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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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Book Club Interviews

Interviews for the Black Pearls Magazine Book Club Edition


Hello  All Social Clubs and Readers,

Black Pearls Magazine  is celebrating the rise of  social clubs, book clubs, author circles and literary groups!   We would like to showcase all member, presidents, social club creators, and book reviewers on the front page of Black Pearls Magazine

Bi-Monthly, we will publish a printed version of Black Pearls Magazine!  It would be an honor to include you in the next edition.  If you do not belong to a specific group, you can still answer the questions as an avid reader!   We want to hear your story as well! We are dedicated to the promotion of quality literature. 

This email seems long, but it includes the interview questions too.  There is still time to get  you and your club on the front page.   There are no deadlines; submit the interview when  you have the time.  

Please send photos of the group AND of the president alone, so that the readers can really enjoy the organization.  Feel free to share this interview with as many readers or bookclubs that you know!

 

Book Club Questions for Legacy Book

Please select at least 6-7 of the questions to answer.  You may answer them all if you like.  Submit the actual questions AND the answers back in the BODY of a email.  Include the names of all the officers in the interview.

Q:: Give us the history on your organization or blog. Share with us your leader’s name and any other officers in the group. What year did you start? Where are you located?  How many members do you have?

Q:: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the year or provide services for the community?

Q:: As a loyal reader, what are some of the things you want to see more of or less of in books?

Q::  Has there been any books that helped shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life? Q::  What legacy will your club or blog leave for those watching in the community?

Q::  Are you satisfied with the legacy black books will leave our future generations?  Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? If so, who?

Q::  Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in the books you read?

Q::  Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? Does the price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase?  Would you ever stop buying printed books?

Q::  What are some of the changes you have seen in the last 5 years, in publishing, that you dislike?

Q::  Speak directly to the writers of the world, what advice would you offer them on capturing a reader’s attention and keeping it?

Q::  How may we find out more about you or your group?  Please share your FB link, website address and public email address. 

*** We Appreciate YOU! ***

Let us share a new book with you!  To show our appreciation, we will provide all the people who share their story with us a book gift.  Please email us your home mailing address and we will send you a new book for review purposes!  Books are mailed out each Saturday via media mail, arriving to you in 10-16 business days.  The books are from all genres and all types of writers and poets.

 

*** How to Submit the Interview ***

1.  Send the interview questions AND the answers back in the body of ONE email. We will send back all interviews that do not fit these requirements!  Do not send any type of text or Word document. The only thing you need to attach are photos. Send all interviews to this email address ONLY:  edc_dg@yahoo.com.  Follow all of the instructions please.

2.  At the beginning of the interview, include a bio written in 3rd person, 80 words or less. At the end of the interview include your email address, Facebook, Twitter and website information.

3.  Spell and grammar check the interview BEFORE sending it to EDC Creations.  Make sure all hyperlinks are correct.

Thank you in advance for considering a spotlight in the Black Pearls Magazine. We look forward to promoting you and your group to our 165,000 opt-in EDC Creations Newsletter readers too!  

Ella Curry, President of  EDC Creations Media

Black Authors Network Radio-Founder

Black Pearls Magazine Online -Founder

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2019 in #SeducingThePenTour, Bookclub Spotlight

 

Audio Excerpts from Black Hearts White Minds by Mitch Margo

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Black hearts and White minds?

Carl Gordon is nothing if not impulsive.

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

Oleatha Geary wants no part of it.

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

Stockville, Alabama is about to explode.

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

Come decide for yourself…Black Hearts White Minds.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

CHAPTER 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

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

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

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

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

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

 

Editorial Review for A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

The storyteller is back! It’s been two years since Jaspers Café on the Boulevard was released, and the time away has served Tracey Fagan Danzey well. This natural storyteller has returned with a punch delivering a strong story that blends humor, drama, action and of course, unforgettable characters. A View From Harlem centers around Harlem Brooks, a handsome, successful lawyer with no interest in settling down with one woman. It appears that Harlem has life in the palm of his hand until an unexpected discovery about his family leaves him questioning everything he holds dear. But it doesn’t stop there!

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Multicultural Children’s Books by Quentin Holmes

 

 

Brand New Multicultural Picture Books from Author Quentin Holmes

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 


 



Intimate Conversation with Author Quentin Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

 

Turning Trials into Triumphs by Members of Victorious Ladies Reading Book Club

Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Michelle Chavis, Nichole Page, Shavonna Futrell, Venita Alderman Sadler, Patricia Alston-Tapp, Asha Jones-Wade and Tracey Burwell Deshazo

Trials are an inevitable aspect of life and come upon us in many different ways. Ways which may include the death of a loved one, an illness, disappointments, betrayal, or parental abandonment. GOD has allowed us to endure many trials, situations and tribulations. When planting a tree you have to consider the soil. Not all trees can grow or thrive in the same dirt. Certain soils produce different fruit. Therefore, the various types of trials we go through yield different results as well.

Turning Trials into Triumphs is an anthology of events that could have left the contributors bitter, but instead their circumstances evolved for the better. The ladies of VLR believe that the attitude we display through trials , will determine whether an individual will emerge victorious. Out of our greatest trials, comes the defining moments of life that lay the foundation for building the strength of our character.

 

About the Authors

Turning Trials into Triumphs was written by seven members of Victorious Ladies Reading (VLR) Book Club who wanted to encourage others to conquer every problem or situation that may arise by trusting GOD even when you can’t trace GOD. Watch him turn your TRIAL into a TRIUMPH! To learn more about each author visit our website WWW.VLRBOOKCLUB.COM

 

Purchase Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Michelle Chavis, Venita Alderman Sadler and Co-Authors
https://www.amazon.com/Turning-Trials-Triumphs-Michelle-Chavis-ebook/dp/B01M017I6J


Category – Non-Fiction/ Self Help
Online Book Sellers Amazon.Com and BarnesandNoble.com

 

R.A.R.E (Reading And Rapping Experience) Book Club

Patricia Turner Smith is the presiding president of RARE Book Club. Patricia resides in Memphis, TN and lives each day enjoying retirement. She is the mother of two daughters and one granddaughter. Patricia is an active member of the Orange Mound Energizer Line Dancers, Family and Friends a group of members from various churches that meet to share ideas to improve the community and provide assistance to the less fortunate. Patricia volunteers her time by reading books to elementary school students at various schools and assisting the teachers when administering tests. She bowls monthly with a group of retired coworkers and of course, she enjoys reading. Patricia’s motto is Dream Big, Be Strong and Don’t Worry About Tomorrow Because God Is Already There.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! What is the name?  How many members do you have?
The ladies of RARE Book Club is located in Memphis, TN. R.A.R.E (Reading And Rapping Experience) was founded September 7, 1997. We will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of RARE this year. There are twelve active, unique and energetic members of RARE. The ladies enjoy reading and rapping about various book selections. They are imaginative, and don’t hesitate to put their twist about a story line.

RARE Book Club Officers:
President, Patricia T. Smith
Secretary, Debora Williams
Chaplain, Charlene Hill
Treasurer, Sarita Baker
Asst. Treasurer, Yolanda Marshall
Web Masters, Lisa Puckett and LaTrecia Dyson
Members: Tawanda Hardy and Angela Dickerson
Event Coordinators, Katrina Burns, Barbara Spann and Sandra Brown

BPM: What is the purpose of your organization? Does the name of the club have a special meaning?
The ultimate goal of RARE is to read and have book discussions, network with other book clubs, coordinate and host author’s book signing events and all other literary influences as we promote the importance of literacy. The ladies of RARE have a “Reading And Rapping Experience” during our book discussions. They have shown enthusiasm and dedication for literacy by collectively reading 801 books from September 15, 2015 thru August 26, 2016. It is their goal to read books, have intelligent discussions and promote the importance of literacy. RARE was presented the 2016 award by BWABC (Black Writers and Book Clubs) Literacy Rocks Association. for “Reading the Most Books”.

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years? What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
RARE’s goal is to infuse intellectual minds, strengthen sisterhood, offer their time and service within the community and build lasting relationships thru literacy genre. The ladies of RARE collectively volunteered approximately one hundred twenty-four (124) hours of community service from September 15, 2015 thru August 26, 2016. RARE was presented the 2016 award by BWABC, Literacy Rocks Book Club Community Service Award for their commitment to serve others in the community. We rise by lifting others. The community hours included volunteering at Hope House, RARE’s adopted organization. Hope House of Memphis provides preschool and social services for families affected with HIV/AIDS. Our investment in Hope House is an investment in the community. The ladies of RARE support Hope House by helping to provide a healthy and clean environment. They clean the facilities that the students and staff use on a daily basis.

Each year we donate and deliver out door toys such as hoopla hoops, bubbles, balls and other toys for the children based on the request of the staff. The volunteers took the time to interact with the children during play time. They adopt a family of at least four each year at Christmas and purchase everything on their wish lists including toys, clothes, cook ware, bake ware and gift cards for the mother. Their other volunteer opportunities include participating during Black History events, walking for Breast Cancer Awareness and participating in the 5k one and a half mile marathons that raise money for various organizations including St. Jude and Heroes in Recovery.

RARE also works with and supports the efforts of YLT (Young Ladies Today Making A Difference Tomorrow), a nonprofit organization in Southaven, MS. The organization helps to enrich the lives of young ladies ages 5 thru 18. The mission is to impact their lives and make a difference through mentoring, community service, tutoring, arts, reading and building self-esteem. RARE will definitely leave a lasting legacy in the community. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

Circle of Sisters Book Club of Columbus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Lines that Bind Book Club

Lines that Bind Book Club, based in Atlanta, GA, was established in February 2017. The group is comprised of 5 Grown Women who have chosen to remain small for the purpose of having deep, intellectually stimulating conversations that thoroughly dissect their monthly reads on various levels. Each member is an avid reader with a strong passion for a great read. For them, the best works are those that leave them hungry for the next book.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! 
Lines that Bind Book Club originated with 3 young ladies who would discuss books in such detail during their leisure time that the idea for a book club was inevitable. Joined with an additional 3 members, Lines that Bind was formed to bond and interact on a Grown Woman’s level with a maturity that leaves the meeting refreshed and not drained. The interactions with these ladies is enlightening, they draw strength one from another from the wisdom that is embodied in them individually and collectively.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name of the club/blog or store have a special meaning?
The purpose of our group is to come together and share not only opinions, but experiences, failures, skills, joy, pain and laughter. Lines That Bind, while a social outlet, is also a group that hopes to make a difference in each other’s lives, their family and community. What really makes us unique is the personality that each member brings to the group; to include the realist, inspiration, pessimist, optimist and the visionary. These temperaments bring about hearty discussions and passionate dialogue that we all enjoy and look forward to.

BPM: What has the main focus become over the years?
The focus of the group has been to gain understanding from the author’s writing that can be applicable to everyday life – some of which has brought forth an enriched knowledge and some has given delightful entertainment.

BPM: Tell us about your members. How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole?
Our president, Melesia Tillman brings a thirst of reading with the perspective of reality, Ziyesha Kehinde is filled with an understanding approach of reason, Shy Armstrong is our no holds barred, abrupt and to the point perspective, Antanya Chung is not only inspirational but highly intelligent in her thought process of how and why things occur in the manner that they do and Norlita Brown enlightens the group with interesting perspectives from that of an author who is also an avid reader. With each meeting we evolve, we grow, we bond.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation?
The availability of a reading guide helps with the organization and fleshing out of the topics to discuss. Our book club conversations stay on topic, but cover every nook and cranny as it relates to the book, the characters, the development and underdevelopment, the author’s writing style, the climaxes of the story, the highs and lows, the disappointments and satisfactions. In essence, LTB gets to the heart of the book and have even created story lines that would have also worked or that they would have loved to see transpire in the book. The conversations are topics that the authors themselves would love to be privy to before and after publication as LTB leaves no page untouched in their thought process.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? When do you select the books?
The selections are made by the group for the next month during the current month’s reading selection.

BPM: Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month?
Yes, many of the members are avid readers and as the group has bonded through books, they continue to discuss other reads that are not included as the selection of the month.

BPM: Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers?
LTB is currently in the embryo-tic stage, but plans to have a Facebook page in the near future where they will openly discuss the books they have read and give unbiased opinions of the author’s work from their perspective.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors?
Lines That Bind loves reading books by authors of color, self-published authors and they do borrow books from the library, however, they are not limited to any of these categories. They are open to all genres and all races.

BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
If the book provokes an emotion, whether sadness, joy or anger; we tend to dwell on that book and look at reading more from that author.

BPM: Do you write and post book reviews to online retailers? How do you handle bad reviews or books that flopped?
LTB has written online reviews to retailers and plans to do more. We handle bad reviews or books that flopped, the only way we know how – honestly. We understand that an author will never know where their work can be strengthened if we sugarcoat or mislead them, so what we say is our honest feedback of how we felt the book read for us.

BPM: What are you reading now? How did you find out about this book? What books are on your reading schedule?
LTB is currently reading The Long Fall by Walter Mosley. We wanted to read a mystery and thought that Walter Mosley’s past work has proven to be excellent.

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?
Lines That Bind is very interested in hosting a few special events that would incorporate socializing and meeting of the minds with other book clubs in the metro Atlanta area. Additionally, we would like to look at working with local charity groups that encourage, promote and foster literacy. We hope to help support the value of reading in both children and adults…to assist in exploring the world through reading!

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
We purchase our books both online and the bookstore. Some of us prefer to read a digital book for the convenience and some of us are traditionalist and prefer to have the actual book in their hands. Sometimes it is nothing like holding a book in your hands and turning the page because you are anxious to find out what comes next.

 

 

 

 

Qiana Drennen -Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB)

Interview with Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB)

Qiana Drennen is the founder and president of Don’t Read Me, Read A Book (DRMRAB), the fastest-growing book club in the United States. In a little over 2 years, DRMRAB has expanded from its humble beginnings as a Facebook Group, to chapters in 27 cities nationwide and 1 in the United Kingdom. In that short time, they were awarded the 2016 AAMBC Literary Award for Book Club of the Year, and were also recipients of a 2017 Black Excellence Award. Our members are not only avid readers, but they are also actively involved in their communities. Initiatives have included sending water to residents of Flint, Michigan, and helping underprivileged families with their back-to-school and Christmas needs.

DRMRAB members have earned the nickname, “The Paperback Gang,” due to their high level of participation at the many book festivals held throughout the year, and their voracious appetite for purchasing paperback books. Members are proud of their expansive bookshelves, many of which hold books with personal, handwritten notes and signatures from their favorite authors. Their motto is: “We are not just a book club, we are a movement.”

BPM: Please tell us about your book club, store, or blog! What is the name? Where are you located?
QIANA: Don’t Read Me, Read A Book is based out of Columbus, Ohio, with chapters located throughout the United States and on Facebook. DRMRAB started online as a Facebook group in January 2015. I started the book club because I wanted my own group, instead of administering someone else’s. Fast forward to April of the same year, when I became acquainted with a couple of local readers and decided to start an in-person club that would meet once a month here in Columbus. A very good friend of mine, author Fabiola Joseph, suggested that I start offering readers in other cities a chance to organize under the DRMRAB umbrella. So, in February 2016, the first chapters began. Our Facebook membership has grown to over 2,000 members and our chapter members now total over 200 and growing! Our board consists of Vice President Terria Miller, Head Administrator Taheerah Brown, and Director of Charity and Volunteering Monica Redman.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Does the name of the club/blog or store have a special meaning?
QIANA: DRMRAB promotes literacy in the African-American community, while supporting authors in a positive, judgement-free environment. We stand out from other groups for a few reasons. First, our members support the authors we read by purchasing thousands of paperback books. With the popularity of eBooks, common thought was that paperbacks were dead until we came along and showed everyone how false that assumption was. Second, we host and participate in face-to-face discussions with authors, and you really don’t see that anymore. The name of our organization has a very special meaning to me. My favorite cousin (who passed away last year) helped me come up with the concept during a battle for my attention, while I was trying to read. That memory is so dear to my heart, that I give out a yearly award in his honor.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group?
QIANA: Amazing! That’s the best way to describe the ladies and gentlemen of DRMRAB. We are more like a family, helping one another and staying in touch through all of the ups and downs of life. The main reason we’re amazing, is because we are already killing three Afro-American stereotypes.

1) “If you want to hide knowledge from a black person, put it in a book.” We’re a book club.
2) “Men surely don’t read.” We have a male chairman, as well as male chapter members.
3) “You can’t successfully put a large group of black women together in one place, at one time.” We have an all-chapter meetup at least twice each year.

We are open to anyone. DRMRAB has members from their early 20’s to late 70’s, male members, LGBT members, couples, Caucasians, lawyers, nurses, teachers, IT professionals, etc. With DRMRAB, the only demographic that matters is reading. We have a wide range of personalities who all mesh well together. Mostly everyone starts out shy, but quickly become comfortable when they join our DRMRAB family.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?
QIANA: Yes, I’d love to. Pricey: Playing in Traffic because it’s really well written and shines line on a subject matter that really isn’t talked about which is human trafficking. Niya: Rainbow Dreams because it’s so much more than just a story about a lesbian rapper. It’s one of the most touching love and coming of a age stories about two young girls coming into their own. Both novels were written by Fabiola Joseph, and are must reads.

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?
QIANA: When I decided to do this, I didn’t ask for guidance or advice. I had my own original ideas and didn’t want to water them down with someoneelse’s opinions or judgments. So, just like I would with any other business, I sat down and did my research and put my ideas into action. My advice is to thoroughly research the landscape and don’t just conform to what other clubs are doing. Hold onto your creative and original ideas, and strive to find that special “something” that will set your organization apart from others.

BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Does the price of eBooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
QIANA: I love my paperbacks. I mean LOVE them. And I’m proud to say that 95% of DRMRAB members feel the same. Hence, our nickname The Paperback Gang. Most of our purchases are made directly from the author. We are also huge supporters of African American owned book stores Like Hood Book Headquarters (2407 E 7 mile, Detroit,Michigan). Michele Moore who is an Essence bestselling author owns this store. It’s the hottest store around and they host the best book signing that we have ever attended. You will never see a Hood Book event without a member of DRMRAB in attendance.

The price of an eBook doesn’t really matter, because we want that paperback. If the book is only available on eBook, then we don’t care about the price. If we want to read it, we’re going to read it. The day DRMRAB stops buying paperbacks will be the day that the world runs out of paper and ink. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Intimate Conversation with Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Sistahs and Friends Book Club


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website: sistahsandfriendsbookclub.com
Facebook: Sistahs and Friends

 

 

Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website: sistahsandfriendsbookclub.com
Facebook: Sistahs and Friends

 

 

#BlackLove: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change

When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
by Tumika Patrice Cain

The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple.

Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairytale romance spiraling out of control.

Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil.

A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.


Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change

That was one of the best days of my life. I’d finally gotten what I’d wanted forever. Someone who loved me. Loved me so much he wanted to tell the world. Wanted to make me his forever.

We slowly made our way out on the balcony, where all of the preparations had been made. It was all so lovely. Michael had black wrought iron patio furniture where we sat and ate the tantalizing dishes the caterers had prepared. There was fresh steamed lobster with lemon butter sauce, New England crab cakes, seafood kabobs and a wide range of other seaside resort foods that reminded me of the first weekend we’d spent out of town.

At Avery’s request I’d gotten off of work early one Friday and met him at the airport. The spontaneity of the whole weekend made everything seem so fresh. Northwest Airlines took us to Massachusetts where we spent four glorious days at Martha’s Vineyard. Just lying on the beach and soaking up the rays. I didn’t even have a change of clothes. Ave said not to worry about it; we’d just go shopping when we got there. That’s exactly what we did. A perfect weekend spent miles away from reality. In a cove on the beach is where we first made love. I’ll never forget it.

Once the sun set and we were slow dancing on the verandah, Avery touched my arm and motioned for me to look out across the river. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Usually the Cadillac Club in Windsor was all lit up at night in white neon. But instead of the marquee reading “Cadillac Club” it read, instead, “Alicia Will You Marry Me?” I remember being speechless for endless moments as tears welled up in my eyes, the lump in my throat rendering me incapable of speaking. The only response I gave was to gently touch his face and shake my head yes, while tears of happiness poured down my cheeks. So much for my mascara. He picked me up and swung me around for the longest time, whispering in my ear “I love you” time and time again.

It was several long minutes before I could compose myself. All remaining memories of that night are now a blur, except for us nibbling on the most succulent strawberries a mouth could feast on. And us making slow, sweet love all night under the stars while the moonlight caressed our skin.


Book Reviews: When a Man Loves a Woman

Tumika Patrice Cain has poured her abundant faith, wisdom and passion for helping others into a new book that tackles one of the toughest of family crises. Tumika’s extensive experience ministering to others through writing and counseling, as well as many years in human services, make her a voice worth hearing. 
~ Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize Winner & Author of War Hospital

Tumika Cain did an outstanding job on this novel and I am just still reeling from the contents. 
~ OOSA Online Book Club

This has to be the best book I have read this year. 
~ Book Referees

It is tragedy and triumph in its most raw form. 
~ Matthew Keith Reviews

Cain is a true wordsmith, and her writing has a refreshing maturity. 
~ Sweet Georgia Press

This reviewer urges you to give Tumika Cain’s premiere novel, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, a chance today! These pages leave no stone unturned, and no heart untouched. 
~ Lindsay McDonald, Indyscribable

A powerful read with many powerful messages, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change shows we have to be willing to move on in order to grow. 
~ Cyrus Webb, Conversations Live


Purchase When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Link:  http://amzn.com/B019HLV65U 

Meet the Author
Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies.

A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path.

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.

 
 

#BlackLove: A Date With Destiny by Lutishia Lovely

A Date With Destiny by Lutishia Lovely
(The Hallelujah Series)


Nathaniel and Destiny Thicke are celebrating their first year anniversary as pastor and first lady of Divine Grace Community Center. After dealing with their share of drama, the couple believes there is only smooth sailing ahead. But when an old nemesis resurfaces, a church deacon becomes obsessed and a best friend’s dream life starts to unravel, those observing wonder if a date with destiny is one the Thickes might want to avoid.

Excerpt: A Date With Destiny By Lutishia Lovely

Outwardly, Destiny Noble-Thicke was the epitome of sophisticated calm. Inwardly, she was a bundle of nerves. It had been a year since her infamous husband, Nathaniel “Nate” Thicke, had accepted the position of senior pastor at Divine Grace Christian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. One would think she’d be used to the scrutiny that came along with being a first lady and sitting next to him on the raised dais. But she wasn’t. The overt stares left her feeling like an object on display and made it way too easy to see women cut her the side eye while ogling her man. On the other hand, the position enabled her to see who was watching her, and much more. A couple observations made her uncomfortable. Very much so.

“Praise him, saints!” Reverend King Brook, the guest speaker for the afternoon’s celebratory service, stood as the last notes of the song he’d requested faded amid shouts and applause. “He’s worthy, isn’t He?”

“Yes!” Several parishioners responded.

“Amen!” Others shouted.

“Pastor,”—King looked over at Nate—“I believe there are some folk in here who know something about Jesus!”

Nate nodded and stood. King addressed the standing-room only crowd. “Is there anybody in here who knows the Lord?” The din of noise grew louder.

“Somebody here knows him as a doctor. Some know him as a lawyer. Some know him as a friend in need, a friend indeed! Somebody you can trust, when all others forsake you. Oh, I guess I’m all by myself up in here. I guess I’m the only who’s been lied on, mistreated, betrayed, verbally slayed.”

People throughout the congregation rose to verbalize their responses.

“Preach!”

“Tell the truth!”

“I’ve got a story too, Preacher!”

“The truth is sometimes I was the liar, the one mistreating and the one betraying. But he picked me up, turned me around, placed my feet on solid ground!”

Smiles and nods rippled across the congregation as many acknowledged they’d sinned and come short of glory.

“Look at your neighbor and say ‘Won’t God do it’?” The crowd obeyed.

“If He’s ever done anything for you, big or little, large or small, I want you to stand on your feet and shout ‘God did that thang’!”

The crowd collectively responded, “God did that thang!”

Another round of glorious praise erupted, fanned by the staccato chords of the organist. The rest of the band quickly followed his lead. The choir stood and sang another chorus of the day’s theme song.

“God. Will. God will do it. He’ll bring you through it. Like there’s nothing to it. Yes, God! Bless God! Won’t God do it? Yes, He will!”

Destiny listened, lightly tapping a designer shoe-clad toe as she watched the choir. This understated form of worship was one of many problems some had with her position in their midst. Her slender beauty, stylishly contemporary wardrobe and quiet demeanor—sometimes perceived as uppity snobbishness—were a few other reasons she was disliked . Some people felt two beautiful children and a handsome, successful husband to boot were too many blessings for one woman to enjoy. Some had complained, others had offered unsolicited advice. Many members had left the congregation. Their presence was barely missed as hordes more poured in. Most of them female. Attractive. Hungry. Destiny had handled all of this with an attitude that was cool and unperturbed. They knew her glory, but not her story. Nor did they know the women who’d mentored her in this position, nor how God had prepared her long before anyone in this town knew her name.

As the song ended and King began his sermon, Destiny turned her attention to the audience and smiled at three of those mentors seated in the front row: her grandmother, mother and the first lady whose popular Sanctity of Sisterhood Conferences helped shaped Destiny’s outlook on womanhood, marriage and ministry. She schooled her features into a pleasant expression as her eyes continued down the row to King Brook’s wife seated at the end. Destiny tried not to judge but when it came to a second wife who helped to ruin it for the first wife, staying neutral was hard to do. Much easier to show compassion for Janet Miller, the woman seated behind the new Mrs. Brook. This kind, selfless woman had been dealt a bad hand, but praised God every Sunday in spite of it. The person who’d dealt Janet most of those bad cards was her husband, Ronald. Their eyes locked. Destiny’s skin crawled. The man’s overt flirting and constant leering literally made her nauseous. He’d been warned about this behavior many times, not just with Destiny but with other women in the church. These antics had lessened but as this moment proved, they had not totally disappeared. Covertly studying the couple, Destiny knew that Ronald’s wandering eye was not the couple’s only problem. And not the worse one, either. If the woman had done as requested and stayed her butt at home, Destiny’s best friend would be sitting where the homewrecker now warmed the pew.

“Are you all right, baby?”

Only as she felt Nate’s hand on her arm and breath in her ear did she realize the slightest of frowns had marred her face. He was very observant, especially when it came to anything to do with her. That was only one of many things she loved about him.

“I’m fine,” she whispered, catching a whiff of his musky cologne as she leaned toward him.

“No you’re not. And I understand why. But Princess still could have attended.”

The shift was subtle but, by removing her arm and turning her body more fully toward King, she effectively cut off communication with Nate. As intellectual and smart as her husband was, he could sometimes come off sounding as dumb as an ox. If he thought putting her best friend and father’s wife in the same room would go over well, even a room the size of an auditorium adorned with a neon cross, now was one of those “dumb as an ox” times.
An hour and a half later, Nate and Destiny were whisked through a side door to join the Christian elite who’d been granted access backstage. The VIP room was appropriately appointed and held a who’s who roster from both the Christian and secular worlds. Also present were members of Divine Grace’s ministerial staff. The celebrated first couple was comfortable among them all, standing at the front of the room and enduring an endless parade of congratulatory well-wishers.
As the line waned, a well-dressed couple approached them, the man’s hand outstretched toward Nate. “Beautiful service, Reverend. And some of the most powerful preaching I’ve heard in a while.”

Nate shook the hand presented. “King Brook is one of the best.”

“First Lady,” the woman asked, her voice quiet, her body language subdued. “Is there anything I can get you? Water? Tea?”

“No, thank you, Bethany. I’m fine.” Destiny looked over the shorter woman’s shoulder and smiled as two of her favorite women approached. “Bethany, meet my mother, Simone Simmons, and her mother, Katherine Noble. Mom, Kat, this is Bethany Miller. Her husband, Roy,” Destiny nodded toward the man chatting with Nate, “is one of our associate ministers.”

The ladies exchanged introductions. “It’s easy to see where Destiny gets her beauty,” Bethany said sincerely. She looked at Katherine. “And you’re her grandmother?”

“Not hardly,” Katherine drawled, attitude dripping along with the sarcasm.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Bethany looked at Destiny. “I thought you said—”

“I did.” Destiny’s eyes shined with humor. “The G-word isn’t one that Kat embraces. Bethany is one of our most faithful members,” she said to Katherine, “and a part of the team of ladies who help me in the ministry. She’s been a member of this congregation for a very long time. Her insight into the church history and ongoing friendship has been invaluable.”

Bethany beamed at the praise. “Thank you.”

“Ladies!” Bethany’s husband, Roy Miller, entered their circle. “The good reverend here is being remiss so I must take it upon myself to meet the sunshine lighting up the room.” He turned to Simone and offered his hand. “My name is Roy Miller. Would you by any chance be related to our beautiful first lady?”

“I would indeed,” Simone responded with a smile. “I’m her mother, Simone Simmons, and this is my mother, Katherine Noble.”

“Ah, yes. Your husband is the former governor of Louisiana.”

“That is correct.”

Roy turned to Katherine but addressed Simone. “And you say this is your sister?”

“My mother.”

“Can’t be.”

“It’s true.”

She shook his hand. He held it and topped it with his other hand. “It is my pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Katherine replied with enough sugary sweetness to bring on diabetes. She deftly removed her hand. “Especially as I stand here next to your lovely wife. She has a beautiful spirit. A true lady.”

“Oh, absolutely,” Roy replied, properly chastened. He placed his arm around his embarrassed wife’s shoulders and tried to clean up his messy behavior. “This is my better half.” He looked at his watch. “What do you say, Rev? About time to wrap this up? It’s been a long day.”

“Yes, it has.”

As if on cue, Nate’s valet approached. “Reverend, are you and the first lady ready to go home? Your dinner reservation is in less than two hours.”

“Absolutely. Let’s go.”

The first couple and their entourage made proper goodbyes and left the room, but not before Destiny pulled Bethany aside. Roy was uncouth but harmless, so the words spoken weren’t about him. They concerned Bethany’s sister-in-law, Janet, and what Destiny believed she saw from the dais, evident even through heavy makeup. Her thoughts also centered on Janet’s husband, Roy Miller ’s brother Ronald, and what she’d seen while King was preaching, and wished she hadn’t. Observations that left her with no appetite for tonight’s dinner, and butterflies about how much of what she’d seen should be shared with her hot-tempered husband. Wrong place, wrong person and Ronald’s lewd actions could land him in jail. But knowing how Nate would react if he she told him Destiny feared that he, and not Ronald, would be the one to catch a case.

( Continued… )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lutishia Lovely. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order today: A Date With Destiny (The Hallelujah Series)
Contemporary Fiction; Women’s Fiction
Link: http://amzn.com/B01626321O

 

Meet the Imani Literary Group

Meet the Imani Literary Group of Metro Atlanta

Ella Curry: Hello Angela, thank you for sharing a moment with the Sankofa Literary Society. We want readers to meet our fantastic bookclubs and literary groups. The publishing industry could not stand without the support of reader’s groups. Share the history of the Imani Literary Group.

Angela Reid: Rashida Sule’ Sloan had the brilliant idea to start a reading group when she realized that she and several of her coworkers were reading the same book–Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale. She suggested that they meet and discuss their book, the Imani Literary Group was born!

Established in 1992, the Imani Literary Group of Metro Atlanta is a dynamic group of Black women who come together once a month to engage in literary discussions about books by and with the authors we love, we encourage and we promote.

Imani, the seventh principle of Kwanzaa means faith, for Imani has faith in our authors. Meetings are held at members’ homes, African American-owned restaurants, libraries and bookstores. Imani Sisters are serious about our books! One must read at least one of the monthly selections to attend a meeting. Yes, we usually read and discuss two books each month. We also occasionally host a meeting with our teenage little sisters to read and discuss a book with them. Presently, Imani has twelve active members with two frequent visitors and a poet-in-residence.

Over the years Imani has transitioned from a book club to a sisterhood of women who enjoy the company of each other, support each other through rough times and celebrate with each other in monumental times.

EDC: Share with us books that you would define as Literary Hallmarks.
Angela Reid: Here are a few books that I define as “Literary Hallmarks.”

Song of Solomonby Toni Morrison
Love by Toni Morrison
Blood on the Leaves by Jeff Stetson
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
Standing at the Scratch Line by Guy Johnson
The Douglass Women by Jewell Parker-Rhodes
Tumbling by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
The Hand I Fan With by Tina McElroy Ansa
Another Good Loving Blues by Arthur Flowers
The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
In Search of Satisfaction by J. California Cooper
Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper
Kindred by Octavia Butler
The Sacred Place by Daniel Black
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
When Rocks Dance by Elizabeth Nunez
Do Lord Remember Me by Marita Golden
After by Marita Golden
Cotton Candy Don’t Come in Gray by Roslyn Carrington
No Easy Place to Be by Steven Corbin
One Day I Saw a Black King by JD Mason

EDC: What do you define as Quality Literature?
Angela Reid: I have been a lover of lyrical beauty since my mother read to me while I was in her womb. I used to read with a flashlight under my covers when my parents turned off the lights at bedtime. When I finally had access to books about and by folks who looked like me, I had my heaven on earth! I now spend the most of my income on BOOKS for me and those I love. A book is the most precious and thoughtful gift I can give, especially to the children in my life.

So my thoughts on Quality Literature are: Writers owe those of us who love to read. I believe that excellent writers, as well as all artists have been GIFTED with the talent to write and many have been gifted with their stories. They owe us the time and care of telling their stories well, of consistently developing their craft so that everything they publish makes us proud to add their offerings to our collections. To quote Nathan McCall, “One must first decide if he/she wants to be a good writer or just wants to be published.” I want, deserve and expect good writing!

EDC: What is the primary mission of the group?
Angela Reid: Imani is the seventh principle of Kwanzaa and means faith. Imani Literary Group reads books by and about us (BLACK PEOPLE) because we have faith in OUR authors. Our mission is to support our authors and to promote reading and literacy among all with whom we are connected.

EDC: Do you have outreach programs or events that we can support?
Angela Reid: Imani members have participated in literary retreats and conferences around the country. Since many of us have children, we have begun reading and discussing their books with them at a yearly meeting. Imani also donates books to children who live in group homes, shelters and detention centers, and recently to the New Orleans Public Libraries. We have a yearly fundraiser, selling African American Expressions’ cards, calendars, etc., to support our efforts to put books by us in the hands of our children and teenagers and to bring authors to our meetings.

Since I taught in a diverse, multicultural, low-income public high school in Norcross, GA—recently I retired and work part time elsewhere— five years ago I decided to orchestrate a yearly literary festival for the school and community. Local authors and local book club members have supported my efforts each year with no monetary compensation. One year Jewell Parker-Rhodes was our featured author and last year Nathan McCall came.

EDC: What happens at a typical meeting for the members?
Angela Reid: A typical Imani meeting happens in stages: We never all arrive on time—smile. If the meeting is at a member’s home, usually the meal is ready when we arrive, so we greet each other, peruse the agenda, share a moment of thanks, fix our plates and get comfortable. As we eat we conduct a little business, highlight announcements and catch up on each others’ lives. Then we seriously begin discussing our books. If we are hosting an author or have guests, we begin with introductions, then share a moment of thanks, fix our plates and get comfortable. As we eat, we discuss the book(s) and usually drill the author with questions, but also praise what we loved about the work(s). Next and throughout, are pictures, presentation of our gift to the author and his/her signing our books.

Then after the author leaves, we handle business and some of us stick around to help the hostess clean up, unless she insists that we don’t. If we meet at a restaurant, of course we don’t have to clean up–smile. All in all, it is a full Saturday afternoon or evening, monthly time spent with each other and cherished by all who actively participate, whether we enjoyed or hated the month’s reading–smile.

We absolutely love having authors visit with us and hosting book events with them. We are fortunate to have so many willing to interact with us in Metro Atlanta (Pearl Cleage, RM Harris, Travis Hunter, Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Hank Stewart, Tavares Stephens, Margaret Johnson-Hodge, Dr. Daniel Black, Marissa Monteilth, Franklin White, etc—will meet with Nathan McCall in November and Victor McGlothin in December) and some who come to us from outside of Georgia who travel here or visit with us via speaker phone like: Grace Edwards, Mary Monroe, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Timm McCann, Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Patti Rice, Tina McElroy Ansa, Suzetta Perkins & Michelle Bowen.

Nia at Medu Bookstore has asked us to host several signings at her store and we have: DeBerry & Grant, Angela Bassett & Courtney Vance, and will do so with SIstah Souljah. We traveled to Charleston, SC and Memphis, TN to celebrate anniversaries and meet with Erica Turnipseed—A Love Noire and Arthur Flowers-Another Good Loving Blues. Several of us have traveled together and alone to SC, NC, MD and NY for literary conferences and book signings.

EDC: Do you have an open membership? How can one join your network?Angela Reid: Imani maintains an open membership for women who love to read. One must visit with Imani at least three times before joining and beginning to pay dues. All members and guests must read one or both of the two monthly offerings to attend a meeting. We also invite our menfolk to join us several times during the year when we would like their input about the books we discuss and when we host a male author.

EDC: What advice would you give a new organization forming a network?
Angela Reid: Invite serious readers to help organize your book club. Once book club is started, spread out the responsibility—everyone should contribute to book choices, hosting meetings, setting guidelines for the operation of your book club.

EDC: Would you change anything about your journey?Angela Reid: I have been president of Imani since Rashida transitioned in 1997 for I was vice president then. I wasn’t sure if I could fill her shoes, but before she left us, she told me how appreciative she was of the new energy and ideas I had already brought to the book club. I realized that I didn’t have to fill her shoes, that I could be myself. Imani has entrusted me to lead the group since ’97 and I have worked tirelessly to make sure that our members enjoy and participate in our book club events.

I love these women and enjoy being with them, as we who love Imani and the time we spend together, continue to sustain Imani in our seventeenth year. So no, I wouldn’t change the journey for I can’t imagine the journey NOT including my reading sisters of Imani!

EDC: Ultimately, what do you want members to gain from your union?
Angela Reid: Ultimately, this is what Imani members have gained from our book club experience: We are not just a book club however; Imani celebrates our beautiful moments, hosts all-nite Black movie marathons, attends theater and dance performances, hosts literary events for our favorite authors, and participates in community service activities like Relay for Life Cancer Walk in honor of two Imani members who succumbed to cancer. Our group, ranging in age from mid-thirties to mid-sixties, has seen changes during our sixteen years; members have come and gone, death and serious illness have touched us, the rigors of maintaining at home at work, and in school are a constant struggle for some. Yet, in spite of these difficulties, or perhaps because of them, we have truly become a Sisterhood and Support System for each other.

About Angela Reid

I am Angela Reid. Originally from Maryland—Army Brat whose family, my mama, five brothers and my sister, traveled with my dad, when we could from Baltimore, overseas to Germany twice, instate to Oklahoma twice and finally settling in NC after Pop retired at Ft. Bragg. Migrated to Metro Atlanta twenty years ago from NC after a divorce. Raised a teenager who graduated, went to med school, married and now resides in CA with her husband.

Retired in May 08 after teaching and sometimes coaching, in VA, NC and GA for thirty-two years and a year as an active-duty Army reservist during Desert Storm. Now teaching part time and building my business–Color Me Purple, offering my services as a manuscript editor, literacy consultant, and literary event planner.

I am still, as I always have been, an active participant in the arts and spectator sports—had to hang up my volleyball kneepads after playing USVBA ball for eleven years here and in NC. I attend and volunteer for literary, jazz, film, and theater events around town; I am active in my church; want to travel to snow country to learn to ski, and enjoy the company of my family and friends near and far. I particularly enjoy hearing from and keeping up with my former students who inform me of the impact I made on their lives.

 
 

Meet C. Jay founder of the Risque Cafe

Meet C. Jay founder of the Risque Cafe

The Risque Cafe’s  purpose is to create an outlet that will bring more awareness to the Art of Literature, extend authors craft abroad, and promote unity within the literary community. We plan and promote events to bring readers and authors together plus facilitate activities pertaining to an intimate yet fun setting.

Ella: What exactly does your company do for the client?
One of our primary services is literary event planning/management. We at The Risque Cafe are very big on themes and getting the participants to be interactive at the events. This allows them not only to attend the event but to be apart of the event which in return creates a memorable experience for them as a guest. One of our goals is to change the perception people have when it comes to book signings, readings, or pretty much anything pertaining to literature….reading can be fun. We showcase authors and their books as well as advertise and promote events everywhere through several creative productive outlets.

Ella: What’s coming soon for The Risque Cafe?
The Risque Cafe and its partners are hosting a national campaign called Losing 4 Literacy. This campaign will bring more awareness to the literary arts and healthcare plus bring communities together on a local as well as national level. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is a philanthropist at heart to give back and experience a positive life change.

Losing 4 Literacy is a 12-week weight-loss/wellness challenge organized with the purpose of helping establish a nonprofit organization that will empower inner-city and troubled youths to express themselves in a positive manner, bring awareness to the literary community and promote healthier lifestyles.

At the end of the 12-week challenge, the top 3 teams with the highest percentage of weight loss will be awarded a cash prize, products, books, and more. We even have a surprise celebrity helping with the project. I can’t release that information until all the paperwork has been completed and signed.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?Great, I would not change it for the world! I have had my challenges like anyone else but for the most part, GOD has been good to me. I’ve been blessed to meet some great people throughout my journey, like you, Ella and a lot more. So again, the experience has been great.

Ella: What advise would you give someone just starting out?
Be ready to work. Nothing is going to be given to you. It takes time to build but with persistence, late nights, and hard work anything is possible.

Ella: What’s new in your company?The Risque Cafe is planning on doing some road trips. We want to spread the experience of being a part of a “literary event” to people everywhere. Plus our non-profit organization will be established and we will be collaborating with authors, publishers, and other literary base companies on different joint business adventures and workshops.

Follow The Risque Cafehttp://www.therisquecafe.com, http://www.myspace.com/therisquecafe

 
 

Bookclub: Judy Stewart and Essence of Knowledge

Meet the Essence of Knowledge Book Club Louisiana


 
Essence of Knowledge Book Club was founded in September 2003, by a group of co-workers who loved reading books. They invited family and friends to join for group sessions.
From that point on, we became a book club and started meeting once a month discussing books with refreshments and going to different outings. At that time, Judy Stewart was nominated as president of the book club, along with other officers.
We started with 18 members, but due to Hurricane Katrina, most of our members were displaced. We currently have 10 active members. We still consider our displaced members as our honorary members of the club. When they are home in Louisiana, they are welcome to attend our meetings.

The name “Essence of Knowledge” has a meaning of African American, educated women who strives to accomplish our goals of life. We are a group of African American women that supports literacy and decided to use literacy as a tool to support one another and share life experiences that will allow us to make wiser choices and gain knowledge within our circle.

Vision of Essence of Knowledge Book Club Our vision is to expand our reading level to a new level. We would like to have many meet and greets with various authors. Our goal is to continuously volunteer and donate to organizations and to our community. Some of the organizations we have participated with are Samaritan Purse and the Covenant House. We also strive to support new authors around the nation and in Louisiana, especially New Orleans.

How important is reading to you?Reading is important because it is knowledgeable. Reading can broaden your mind and ideas. It can give you a deeper understanding on how to explain your feelings and experiences that you have encountered through your life. Reading also meditates your mind from a long day at work.

Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes… Living your best life includes…being happy and prosperous in whatever you may want to accomplish.

The book all readers should own besides the bible: “The Child of God” by Lolita Files.

The book that changed your life: “The Penny” by Joyce Meyers and Deborah Bedford and “The Power of Being a Women” by McKinney Hammond.

Favorite Series: Curtis Black series by Kimberla Lawson Roby and Dutch by Kwame Teague/Terri Woods

Name your top 3 authors and why.
Noire, Zane and Kimberla Lawson Roby – Each author writes their books as a page turner, which are full of action and suspense.

Three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.Terri Woods, Zane, and Steve Harvey

News and Event:We are planning to attend the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, for the first time.

 
 

Bookclub: Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.)

Meet Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.) Book Club

 Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.) was founded in January of 2005 by a group of readers, wishing to share their thoughts and opinions with others. We started out as a group that simply read together. Eventually we moved to inviting authors to chat with us about their books. Shortly thereafter, we decided to review our selected reads.

Our reviews are posted at several sites including: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, MySpace and GoodReads. The rest is … OOSA! Our resume includes hundreds of titles of varying genres as our motto is: OOSA Gets It Read!

Ella: What is the vision for your organization? We do not have a president. We are a team and there is no “I” in team. We each have responsibilities and tasks that make OOSA what it is. We are an online book club and reviewing team that focuses on African American authors. We wish to further promote African American literature by taking special interest in new and self published authors. We read, review and recommend.

Ella: How important reading is to you? It’s cliché, but reading is fundamental. It’s the corner stone to life. We read everyday in our lives, whether we want to or not. Because literacy is so important we believe in starting as early as possible. The Ladies of OOSA are mothers, grandmothers and aunts. We promote literacy within our families first. When our children see us reading and enjoying ourselves, it encourages them to read. They learn reading is not a chore but something fun to do. What better method than to teach by example.

Ella: Favorite couple from a book: Nina and Dutch (Dutch – Kwame Teague), Yuri and Britt (The Sweetest Taboo – Risque), Portia and Jay (A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent – Caroline McGill), Clark and Devin (Caught in the Mix – Candice Dow) and Natalia and Shawn (Triangle of Sins – Nurit Folkes).

Ella: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
We are a group of avid readers with various tastes in literature. As such, we really don’t have particular preferred genres. We welcome and enjoy all genres. Some of our favorite sequels include: Little Black Girl Lost by Keith Lee Johnson, the True2Life series by Al-Saadiq Banks, Dutch by Kwame Teague, Naughty by Brenda Hampton, the Vernetta Henderson legal thrillers by Pamela Samuels Young and the Dilemma series by Reign.

Ella: Name three authors you would like to chat with this year. We’ve been fortunate enough to have had phone chats this year with several of our favorite authors including Mike Sanders, Torrian Ferguson, Kwame ‘Dutch’ Teague, Anthony Fields and Al-Saadiq Banks. We’re hoping to get in a few more before the year comes to an end.

Ella: Share your news or events with us.
What’s next…more Author Spotlights and contests.. And as always, we read, review and recommend. It’s what we do.

Book club and contact info: Website: http://www.oosaonlinebookclub.com/   
www.facebook.com/oosaonlinebookclub
  

 
 

Bookclub: Carla Walker President Queens Book Club ATL


Meet Carla Walker President of the Queens Book Club of Atlanta

Queens Book Club of Atlanta was founded in 2006 by a group of friends who shared the love for reading. They felt the need to create a book club called Queens because they knew each woman should recognize the Queen they are.

Queens Book Club was created to reach out to women and come together to discuss and enjoy selective books of the month.

On January 2007, Queens had the first kick-off meeting with guest author Mrs. Tina Brooks McKinney (“All That Drama”) and she became our first honorary member. As of 2009, Queens Book Club is still going strong by the grace of GOD. Queens was fortunate enough to have a chapter formed in Raymond, Mississippi by Adrienne Bailey in 2008. With both chapters we continue to promote importance of reading through each other and our community. Among each other we continue to come together for the love of reading, positive fellowship and sisterhood.

President Biography:  My name is Carla Walker and I have been fortunate to have fallen in love with books at an early age. With a huge passion for reading, I joined one of Atlanta’s biggest book club for five (5) years and became member of the year there in 2004. From there GOD planted a seed in me to start my very own book club and from there Queens Book Club was born! I was blessed to have a couple of friends who decided to take the journey with me.

As of this day, some of those same friends are still a part of the club. They are my backbone when I feel I cannot go on anymore. I’m so bless to have my members because without GOD Queens Book Club will not exist. With all the hard work I continue to put into the club, my members (awesome Queens) came together on our 2007 Christmas gathering and presented me a plaque for all the hard work and dedication. When I think of that moment even to this day, that’s my motivation to keep going and allow Queens Book Club to touch someone and become a part of our circle.

Ella: What is the vision for your organization?
To offer a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere, outside of the home and workplace, to, explore many bold, adventurous, and spontaneous interests as a whole. Enjoy the bond of sisterhood and fellowship.

Ella: How important reading is to you?
Reading is so important because you can reach to so many people. Giving someone a book to read can open doors to a new career, friendship and connection can be made; education can take place and so much more. Reading is something a person cannot live without. Knowledge is power.

Ella: Living your best life includes… 
Living your best life includes… knowing and continue to learn and love GOD more, living a healthy and bless life, having wonderful family and friends in my corner, good loving relationship with a mate and just being comfortable and continuous blessings from GOD.

Ella: On your nightstand now:
Right now, on my night stand, “Behind Those Eyes” by TP Carter, “To Good To Be True” by E. Lynn Harris, “Why Men Fear Marriage” by RM Johnson, “Secret Society” by Miasha and so many more.

Ella: Book all readers should own besides the bible:
“Behind Those Eyes” by TP Carter

Ella: Book that changed your life:
“Behind Those Eyes” It just gives you a whole different perspective about love, finding your true mate, relationship and the belief in true love.

Ella: Book you’ve bought for the cover:
A book called “Taste Like Chicken”

Ella: Favorite couple or quote from a book:
Best couple in a book is from “Red Light Special” detective agent Blessing Shields and Collyn Bazemore.

Favorite quote:
“A true Diva is a woman who knows that life is not about her, but rather the contribution she makes to others around her and the legacy she will leave behind.” – From ‘The Diva Principle’, 2004.

Ella: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
“Behind Those Eyes” & “The Other Woman”

Ella: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I like all type of books from romance, urban fiction, mystery, inspirational, self-help and any others that I think will interests me or just to give it a try.

Ella: Your top three authors. Why? 
Top three authors are Eric J. Dickey, RM Johnson and all the authors who are incarcerated. I feel some authors who are incarcerated are telling real true stories and from research they are some of the best writers. Sad they cannot personally meet those who enjoy reading their stories.

Ella: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
TP Carter, Risque and Wahida Clark.

Ella: Share your news or events with us. What’s next for your group? 
Our next upcoming event is, preparing Halloween bags for kids at a children’s hospital, making plans for the holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas to sponsor a needed family and to volunteer our time feeding the homeless.

Carla Walker, President and Founder
Q.U.E.E.N.S. Book Club of Atlanta
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QueensBookClub

 
 

Bookclub: Sharon Haynes of Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group

Meet Sharon Haynes, Tulsa Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group

Ella: Welcome, Sharon Haynes, coordinator for the Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group. It is such a pleasure to have you visit with us and introduce the chapter.

Ella: Tell us about the mission of the literary group.
The Tulsa Chapter of Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group is committed to providing an opportunity for women from all walks of life to come together for a common and primary goal…reading and promoting literacy through our community outreach programs.

Our pledge is to transmit our passion for literary pursuits to future generations.



Ella: Sharon, tell us a few books that you would define as “Literary Hallmarks.”
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

Ella: That is a wonderful selection of books! What do you define as Quality Literature?
Quality Literature encompasses style, characters, plot and the ability for the written words to come to life and embrace you in a way that totally consumes you. We know the characters personally and can visualize the settings and after reading the book we’re wishing for more.  Read more about us here.


 
 

Bookclub: Marina Woods President GoodGirlBookClubOnline

Meet  Marina Woods President of  GoodGirlBookClubOnline ™


Marina Woods is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago where she received a B.A. in Communication Arts. With a strong desire to utilize her gifts in writing and speaking, Woods began pursuing her dream of working in Radio/TV. Upon graduation, Woods worked for Clear Channel Radio as a communications coordinator.

Soon after, Woods began seeking the Lord for direction of how best to integrate her creative strengths and passions while working in the media. She began freelancing for various advertising and public relations agencies. Two years later she landed the position of syndicator for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Still feeling unfulfilled spiritually and professionally, Woods again sought the Lord for direction, this time inquiring about her passion for books, her aspiration to have an enlarged territory and a medium to encourage women to spend their leisure time in a rewarding way.

Stepping out on faith, in 1999 Marina Woods founded http://www.goodgirlbookclubonline.com, the #1 Destination for Today’s Aspiring Woman where she serves as President and Chief Marketing Officer. She is a trailblazer for bringing Christian and inspirational books to a national audience when Christian books were unheard of and unpopular.

To her credit she has inspired hundreds of writers to become Christian and inspirational author’s and countless others begin ventures publicizing Christian and inspirational books.GoodGirlBookClubOnline™  is featured in Publisher’s Weekly, the Seattle Times, Essence Magazine; Black Issues Book Review, Precious Times Magazine, the Literary Source, Saints Mega paper, Good News Magazine, Gospel Today and Missionary Magazine. Woods has also been a guest on numerous radio and TV talk shows promoting GGBC.

The website: http://www.Goodgirlbookclubonline.com reaches over 125,000 aspiring women worldwide whereby helping women discover Christian books, products, ministries, events and resources that will inspire and empower.

During her 11 year career as a Christian book promoter and marketing specialist, Marina has worked with the national bestsellers such as Michelle McKinney Hammond, Patricia Haley, Victoria Christopher Murray, Joyce Meyer, Sharon Ewell Foster, and also helped launch the careers of new authors such as Mikasenoja, Kim Floyd and many more.

In addition, Marina Woods is an internet development and marketing coach with iMarketingPR.com which coaches women on starting, marketing and sustaining online ventures. Woods’ corporate mission and ministry are the same  “to inspire, empower and transform the lives of women.”

She is a highly sought after speaker for women’s groups, organizations, colleges and universities on the topics of marketing, advertising and PR, and has been featured in several books including Refined by Fire: Defining Moments of Powerful Women and Inspired Attraction with international marketing expert and guru, Joe Vitale.

Marina volunteers as a communications workshop leader for the Girl Scouts of Chicago and a writing coach for College Summit. Visit the GGBC site for more details: http://www.goodgirlbookclubonline.com/

 
 

Bookclub: Diana Glasgow President Essence of Books

Meet Diana Glasgow President of Essence of Books Club

Diana Glasgow founded the Essence Of  Books book club in March 1997, due to her love of books. She grew up in Los Angeles, CA  where she attended elementary, middle and high school. Mother of two daughters and a granddaughter. Board of directors for a local mentoring youth foundation and full time job skills training specialist for a major utility company.

The Essence of Books book club was founded in March 1997 by Diana Glasgow. Diana has been an avid reader since a teenager, her first genre of books were romance novels. After years of reading alone, the decision was made to form a book club. Flyers and phone calls went out to all friends and family to attend the first book club of Essence.

Fifty ladies showed up to the meeting and we laughed and talked for hours, needless to say this was not the making of a good book club so the next meeting was more structured and geared towards only the serious readers. We have had 11-15 active members for more than 12 years.

What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to promote good books written by us for us. We pride ourselves on having a safe zone at the book club meetings, our motto: what happens at the book club stays at the book club. My vision is to create a sisterhood that far out weighs just a book club. Promoting literacy amongst our young lady readers is extremely important and a goal is to form a young ladies of essence book club for 12-18 year olds. Our vision is to become better each year and have at least one author visit us each year.

Our goal is to read, discuss and reenact the events of the book. Our monthly meetings are held on Friday night where we get together for a fun filled sisterhood night of discussion, debating, eating, drinking and bonding. We have had authors attend our meetings to discuss their books, we have also indulged in a pole dancing experiment when the book we read main character was a stripper. Our members put 110% into their meeting. Each book and theme is scored monthly and hostess of the year and book of the year receives a beautiful crystal plague.

We also end the year with a spectacular Christmas gift exchange and outing to a local restaurant to celebrate another year of books! We travel once a year with a weekend spa getaway, our favorite spa getaways have included Las Vegas , NV and Palm Springs, CA. We have a Vice President, Gina Gray and an event coordinator, Euvon Cox who are extremely important to the operations of the Essence of books book club.

Book all readers should own besides the bible:
The Secret is a book everyone should own, it is an easy guide to help you get on or stay on the right path with your spirituality.

Living your best life includes:
Good books, good conversation, good family and friends, good love and good food and wine!

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Eric Jerome Dickey
Maya Angelou
Terry McMillan

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor.
Satisfy my soul by Colin Channer

 
 

Bookclub: Tina Moss President of BLACK P.E.A.R.L.

Tina Moss President of  BLACK   P.E.A.R.L.S.   Book Club

Ella our book club started with just my sister-in-law (Tina Moss) and I talking amongst ourselves. I personally wasn’t a reader and just was looking for a hobby that was just for me. I always catered my time to other individuals and one day I said I need to do something for myself. After Tina and I talked about starting the club we invited other ladies (some read all the time and others never did read).

We meet and went over guidelines and protocols…and the fun started from there. I must say from that day forward we have been very devoted ladies; each of us have grown to love, cherish, and respect each other and even the characters in most books.

At this time we have a total of 12 members with the potentials of a new member joining in May. Each of us look forward to our meeting so we can discuss, beat-up, love and rate our monthly selection. It’s always interesting to see what other members think about a book.

BLACK  P.E.A.R.L.S. Book Club- Positive Ebonites Admiring Reading Learning and Sharing

Our Purpose: Inspirational Scripture ~ Proverbs 31
Mission Statement:   “Respectable Black Women’s Thoughts Bonding Together”
Inspiring Verse:  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

Positive Ebonites Admiring Reading Learning and Sharing

P.E.A.R.L.S. believes in how the bible instructs us to be Christian women: faithful, strong, dignified, and compassionate and servants in our immediate and extended family, communities and most importantly the kingdom. We are striving to be ELEGANT Proverbs 31 women. We believe that what comes out of our mouth is what’s in our hearts. Therefore our purpose is to read, fellowship, support, and respect, encourage, laugh, and cry together. We want to be a role model for our young African- American girls. We are striving to teach them the importance of education while we bond our thoughts into our mind, body and soul.

What is the vision for your organization?
To grow in love, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, with one another. To be like the Proverbs 31 woman the Bible speaks of.

Living your best life includes: Reading, Shopping, going to dinner/movie, hanging with the family, going on out-of-town trips

On your nightstand now: Nightly devotion, Everyday Living Bible, Amaryllis, My Mom’s daily devotion.

Favorite book when you were a child:Anything with Michael Jackson or Jackson Five

Book all readers should own besides the bible: Act like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey

Book that changed your life:God’s WORD ~~ The Bible!

Book you’ve bought for the cover:Wives and Girlfriends by Nishawnda Ellis

Favorite line or couple from a book:My favorite couple: Hunter and Jade in “In Green Pastures”

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Series/Sequels: “A Man’s Worth” and (sequel) Amaryllis by Nikita Nichols
Your top three authors. Why?
Zane…..she keeps it real, Nikita Nichols……I like her style! ummmm….let me think

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Nikita Nichols—we have already but she’s GOOD!
Steve Harvey—-Too funny-but I’m enjoying the book! I like!

 
 

Bookclub: Readers in Motion President

Meet Kim McRae  President of  Readers in Motion Book Club


Share with us the history of the organization.
Hello, my name is Kim McRae and I am the president of Readers in Motion Book Club. I am a 26 year old nurse and mother. As you can tell I am very busy; however, I have always had a passion for reading. I have tried to start a local book clubs here in Chicago , but it never was successful. It was hard to find individuals that shared the same passion for reading that I hold. I became a member of my favorite author, Wahida Clark’s social network. I felt very comfortable and welcomed. After seeing that everyone on the site had the same enthusiasm for reading that I had, I decided to do an online book club.
The first step for creating the book club was to create a name. We are all busy people; however, we make time throughout our hectic day to read. The name Readers In Motion seemed to fit perfectly Readers in Motion Book Club was established in January 2009. When RIM started we held our monthly online chats at Wahida’s site. In March 2009 RIM launched its own site, http://www.readersinmotionbookclub.ning.com and with the help of my 2 Vice Presidents, Minah and Misha, we created our MySpace page, which is http://www.myspace.com/readersinmotion. I enjoy different genres, which range from urban literature to Christian literature. Therefore, I didn’t want to limit the book club to a certain genre. I will admit that urban literature and contemporary fiction is my favorite, along with most of the members.
What is the vision for your organization?
My Vision for the book club is to have a place that readers’ passion is appreciated. RIM is a place where known authors as well as aspiring authors can come and get honest feedback by people that respect their work. We are a family and we want every member to feel welcome and important. We have monthly chats on our featured book, which we collectively chose. I also try to have authors attend the chats if possible. Our past guest is essence best selling author, Wahida Clark, author of the highly anticipated book, Thug Lovin’, which is the fourth addition to her Thug series. Mike Sanders, author of the highly acclaimed book, Thirsty is scheduled to log on for our April 25th chat. Both Wahida and Mike are honorary members. At the end of the day I want RIM to be known as the place where readers, authors, and poets can come and share their excitement for literature.
Favorite book when you were a child: 
My favorite books when I was a child were the American girl Abby series.
Favorite genre, series or sequel:
My favorite genre is Urban Literature; however, contemporary fiction is a close second. My favorite series is Wahida Clark’s Thug Series.
Your top three authors. Why?
My top 3 authors are Carl Weber, Kimberla Lawson Roby, and Wahida Clark. These are my favorite authors because their style of writing is unique. You can read any of their books without their names on it and know that they’re the authors. Their styles can not be duplicated. Their imagination and insight is endless.
Book that you’ve bought for the cover:
The book that I bought for the cover is Keyshia and Clyde by Treasure E. Blues. On the cover was a woman with dark sunglasses and a man that looks like he wants to embrace her but doesn’t know how. It is a great book and I am happy that I got it.
Favorite line or couple from a book:
My favorite couple from a book also came from the novel Keyshia and Clyde by Treasure E. Blues. They had a love for each other that was everlasting and pure. The feelings were palpable while I was reading it.
My favorite Line from a book is “It’s got to be God first or nothing will work long term, whether you like it or not. He will not be ruled by you or moved by your pouting, whining, or acting out”- Tamara’s mother Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
On your nightstand now:
On my nightstand now is Single Husbands by Honey B
Book that changed your life:
The book that changed my life is The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. This was the first urban book that I read. I feel like this book was something that I can relate to as well as learn from. This book really showed me how there is only one “hood” or “ghetto”. They are all the same and we face the same problems. The only thing that changes is the names, address, and weather.
Book all readers should own besides the Bible:
The book that everyone should own besides the bible is The Audacity of Hope by President Barack Obama
Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Book that I most want to read again and slower so that I can savor it is the Bible.
Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year:
The authors that I would love to have a phone chat with are President Barack Obama, Wahida Clark, and Carl Weber
 
Website: readersinmotionbookclub.ning.com
 
 

BLACK PEARLS MAGAZINE TOP 20 BOOKCLUBS

We Appreciate the Book Lovers of the World!

EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network are proud to announce the launch of the 2011-2012 “Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign,” bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy. We encourage all readers to purchase books to give as gifts all year long. Each year thousands of people – educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers – devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books!

However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives. Let’s “Give the Gift of Knowledge” and help to strengthen our future generations!

We would like to honor the men and women who are the force behind the “Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign.” The featured groups create the foundation of the literary world! They are the people who make bestsellers. Listed below are the bookclubs the SLS voted on as the Top Bookclubs of 2010 based on their community service and dedication to promoting quality literature!

January 2011 Keepsake Bookclub Showcase

Click the image to view full screen and click the menu for more options to print or download. Enjoy!

BLACK PEARLS TOP 20 BOOKCLUBS
We are proud to announce our list of 2010 favorite bookclubs. The list below is compiled of book clubs that are serving their community and its authors by helping to increase literacy and the visibility of Black Books.
You can read in-depth interviews with the bookclubs here.

1. Go On Girl! Book Club-31 chapters in 13 states
2. R.A.R.E. (Reading And Rapping Experience)
3. Girlfriends Book Clubs – 7 chapters
4. The Readers Journey Book Club Network
5. Reading Circle of Friends (RCOF)
6. SAGE, Sistahs Acquiring Goals Through Excellence
7. Divine Sister Book Club of Memphis, TN
8. The Pillars Book Club, TX and LA
9. Phenomenal Women Book Club, of New Orleans
10. Alakaye Book Club
11. Book Talk Book Club Atlanta
12. The Black Orchids Book Club, Houston, TX- 21 members
13. 7th Ward Readers, New Orleans -147 members
14. Faith’s RN Readers, Washington, DC – 23 members
15. Literary Lunch Bunch (LLB) – ages from 62 to 87 years old
16. The Reading Divas Book Club, Maryland
17. Circle of Color Book Club (COC) Mississippi
18. Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.)
19. KC Girlfriends Book Club
20. D.I.V.A.S Divine Book Club NY

Bookclubs are Important!
The words “book club” conjures up visions of middle-aged women gathering to gossip, discuss books and to chat about their ordinary lives over wine and cheese. However, this is far from the truth as organized, independent book clubs of all sorts have recently gained attention across the country. We now have a network of social clubs, youth groups, savings clubs and non-profits as members of The Sankofa Literary Society! Reading is a passion to be proud of and we have a wonderful selections of groups to prove it! If you would like for your group to be interviewed for the next issue of Black Pearls, email Ella Curry here.

We are here to give these groups the recognition they deserve! These clubs have varied goals, but are definitely creating a impact in the publishing industry. The primary focus of this initiative is to advance African American literature and to increase awareness of their voice in the marketplace. Please join me in welcoming the readers, bookclubs and social networks that create bestsellers. View all of the featured bookclub interviews here.     Download the keepsake magazine of the bookclubs here.

Thank you all for supporting the authors who are living their dreams!  Please share this list of awesome readers with your network too. If you are a bookclub on this list, please stop by and share with us your latest news, events and book-of-the-month.  What are you reading now?

Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group
Website:   http://www.edc-creations.com/

 

Conversation with The Reading Divas Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Reading Divas Book Club


 

BPM: Tell us a little about your passion for reading and your position in the bookclub.
My name is Sharon Richardson-Lucas and I am the founder and Chairperson of the Reading Divas Book Club. Though we have structure, we’ve never felt a need to elect officers but rather to draw on the individual strengths displayed by the club members.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and a Reading Diva! I recently retired after 20 years as a District Sales Manager with Avon Products, Inc. I have read all of my life – I come from a family of readers. I do not remember a time when I didn’t read – going back to when I had to hide “True Confessions” under the covers and read after I was supposed to be asleep.

BPM: What was your first meeting like? How was it organized and structured?
After thinking about it for some time, in July 1998, I invited a group of friends to my home to review the book, “The Good Negress” by A. J. Verdelle. It wasn’t the most exciting read, but it did allow me to share my vision of a book club with the attendees and thus was born “The Reading Divas”. After more than 12 years, our basic structure remains the same: We are a group of African American women who meet monthly to review a book, share ideas, and exchange stories. Thus, we have formed a “sisterhood” of book lovers!

My initial goal was to have at least 12 members so no one would have to host a meeting more than once each year, currently there are 14 members; we meet monthly, rotating from house to house; the hostess for the month selects the book for the month. We primarily read books written by African American Authors, but do not limit ourselves to any race or type of book. By silent vote, we don’t usually read the now popular “street” books or “erotica”.

Several years ago, another charter member, Lena Tanguep, and I attended the National Book Club meeting in Atlanta hosted by Curtis Bunn. After that uplifting experience we agreed that the club needed more structure and we also needed to give something to the community and not limit ourselves to simply reading a book a month and socializing (we love mimosas and sangria). We then adopted a club charter to define our structure and we agreed to host an event to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. We weren’t sure exactly what we wanted to do, but we knew it had to be “literary” and not just a social event.

BPM: Share with us the history of the organization.
In October 2008, we successfully hosted the “First Annual Reading Divas Literary Brunch” featuring Mary Monroe – she was fabulous and so was our audience of about 100. In October 2009, when we held our second Brunch featuring Virginia Deberry and Donna Grant- we knew we had hit on something good. Virginia and Donna were “excellent” – they made themselves at home and our audience loved them. We closed this affair knowing that our event has a “following” and that we were keeping our commitment to involve the community not just through our audience participation but also by inviting local authors, many of whom are self-publishing and trying to get their foot in the door – to participate and therefore expand their reach. Please go to our website –  http://www.thereadingdivas12.com/  – to read more about us or to get in touch with us.

In October 2010, we hosted our third Brunch – we have moved to a larger facility and our featured author will be Dr. Daniel Omotosho Black – Nationally Acclaimed Author of the 21st Century. Please go to Dr. Black’s website to read more about him – http://www.danielblack.org/.

BPM: What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to “keep on keeping on” – reading, discussing, and socializing – as we help others to realize how important it is to our culture that we read the works of African American authors and to continue to grow our own annual Literary Event.

BPM: Living your best life includes:
Living my best life includes: having books and my Kindle at my fingertips at all times – my motto is “Never Leave Home Without Something to Read”.

BPM: On your nightstand now:
On my nightstand now are: “Book Clubs” by Curtis Bunn and “They Tell me of a Home” by Daniel Black along with many books on my Kindle including “God Ain’t Blind” by Mary Monroe, “And Mistress Makes Three” by Francis Ray, and “Witch & Wizard” by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet.

BPM: What types of books did you read as a kid?
I’ve always been a mystery and suspense lover – so I loved “Nancy Drew” as a child but I soon moved on to Perry Mason.

BPM: What book would you read again to savor?
The book I want to read again and again to savor is “What Seems Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day” by Pearl Cleage.

BPM: What’s your favorite book series?
My favorite series is anything in the Alex Cross series by James Paterson.

BPM: How important is reading in your life?
I cannot imagine life without the ability to enter new and different worlds through the written words of others.

Interview presented by chairperson – Sharon Richardson-Lucas

 
 

Bookclubs and Friends Slideshow

Check out just a few of our event photos and photos submitted by bookclubs to Black Pearls Magazine. You can meet the bookclubs here:  http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/bookclubs2010.htm

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com./   If you can’t view the slideshow above, click here to view.

 
 

Intimate Conversation with SUES Books Club

Intimate Conversation with SUES Books Club
Sistahs United on the Eastern Shore Book and Social Club

Sistahs United on the Eastern Shore Book and Social Club was found on July 26, 2008 by Lori Morris. She got the idea to start the book from family and co-workers. The conversation of books always came up at family gatherings and at work. A co-worker told her she should start a book club. She invited friends and family members to the first meeting, there were 6 ladies that registered at the first meeting. Now we have 11 members. We are a small group of women on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware, we coming together once a month, for at least three hours to discuss books.

Our first book of the month was “Jezebel” by Jacqueline Thomas. We have attend the Chocolate Social and National Book Club Conference 2010. The vision for our organization is to come together as sisters to share our feelings, love of reading and to socialize. We host the Mother’s Day Social each year.

BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
I love to read a good story, I like when I see the characters as if I were looking at a movie and it keeps my attention thru the whole book.

BPM:  Would you say you read more for escape or for entertainment?
I read two to three books in one month, I read more for the escape and entertainment.

BPM: Do you download books? Do you prefer a hard copy book or a digital book?
I do not download books, I perfer to have a hard copy book. I do think that digital books will replace printed books in the near future.

On your night stand now:
Shack by William P. Young

Favorite book when you were a child:
The series from author Mildred D. Taylor “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry” “Road to Memphis” “Let the Circle Be Unbroken”.

Book you bought for the cover:
A Change Had to Come by Gwynne Foster

Book that should be a movie or play:
Up To No Good by Carl Weber.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year:
Wes Moore, Victor McGlothin, and Jacqueline Thomas.

Connect with us online:
http://suesbookclub.webs.com/
www.myspace.com/suesbookclub
www.facebook.com/sistahsunited-easternshore-bookclub

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/  

 
 

Reader Spotlight: Rose Wright, Pres.of Savvy Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Rose Wright
President of the Savvy Book Club

BPM: Rose, tell us a little bit about yourself and your favorite things, hobbies and about your family.
My name is Rose Wright and I live in Jackson, Mississippi with my family. Husband Frank of 20 years. Our family consists of 3 lovely children, Takesha, Khadijah and Frank Jr.. I am an educator by profession. I have been in the education arena for 22 years.

I currently teach APAC  U. S. History. I love to read and spend quality time with family. I am the President and Founder of the Savvy Book Club. My hobbies include reading, cross-stitch and flora arrangement.

BPM: Share with us the history of the organization. How did you get started?
Savvy Book Club began April 2007 in Jackson, MS. The club started because we were always talking about the good book we read, when we passed each other in the hallway at work. And people use to think we were talking about someone real and when we revealed we were talking about a book character everyones response was, you all should start a bookclub.

So, one day I told them I was ready and wanted to know if I could count on them as members. They agreed. I researched other clubs and even visited other meetings to get ideas. The librarian at the local library in the area were looking to start bookclubs in their library so we started our club at their library. We had a lot of help from the ladies at the library. Three of them joined the book club and have been faithful members from the beginning. Our First Book chosen was “Let the Church Say Amen” by Roshonda Tate Billingsley. We currently have 15 active members.

Events: Since beginning the bookclub we have met over 40 authors. Many in which we hosted Author Meet and Greets for them. We have also hosted several book release celebration. We have hosted alot of writers over the years. This year we sponsored several book release celebrations for authors. Those authors include:

Virginia Deberry &Donna Grant /NY Best Selling Author
Kendra Norman- Bellamy /Atlanta Christian Fiction
Brian S. Smith /Texas
Bruce Wright/Atlanta

We also hosted Mississippi author Sydney Molare’ (Author Pick of the Year 2009) We teamed up with author to do a Literacy Drive and she provided books to everyone who attended the event.

BPM: What is the vision for your organization? Do you host events during the year? Donate to charities or provide any service for the community?

Our Vision: Keeping in tune with the latest Books and Literature, through our Love of Reading and Meeting those who have touched our lives through books.

Charity: We have donated books to youth through day care centers, learning centers and summer programs. We hold book drives to do this.

BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is so important. As my pastor recently said. “Words have power.” When I read a book I always try to find the message. It may not be the one the author has set for me, but a message no the less.

BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life?
Reading had impact me alot. It is my escape. When you have a family you sometimes need some down time. So after everyone has gone to bed I curl up with a book. I can relate to many of the books I read.

BPM: How many books do you read in one month? Would you say you read more for escape, for educational purposes or for entertainment?
Books are my escape. I speed read so I can finish a book in two to three days. Sometimes in shorter time (summer months). Summer months I may read 6 to 10 books a month. Other months two at the most. Unless I have a book to reivew. If the book is really good I can really get through it fast. I will read a book before I watch television.

There are so many books I have not read and many that I have read and want to read. I can’t mention them all but I do love their work. I mostly Christain Fiction, Romance, little Mystery Autobiographies and Drama.
I have not read Sci Fi, Vampire etc. It does not interest me. But it doesn’t mean they don’t have some good novels.

BPM: Do you download books? Do you prefer a hard copy book or a digital book?
I have only dowloaded one book. I like the hard copies and audio books. I can clean my house, exercise, and drive using audio books. I don’t think it will ever replace a printed book. Some may like it. I just dont have time for it, right now.

BPM: Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? Do you see others following their path? If so, who?
I think that all writers have had a author to inspire them at one point in their lives and or career. Some authors may have more impact than others. I think that today many authors write about everyday life situations and are not limit as many earlier writers were. That’s why we are finding more and more self publish authors with great little books. I think there are many that will go on to be just as great as many of those past auhtor if not greater.

Finish these fun loving sentences with the question and answer:


BPM: Living your best life includes:
Love, Trusting in God and Spending time Family & Friends

BPM: On your nightstand now:
Power of the Praying Women

BPM: Favorite book when you were a child:
Little House on the Praire and Box Car Children.

BPM: Book all readers should own excluding the bible:
Daily Devotionals, I recommend Jacequlin Thomas’s novels

BPM: Book you gave as a gift:
Kimberla Lawson Roby’s ” Deep Dark Secret”

BPM: Book you’ve bought for the cover:
The Vow

BPM: Favorite couple from a book:
Hosea Bush & Jasmine Lawson, series “Victoria Christopher Murray” and Mary Monroe, “God Don’t like Ugly series”

BPM: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Terry McMillian’s “How Stella Got Her Grove Back”

BPM: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I read a lot of Christian Fiction. I do not have just on type I love to read. Brenda Jackson “Madris Soga” or Kim Robys “Curtis Black Series” or maybe Mary Morrison’s “Darius Jones Sogas”. There are so many. Hard to chose just one.

BPM: Book that should be a movie or play:
Several of Brian S. Smith book’s

BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Maya Angelou, Terry McMillian, and Francis Ray

Website Address: www.savvybookclub.com

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

Reader Spotlight: Meta V. Anthony, Book Talk Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Meta V. Anthony
Book Talk Book Club

BPM: Meta, tell us a little bit about yourself and your favorite things.
My name is Meta Anthony and I am an 50 plus avid reader and president of Book Talk Book club in Atlanta. My favorite authors are James Patterson and Kimberla Lawson Roby. I enjoy all types of plays, mostly geared to black artists.
BPM: Share with us the history of the organization. How did you get started?
Our book club was formed in 1997 by four co-workers who worked at a local company in Atlanta, GA. Since that time we have had many members, fortunately some have stayed and unfortunately some have decided to move on to other things. We have had as little as five members and as many as twenty-one. As you can see Book Talk goes on.
Our current active members are 12. I’m not sure of the first book we read back in 1997, but the first one we read in January of 2004 was Mary’s Little Lamb by Lawrence Christopher. We are currently reading Uptown by Dewberry and Grant for August, 2010. We usually attend the National Book Club Conference in July/August in Atlanta. We also attended the 1st Black Book Club Expo on August 7th in Atlanta, GA this yr. Also, in December we will be attend the Dekalb Count Jubilee Annual Book Conference in Decatur, GA.
BPM: What is the vision for your organization? Do you host events during the year?
Our vision to make life better for someone by reading and making dreams come true. We are not currently involved as a book club in donating to charities, but several members donate their time and energy on their own.
BPM:  Speak to the writers, what would you like to see written in books?
Reading is very important to me, for it helps me to look at this in a different prospective.
BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life?
Reading has been a great impact on life. Mainly, because I come from a background of teachers….mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles..I always loved to read, for it took some places I may never visit
BPM: Would you say you read more for escape, for educational purposes or for entertainment?
I usually read at least books a month, if time permits. One for the book club and two on my own.
BPM:  Do you prefer a hard copy book or a digital book, such as a Kindle book?
Yes, I have been introduced to the kindle and I enjoy the books on digital. I do have some authors that I collect their writings and I prefer them on hardback. No, I don’t think the digital will ever replay the hardback, for some just like the feel of a book and turning pages..
BPM: Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? Do you see others following their path? If so, who?
Not too sure about this statement, for a lot of these new authors are just catering to todays subjects…such as hip hop urban books.
Finish these fun loving sentences with the question and answer:
BPM: Living your best life includes:
…being true to yourself
BPM: On your nightstand now:
…my kindle and Uptown by Dewberry and Grant
BPM: Favorite book when you were a child:
Raggedy Ann & Andy
BPM: Book all readers should own excluding the bible:
Write it down make it happen by Henriette Anne Klauser
BPM: Book you gave as a gift:
Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman Bellamy
BPM: Book you’ve bought for the cover:
E Lynn Harris — In My Father’s House
BPM: Book that should be a movie or play:
Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman Bellamy
BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Kimberla Lawson Roby, James Patterson and Victoria Christopher Murray
Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/
 
 

Reader Spotlight: Denise Turney founder of Book Lover’s Haven

Intimate Conversation with Avid Reader Denise Turney

BPM: Denise, tell us a little bit about yourself and your favorite things.
I am an avid book reader and an author (Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral, Long Walk Up, Rosetta’s Great Hope, and Love Pour Over Me @ http://www.chistell.com). My favorite male singer is Maxwell. Aretha Franklin is my absolute favorite female singer (have been loving her sound for years)! Love to travel and visit with my family. The one and only, Gwendolyn Brooks, is a writing inspiration.

BPM: Share with us the history of  the Book Lover’s Haven . How did you get started? Do you host events during the year?Founded the Book Lover’s Haven ten years ago. Over 1,000 avid subscribers read the literary magazine monthly. In March 2010, founded the Book Lovers Haven Network. It’s a Ning site that is free for writers and readers to join. Forums, blogs, chats, book reviews, etc. are posted at the Book Lovers Haven Network. Also host the annual Chistell Writing Contest (short stories and poetry). The contest is going into it’s 11th year!!

BPM: Speak to the writers, what would you like to see written in books?
I’d like to see more literary pieces (i.e. James Baldwin, Edwidge Danticat) and intricate storytelling (i.e. J. California Cooper). I’d also like to read more autobiographies of people sharing their personal stories of struggle, faith, and triumph (i.e. The Pursuit of Happyness).

BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life?
Currently reading Paula Deen’s, “It Ain’t All About The Cooking.” Her book (as do other books that I read and enjoy) encourages me, lets me know that focus and perseverance yield tremendously good rewards. Gwendolyn Brooks’ and other poets’ work have inspired and enlightened me as well. I love the lessons that J. California Cooper teaches through her stories.

BPM: Would you say you read more for escape, for educational purposes or for entertainment?
I haven’t been reading as much as I used to. My average reading is about two books a week. I read for escape, inspiration and entertainment.

BPM: Do you prefer a hard copy book or a digital book, such as a Kindle book? I prefer hard copy books (print).

BPM: Do you think the writings of today’s authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? Do you see others following their path? If so, who?
Yes. Urban erotica and other urban literature that focuses on dysfunctional relationships has become popular. But there are many books (and writers) that respect and continue to hone their craft. The same Source that brought us the Mayas, Octavias and Alexes is still at work in the universe gifting us with great art.

Finish these fun loving sentences with the question and answer:

BPM: Favorite book when you were a child:
Pippi Longstocking books

BPM: Book all readers should own excluding the bible:
A journal (so they can pen experiences from their own life journey)

BPM: Book you gave as a gift:
Long Walk Up, Spiral and Portia

BPM: Favorite line or couple from a book:
Something to the effect “The calvary ain’t coming. If you want to change or do so something, you’ve got to get out there and make it happen” — from “The Pursuit of Happyness”

BPM: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
A Course in Miracles

BPM: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Autobiography, inspiration

BPM: Book that should be a movie or play:
Loving Donavan by Bernice McFadden

BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Bernice McFadden, Jamaica Kincaid, J. K. Rowling

Ella, thank you again for the opportunity!!

Denise Turney, Author – Long Walk Up
Website: http://www.chistell.com/


Off The Shelf Radio Host

Denise host the international radio program Off The Shelf which airs on Blog Talk Radio live from 11AM-12PM on Saturday and 24/7 throughout the rest of the week.

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

 
 

RWA Bookclub Authors Pavilion 2010

Readers With Attitude Bookclub is VA’s largest sophisticated bookclub hosting fifteen members and growing. Take a look at our calendar which is already booked for 2009 with books for each month. Our goal is dual, we want to support the authors and help them to make an impact while supporting the bookstore in our community as well. We purchase all of our books through Precious Memories Bookstore (pictured below) which is an Essence Magazine and New York Times Reporting Bookstore. This is an impact for the author because we are helping to get their sells reported to Essence Magazine and New York Times by buying from this bookstore. While we make our Book of the Month authors aware that we do not garauntee that their book will be the next Essence Bestseller, our purchases do help to make an impact.
If you are a book lover take a moment to review the author spotlight section for great books! Also read our reviews as they are constantly updated with inew reviews from well known and new authors. We give the real deal and specialize in giving you frequent fresh material.

Ultimately we want to be recognized as the premier bookclub and readers group for authors and publishers alike. We want to gain lasting relationships that we look forward to extend through open dialouge and conversation.

RWA Bookclub Authors Pavilion on April 17th, 2010

Join us as we host dozens of best selling authors all under one roof at Virginia Center Commons Mall in Richmond VA. This event is free to the public and we will be raffling of some really great gifts (including a digital camera) which you can enter when you buy at least one book from one of these great authors! There will be giveaways, poetry, performances, readings and more. Tell a friend, bring a friend to this great event!

Confirmed Authors:
D.L. Sparks
Sheila Lipsey
Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Torian Ferguson
Vonda Howard
Monda Raquel Webb
Lisa Watson
Ndea B
Avah LaReaux
Pamela D. Rice
S.D. Denny
Khadijah Ali Coleman
Savannah J.
Tawanna Jackson
Victoria Wells
Rachel Berry
Nikkea Smithers

Visit our website for more information: http://www.rwabookclub.com

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center Twitter with Ella

 
 

Spotlight: Go On Girl! Book Club

Go On Girl! Book Club is one of the largest national reading organizations in the U.S. for black women. It was founded in 1991 by Monique Greenwood, Lynda Johnson and Tracy Mitchell in New York City. Today, Go On Girl! Book Club has 28 chapters in 13 states including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina and the nation’s capital, Washingon, DC.   Check out their reading list for 2010 here.
In 2010, the organization will host its Annual Author Awards weekend, June 10th to June 13th, at the Winfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2011, The organization will celebrate its 20th Anniversary Gala in Washington, DC.  For more information about Go On Girl! Book Club log onto  http://www.goongirl.org


Go on Girl! Book Club

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Literature

Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center — Twitter with Ella

 
 

Sisters Sippin Tea BOOKS AND BRUNCH

Hi, the Sisters Sippin Tea BOOKS AND BRUNCH is this coming Saturday. Click on the link below to see our authors. See SST BOOKS N BRUNCH SAT Oct.10, 2009 online.

MEET THE AUTHORS

 
 

Reader Spotlight: ANDREA FOY

Black Pearls Reader Spotlight: ANDREA FOY

:: How important is reading to you?
Communicating in some way, talking, reading, writing, it is like breathing to me. It calms me down and soothes me, no matter what the content.

:: On your nightstand now:
Not trying to plug, but I just finished Unexpected Interruptions by Trice Hickman. I heard about it on one of your book tours.


:: Book you’ve bought for the cover:

Joel Osteen’s first book, he was smiling so hard I had to know what he was up to.

:: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Loved Dewey, the cat that lived in a library. (true story)

:: Your top three authors. Why?
E. Lynn Harris, loved his books- great twists and plot turns.
Terry McMillian – she makes it look easy (to write) and is easy to read.
Jackie Collins – older books were better, great entertainment.


:: Share your news or events with us.
What’s next for me? My book; HIRE POWER How to Find, Get, and Keep a Job is coming out later this year. It is a how to book for teens on finding their first job.

ANDREA FOY
www.andreafoy.com
info@andreafoy.com
a1f99@yahoo.com

 
 

Reader Spotlight: Rae Lori

Meet Black Pearls Reader Rae Lori

:: Tell us a little bit about you as a reader.
I started reading from literally within the womb. My mother used to read to me before I was even born so I got used to her voice and the narrative format. I guess that’s part of the reason I love audio books as well as printed ones. Trips to the library became apart of our daily lifestyle since I was little. I remember we used to break apart the moment we entered and went to our respective favorite sections to grab some new goodies. As time went on, we eventually did the same at used bookstores and the newer chains that started popping up. Ebooks have become another addiction of mine because I keep finding some great new voices in the smaller press.

:: On your nightstand now:
Currently I’m reading River’s Daughter by Tasha Campbell (the first release from Verb Noire), Faerie Blood by Angela Korra’ti, An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon & Black Ice by Anne Stuart

:: Book all readers should own besides the bible:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I may be biased but I love this book because like 1984 it reveals a lot about society in a satirical yet serious way.

:: Book you’ve bought for the cover:
The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom. The blurb caught my eye but I love the cover. Same with Librynth by Pearl North. Gorgeous covers featuring women of color which you don’t usually see on mainstream books, especially ones aimed at youngsters.

:: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Science Fiction & Fantasy is my heart along with romance books.

Contact Rae
Rachel@Raelori.com
http://www.raelori.com
http://raelori.blogspot.com

‘Art and any media of the mind is most powerful with a voice’

 
 

Distinct Ladies 3rd Anniversary Party Oct. 10, 2009

Distinct Ladies 3rd Anniversary Party Oct. 10, 2009
The Distinct Ladies extends an invitation for you to celebrate this milestone with us. We have Memphis’ Own Recha G. Peay, Best Selling Author Jihad and HollyGrove President and the Nation Best Selling Author Brian W. Smith.

When: October 10, 2009
Time: 4pm till 8pm Doors Open @ 3:30pm
Where: St. Paul Lodge on 423 East Georgia Street, Memphis, TN
Cost: $10 Per Person
Door Prizes, Food, Poetry and More

If you would like to purchase these books in advance or for more info, please email distinctladies@yahoo.com

The Distinct Ladies Bookclub
P.O. Box 271415
Memphis, TN 38167
Tiffany Rainey-President
Josula Williams-Vice President

www.distinctladies.com
http://dlbookclub.webs.com
http://www.myspace.com/distinctladiesandgents

Intimate Conversation with the Distinct Ladies Bookclub

EDC: Share with us the history of the organization and President’s biography.
DLBC: Tiffany Rainey is currently the President and one of the founders of Distinct Ladies Book Club. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tn and currently still resides there. Not only is Tiffany a member of DLBC but she is also a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Sirius Ladies Social Club, and she is also a usher in her church.

DLBC was founded in October of 2006 with 4 women who shared a passion for reading. When we first started little did we know we would grow to be such a tight knit family. DLBC doesn’t just read books, but we attend movies, plays, book signing, and we just love to fellowship with one another.

EDC: What is the vision for your organization?
DLBC: Our vision for our sisterhood is to continue to promote authors who are not as well known as some of the greats like Eric Jerome Dickey or Kimberla Lawson Roby. We want to continue to give back to the kids in our community.

EDC: Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes…
DLBC: Living your best life includes being with our children.

On your nightstand now: We are currently reading The Dopeman’s Wife

Book all readers should own besides the bible: The Survival Bible by Jihad

Book you’ve bought for the cover: Casanegra by Blair Underwood

Favorite genre, series or sequels: Urban, Erotica, Christian Fiction

EDC: Your top three authors. Why?
DLBC: Brian W. Smith, President of Hollygrove Publishing is one of our favorite authors. Brian is a very down to earth person. He keeps your interest is his books from the beginning to the end. He also brings new talent to his company, that makes you just wanna read everything he has written.

Memphis Own Sheila Lipsey, author of Beautiful Ugly is also one of our favorite authors. Sheila is a Christian fiction author who always makes you wondering what’s going on next. She brings everyday problems and drama into her books.

Jihad, bestselling author of Wild Cherry is a favorite author. Jihad brings erotica to street to “I am gonna keep it real” to you in his books. He always makes you wondering which direction he’s going to write in. We have a few more that we love, but since you only asked for 3. I think I am going to leave it at that.

EDC: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
DLBC: Kimberla Lawson Roby, Wahadia Clark, and Jane Jordan

EDC: Share your news or events with us. What’s next for your group?
DLBC: DLBC is planning their 3year Anniversary Celebration. It will be held on Oct. 10, 2009 from 4-8. We will have Jihad, Brian W. Smith, Recha G. Peay, and other authors will be stopping through as well. DLBC will be having spoken word, music, and giving way door prizes. Admission is $10 and seating is limited. For more info you can contact us at distinctladies@yahoo.com

You can find us at:
www.distinctladies.com
http://dlbookclub.webs.com
http://www.myspace.com/distinctladiesandgent

We are also on Facebook and Twitter!!

 

EDC Creations Reading List Fall 2009

EDC Creations Reading List Fall 2009

Ella Curry and EDC Creations are proud to announce the books that created an impact, for readers and the EDC Creations network. Our “literary hallmarks” indicate excellence in writing and storytelling. These are the books we want to feature to the world. Each year thousands of people — educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers — devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve, they float just under the radar. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives.

Readers please take a moment and examine the list below. There is something for all book lovers! The books ARE NOT listed in any order pertaining to the quality of the literature—they are ALL 4-5 star literary gems. Each book on this list will bring something of value to enrich the lives of the readers, make you sit up and take notice, and to help to strengthen our future generations. If you are a fan of Erotica or Urban Literature, there is a list for you. If you are more in tune with books of a Spiritual or Motivational nature, there is a list for you. Christian Fiction lovers, we have books listed that you are sure to love. Like to live life on the edge and walk on the dark, mysterious side—we have a selection for you too. We have a special section for books that share in the African American experience, in a fictional setting, be sure to check the out.

We have reviewed all of the books below and these are just a few of the magnificent books we love. Keep in mind we reviewed some of these books for the publishers and they might be on pre-order status. Other lists will be posted of our fantastic literary finds. You are invited to explore the shelves of our book store where most of the books are listed: http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20 . Enjoy!

Teen Lit and Children Titles
01. Love, Ocean by Celia Anderson
02. A Song for Harlem by Patricia C. McKissack
03. The World Is Mine by Lyah B. LeFlore
04. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
05. Aaliyah by Victoria Christopher Murray
06. The Secret to Teen Power by Paul Harrington
07. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
08. Sunny Holiday by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
09. The Lip Gloss Chronicles by Shelia Goss
10. Believing in Hope by Stephanie Perry Moore

Non-Fiction Motivational and Biography
01. Tears of Fear: Escaping the Abuse, Discovering Greatness by Lyn-Dee Eldridge
02. How to Choose Happiness by Chappale Linn Burton
03. Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball by Derek Fisher
04. Never Make the Same Mistake Twice by Nene Lakes
05. Memories by Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad
06. The Journey Less Traveled by Loretta “Faith” Harris
07. Deja View: Memoirs of a Funk Diva by Patryce Choc’Let Banks
08. Justin: A Father’s Fight for His Son by Abe Morris
09. The Barack in Me by Moses Miller
10. The Survival Bible by Jihad

Grown Folk Fiction, Urban Fiction and Erotica
01. Carbon Copy by Azarel
02. What I Do is Taboo 2 and 3 by Yonder
03. The After Party by Saundra E. Harris
04. Another Woman’s Husband by Angel Mechelle
05. My Husband’s Fiancee by Kaira Denee
06. Maneater by Mary B. Morrison and Noire
07. Dubious by Tina Brooks McKinney
08. Thug Lovin’ by Wahida Clark
09. Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad by Clarence Nero
10. Unconditionally Single by Mary B. Morrison

Mainstream Fiction and Women’s Fiction
01. A Change Had to Come by Gwynne Forster
02. A New Kind of Blue by Bettye Griffin
03. Twist by Angie L. Jennings
04. Donna’s Comeback by Brian W. Smith
05. Who Is He to You by Monique D. Mensah
06. Land Mines by Sheilah Vance
07. Matchmaker by Gibran Tariq
08. What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy
09. Song of the Siren by Avah LaReaux
10. Over and Over Again by Ni’cola Mitchell

Faith-based Fiction and Christian Fiction
01. Wildflower by Lyah Beth LeFlore
02. Beautiful Ugly by Shelia Lipsey
03. The Manual by Sherryle K. Jackson
04. Sins of the Father by Angela Benson
05. In the Land of Cotton by Martha Taylor
06. Somebody’s Sinning in My Bed by Pat G’Orge Walker
07. Journey to Jordan by Donna Deloney
08. Girl Naw! by LaCricia A’ngelle
09. Deliver Me From My Enemies by Sharon Oliver
10. Preacher Man Blues by Jihad
11. Last Woman Standing by Tia McCollors

Romance and Relationship Drama
01. One Night with You by Francis Ray
02. Fixin’ Tyrone by Keith Walker
03. Dream Keeper by Gail McFarland
04. Waiting for Mr. Darcy by Chamein Canton
05. Fireflies by Joan Early
06. Another Memory by Pamela Ridley
07. Frost on My Window by Angela Weaver
08. Victim or Violator by Gerald D. Jones
09. Waiting in the Shadows by Michele Sudler
10. After the Hell by China Ball
11. A Lova’ Like No Otha’ by Stephanie Perry Moore

Give the Gift of Knowledge…Give Books for Gifts!

Readers, if you have read any of the books listed, please share your reviews. If you would like for any of these authors to speak with your friends or book clubs, please leave your request and email address in our comments section. We will try to pass them on to the publicists or the authors. Request the authors for a phone chat and live reading with you and 10 friends: Email: edc_dg@yahoo.com Leave all reviews and comments here.

Authors, if you see your book listed, please leave a comment with your website address, book seller links and any news about you and your books! Ask your network to stop by and share their reviews of your books too. Make sure you tell your friends if you see their names listed. Follow this blog on the right hand side of the site, to keep up with the comments. Leave all news, reviews and comments here.

Note: EDC Creations does not accept payment for book reviews. Our team reviews books for BAN Radio Show, publicists, publishing houses and independently published authors. We have rated all of the books on this list as 4/5 or 5/5 stars. They are all fabulous reads, recommended by Ella Curry, AJ Curry (Teen reviews), Jackie Lawson (Sweet Soul Sisters), Casino (Sankofa Literary Society), Carolyn Morrow (Sankofa Literary Society), Gwendolyn Garrett (Sankofa Literary Society), Rhonda Seals, Monica Givens, Lois Spanks (Sankofa Literary Society), LaTisha Knight (BMore Moms), Cheryl Rhodes, Marvin Sparks (Journalist, AL), Gene Garrett, Vontessa Lewis (Sisters Networking and Reading), Katona Swain, Tonya Marks, Katalena Dubose, Maggie Dubose (Moms Rock, Dothan Chapter), Jennifer Tolbert, Rita Mae Riggins, Audrey Riggins (Sankofa Literary Society), Marion Teagues, J-Jigger (Journalist, AL), May Sanders-Dubose, TaSherra Curry (Teen reviews), RaLeigh Curry, Minnie B. Swain and our fans in the United States and abroad.

All of the books are kept by the reviewers, given away to book clubs, donated to literary event grab bags, used as prizes in EDC Creations, Sankofa Literary Society and BAN Radio contests and gift bags. EDC Creations does not sell review copies online or at events. All books are given away in the hopes that the readers will spread the word…..

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
http://www.edc-creations.com/

Black Pearls Magazine
http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

Shop at our Book Store
http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20

 

EDC Creations Review Team Policy

Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign

Hello!
Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of the EDC Creations book review team! I would love to add you on the roster as a reviewer. We do not pay our reviewers cash , but we will keep your reading supply up with new releases and will give Amazon Gift Certificates for the reviewers with the most printed reviews per month.  I don’t require any contracts and you can start and stop at your leisure. However, if we don’t get written reviews back within a reasonable time, we will ask why.

This is about unity, expanding our reading selections and just having fun! The only thing we want from you is to tell at least 10 people about a great book and a written review. You do not have to be a professional writer, just become a reader who wants to express their appreciation for books!

Reviewing Printed Material
Before becoming a reviewer I need to know these things. You can send your answers to the following email address: edc_dg@yahoo.com

1. Full name, photo, email address, home mailing address and a cellphone number.
2. Favorite genre to read; least favorite genre; will you read ebooks and mass markets?
3. Do you have a Amazon account? Are you willing to provide written reviews?
4. How often, per month, will you be willing to participate?
5. Will you host authors on your blog, website, radio show or social network?
6. Your website or blog address; brief 50 word bio to give you credit for the reviews.

Stay Connected
Please go to the reviewer news site today and sign up for the mobile bookclub, so that we can notify you when new reviewer contests start. We will also notify you of exclusive author interviews and literary games. You will have a chance to enter drawings for great books and gift bags. Sign up here: www.broadtexter.com/blackpearlsmag

Procedures
We will send you books to review monthly. All that we ask is for you to submit the written reviews and answer our 5 questions in relation to the book. After approval of your written review, we ask that you post the reviews to our blog and/or Amazon. Once we mail you the books, we would like a review back within 15 days. If you will email me your home address, we will start sending you books and galleys. The questions will be sent to you via email. You will receive an entire review packet once you agree to come on board as an official EDC Creations Reviewer.

Sharing the Reviews
As a EDC Creations Reviewer, we would love to have you come on the BAN radio show and the conference calls to tell us about your book and any good books that you have read.  Our goal is to always introduce our readers to the next great read. Authors, you are welcome to become reviewers too! Tell your network about the books, as well as direct others to where they can buy the book. EDC Creations has a bookstore and most books will be carried for the readers. The Black Pearls Reading Room will also host most of the books.

Digital Book Reviewers
Book-clubs and readers groups, if your book-club members would agree, we would like to add them on as our ebook reviewers and audio book-club. They would read the books on the Nook, Kindle or over the PC as an ebook,  then prepare their honest comments about the book. We ask that the digital reviewers answer 5 questions about the book on our Black Pearls blog. We will host weekly live readings from books, the digital reviewers would listen to the call, then blog about it the next day on the Black Pearls Blogs. Free books will be given away quarterly to the digital reviewers based on their contributions. We need the following information:

1. Full name, photo, email address, home mailing address and a cellphone number.
2. Favorite genre to read; least favorite genre; will you read ebooks and mass markets?
3. Do you have a Amazon account? Are you willing to provide written reviews?
4. Will you host authors on your blog, website, radio show or social network?

You can send your answers to the following email address: edc_dg@yahoo.com

Feel free to share this post with as many avid readers as you can.
We need people to host our blog tours, review our books and to join in the Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign!

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations MediaBlack Authors Network Radio-Founder
Black Pearls Magazine -Founder
Website: http://www.edc-creations.com/

 
 
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