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Category Archives: Featured Authors

Intimate Conversation with Marc Lacy

Intimate Conversation with Marc Lacy

Huntsville’s own Marc Lacy, a graduate of Alabama A&M University is a nationally renowned, award winning poet/author and a lecturer. He has performed all over the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues.  Marc is also a seasoned freelance writer and a blogger for The Man-Ologist Blogs. Along with writing and performance, Marc utilizes his wordsmith talent and poetic flair as he facilitates lectures, conducts workshops, and delivers motivational speeches concerning writing, communication, and self-development.

Additionally, Lacy is a cast member of the new hit webisode, The Men’s Room. Marc credits his faith in God and love of family for providing energy he needs to succeed.


BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?

Via God’s blessings, loving parents, and a supportive family, I’ve been able to graduate college, and work in a defense field as an engineer, and technical writer. All the while, I’ve always had the knack for creative writing. Getting published was a major goal of mine. Once it happened, everything else is history.

 

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
If feel my work speaks to everyone who sees the need for societal wrongs to be “righted.” Authors are role models because somebody is ALWAYS going to be lifted from your writing.

 

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Curse of the Whiskey House is my latest and greatest work. It is action-packed, suspenseful, and intense, with a twist of paranormal added to it. Curse of the Whiskey House is available on Kindle now. It will be available on Nook in the very near future.

 


BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?

I actually have a second narrator who is part omniscient and part character.  However he has no interaction with the other characters. His name is Rufus McClendon. He is an old Buffalo Soldier reject still roaming around  the woods of Hawthorne County. What makes him unique is that he is a drunkard; but he actually knows what he is talking about. Another main character is the Reverend Jackson R. Jones. He pastors the biggest black church in Central, AL;  but he is also the owner of The Hawthorne County Whiskey House. Many citizens of  Lazarus, Alabama are uncomfortable with that combination.

 


BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Some years ago, I began doing daily flash fiction stories in one of my Facebook groups. Once I got into a good groove, my supporters encouraged me to convert the stories into a full-fledged fiction novel. So, from concept to actual birth, the entire span of time was four years. That is how long it took.


BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?

I do not have one particular source of inspiration when writing fiction. However I do like to take societal issues, flip them, and turn them into a colorful piece of literature. Although my characters tend to have a very heavy influence on the plot, I’d like to say that I am an author who thinks “plot first.”  Reason being, in writing a trilogy, you’ve got to make sure that you have a common denominator within all three publications. So for the Whiskey House Trilogy, the plot is the tie that binds the books together.


BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.

Curse of the Whiskey House covers a lot of things; of which, one of them is the gun law debate. Various characters in different scenarios have a licensed weapon; but bring to the reader’s attention, the fact that the way of life in Lazarus can and will be affected by gun laws. They also go on to imply, that if the issue does not get regulated, there will be hell to pay.


BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?

The book actually does not relate to my situation, education, or spiritual practice. But it does paint a picture of how challenging things can be if people let controllable problems fester into impossible hurdles.

 


BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?

My knowledge came from indirect research for my book. Through various forums, I met several people who experienced what many characters experienced (at one point or another in their life). Their actions now, and the manner in which they carry themselves (per what they experienced), helped me to assign various traits to certain characters.


BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

My main goal was to show how jacked up people will let situations get, then play the blame game for an escape instead of addressing the real problems. I feel Curse of the Whiskey House accomplishes this goal in a thunderous fashion.


BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?

One project I am working on is Viral Xgressions, the second book of the trilogy.  Other than that, I am back in the studio writing and recording more spoken word tracks.


BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? Share all of your social media links.

Curse of the Whiskey House: When Life is the Principle and Death is the Practice

 

Whiskey House Trilogy Book 1  by Marc Lacy
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00UTLAND4

SPOKEN WORD CDs:
http://www.marclacy.com/bookshelf.htm

 


LITERARY WORKS:

http://www.amazon.com/Marc-Lacy/e/B002TIUCWM/


Website:  http://marclacy.com
Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/marc_lacy
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marclacy

 

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Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

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

 

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

Short Stories

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

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

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

One-Act Plays

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

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

Essays

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

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

 

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

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

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Interview

Duane Lance Filer grew up in Compton, California and had one of the greatest, richest childhoods one could have growing up in an “inner” city. Duane’s dad Maxcy Filer was involved in the west coast civil rights movement, and during the late 50s, 60s and 70s Duane got to witness and was involved in some wild and crazy events during this important time in American history.

Since birth, Duane has possessed an extraordinary memory; an insatiable imagination; and a fascination with writing. He started writing in high school, through college, during his 30-plus work years, and into his present retirement. Duane’s funky writing projects and painting can be viewed at his website http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Two Steps Past the Altar by Patricia A. Bridewell

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

When she discovers that her fiancé, Damien Taylor, may be cheating, she breaks off their engagement. In the midst of healing, she becomes captivated with Wesley Dunbar, a wealthy pharmaceutical businessman that may hold the cure for her mom and Sasha’s wounded heart. Although she attempts to resist Wesley’s romantic overtures, his charm, status, and kindness open a window of opportunities to consider. While Damien tries to woo her back into his life, her involvement with Wesley becomes complicated. A surfeit of lies and deception causes a web of mixed emotions as she struggles to help her mom and determine whether Damien or Wesley is the real love of her life.

Excerpt: Two Steps Past the Altar

As Sasha stood in the mirror, admiring how well the dress complimented her figure, she paused. Dad.

She rushed out the room, holding up the bottom of her dress so she wouldn’t trip as she made her way into the living room. Sasha whirled around. “You like my dress?”

“It looks nice,” he said, walking right past her.

Sasha tilted her head. “What’s wrong, Dad?” He frowned and mumbled under his breath before opening the refrigerator. From the expression on his face, something must have happened.

“Hi, hon,” her mother said. “When’d you get in town?”

Sasha turned and saw her mother hugging Damien.

“This morning,” Damien said, peering at Sasha beneath a raised brow as he sat in a corner chair in the living room.

Sasha squinted at him and moved her attention back to her father in the kitchen. Her dad’s behavior made sense now. Damien had told him. Why else would her dad be acting so strange? She glared at Damien, who slightly shrugged his shoulders looking unbothered.

“What’s the occasion for the dress?” Her dad’s tone stung like acid.

“Tamar’s wedding is Sunday,” Sasha explained. “This is my bridesmaid dress.”

“Humph. A Sunday wedding? So, I’m guessing you won’t be at church,” her dad said.

Her shoulders felt heavy from the disappointment in his voice. “No, I won’t be there. Ebony’s leading the Women in Prosperity Ministry until my job slows down. Right now, between me trying to get this promotion, my business trips to Atlanta, and Tamar’s wedding, I’m swamped.”

Her father scrunched his face but didn’t comment.

“We understand, and you’re planning your own wedding. This gown looks nice on you,” her mother said, touching the fabric. “Fits you perfectly. Ebony did an excellent job, and I’m loving the color. Doesn’t it look good on her, Damien?”

With his attention on Sasha, Damien got up and crossed the room, closing the space between them as he examined her in the dress. “Yes, she looks stunning. But she always does.”

Sasha forced her pouty lips to smile. “Thank you,” she said, taking a moment to observe his well-sculpted physique. Even in his camouflage cargo pants and black t-shirt, he could turn a few heads any day. But she refused to allow his striking appearance or cotton candy sweet talk to woo her. The fact remained; he had disrespected her, and their wedding was off. If he couldn’t be faithful to her for 365 days, how in the world could he commit to a lifetime?

He stretched out his arms for an embrace, and her skin bristled. Just the thought of his touch made her cringe. At the same time, she knew if she avoided his hug, it would raise questions from her parents that she didn’t feel like discussing. She’d just have to play this one out.

Her back stiff, she allowed him to wrap his arms around her briefly and then stepped back. “I…uh, I didn’t know you were coming down today. You usually call first.”

( Continues…  )

 

Purchase Two Steps Past the Altar by Patricia A. Bridewell
Fiction » Christian » Romance
https://www.amazon.com/Steps-Past-Altar-Patricia-Bridewell-ebook/dp/B07DCC5XFT/

 


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Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

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

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

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

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

 

 

Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

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

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

“It’s good to see you, Uncle Curtis.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How are you?” Curtis asked her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlotte smiled. “Of course.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You,” she said, and everyone laughed.

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

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

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

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

“No, not at all.”

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Miami Beat: The Secret Society by Frederica Burden

Welcome to Miami! When the sun-kissed beaches and clear blue skies fade into the darkness things really heat up. Miami nights give way to tantalizing temptations that can excite and coerce the darkness out of even the best of us. Sidney Stevens is learning this the hard way. A young, vibrant woman, Sidney is on a mission to pursue her dreams. Unbeknownst to everyone else, Sidney also has a goal that she will stop at nothing to see through.

Losing her father to police brutality at a very young age became the catalyst in Sidney’s life, setting her family on a spiral that she desperately tries to end.

Once an Explorer in the police department, she learned a great deal about law enforcement, which she intends to use to bring her father’s killers to justice. The only thing standing in her way is her heart. There are two love interests in Sidney’s life and she’s forced to choose.

Two is company…
Major Marcus Mystic is her former boss and her current love interest. Since the day she met him, she has been fixated on the handsome, intelligent, virile man. A complex man with an even more complicated home life, Mystic has secrets that could get them both killed. Will Sidney be the one to save him or will their love lead to destruction?

Three is a crowd…
Officer Arturo Garcia is her former coworker and mentor. A sexy police officer with a rough edge and muscular body, Garcia has had Sidney’s attention for years. There’s no denying the red-hot attraction between the two. There’s also no denying the secrets that threaten to explode in a fiery storm engulfing them all in flames. Everyone won’t make it out alive.

 

 


EXCERPT: Miami Beat: The Secret Society

Prologue

 

The sound of glass breaking woke Sidney Stevens from a deep slumber. Frightened, she climbed out of bed and put her feet in her slippers. She could hear voices. Familiar voices, but the tone was completely off.

Terrified, she crept out of bed to investigate the noises. She slowly walked out to the living room and watched in horror as her world shattered right in front of her.

Her father’s right hand was gripped tightly around her mother’s throat. Sidney screamed in horror as she watched her father holding her mother in the air, by her throat. Next to them, lay two empty bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label, her father’s favorite whiskey.

Clawing at his arms, her mother tried desperately to break free from his stranglehold. “Stop it!” Sidney screamed at the top of her lungs, praying that her father would let go. Her mother’s beautiful butter pecan complexion was now beet red. It seemed as if her mother, Florence Stevens, was going to die right before her eyes. Sidney didn’t know what to do, but she knew that if she didn’t act fast, her mother would be dead. Luckily, she didn’t have to contemplate her next move for long.

Sidney heard a sudden bang on the door and jumped as five police officers stormed their home. One cop lifted her up in his arms so quickly it felt like she was flying. He sat her in the kitchen as the other cops questioned her father, Randy Stevens, Sr.

Sidney tried to peer around the corner to see what was happening with her parents, but the cop who picked her up began talking to her. “What is your name? How old are you? Tell me what happened,” he asked as she tried to make sense of it all.

Things flew across the room, shattering, as she heard raised voices. Sidney listened to her mother begging for her father’s release. “Let him go!” Florence cried as a wrestling match ensued in the other room. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Excerpt: The Legend of Diddley Squatt by Duane Lance Filer

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

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

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

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

“Possum’s can’t talk?” Didd said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wow!’ was all Diddley could say.

( Continued… )

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

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

 

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