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Category Archives: My Sista Corner

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


CHAPTER 4

Tonight, I really wasn’t in the mood to go clubbing, but Darius said a change of scenery would be good for me.

When the elevator door opened, I heard Darius’s rap music blasting from his black BMW 730i in the driveway. I opened the door quickly, hoping no one in my building saw me getting into the car. He switched to the radio soon as I got in.

“Hey,” he said.

“My gawd, you’re going to go deaf with the volume turned up that high. You know the folks over here aren’t used to all that noise and cussing.”

“Sorry, I didn’t realize it was so loud,” he said, pulling into traffic. “You look nice in your gold dress.”

“Thanks. I’m feeling rather royal tonight. You don’t look too shabby yourself. Is that the leather jacket you got in New York?”

“Yeah,” he said. “My tailor did a good job taking it in.”

“That’s a pretty color, reddish brown. It goes nicely with your skin tone.”

“The color is called whiskey.”

“I’d love a tote bag that color.” I sighed. “Maybe I’ll get one when I get a job.”

Darius turned to me and said, “If you’re nice, I might get it for you.”

“That depends on what you mean by nice,” I said. “So, tell me about this band. Have you heard them play?”

“No, but I read that they play a little of everything.”

“As long as it’s not rap,” I said, turning up my nose. “Some R&B would be soothing right about now.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked, turning to look at me.

“I’m feeling a little discouraged about finding work.”

“It’s going to take time. That’s hard for someone like you, who’s impatient. I know because I’m like that.”

His cell phone rang, and the initials KJ popped up. Darius declined the call and turned up the music.

“You can take it. I don’t mind.”

“It’s business, and I don’t feel like being bothered right now,” he said a little agitated. “I’ll deal with it later.”

The car was a little stuffy, so I cracked my window. “My agent said some journalists are going to Dubai and other countries to work because there are no jobs over here.”

“You thinking about that?” he asked, sounding alarmed.

“No, but I’m going to have to look outside TV to find work.”

“You got skills,” he said. “Just think about who else can use ’em.”

I adjusted my seat and turned toward Darius. “Actually, I’ve started making a list. The good thing about D.C. is that it has a million agencies, associations, and foundations, not to mention the whole federal government. It’s just a matter of finding the right one.”

“You will.”

“You know what? I’m sick of talking about being laid off.” I waved my hands from side to side, snapping my fingers. “I just want to dance and have a good time tonight.”

“We can do that.”

When we got to the club, Darius scanned the street, looking for a parking space. “You feel like walking a couple of blocks? I don’t want no punk valet up in my ride.”

“I don’t mind. The weather is nice. I don’t remember it ever being this balmy in October. I’m ready for the temperature to drop.”

“Never mind. The car up ahead is leaving.” Darius moved forward quickly and waited for the driver to pull out. Before we got out of the car, he said, “I’m actually looking forward to your kind of music tonight.”

“Really?” I said, drawing back. “You want to listen to music without racial slurs, that doesn’t objectify women, and makes you want to beat up somebody?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said, opening the door.

When Darius came around to my side of the car, I continued messing with him. “Music that soothes your soul and makes you feel like dancing?”

“Yeah, I’m in the mood for all of that.” I hooked my arm through his, and we walked toward the club. “Just don’t talk the whole time, Jan. I want to enjoy the music.”

“Not a problem,” I said, making a zipping motion across my lips. “Just don’t ask me any questions.”

There was a long line of people waiting to get inside the club, but we walked past them right up to the entrance. When we reached the bouncer, he stuck out his arm.

“The end of the line is back there,” he said, tipping his head.

Darius pushed the man’s arm aside and said, “We got reservations.”

“Everybody got reservations. Take it to the back.”

“We ain’t standing in no long line if we got reservations,” Darius bellowed.

The man stood up and intentionally brushed against Darius when he motioned for two more people to enter the club.

“Bitch, don’t be touching me.”

From the look in Darius’s eyes, I knew things were about to get ugly. “Let’s go, Darius,” I said, tugging at his arm. “We can go somewhere else.”

The bouncer got in Darius’s face. “Who you calling a bitch?”

“You, muthafucker.”

“Come on, Darius.”

“You better listen to shortie before you get your punk ass whipped,” the man said.

“What did you say, nigga?”

Darius hauled off and punched the guy in the face. The man tackled Darius, and they rolled on the ground, arms flailing. I tried to break up the fight but got knocked to the ground. The crowd egged them on.

“Stop, y’all! That’s enough!”

They kept throwing fists. No one tried to intervene. When Darius broke free and got on his feet, I stepped between them. “Darius, let’s get out of here before —” All of a sudden, it felt like someone dropped a boulder on my head. Everything went black.

( Continued… )

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

Cheryl Mattox Berry’s New Novel, Capital Sins, is Now Available

Author Cheryl Mattox Berry’s second novel, Capital Sins, takes readers to Washington, D.C., for a tale of lust, corruption, betrayal and blackmail that befalls a TV anchorwoman and a U.S. Senator.

Jan Malone has finally landed her dream job at the top-rated TV station. She’s living her best life when unforeseen circumstances send her into a downward spiral. She recoups with the help of Sen. Finn Thornton, a Republican from Texas with a shady past.

Things are going so well that Jan decides to take a vacation to Africa with her best friend, Kelly Mahoney. In Senegal, they meet Abdou Nyassi, a handsome, smooth-talking businessman who falls for Jan. A few months after their vacation, Abdou arrives in D.C., with grandiose business plans and continues pursing Jan. She eventually warms up to him.

Jan’s mother, Della Stevens who is suspicious of everybody, does some digging and finds out that Abdou might not be who he claims to be. Jan enlists the help of Kelly and street hustler Darius Hooks to help her find out who Abdou really is and his real reason for coming to Washington.

Will her friends’ motives be pure? Will Jan follow her gut instincts? Is there a connection to Capitol Hill?

Capital Sins exposes dark truths about ambition, greed and human nature. It also shows the remarkable resiliency of women; how self-love should precede romantic love; and the depth of a mother’s love.

To get your copy of Capital Sins, go to https://amzn.to/2YQtBm9

Intimate Conversation with Cheryl Mattox Berry

Cheryl Mattox Berry has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Memphis Blues was her debut novel followed by Capital Sins. A Memphis native, Cheryl earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Her diverse career has included stints as a press secretary for a U.S. congressman; television reporter in Ft. Myers and Tampa; reporter for USA Today; and an editor at the Miami Herald.

She has also taught journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Northwestern University, Florida International University and the University of Miami.

Cheryl and her husband, Jim, a CBS4 sportscaster, live in Miami. They have two adult children.

Read more of the Cheryl Mattox Berry’s Story at her website:
http://www.cherylmattoxberry.com/about-me

BPM: Please, share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
CMB: I love foreign movies. They allow me to escape to another country and experience a different culture for a couple of hours.

BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
CMB: Eclectic, adventurous and an ambivert.

BPM: Is writing your full-time career? How much time do you spend writing?
CMB: Writing is my full-time career. I usually write three hours a day, four days a week for six months until I get a first draft. Then dive back in, writing three hours a day until I’m satisfied with the manuscript.

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
CMB: It was disappointing. I started writing Memphis Blues in 1995, on a cold, windy night in Chicago. My agent shopped it, and when it didn’t get picked up by a publisher I got discouraged, put it on a shelf and went about my life. In 2014, I got the writing bug again and decided to give it another try. I hired an editor who gave me suggestions to improve the plot. The new version didn’t get picked up either, so I decided to self-publish in 2017.

BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
CMB: Capital Sins is my latest novel, available on Kindle. It is a tale of lust, corruption, betrayal and blackmail that befalls a TV anchorwoman and U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C. The main character, Jan Malone, has finally landed her dream job at the top-rated TV station. She’s living her best life when unforeseen circumstances send her into a downward spiral. She recoups with the help of Sen. Finn Thornton, a Republican from Texas with a shady past.

Things are going so well that Jan decides to take a vacation to Africa with her best friend, Kelly Mahoney. In Senegal, they meet Abdou Nyassi, a handsome, smooth-talking businessman who is smitten with Jan. A few months after their vacation, Abdou arrives in D.C., with grandiose business plans and continues pursing Jan. She eventually warms up to him.

Jan’s mother, Della Stevens who is suspicious of everybody, does some digging and finds out that Abdou might not be who he claims to be. Jan enlists the help of Kelly and street hustler Darius Hooks to help her find out who Abdou really is and his real reason for coming to Washington. Capital Sins is available on Amazon.

BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
CMB: Jan’s best friend, Kelly, is White. They seem to have a deep friendship until Jan realizes that she has been betrayed by Kelly.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
CMB: Jan is ambitious. She knows what she wants and goes after it. She might encounter setbacks, but she keeps moving toward her goal. The only thing missing in her life is a man. Kelly has led a privileged life. She’s used to getting what she wants by simply asking for it or taking it. She doesn’t live by the girlfriend code, and that proves costly.

Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry
Listen to a reading: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CppmVQHX/

BPM: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart?
CMB: Jan is my favorite character. In some ways, I was like her when I graduated from college and got my first job in television. I had a career plan and a personal plan, but life intervened and changed all of that.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
CMB: It re-enforced what I’ve discovered throughout my life – that women are resilient. We get discouraged and have our pity party but get right back up and make another plan.

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
CMB: I live in Miami, and there are so many beautiful beaches in South Florida. My favorite is Hollywood Beach, where I ride my bike on the broadwalk, stop at scenic spots along the way and admire God’s beautiful work.

BPM: When developing a new book, what comes first, the plot or characters?
CMB: Most of the time, the plot comes first. However, in Capital Sins, one of the characters, Darius, seems so interesting that I’m going to write my fourth novel about him and his move to South Florida to start a new life.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
CMB: My ideas come from my experiences, observations and discoveries; historical events; and stories that people share with me. The books are character-driven.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing and developing the characters for this book?
CMB: I enjoyed reliving my days in Washington, D.C., and at the same time becoming familiar with the new D.C., where my daughter lives. It’s no longer Chocolate City – more like a swirl – and that makes it an interesting place to live these days.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
CMB: Because I’m a former journalist, writing comes easy. However, creative writing is very different. I was used to sticking to the facts, and it took me a while to get used to making up stuff and using a bunch of adjectives. Writing is a lonely pursuit. I’m at home, in my tiny office, and there are no co-workers to break the silence. I make a point of scheduling meetups with friends so that I have contact with the outside world.

BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
CMB: Journalists are trained to compose at the computer. My thoughts flow through my fingertips and onto the keyboard, and the words appear on the screen.

BPM: When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene how do you get in the mood?
CMB: I concentrate only on that scene for my writing that day, and I do it early in the morning. I’ve usually thought about how I want to set it up before I fall asleep the night before. After it’s done, I do something fun, like take a fitness class or shop, then return to it later in the day and tweak it.

BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
CMB: Exercise is my release. I go for long walks, ride my bike, take Zumba and spinning classes, watch TV and read fashion magazines.

BPM: How do you personally deal with emotional impact of a book as you are writing the story?
CMB: I let the emotions flow as I’m writing. If a character dies, I cry along with their loved ones. Violent scenes are hard for me. I can’t imagine being physically abused by a man, but I’ve had to figure it out and do so convincingly.

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book in general? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
CMB: First, I develop a plot. Next comes an outline for the entire book with a description of the characters. Then, I outline each chapter. When I start writing, I often revise the outline because I might get an idea for a new character or sequence of events. It takes me about nine months to complete a book.

BPM: How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
CMB: With my first two books, I knew that universe from having lived in it. Of course, things change, so I did a lot of reading to make sure what I remembered was accurate. For example, in Capital Sins, I discovered that the South African Embassy had been renovated, but my description of it was accurate for the book’s time period.

BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about most often?
CMB: I switch back and forth from my childhood to adulthood. Things that happened in the 1960s and 1970s make good fodder for books.

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
CMB: I’m used to criticism and having my work ripped apart. That’s what happens often when you’re a reporter. Actually, I’m surprised when a reader says she likes my book. If they don’t, I tell myself that readers have different tastes, and this story wasn’t for them.

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
CMB: What resonated most with me was that you must be willing to re-invent yourself when Plan A collapses. I’ve had to do that several times during my career because we moved to another city for my husband’s job; TV stations didn’t want a husband and wife working in the same market; and I lost a contract because management changed.

BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
CMB: Staying upbeat and focused. My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly in December 2017. I spent a month in Memphis with her while she was in the hospital. My husband, two children and I were mourning her death throughout 2018 while I worked on Capital Sins.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
CMB: It has made me more grateful for my life’s journey and all the experiences I’ve had, good and bad. I incorporate them into my writing. Having to dissect a character so that the reader will understand her/him has also made me more empathetic.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
CMB: I would love to see my books turned into films.

BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your book with the world?
CMB: First, readers have to get to know me through speeches, TV and radio appearances, and book signings. I’m good at connecting with people and explaining what they can get out of reading my books. I want them to see themselves in one character or another. After that, social media – all platforms – is the most effective.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?
CMB: Don’t overthink things. Write your outline and follow it. Rework the first draft, then hire an editor when the project is complete.

BPM: Do you have anything special for readers that you’ll focus on this year?
CMB: My goal this year is to introduce by books to more readers.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
CMB: I’m working on my third novel, Mississippi Justice, which is set in Greenwood, Mississippi.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
CMB: My author website cherylmattoxberry.com has everything you need to know about my books and events.

About CMB: http://www.cherylmattoxberry.com/about-me

Explore Women’s Lit by Cheryl Mattox Berry: https://amzn.to/2YQtBm9

YouTube Events: https://bit.ly/2NP3J2a
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylmattox.berry
Twitter: @GirlIamAllThat and https://twitter.com/GirlIamAllThat
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/cherylmattoxberry

Capital Sins by Cheryl Mattox Berry
Listen to a reading: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CppmVQHX/

 

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

The Last Tribe of Levi: Richmond, Virginia by Karen Sloan-Brown

In part three, The Last Tribe of Levi, her ancestors gain their freedom in Virginia. Her great- great-grandfather, Thomas Freeman begins to build on the legacy that she hoped to continue. Except her father won’t accept her calling to preach God’s word.

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 Last Tribe of Levi: Richmond, Virginia by Karen Sloan-Brown
https://www.amazon.com/Last-Tribe-Levi-Richmond-Virginia/dp/B07Y1X5CMP


Chapter Excerpt

Prologue

I wanted to get on my feet and shout, rock this plane with praises. Instead I whispered, “Thank you, Lord” as I read Ephesians 4:8: “Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the most useless Christian there is, yet I was the one chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles the glad news of the endless treasures available to them in Christ.”

The revival was over, all said and done, and I still couldn’t grasp the idea of it. I took off my glasses and leaned back against the cool leather of the headrest and closed my eyes. I could still envision the mass of people filling the expansive room and feel their rising anticipation of hearing me bring the Word. It buoyed me to the stage, and I rode it like a wave. There I was, standing behind the podium, preaching from the Book of Joshua, trying to be a source of encouragement to this great gathering, and my own faith was renewed. If only Daddy could have been there to see it, to experience it all with me, I know it would have made a difference. My thoughts flashed back to the day he had his first stroke.

“It’s God’s way, not ours,” he told me in slurred words.

“Times have changed, Daddy. We’re almost through the 20th century. Women can preach God’s Word as well as any man.”

Daddy grabbed the straps of his suspenders as if they held him up instead of his pants. “I only know what my father and his father before him and his father before him and as far back as we can recollect have been told. God ordained the men in our family to be caretakers of His Word. I can’t change the Word or His ordinances just because the times have changed.”

My jaws tightened. Why did he have to be so stubborn, so stuck in his old-timey ways. “My call is real. Nobody can tell me otherwise,” I replied with conviction, trying to control my emotions.

“In our teachings, it’s not in God’s plan for a woman to be a steward of His Word,” Daddy answered slowly, straining to form each syllable, “Her responsibilities to her family are too demanding for her to minister to the people.”

He would repeat that to me on more than one occasion, sometimes pensively, other times in protest. It was plain that I couldn’t convince him with my words. I would have to prove it to him with my actions. Even now, I can’t believe that it has been 19 years since we had that first conversation. So, still after preaching at the Christian Conference in Toronto before 30,000 people as the keynote speaker, I wondered if he’d approve of me.

I was about to put my glasses back on and continue reading my Bible when the plane wobbled like a car rushing over a speed bump. I shot a questioning glance toward James, who was sitting in the aisle seat, one over from me. He closed the magazine he was browsing through, but he didn’t look up. I could see his brow was furrowed and he was wearing the expression he wore whenever he was unsure about something.

Timothy, our son, who was seated directly across the aisle, turned toward us with wide worried eyes. “What was that, Mama?”

“I don’t know, sweetheart,” I answered, trying to sound confident. “I guess it was some turbulence. We may have run into that storm they were talking about.”

James remained quiet. The chattering of the choir members seated behind us had gone eerily silent. Then we heard something that sounded like pieces of metal spinning around in a blender. The murmurs in the rear started again and were getting louder with each passing second.

“Pastor Priscilla, lead us in prayer!” Kenny, our choir director, called up to me earnestly.

I’d heard him say those words so many times, but tonight they made my heart skip a beat. I stood up to face them and was interrupted.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts!” the flight attendant at the front said urgently, speaking through the intercom, even though the plane was small enough for us to hear her without using it. “We’re passing through some rough weather.”

She was attempting to remain composed, but I detected a tremor in her voice. That let me know that we were in trouble, serious trouble. I clenched my hands into a fist to keep them from shaking, ignoring the pain of my nails digging into skin. This can’t be happening, I thought. My head rushed with regrets. This is my fault. Why did I charter this flight? We could have waited and flown on a commercial airline. It was my vanity and anxiousness to get back home to let Daddy know about how well things had gone.

The plane rocked and dipped.

“Help us, Lord!” somebody in the back shrieked.

Then I heard voices crying in harmony. My distress shifted into panic.

“James, I’m scared,” I said only loud enough for him to hear.

“Pray, Princess, that’s all we can do. It’s in God’s hands.”

( Continued… )

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

Explore Books by Karen Sloan-Brown
https://www.amazon.com/Designated-Ones-Jerusalem-Ethiopia/dp/1944440143

https://www.amazon.com/Struggle-Kenya-Jamaica-Karen-Sloan-Brown/dp/1944440151

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Tribe-Levi-Richmond-Virginia/dp/B07Y1X5CMP


Intimate Conversation with Karen Sloan-Brown

Karen Sloan-Brown, Ed.D., grew up Philadelphia, a middle child in a family of six children. Despite dreaming of being a writer or a lawyer and being a practical person, after high school Karen attended Tennessee State University in Nashville as a Chemistry major. After graduating, she married her first love, began a career in biomedical research, and had three daughters. Her life was typical until the tragic loss of a child threw her world into a tailspin. Trying to get recover and get her life back on track, she went back to school and earned a master’s degree and then her doctorate degree. It was during that time that her love of writing was reignited.

In 2009, after the election of Barack Obama, she was inspired to write a black history book. Several readers recommended that she write a fictional history book, and that opened the flood gates and the words poured out. Her upbringing as the daughter of a civil rights activist and minister has been a major influence in her writing. She is the author of A Reflection: What a Difference a Day Makes, What About 100 Years? and several novels.

BPM: Please, share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
If I could get over my stage fright, I would try to do stand-up comedy.

BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Resilient, peaceful, and determined.

BPM: Is writing your full time career? How much time do you spend writing?
I consider writing as my full-time career and my passion, but I have a full-time job as well. I write every day. On the weekends I spend most of the days writing.

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
My first published book was a black history book called “A Reflection: What A Difference A Day Makes, What about 100 Years.” It was inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black president. I had just finished writing my dissertation but the research for that project was more than I had ever done before. I learned so much, and I found out that finally I was doing what I was born to do.

BPM: Introduce us to you most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
My recent project, the three-book series, “The Designated Ones: From Jerusalem to Ethiopia,” “The Struggle: From Kenya to Jamaica,” and “The Last Tribe of Levi: Richmond, Virginia,” took my research to a whole other level. It made the 100-year project seem so easy.” It follows a line of men of God for more than 3000 years until the lineage ends with a woman of God. The books give history across continents and the trials of this family. The first book is being converted to an e-book. The others will be done soon as well.

BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
The premise for the books is being able to triumph after tragedy. It is biblical and historical, but restoration is the theme that flows through all the books.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
There are so many characters over the generations of the story, each having their own struggle. The book begins and ends with Priscilla the first woman in the lineage to preach the Word. She struggles with her ambition, balancing her family responsibilities, and then the grief for the decisions she made.

BPM: Does one of the characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
I feel a bond with Priscilla’s mother. She is the steady person through whatever happened. That person you can count on. She is strongly grounded and is the support for all if her family. I can relate.

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing the book?
I discovered that I continue to deal with the tragic losses in my own family. When I finished the book, I felt self-conscious about the death of a character, as if I was writing too much sorrow. Then I had to realize that is a part of life as well as the joys we experience.

BPM: Is there a special place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
It’s easier to write in places where I have lived. Nashville and Philadelphia are the settings for a lot of my writing. Although, with historical fiction I’ve ended up writing in places all around the world. It also takes a lot more research.

BPM: When developing a new book, what comes first, the plot or characters?
It varies. Sometimes the story is written about a subject, and other times your write around a character and their circumstances. In either case, there is a message you want to get across.

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing and developing characters for this book?
With the range of history there were so many things to write about and so many characters. It was satisfying to write about black people on so many different levels, from kings and queens, priests and pastors, slaves and successful, over so many generations. It gave me a sense of purpose to add so much history to the story.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Some days the writing flows effortlessly and you can fly through the pages and then there are days when you can’t organize your thoughts into words you are happy with, and you’re happy to put down a few sentences. I never feel lonely during the process because my family can see I’m writing and they still feel free interrupt me, talk to me, and pull away from my computer. I take it in stride though and have been able to be pretty productive without shutting myself away.

BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write the story by hand?
For the most part I use a computer, but I jot down notes on paper when they come to me and I’m not at the computer. I keep paper in my purse, on my night stand, and on the kitchen table.

BPM: When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene (filled with violence, drama, sex or sadness, etc.), how do you get in the mood?
I have to imagine that I am the character and I am going through the scene. Like an actor, for a moment you have to become that person.

BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
Always take time to relax and have fun. Creativity isn’t a race against time. Take breaks to enjoy your family and your life.

BPM: How do you deal with emotional impact of a book as you are writing the story?
You feel the emotions in your own writing if it reflects real life. I make myself laugh and cry. The most important thing is that I be honest in my writing, be true to the characters and don’t white wash the story.

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book in general? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
It depends on the subject. If it requires a lot of research that adds time to it. If it’s a complicated story, it may have to have an outline. I’ve written a book in three months; my last project took more than two years.

BPM: How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
I don’t do much world building. I write my stories within factual situations. I try to blend fiction with as many facts and actual history as possible, like the style of Forrest Gump.

BPM: What period of life or topics do you write about most often?
I write mostly about adult life, grown men and women.

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
We all have our own perspectives. That’s not a problem. I write about a wide range of things. I’m sure I have something they can relate to.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
The role of black people in the Bible is under-represented. The role of black people in organized religion is under-represented. The positive black man and black woman and their history are under-represented in stories, written and on the screen. I wanted to bring the connection of black people to the Bible to the forefront. I consciously write to bring the stories of real black people and their experiences to balance some of the negative images.

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
That would be restoration. The example of experience difficulties, even tragedy, and fighting back from it. As Maya Angelou said, “And still I rise.”

BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
The greatest challenge writing this book was trying to write in so many different millenniums, different cultures, and being maintaining some authenticity. The research at time was overwhelming, and so many times I doubted I would finish this project.

BPM: Can you share some stories of people you met while researching this book?
The idea of this project was born at my uncle’s funeral. His wife’s priest stood up and said, “I think you all are the last tribe of Levi.” He had noticed that so many people in our family were ministers, preachers, and evangelists. A few days later I googled the tribe of Levi and saw a reference to a tribe of people in Kenya and Zimbabwe. They are called the Lemba people. I saw more references to Hebrews in Jamaica and the United States. I thought it might be interesting to write a story that followed the migration of these men of God from Jerusalem to the United States. It didn’t occur to me at the time that this took place over 3000 years.

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Finding my passion has made my life more satisfying and fulfilling. It has given me a renewed purpose after my children were grown. Putting my thoughts and ideas to words had given me peace.

BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
That would be finding the audience that loves my writing. My dream is seeing one of my books brought to the little or big screen.

BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing your books with the world?
I’m not sure about that. Getting my books out to be read has been my greatest challenge.

BPM: Have any of your books been made into audio-books? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audio-book?
None of my books have been made into audio-books but I would love the opportunity to have them available that way.

BPM: Do you write multiple books for a series? Do you have any series planned?
My latest project is a series and I have previous written another book series called “The Fortunes of Blues and Blessings” and A New Season: Fortunes of Blues and Blessing Book Two.”

BPM: Do you find it more challenges to write the FIRST book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?
For me, the first book in a series is the hardest to write. That’s where you have to develop the story and the characters. The second book flows a lot easier. The ending is a challenge as well because it’s hard to know where to end a longer story.

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?
I would remind them that it’s not necessary to put all of their ingredients in one entrée. They can save some of them for another project. Don’t feel obligated to produce your greatest masterpiece when you’re writing, just tell your story. Write it down and then polish it after you’re done. Your greatest book is the one you haven’t started yet.

BPM: Do you have anything special for readers that you’ll focus on this year?
Promoting my latest project is enough for me to focus on right now.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m working on the biography of Edmonia Lewis.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
They go to my web page karensloanbrown.com

 

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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Create Your Women of a New Sisterhood Audio Presentation

 

Hello!
I would like to invite you to create an audio presentation for Women of a New Sisterhood.  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 within the next 30-60 days!  Read this entire page to answer most of your questions.  It’s long, but I want you to have all of the information to make the process seamless.

YOUR INFORMATION WILL GO HERE:

Women of a New Sisterhood Online Conference
Website: bit.ly/1UQJ9gY

 

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. 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 a New Sisterhood community and what your company/book/wisdom offers the audience.
 
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.  Practice or plan what you want to say before recording.

 

2.  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.  You can record up to 55 minutes!  Do not go over.
 
Try to keep it entertaining and informative. The first 10 minutes are crucial to holding the online listener’s attention for the entire session. This email breaks down the process of recording to the finest detail. I will need your recording back within 5 days.
 


3. At the end of your presentation, share your websites, blogs and all your social media info.  Let the audience be sold on your expertise.  Do not mention a time sensitive offer or discount because this recording will be re-purposed several times over the next few months. If you make an offer, it has to be something that is available months from now.


4.  Please do not mention any dates, times or any events.   If you mention dates or events it limits what I can do with the recordings. It limits your presentation’s visibility on future programs.  You can gently promote your service, charity, book, product or signature program at the end.  If you have any books, please submit the bookseller details. Submit your confirmation and promotional material as soon as possible.


Speakers call into the recording center and record your message!
Call this number to record  (201) 283-9143   PIN: 158-535-351#
To record message, select option (1) when prompted.
Press the (# Key) to STOP the recording when you are finished talking and reading.



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). 

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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

 

 

 

 
 
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