught in her throat. His eyes, brown, kind, seductive, held her hostage. For a moment she couldn’t look away. Her gaze slid down the rest of his perfectly set face. Dimples deep enough for her to place the tip of her finger in. Lips that framed teeth resembling precious pearls. This dude was a masterpiece. And he smelled amazing. Erin wanted to take a long whiff but was afraid her eyes would involuntarily close.

Erin cleared her throat and stepped back. “Again, my apologies. I didn’t see you coming out of the door.”

“Again, no problem.” His cadence was like a song.

The glare Kristin tossed in her direction made Erin want to hide under a desk somewhere. She started walking away.

“Noah Lucas.” The beautiful stranger held out his hand.

“Oh!” Erin let out a nervous chuckle. “Erin. Erin Isaacs.” She shook his hand. Behind him, Kristin glowered. “Pleasure to meet you Mr. Lucas. If you’ll excuse me.” Erin hurried back to her desk, plopped down and huffed.

“Wow!” Janel leaned over the top of the cubicle. Erin could tell she was on her toes on the other side. “You touched him. How did it feel?” Janel giggled.

Erin snickered. She needed that laugh. “Great, actually. He’s muscular. Kristin gave me the look of death though.”

“Of course.” Janel scoffed and rolled her eyes. “At least you got to touch him.” She chuckled.

“And it felt amazing,” Erin said. The women snickered together. “I need to get back to work.”

Janel remained standing, her eye trained in the direction of Kristin and the guy, Noah. Erin turned back to her computer. She refused to look. She didn’t want to see Kristin’s nasty glares. She’d hear enough about it once the man was gone. Kristin would find just the right words to express how inappropriate that situation was. If her student loans weren’t so much…if this wasn’t the top PR company in the city…if her rent to live in this expensive city didn’t cost a mint…perhaps she’d quit.
PR was a small world, so she couldn’t afford to mess up her chances of moving up the ladder at The Douglas Group or other prospective agencies. She dealt with Kristin’s antics and chucked it up to paying her dues. One day, she would no longer have to answer to Kristin or any other unbearable boss.

Moments later she noticed Janel was no longer standing.

Kristin appeared by her cubicle with Noah at her side. Through a slick grin, Kristin introduced Noah to each of them and proceeded to parade him around the entire office as if she were introducing her new fiancé instead of The Douglas Group’s newest client

Erin waited until things quieted before asking, “Is he gone yet?”

“Unfortunately.” Janel slid her chair back and peered around the wall. “That was awkward, don’t ya think? Kristin seemed a little sweet on him, huh?”

“A little.” Erin nodded, playfully waved Janel off, and braced herself for Kristin’s return. Once Noah was gone, she knew Kristin would round her cubicle spewing her discontent for bumping into their new client. But time passed—nearly a half hour. Erin kept her head down and her eyes on the screen of her laptop. Then she heard Kristin’s voice, muffled loudness carrying itself through the walls of her father’s closed office door. Janel stood and looked at Erin. Erin shrugged. They had no idea why Kristin was so upset. Her yelling wasn’t new to them. Erin sighed, knowing she’d soon have to deal with the brunt of whatever made Kristin mad.

Another few minutes passed and Kristin still hadn’t shown up at Erin’s desk. Just as Erin’s shoulders started to ease from the anticipation of Kristin’s pending tirade, she heard the woman’s harried footsteps. Erin knew that walk—short, hard strides meant she was livid. Here it comes.
Kristin appeared like a harsh wind, slamming a manila file onto Erin’s desk. “Your new assignment,” she said, folding her arms across her chest. “Have Ariel make your travel arrangements. You’ll need to fly out on Friday morning. Got it?”

“This coming Friday?” Erin’s eyes widened.

Kristin tilted her head, seemingly annoyed by the fact that Erin inquired about the day. “That’s what I said.”

“But my last day is Thursday. I leave for my vacation Friday morning.”

“Cancel it!” Kristin spun on her heels and marched away.

( Continued… )

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

 

 

 


Meet Nicki Night

A born and bred New Yorker, Nicki Night delights in creating hometown heroes and heroines with an edge. As an avid reader and champion for love, Nicki chose to pen romance novels because she believes that loves rocks and she delights in writing contemporary romances with unforgettable characters and just enough drama to make readers clutch a pearl here and there.

Nicki has a penchant for adventure and is currently working on penning her next romantic escapade. Nicki is a member of Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) and the New York City Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America.

 

BPM: How was writing a short story different than writing a full-length novel?
Writing short stories and full-length novels is completely different to me. I’m definitely a full-length kind of girl. It took work and lots of maneuvering to make the story happen and make their love unfold in a shorter length. I ended up enjoying these characters immense and love the story, but it was challenging for me.

 

BPM: Do you prefer full writing length-novels?
Yes! I definitely prefer writing full-length novels. I like getting into the stories, digging into the backgrounds of characters to reveal interesting and telling details to make them real. I have another novella that I’m working on, but my preference is definitely full-length novels.

 

BPM: What inspired you to become a romance writer? How long have you been writing?
I love writing and love being able to write about love because I feel that it doesn’t get enough spotlight. There’s also no secret that romance is still the highest earning genre of all book genres.

 

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
You can say that. It’s what I was put here to do besides work with kids. It’s my gift and operating in my gift is gratifying and it glorifies my God. There’s so much that is spiritual about it, but I don’t think of it that way. It’s simply part of who I am.

 

BPM: How has writing romance novels impacted your life?
I love these stories because they highlight the fun, beauty and chase of finding love. As far as the impact, my novels and I have been well received and that’s humbling. It’s such a blessing.

 

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your body of work?
That my voice with regards to writing novels is completely different than my voice when writing regular fiction.

 

BPM: How do you find or make time to write? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a mixture of plotter and panster—I’m a plotster! I plot and sometimes, run off the plotted road allowing my characters to surprise me. I try to stick to writing in the evenings and on weekends because my schedule is so busy. I lock myself in my home office or head to a local Starbucks, plug my years with headphones and disappear into my story for several hours at a time. All of my books have their own playlists.

 

BPM: Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night is your story on the boxset. What is your story in Love Like It’s Hot about?
Erin Isaacs is at the point in her career where she’s paying her dues. She’s giving her PR career everything she’s got even if it means having to deal with a harsh and intimidating boss. She’s doing all she can to prove herself in this company and the industry, which is dominated by a few who all seem to know one another. And her boss is very well known across the industry.

When Real Estate Developer and luxury hotel owner, Noah Lucas becomes her PR firm’s newest client, Erin immediately deems the sexy billionaire off limits because fraternizing with clients is a no no! Erin is supposed to go on vacation but that boss of hers makes her cancel it to take on a new assignment on short notice. Noah just happens to be the client.

Erin must travel to the pre-grand opening of Noah’s new luxury hotel to explore the resort and spa and gather research for their PR campaign. Sweet heat rises under the tropical sun heating up Noah and Erin’s desire for one another. An affair with him could jeopardize her career, but their inability to resist one another takes them on an exploration of paradise and the possibility of love. There’s so much at stake for Erin. Winning would mean that she could have Noah and her career but was winning even possible?

 

BPM: What inspired the story Sweet Heat Rising?
I’m a work-acholic that loves to travel and love stories the provide complicated work situations and amazing locations. I like writing about different places because it’s like traveling to those locations.

 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters in Sweet Heat Rising. What makes each one special?
Noah is rich but didn’t always have billions. He’s handsome, smart, hardworking and has a dream. Erin lives in a tiny apartment in NYC and works at one of the city’s top PR firms. Having come from near poverty and a troubled family he’s determined to succeed. She doesn’t mind working hard and has already sacrificed so much to be successful and now she’s finally on her way.

 

BPM: What was your hardest scene to write, the opening or the close?
The closing scene is always harder than the opener. I always like to close in a way that leaves a little something to the imagination, while bringing some closer in a way that is satisfying to the reader.

 

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Traveling. I love traveling. It’s so cool to explore locations through books and I do lots of research especially for locations that I haven’t had the pleasure of traveling to personally. As much as I love traveling, having to do it for work can sometimes be challenging.

I don’t always get to go to places I really want to go. I don’t get to choose when I can go and it’s difficult to have to travel for work at time when you’d prefer to be home or somewhere else. I’ve had to travel for work around family member’s birthdays, my anniversary and if I had my choice, I wouldn’t leave my family. I’ve had to travel for work at times when my girlfriends were away on girls’ trips.

Erin had a vacation planned and had to cancel her vacation with her friends for this business trip. I can totally relate to that.

 

BPM: Is there a specific space/state that you find inspiration in?
It varies. I love being isolated to allow my ideas to flow and I can even act things out. Yes, I do that.

 

BPM: Do you want each book to stand on its own or do you prefer to write series?
I like both but do prefer to have books stand on their own.

 

BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Hmmm, Paranormal is not my strong suit. You will never see a paranormal book by Nicki Night.

 

BPM: What’s changed in publishing and how are you responding to those changes?
The list of changes goes on forever and constantly changes itself. How much people read, the way they read, how publishers interact with authors, how authors interact with readers—all of this has changed. At the end of the day, I’m a writer, and I must write. I hope to remain agile and savvy enough to manage the changing tides and remain relevant and published. One key is staying informed and close to the industry to know what’s happening so you can best navigate the trends. It’s also important to know that it’s important to roll with the changes or be pushed out.

 

BPM: What else are you working on as Renee Daniel Flagler?
So many things. I have a new book out July 1st along with this anthology. It’s a double book with Donna Hill and our last book with Harlequin Kimani. The title of my book in that double set is Sealed With a Kiss.

After that my future books with Harlequin will be released under their Desire line. I also have a nonfiction book coming this summer called Dream Journey: 7 Steps for Professionalizing Your Passion. It’s about using your gifts, talents and passions to create a career path so that you can get paid for doing what you love.

 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present as Nicki Night?
I’m working on several projects at once. Most importantly, I’m working on the next romance book for a 2020 release.

 

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work beyond this collection.
I write romance as Nicki Night but everything else under Renee Daniel Flagler. My first audio book came out this year and I’m excited about that. My book Society Wives is now available in audio. I’m also working on Dream Journey: 7 Steps for Professionalizing Your Passion will be out this summer as well and I have several other novels in the works. Dream Journey means a lot to me because it’s all about teaching people how to make a career path out of their passions. I do a lot of speaking engagements on this subject and I’m so excited about finally getting the book out there.

 

BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
I’m available on social media, (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and via email at http://nickinight.com
Readers can connect with me and find out more about me through social media and my website: http://nickinight.com

 

Love Like It’s Hot Featured Authors

* Love for Liberty by Ann Clay
* Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton
* Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey
* Summer Sizzle by Donna Hill
* Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night
* The Fourth by Xyla Turner

 

Catch up on Nicki Night’s work while you wait for the release of Love Like It’s HOT!
 

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.”

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Love For Liberty by Ann Clay (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Love For Liberty by Ann Clay (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Mayor Liberty Kennedy is hell-bent on preserving Versa Village’s legacy, but that’s not why she agrees to Rani Brooks’ proposition. Everyone knows that she and the city councilman are feuding rivals. His proposition at first is far-fetched, but it doesn’t take long before his blazing kisses are the only expansion she yearns for.

Councilman Rani Brooks will move mountains to win Liberty’s love, even if it means backing her village development project. He could care less about the public works expansion at first, but if it will get him what he wants, Liberty as his own, he’s all in.

Versa Village is in for an unforgettable Independence Day treat. Kisses by day, and fireworks by night.

 

Excerpt: Love For Liberty by Ann Clay

 

“Mayor.” Rani’s eyes lowered to meet hers. She saw the fire in them, and it stirred the part of her she worked hard to ignore whenever he neared. After last night at the Bergman Fundraising Gala, the gentle touching and sweet kisses, the mere remembrance had her longing for more than his scalding glance.

“Councilman,” Liberty responded with a slight raise of her chin. What is he doing here this early in the morning? Man, you’re going to be the end of me. I just know it. He towered above her with broad shoulders, massive chest, and powerful arms bulging against his fitted, heavily starched shirt. His clean-shaven face drew her attention immediately; high cheeks and unforgettable eyes, hidden behind heavy dark lashes, lured Liberty into his hold without effort.

Rani garnered a lot of female attention: Being single with no children, the head of his family-owned business, and extremely handsome made him one of the most desirable men within a hundred miles of Versa.

He’d won the chair of the city council at the same time she was elected mayor. Until then, they’d practically moved in different circles. And like every other member of the council, with the exception of the city manager and herself, he worked for the village part-time. He didn’t normally come to city hall until the day of the monthly council meeting.

She moved past him as quickly as her clicking heels could take her across the marble floor. She would not be tortured by Rani Brooks. She had too much on her plate today. Once she escaped Rani, she sighed, but her relief would be brief. She saw the small crowd gathered at her office door once she turned the corner. She released an audible groan. “Lawd, give me strength.”

She picked up her pace and shifted the folders she carried from one arm to the other, momentarily shoving Rani to the back of her thoughts. She smiled as she neared the cluster. “Good morning. It’s always a pleasure to see you all. What brings you here at such an early hour?”

The lie struck a nerve in her head; she knew full well that she would much rather have arrived at her office without drama. And where was her assistant, Justin? He usually ran interference for her. She groaned. The interruption did not fit into her plan for the day. She’d hoped to jot down some notes before the Economics Development tiger team meeting this morning. The planning team needed her signature before the proposal went to the city council in a couple of days. If all went well and the council and the residents agreed on the proposal, she would plan a ground-breaking celebration in time for the Fourth of July to denote a landmark celebration for Versa.

Justin appeared, out of breath. “Sorry, Mayor Kennedy. I tried to man the front entrance. Apparently…”

So where did all of these people come from? Liberty tried not to frown. Instead she smiled and prayed it looked genuine.

“Not a problem, Justin. I have an open-door policy, and I’m here to serve.”

But she did have a problem, at least this morning. She hoped her displeasure didn’t show on her face. “Please, come in.” She tilted her head toward the closed door and dumped the folders into Justin’s waiting arms. “Just give me a minute to grab a pen and pad.”

The sound of grumbles followed her into the reception area, where cool air greeted them. The late spring weather in the southern region of the country seemed hotter than usual, and wilted everyone bold enough to stay outside for more than an hour.

Liberty reached across Justin’s desk and grabbed a pad and pen before turning to meet the crew now clustered in the room. She put on a smile as she glanced across the faces of each person. “All right! Good morning, again. What can I do for you?”

Mel Worrell spoke first. He moved closer than she liked. She almost stepped back, but stilled.

“We see the need for the development in Versa, but,” he turned and pointed to the people behind him, “we want to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact our community, especially our businesses.” He looked down into her face. “Sure, we can use some of the improvements you’re talking about. We came to make sure you know where we stand.”

Liberty paused before speaking. “Certainly I understand your concerns, and of course you’ll have the opportunity to voice all of them at the next council meeting.”

“That’s just it!” Maxine Oliver moved forward. “Seems to me there’s a whole lot of fussing and not enough discussing at these darn meetings. It’s just plum crazy. Now, here’s what we need you to do, young lady. In this proposal of yours, you need to make sure you’re not putting the burden on us. We pay our share, and we want to be sure this won’t hurt our businesses.”

Liberty raised a brow at the woman’s reference to her, as if she were a wayward child being reprimanded. She had to admit that since Rani Brooks joined the council, things hadn’t progressed as she’d liked. Their behind-the-scenes bickering had been recounted by those who witnessed it and was now public knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

 

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

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

 

Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens

 

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

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

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

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

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

Maxine smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continued… )

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

 

 

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

 

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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

 

 

Walk in Your Authority by Allison G. Daniels

 


Walk in Your Authority (Unleashing the Divine Power from Within) by Allison Gregory Daniels

 

In this book, Walk in Your Authority: Unleashing the Divine Power from Within, author Allison Gregory Daniels shares how she weathered the storms of life by taking you through her life experiences and showing you how she stood trusting God in the midst of it all. Her refusal to allow life’s events to destroy God’s plan and solidified her identity.

This book is a step-by-step guide, offering powerful tips, strategies, and tools for overcoming your passed hurts, surviving emotional setbacks, and handling your emotions. Daniels offers testimony to the faith and trust she placed in God, as well as the reassurance that past experiences do not have to destroy future dreams. She knew that she would stand, live, love, and laugh again, once she changed her thinking and dealt with her past disappointments, which then reconnected her to her journey of wholeness.

 

BAN Radio Show Interview with Ella D. Curry
Listen Allison on BAN Radio Show: http://tobtr.com/s/11240813

 

 

Purchase Walk in Your Authority (Unleashing the Divine Power from Within) Non-Fiction, Women and Teens, Learning How to Walk in your Authority with Confidence, Clarity and Consistency.  Non-Fiction, Women and Teens, Learning How to Walk in your Authority with Confidence, Clarity and Consistency
Allison’s books website:  https://www.allisongdaniels.com/apps/webstore

 

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of Allison Daniels’ Ministries, LLC (ADM) is to see all people saved and their minds set free from the yokes of bondage. Her vision and purpose is to inspire, motivate and help others to accept and embrace the beauty of their journey as she teaches them how to “Walk in your Authority and Unleash the Power from Within!” Allison believes that the spirit of the Lord GOD is upon her; because the LORD hath anointed her to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent her to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound to be set free.

 

Meet the Author
Allison G. Daniels is an Awarding-Winning, 2X Bestselling Author who has written over 31 books, Co-Author of 8 books, working on her 1st Visionary Book Collaboration, Titled: “Empowered to Win”.  She is the owner of Allison Daniels’ Ministries, LLC; Coaching and Consulting Business; Founder/CEO of the Write 2 Finish Now! Book Program where four of her clients became published authors. Allison is the Founder/CEO of Women Empowered 2 Win Organization.

She is an accomplished Author, Speaker, Coach, and Licensed Minister. Allison has a Monday Morning Facebook Live at 5am Segment and Contributing Co-Host of WBGR radio show “LetsDoThis”.

She has been married to her husband Earl for 17 years and they have two Queens Kristian & Damona. Her mission is to Aspire, Dream and Motivate others.
Visit Allison G. Daniels website: https://www.allisongdaniels.com

 

The Author in You: New Writers Searching for a Theme by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

The Author in You: New Writers Searching for a Theme by Dr. Lynda Mubarak

What Is the Theme In a Story and Why Does It Matter? Dr. Lynda Mubarak has the answer in her new publishing guide: http://a.co/d/5oTwihA

Having trouble deciding on your topic or subject? Too many choices? You are torn between several subjects and you need assistance deciding what’s best. Take a few minutes to investigate some areas of interest with this short guide to planning your book.

The Author in You will save time and provide some insight on selecting a theme that works for you and offer some simple steps on getting it done!

 

The Author in You: New Writers Searching for a Theme by Dr. Lynda Mubarak
Kindle Download:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JYLGL9M

 

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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New Books Siera London

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

About the Author

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

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

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

 

 


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

Book Reviews: Staying The Course by Siera London

 

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

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

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Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul: Poems and Inspiration to Live and Love Harmoniously by Janet Autherine

Books by Janet Autherine

 

Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul, is a beautiful collection of poems that tell the stories of strong, vulnerable, courageous women who love deeply, sometimes fall hard but always lead with their hearts. It is a deep and gritty, fresh and robust look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are sometimes lost in the process. Drawing on personal experiences from her own journey of the past 30 years, J Autherine delves into the vulnerable hearts of women from around the world, including from her early years in Jamaica.

 

Growing into Greatness with God, 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters is inspired by her own experiences growing up in Jamaica, as well as her experience raising her three sons to recognize and nourish what God has planted within each of them. Her goal, through her writing, is to empower adults and children to see themselves as unique and amazing, already blessed with the ability to succeed in life and achieve their dreams.

 

About the Author
Janet was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. She grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Pennsylvania State University and Boston College Law School. Janet continues to practice law but wakes up at 5am almost every morning to cultivate her inspirational writing and introduce readers to great books through her publishing company, Autherine Publishing. She is a proud introvert and running and reading are her peaceful passions. Her books are available on Amazon and she blogs at http://www.JanetAutherine.com.

Twitter: @LoveAutherine
IG Poetry: @J.Autherine
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanetAutherine
Website: http://www.janetautherine.com/wild-heart-peaceful-soul

 

 


 

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Family Is Not Everything: How To Minimize Their Mess, Maximize Your Happiness and Enjoy Emotional Baggage Breakthroughs by Anita Washington

Are people constantly dumping their negative energy on you? Do you find yourself bombarded with painful thoughts from your past? What if with seven simple steps you could minimize their mess and maximize your happiness? Interested? Read on…

 

In Family Is Not Everything: How To Minimize Their Mess, Maximize Your Happiness and Enjoy Emotional Baggage Breakthroughs, author Anita Washington details personal stories of surviving a homicidal alcoholic father, a neglectful mother and an emotionally and physically abusive brother to show you how childhood trauma turns into adult dysfunctional behavior. She includes lessons to learn from her abuse and her life-altering mistakes, along with teaching you how to use the affirmations, techniques and activities of her 7-Step Method to resolve the effects of emotional baggage and create a life of purpose and meaning. The 7-Step Method is a process of seven sequential steps she had seen produce the greatest results. It has not only worked for her and her previous clients, it can also work for you!

 

BOOK REVIEWS

ASwirlGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars  This Book is Riveting!
I finished this book a few days ago and I’m still mulling over what I’ve read. So much of Family Is Not Everything is heartbreaking and painful to read, and my heart ached for Anita. I rejoice in the fact that despite EVERYTHING that happened in her childhood and young adult-hood, Anita TRIUMPHED. She shares realistic, actionable steps that can be taken by others who feel trapped by their past or the circumstances of life. I applaud Anita’s courage and transparency in writing this book. I’ve been impacted profoundly as a result of reading this, and I know I’ll be thinking about what I’ve read for years to come.

 

Falexia
5.0 out of 5 stars  A must read!
Amazing book, hard to put down. It’s heartbreaking to read about the horrible things Anita endured, but despite what she went through she didn’t let it destroy her. This book is for everyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family, it gives you hope and inspired you to use what you’ve gone through to help others. We are taught that family is everything, yet the Word even says that your enemies will be members of your own household, Matt 10:36, therefore family is not everything and it’s okay to cut them off if it means saving your life. The book helps you under generational curses and educated you on how to be an overcome and not stay a victim. This book is going to help a lot of people who want to be free from the prison of their past, it gives hope for those who grew up in a negative or toxic environment. Freedom can be yours if you put into actions the steps Anita lays out in this book.

 

Sharon Lawrence, LCSW-C
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, Resilient, and Courageous!!
This book is amazing!!! It speaks for many who are afraid to share their stories of pain and trauma. Anita takes us on a journey while providing us with tools to improve our own lives with no guilt. It will teach you how to establish self-respect, set boundaries and live a free life. Thank you Anita!!!

 

Rhonda Dickerson
5.0 out of 5 stars  Family is Not Everything!!!
This book is sooo good. It is very hard to put down. After reading this book it gave me a extra push to finish my book and not worry about others opinion. I am so happy for you Anita. Thank you for allowing God to use you to help and health others. Love you!!

 

Charlie Latham
5.0 out of 5 stars  A helpful book that gives you actionable steps to work on
Everyone has traumatic events happen in their childhood and this is what shapes and molds our psychological behavior and outlook.
Ultimately we all have traits we don’t like because of this, and they vary in so many ways depending on what exactly we’ve been through. For me I mainly struggle with a mixture of anxiety and emotional detachment which grew from going to boarding school at a young age. Reading this helped me analyse why I had these personality traits, dissect that a bit and deal with it. It showed me how these had formed and gave me steps that I can actively follow to change this way of thinking and behaving.

 

Explore Books Anita Washington

AnitaTheAuthor.com/FINEAmazon (Amazon)

AnitaTheAuthor.com/FINEbn (Barnes and Noble)

 

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Passport Wife by Terri D.

Passport Wife takes you beyond the fairy tale behind the scenes straight to my journals. Here is my story about how when I stopped looking for it love found me. It’s been quite the journey and all along I’ve been asking myself how did I end up here?

“I think we spend too much time trying to understand love. The who, what, when and where of it. Trying to put it into categories or a box so that it can make sense. Well the reality is that love means something different to everyone. No two people describe it the same way. It feels different and It affects us all differently. I do not have all the answers so this isn’t a book to tell you how to find love. It’s just my story about how when I stopped looking love found me.” –Terri D.

 

Book Review from iTunes by Sweet Lump: Passport Wife restores the hope of romantic true love. The author allows personal glimpses at her inner struggle and continues fear of the reality of what is unfolding but with determination to stay in the moment. According to Tennyson “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

 

Excerpt: Passport Wife by Terri D.

For most of my life I have had a very different perspective on love. I’ve always felt things very deeply, not like a physic just very strong feelings about love and good vs bad. The word love is a very powerful word. Saying it and hearing it evokes so many emotions. How a person responds to those words depends on the person saying it and who is receiving it. The circumstances around those words being uttered also plays a major part in how the message is received. It’s also become a very diluted word since we so often use it to describe how fond we are of things like food, “I love pizza” or “I love sweets.”

I’ve always been able to tell within minutes of meeting someone or being in their presence what type of vibe I received from them. Again, not physic but I’ve always been drawn to those who needed something. This explains many of my romantic relationships but I’m not ready to go there just yet. When I say love, I’m not talking about romantic love, I’m talking about all of it. Love for yourself, other people in general; from the stranger on the street, your acquaintances and your closest and most intimate relationships.

For as long as I can remember, or at least ever since my mother took me to see the movie Endless Love when I was an impressionable teenager, I have sought love. I craved loved from my father which I never really felt and since I had daddy issues, I sought love from men in general. After two failed marriages and many failed relationships, I found myself alone and resigned to the fact that this was going to be my fate. I was no longer looking for love from outside of myself just focusing on showing love to others in my everyday life. I’ve believed for a very long time that everything begins and ends with love. Some of my favorite Bible verses that express love are noted below.

1 John 4:8 God is love

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes to us the Bible’s definition of love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.

This is my story about how love found me when I wasn’t looking for it.

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Terri D.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Purchase Passport Wife by Terri D.
Genre: Memoir /Relationships
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KPVRVW9

 

 


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The Storm Is Passing Over by Charles R. Butts Jr.

For decades, The Floods have experienced untold happiness and prosperity. Flood Industries has become the largest privately owned conglomerate in the world. Three generations later, the entire family has come home to the farm to celebrate Scooter and Frankie’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. But when the storms and tragedies of life come their way, will Scooter be able to hold the family together and keep moving them forward while ceding leadership to his beloved granddaughter and successor Celeste?

The Storm Is Passing Over reminds us that while no one immune to the storms that are sure to come to their lives, they eventually pass and leave us better and stronger for having endured them.

 

 

Chapter 3: The Storm Is Passing Over by Charles R. Butts Jr.

“Oh my God, Gramps! I can’t believe what just happened. Meeting our ancestors was amazing! When my time comes, I promise to always do my very best,” CiCi said.

“We know you will, Baby Girl. There’s no one on this side of the sun more qualified than you. Always stay connected and reach out to them from time to time, they’re always eager to assist us. You’ll never have to worry about going it alone, I never did, nor did any of our predecessors.”

“I promise I will Gramps! I trust my heart, and all of you as well.”

“That’s great to hear because neither will ever deceive you.”

The band’s music grew louder as we approached the tent. Inside, Reese and Greta had finally arrived, along with his in-laws Heinrich and Ingrid Klaus.

Once inside, Reese made a beeline towards me. “Hey, Pop! Happy fiftieth anniversary to you and Mom!”

“Thank you, son. What took you so long to get here? You promised you’d be here yesterday at the latest. I chose Phillip to stand with me in your stead.”

“I know, and I’m so very sorry for that. But I have some very exciting news that will more than make up for it.”

“If your news has anything to do with business, it’ll have to keep until me and your mother return from our trip.” I should have known he’d show up pitching something that I’d surely oppose. Besides, there’s something not right about Heinrich. I’ve always had a strange feeling about him, but I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is. He just doesn’t appear genuine to me, at least not yet anyway.

“It can’t wait that long, Pop, please just give me fifteen minutes of your time to make my presentation. That’s all I ask.”

“Sorry, son, down here, family takes precedence over everything. In case you’d forgotten, this is a celebration for your mother and I renewing our vows. Our fiftieth anniversary is far more important than any perspective deal you’ve brought here to us. Now, where’s your Mother, brothers, and sisters?” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Why I Wrote About Josephine Baker by Sherry Jones

 

My novels tell the lives of extraordinary women in history who overcame formidable obstacles to achieve their highest potential—which, for me, always involves making a positive difference in the world. I delve into these women’s lives in hopes of inspiring others and myself.

And yet when I first considered writing about Josephine Baker, the African-American performer who hit it big in Paris in the 1920s, I expected a romp. I wanted it, in fact. Having wept as I wrote The Sharp Hook of Love, my tragic novel about the 12-century French lovers Abelard and Heloise, I was ready for some light-hearted fun. A pretty woman who danced and made funny faces wearing nothing more than a skirt of bananas seemed just the ticket.

But Ms. Baker, as it turned out, was a lot more than a nude, comic Parisian dancer.

Josephine Baker was a woman who lived life on her own terms, fearlessly and with heart. Raised in poverty by abusive parents, she dreamed big, pursued her goals with passion, and succeeded beyond even her wildest imaginings—and then risked all, even her very life, to make the world a better place.

First as a World War II spy for the French Resistance and then as a trailblazing U.S. civil rights activist, Josephine Baker used her power and her platform to fight for justice and equality against the forces of tyranny and hatred, prefiguring the anti-colorist activism by current celebrities including Colin Kaeparnick, Oprah, and Rihanna.

From the 1917 East St. Louis race riots to the 1963 March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the adoption of a “Rainbow Tribe” of 12 children of various races and cultures, Josephine Baker dedicated most of her life to eradicating racism. Although she felt encouraged by the changes that occurred during her lifetime, she knew the struggle for “her people” was only beginning. She was a fighter to the end, and also a lover—not just of individual men and women, but of all humanity.

When I feel overwhelmed by the vitriol and violence rearing its ugly head in America today, I draw on Josephine Baker’s courage, strength, and determination for the power to persevere. I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with the hope that it will inspire others to keep fighting the good fight—to, as she said in her 1963 speech, “light that fire in you, so that you can carry on, and so that you can do those things that I have done.” Given her many remarkable accomplishments, it’s a tall order, indeed.

 


About Sherry Jones

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.

Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne. Visit her online at AuthorSherryJones.com.

Website: http://authorsherryjones.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sherryjones
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sherryjones
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherry-jones
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherryjonesfanpage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/josephinebakerslastdance
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cybersecuritytechnologywriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219600.Sherry_Jones

 

 

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Praise for Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Telling Stories by Cheri Paris Edwards

Telling Stories by Cheri Paris Edwards

Sometimes life throws you a curveball…

Navigating middle-age is a challenge for 45-year old Genelle “Gigi” Golden. First the death of her mother, then her long time live-in boyfriend abruptly trades her in for a new model. Determined to restart her life Gigi packs her bags and heads to the Southwest. When things don’t go as planned, Gigi finds herself caught between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’; and an impulsive decision turns her life in an unexpected direction.

Then ex-military man Desmond Wright enters her life. Although physically changed by a skin disease it hasn’t dampened Desmond’s confidence or lessened his appeal to the opposite sex. But, Desmond’s life is complicated by an spoiled adult daughter, who treats his home like it has a revolving door, and a mother who won’t let him forget that he’s yet to find the love of his life.

When things falls apart, Gigi discovers that true friends reveal themselves in the toughest times and that grace comes when you least expect it.

Chapter One

Genelle- Chasing Waterfalls

Somewhere I read that the sky doesn’t get dark anymore. Well, I know for a fact it’s not true. Tonight, a deep black sky arches above, like an inky tarp dotted with glittering lights. In fact, the entire scene is as picturesque as one of those postcards hanging on the small wire carousel that sits on the shiny front counter of the hotel gift shop. Sand spreads like a fine white coverlet to the ocean’s edge. There, ripples nudged by a soft wind pause, glide effortlessly back into the sea. And perched at the edge of the horizon, a fat moon beams at his shimmery reflection.

Dragging my bare toes through the warm sand, I slowly make my way back toward the squat building that sits at the top of a small hill. By day, the charisma of the eccentric owners, Sam and Anthony, illuminates the restaurant and bar unimaginatively called the Tiki Lounge. At night, it’s the place that transforms. Rows of slender pendant lamps dangle from the wooden rafters above the terrace, turning it into a magical oasis. Even the breeze is enchanting, fragrant with spicy sandalwood incense and sweet plumeria blooms. Stepping onto the pebbled deck, I find an empty table, sink onto the emerald cushion of a chair. I slide my lips over the straw of the daiquiri I hold between my hands. Take a long thirsty swallow.

My eyes drift to the patio doors.

He walks in.

Eyes flashing, he threads through the cluster of tables and chairs. Makes his way toward me, as rhythmically as a slow, sweet song.

“Hey . . . ” he says huskily as he nears my table. His gaze holds mine.

“Hey yourself . . . ” I manage to whisper, breathless from the pounding of my heart.

My nostrils quiver. His scent like a sparkling forest after a burst of summer rain. Flicking my tongue, I moisten my lips, ready for the pressure of his mouth on mine. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Unlawful Seduction (Lawyers in Lust Series-Book 2)

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

 

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

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

 

EXCERPT – Unlawful Seduction

Chapter 1

 

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

“Dana?” Wallace actually nudged her elbow.

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

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

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

Hmmmm. Large hands.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What do you think about that, Dana?”

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

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

 

Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Series


Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Series is amazing. This series consists of 12 books, each set in one of 12 decades between 1900 and 2010. Each story focuses on the romance between African American protagonists, but also embraces the African American experience within that decade.

DECADES was inspired by a Harlequin series of ten romances that centered only white stories. Wayne Adrian Jordan felt it was time for the stories of African-American women to be told. Continue the journey with these compelling, unforgettable stories.

* List of books published by October, 2018 *

 

A Delicate Affair (Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance Book 1) by Lindsay Evans. Link: http://a.co/d/gNFJF0b

 

A Secret Desire (Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance Book 2) by Kaia Danielle. Link: http://a.co/d/am3y2Lx

 

Love’s Serenade (Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Book 3) by Sheryl Lister. Link: http://a.co/d/3rBBbUd

 

The Art of Love (Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance Book 4) by Suzette D. Harrison. Link: http://a.co/d/hDXRRhc

 

Love’s Sweet Melody (Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Book 5) by Kianna Alexander. Link: http://a.co/d/ituOsem

 

Pride and Passion (Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance Book 6) by Carla Buchanan. Link: http://a.co/d/i8RJxaQ

 

Election Day (Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Book 8) by Keith Thomas Walker. Link: http://a.co/d/dyzpVWk

 

Made To Hold You (Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Book 9) by Elle Wright. Link: http://a.co/d/bcxegAM

 

Thug Love (Decades: A Journey Of African-American Romance Book 10) by Zuri Day. Released Oct 1, 2018. Link: http://a.co/d/iF3RtcD

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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What’s in a Name? by Alice Wootson

Genius graduate student, Takeem El, is picked up by agents from The National Protection Operations because his name matches one on their new list. They question him at their location, fail to get information and decide to move him to headquarters. Members of an extremist group attack them, kill the agents and take Takeem. A further check shows Takeem is not the one on the list. Kelli Malone and Jake Landis, special government agents, are assigned to rescue him and apprehend the terrorists.

 

Reviews: What’s in a Name by Alice Wootson

“The action in What’s in a Name? is fast paced and the tension high, as the two agent juggle personal and mission-related issues. All in all a fun and clever read for both action and romance lovers.” –Reader R.M.

“The plot is strong with a number of intriguing subplots, and the characters well developed and charming. It’s a fun read and the romance gives it an added appeal.” — Reader T.J.

 

 

Chapter Excerpt: What’s in a Name? by Alice Wootson

Chapter One

It was a typical Friday night in the Howe University’s library. The building was quiet as only a nearly empty library would be, but if it was as noisy as a schoolyard at recess, the young man huddled over a book wouldn’t have noticed.

Hours had passed and he looked as if he could spend many more in the same position.

“Okay, Takeem. Time to stop for the night.”

Takeem looked at the librarian standing beside the table, then glanced at the empty tables around him. As usual he was the last student in the building.

“Okay, Mrs. Taylor.” He closed the book and moved it to the center of the table with three others. “Are you going to leave these here for me for tomorrow?” He grinned at her.

“I should.” She smiled back. “It would save me from having to shelve them again. You’ve had these same books for two days, now. Something giving you trouble?” She asked as he stood and stretched.

“No, I just want my semester project to be perfect.”

“Don’t you always?” She shook her head. “You know there is no such thing as perfection.”

“No, but it is something we should all strive for,” he answered as he gathered his things. They both laughed at the exchange they had many times. Neither noticed the man who paused outside the large front window, then continued down the street.

“I’m not trying to put myself out of a job, but you do know you can find a lot of information using the computer,” she said as they walked to the door.

“I know, but many important details are only in reference books and some of those are obscure.”

“You’ve discovered the librarians’ secret, my young friend. That’s how we make sure libraries don’t become obsolete.” She laughed. “I don’t know why I mentioned computers to you. I’ve heard that what you can do with technology is close to the perfection you’re seeking in your project.”

“That’s not true. There is no such thing as finished when it comes to finding out what computers can do. By the time a new one is on the assembly line, something new is already in the developmental stage.”

“I’ll have to take your word for that. All I know about computers and modern technology is what I need to know to function successfully in here. I’m more comfortable trusting things I can see and touch. Like books.” She stopped at the door. “See you tomorrow.”

She watched him leave, then locked the door behind him. She smiled as she thought of her young friend who was destined for success. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Border Love by Alice Wootson

Danger hits when least expected…so does love.

Border Patrol Officer, BROOKE HUDSON, is assigned to Brownsville, Texas on the Mexican border. She’s troubled by sending all undocumented immigrants back. She seeks guidance from God in all things.

DARIEN MCKEE is reassigned to Brownsville from Yuma after he almost kills a driver who left a truckload of undocumented immigrants to die in an isolated area. Darien has given up on God.

Brooke and Darien are assigned as partners. A relationship starts to develop when a bomb destroys headquarters and bombs target other government offices. Brooke and Darien are assigned new partners, but continue to share meals. The attraction grows.

Brooke’s new partner, Alonzo, has trouble following protocol and gets them both shot while on duty.

Darien hears about it and rushes to the area where officials are investigating. Brooke is missing. They learn she was taken across the border. Darien is determined to find her. In desperation, he turns back to God. Then continues his search. He goes across the border on his own.

Together they face trouble and triumph over it. Brooke and Darien realize that love through God can provide strength to go on despite adversity.

 

Reviews: Border Love by Alice Wootson

 

“This was an intense read! From the moment I picked this book up, I was hooked. A wonderful blend of romance, action and inspiration. The setting too was unique, the border agent angle was a clever twist on the classic romantic suspense. Great characters, well written, fantastic story. What else is there to say?” –Read R.J.

 

“Alice Wootson writes a compelling page turner in Border Love. The two main characters, Brooke and Darien, are Border Patrol Agents in Brownsville, Texas. They each come from other assignments and want to do a good job regardless of being haunted by their past.” –Reader V.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Border Danger by Alice Wootson

“Danger hits when least expected…so does love….”

Border Patrol Agent, NITA JOHNSON, is partnered with former substitute academy trainer, Agent CRAIG SAWYER, for a special assignment. They will patrol the border in an effort to uncover routes taken by illegals. Several things concern the agency: the routes don’t seem to be randomly selecte and inside information seems to have been used. Some of those apprehended are suspected of being drug-smugglers and terrorists.

Nita and Craig are sent undercover to Mexico to try to discover details. They work with undercover Mexican agents at two locations and the operation succeeds. Drug-smugglers are arrested. Terrorists are apprehended and plots to destroy many United States historical sites are uncovered.

United States citizens involved in other illegal operations are exposed and arrested.

Assignment successful, Nita and Craig can move forward with their personal plans. They love each other and will spend the rest of their lives together.

 

 

Reviews: Border Danger by Alice Wootson

“Ms. Wootson brings a well written suspense novel with an unusual subject. The sights, scenes, and sounds of Mexico and the border area crossing are brought to life with her well defined prose.” —V.C

“This is my first book by Alice Wootson and I loved it. She gives such detail about the border agent lifestyle, training and covert operations that I felt a part of the border patrol. The romance that blossoms between Craig and Nita is gradual yet real. The plot moved quickly and I loved the fact that I didn’t know who the bad guys were but still got a glimpse into their plan. Told in multiple POV’s yet the transitions were seamless.” —N.N. L.

“Border Danger’ is the impressive result of what I assume was a ton of research. The author introduces us to the tough world of training for border patrol agents and the even tougher job they face after graduation. Ms. Wootson avoids engaging in many of the debates over immigration and focuses on the challenges patrol agents face every day. The heroine is strong and determined and cool-headed, the hero is a good and honest man fighting criminals and his own issues. Together they make a powerful team working to keep order on the US-Mexico border.” —A.K.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Viral Xgressions by Marc Lacy

Viral Xgressions by Marc Lacy
Tainted Souls, Hacked Spirits, Wretched Deals, and Flatlines

Viral Xgressions (pronounced “transgressions”) is the second book of the Whiskey House Trilogy whose first book, Curse of the Whiskey House set the tone of the trilogy with a thunderous boom. Viral Xgressions picks right up where its predecessor left off with non- stop action, front to back drama, and “edge of your seat” anticipation of what’s taking place on the next page.

 

Hawthorne County Alabama is the resting spot for a city called, “Lazarus.” In the first book of the Whiskey House Trilogy, Curse of the Whiskey House, you had to ask yourself the question, “Why would Jesus want to save Lazarus…Alabama?” This town, purportedly a righteous church going dwelling, has allowed the evil deeds of a few to impact many in the worst way.

In Viral Xgressions, the treachery continues…unfortunately. As the subtitle “Tainted Souls, Hacked Spirits, Wretched Deals, and Flatlines” insinuates, Lazarus, Alabama ain’t getting outta the woods no time soon. Somebody needs to step up and DO THE RIGHT THING. Who will it be? Only one way to find out. But be warned, in Curse of the Whiskey House, the pages turned…however in Viral Xgressions, not only will they turn, they’re gonna turn so fast they just may burn. So grab a drink, a pillow, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

NOTE: Viral Xgressions is a very intense read with subject matter that is for adults only. Not advised for any readers under the age of 18.

 

 

Book Review Written by Michele Thomas, Out on A Limb Bookclub

“Viral Xgressions is a gripping good vs evil, supernatural vs reality tale that forces the reader to ask ‘What would I do?’ In this sequel to The Curse of The Whiskey House, Marc Lacy not only illustrates how years of wrongdoing can have dangerous consequences for generations, but he is able to tell the story in such a way that captures today’s issues that are dominating our society.”

 

 

Chapter Excerpt: Viral Xgressions (Transgressions)

“Oh Lord, I can barely breathe. Please, please help me! I didn’t ask for this. I was on my way home and now this! Right in the middle of Friday rush hour traffic. I survived a gunshot to the knee for cryin’ out loud. How is this accident gonna happen to me?” said Coach Gaither to himself as he was being pulled from the wreckage of a two car accident off of the turnpike and 665 Bypass. Friday, 3:30pm and his car was covered by numerous colorful autumn leaves as it rested placidly in a ditch flanking the Hawthorne County Woods.

“Medics, let me talk to the officers please. I can explain everything. This is not right!” demanded Coach Gaither while inhaling a mixture of forest pine aroma doused with oil, gasoline, and anti-freeze.

“Sir, please relax. You have a broken arm and we have to move slowly in order to make sure it’s stabilized,” instructed the paramedic.

“Is this young man your son? And what is that pink stuff spilled inside the vehicle?”

“Um, no he’s not my son. Well um, little Cory is someone I’m guiding through my mentoring program,” replied Coach Gaither nervously. “That’s ice cream.”

“Okay, understood. Well who are his parents? We need to contact them.”

“His parents?”

“Yes sir. Who are his parents? We have to let them know about the accident.”

“Is it okay if I call them to let them know?”

“Well, you can speak with them; however it is our duty to let them know his condition.”

“His condition? He doesn’t look hurt.”

“Well, he may not be seriously hurt, but it looks like the airbag possibly gave him a concussion. We need to contact his parents and have them meet us at General Hospital.”
Coach Gaither looked at the paramedic with eyes and mouth wide open, with an astonished expression, then said, “What does all of this mean?”

“Sir, the police will be over in a second to begin asking questions. Is there something wrong Mr. Gaither? You seem a bit startled and over-anxious?”

“I. I don’t know. I need to call my attorney.” Coach Gaither was coming off of a light sentence comprised of community service (among other obligations) and promised all of his counterparts that he was a changed man. However, it seemed suspicious considering he had a young man riding in the car with him whose parents did not know he was with Coach. A couple of policemen headed over to Coach Gaither’s car. Two walked to the car Gaither plowed into. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

If women can have a chick lit genre, what about a dood food happy hour? Word Food for Doods is a guys night out buffet comprised of three short stories, two funky one-act plays, and two essays that sprout about important men banes. In addition, there are twenty-three eye-popping illustrations. Women, these stories will help you understand our warped minds. These stories will enthrall both sexes. Enjoy pardners!

 

Here’s a brief glimpse of each story from Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Short Stories

1. “Kemal’s Last Laugh” – Three white, experienced mountain climbers receive a lesson in humility from some unexpected sources as they attempt to conquer deepest, darkest Mt. Kenya in Africa.

2. “Streople” – One day on the streets of downtown Los Angles and one can meet the strangest people, street people or just “Streople.”

3. “A Week in the Life of a Closet Miserable” – I wanna be a writer, but one week leads to the next, and every time I start to write…well…kids…the wife….sports…they all get in the way!

One-Act Plays

4. “The Tattle-Tale Grin of Kid Spade” – Tells the exploits of a black cowboy, Kid Spade the Blade, in the very wild, unfriendly west of Yall City.

5. “Jazz Junkies” – Recounts an important point in the life of band leader Hemp Leeks. Does he follow fame and certain riches or stay loyal to his original band mates?

Essays

6. “t.s. etiquette (a.k.a. the toilet seat chronicles)” – An essay for men on how to avoid that age-old argument with your woman on whether the toilet seat be left up or down?

7. “Dedman Speeks the Hellcatcher” – Dedman thought he had caught it all – a sucker soul magnet….. but never caught anything till he caught the hell that often arises from marriage issues. Dedman Speeks will indeed be a “Deadman” who no longer “Speaks” should this story be published!

 

Purchase Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer
Action & Adventure > Mystery >Thriller & Suspense

Kindle Download Link: http://a.co/euEbUYH
Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer/dp/154624235X/
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer/dp/1546242376
Kindle Edition: https://www.amazon.com/Word-Doods-Duane-Lance-Filer-ebook/dp/B07DNQTKNG

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Interview

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 50s, 60s and 70s 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.

LISTEN TO DUANE FILER ON BAN RADIO SHOW
He reads from The Legend of Diddley Squatt: http://tobtr.com/s/10457297

 

The Legend of Diddley Squatt Intro
#PowerRead: LongTALES for ShortTAILS YA books for young readers & The Legend of Diddley Squatt by Duane Lance Filer. Excellent story telling skills! Read excerpt and hear BAN radio interview with Ella Curry- https://conta.cc/2qYZtFq

BPM: Tell us about your most recent, “Word Food for Doods.” Available on Nook or Kindle?
You can find an ebook at AuthorHouse, Amazon and it available on Kindle.

If women can have a “girls night out” and chic lit reading groups/lunches; what about a “Dood Food” happy hour? “Word Food for Doods” is a guy’s night-out buffet comprised of 3 short stories; 2 funky one-act plays; and 2 essays that sprout about important men banes. A plus for the ladies – these stories will help you understand your man’s warped mind.

Also there’s a bonus is the twenty-three eye-popping/old-school/black/white/brown illustrations that help bring flavor to each story; you will be amazed at how these old-fashioned pictures bring life to the characters.

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters in “Word Food for Doods.” 
“Word Food” clocks in at 25,244 words and 119 pages. To date, I have self-published eight books. My book published in 2017, “The Legend of Diddley Squatt – A Novella from a Brother Fella” – has received the most press and local/U.S. media attention of any of my books! I want readers to love this books just as much!

Here’s a brief glimpse of each story in “Word Food for Doods.”

Short Stories
1. “Kemal’s Last Laugh” – Three white, experienced mountain climbers receive a lesson in humility from some unexpected sources as they attempt to conquer deepest, darkest Mt. Kenya in Africa.

2. “Streople” – One day on the streets of downtown Los Angles and one can meet the strangest people, street people or just “Streople.”

3. “A Week in the Life of a Closet Miserable” – I wanna be a writer, but one week leads to the next, and every time I start to write…well…kids…the wife….sports…they all get in the way!

One-Act Plays
4. “The Tattle-Tale Grin of Kid Spade” – Tells the exploits of a black cowboy, Kid Spade the Blade, in the very wild, unfriendly west of Yall City.

5. “Jazz Junkies” – Recounts an important point in the life of band leader Hemp Leeks. Does he follow fame and certain riches or stay loyal to his original band mates?

Essays
6. “T.S. Etiquette (a.k.a. the toilet seat chronicles)” – An essay for men on how to avoid that age-old argument with your woman on whether the toilet seat be left up or down?

7. “Dedman Speeks the Hellcatcher” – Dedman thought he had caught it all – a sucker soul magnet….. but never caught anything till he caught the hell that often arises from marriage issues. Dedman Speeks will indeed be a “Deadman” who no longer “Speaks” should this story be published!

 

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
For my three children’s books, I remember when growing up in Compton, CA in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s – loving children’s books and cartoons on Saturday morning T.V. The Jetsons was one of my favorite Saturday morning T.V. cartoons. Once again, I wanted to feature some black/minority kids in my writing because IT WAS NEEDED. I also remember asking my parents “how come none of the people in these books or on the cartoon shows look like me or any of my friends on the street or in Compton?” So, I reached back in my memory and thought of various popular cartoons, and then twisted some of the characters into remembrance into things that happened in my personal family with my brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. I think the world should show its diversity. Kids of color can now relate to characters like them – that’s important!

For my teen/young adult/adult books, I like to show how everybody has issues/problems/set-backs at first – but that you must remain positive and keep working toward your dreams and ideals. I like to show that there are folks in everyone’s life who reach out and will be there for the helping (teachers, mentors, baseball coaches, religious people, brothers and sisters) – all you have to do is trust certain folks.

 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
That it is a compilation of various genres/formats of writing, i.e. 3 short stories, 2 one-act plays, and 2 “essays.” It is a funky gumbo of the written word for different types of media – books….the theater….and magazines. The only thing missing is a screenplay for TV and the movies – and I do have a couple of each which I will be presenting soon. I AM ECLECTIC – I LIKE DIVERSITY!

 

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
I have tons of materials…possible screenplays…short stories…plays…that I have written since the 1970’s. I have kept all of the stories in my overstuffed desk drawer and file folders. If something happens on the news or becomes a trending topic – or a situation just moves me – I can pull out some of this material and start expanding on it. On some of my earlier work, such as the Diddley Squatt book, it is already set-up for a Diddley Squatt part 2 because of where I left off in the story. Or, sometimes, something new hits me and I jot down a few key phrases….. and BOOM – I have the idea/story for another book. I will then create a separate journal for this new idea and jot down storylines, possible characters/plots – as they come to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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 »

 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

Hello! I’m Makayla Smyles and I’m a writer/author. It feels good to finally be able to shout this out to the world…LOL. My debut novel, Bound By Passion is a Romance-Erotica story. I’ve taken time and crafted some of the best sensual and romantic sex scenes that will take your imagination to glorious heights. The best thing, it has a great storyline as well.

Some may try condemning me for what they perceive as something nasty and sinful, and that’s fine. I’m a pretty strong woman with my own mind, thoughts and most of all, I don’t allow the opinion of others to hinder me in any way. It is just that, their opinion.

I’m not the creator of sex or romance. It existed many, many years before any of us came into existence. And for those that consider themselves as perfect Christians and sees me as some sinful person writing about something they perceive as nasty or disgusting, I have something to tell you. Pick up your Bibles and read the Song of Solomon. What do you think the conversation is about there? It’s sensual and beautiful, but you rarely hear people reading or speaking about it. And to be honest, I’ve never heard the Song of Solomon being spoken about in the church—and God knows that it should. It would probably alleviate some of the packed up tension and the moodiness that is displayed or felt way too often in that institution.

Sex, love, and romance are beautiful when presented, explored and mutually shared in a respectful and loving manner. The story between the pages of Bound By Passion might be the one that tells the story of family, faith, forgiveness, and love, and offers hope to someone. And by the way, I am someone that loves God too.

Cheers!

Makayla Smyles

 

 


 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

“There is nothing more satisfying than when one knows who they are, accept what they aren’t and knowing that they don’t need to be validated.”

Breanna Lee moved away from Brooklyn, New York, to escape her gossiping neighbors and quarrelsome family. But most importantly, she left to escape the memories of her son’s father, Munda Young. Breanna and Munda were a match made in heaven. Then one day he disappeared without any warning while she was carrying their unborn child.

Now, years later, Bre is a striving social worker and a full-time mom living in Savannah, Georgia, where she’s dating Charles Long, a man who loves her completely. Their relationship is filled with emotions, and their passion is explosive. Just when everything is perfect in Bre’s world, an unexpected visitor shows up and turns her world upside down.

Munda wants his family back, and he will do anything to win Breanna’s heart once again.

While truths unfold, Breanna and Munda become closer, and old emotions resurface. They rediscover an intense sexual relationship and a raw passion that they cannot ignore. Breanna is emotionally torn between two lovers. She knows she must make a choice. It’s a difficult decision when she craves the erotic pleasures of both men. Breana is totally happy with having her cake and eating it too.

Bound by Passion is an erotic tale of love, the importance of family and friendship, and the unbelievable heights love can take one to, but who will Breana choose?

 

Purchase Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles
https://www.amazon.com/Bound-Passion-Makayla-Smyles-ebook/dp/B07882JG2N

 

 

 


 

 

Bound by Passion Excerpt

Chapter One

As Charles slowly took off Breanna’s clothes, the candlelight reflected off their bare bodies. No words were being spoken between the two of them, but a mutual understanding of the emotions present was palpable.

Standing, touching, and embracing each other, the passion became overwhelming. With the back of his hand, Charles stroked the side of Breanna’s face. Looking into his eyes, she placed her hand in his and let out a soft sigh, her body trembling.

“It’s okay. I’m going to love you with gentle care and make you feel as special as you are.”

After speaking, Charles embraced her, and then led her to the bed. Sensual smells, candlelight, the sound of falling water from the fountain, romantic music, and warm oil awaited her. Charles had turned her bedroom into a romantic haven for the night.

“Come on,” he whispered as he kissed her full lips.

He placed Breanna on the bed the way he wanted her. Laying on her stomach, her body was aligned with her arms close to her sides. Once she was comfortable in her position, he massaged her with a special oil blend he’d created just for her. With his large hands, he gently caressed her luscious curves. Charles noticed her becoming more relaxed as the tension left her body.

When he reached her buttocks, he kissed each one of them, while continuing his journey. He then patted her ass and directed her to roll over on her back. Charles took a deep breath and stared. Bre’s caramel-colored breasts stood firm and held his attention. Charles sucked on her nipples, and as he placed his hand between her legs, he discovered the wetness he’d created.

Overcome by the intensity of his longing, Charles closed his eyes while soft words escaped his lips. “Ahh, Breanna.”

He wiped the sweat forming across his forehead and stood up; however, he quickly bent back down to taste the juices pooling between her legs and calling him. Bre pulled her legs closer to her body so her pussy was completely exposed. After Charles played with and sucked on her clitoris, helping her achieve an intense orgasm that rocked her entire body, he backed away to recover his strength.

Pouring more oil into his hands, he massaged the front of her body, stroking one breast at a time as he stared at her naked shape with hunger in his eyes. Bre lay completely focused on Charles and how he was making her feel. They both knew this moment was about more than sex; the time he was taking to touch, soothe, and relax her body required a deeper level of intimacy.

When he finished massaging Bre, Charles pulled her body against his and gently touched her all over. A desire of passion overtook them; it wasn’t long before they made love. Much more meaning was present now than ever before, and a passion unlike any they’d ever experienced had built. Tears and sweat flowed from their bodies. No matter how tight they held each other, it seemed as if it weren’t close enough. Their souls engulfed in insurmountable desire. Kissing, loving, and touching her all over, Charles’ deep passionate expressions were intense. Their lovemaking was phenomenal. It was a reality they shared, and it was beautiful.

Without warning, a stream of tears rolled down Bre’s face. Charles understood her emotions, and he held her body even closer as he continued to make love to her. His manhood moved back and forth as its shaft stroked her clitoris with soothing stimulation. As the thrusting became stronger and harder, their bodies moved the bed. Bre wrapped her legs around Charles’ body. As the intensity grew, they held each other even tighter. Charles pounded harder and harder. His thick cock swelled with excitement as their moans grew louder and louder. A long, hard growl erupted from Charles. As his dick exited Bre’s warm pussy, he released his seed, completely covering her sweaty breasts. Even being left without strength and energy, it was a good feeling for her.

Just as Bre fell into a comfortable sleep, the phone rang. She pulled herself together for a moment before realizing the origin of the sound. She slowly rolled over and saw the big red numbers: 7:16 am. “Who’s calling me so early on a Saturday morning?” she said.

She carefully lifted Charles’ arm, which was wrapped around her, and reached over to pick up the phone. Before she had a chance to speak, Breanna heard loud fussing and the sound of children talking and moving about. “Oh, Lord, why did it have to be this morning?” she asked herself and rolled her eyes.

Shaking her head, she got out of the bed and walked into the living room. Those noises reminded her of why she’d moved so far away from her family. Every day there seemed to be some crisis paired with the recurring fussing and fighting. Before the words “hello” or “good morning” left her lips, a frantic voice shouted into her ear.

“Girl, I need a break! These kids and that damn man are getting on my last nerve, and I’m about to lose my mind!” Betty shrieked before bursting into tears and breaking out in hysterics.

Bre quickly became fully alerted. Something terrible was happening, and she knew her sister needed her complete attention. A real crisis was going on and she needed to find out what was going on. “What’s wrong, Betty? Try to take a deep breath and calm down so you can tell me what’s going on.”

“I’m just tired of it all!” she said. “Dealing with a cheating husband, trying to take care of these kids, and working two jobs is killing me.”

Breanna understood her pain. Here she was in Savannah, Georgia, and Betty was all the way in the Bronx, New York, which seemed worlds away. She knew Tony, Betty’s husband, always had been a disappointment. He completely lacked ambition, and Betty never had much of it herself. As long as he was out on the town, smoking, drinking, sleeping with different women, and doing whatever he thought was a good time, he was happy. He was a man with no job, no class, no respect for anyone, and no common sense. Bre always thought Betty needed to get rid of him.

They talked for almost an hour; it seemed to calm Betty down. After the call ended, Betty’s situation continued to bother Bre. Something terrible was going on because she’d never known her sister to breakdown like that. One thing was certain: Bre had seen her go through crap with that asshole of a husband for far too long. Breanna was able to visualize Betty’s light skin now. Her pale and her warm brown eyes tainted with red. She imagined her sister’s narrow face soaked with tears. Bre’s heart ached for Betty.

Thinking about what Tony might be putting her sister through pissed Bre off. She wanted to go there and kick his ass. Why Betty continued to stay with him was a mystery. Bre understood Betty was compelled to marry Tony because she was pregnant, but he always did her wrong, even when she did her very best attempting to please him.

Bre was startled by a cool sensation on the back of her neck.

“Hey, it’s just me, Breanna,” Charles said as he made his way in front of her. He knew she was preoccupied with deep thought by the look of distress displayed on her face. “Is everything okay?” he said, pulling her into his arms.

“Everything’s fine,” she said, avoiding all eye contact.

He looked at her with disbelief and exhaled a soft sigh. After a few moments of silence, he offered a suggestion. “Let’s go down by the creek this afternoon. It’s where I go to clear my mind of life’s stresses and worries.” He knew something was troubling Breanna, even though she chose not to tell him.

She offered a half smile and nodded her head in agreement. The lingering thoughts and worry of her sister’s disturbing call made Bre wonder if she’d be good company, but she knew Charles’s concern for her was genuine.

“Babe, I’m gonna go home and take care of some things, but I’ll be back soon,” he said. He gave her a kiss on the forehead and a tight squeeze before leaving.

Since she was awake, Bre thought she might as well do something aside from sitting around and worrying. When she thought about how upset Betty was, she was unable to avoid hurting for her. Though Breanna was younger than Betty, she was stronger. Betty was always a bit quiet and didn’t mind being walked over at times, but Breanna always had a voice and the inner strength to support herself.

Despite Bre’s pleas, Betty married Tony. It wasn’t fair for Breanna to deal with the problems Tony caused for her sister and their kids; however, she realized she wasn’t able to shut Betty out because of who she’d married. They were sisters. Still, Bre would not let the day go to waste. She had to keep busy, so she wouldn’t spend the day worrying.

She stepped into the shower and allowed the warm water to rush down her skin. As she lathered herself, the soft, relaxing fragrance from her body wash quieted her troubling thoughts about Betty. Just as she finished rinsing the lather from her body, she heard a faint knock at her door.

“What else is there to happen this morning?” she said, grabbing her towel and wrapped it around her wet body. She yelled, “Who is it?”

“Breanna…it’s me, Charles.”

“Wait just a minute.” Breanna made sure the towel was secure and covering her body as she opened the front door for Charles. “Come on in.”

After Charles’s tall, muscular frame walked through the door, Bre closed it behind him. She took note of his well-defined back muscles as he walked past her. Charles was a very attractive black man who would probably please any woman.

“I thought you were coming a little later?” she said as the water dripped from her body.

Turning to Bre and unable to say a word, he gazed at her with his mouth slightly open. Charles was admiring her small, wet body that the towel outlined. He longed to make love to her again. With a grin, he said, “Were you expecting someone else?” Big dimples formed in his cheeks as he smiled.

She didn’t find his question amusing at first.

“Come on, girl. I’m just kidding around with you. Loosen up a little.”

After that, she had to laugh along with him.

“Go put on some clothes so we can get out and relax.”

As she walked back to her bedroom, he patted her butt with lust displayed on his face. She dressed in thin, light clothing for the hot day and took extra time on her long, thick hair. When she finished getting herself ready for the day, Bre went back into the living room where Charles stood admiring the pictures of her and her son, Alex, hanging on the walls.

“I’m ready, Charlie.”

“Breanna, I was thinking about a few things,” he said, turning to her in a quick motion.

“What things?” she said, frowning.

Charles walked directly in front of her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “Girl, relax and loosen up. You get too serious and cause unnecessary tension on yourself. You stay in defense mode. Stop being so uptight,” he said, frustrated.

There was nothing for Bre to do besides apologize for snapping at him.

“Come on. You’ve had a rough day so far, but I’m gonna help make it better,” he said, smiling and extending his hand to lead the way out.

When she placed her hand in his, he pulled her into him and gave her a kiss before they walked out the door.

Charles and Breanna were quiet during their drive to the creek. Every once in a while, they each would glance in the other’s direction and smile, but the silence remained. When they arrived, Bre was able to smell the freshness of the nearby water. She’d never seen this area before; it was beautiful. Tranquillity flowed throughout her body, thanks to the calm, quiet air. Breanna was completely taken by the beauty surrounding her, and Charles watched as she took a deep breath and smiled. 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 »

 

Diverse Romance Novels by Elle Wright

 

Elle Wright has TWO amazing books coming out in May!  Explore her books at:  https://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78

 

There was never a time when Elle Wright wasn’t about to start a book, wasn’t already deep in a book—or had just finished one. She grew up believing in the importance of reading, and became a lover of all things romance when her mother gave her her first romance novel. She lives in Michigan.

Connect with Elle online at ElleWright.com, Facebook ElleWrightAuthor, Twitter @LWrightAuthor, Instagram: @lrwrightauthor.

 

 


Wherever You Are (The Jacksons of Ann Arbor) by Elle Wright
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2fckeVr  (Amazon)

 

Take a second chance on me…

Avery Montgomery created a hit show about her old neighborhood, but there’s one secret she can’t reveal: the reason she left town. Avery felt like an outsider in Dr. Elwood Jackson’s world, thanks to his brother’s disapproval. Elwood has never forgiven Avery for leaving. But when a crisis lands her in El’s emergency room, passion sparks hotter than before. Will it be too late for another chance at love?

 

Wherever You Are Excerpt

“Duty calls,” she mumbled to herself with a quick roll of her eyes.

“No time to greet your fans?”

Avery tripped and almost hit the floor. Fortunately for her, that smooth baritone voice belonged to someone whose reflexes were unrivaled. His smell wrapped around her brain while his strong arms snaked around her waist, preventing her fall.

She backed out of his warm grasp quickly and tugged on her suit jacket. When her gaze met his, she knew he’d felt the spark, too. It was like a bolt of lightning whenever they were within arm’s distance of each other.

Dr. Elwood Jackson. Still fine as ever.

A sexy smirk flashed across his face before it was replaced with…apathy. “Avery,” he greeted her.

“El,” she replied, willing the warmth that had pooled in her belly away. “What are you doing here?” Avery gestured to the guard, and waved him off. The burly, six-foot-two man stepped back, giving her and El some space.

“Maybe I just wanted to come and see for myself if you were real. Or if you were a figment of my imagination.”

The barb hurt, but she didn’t blame him. The last time they’d seen each other hadn’t been pleasant. In fact, she’d rate it as one of the worst moments of her life.

Three years hadn’t been long enough to erase the hurt or the longing she felt simply being in his presence.

Massaging her aching temple, she answered, “Touché.”

They stood in silence, each of them taking the other in. His gaze traveled down the length of her body, causing the hairs on her arms to stand on end and her stomach to do the crazy flips it always had when he was near. Like a magnet, his pull made her want to step forward, right into his arms. She wouldn’t, of course. Too much had happened between them to ever go there again.

“Are you okay?” he asked, concern now shining in his dark orbs. “You look like you don’t feel well.”

“I’m fine,” she lied, knowing he wouldn’t believe her. He’d always been able to see right through her. Except the one time he didn’t.

“Good speech,” he told her.

“Thanks. I was nervous.”

“I couldn’t tell.”

This wasn’t right. Awkward conversation wasn’t something she’d ever have associated with the two of them. Not even on the day they met had their conversation consisted of averted gazes and start–stops.

“Why did you really come, El?”

His tongue darted out to wet his lips and she followed the motion intently. “Honestly, I don’t know. I heard you were asked to give the keynote speech, and I know it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. I guess I was just curious, interested in hearing what you had to say.”

“Well?”

He edged closer to her. “You said exactly what I thought you’d say.”

Avery sucked in a deep breath when he inched even closer. Swallowing, she croaked, “And what’s that?”

He shrugged. “Be open to possibilities. I wonder, though…” He brushed a hair off her forehead. His touch was feather soft, yet Avery felt like he was winding her up, pulling her at all ends.

She wasn’t sure what he was about, but she needed to do something, say something, that would put them back on an even footing. Because right then he was in control and she was…wanting him to be in control—of her body and her mind. The thought was sobering, considering it had been several years since they’d even conversed. El was still the only man who had that effect on her.

“What do you wonder?” She asked, leaning forward against her better judgment.

Sighing, El glanced at his phone. “Nothing.”

( Continued… )

© 2018 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Elle Wright . Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78

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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

 

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Raye Mitchell


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes

Multicultural Children’s Books
by Quentin Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


 

New Multicultural Picture Books from Author Quentin Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 


 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 


 

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

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

(Longtale #2 Children’s Books)

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

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

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

 

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

 

 


 

Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer

Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer

(Longtale #3 Children’s Books)

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

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

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

 

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

 

 


Intimate Conversation with Duane Lance Filer
LongTALES for ShortTAILS

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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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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The Underwoods of Napa Valley Movie is here!

The Underwoods of Napa Valley Movie

Unemployed chef, Briana Rutledge inherits a cottage on one thousand acres of land in California’s Napa Valley making her a millionaire. She sets out to turn the cottage into her dream restaurant, but Tiffany Young and her father, restaurateur Nathaniel Young, plot to run Briana out of town. Kenton Underwood wants to expand Underwood Hills Winery by adding white wines to the label, but rival vintner, Peter Keller of Eagles Nest Winery plots to destroy Kenton’s expansion plans. Kenton also suffers from an obsession that fuels his competitive behavior that threatens his relationship with Briana. Briana harbors a deep-seated fear that prevents her future happiness with Kenton.


The Underwoods of Napa Valley is a feature-length film based on Janice L. Dennie’s novel, Kenton’s Vintage Affair, part of her Underwoods of Napa Valley 4-book romance series. Explore Books by Janice Dennie –
http://amzn.to/2EHxorC

 

Do you love romance? Purchase your copy of  The Underwoods of Napa Valley Movie Today!
Watch a marvelous excerpt from the movie: http://bit.ly/2HdjMCY
Genres: Romance | Duration: 1 hour 37 minutes
Availability: Worldwide. Rent, Download or Stream

THE UNDERWOODS OF NAPA VALLEY from Janice L. Dennie on Vimeo.

 


BAN Interview for Underwoods of Napa Valley Movie


Who are you? Tell us in your own words about your work in publishing and in film.

JLD: I am Janice L. Dennie. I write my own line of romance novels and produce them into Independent films through my company, Kente Publications & Productions LLC. My first film is “The Underwoods of Napa Valley,” based on Kenton’s Vintage Affair, the first novel in “The Underwoods of Napa Valley” series.

 

What inspired you to make The Underwoods of Napa Valley movie?
JLD: I wrote the book after I discovered a black winery in Napa Valley. I lived in the city next to Napa Valley for years and never knew black wineries existed until I heard of Bates Winery, owned by Dr. Earnest Bates and his partner. I wondered how a black wine producing family lived. The only TV show I had ever seen about a winery was Falcon Crest back in the 1980’s, so I invented the Underwood family.

The Underwoods of Napa Valley is a rags to riches story about eighty-three year old Henrietta Underwood and her grandchildren. Henrietta, and her deceased husband Frank, worked as Sharecroppers growing corn and cotton in Waco, Texas before they came to California during the Great Migration in the fifties. They purchased land when it was dirt cheap in Napa and grew basic produce. They became overnight millionaires when the value of their land shot up in the eighties and they switched to growing grapes and started Underwood Hills Winery. Henrietta has only one goal in life these days, and that is to marry all of her grandchildren to loving spouses before she dies.

Explore Books by Janice Dennie – http://amzn.to/2EHxorC

 

What inspired you to make a film?
JLD: My mother who always told me that you can do anything you want, if you put your mind to it, and the great, Madam C.J. Walker who said, “Don’t wait for opportunities to come your way, create them yourself.” Both women inspired me to believe in myself, so I started my own film company with plans to make all of my books into films or a television/web series.

 

Where did you find financing for The Underwoods of Napa Valley movie?
JLD: I used the proceeds from my book sales to finance most of the film along with personal investments and a few small investors.

 

What did you enjoy most about making this film?
JLD: I’m a hands on person. I enjoyed writing the screenplay, selecting the actors and film crew. They are like family to me now. With the advances in technology, anyone can make a movie these days even with a cell phone. I just believed I could do it, and I did it.

 

When was The Underwoods of Napa Valley movie be released?
JLD: February 1, 2018 during Black History month. I wanted to release it then because I want people to know this is the first film ever made about a Black winery located in Napa Valley. My Underwoods of Napa Valley short film has been accepted into the SUNDANCE Film Festival.  It has been accepted into other film festivals that you can find on my website: http://www.theunderwoodsofnapavalley.com

You can view trailers and the feature length film online at Vimeo.com or purchase the DVD from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ebay or http://www.TheUnderwoodsofNapaValley.com

 

 

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 »

 
 
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