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Category Archives: My Sista Corner

Create Crown Holders Sisterhood Audio Presentation

Hello!
Come on in, have a seat! I would like to invite you to create an audio presentation for the Crown Holders Sisterhood. 

We are looking for uplifting, motivating stories of over-coming obstacles or lessons that will empower women! We want to learn from 100 women who inspire, motivate and entertain audiences with their stories…their voices!

Your presentation will be posted on the Crown Holders Transmedia website. Also, I will play your podcast on BAN Radio Show. The recordings will become part of our Crown Holders web-series that will be live-streamed to Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

There are NO fees for this service. But, this can not be used solely to promote a product or service. We are truly seeking to pour into and uplift the women in our community.

I understand we are all busy women, so I created a simple way to share your story on the webinars. Here’s a way for you to pre-record your message on your own schedule. Listed below are the details on how to create the audio campaign and the materials needed. We look forward to showcasing your service, company or your book. Read this entire page to answer most of your questions.

I will need your recording back as soon as possible. This page is long, but I want you to have all of the information to make the process seamless. This email breaks down the process of recording to the finest detail. After the recording is made and you have submitted all of your material, I will email you with the link to the presentations.

You can speak on any subject that is important to you. The topics can range from parenting, caring for aging parents, being a empty nester, to how to create a product or service. You are free to speak on whatever moves you and will educate others!

Here are my suggested Topics for Your Women of a New Sisterhood Podcast:

Becoming a Visionary
Business Strategy
Career Development
Care-giving for Terminally Ill
Caring for Aging Parents
Coping with Depression after Losing a Child
Diversity in the Workplace
Empowerment for Divorced Women
Entrepreneurship Inspiration & Tips
Finance & Money Management
Finding Hope After Losing a Child
Harnessing the Power of Prayer
Health & Wellness Tips & Advice
Helping Women Return to Work after 50
How Did You Start Your Business
How to Survive Domestic Violence or Adult Bullying
Living a Vision Driven Life vs. a Condition Driven Life
Living an Intentional Life
Recovering from Addictions
Relationships for Single & Saved
Social Media Influencing
Starting Online Brands & Business
Surviving a Cancer Diagnosis

Practice or plan what you want to say before recording. Do not mention a time- sensitive offer or discount because this recording will be re-purposed several times over the next few months.

 

HOW TO CREATE THE PODCAST
1.  Select a topic that’s important to you and prepare a speech for our audience. Create your webinar in the TED TALK fashion of presentation. You can record up to 20 minutes. Do not go over this time.

Introduce yourself, give the title of your session. Next, explain what we will learn today. Give a 1-minute intro into how you can serve the Women of our New Sisterhood Community and what your company/book/wisdom offers the audience. Let the audience be sold on your expertise!

Next move into your planned speech. Imagine them right before you! Ask them questions. Give them a call to action. Pull them into this ‘conversation’ and really show them how much you care about their success.

2.  Try to keep it entertaining and informative. Do not use this like a sales advertisement. The first 10 minutes are crucial to holding the online listener’s attention for the entire session.

Please do not make multiple recordings. If you make a mistake simply STOP the recording by pressing the (#) pound key. You can re-record as many times as you like, just don’t hang up to stop recording. Multiple recordings will slow down the entire process for ALL of the other speakers.

3.  At the end of your lesson/speech feel free to discuss your products or services and include ways to reach you. Please keep your advertisement to 1-2 minutes at the very end. At the end of your presentation, share your websites, blogs and all your social media info.

You can gently promote your services, charity, book, product or signature program. If you have a book, please tell the audience WHY you wrote it and HOW it shapes their lives.

4.  Please do not mention any dates, times or any events. Do not advertise any events or special occasions! If you mention release dates or events it limits what I can do with the recordings. It limits your presentation’s visibility on future programs.

 

DO NOT MAKE MULTIPLE RECORDINGS. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!

Hit the (# key) to STOP the recording and re-record. You can keep re-recording the same session over and over until it’s correct. Do NOT hang up to start over. If you need a do-over, immediate press the (# Key).

Create Your Crown Holders Sisterhood Podcast
Call this number:   (201) 283-9143    PIN: 158-535-351#

— To record message, select option (1) when prompted.

— Press the (# Key) to STOP and SAVE the recording when you are finished talking and reading.

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM

I need your information back as soon as possible. Email me if you have questions: edc_dg@yahoo.com. Please submit all of your information in the body of ONE email. Do not send any type of text file, Word document or PDF file. My assistants will not open any text related files for security reasons. You can attach images as .jpeg or .png files only!

1. Give me the title of your session.
Email me the title of your session and the promotional material. You are free to discuss any topic that will educate, entertain and uplift women. You do not have to query me to see if this is a good topic. We would like to shy away from topics on politics, violent crimes and disciplining children. Other than that…go for it!

2. Submit your bio written in 3rd person, 200 words, no more.
Include your website address and other information about your company, book or service. Select ONE service or product and submit the material needed to promote it.

My goal is to drive people to you with the interviews/podcasts. I will promote your product or service online for 7 days in 2020. Submit your confirmation and promotional material as soon as possible. 

3. I need the following information about the speakers:
— Title of the presentation and subjects discussed
— Recorded podcast and the promotional text for your product or service
— Bookcover art or eFlyer (Large: at least 360 x 504 pixels)
— Speaker’s personal head-shot only (Large: 300 x 300 pixels)

4. Please share inks to connect with you on social media websites. List any that fit your brand. They are all optional. Give the full URL:

Website:
Twitter Link:
BookBub:
Instagram:
Facebook:
Anchor:
Youtube:
Snapchat:
Blogtalkradio:
SoundCloud:
Zoom, Loom, Live Leap or Expertise.tv:

Thank you in advance for joining us. I will do my very best to help increase your exposure and to provide the community with tools to better their lives! Our goal is to keep this to a bare minimum of emails.

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
About Me: http://about.me/elladcurry
Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder
Black Authors Network Radio-Founder
Social Media Expert – Internet Publicist – Brand Strategist

 
 

Books by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Memphis Blues by Cheryl Mattox Berry

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry

Lust…Betrayal…and Dirty Deals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »
 

Books by Karen Sloan-Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »
 

Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night 

Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

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

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

* Love for Liberty by Ann Clay

* Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

* Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey

* Summer Sizzle by Donna Hill

* Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

* The Fourth by Xyla Turner


Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night

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

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

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

 


Excerpt from Chapter One:  Sweet Heat Rising by Nicki Night 

“Who is that?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moments later she noticed Janel was no longer standing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continued… )

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

 

 

 


Meet Nicki Night

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Love Like It’s Hot Featured Authors

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Sherry Jones: Josephine Baker More than a Dancer

JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE

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

 

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

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

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

 

Why did you write JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE?  Working as a journalist for 30-plus years, I made little money–but I gained something more valuable: a conviction that I was making a difference in my community and in the wider world.

During my decades as a newspaper reporter and then as a correspondent for a national news agency, I discovered the power of the written word to tear down, uplift, and transform. So it makes perfect sense that, when I turned to fiction, I would write books about women who made their mark on the world.

From the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite wife to four sisters who became European queens in the 13th century, my protagonists are movers and shakers. Josephine Baker may be the most important of them all because of all she did for her “people”–the African-American community.

Born in 1906 and raised in the St. Louis slums, she knew racism first-hand, abused by the white woman in whose home she worked at age 7; traumatized by the East St. Louis Race Riots in 1917, when white workers and their families set fire to black families’ homes and shot and lynched those who tried to escape; confronted by men in white hoods and “whites only” signs in the American South as a girl of 13 touring on the black vaudeville circuit, and much more.

In Paris at age 19, she discovered a different world, one in which black people and white ate together, sat in theaters and on streetcars and buses together, danced onstage together, and even married one another. She must have thought she’d died and gone to heaven.

But hatred wasn’t so easy to escape. It followed her: to Paris, where white Americans confronted her and even had her removed from the hotel where she was lodging; to Germany, where Hitler’s Brownshirts threatened her; and all around the world, as she performed her famous “banana dance” in spite of protesters’ calling her a “black demon”—and worse.

By the time the Nazis invaded Paris in 1940, Josephine Baker was already working as a spy for the nascent Resistance movement, seducing generals and diplomats to confide in her, then carrying the information across borders.

Empowered by these experiences, she embarked on her third U.S. tour in 1951 with another goal in mind: to put an end to racial segregation. She publicly declared that she would perform in no nightclubs or theaters and patronize no businesses that segregated their clientele.

As a result, many venues allowed black people through their doors for the first time—and Ms. Baker became the target of an FBI investigation into her alleged ties with the Communist Party. Her outspokenness resulted in many canceled gigs and the loss of a movie deal, and ultimately the loss of her castle in southern France.

She never gave up or expressed any regrets about her activism, though. Indeed, she persisted. In 1963, she was invited to Washington, D.C., to speak at the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—the only woman to speak.

I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE to remind the world that the woman in the banana skirt was so much more than that. Josephine Baker was a force of nature and a force for change, and gave everything she had in effort to make a difference for African-Americans.

By telling her story as well as the stories of all my fictional heroines, I hope to make a difference, too. This is why I exist, and why I write.

 

Purchase copies of Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones
https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Josephine-Bakers-Last-Dance/Sherry-Jones/9781501102448

 

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading your book?
I hope JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE will contribute to the national and global conversation about racism: past, present, and future. I know that I learned many shocking things as I researched the book. But also, on a purely personal level, I hope readers will be inspired by Josephine Baker’s story and her example of what one person can do to make a positive difference in the world. She was so incredibly courageous, and her life story sets a bold and daring example for us all.

Where can visitors find you online?
I’ve recently joined Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherry-jones

I love Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1219600.Sherry_Jones

And, of course, there’s my author website: http://www.authorsherryjones.com

Come to Facebook for the sordid details of my personal life: http://www.facebook.com/authorsherryjones.

On Twitter, you’ll learn about my liberal, feminist political views: http://www.twitter.com/sherryjones

On Instagram, you’ll see pictures from my life and my reading life: http://www.instagram.com/authorsherryjones

Also on Instagram, I have a site that’s all things Josephine Baker: http://www.instagram.com/josephinebakerslastdance

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Care by Annette Leeds


Taking care of someone you love in a time of need can be sometimes scary. I wanted to share some words of wisdom about being there for someone.

 

When my sister, Theresa, received her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, many things ran through my mind. But, the one question that stuck with me the most was, “Who would take care of her?” She was a single-career woman; she had the financial means, but would I want a stranger taking care of my sister in her last days? In the beginning, I was nervous, but soon the urge to help far outweighed the fear.

There never was a question in my mind. I knew I would step in and be there for her. I kept a journal of our time together, knowing when she was gone I would have those memories. Yet, the memories I took away were more than I could have ever imagined; something that can never be replaced.

I can remember her worrying about me and how my taking care of her might take a toll on me. Even without any experience of caring for someone, I knew it was the best thing for her and our family. She moved in with me and that precious time we had changed my life forever.

I put aside my fears of caring for my terminally ill sister, and embraced the journey; giving my sister laughter, love and dignity until her last breath.

— Annette

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds
Kindle Download Link: http://a.co/d/jgahyBv

 

Support for Caregivers of Cancer Patients
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/caregiver-support

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

November 15, 2018. Pancreatic cancer is one of the world’s deadliest cancers, and we need more attention, awareness and progress to help patients fight and survive this disease. Join us on Thursday, November 15, to Demand Better in the fight against the world’s toughest cancer.

LEARN MORE AND SUPPORT: http://www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org/about-pancreatic-cancer

 

 

About the Author
Annette Leeds is a literary journalist. Born Annette Marie Guardino to her mother who is Belgium and father who is Sicilian, she is a native Californian and the youngest of six children.

Being quite creative, Annette’s strong desire to write led her to her first book, a psychological drama, followed by two television comedy scripts. She has had other entrepreneurial ventures, including a logo sportswear clothing line.

#annetteleeds, #memoirs, #caretaking, #find1cure, #grief, #love, #pancreaticcancer, #sisters

 

 

 

 

Espresso Served With Love (Java City Book 1) by Sharon Blount

Espresso Served With Love (Java City Book 1) by Sharon Blount

 

Avery Greenlace has it all from the outside looking in. As heiress of Coffee Brat Brewery, she has made her family proud. Under her creativity, she’s brought the coffee brand to the number one spot nationwide and a household name for several years. Avery has long had dreams of opening a unique business to help women, despite an unsupportive family. Adding to her frustrations, a former love who broke her heart has returned wanting to rekindle their relationship.

Retired NBA player and hometown favorite, Mykal Collier, is back in Java City with two goals in mind. Reclaiming the heart of the only woman he’s ever allowed himself to love and realizing his dream of building a shoe factory in his best friend’s memory. Avery’s rebuffs cause him to come up with a scheme to enlist her help with his plans. Winning her back will be a challenge, but he’s in it to win it.

Will the amusing antics brewing in both families cause more friction for the couple? Or can revelations from their pasts bring them together or seal their fate?

 

Come to Java City and see what’s brewing!

Read more about the book:  http://a.co/d/5mudFZm

 

 

 

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Books by Janet Autherine

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 


 

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Passport Wife by Terri D.

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

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

 

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

 

Excerpt: Passport Wife by Terri D.

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

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

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

1 John 4:8 God is love

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

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

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

( Continued… )

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

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

 

 


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Why I Wrote About Josephine Baker by Sherry Jones

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


About Sherry Jones

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

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

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

 

 

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Praise for Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

The Caged Butterfly by Marian L. Thomas

Who Would Think That One Act of Love Could Affect Four Generations?

 

On December 29, 1930, Mildred “Millie” Mayfield gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Addie. Millie teaches Addie three things that she feels matters most in life; inner beauty, reading books and giving your “special something’ only to the man you marry.

Addie lives up to the first two.

On one autumn night in 1949, Addie falls for the irresistible red curls and vibrant green eyes of a young man from the other side of the railroad tracks. Neither knowing that the consequences of their love would have lasting effects.

Known as one of the greatest white jazz pianists in New York, Timmy Taylor never had a reason to question his identity – until truth and betrayal strike. Will Timmy be able to push past the pain?

Beautiful and talented, Nina Taylor inherited her father’s gift, but not his looks. Certain that’s how he made it big, she dives deep into a deadly obsession. Will Nina learn to love the skin she’s in before it’s too late?

Spanning from 1920 to 1996, this captivating tale of secrets, betrayal, and forgiveness will pull at the strings of your heart, and keep you turning pages while you pray for a happy ending.

 

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Powerfully evocative and winding in its story of uncertain connections and alienation, The Caged Butterfly will delight women’s fiction readers who seek strong multicultural stories of enlightenment, and family connections honed through generations of interaction and self-examination.” ~D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review on The Caged Butterfly

 

CELILA L. BOOK REVIEW
“The Caged Butterfly by author Marian L. Thomas is the heartrending story of the Mayfield/Taylor family spanning four generations ranging from the 1930s-1990s. While the character-driven plot touches on relevant social issues…ultimately it is a story of love and forgiveness… Every so often, I have the pleasure of getting lost in a book that I know will stay with me. The author’s writing style pulls in the reader and seamlessly weaves the plot between generations and different geographical cultures. Rich in dialogue and featuring a memorable cast of well-developed characters…I’m pleased to give this well-written book 4 out of 4 stars. The intricate plot will appeal to an eclectic audience. Readers who enjoy books about family relationships and related social issues will appreciate it. Fans of The Help will likely enjoy this book, too.”~ Celilia_L, Book Reviewer, Onlinebookclub.org on The Caged Butterfly

 

BookBub is a hot place for authors to meet new readers! Marian L. Thomas is listed there so let’s all show her our support by following her titles on BookBub today: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marian-l-thomas

 

 

 


 

Georgia Readers Heads Up – Marian L. Thomas will release The Caged Butterfly on October 23rd! If the weather permits, she has 2 marvelous events planned for the month. Details below:

October 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Town Center Prado – Bldg. 3
BARNES & NOBLE Bookstore
Book Signing and Discussion
50 Barrett Pkwy Suite 3000
Marietta, GA 30066

October 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Edgewood Retail – Moreland Ave
BARNES & NOBLE Bookstore
Book Signing and Discussion
1217 Caroline Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

To read excerpts from MLT books visit http://www.marianlthomas.com

#thecagedbutterfly #bookrelease #bookevent #atlantaevents #atlantabookevents

 

 

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The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds


The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister is a passionate story of two sisters and their extraordinary bond and friendship reignited in the face of cancer.

 

From the Author/Sister Annette Leeds

 

In January 2016, an unbiased cancer claimed the life of my sister, Theresa. Memories are all I have now—some are so painful to recall, while others bring me tremendous laughter. Even though I know she isn’t physically with me anymore, when I think of her, I feel her presence so deep within my heart. When a chill runs through me, or a warm, loving feeling, I pray it is my big sister and not my imagination getting the best of me.

The crystal vase she loved so much is now where her ashes rest. As I pass the open door of her bedroom, there is no longer any sign of her, only an empty room she used to call home. I try to find comfort from my sorrow by lying on the floor in her room, staring up at the ceiling, hoping she sends me some sign that she is okay.

There are those days when I think I won’t be able to get through another day without her, avoiding those closest to me, angry with myself that I couldn’t save her. It is difficult to wake up each day without some thought of her, and the one question that plagues me: Why did it have to take her from me? I long for a time when the sadness subsides, but with that comes the reality that she is no longer here, making our family incomplete.

Growing up and into adulthood, we went through life protecting each other from harm, and yet, I was unable to protect her from this callous creature we call cancer. I will no longer have my sister, with whom I shared so many great times. The inside stories that only she and I understood have vanished, leaving me without my partner in crime.

I used my journal to shield myself from the pain. Documenting our time together, knowing when she was gone I had captured her last months in black and white. She showed me the meaning of bravery and strength. Her days were full and she embraced life and lived it while dying. There were so many times I was truly amazed at how gracefully she accepted what might lie ahead for her, as if someone had let her in on that big secret we all wonder about: Where do we go when we leave here?

She always believed that if your dreams didn’t scare you, they weren’t big enough. I know she is watching and smiling, helping me through my heartache with her infectious laughter and unwavering courage.

CHAPTER 1

“It all began fifty-five years ago with a smack to the butt. It is that smack that started me down a road of independence, strong will, and an unwavering love of humor. Laughter is my peace. “I’ve been loved by the right people and crushed by the wrong. It is those lessons I’ve learned that made me who I am today.”  — From Theresa’s Journal

 

Each family in the neighborhood had its own signature beckoning method for calling their children for supper. Whether it was a harsh whistle from Mr. Caine or the chuck wagon triangle from Mrs. Yen, kids scattered through the streets, running to their perspective houses when their signature sound rang out. Ours was the cowbell. Whether you were down the street at a friend’s, doing homework, or hiding in your room to avoid your chores, when the loud clang of the bell plowed through the neighborhood, you had better be at the dinner table.

Gathering six kids, along with Mom and Dad, made for unpredictable situations with all of us assembled at the dinner table. Inevitably, one of us was always late, which met the wrath of my mom. I remember one time I came home late and she stood on a step stool by the back door and jumped out at me like Cato from the Pink Panther, spanking me with a tennis shoe in front of everyone. Not one of them warned me but rather viewed it as pre-dinner entertainment.

Raised in a staunch Catholic family, my eldest brother led us in prayer to say grace, blessing the food as if he were speaking at an important public event. He always seemed to make it an elaborate recitation, as if auditioning for a part in a play. We held hands until he reached the finale, “Amen,” and that is when the antics began.

There was no fooling around or excessive talking allowed. Instead, we exchanged private jokes between us with either eye contact or a swift kick under the table. Mom would glare at each of us, hoping to keep us all in line. Then, the same stern warning would emerge from her. “Eat, and stop all the tee-heeing,” she insisted.

Each night at the dinner table seemed to provide us with a new tale. Whether it was vegetable night and my sister, Sophie, storing them in her cheeks like a chipmunk, waiting to make a break for the bathroom to either flush them down the toilet, which would, eventually, turn back up, or chucking them out my eldest sister’s, Margaret’s, window into the neighbor’s trash cans. Either way, dinner was like an Olympic event.

Theresa, too young and too small to pull off any of the stunts, the older siblings always wangled her into taking the blame for them, and she welcomed the mission without hesitation. Over and over, they uttered the same words…

“Tell Dad you did it,” they insisted. “He won’t spank you.”

No fool to the capers of the eldest, Dad would spank everyone, no matter what. He figured if you did nothing wrong that time, you must have done something else of which he was unaware.

My brother, James, would raise his hand as if he were winning something. “I’ll go first,” he proclaimed. Read the rest of this entry »

 

EXCERPT: Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders by Raye Mitchell by Raye Mitchell 


Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders by Raye Mitchell 

Black Women and Girls Are Invisible at America’s Leadership Tables and Pipelines. Here’s a Plan to Fix the Problem

 

“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.”
–Oprah Winfrey, 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement

 

Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders is about helping young Black women and girls beat the odds. At its core, the ‘Me Too’ movement is about women and girls taking back our power and influence and a commitment that we will not be silenced or made invisible. Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes on January 7, 2018 and delivered a moving speech that brought men and women in the audience to their feet. She issued a promise and a call to action bolstered by a promise to all girls.

For young Black women and girls, Oprah’s speech was pitch perfect and particularly timely, not only because she is a highly visible, highly influential Black woman, but because it is our time to act.  In an environment of increased hostility to gender and racial equality, it is on us as Black women to master new plans to empower our young Black Women and girls to rise-up as leaders.

From the schoolroom to the boardroom, there is a national crisis of the invisibility of Black women and girls. While highly visible, millions of Black women and girls are virtually invisible at the leadership tables of America. The number of African-American chief executive officers (CEO) is so low that we are losing the race to achieve real diversity in the traditional and newly forming notions of the C-suite.

Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls Rise Up as Leaders presents integrated groundbreaking insights that address the leadership crisis facing our women and girls This book is not about theory, but about a plan of action. There is an urgent need for diversity and leadership inclusion of Black women in corporate and non-corporate America. The material shared inside can be used to build a substantial pipeline of leaders that position Black girls to move forward.

In this book, Raye Mitchell, Esq, an accomplished Harvard Law School attorney and power and influence expert-turned philanthropist, and fierce advocate for women and girls, presents a comprehensive deep dive into how to solve this on-going crisis of invisibility by answering two critical questions; How did we get here? What do we do to rise-up and lead forward?

Focused on assisting millions of women, girls, and leaders across all sectors to disrupt the status quo, this book presents a blueprint of much-needed paradigm shifts to address the source of the leadership crisis facing corporate and non-corporate America when Black women are excluded from the leadership table and the C-suite. If we want to solve the leadership crisis that is keeping Black women invisible at the highest levels of leadership, we have to repair the leaks in the foundation and pipeline of how we engage young women and girls.

Black women and girls are derailed at the beginning of the leadership pipeline, and those that make it in loose ground with every step.

On January 7, 2018, in her memorizing and worldly acclaimed acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Award, Oprah Winfrey issued a promise of a new day. Invisible No More is a plan of action that acts on that promise of “Me Too” for inclusion and participation at the leadership table for young Black women and girls and to help create that new day where the leaks in America’s leadership pipeline that have left young Black women and girls falling through the cracks are forever plugged.

 

 


Chapter Excerpt: Invisible No More


Author’s Note –  “We See You”

“This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you. We see you.”  Tracee Ellis Ross, 2017 Golden Globe winner for her role in ABC’s Blackish

 

On October 4, 2017, Sgt. La David Johnson, along with three other U.S. soldiers, was killed in action in West Africa when Islamic State militants attacked them in Niger. His body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday, October 17. Sgt. Johnson was a Black man who left behind a young widow with two young children and a third on the way. His widow, Myeshia Johnson, was only twenty-four years of age. Not so soon thereafter, the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, called her. Rather than deliver culturally responsive condolences to the young widow of a fallen solider killed in the line of service, Trump utilized the power of his office to disrespect the Black woman and her family. Mrs. Johnson found the tone and content of the condolence call from the commander-in-chief to be disrespectful. She felt unheard and disregarded. In response to sharing her account of events surrounding the ill-fated call, Trump, again utilizing the power of the U.S. presidency, effectively called the widow a liar in public.

 

This lack of cultural humility, sensitivity, and civility is astounding yet sadly unsurprising. Make no mistake! Young Black women and girls are invisible and under siege in all sectors of society. It seems there are few safe spaces for young Black women to be heard or validated.

 

We, as Black women and girls, are being silenced, and we are losing inter-generational connections, intra-generational connectivity, as well as our visibility. The general gender uprising, which calls for more women to advance in leadership and gain access to the C-suite, is not about increasing the number of Black women or women of color in leadership positions. The fight for gender equality is not about us as Black women. We are only supplemental to the conversation, and for the most part, our perspectives are, at best, left out of core leadership decisions .

 

National Crisis
These observations are not merely an academic, ‘feel good’ moment. Corporate and non-corporate America faces a national crisis today. The number of African-American chief executive officers (CEO) is so low that we are losing the race to achieve true diversity at the leadership table and in the C-suite. Shockingly but unsurprisingly, no Black women have run Fortune 500 companies since Ursula Burns retired as Xerox’s CEO in January 2017. None. After American Express’s Kenneth Chenault retires in February 2018, there will be only three Black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies: Ken Frazier of Merck, Roger Ferguson of TIAA, and Marvin Ellison of J. C. Penney.

The lack of Black women at the C-suite level indicates a persistent problem in how we develop and groom future leaders. Corporate America is a microcosm of America itself. Structural barriers assign certain values to preferred groups and disadvantage and exclude Black women and people of color not included or invited in the group on the rise. This book captures and documents the reality of the insidious systemic, structural, and institutional barriers firmly entrenched in our system of leadership preparation. Misperceptions about Black people abound, and race and gender discrimination are well documented in a country founded on the premise of White female power, privilege, and preference, leading to the suppression of Black women and girls and perpetuating myths of delegitimization.

 

Broadening the Base. Building the Pipeline.
Invisible No More: Empowering Young Black Women and Girls to Rise-Up as Leaders, is intentionally focused on creating an engaging plan of action to change the game for our young Black women and girls. This book proposes asking and answering three questions, but first I must provide a word of caution—my thoughts are intended to be provocative and spark difficult follow-up conversations.

Invisible No More. Empowering Young Black Women and Girls Rise Up as Leaders does not merely analyze how and why the status quo persists but provides solutions for forward thinkers in corporate and non-corporate America to reverse these trends and champion young Black women and girls to not just lean in but rise up. Almost all competitive organizations in sports, arts, and other sectors employ talent scouts, who build and maintain pipeline programs, build early relationships, and nurture talent. Invisible No More is a plan of action to usher in new thinking and new actions to build the pipeline of Black women leaders at the c-suite level.

Invisible No More speaks to the needs of Black women and girls who seek the traditional corporate c-suite path and as importantly, for those that do not seek the traditional corporate c-suite career path. These women instead elect to define their success based on their net social impact and contributions. In reality, the true “c-suite” for these women and girls is connected to another set of Cs—the ability to be competitive, confident, and competent, and contribute as change leaders and independent entrepreneurs in charge of their own futures. Regardless of the path chosen, the need is urgent now.

 

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

 

About the Author

Raye Mitchell is on a mission.  Mitchell is committed to being part of the amazing journey and united efforts to help young Black women and girls assert their power and their presence.  For far too long their voices have been muted, their stories ignored and their experiences have been rendered invisible.  Mitchell wants to help build bridges and lend to a positive effort to find peace and common ground based on mutual respect, equality and share visions of justice and inclusion.

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

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

 

 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Makayla Smyles

 

 


 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 


 

 

Bound by Passion Excerpt

Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Breanna…it’s me, Charles.”

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

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

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

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

She didn’t find his question amusing at first.

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

After that, she had to laugh along with him.

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

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

“I’m ready, Charlie.”

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

“What things?” she said, frowning.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young

 

 

A Kid’s Curiosity Becomes a Parent’s Nightmare.


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

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

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

 

#SeducingThePen featured novels: Pamela Samuels Young has adapted her award winning adult books for Young Adult readers!
Please add these books to your teen’s summer reading lists: http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/

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#AnybodysDaughter: The Young Adult Adaptation by Pamela Samuels Young
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#AbuseofDiscretion: The Young Adult Adaptation by Pamela Samuels Young

About Pamela Samuels Young

Attorney, author and anti-trafficking advocate Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. While growing up in Compton, California, Pamela set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. She consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

For fifteen years, Pamela served as Managing Counsel for Toyota in Southern California, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of her desire to see women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. That required her to rise at 4 a.m. to write before work, after work and any other spare time she could find. Dubbed by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist,” Pamela is now a full-time author with eight award-winning mystery novels.

Her thriller Anybody’s Daughter (2013), a gripping tale of a teen unwittingly drawn into the world of child sex trafficking via a Facebook scam, won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. Her legal thriller Abuse of Discretion (2017) tackles a troubling teen sexting case that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile justice system.

 

#Anybody’s Daughter (2018) and #Abuse of Discretion (2018) are young adult adaptations of the aforementioned mysteries. Pamela’s other novels include Every Reasonable Doubt (2006), In Firm Pursuit (2007), Murder on the Down Low (2008), Buying Time (2009), Attorney-Client Privilege (2012), and Lawful Deception (2015). She has also penned an erotic romantic suspense novella, Unlawful Desires (2017), under the pen name Sassy Sinclair, as well as multiple short stories.

Pamela is a proud natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide, a book dedicated to empowering women to discover the true beauty of their kinky coils.

Before her legal career at Toyota, Pamela served as Employment Law Counsel for Raytheon Company and spent several years as an associate with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, in Los Angeles. A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and later worked as a news writer and associate producer at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers.

A frequent speaker on the topics of self-empowerment, sex trafficking and online safety, fiction writing, and pursuing your passion, Pamela lives in the Los Angeles area. To schedule her for a speaking engagement or book club meeting via speaker phone, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, FaceTime or Skype, email Pamela at authorpamelasamuelsyoung@gmail.com or contact her via the email form on the Contact page of this website.

 

To invite Pamela to a book club meeting or speaking engagement or to read an excerpt of Abuse of Discretion and Pamela’s other books, visit her website at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

 

 

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

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

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

 

How Did We Get Here?

A word of caution, my thoughts are intended to be provocative and to spark difficult follow-up conversations. First, the march toward “multiculturalism” and the inviting term “women of color” has allowed our identities to be superseded and lost.  The use of such aggregated words suggest unity and that we are stronger together, but in fact we may be weakening our negotiating positions. When we consistently merge under a group identity, we risk losing our unique and individual contributions and voices.

Second, while we have mastered the art of the “mass conference, we have failed to master the art of continuity, increased touch points, and on-demand interventions.   Major conferences can be well crafted, enormous in production value, fabulous in esprit de corps, and well stocked with high-profile celebrity and big-name panel members and prestigious keynote speakers.  The downside is that a mass conference can silence individuality and is one point in time with no known touch points until the next annual conference. Conferences are grand; continuity is preferred to enable lasting changes and transformations, and to keep the conversation and action plans moving forward.

Third, our needs are being filtered and translated for us as opposed to building our own platforms, agenda, and forging alliances where we have a seat at the leadership table. I call this the law of “well-intendedness.”  Many majority women’s group’s conference leaders are or want to appear well intended and focused on diversity inclusion. However, mere diversity inclusion does not translate to diverse leadership platforms or targeted agenda. We are included, but often lack power and control over the look and feel of the very programs that are supposed to empower us. We are both visible and highly invisible at the same time.

 

How Do We Change the Status Quo?

I focus on assisting young Black women and girls master the ability to rise-up and brand themselves in their authentic leadership persona.  R.I.S.E.-UP™ is a solution-based concept founded on building our personal brands, increasing touch points and forging new alliances for young Black women and girls. RISE-UP is a branded rallying call not dissimilar to Lean-In. RISE-UP stands for reclaiming our obligations to mentoring and training the next generation of young Black women and girls by leveraging research to increase impact, real world solutions, and continuous engagements.

RISE-UP is an action-based concept to nourish a new generation of Black female leaders and speaks to the needs of Black women and girls who do not seek the traditional corporate c-suite career path. In reality, the true “c-suite” for these millennial young Black women is connected to another set of Cs—the ability to be competitive, confident, and competent and to contribute as change leaders and independent entrepreneurs in charge of their own futures.

R.I.S.E.-Up is about presence, persistence, and the power to lead change, to resolve conflicts, to negotiate deals, and to build personal brands as highly visible leaders and influencers. Recognizing that young Black women influencers want to be at the top of their game, we know that mastering grace under fire is both skill and art. Rise-Up is about enhancing our ability to trade inside secrets and build collaborations in real time so that we can maintain our integrity when locked in tough negotiations and critical battles that we encounter every day in a wide range of power struggles to advance ourselves.

We have reached a tipping point where we need to reclaim our agenda, reengineer our personal brands, and set our own leadership platforms on a path forward. We cannot continue to subsume and merge our needs into majority organizational programs in hopes that they will meet our needs. Black women do not need to lean-in. Black women have been leaning in long before the concept became popular. We cannot continue to follow advice and counsel that are not based on our root experiences. We have to be more protective of our intellectual capital and our personal brands by being willing to invest in and believe in our own programs before we invest resources in other platforms. It is time for young Black women to replace the call to lean-in with the drive to rise up, supporting our unique personas, needs, challenges, and opportunities.

 

You have the power to drive your personal brand, how will you rise up?  Here are some thoughts to consider:

  1. Before registering for that next mass conference or Black women empowerment conference in 2018, ask the organizers to outline their maintenance and continuity programs. If they do not have one, are you prepared to build your own?
  2. How can you revise your personal brand in the context of inventing a vibrant new plan to rise-up?

 

 

 


About the Author

Raye Mitchell is on a mission.  Mitchell is committed to being part of the amazing journey and united efforts to help young Black women and girls assert their power and their presence.  For far too long their voices have been muted, their stories ignored and their experiences have been rendered invisible.  Mitchell wants to help build bridges and lend to a positive effort to find peace and common ground based on mutual respect, equality and share visions of justice and inclusion.

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

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

Website:  www.DrRayeMitchell.com

 

 

PURCHASE BOOKS BY RAYE MITCHELL – https://amzn.to/2sfIfSp

 

 

Praying for the Penis: A Wives Guide to Understand Male Sexual Health by Gail Crowder

Praying for the Penis: A Wives Guide to Understand Male Sexual Health by Gail Crowder

Non-fiction. Men’s Health. Amazon: http://a.co/9ctJf5k

 

Certified Master Sexpert Gail Crowder Answers Questions About Male Sexual Health that Every Wife Has. This guide takes a unique perspective by guiding and empowering wives to help their husband navigate his sexual health without judgement or shame.

 

In Praying For The Penis, you will find simple-to-read information about male sexual health issues. Covering issues like erectile dysfunction, male menopause and more, Crowder guides wives on how to support and guide their husband to better health. Throughout this in-depth guide, she gives wives’ solutions on how to bring intimacy, passion and closeness back into their marriages.

Many books exist on helping women to deal with sexual health matters as they age. Women’s magazines and blogs are always covering menopause, weight gain, vaginal dryness, etc. But for most men the conversation isn’t as easy. As men age and experience changes in their bodies, they become distant and shut off. And as a wife, this can be stressful. The conversations of stressed-out wives trying to reach their husbands is what inspired this guide.

Purchase Praying for the Penis: A Wives Guide to Understand Male Sexual Health by Gail Crowder
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983218560

 

 

 


 

 

Keep Your Legs Open A Wives’ Guide To Sexual Satisfaction by Gail Crowder

Simple Solutions to Bring Passion, Creativity and Better Sex into Your Marriage

“When I first said “Keep Your Legs Open” as final advice to wives on a show about love and relationships, I didn’t think the response would be so big. Husbands were cheering me on while wives had mixed emotions — from a little excitement to disappointment, even anger. I knew then that wives needed guidance on the importance of sexual satisfaction, not just for the health of their marriage, but for their overall fullness of life. That’s why I wrote this guide!”

Gail Crowder, marriage expert and founder of Bringing Sexy Back to the Marriage, has empowered hundreds of women through training, live and virtual events, and coaching to become a One Sexy Wife. Important topics that are often considered taboo or private are outlined in simple steps that are immediately useable to create the sex life that all wives deserve to have.

 

Here, in Keep Your Legs Open, you will:

• Rate Your Sex Drive, so that you can know where you are and how to rev it up.

• Learn what happens to the body during orgasm and how YOU can achieve them, even multiple ones.

• Ways to get in touch with your body to better share your desires with your husband. Discover when to introduce sex toys, position pillows and other fun tools to enhance sexual pleasure .

• Identify problems or issues that are preventing sexual satisfaction, like painful intercourse, and how to resolve those matters. Keep Your Legs Open is a simple guide to take wives to another level in pleasure and satisfaction without the feelings of judgment and shame.

Purchase Keep Your Legs Open A Wives’ Guide To Sexual Satisfaction by Gail Crowder
Christian Living > Women’s Issues > Parenting > Marriage & Adult Relationships
https://www.amazon.com/Keep-Wives-Guide-Sexual-Satisfaction/dp/0983218544

 

About the Author
Gail Crowder is a wife of over 30 years, mother of two and the Founder and President of Bringing Sexy Back to the Marriage (BSB). After seeing a need in both secular and religious communities, Gail saw a need to create a safe space dedicated to the spiritual and sexual enhancement of marriages for the modern-day wife.

Gail has been responsible for spicing up thousands of marriages through the BSB conference and continues to change lives every day. As an author, marriage and life coach; Gail has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows as a specialist and seasoned lifestyle & relationship expert.

Gail is a Certified Master Sexpert, Marriage and Life coach, member of the International coaching science research institute, Life University, and Member of Harvard Medical School Institute of Coaching.

Gail has authored several books related to marriage and sex which includes her signature book, Bringing Sexy Back to Marriage and her latest best-selling book, Keep Your Legs Open: A Wives’ Guide to Sexual Satisfaction. Gail’s energy, expertise and tell-it- like-it- is approach makes her a sought-after keynote speaker or workshop facilitator.

 

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

Our Time to Rise Up By Raye Mitchell

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Raye Mitchell


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

 

Chapter Excerpt from There Is Sunshine After the Rain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

 

“Unveiled” coming 2019…promises to become a Book Club Favorite!

Attorney L. Morgan Franklin finds her well-ordered life at a prestigious New Orleans law firm, turned upside down when her half-brother, Winston, dies in their small hometown of L’Ouveture, Louisiana. When it becomes evident that Winston’s death may not be as it appears, Morgan begins a search for answers that lead her to new discoveries about the people she loves the most. The mysteries of family, life and love all converge in this story of one woman’s refusal to accept things as they are.

 

Excerpt: Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

Grief and the sickeningly sweet smell of too many flowers hung heavy in the warm air of the late August afternoon. Morgan felt the weight of tears shed and hearts breaking. She rubbed her hands down her black silk suit when she walked slowly toward the simple wooden coffin that held the body of her beloved baby brother, Winston. “Half-brother.” She could almost imagine her mother, Marie, standing in front of her and uttering the word “half” as if it were some sort of disease. Morgan breathed deeply and pushed Marie’s words from her mind as she exhaled. They had no place here.

Winston’s mask-like, powdered face somehow belied the words “heart attack” that still echoed in her head. Morgan stepped away from the coffin and quickly brushed away her tears. She fled the church and barely heard the words of comfort tossed her way. Outside there would be air she could breathe without inhaling the pain of the mourners.

Morgan moved quickly once outside. Her legs felt somehow lighter than they had only moments before. She breathed deeply for the first time since she had received the news of Winston’s death a week ago and headed for the sanctuary of her car. The tinkling melody of the car alarm signaled her safe haven. She slid onto the butter-soft, caramel-colored leather seat and found comfort in its warmth. She cranked up the car, rolled down the electric windows, and turned on the CD player. The soulful sound of Jill Scott’s voice surrounded her as she watched the family file out of the church and head toward limousines with the words Garrett Bros. painted in gold across the rear doors and windows. Of course, it would be Garrett Bros. They were still the only mortuary in town that “knew how to do colored.” Morgan had heard her maternal grandmother, Essie Baptiste, say that many times while she was growing up. Mama Essie, as everyone lovingly called her, had made everyone in the family vow to take her body to Garrett Bros. when her time came. Although it had been three years since Mama Essie passed, Morgan still felt her presence in this place. This thought alone eased the tension in her neck and removed the large knot that had taken up residence in the pit of her stomach. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions, Volume 1 of the Clean Colored Girl Chronicles Book Series by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions is about peeling through the pain in life, love and relationships. Get encouraged through thought-provoking stories from one woman’s life as she shares how relationships made her and broke her.

Broken Conditions (Clean Colored Girl Chronicles) by Jo Johnson
Available in print ebook and audiobook: http://a.co/aFqJ8FM

 

Reviews for Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

Broken Conditions is an honest account of the life experiences of a “clean colored girl.” The author doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here. She simply tells the stories that many women, colored or otherwise, can relate to. The stories that shape who we become over and over again; growing up a product of divorce, the struggle of the mother-daughter relationship, and MEN! These are stories of failure and brokenness and growth and resilience. Johnson’s storytelling is such that you’ll place yourself in the back seat of that Cadillac with the trumpet player’s friend as he starts to urinate in a cup. You’ll experience the terror of hiding in the bathroom as a drug-addicted man kicks in the back door. You can taste the excitement of living out your dreams in Los Angeles and the fulfillment of finding God and purpose. This is a good and quick read that will leave you wanting Volume 2.” – Faith Conner, Host, The Platform 314 Podcast

 

Broken Conditions is fantastic! It reminds me of books like Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert or Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan. It’s real and keeps you reading. How lucky Jo Lena is to have an amazing and interesting life. She was always starting “projects,” i.e. relationships, endeavors, etc. in the book that weren’t always necessarily for the betterment of her soul. Just her filling the holes. Channeling this book into a movie; now that’s a better project. Everyone is soul searching and will connect with her story.” – Shannon Tocco

 

Broken Conditions is the perfect book for a quick weekend read. Jo Lena does an excellent job of being relatable and real. In fact, I almost felt like she and I were sitting on my couch with a cup of Joe while she told me about her life. From struggles as a child and rocky relationships in her 30s to triumph as a business woman, Broken Conditions takes you on a journey that shows you exactly why Jo Lena Johnson is the “Absolute Good Resilience Coach.” – Katy Beigel

 

“I’m sorry, but then again, I’m not sorry, because God has a way of using us and our stories for his good. In reading Broken Conditions, I saw myself, my mother, the stepfather and men in my own life. As a child, we are in a play called “Life” and it just happens. After growing up in a whirlwind, I had to make conscious decisions not just for myself, but for my three sons. I didn’t want to succumb to drinking, drugs, and being a whore. The love and respect I had for my kids made me respect me. I have this survivors guilt, how did I go through so much in life without going crazy, going to jail, or even dead? My discovery is, I’ve been kept by God to share the only truth I know. This life doesn’t belong to me, and I must share his grace and mercy even when I don’t fully understand the purpose or plan of the journey. I love you so much for sharing, and allowing me to be a part of your journey.” – Delena Evans

 

“Reading Broken Conditions made me feel like I wasn’t alone, not that I would want someone to ever go through my situation of life, but the reality is that these issues are more prominent than mentioned. The book made me think about the many ladies and gentlemen like me going through obstacles and over hurdles of life because of the dysfunctional conditions in which they were raised has an adverse effect on their being. Their normal adaptation has repercussions for their tomorrow.” – Robin Thomas

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Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young


A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

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

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

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


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


CeeCee

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


Urban Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Explore Legal Thrillers by Pamela Samuels Young

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

 

 


 

Chapter 1

Graylin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, there wasn’t a death.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I also made another call.”

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

“So you called my granny?”

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

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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

 

Pamela Samuels Young’s Tips for Pursuing Your Passion

Pamela Samuels Young’s Tips for Pursuing Your Passion

1. Put in the Time
I meet people all the time who have a dream, but expect that dream to come to fruition at the snap of their fingers. The reality is, it takes time. I completed my first novel by getting up at four in the morning to write for a couple of hours before work. It took me three years to finish my first book, and then I couldn’t find an agent. I didn’t give up. I wrote a second novel, Every Reasonable Doubt, which kicked off my writing career. Anything worth having is worth working for.

 
2. Master Your Craft
Concentrate on learning your craft. When I finished my first book, I just knew it was going to be a bestseller. I still have that manuscript and it sucks! It took time and study to learn how to properly craft and plot a mystery novel. Take courses, research your passion online and practice, practice, practice. Make sure you’re really as good as you think you are.

 

3. Join Professional Organizations
Surround yourself with others who share your passion. There are hundreds of professional organizations whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and realize their business goals. I belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. These groups have been very instrumental in my success as a writer. No matter what your passion is, there’s bound to be a networking group you can join.

 
4. Ignore the Naysayers
People who don’t have the motivation to pursue their own dreams will often try to derail yours. People repeatedly discouraged me when I told them I planned to give up my law career to write mystery novels. I also received over a dozen rejection letters before finally landing my first agent.

Once I finally landed a book deal, there was still more rejection. After Harlequin published Every Reasonable Doubt and In Firm Pursuit, which were both Essence magazine bestsellers, nine publishing houses rejected my third book, Murder on the Down Low. That left me no option but to self-publish, which was the best decision I ever made for my writing career.

My novel Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction against four bestselling authors at major publishing houses (Walter Mosley, Terry McMillan, Sistah Soljah and Victoria Christopher Murray).

Later, two publishing houses who’d previously rejected my work, were now interested in publishing me. Their outreach was a major validating moment. All the rejection I experienced taught me to take charge of my own writing career. I’m now happily self-published and writing full time.

About Pamela Samuels Young
Pamela is an attorney, anti-trafficking advocate and award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers. Her mystery Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. The former journalist and retired lawyer is also a natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree from USC and also earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment, and pursuing your passion.

To invite Pamela to a book club meeting or speaking engagement or to read an excerpt of Abuse of Discretion and Pamela’s other books, visit her website at http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

 

Read book excerpts at: http://www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
Follow me on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung
Follow me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung

 

 

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
Coming July 18, 2017

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.” – Kirkus

When Abigail Rhodes bought that old house she fell in love with in Blink, Texas, she got more than she bargained for. After being told by the local psychic that it is filled with a passionate energy from the previous owners, who died years ago, Abby decides to fix up her beloved house and reluctantly moves in. But ever since then, strange things have been happening in her newly renovated home, and Abby has been plagued with dreams that wake her up and leave her breathless.

After a tumultuous life these last few years, Jordan Gatewood is following what amounts to a trail of breadcrumbs in an effort to find a renewed sense of purpose. Searching for the truth about the man his adoptive father really was, Jordan makes his way to the old house where his father was murdered, in Blink–and right to the petite, understated beauty that answers the door. It’s not long before Jordan realizes, quite unexpectedly, that Abby is the perfect woman for him. Jordan doesn’t believe in ghosts or fate, but he does know that the powerful connection he feels for this woman started the day he met her in that house and he is determined to make her his.

Robin is a successful Corporate Attorney and was proud to be the lover of the most sought after bachelor in the state of Texas–until he abruptly breaks off their relationship, leaving her confused, heartbroken and bitter. When she discovers that he’s left her for another woman, a woman she considers beneath her, Robin is determined to teach him a brutal lesson.

A man like Jordan has too many secrets, secrets that, if found out, could not only destroy his relationship with this other woman, but that could also cost him the biggest business deal of his life, and possibly, his freedom. Robin is the last person he wants to go up against, and she will stop at nothing to get him back or to make him pay for his betrayal, even if that means unleashing those secrets. The question is, will Jordan let her? Or will his all-consuming obsession with Abby win out, in Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason?

 

Seducing Abby Rhodes by J.D. Mason
The propulsive second novel in a new contemporary trilogy about unforgettable love, scorching desire, and dangerous secrets.
https://www.amazon.com/Seducing-Abby-Rhodes-J-Mason/dp/1250052262/

 

Praise for J.D. Mason Books

“Chock full of unexpected twists, turns, secrets, and spirits plus a healthy dose of redemptive love.”
– Kirkus on Seducing Abby Rhodes

“A heart-pounding and terrifyingly awesome story!”
– RT Book Reviews Top Pick on The Real Mrs. Price

“Readers are taken on a phenomenal journey that elicits gasps when the bombshell hits. Mason pens another astounding work.”
-RT Book Reviews on Crazy, Sexy, Revenge

“Taut, suspenseful and unforgettable. Run, do not walk, and get this book!”
-Zane, New York Times bestselling author on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Mason’s characters create an addictive drama with universal themes of laying claim to family–and to the truth.”
-Publishers Weekly on Beautiful, Dirty, Rich

“Effortlessly leaves no stone unturned in the lives of these tormented characters. Mason will take your breathe away.”
-Romantic Times Book Reviews on You Gotta Sin to Get Saved

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I Believe in Butterflies by Marian L. Thomas

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Book Review:  I Believe in Butterflies

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

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

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

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

 


About the Author

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

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

 

 

 

 

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And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson

AND THEN THERE WAS ME
by Sadeqa Johnson


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

In the Dark by Unoma Nwankwor

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Black Cotton by Tomeekha Pitre

BLACK COTTON is a photography art book that celebrates the beauty of African American Women, the Afro hair style and the diversity of  African Decent individuals.  We do this through fashion, hair, makeup, digital media and Photography.

BLACK COTTON brilliantly marries these strengths and presents a new definition of the African Woman while telling the photographic journey of the African presence in other cultures.  “Have you ever wondered what it is about the Afro hairstyle that makes people stop, look, and stare?

To some, It may remind them of a time period, to others it may be simple admiration, a reminder of their inhibitions, or the proof within self that they can be free to rock the most powerful hairstyle that represents the FREEDOM of self expression.

Beyond the stylistic glamour of the Afro, the hairstyle is full of history; from styling combs, spiritual association, the unforgettable Black Pride era, to the African presence in Asian culture.”

BLACK COTTON re-identifies the pride and dignity of our African American women here and abroad. We are sure you will feel the same.

 

About the Author
Tomeekha is a successful business professional within the corporate world of medical healthcare. She has curated and represented emerging visual artists, produced theatre productions, and spearheads HUEMANITEE, Inc.

Tomeekha is the co-owner of Black Cotton, LLC where she is Publisher of literary projects for the Black Cotton Publishing division. Her expertise in business and the arts allows her to enjoy consulting for startup businesses and creative projects.

Her debut novel, Earth’s Quiet Chaos, is a fictional narrative inspired by life experiences. She is spirit-led to share stories that will uplift, empower, educate and inspire individuals to live in the highest version of self.

Website:  https://www.tomeekhapitre.com

 

Purchase Black Cotton by Tomeekha Pitre
Book genre: Art & Beauty, Photography
Celebrating the beauty of the black woman
Target audience:  African-American women, ages 10-65
https://www.tomeekhapitre.com/product-page/black-cotton
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YOUNG but Grown…Womanish by Angelia Vernon Menchan

 

YOUNG But Grown…Womanish are first hand accounts of young women growing into womanhood and all the travails and triumphs that entails. Angelia Vernon Menchan spares no one, least of all herself in the ways young women, particularly, African American women grow into womanhood.

 

5-Star Review from Roslyn M. Joneson
You can’t read an Angelia Vernon Menchan book without seeing yourself. Her books are real, transparent, and they cause you to look back over your life to see if you’ve conquered or if you still have work to do. I enjoyed all of the stories in Young…But Grown Womanish and I’m going back in for more of her wisdom.

5-Star Review from Rhonda Gilbert  
This book had me in my feelings. You never know what a person endures growing up. A strong village (parents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.) can make a difference in a child’s life. There’s examples of this happening and not happening in the various stories. People can seem to have it all, but still be unhappy and missing something in their lives. That is one of the reasons to never envy someone because of what you assume what they have.  Mrs. Menchan bared her soul in this book. This takes guts to put herself out there.

I love all of the stories. I find myself wanting to know what the people in the stories are doing now (those that are alive). This book proves that children can be successful regardless of their economic background, it takes the love, nurturing, guidance and discipline of strong parent(s).

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Men and Intimacy: Real Talk, Real Answers by Therez Fleetwood

There are countless books on men and relationships that analyze and interpret men’s feelings about intimacy from a clinical or therapeutic approach. However, there are very few books that actually highlight men’s points of view on this topic in an uncut, complete, raw and emotional way.

Author, Therez Fleetwood, explores the complexities of relationships through the minds of men who give real, no holds barred answers to the questions that women want to ask.

There are many women who feel disconnected from their partner and desire to create a deeper bond.  This book is for those who are seeking to understand why men do the things they do when it comes to intimacy-related acts.  Oftentimes, women spend countless hours asking other women for advice on their relationships when they should be going directly to the source.  Men and Intimacy, Real Talk. Real Answers is the source. What you will discover is what men really think about intimacy, women, relationships, sex, love, cheating, and pornography.

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Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

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

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

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

 

Praise for Dangerous Consequences

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Intimate Conversation with Eartha Dunston

Intimate Conversation with Eartha Dunston

Eartha Dunston has been writing since she was a freshman at Alabama State University. She first realized her love for writing when one of her best friends secretly entered her into his fraternity’s poetry slam. She anxiously shared her writings publicly for the first time and received an overwhelming standing ovation! It was a pivotal moment, and she knew in that instant she would one day write professionally. Her educational background coupled with becoming a mom, inspired her to begin writing about issues that affect children such as positive self-image and loosing a beloved family matriarch. She has spent the past few years honing her craft under the tutelage of many award winning and accomplished authors.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Eartha enjoys traveling, encouraging others through life’s obstacles, reading and crafting stories in all genres. She currently resides in South Florida. Her first Children’s novel is entitled “The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney.” The book introduces us to a beautiful princess who celebrates her hair as it transitions textures and styles throughout the week.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I started keeping a journal and writing poetry when I was in college. At the time, I never intended to share my writings publically. I was going through a very tough time. Both of my parents were terminally ill. I was struggling emotionally, financially and every way imaginable. Writing consoled me. It was my escape. I always felt better because my journal and poems were the one place I could be totally raw and honest about my feelings. I could cry out to God and be mad at him at the same time for what I was going through; and no one was there to judge me.

One of my friends discovered a poem I had written, and he persuaded me to perform at his fraternity’s poetry night. I protested with everything in me, but eventually gave in. I was determined not to cower. To my amazement, the audience loved it; and I received a standing ovation. I knew in that instant I wanted to write professionally one day.
Within the next few days, several individuals and organizations invited me to perform on campus and at local spots in the city. It was an epiphany for me.

BPM: How did you advance the call for writing?

After graduate school, I settled into a comfortable career, and tucked my writing dreams away. However, the passion never died. I was visiting my brother in Atlanta one summer, when I received profound confirmation about my writing that changed my life. I dusted off all my old ideas and put work behind my faith and dreams. I started traveling the country to attend writing seminars and conferences. I ventured to New York, Houston, and Atlanta to name a few. I soaked up as much knowledge about the industry and writing process as I could. I attended seminars and writing classes featuring some of the best in the business.

A couple of the authors and I connected. One accomplished, seasoned author took me under her wings and began to motivate me with words of encouragement. Another well-known author referred me to her publicist, and things took off immediately. It got to the point where all the things I thought would be a challenge were lining up without much effort. It’s as if my dream started chasing me. I had written the Princess series of books a couple years earlier but never attempted to publish them. I had also started working on a novel. A couple of my writing mentors continued to nudge and encourage me to move forward. I could no longer mask the dream.

I knew it was time to launch my long-desired writing career. I knew all this was not coincidental, but divine connections orchestrated by God, in His timing.

BPM: Introduce your book, The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney and the characters.
The main character of the book, Princess Lindsey Sidney, admires her hair each day of the week as it transitions from straight to frizzy and all textures in between. My debut children’s book, entitled The Hair Adventures of Princess Lindsey Sidney, was birthed out of the struggles with my daughter’s hair. I was never good at hair. I cropped mine off years ago and never looked back. God really has a sense of humor. He gave me a beautiful daughter with the biggest, thickest, and coarsest hair I’ve ever encountered. I knew I was in trouble when it came to grooming it. I knew there had to be other parents going through the same struggles. I knew others could benefit from a book that celebrated various phases of our sometimes straight, sometimes kinky.

I would spend hours every Saturday on my daughter’s hair trying to wash it, comb it and make it pretty. It would never be as sleek or straight as I wanted. We would both be in tears. However, I noticed when her father and I told her she was a beautiful princess with the prettiest hair, she believed it! Even with a pile of untamed frizz on her head, she would stand in the mirror and admire it because we told her she was beautiful. It made me realize the power of instilling positive self-image in children at a young age. She thought her hair was beautiful in all its imperfection because we told her so.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because it’s liberating. I write because it is the one thing I will always do even if I never make a dime from it. I love writing and if my writing can help someone along the way, even better. Creating characters and giving them life is exhilarating. I ‘m driven by the power and emotion well developed characters evoke. I’ve gotten feedback from beta readers that tell me they can’t stop thinking about a particular character in my novel or they really felt as if they were there with the characters. When I hear that, I know I am on the right track. I will always have a passion for writing, whether it’s another Children’s book, a simple article, or a fast-paced spy novel. I’m just getting started!

 

 

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

 

 

#WritingWithPurpose: The Butterfly Memoir Series by M.J. Kane

The Butterfly Memoir Series by M.J. Kane
Butterflies symbolize change, evolution, the shedding of the old and bringing out the new. A memoir is a story, a narration told first hand, of someone’s personal experiences.
Like butterflies in the spring that disappear into cocoons and emerge, completely changed, my characters are no longer the same when their story ends.
The Butterfly Memoirs are stories told by the characters themselves. It is Women’s Fiction, Contemporary and Interracial Romance.  Each story addresses  the realistic trials every woman and man face in a relationship. My goal is to inspire hope, comfort, and encourage anyone who may be able to relate to these stories.


Download A Heart Not Easily Broken by M.J. Kane
**Download for FREE on major ebook retailers**

A Heart Not Easily Broken is a Amazon Bestseller in Multicultural Romance, African-American Literature & Fiction, African-American Women’s Fiction, and Romance

Butterfly Memoirs Book 1 – Amazon Bestseller
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016QAXZ04


A Black Pearls Magazine Conversation with M.J. Kane

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free.  Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

BPM:  How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
MJ:  Life experiences and curiosity. I learned first-hand that you can’t look at someone and assume you know what’s going on in their lives or what type of experiences they have had that make them react to situations the way they do. That motivates me to write stories that explore how and why people react to life changing events, good or bad.

BPM:  Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
MJ:  I write for the reader who is looking for a story that deals with the reality of life. I don’t do fantasy or unrealistic stories. It’s all life…an exploration of relationships between family, friends, and lovers. It’s about discovering yourself, and evolving into something better. I write stories my readers can relate to, see themselves in, and hopefully find peace or motivation to try something new. Do I consider authors as role models? Of course! If it weren’t for my love of reading and discovering authors who have taken their talent and created stories that touched me, I would never have been able to discover how to find my writing voice, much less get brave enough to put my work in the hands or readers.

BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
MJ:  I wanted to take a conventional idea of a BW/WM romance and explore the reality of what it would be like realistically for two people to open their minds and hearts and look beyond skin color to discover a love neither of them were looking for. I also wanted to see what would happen when the relationship was tested by outside forces that had absolutely nothing to do with race. In today’s society people are finding love openly in relationships some of us may not be able to relate to, I thought it would be good to recognize that despite the external differences a couple has, when it all comes down to it, we all face the same issues and problems.
 What makes us strong is the way we address them.  How we handle them is shaped by our beliefs and past experiences. I don’t write un-flawed characters. We are imperfect and we make bad decisions…its how we learn and grow. If we’re lucky, we survive the journey and come out on the other side as stronger individuals.

BPM:  What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
MJ:  This is the first book I’ve ever written, so the entire experience was wonderful! I had the most fun diving into the heads of the characters and for once, allowing my imagination to run free and listen to the ‘inner voices’ that became my characters. Each one is like a real person to me, so I guess it’s like having family that will never leave!
BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  Why?
MJ:  The ideas for my novels come from watching and listening to people around me. It can be something I’ve heard in the news or an idea I’ve seen in a movie. My stories are definitely character-driven. I will take a ‘what if’ scenario and see what would happen if two people from various social, economic, and racial backgrounds fell in love and had to face a life changing situation.
BPM:  Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
MJ:  The series I am writing now is called The Butterfly Memoirs. The first novel in the series is A Heart Not Easily Broken. My most current release is the fourth novel, Nobody’s Business. For this part of the series, I decided to flip the script a bit and focus on a male character and the issues he faces when he discovers he has a two-year-old son with a past girlfriend, and his son is ill. To make matters worse, he has an eye on a women he met during a one-night stand, but is fighting an internal war with his heart. Should he rekindle the romance with the mother of his child and build the perfect family for his son, or should he follow his heart and seek out the woman who’s captured it. All of my novels are available on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Smashworks, as well as paperback. A Heart Not Easily Broken can also be found on Audible.
BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
MJ:  My goal with all of my novels is to allow readers to hear the characters voices as they go about their lives. By writing in first-person narrative, you get a chance to see inside of them, to know what they are thinking and what motivates them to make the decisions they do. It’s so much easier to ‘experience’ emotions and feelings instead of being ‘told’ how someone feels. It draws readers into the story on a true emotional level and allows them to learn and grow along with the characters. One recent reader told me that she had just finished ‘walking’ with the character and loved it!
Butterflies symbolize change, evolution, the shedding of the old and bringing out the new. A memoir is a story, a narration told first hand, of someone’s personal experiences.
Like butterflies in the spring that disappear into cocoons and emerge, completely changed, my characters are no longer the same when their story ends.
The Butterfly Memoirs are stories told by the characters themselves. It is Women’s Fiction, Contemporary and Interracial Romance.  Each story addresses  the realistic trials every woman and man face in a relationship. My goal is to inspire hope, comfort, and encourage anyone who may be able to relate to these stories.
BPM:  Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?  If so, discuss them.
MJ:  No, but what I do have are themes that deal with real-life issues faced by men and women, regardless of race or background. I try to represent each characters race and background to the best of my ability.
BPM:  How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
MJ:  I like to write characters I could imagine becoming friends with, characters that could be you or me, the neighbor next door, or your cousin. I come from a middle-class family, so do my characters. I don’t try to represent a lifestyle that I am not familiar with. I’ve either had some personal experiences that have inspired scenes and conversations, or I have done research on them. I try to keep an open mind with my characters and let them be who they want to be. I don’t try to push any of my personal feelings or beliefs into their lives. Writing this way makes it easy to create real people who come from various walks of life and easier for all readers to be able to relate to at least once character in some way.
BPM:   Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
MJ:  Honestly, the most interesting person I’ve met along the way has been myself! I know that sounds crazy, but as a mother of four kids who, at the time I started writing the first novel in the series, were between elementary and middle school, I needed something to keep me grounded and allow me to have something that didn’t revolve around children’s’ school activities. I’ve learned that I have a talent for storytelling and the ability to affect readers in ways I never would have expected. Since then, two of my kids have graduated high school, and my youngest are both in middle and high school. Now that I have my writing to focus on, I don’t have to worry about empty nest syndrome!
BPM:   What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
MJ:  My first goal was to write a story, period. I didn’t exactly have dreams of getting published, but as friends and family read the book, I got encouraged to pursue it. I’d written book two, Jaded, and three, Lonely Heart, as an afterthought to see if I could continue telling the stories of the main character Ebony’s best friends. And what do you know, I did! I feel proud of my accomplishments as an author. I have been blessed to have readers reach out to connect with me both online and in person. I’ve been able to have the paperback copies of my novels available in the Barnes & Nobel store in my area.
And recently, the first three novels of The Butterfly Memoirs have been added to the library collection in the county where I live which means readers in Georgia who are connected to the Pines Library System have access to them. I’ve been able to accomplish the two major goals I’ve had since the day I signed my publishing contract. What’s left? Signing a movie or TV deal and talking with Oprah!
BPM:   What projects are you working on at the present?
MJ:  My current project is the fifth novel in the series, Alone. When I was signed to 5 Prince Publishing, it was for a six book deal. From there, I have ideas of other stories I want to write. I am also looking forward to having the next three novels turned into audio books. One step at a time…
BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work?
MJ:  Readers can find me anywhere on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more! Just search MJKaneBooks and you’ll find me. To learn more about my books and writing tips, visit my website, MJKaneMedia.com.

 
Books by M.J. Kane, The Butterfly Memoirs
Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Interracial Romance

Order all of the Books in this Series (4 Books)
*  A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book One of The Butterfly Memoirs)
*  Jaded (Book Two of The Butterfly Memoirs)
*  Lonely Heart (Book Three of The Butterfly Memoirs)
*  Nobody’s Business (Book Four of The Butterfly Memoirs)

Connect with MJ Kane Online
Twitter:  @MJKaneBooks
Website: http://mjkanemedia.com/about-me
Books:  http://www.amazon.com/M.J.-Kane/e/B009DN708U
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MJButterflyBooks
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mjkanebooks/

 
 
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