RSS

Category Archives: #PowerReads

#PowerRead: The Promised Land by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Eighteen months into their marriage and ministry, Will and Rebecca Donovan are now faced with new challenges. Recession, sickness and stagnation hit the Grace Apostle Methodist church in a major way. With crippling doubt in his ability to lead his church community through this crisis, Will finds it hard to aid or even bring hope to his congregation when there is little hope in obtaining the one thing he desires most.  He’s left to walk the thin line between hanging in there and hanging it all up.

There is no place to hide when the truth comes looking for Rebecca. She wrestles with infertility and the best time to reveal it to her husband. Her plans to be Super First Lady in an attempt to silence her husband’s cries for an offspring are thwarted when answers to the questions that have haunted her from childhood overtake her. Passions are ignited as old grudges with longtime rivals are dredged up and exhausted, but can they be laid to rest?

Can Will and Rebecca find what they need in one another when the Promised Land seems just beyond their grasp?

Purchase the Print Edition
https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Land-Sherryle-Kiser-Jackson/dp/1530256194

The Promised Land is the third stand-alone installment of the Land of Promiscuity series. Secrets, indiscretions and a crazy twist of unrequited love have taken these two best friends from promiscuity to promise in the first two installments. In The Promised Land they find the path is not a utopian road paved with gold.

Watch a dramatic excerpt from my novel, The Promised Land. Scar Tissue is the inevitable conversation between a husband and wife about secrets of the past. Go here:  https://youtu.be/zgsCicpYqLA


The Promised Land Book Reviews

One of the things I appreciate most about Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s work is her authentic portrayal of real people living out real faith, flaws and all. As an avid reader, particularly of inspirational fiction, I actively seek out great stories about characters I relate to and grow to care about. It’s an added bonus when I also come away with a thing or two I can use in my own life. Few authors accomplish this the way Sherryle does. In The Promised Land we see parts of ourselves and the people we know in the characters. We locate our own lives within their story and we receive a message of hope as well. If you are in the market for a compelling story, then The Promised Land is an excellent choice.
— Isunji Cardoso, Author of “Faith Lifts: 31 Daily Boosts for Sagging Faith”

In The Promise Land, Sherryle Kiser Jackson illustrates the true meaning of spiritual growth, forgiveness and redemption.  As a Pastor and First Lady live out his sermons, they face their own mistakes, weaknesses and doubts on the way to God’s revelation of their own “Promised Land.”  Ms. Kiser-Jackson wraps faith and deliverance in realistic, imperfect characters in a writing style that holds a mirror to our souls; Giving the reader hope in the power of divine restoration and grace.
— Norma L. Jarrett, Essence Bestselling Author of The Sunday Brunch Series, Sweet Magnolia and other novels

Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.

The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II

Could you find the courage to do what’s right in a world on fire?

Pulitzer-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s new historical page-turner is a great American tale of race and war, following three characters from the Jim Crow South as they face the enormous changes World War II triggers in the United States.

“The Last Thing You Surrender” is the intertwining story of two families from the Jim Crow South – one black and poor, the other wealthy and white – through the carnage of World War II, an ordeal that will threaten their faith and challenge everything they know about race hatred and love.

An affluent white marine survives Pearl Harbor at the cost of a black messman’s life only to be sent, wracked with guilt, to the Pacific and taken prisoner by the Japanese . . . a young black woman, widowed by the same events at Pearl, finds unexpected opportunity and a dangerous friendship in a segregated Alabama shipyard feeding the war . . . a black man, who as a child saw his parents brutally lynched, is conscripted to fight Nazis for a country he despises and discovers a new kind of patriotism in the all-black 761st Tank Battalion.


Set against a backdrop of violent racial conflict on both the front lines and the home front, The Last Thing You Surrender explores the powerful moral struggles of individuals from a divided nation. What does it take to change someone’s mind about race? What does it take for a country and a people to move forward, transformed?

Nora Jean M. Goodreads 5-Star Customer Review for The Last Thing You Surrender 
This is a POWERFUL read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is an avid reader. The language is beautiful although the story is haunting. The character development is very real, and it makes the reader hurt even more for these people who become important to the readers’ lives. This is an area of history that we do not learn in school, and the author has provided an imitate portrait of this time. Read this book!

Reader Review from Grayson Hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars | A New Classic

The best novels not only entertain us with good characters, an interesting story and skillful prose; they show us something about what it means to be a human being. Tolstoy, Joyce , Faulkner, Hemmingway, Updike, Morrison, Baldwin, Wright, Momaday, to name just a few, have created timeless works that are timeless stories of the human experience. With “The Last Thing You Surrender”, by Leonard Pitts, Jr., we have a new classic.

It is fitting that it is a story about race, as it would seem the brains and souls of men and women, especially in America, need to continue to evolve. But this book, The Last Thing You Surrender, is more, much more, than a dry treatise on that subject. It is a love story, a human story, a story of war and peace, it is a story about the love, pain, the joys and sorrows that pass between a parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, sister and brother.

It is the story of what is learned and lost between forces of good and evil. It is eloquent, heartbreaking and beautiful. It is a new classic. Read it, America; read it, world. And learn some more about that most tremendous gift of all that the Creator gave us: the ability to see things through another’s eyes, to care deeply about someone other than one’s self, in short, to love.

Reader Review from Sheila Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars | Powerful, compelling and important story

Since first reading Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s columns in the Miami Herald almost 18 years ago, I have found that if Pitts has something to say, I want to read it. . . in fact, I need to read it. He can put complex, often difficult, ideas into beautiful words that show the reader his point of view, educating and helping the reader gain empathy and understanding.

I ordered Pitt’s latest book, #TheLastThingYouSurrender, as soon as it was released – and it was everything I expected and more. It is a deeply researched work of historical fiction, with a compelling story that is hard to put down. I tried to keep from racing through the book, as I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters who became friends, and who showed me the world through their eyes – which is why we read!

Yes, there are parts that are very difficult to read, but part of the power of this book is to show us, to remind us of the brutality of parts of our history that get glossed over as some of us extol the “good old days.”

I highly recommend this book, and hope Mr. Pitts will write a sequel to show us how they carry their inspiration and motivation into battles to come.

Editorial Review: The Last Thing You Surrender
Leonard Pitts, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, turns again to America’s fraught history of race relations in this unflinching, gritty WWII saga. It centers on a trio of finely drawn characters, two black and one white, all from Alabama, whose worlds collide because of Pearl Harbor.

Marine Private George Simon—wealthy, religious, white—survives the sinking of his ship because Eric Gordy, a black messman, rescues him. Eric dies, and while George recuperates, he pays a condolence call on Eric’s widow, Thelma. Thelma and her brother, Luther Hayes, a bitter alcoholic, are living with the memory of their parents’ lynching 20 years earlier.

George and Thelma begin a correspondence after he returns to active duty; she takes a job in a shipyard. Luther, deciding this is a white man’s war, tries to evade the draft but ends up serving with a tank battalion in Europe. George endures horrific conditions in the Pacific as Thelma faces growing racial hostility at work, culminating in a brutal moment of violence that compels her to make a difficult decision.

While remaining true to his characters, Pitts brings the story lines to realistic conclusions even as he holds out hope for the future, resulting in a polished, affecting novel. —Janelle Walden Agyeman, Agent Marie Brown Assoc.


 

Chapter Excerpt: The Last Thing You Surrender

Luther stood on top of the tank. He felt his mouth fall open. He felt his mind fumble for language. But there were no words.

It was a camp of some sort, barracks arranged in neat rows. And hobbling, shuffling, tottering toward them from every direction came an assemblage of stick men in filthy black-and-white striped prison suits. Maybe some of them were women, too. It was hard to tell. The creatures seemed sexless.

Dazed, Luther dismounted the tank. His mouth was still open.

The creatures swarmed the colored tankers. It was difficult to believe they were even human. Their eyes were like those of small, frightened animals, peering out from the caverns their eye sockets had become. Their mouths were drawn tight against their bony jaws. You could look at them and see where tibia met patella, count their ribs by sight. They were little more than skeletons wearing rags of flesh.

And their eyes gleamed with a madness of joy, an insanity of deliverance at the sight of the colored tankers. They shook clasped hands toward Heaven, they smiled terrible, toothless smiles, they looked up at the Negro soldiers like penitents gazing upon the very throne of God. A woman—at least he thought it was a woman—took Luther’s hand and lifted it to her cheek. Her grip was like air. She held his skin to hers, which was papery and thin, almost translucent. Her face contorted into an expression of raw, utter sorrow, and she made groaning sounds that did not seem quite human. It took Luther a moment to realize that she was crying because her eyes remained dry, no water glistened on her cheeks. She had no tears left in her.

And Luther, who had never touched a white woman before, who had never so much as brushed against one in a crowd, who had avoided even that incidental contact with a kind of bone-deep terror accessible only to a Negro man in the Deep South who grew up knowing all too well what messing with a white woman could get you, could only stand there, stricken and dumbfounded, as this woman pressed his hand to her cheek. He was a man who had seen his parents tortured and burned to death before his very eyes at his own front door by white people. It had never occurred to him that their capacity for bestial cruelty was not limited to the woes they inflicted upon Negroes.

But here was the proof, this poor thing whose gender he had to guess, this creature whose age might have been 16, might have been 60, holding his hand in her airy grip, crying without tears.

Luther looked around. The place reeked of death and shit, a stink of putrefaction that surely profaned the very nostrils of God. Naked and emaciated bodies lay stacked in piles exactly like cordwood, only their gaping mouths and sightless eyes attesting to the fact that once they had been human and alive. Flies droned above it all in great black clouds, a few of them occasionally descending to walk in the mouths and eyes of the dead.

At length, the crying woman got hold of herself. Luther gently took back his hand. She gave him a shy, weak smile, touched her feathery hand to his shoulder—some sort of thank-you, he supposed—and wandered slowly away. Luther watched her go, still dazed, still failed by language. And he still struggled to understand. It had never occurred to him, not even in his angriest, most bitter imaginings, that something like this was possible.

How could white people do this to white people?

How could anybody do this to anybody?

( Continued… )

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

Purchase The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II by Leonard Pitts Jr.

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Last-Thing-You-Surrender-Novel/dp/1572842458

Barnes&Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-thing-you-surrender-leonard-pitts-jr/1128941167

Publisher:
https://www.agatepublishing.com/titles/the-last-thing-you-surrender

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38225249-the-last-thing-you-surrender

Read the rest of this entry »
 

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 »
 

Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas by Chef Rome

Celebrity Chef Rome Pays Homage to His Culinary Roots with New Cookbook

Celebrity chef, Army veteran, and health correspondent Jerome Brown celebrates his Southern roots with his new cookbook Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas. In the book, the Personal Chef to the Stars showcases a compilation of family recipes, client favorites and low-calorie meals indigenous to North and South Carolina.

Chef Rome makes it no secret that he loves his home state of North Carolina, so it should be no surprise that his newly released cookbook is a celebration of sorts to the state’s cuisine and culture.

In the book Carolina Soul: The Down Home Taste of the Carolinas, the Personal Chef to the Stars showcases a compilation of family recipes, client favorites and low-calorie meals featuring frog legs, oxtails, marsala meatloaf, and other Southern delicacies indigenous to North and South Carolina.

“I put everything I could into this book, and I did it with love,” said Chef Rome, who has cooked for athletes and celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Colin Powell, Byron Cage and Cam Newton. The former Food Network Star and featured Epcot International Food & Wine Festival chef prides himself on putting a healthy spin on Southern cuisine, helping many of his clients, like former NBA great Shaquille O’Neil, lose weight.

Similar to his bestselling cookbook, Eat Like a Celebrity: Southern Cuisine with a Gourmet Twist, Chef Rome included stories of his family and the influence that Carolina has had on his life and on the country as a whole.

“If you loved Eat Like a Celebrity, you’re absolutely going to love Carolina Soul,” Rome said. “I talk about the origins of Pepsi and some of my favorite restaurants along the Carolina coast. This book is nothing more than being authentic, giving readers what is within me.”

He added that Carolina Soul is especially special because his family contributed to bringing the book into fruition. For instance, he prepared many of the recipes in his sister’s kitchen, and he added the meatloaf recipe because it was specially requested by his nephew. Additionally, the book celebrates everything related to the history of North and South Carolina from its college-related color scheme to the photos placed throughout the book.

Carolina Soul has already amassed tremendous sales through social media. Carolina Soul was published by Prosperity Publications, LLC and is currently available for order on both Chef Rome’s and Prosperity’s websites.

Explore the Cook With Rome website: http://www.cookwithrome.com
Chef Rome ranked #8 in the world. Co-owner of Rhema Restaurant Group. US Army Trained.

 

Courage to Pursue by Lisa Blackmon

Courage to Pursue is a guide in which readers will experience how they can conquer the spirit of fear to turn their dreams into reality. Each part of this book encourages readers to move out of their comfort zone to find the courage they need to succeed.

About the Author
Lisa Blackmon fondly known as LisaB, is a motivation speaker, coach, mentor, author and business woman. She is passionate about seeing lives changed and when necessary resurrected.

After 20 years in the legal field as an attorney, she felt a prompting to do more and serve on another level in order to reach the masses that she has been divinely destined to impact. From this revelation, LisaBtheLifechanger was birthed, motivational videos hit social media and inspiring information flooded her page calling an audience of ordinary people like herself to become their own rescue.

Those that engaged have become known as a tribe of Lifechangers. This tribe is not only changing their own lives but creating a culture of change in the lives of others.

“Courage to Pursue” encapsulates LisaB’s coaching helps other to discover their God given purpose, create a action plan to make it happen and get in action to manifest their dreams.

LisaB is a Southern girl that loves good music, a good book and sharing her world with family and friends. Most of all she, is an advocate for change and growth even if it means doing what is necessary with “knees knocking.” Her mantra is “Provoking You to Think, Promoting You to Change.”

Connect with LisaB, The Life Changer – Life Changer
Purchase book on Lisa’s Website: http://lisabthelifechanger.com

 

 

 

Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

 

A clash between Cherokee Indians and their former African slaves comes to a head in the tribal town of Feather Falls.

 

On the same day Sput Louie McClendon is evicted by reviled town tycoon Goliah Lynch, her husband mysteriously vanishes. Has he fallen prey to bushwhackers or timber thieves? Or is Lynch behind his disappearance?

Alone and desperate, Sput Louie turns to town elder Two Bird for help, but with racial tension between the two factions, are his intentions pure?

As Sput Louie’s frantic search for her husband intensifies, she stumbles onto a dark twisted family secret – one that could not only have devastating implications for her, but the entire town of Feather Falls.

 

 

Reviews for Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

“Seeds of Deception has characters you’ll love, a plot that pulls you in and twists you’ll never see coming.”
— Pamela Samuels Young, author of Anybody’s Daughter anf Abuse of Discretion, NAACP Image Award winner

 

“Hypnotic prose, vivid characters. I was blown away. A masterful first novel.”
— Dwayne Alexander Smith, author of Forty Acres, NAACP Image Award Winner

 

“I wish I could go back and meet all her characters again. Haven’t stopped thinking about them yet. Easily one of my favorite reads this year.” — Lisa Bobbit, reviewer, ReadInColour.com

 

“Ms. Walker’s writing is uninhibited and honest.”
— C. Knight, Book-a-licious Book Club

 


 

 

EXCERPT: Seeds of Deception by Arlene L. Walker

Goliah T. Lynch, known as Old Crow behind his back, was a man of considerable coin. He was arguably the most powerful mixed-blood in Feather Falls, being half-white and half-Cherokee. He was also the man who had owned both Sput’s and Benjamin’s families during slavery.

Sput wanted to spit bile. She knew Benjamin did as well.

That her two older sons were not around gave Sput some small solace.

“Here come the boys.” Benjamin jutted his chin towards the prairie to the left of Goliah Lynch.

She followed his nod. Sure enough, there was Hunter Big, her oldest, trailed by Archie, her middle son. They both knew of her and Benjamin’s loathing for Goliah. They’d cut their teeth on it.

Hunter Big was a bison of a man. He swung a rope-tied red fox from his left hand and carried a bow in his right.

Just like Benjamin, Hunter Big knew by heart the rise and fall of the land. He strode wide and shrewd towards them now.

Trying to keep up with him was Archie, Hunter’s twin brother. They neither looked alike nor were alike. Archie was the only member of the family who had managed to amass any schooling in his 20 years on earth. Hunter, on the other hand, saw no need for the alphabet if it couldn’t back him up in a bear fight.

The two boys flanked their parents and their youngest brother L.B. as they watched Goliah’s wagon roll to a stop.

“Osiyo.” Benjamin greeted first.

At the Cherokee greeting, Goliah flinched like he had been pinched.

“I have a hundred head of new cattle coming in,” he said, skipping any semblance of social pleasantries.

No surprise to Sput there.

“Well, suh,” Benjamin began.

What was a surprise to Sput was hearing her husband refer to this particular man as “sir.” She whipped her head around to give Benjamin a questioning stare. Was that a smile she saw stretching at his lips? A nasty shiver went down her spine, as her ire heated up. But then, she understood how desperation could make a man like Benjamin sacrifice his skin in order to save his bones.

“I — I don’t have a mule no more —” Benjamin continued.

“Cauth we ate him.” L.B. hooked his thumbs around the shoulder straps of overalls that didn’t quite reach his ankles. “He died firth. Then we ate him.”

Benjamin was not sidetracked. “But if you supply a horse,” he went on as if L.B. hadn’t said a word, “I can rope a steer, brand it, and castrate it with the best of ‘em. Never lost a steer to a snippin’ yet.”

Archie jumped right on board with the idea of any one of the McClendons being hired out. “They don’t call Pa Snippin’ Ben for nothing.”

“And Hunter here,” Benjamin pointed with a proud nod of his head, “he can break a bronco into a cow pony in no time. And Archie can rope and ride a salty one all day long,” he said, rounding out the recitation of McClendon family skills.

Goliah began a slow, guttural laugh. “I’m not looking to hire you.” His laugh grew. “I’m looking to evict you.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Quick and Easy Guide to Signing by Lauren K. Bell

Quick and Easy Guide to Signing by Lauren K. Bell

Trilingual Publications Presents Quick and Easy Guide to Signing. American Sign Language in English and Spanish. Includes DVD with over 200 Signs.

Volume 1 covers Alphabets (Alfabetos), Numbers (Numeros), Education (Educacion), Careers (Carreras), and Feelings (Sentimientos)

Volume 2 covers Family (Familia), Home (Hogar), Clothing (Ropa), and Food (Comida)

Volume 3 covers Sports (Deportes), Action (Accion), Animals (Animales), Colors (Colores), and Religion (Religion)

Volume 4 covers Medical (Medico), Time (Tiempo), and Opposites (Opuestos)

Volume 5 is a Children’s Book (Libro De Los Niños) which covers a variety of signs

American Sign Language is a natural language that serves as the predominant sign language of Deaf communities.

Visit the Trilingual Website: buytrilingual.com
The Quick and Easy Guide to Signing  |  English Spanish American Sign Language

The Quick and Easy Guide to Signing – These learning tools provide the basic building blocks with which a creative and active mind will succeed. This is a significant contribution for American Sign Language. English and Spanish are dominant languages. Lauren K. Bell has provided the hearing impaired community with the strategies and tools needed to improve student retention and performance.

The five books in this series, with clear illustrations and DVDs, are required for anyone who wants to understand the most important means of communication for the Deaf. Lauren K. Bell has thrown open the doors, revealing distinguished ways to share learning previously known to only a few. She has written a whole new chapter in American Sign Language.

–Dr. Odie H. Tolbert, Jr., Deaf for 30 years
Associate Professor Emeritus (retired), University of Memphis, TN

 

Delayed But Not Denied 3 by Asia Williams, Co-Author


Delayed But Not Denied 3: Real People Sharing Stories about Healing and Growth

Delayed But Not Denied 3 Co-Authors: Asia Maddrey, Asia Williams, Deneen Cooper, Dionely Reyes, Dr. Lawana Richmond, Janelle Rollins-Johnson, Janette “Justice” Carter, Julia D. Shaw, Julie Ann Fairley, Kathleen Greely, Kristin Vaughan Robinson, L. Renee, Walikqua Johnson, Maria Dowd, Norma Brown, and Toni Coleman Brown.

 

Delayed But Not Denied 3 is a compilation of stories told by Black Women who were interested in sharing life experiences hoping to be helpful to others. These stories demonstrate the power of prayer, faith, and strategies for triumph.

The one common thread that binds the co-authors of Delayed But Not Denied Book 3: Real People Sharing Stories About Healing and Growth, is that they put their fingers to the keyboard to share parts of their life experiences. The contributors of the book share a diverse tapestry of insight, which is woven together by the drive to define their own successes.

They share their stories of tragedies and triumphs with the prayer that, a sentence, a paragraph or a chapter will empower others to push a bit harder and to be their authentic self. In this collaboration, each woman’s testimony lets readers know that regardless of what you have been through you are extraordinary too!

 

Asia Williams’ Contribution: The experience I chose to share was about how I have dealt with being the daughter of a father, whom I love very much, but has been incarcerated most of my life, and how that impacts me and my children. For additional information go to:  http://www.delayedbutnotdenied.info/asia-williams

 

Chapter Excerpt: Delayed But Not Denied 3

My way of dealing with being broken is to pretend not to be broken. It sounds like the perfect way to deal with it, right? The only thing about that is it takes just the slightest thing to trigger reality and send my emotions into a state of crisis. This particular day, the trigger was hiding in a pile of books that caught my attention when I was at work. An image of Elmo from the famous Sesame Street caught my eye. Naturally, I stopped and picked up the information packet to see what it was about. I read the title: “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.” At that moment, my body froze and a slight tear came to my eye. I opened up the pamphlet; a book and a DVD were inside. And you know what happened next—the floodgates opened and I began to cry hysterically, sending myself into crisis mode.

I mean, you would think that I’d react differently since my father was a free man and I was once again rebuilding a broken relationship, but the memories of letters and drawings that I had exchanged with my own father over the years kept me in crisis mode. I didn’t realize I was having a crisis until I heard my principal’s voice blaring over the walkie-talkie, “SA (Student Advisor) Williams, pick up!”

So many thoughts rushed through my mind. Do they see me on the camera crying? How will I respond to this radio call and not sound like a big crybaby to my administrative team and to our School Safety Agents? The only thing I thought to do was take the pamphlet and run!

I ran and didn’t stop until I arrived at room 202, the women’s restroom on the second floor. I slammed the door of the stall and read the entire booklet, ignoring the radio calls to my attention and hoping my partner would respond to my principal on my behalf.

I needed this moment. I deserved this moment to feel—to feel the hurt that I had tried to keep bottled up since I was in the first grade. This was the first time that I was aware I was having a crisis, and I needed to live in that moment.

( Continued… )

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

 

Purchase Delayed But Not Denied 3: Real People Sharing Stories About Healing and Growth by Asia Williams. Go here:  http://www.delayedbutnotdenied.info/asia-williams/

 

About the Co-Author
Asia Williams is an English teacher turned assistant principal for NYC. For 15 years she has dedicated her life to building and uplifting children while raising two of her own. Her son, Kamari who attends Howard University and her daughter Khloe that is beginning her school career as a kindergartner. Asia was very reluctant to share her story, but she believes that being transparent about her life has the potential to help millions of children and adults who are going through a similar situation.

Purchase Delayed But Not Denied 3: Real People Sharing Stories About Healing and Growth

Website to Purchase: http://www.delayedbutnotdenied.info/asia-williams

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Delayed-But-Not-Denied-Sharing/dp/1732840520

 

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!
 

Summer 2019 New Releases: Psychological Thrillers

 

Watching You: A Novel by Lisa Jewell

“Quickly and assuredly, Jewell builds an ecosystem of countervailing suspicions…Tricky, clever, unexpected.” —New York Times Book Review

“Brace yourself as Jewell stacks up the secrets, then lights a long, slow fuse.” —People

“A seize-you-by-the-throat thriller and a genuinely moving family drama.” —A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

 

 

The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.

About The Author
Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

 

 

 


 

 

Her Deadly Secrets By Laura Griffin

A young private investigator finds out the price of keeping deadly secrets when a vicious killer sets his sights on her in this pulse-pounding thriller from the USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author of the Tracers series.

Private investigator Kira Vance spends her days navigating the intricate labyrinth of Houston’s legal world, and she knows all of its shadowy players and dark secrets.

On a seemingly normal day, she’s delivering a report to her top client when suddenly everything goes sideways and the meeting ends in a bloodbath. Twenty-four hours later, the police have no suspects but one thing is clear: a killer has Kira in his sights.

Fiercely independent, Kira doesn’t expect—or want—help from anyone, least of all an unscrupulous lawyer and his elite security team. Instead, she launches her own investigation, hoping to uncover the answers that have eluded the police. But as Kira’s hunt for clues becomes more and more perilous, she realizes that she alone may hold the key to finding a vicious murderer. And she knows she must take help wherever she can find it if she wants to stay alive…

Written with Laura Griffin’s signature “gritty, imaginative, sexy” (Cindy Gerard, New York Times bestselling author) style, Her Deadly Secrets is an electrifying and scintillating novel that packs a powerful punch.

Purchase Her Deadly Secrets (Wolfe Security) by Laura Griffin
https://www.amazon.com/Her-Deadly-Secrets-Wolfe-Security/dp/1501162438

About The Author
Laura Griffin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tracers series, the Wolfe Sec series, the Alpha Crew series, and several other novels. A two-time RITA Award winner and the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award, Laura lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit her at LauraGriffin.com, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor.

 

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

“Love Like It’s Hot!” Book Set Coming to an e-reader near you July 1, 2019!

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

Be sure to check out some of Ann Clay’s previous titles while you wait for Love Like It’s HOT!   Find her titles on Amazon at: https://tinyurl.com/yybujtsr

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An avid reader and lover of positive, strong men, award-winning author, Ann Clay began her writing venture in 1999. She has been duly recognized for her warm-hearted stories, bursting with memorable characters, places and special moments. Venturing into several genres, Ann still prefers her romantic versions of life and living. She resides in Southern Illinois with family and loves hearing from her readers. Check her out at http://www.annclay.com, by email at annclay@annclay.com, Ann Clay on Facebook, annclaywrites on Twitter, or annclay35 on Instgram.

 

 


 

Be sure to check out some of Barbara Keaton’s previous titles while you wait for Love Like It’s HOT!  Find her titles on Amazon at: https://tinyurl.com/y3urh8ee

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Chicago native, Barbara Keaton loves the city and says she cannot imagine living anywhere else. Educated in Catholic schools up until 12th grade, Barbara credits the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest order of black nuns, and her late maternal grandfather, Thomas Hill, for her love and respect of the written word.

Barbara’s first romance novel, All I Ask, was published in 2000. Since then she’s gone on to write thirteen total romance novels which celebrate black love. In addition to her books, she’s also written several articles and editorials that have appeared in various publications: Today’s Black Woman Magazine; The Chicago Crusader; The Chicago Defender; The Chicago Reader; Bronze Thrills; True Confessions; and, Affaire de Coeur.

Barbara Keaton holds a MS in Journalism from Roosevelt University and belongs to several civic and professional organizations, namely Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she’s an avid reader and writer. Married to a minister, Barbara has no children of her own, but she considers her niece and nephew, Stephanie and Matthew, and her step-daughter, Candice, as her “babies”. In addition, she’s a grandma and a great-aunt. Barbara lives by a personal credo: I ANSWER TO TWO—MY GOD AND MYSELF! You can check Barbara out at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Barbara-Keaton-582585395172168

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic

About the Book – The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic

The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic, is a collection of essays detailing the doctoral journeys of 15 African American doctoral degree holders. Although the National Center for Education Statistics named African American women the most educated group in the United States, the quest for doctoral and other advanced degrees is not easy, and is often not completed.

Antoinette Franklin, the book’s managing editor, explained that she started this project to serve as a source of inspiration to future doctoral holders to complete their advanced education.

“The book is a collection of stories of glory, racism, sexism, and happiness,” she said. “It shares their experiences and how they overcame those misfortunes and achieved the pinnacle of education attainment. The book also discusses the issues facing America’s colleges and universities concerning diversity in with the faculty and administration.”

Each contributor to The PhD Game is a current business professional with a background in military, public relations, education, medicine, or law with affiliations with the San Antonio Talented Tenth of San Antonio, Gamma Delta Phi National Honor Society, Catholic Charities, and various fraternities and sororities.

In addition, they have as nationally and internationally, appearing in such publications as the San Antonio Observer, Entrepreneur Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Women of Distinction Magazine.

The authors are as follows:

• Antoinette Franklin, managing Editor of the Ph.D Game, instructor, doctoral student.

• Dr. Loren Alves, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at East Carolina University School Of Dental Medicine

• Dr. Willie J. Black, Educator and Administrator, Judson Independent School District

• Dr. Sharon Michael Chadwell, Higher Education Professional, Expert in Black Males in Gifted and Talented Programs

• Dr. Nicolas Cormier, Administrator and Educator (Retired)

• Dr. Jacqueline Dansby, Executive Director and Professor, St. Mary’s University

• Dr. Michael J. Laney, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Savannah State University

• Dr. Rhonda M. Lawson, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Founder, Meet the World Image Solutions, LLC

• Dr. LaJoyce Lawton, Principal Consultant, Lawton International

• Dr. D. Anthony Miles, Marketing Expert and Statistician, Miles Development Industries Corporation®

• Dr. Doshie Piper, Professor and Researcher, University of the Incarnate Word

• Dr. Lawrence Scott, Professor and Researcher, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

• Dr. Caroline Sinkfield, Professor and Researcher

• Dr. Sharon Small, CEO/Early Head Start Director, Parent Child Incorporated (PCI)

• Dr. Linn R. Waiters, Principal and Founder, Waiters Educational Vision, LLC

• Dr. Chanel Young, Clinical Psychologist, Fort Hood Army Base & Private Practice

“Each author has a unique story to share about the struggles we face in academia as African Americans,” Franklin said. “It is our goal to inspire our young people to greatness!”

 

The PhD Game: Confessions of a Black Academic will be published by San Antonio publishing house Prosperity Publications, http://www.prosperitypublications.com and will be available in paperback and e-Book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million.

 

 

 

Books by Natasha D. Frazier

Shattered Vows: Love, Lies & Consequences Book 3 by Natasha D. Frazier

Rico gambled with his marriage when he cheated on Chloe. Breaking his vows and risking everything for temporary pleasure, he lost his wife’s respect and trust.

Rico returns to God, searching for a quick fix to win Chloe’s heart back, but his heart is the one that is changed. He is a self-proclaimed changed man, willing to go the extra mile to restore his marriage, but he just may be too late.

Has Chloe given up on him? She has forgiven him before, but this is different. “I’m sorry” isn’t enough when vows have been shattered. With the law and the Word of the Lord on her side, she finally gathers enough courage to walk away.

But then tragedy strikes. Is it enough to make Chloe stay, or will she start a new chapter in her life?

 

Listen to a reading from Shattered Vows: Love, Lies & Consequences: https://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CPR8L6bk

 

REVIEWS – SHATTERED VOWS (LOVE, LIES & CONSEQUENCES BOOK 3)

“With this being book 3 in the series, the book definitely kept your attention. There was a great balance of happy, sad & keeping God involved in your decisions. I like the way author takes us through the view of both husband & wife.”

“Loved the interwoven storylines and how everyone seemed to learn from their mistakes. The way forgiveness is expressed is inspiring.”

“It is tough to read books that end the way Shattered Vows ended. When we pray for God’s help, we must trust that His ways are greater than our ways. I am truly convinced that it is nothing but the love of God that gets us through the tough times. The love of God is what caused each character to have a heart of forgiveness. Thank you Natasha for sharing the love of God through your writing.”

 

EXCERPT: SHATTERED VOWS (LOVE, LIES & CONSEQUENCES BOOK 3)

“I want my wife back,” Rico said after careful contemplation of his question.

“Umm hmm. Well seeking direction from God is definitely the best start, but much is going to be required of you; so let’s start from the beginning. Tell me what happened. What is it that brought you to this place? Your wife leaving you and all. And please tell the entire truth. These sessions will only work if you’re honest,” Pastor Lewis reminded Rico.

Rico leaned back in his seat, blew out a chestful of pent-up air, rubbed his hands along his pants and thought for a moment. Sessions? Plural? He had been hopeful that he would get his answer today, but he was more than desperate, so he was willing to do everything it would take to start anew with his wife.

“Long story short, I met this woman who was absolutely breathtaking. I took her out a few times, talked to her on the phone repeatedly and I began to fall for her. She seemed so perfect. When I realized what I was getting myself into, I ended it. But I guess it was too late because she ended up pregnant with my baby,” Rico shared shamefully.

Pastor Lewis studied him for a moment. He noticed Rico’s eyes were lit up when speaking of this woman and that concerned him. He jotted down some notes on a pad.

“What compelled you to start seeing her even though you were married?”

“Man, I mean, sir, I don’t even know. It was never supposed to go so far. It was casual at first, but she became serious.”

“Wait one moment. I am a pastor but I’m also a man. So you and I both know that if she was becoming serious, you were giving her a reason to be. Did you tell her you loved her? That you would leave your wife and marry her? What was it?”

Rico shook his head at the thought of everything he’d told Raegan. It felt awkward to share those things with the pastor. Actually telling someone everything he did made him feel dirty, because he knew he was wrong. He didn’t want the pastor to think of him as some dirty womanizer, because that wasn’t who he was. He was just a guy who got caught up in the moment, in his opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Sisterhood: Book One by Nichol Bradford

The Sisterhood: Book One 
(The Sisterhood Trilogy)
by Nichol Bradford



The Sisterhood: Exploring mental freedom through fiction!

 

The Sisterhood tells the story of what becomes possible when intelligence and hope are channeled into an outrageous mission. Founded by Vivian Delacroix, The Sisterhood Foundation is a non-government organization funded by MSK Incorporated, a massive multinational built over decades by an organization of black women. The women invest billions into leading edge technology, pooling their profits into communities, schools, and treatment centers in the battle against Cocanol, a new and addictive drug.

The group is overwhelmingly successful until their progress is noticed by the Raptor, a ruthless enemy with pawns in the US government and ties to the Cocanol manufacturers and international power houses intent on controlling the world. As a first step in a war on the Sisterhood, Vivian is assassinated, triggering a Homeland Security investigation, a Senate inquiry, and a series of increasingly dangerous events.

To survive, the women, led by Chief Security Officer Tonia Rawlings, must fight against unseen forces. Battling across a public stage of media coverage and Wall Street, the women rush against all odds to outwit their foes—even as they execute the final stage of Vivian’s secret plan.

As their enemies draw near, the women risk everything, testing the bonds of faith, marriage and friendship. Along the way, they discover awful truths, make strange alliances and learn why they are the most dangerous women the world has ever seen. Together, they put everything on the line—testing themselves and the limitations the world tries to place on them.


Special Message From the Author

I wrote the book I wanted to read about strong yet vulnerable and intelligent black women committed to a great and grand goal—mental freedom and empowerment for all.

The characters in the book are well-developed women, healthy but plagued at times by guilt and self-doubt even as they put on a strong face to the world –— just like many of us. Some are happily married, and some are single, but most of all their focus is not just on their men (or lack thereof) but on their friendship and common goals.

On the surface, The Sisterhood is an epic action-thriller set in the context of a vast business empire. More deeply, the book is about friendships between women as they fight to protect a dream larger than themselves. Set in the not too distant future, The Sisterhood is Afro-futurism, with high stakes conspiracies, financial battles, deadly car chases, double agents, and martial artistry.

Action-thrillers tend to address some change in the world while literary fiction often addresses the growth of the individual. I was intrigued by the degree to which the transformation of the individual transforms the world. So the book explores how these women evolve as the pressure mounts, and how their new perspectives help them to fulfill their mission.

Oprah once asked Bishop Desmond Tutu what was required for peace in the world. He answered in a single sentence… “It is time for the women to revolt.” The women in The Sisterhood challenge the status quo by doing just that.

Who is a woman of the Sisterhood? She could be you or the woman next door. From businesswomen to teachers to any profession, any smart and talented woman you admire could be a secret member of The Sisterhood.


EXCERPT: CHAPTER 1

Friday, December 5th – 2:00 am

Sisterhood Headquarters – Middleburg, VA, outside Washington D.C.

Tonia Rawlings strode down the long, empty corridor. Her urgent steps made sharp echoes on the granite floor. Outside, her security team was assembled, awaiting her command. It seemed fitting that she was the last to leave…given what she was about to do. Tonia took one last look to sear the memory in place before stepping out into the night.

“Do it,” Tonia ordered.

Flames exploded through the windows, shattering glass across the grounds. They licked the sky in swaths of bright hungry reds, violent oranges and insatiable yellows. The fire jumped from building to building, laying waste to years of effort and thousands of sacrifices. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Tonia whispered.

Pamela Griffin turned. The mother in her heard a strange break in Tonia’s voice. Pamela shivered, feeling the severe night chill that found its way under collars and inside gloves. An acrid cutting smell of smoke filled the air. She stole another glance at Tonia but could read nothing from the woman at her side. How awful it must be to give tonight’s order, to destroy something loved, even to preserve something valued. But, following Vivian Delacroix’s lead had always meant sacrifice. No one was exempt.

Pamela touched her lightly on the arm. “Tonia, it was planned.”

“Yes, it was,” she nodded without turning. The last thing Tonia needed right now was direct eye contact with Vivian’s first recruit. Architects had created the exterior of the Sisterhood’s headquarters, but Tonia was the one who massaged the plans to meet their unique need – a fortress, destructible from within but impregnable from without.

Was it really so long ago that she and Vivian had found the site? Tonia remembered how Vivian had jumped out of the car and sprinted, laughing, across the property. Tonia ran right behind her, eyes trained on the tree line for enemies, ever Vivian’s protector. Vivian stopped, spun around, her arms held high. Her eyes sparkled with destiny. “Here, Tonia. Can’t you see? This, this, is where we will gather our strength.”

They had laughed then, in the exact spot where Tonia now stood. Every computer system in the Sisterhood’s vast holdings updated to servers in a manmade cavern beneath her feet. Their entire history, recorded in bits and bytes, was a maze of money and covert investments. One explosion would obscure hundreds of millions of dollars in assets as well as their research, the research that had likely brought disaster to their door.

“Move out,” Tonia bellowed, her voice returning to its normal boom. The women, jolted into action, leaped into their Jeeps. They divided into pairs and raced away. Any law enforcement officer worth his badge would take one look at their expressions, unblinking eyes, bodies rippling with strength, and become suspicious. The women were not assassins or Marines, but they sure as hell looked the part. They were more than capable of protecting their own; after all, they were their Sister’s Keepers.

( Continued… )

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


Download The Sisterhood: Book One 

Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B006IMLCRE
Afro-futurism, African American Fiction; Mystery; Thriller & Suspense


About the Author

Nichol Bradford, CEO/Founder, Willow.  Nichol Bradford is fascinated by human potential, and has always been interested in how technology can help individuals expand beyond their perceived mental limits to develop and transform themselves to the highest level. She spent the last decade exploring these ideas in the online game industry, serving as a senior executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision/Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi.

Most recently she managed the operations of Blizzard properties, including World of Warcraft, in China. Now, as the CEO of the Willow Group, Nichol is applying same skills to the realm of elevating psychological well-being. Willow is a transformative technology company focused on employing rigorous scientific research to develop training protocols, hardware and software that can produce a reliable and positive change in the human experience.

Nichol has an MBA from Wharton School of Business in Strategy, and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of The Sisterhood, and an amatuer boxer.

Website: http://www.nicholbradford.com
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholbradford
Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Sisterhood-Book-One-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006IMLCRE

 

 

Explore Faith-based books by Lola C. Booker



Sweet (HEART) Pleasantries: A Calm Heart Effect, Book Two by Lola C. Booker

This book, “Sweet (Heart) Pleasantries,” is the author’s way of saying by standing or walking in several types of shoes: “When LIFE/LOVE was turned UPSIDE DOWN with heartaches and depression fighting for control, saving grace came through INTENSIVE CARE.

Faith, prayer, written and spoken words were useful instruments that enhanced the progression of REHABILITATION.” Redefining the meaning and use of the PLEASANT WORDS-RESPECT, LOVE-N-HEALTH contributed to a life renewal.

Increasing LIFE/LOVE RESPECT RULES resulted in a deeper appreciation of who I loved and who loved me. RIGHT SIDE UP-A GREATER VISIBILITY!!

This book’s motto is: “Take authority over, take responsibility for the maintenance work in your LIFE/LOVE by accepting the cost in FULL with no write offs or bankruptcy expectations.”

 

Purchase Sweet (HEART) Pleasantries: A Calm Heart Effect, Book Two by Lola C. Booker
https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-HEART-Pleasantries-Heart-Effect/dp/1790578655 
Poetry > Inspirational > Transformational literature for families and new adults.

 

 

A Calm Heart Effect: Minding My Heart Business by Lola C Booker – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548024317

Lola C. Booker has published her first book, “A Calm Heart Effect”! The book is filled with poetry and prayers which address relationship issues. This is a wonderful book for anyone who has questions about healing and mending relationships.

The inspirational poems speak to all kinds of human emotions and needs. There are also reminders of how our faith can help us to heal and “mind our heart business”.

Lola is a prolific writer, having written hundreds of poems, stories, articles, plays and prayers over a span of years. Her writing is earthy with emotions exposed and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family.

She is a skilled wordsmith, weaving her wit and wisdom through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader. I know you will be as blessed by reading her writings!

 

About the Author
Lola C. Booker is the mother of two grown children and a retiree from the Talladega County School System in Alabama. She has been a full-time writer for most of her life. Nothing has separated her from the pen and paper, and she hopes it never will. “A Calm Heart Effect” is her first published book of poems and prayers. Sweet (HEART) Pleasantries: A Calm Heart Effect, Book Two is now available for readers to add to their collection.

Lola is a prolific writer, having written hundreds of poems and prayers over a span of years. Her poems are earthy with emotions exposed and they hit at the heart of relationships with friends and family. She is a skilled wordsmith, weaving her wit and wisdom through the verses which evoke an emotional response that is delightful and satisfying to the reader.

Her belief is that “when life and love are turned upside down, minding your heart business ll help to turn your life and love right side up”. Her hope is that the reader will be able to relax with her book and relate at a heart level. Her premise is that “a heart needs to be whole to hold love”. Her book of poems and prayers is designed to help the reader with their own “heart business”.

 

 

 

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton (Love Like It’s Hot Boxset)

Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi is going to be king of Libertad Island whether he likes it or not. To add to it, he must marry on his county’s Independence Day. An infamous playboy, the soon to be king realizes that he has no real prospects and doesn’t want the ones his mother has selected for him. He changes his mind once he sees the stunningly beautiful Trinity Nehemiah, someone he knows is his match in every way. The thing is, how to get her to marry him within 30 days.

Dr. Trinity Nehemiah is searching for a bacterium that is impacting the beautiful aquatic life of Libertad Island. Finding its source and coming up with a cure is her only charge, not the island’s handsome playboy who is set on getting under her skin and in her bed. Little does Trinity know, the soon to be king is more than interested in her bedroom skills.

 

 


 

 

Excerpt: Heat at First Sight by Barbara Keaton

CHAPTER 1

Thirty days. Mensah ended his prayer with the last words he’d heard from his father. He had thirty days to marry. Never mind that he didn’t have one female in mind, while he knew his mother had at least two. Mensah blanched at the thought – he wasn’t into marriage, couldn’t see what his brothers did – one woman, love, and eventually children running afoot. He then thought of his oldest brother, Helem, the next in succession, or that was until he’d dropped the bombshell a week ago – he and his wife were planning on moving from Libertad Isle to London. Helem didn’t want to be king. Their father had announced a year ago that he would retire the next Independence Day and Helem would rightfully take his place. That was how it had always been, since Libertad and its surrounding islands had been founded nearly three centuries ago. Then a month ago, Helem broke the news to his parents and officially abdicated leaving him to be the next in line – next be sworn in as king of Libertad Isle, but in order for him to assume the crown, he had to have a wife.

Mensah wasn’t like his two brothers – Helem had settled down at the tender age of 21, marrying the only woman he’d ever dated – a woman from the island who had been born and raised to marry royalty. That was nearly fourteen years ago. Then there was his baby brother, Olabisi, who was about to marry his childhood sweetheart. While she hadn’t been raised for royalty, she was beloved by their parents, who were already talking about the children they would have.

“What do I do?” he looked up into the sky. He was a playboy, loved women, the very shape, color, smell and sway of their hips. He wasn’t ready to settle down and he knew that there was no one who would ever capture his heart – he’d seen too many women vie for his attention, not because they liked him, or were willing to get to know him, but because they knew that 29-year-old Prince Ahbeh Mensah Ahmed Kwasi was not only rich, but in line for a throne and a country he never thought he’d reign over.

As he turned from the balcony, he stopped. Movement captured his attention. He trained his obsidian-colored eyes across the varying hues and types of plush tropical foliage and flowers that rested several feet from the crystal blue terrain of the Caribbean Sea. Mensah spotted a lone figure as it swam toward the shore. He watched intently as the figure reached the shore line, then rose slowly from the pristine water. He blinked, turned his head slightly to the right then narrowed his dark eyes, his full lips pursed. The figure had on a black wet suit that allowed him to make out the outline of hips and ample bosom. Reaching for his cell phone, he paused. His thick eye brows rose as the female pulled the wet suit down to reveal a white one-piece that stood in amazingly stark contrast to her mahogany skin. Absently, Mensah licked his lips. He loved mahogany.

He depressed a single digit then finally placed the cell to his ear. “Imam? Who is swimming on the east side of the island?”

Mensah absently nodded, his dark eyes fixed on the well-built female, as he listened to the head of security describe the stranger who had just slid out of the azure blue ocean and began crossing the isolated beach of white sand. “I see. Thank you, Imam. No. No, there are no problems. I will see father later. Shalom.”

The loud clang of the phone hitting the top of the railing before coming to rest on the marble flooring of the terrace momentarily stole his attention from the vexing view. He returned to his fixation, watching intently as she pulled the band from her hair, loosening twisted tresses to rest on her shoulders as she walked further from the ocean. Mensah even smiled when he noticed a large dog rush to her side. He watched as she knelt down, taking something from the animal’s mouth, looked it over, shook her head and then pitched the item over her shoulder. She rose, signaled with her hands toward the dog and then headed into the lush green foliage.

He had things to do. Heads of state to meet with concerning some additional business expansion for the island, lunch with a potential client, a tour of a newly opened resort and a dinner date with a woman he had met in the states who was coming to visit.

“Mensah?” from behind he heard his name called and recognized the voice as that belonging to his older brother, Helem. No matter the recent news, he smiled at hearing his brother’s voice.

Older by five years, Helem was always considered the most level headed of the three of them as evidenced by the types of business ventures he secured that would bring greater wealth to the already rich island. Mensah’s youngest brother, Olabisi, had been a child prodigy, playing over ten various instruments by the time he was five. Olabisi was a genius and a scientist, and was truly their mother’s favorite – only because mother had never had to scold him like she had Helem and Mensah. Especially Mensah.

Mensah smiled at that thought – he and his brothers were adventurous in just about everything – from sports to business; but one thing they didn’t share with Mensah was his adventurous spirit when it came to chasing women. Hands down, Mensah was a master.

“I’m on the terrace, brother,” Mensah responded, reluctantly turning his head from the mahogany beauty as she disappeared into the brush.

“Shalom,” Helem greeted his brother, wrapping him in his arms, kissing him on both cheeks. Mensah returned the loving gesture. “Have you eaten breakfast?”

“No. Have you?”

Helem shook his head. “Let’s go across the island and grab something. There’s much we have to discuss to get you ready and then I want to show you something on one of the other islands.”

Mensah absently grabbed his sun glasses and picked his cell phone up from the terrace floor. His curiosity, momentarily interrupted, had returned with a vengeance. He immediately wanted to know who the mahogany beauty was and he wasn’t willing to wait to ask his father.

“Go ahead. I’ll catch up with you in an hour.”

Mensah watched his brother as he narrowed his eyes.

“Ummm, uh. Okay. But do not stand me up, Mensah.”

“I won’t. I just got something to look at … I’m mean, look into.”

The sound of Helem’s laughter trailed behind him as he headed out of his brother’s living suite.

“Come on, Cousteau,” Trinity called out to her dog, a Cane Corso Mastiff, which she had gotten from her father as a puppy. “You can’t eat everything on this island. What are you trying to do, get us deported?” She tugged at her dog’s large jowls and smiled when Cousteau responded with a loud whine. “Oh, no, there will be no begging today.” She motioned with her hands, using sign language, to indicate she meant “no.”

Trinity shook her head, picked up Cousteau’s leash and the remaining samples she had retrieved from the sea. For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what was killing off the jelly fish in large quantities and decided to ship several carcasses to a colleague in San Diego. As a result of the jelly fish dying, larger marine habitat was being affected as well. Just today, she had encountered what she thought was a rather lethargic bottlenose dolphin. To Trinity, the behavior of the mammal was more than odd – this species exhibited a natural curiosity of their surroundings. She had come across this female dolphin several times during her exploration, recognizing it from others she’d encountered by the deep marks on her dorsal fin. She had named the dolphin Dolly and found her to be quite curious, swimming and diving alongside and jumping up and out of the water over Trinity. On this day the playfulness and curiosity were missing – instead Dolly just swam alongside her.

She slipped her wet suit from her body down to the white one-piece bathing suit she wore underneath. Pulling her hair from its band, she paused. Cousteau stood by her side. She looked up just as the lone figure left the expansive terrace which overlooked the ocean. She had never seen anyone standing there, even though she had seen lights on when she would come out at night. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt: Love For Liberty by Ann Clay

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey (Love Like It’s Hot Box Set)

Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey (Love Like It’s Hot Box Set)

Abisola Tersoo, a gracious woman of beauty, kindness, and focus, knows there has always been a plan for her future. Someday she will take over her father’s business and Max Osborne, a man dear to her family’s heart, is to be her husband. Just when Abisola has accepted her life always goes according to plan, Thomas Hoffmann, a fantasy of a man, brings chaos into her life in the best and worst ways. Torn between following the plan with a real man and risking it all for a fantasy, Abisola learns she may not have a choice.

Thomas Hoffmann didn’t realize he was looking for someone special until Abisola walked into his life. A man of the world, he had become a little jaded, but Abisola’s quick wit and creative spirit sparked an interest in him unlike any he had ever experienced. One who lives in the moment, he can see spending the rest of his moments with Abisola, but others’ plans may get in the way.

 

 


 

Excerpt: Best Laid Plans by Deatri King-Bey

Chapter One

Mind racing, Abisola stood before her boss. In the three years she’d been employed at Osborne and Associates, she’d never been called in like this. An accountant, she found most clients were hush, hush when it came to their money and didn’t blame them. She was just as hush, hush about her own finances. Maybe this was about a new “delicate” project. It was only June, and she’d already been assigned four this year.

“Please…” Sandy motioned to the leather loveseat off to the side of the modest office.
Seated, Abisola faced Sandy.

“I apologize.” Sandy glanced at her watch. “I need to leave in a few minutes, so let me cut to the chase.”

Now that Abisola had more time to think, she’d bet this was about the embezzlement case she’d worked on for the District Attorney who’d needed a forensic accounted. Her cousin had convinced them to use Osborne and Associates, and Abisola in particular. Needless to say, she’d done an excellent job. Or so she thought.

Old episodes of Law and Order were the closest Abisola had come to being in a courtroom. Looking back, she probably should have turned down the offer, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After her expert testimony, the defendant decided to plead guilty for a lighter sentence, so she couldn’t have done too bad, she told herself.

“My grandson….” Choked up, Sandy looked away.

Worry shifted from herself to Sandy, she hugged her supervisor. “It’s okay.” Sandy’s first grandchild had been born a month ago at only twenty-two weeks gestation and admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She prayed silently for the baby to someday be a healthy, loving man. “Whatever you need. I’m here for you.”

“Thank you.” Sandy wiped away the tears building in her big blue eyes. “I needed that.” She took a moment to compose herself. “It was so hard leaving him, but I had to come back. It wasn’t fair dumping everything on you.”

“You didn’t dump anything. Your priorities are straight. Family first.” Abisola’s father owned a successful flooring company. Her mother told her that even when they were struggling to get the business up and running, her father always prioritized family time. He said too many used growing their business as an excuse to neglect their family.

“How did I know you’d say that?” Small wrinkles formed around Sandy’s mouth with her smile. “I appreciate the way you stepped up. You helped make a difficult decision much easier. You see… I’m retiring and moving to Boston to help my daughter.”

“What?” Abisola knew she’d heard wrong.

“Leadership’s taking this opportunity to reorganize the company. Nelson’s agreed to buy my and Andre’s shares.”

Outdone, Abisola took a second to process what she’d been told. “So the company will no longer be Osborne and Associates?” Thirty-two employees in total, the firm was small but mighty.

“He’s leaning towards Osborne Financial. We’ve hired a marketing firm to help decide. With the restructure, we believe you’d be the best person to head up the accounting department. If you keep your nose clean until I officially retire, the job is yours.” She laughed lightly. “Since your nose has never been dirty, I think we’re good.”

“I’m… I’m floored. What about Max?” she asked of Nelson’s son who worked in the personal finance arm of the company. With the company being so small, they didn’t have managers, so Abisola assumed Max would buy into a partnership role when one opened.

“Andre’s having a similar conversation to ours with Max. Let’s be honest. The past year, Andre’s been out more than he’s been in. Max pretty much runs things over there.”

“I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say. Thank you. Thank you.”

“You earned it. Even when I’m out, I keep tabs on things. I saw in the first day or so that your co-workers were coming to you for answers they usually come to me for. By the end of the first week, you were running the department and doing an outstanding job. And those daily updates you’d send!” Eyes wide with excitement, Sandy patted her chest. “Be still my heart. You saved me so much time and worry. Yes. You should be a director. You’re a natural.”

Faint knocking at the door drew their attention. Nelson Osborne, senior partner, poked his head in. Disappointment filled his eyes. “Oh no, you already told her, didn’t you?” He entered fully, closing the door behind himself.

Sandy smiled. “Your fault. Who takes meetings this early anyway?”

Ready to leap a tall building in a single bound, Abisola beamed with pride. “Thank you both for believing in me.”

“You earned it.” He looked at Sandy. “I hate to cut this short, but I need you to join this too early meeting for a few minutes before you cut out.” He chuckled. “That was a good one.”

Abisola loved how Nelson laughed at his own jokes.

* * *

Seated at her desk, Abisola exchanged her cell phone for her iPad. She longed to call her parents and tell them the good news, but her mother had the uncanny ability to turn a two-minute conversation into two hours. She scrolled through a few photos on her tablet of her parents laying tile in her condo. She’d gotten an amazing deal on two units in her building that were in major need of renovations. Nelson and his wife, Mesha, even came by a few times to help out. Work done, she missed the extra time they’d spent together updating the units.

She opened the custom-made planner program her parents had gotten her a few years ago. People often teased her about planning every minute of her life. Why anyone would try to make her way through something as complicated and important as life without planning was beyond her comprehension.

Lacey, her best friend, said the level Abisola planned was a manifestation of her controlling tendencies, but Abisola didn’t agree. As a child, Abisola didn’t choose what she ate, clothing, instruments she’d play, sports she’d participate in, languages she’d learn, if she’d be home schooled. Her high-level life plan had been written before she was born, and her parents made adjustments as necessary. They instilled the importance of preparation into Abisola.

She’d also heard the word controlling in relationship to her parents, but her college friends had been wrong. She went to work for her father when she was ten and loved every minute of it. According to the life plan her parents had created, she would have worked for him fulltime after she completed her Masters in Business Administration.

That was not the life Abisola wanted. Had her parents been controlling, they would have given her a hard time. Instead, they told her skipping college was not an option, but she could choose her major. They’d wanted her to stay in Arizona for college. They’d compromised and allowed her to complete undergraduate in Arizona and her graduate studies out of state. Someday her father’s business would be hers, so she continued working for him as part-time as an accountant. Since she loved laying tile, she did small jobs occasionally. Controlling people weren’t good with compromise, and her parents were experts at it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

 

Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

At the center of a fierce, fiery, and invisible battle is Dr. Garnet Gibbs, a history professor, who is considered to be both a guidepost for and a mystery to many on the job. After hours, she often finds herself caught in a vortex of drama surrounding her family, associates, and friends.

Although she tries to offer support as best she can, the shenanigans of all involved may prove to be too much for her, especially given the potpourri of players in her world, including: Jamay, her adopted daughter; R.J., her grandson, whose father is facing challenges as he serves overseas; Kemal and Manuela, a kinky church couple; Tario, a Que Dog, whose frivolity and wry wit lead to his nail-biting confrontation with death, igniting a spirited rally in the city.

Then there’s Nieko, a gay gentleman, who is rethinking his sexuality but whose ex-boyfriend is making it tough; Rusty, an avowed redneck, who makes a shocking decision since he believes President Trump is taking too long to do something about the current state of affairs; and Celeste, her what-comes-up-comes-out co-worker, who has a knack for catching people off guard with her uncanny sense of humor.

Critical interactions reveal key life lessons, but not all interchanges end on an upswing.

Set in modern times, Two ’Til Midnight is a soap-operatic dramedy that presents two distinct and separate worlds that thrive together, both influencing the other in their own unique way. Ultimately, their coexistence produces a jaw-dropping ending that no one sees coming.

Something’s brewing. Someone’s watching. And time is running out! Midnight is fast approaching. What will go down when the clock strikes twelve?!

(Recommended reading for ages 18+ and includes discussion questions at the end for reading groups and book clubs)

 

 

Book Reviews: Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

“It’s a cosmic battle royale…Resonates like a live wire…[D]elivers a stunning conclusion that will leave you pondering long after you’ve turned the last page. Five-plus stars to Two ’Til Midnight.” –Publishers Daily Reviews

“In Two ’Til Midnight, author Bernard L. Dillard does an amazing job of storytelling while integrating several of today’s hard-to-discuss topics. . . . This book is not for the faint of heart.” –San Francisco Book Review

“Dillard skillfully weaves each character’s part into the plot…[He] has done an exceptional job creating a novel that will be enjoyed…This is highly recommended reading.” –Reader Views

“Readers who stick with the myriad of characters and [the] blend of supernatural influences, daily life challenges, and confrontations between [two] worlds will find Two ’Til Midnight an engrossing, multifaceted story.” –Midwest Book Review

Read more and watch the book trailer: http://bernarddillard.com/new-author

 

 


 

Chapter Excerpt: Two ‘Til Midnight: A Novel by Bernard L. Dillard

 

“I don’t know. It just seemed wrong to me. I knew Schmidt wasn’t all there sometimes, but I never thought it would come to this.”

“Well, honey, I’m glad you spoke up. That wasn’t right.” She adjusted her nightgown and took one last look at the bathroom mirror before turning in. “You did the right thing.”

George was hesitant to accept her praise. “I hope so. It just didn’t feel like me. It was like I wasn’t myself. It’s hard to explain. At the moment, I just felt like I had to step in and say something. Honestly, Schmidt didn’t seem like himself. Something had to be controlling him. If I hadn’t said anything, I really think he woulda shot the kid.”

“Things were going that bad?”

“Only because Schmidt kept pushing the issue. And the way he looked at me when I told him that was enough. He just had a different face.” He spooned her and placed his arm around her stomach. His breath was a little tart, but she had gotten used to it.

“Imagine if you hadn’t spoken up and said anything. It might be a different story on the television. It may have been one of those stories again. Another one shot dead where the cop claims that he felt threatened.”

“It’s just not right, baby. I’ve seen all kinds of stuff on the beat. I feel sort of in a bubble because I know the violence will never probably happen to me and probably not you either since we’re both lily white.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won by Dr. Geneva Jones Williams

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won by Dr. Geneva Jones Williams
Listen to the BAN Radio Show interview with Ella D. Curry and Dr. Geneva:  http://tobtr.com/11304155

 

Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won demonstrates the power of inspired leadership-how an ordinary person can use his or her personal influence to transform reality. In this riveting, true story of how a spiritual, soft-spoken basketball star became a fearless advocate for the oppressed and powerless in his community, a decades-old battle for social change gains new relevance.

Ermon K. Jones’ two college degrees, sports fame, charisma and good looks meant nothing when he was denied the right to apply for a job and buy a new house in his own hometown. How he fought back against a segregated society, outdated thinking and even hate crimes made a lasting difference for his family and for the lives of countless others.

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams, an expert on influential leadership, uses interviews with her heroic father, her own recollections and the historic record to share lessons from the past that can help resolve the worst conflicts and divisions of our time.

Purchase Justice on the Jersey Shore: How Ermon K. Jones Ignited Change and Won on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Jersey-Shore-Ignited-Change/dp/1480871486

 

 


Connect with Dr. Geneva Jones Williams

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams Is A Powerful Change Agent.

She is a spark that ignites change and positively impacts communities, classrooms and corporations. She is cited among the Top 100 women influencers or “game changers” in Detroit that get things done in the community through collaboration – using her oft-called-upon confident communication skills, to the tune of over $100 million dollars raised.

A defining moment came when, as a teenager, her family received hate mail and had crosses on her family’s front lawn saying “get out” of their home in New Jersey. Inspired by her father’s tireless role as courageous civil rights leader, leadership became an emphasis of Dr. Geneva’s [Williams] career.

Dr. Geneva Jones Williams Speaks At Educational Institutions, Major Corporations, Non-Profit Organizations, And Small Businesses Nationwide.
Well known for her celebrated career as a non-profit leader and trail-blazer, she became the first female executive vice president of the United Way in southeastern Michigan. Always up ready to roll up her sleeve for a challenge, she became the founding president of City Connect, Detroit’s first public/private philanthropic organization to secure national funding for community problems. Dr. Geneva blazed trails also as the first female president and chief executive officer of United Community Services and has also launched many organizations that help people and make a difference for others.

Seeing her dad in action shaped her view about what you’re expected to do in life: overcome the tough times, raise up, train and ignite leaders to make impact in urban communities and leave a legacy of greatness for generations to come.

 

Her Mission Is To Encourage Civic Leaders And Every Citizen To Get Involved And Take Risks In Ways That Really Make A Difference In The Lives Of Others.
Dr. Geneva is gifted in inspiring others. As a practitioner and scholar in public-private collaboration, her main strength, however, is in using collaboration to lead change and solve community problems.

Through her director’s role with Figure Skating in Detroit, she has forged a partnership with the Michigan Women’s Foundation and links Detroit girls with valuable community leadership and resources.

 

Dr. Williams Walks Her Talk. She Is Deeply Involved In Many Organizations Making A Difference
Whether it’s revolutionizing the way an organization does business, or inspiring individuals to lead with greater purpose, Dr. Geneva is committed to stimulating big thinking, while facilitating and delivering the tools needed to ignite unimaginable success.

Her career has lauded many awards for her work for including Bank of America’s Local Hero award; Ford Motor Company’s Heritage Award; and the National Association for Community Leadership’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She is among Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women identified by Crain’s Detroit Business.

As a master leadership strategist, she works with GenX women entrepreneurs and nonprofit executives to provide proven strategies to be more influential at work, home, and in their community. She helps startups develop and mentors GenXers and Millennials to succeed in their careers and explore possibilities beyond the corporate world.

Dr. Williams walks her talk. She is deeply involved in many organizations making a difference including serving leadership and consultant roles for organizations including Western Michigan University, Detroit Public Schools, First Independence Bank, Kresge Foundation, The Links, Inc., and the NAACP.

It’s clear she was called to stand up, stand out—and lead!  She has engaged public and private partners in fundraising programs that brought more than $100 million in national and local money to Detroit’s youth, urban neighborhoods and working poor.

Her passion for facilitating exciting and life changing conversations that spark solutions to issues in the community, has led her to host the IGNITE 2 Impact podcast syndicated through iTunes. Her topics include her 4 Cs: communication, community, confidence and collaboration, and “getting and keeping it together” for today’s busy GenX and Millennial women.

With an innate gift of bringing together all kinds of working to establish an ‘all hands on deck’ strategy, she pushes the envelope to spark success of programs in the community. Currently Dr. Geneva is traveling the world facilitating workshops, speaking on panels and at conferences. Her focus is on community development and coalition building.

 

She Is The Leader’s Leader Encouraging Others To “Get Their Leadership On” To Learn Luminary Leadership Lessons And Make An Impact For Greater Purpose.
“My father’s example gave me a strong belief in reciprocity: that those who have received much in life should be willing to give back, and should do so with enthusiasm. Ultimately, the giver gets as many or more benefits than the receiver,” said Dr. Geneva Williams.

For Speaking Engagements, Workshops And Media Interview Requests contact Dr. Geneva J. Williams at her email: info@drgenevaspeaks.com

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Intimate Conversation with Michele Nicole Mitchell

Michele Nicole was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised in Queens Village, NY. She left New York in 2001 to attend North Carolina Central University where she graduated. She stayed in North Carolina for eleven years and eventually relocated to Atlanta, GA to be closer to family. She is a servant leader, entrepreneur, photographer and traveler. She is also the author of the book Are You Done With Him?


BPM: Please share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.

I will start with my name. I am Michele Nicole Mitchell. I was born in Trinidad, West Indies. I came to the United State when I was about 7or 8 years old. My favorite thing to do is travel and I love to cook. I value gathering folks at my home once a quarter and having transparent conversations with women of different ages and experiences so we can eat, fellowship, pray, cry, laugh and pour into each other. My objective is to live for when I leave, so I pour out and that is the best receiving I can ever get.

I am a Believer, who was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. Let me tell you something, when you ask God to teach you, you do NOT get to choose the HOW.

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
The first published book was a coming of age experience. It was about a one night stand that lasted for 3 years. I compromised my integrity and standards in the hopes of getting a man that was emotionally wounded, unavailable and chose not to commit to loving himself, to see my value, worth and love me. I discovered my sexual self at his expense and also discovered that you cannot heal someone who desires to stay broken. The journey was painfully therapeutic. It caused me to see and accept the part I played in my own demise.

BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work.  
My most recent work is entitled Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith. It is a very transparent and honest book. I am a Believer, that was struggling with un-belief. Out of desperation I became bold enough to ask God to teach me to trust Him. What I did not prepare for was the process He would use to bring it to pass. This book shares with its readers the process and series of life events that occurred that taught me how to Trust God, even when I felt like I could not Trace God. I am working with my distributors to make the book available for electronic devices.

Watch the Stripped For Greater Video Book Trailer (The How) – https://youtu.be/Z3tdtcNpH7U


BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

When you ask God to teach you to trust Him, you do NOT get to choose the HOW. As I began to learn to trust God during my season of un-belief, there were encounters with individuals that showed me how much He loved me and how far He would go to protect me. In my emotional state of “functioning broken”, He still used me to help others and meet their need at our point of meeting. My lack of trusting God and being a believer that was struggling with un-belief never stood in His way of taking care of me, it stood in my way of surrendering to Him.

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Writing is not easy for me to do, but it is not difficult. What I mean by that is that for me writing is therapeutic and confrontational. I write from my perspective but as I write I am reminded that I am not the only one that was part of the event. That those who played their part in the event not only did I have an encounter with them but they had an encounter with me. As I mature as a writer I am understanding that there is more than one perspective and more than one experience. Being a writer that is learning the value of understanding that transparency changes lives, writing, just like God, causes me to stop looking out of a window and start looking into a mirror.

I do not feel lonely during the creative process but I do feel the weight of understanding that it is important to convey the moment in a simple relatable way so someone who reads it can honestly say “its not just me”.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

New Release: The A List by J.A. Jance

The A List by J.A. Jance

In the next “devilish page-turner” (People) from New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds learns that no good deed goes unpunished.

More than ten years after the abrupt end of her high-profile broadcasting career, Ali Reynolds has made a good life for herself in her hometown of Sedona, Arizona. She has a new house, a new husband, and a flourishing cybersecurity company called High Noon Enterprises, where her team of veritable technological wizards hunts down criminals one case at a time.

But the death of an old friend brings Ali back to the last story she ever reported: a feel-good human interest piece about a young man in need of a kidney to save his life, which quickly spiraled into a medical mismanagement scandal that landed a prestigious local doctor in prison for murder.

Years may have passed, but Dr. Edward Gilchrist has not forgotten those responsible for his downfall—certainly not Ali Reynolds, who exposed his dirty deeds to the world. Life without parole won’t stop him from getting his revenge. Tattooed on his arm are the initials of those who put him behind bars, and he won’t stop until every person on that Annihilation List is dead.

In this gripping suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author praised for her “inimitable, take-no-prisoners style” (Kirkus Reviews), Ali Reynolds and her team race against the clock to stop this ruthless killer—before her own name is crossed out for good.

 

Purchase The A List (Book #14 of Ali Reynolds Series) by J.A. Jance
https://www.amazon.com/List-Ali-Reynolds-J-Jance/dp/1501151010/

 

About the Author
J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, and the Joanna Brady series, as well as five interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at JAJance.com.
Photograph by Mary Ann Halpin Studios

 

Raves and Reviews: Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson

An electrifying, dazzlingly written reckoning and an essential addition to the national conversation about race and class, Survival Math takes its name from the calculations award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson made to survive the Portland, Oregon of his youth.

This dynamic book explores gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of addiction—all framed within the story of Jackson, his family, and his community. Lauded for its breathtaking pace, its tender portrayals, its stark candor, and its luminous style, Survival Math reveals on every page the searching intellect and originality of its author.

The primary narrative, focused on understanding the antecedents of Jackson’s family’s experience, is complemented by poems composed from historical American documents as well as survivor files, which feature photographs and riveting short narratives of several of Jackson’s male relatives.

The sum of Survival Math’s parts is a highly original whole, one that reflects on the exigencies—over generations—that have shaped the lives of so many disenfranchised Americans. As essential as it is beautiful, as real as it is artful, Mitchell S. Jackson’s nonfiction debut is a singular achievement, not to be missed.

 

 

Raves and Reviews

 

“[A] vibrant memoir of race, violence, family, and manhood…Jackson recognizes there is too much for one conventional form, and his various storytelling methods imbue the book with an unpredictable dexterity. It is sharp and unshrinking in depictions of his life, his relatives (blood kin and otherwise), and his Pacific Northwest hometown, which serves as both inescapable character and villain…It’s Jackson’s history, but it’s also a microcosm of too many black men struggling both against their worst instincts, and a society that often leaves them with too few alternatives…His virtuosic wail of a book reminds us that for a black person in America, it can never be that easy.”
—Boston Globe

 

““While never shirking from the various harms his family members inflict on themselves and each other, Jackson consistently writes about them, and truly all the people we encounter, from a place of grace…One of the book’s many treasures is Jackson’s attentiveness to providing historical context for the forces shaping his family and the place they call home…Jackson’s searing intelligence is on full display throughout the work, but it is particularly notable when he takes on the problems of gentrification, white supremacy, and corporations that gain their wealth off the bodies of the poor. Equally striking is the author’s unflinching commitment to turn his critical eye inward…a spellbinding narrative.”
—NPR.org

 

“A vulnerable, sobering look at Jackson’s life and beyond, in all its tragedies, burdens and faults…Jackson dissects the darker realities of his hometown [and] his explorations feel strikingly unguarded.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

 

“Exuberant maximalism is [Jackson’s] mode … The detours recall the hectic narrative nonfiction of the ’90s and early aughts, by writers like Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace.”
—The New York Times

 

“[Survival Math is] dense and rich, alternately blunt and tender, with references that run the gamut from Snoop Dogg to Adam Smith … in recalling his own struggle, what Jackson has created is a monument to the marginalized—and it’s every bit as harrowing and beautiful as its architect’s life.”
—Willamette Week

 

“In prose that is both poetic and brutally honest, Jackson [explores] his family’s story as a lens into the history of his community. Themes like fatherhood, addiction, sex work, national pride, prison, race and violence against women can feel broad and universal, and Jackson expertly grounds these experiences within America’s legacy, via the inclusion of thoroughly-researched historical and religious references. And yet Survival Math is also deeply personal…Jackson powerfully disrupts various binaries, showing how academic scholarship and accessible writing can merge, how empathy and accountability can overlap, how self and social critique are interconnected.”
—Salon.com

 

“Beyond his own past, Jackson juxtaposes his history with those of his male relatives to illustrate the hardships of class and race on a generational level, creating a timely narrative centered around what it takes to survive in America.”
—Time, 11 New Books to Read this March

 

“Jackson, the author of the novel The Residue Years, writes about his own childhood in Portland, Ore., and the entrenched racism and economic inequality that shaped his community. Along the way, he interweaves poems and narratives from members of his family. As Jackson puts it in his author’s note, “Our stories of survival are inseparable from the ever-fraught history of America.””
—New York Times, 12 New Books to Watch for in March

 

“Jackson revisits his early years in a black Portland neighborhood, telling the stories of his struggling family members and analyzing the marginalizing cultural forces around them.”
—Entertaintment Weekly, 20 new books to read in March

 

“Vivid and unflinching … Mitchell’s memoir in essays chronicles the struggles of friends and family with drugs, racism, violence, and hopelessness and puts a face on the cyclical nature of poverty.”
—Boston Globe, Most Anticipated Books of 2019

 

“An extensive and illuminating look at the city of [Jackson’s] childhood, exploring issues like sex, violence, addiction, community, and the toll this takes on a person’s life.
—Buzzfeed, Most Anticipated Books of 2019

 

“This is more than Jackson’s story, and as he traces his great-grandparents’ exodus from Alabama to Portland and the subsequent lives of his relatives…he captures the cyclical nature of poverty and neglect…The prose is a stunning mix of internal monologue and historical and religious references that he incorporates to tell his story…Thanks to Jackson’s fresh voice, this powerful autobiography shines an important light on the generational problems of America’s oft-forgotten urban communities.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Gallery Books New Releases

How are you? I’m delighted to share a sampling of provocative, thought-provoking page-turners coming from Gallery Books this Spring/Summer, 2019.

 

New York Times bestselling author and Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award honoree J.A. JANCE returns with THE A LIST (on-sale April 2). When Dr. Edward Gilchrist’s fertility practice hits hard times, he starts cutting corners by secretly serving as the clinic’s sole “donor.” Years later, a former client’s son needs a kidney transplant and the desperate mother enlists Los Angeles TV anchor Ali Reynolds’ help to find any potential blood relatives. One life is saved, but countless others are put in jeopardy when multiple donor-siblings are discovered—many the spitting image of Gilchrist himself. Gilchrist’s resulting downfall lands him in prison and kindles a burning desire to destroy those who wronged him. Five freshly-tattooed initials run down his forearm – this “Annihilation List” an indelible declaration of war, with the letter “D” crossed out to mark his first chilling victory. Ali and her team at cyber-security firm High Noon Enterprises (including Artificial Intelligence fan favorite Frigg) must race to save the others inked onto Gilchrist’s deadly scorecard.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole

Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole

I had $0.06 in my bank account and $5 in coins in my purse. As I sat in the car, the reality of this season of my life just hit me……homeless.

I am homeless.

I looked at myself in the mirror and the conversation in my mind began. “It’s all your fault. You did this to me. You. YOU failed us. You are 46 years old and you have nothing. You are stuck. You are yet again in “starting over” mode. You are not all here, you are functioning broken.

How do you go from having a job with benefits, having your own business as a travel agent, having almost paid off all your debt and making plans for the next season of your life, to sitting in the front seat of a car with $0.06 in the bank and $5 in your purse, your items in a borrowed storage unit, your clothes in a travel garment bag, a job paying $8.50 per hour working 15-25 hours per week and you have two college degrees?

How the hell did this happen to us Michele….please tell me….I would like to know”.

 

 

AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
Stripped for Greater is a non-fiction thematic autobiography that chronicles the tough experiences of Michele Nicole in her homeless experience on the streets of Atlanta, GA. Michele depicts her experience as a religious rite of passage that was designed to elevate her on a higher spiritual level. Michele brings a personal, introspective lens on the challenging and sometimes mundane day to day activities of living out her car, bathing in public restrooms and having breakfast at various continental servings at local hotels. In her time surviving as a homeless woman, Michele journeys through various self-revelatory lessons that she would learn about herself and her relationship with God.

The theme that Michele announces through various points of her journey is that being homeless was God stripping her of her dependence on everything so that He could teach her how to depend on him. In additional, the greater represents the place that God would take her into after her time being homeless. Although the theme is present in the story, I’d like to see the story lead to “greater works” as depicted by scripture for the Christian walk. Though we share with Christ in his sufferings, we also shall reign with Him as well, according to Christian doctrine. I think Stripped for Greater would deliver a much stronger purpose if the “Greater” was tied to a much more powerful destination. Perhaps to achieve this, more recounts of Michele’s life after being homeless should be added to the story.

Michele delivers Stripped for Greater in a causal and sometimes comedic voice that allows the reader to understand her persona. You feel as if the story is being told to you over a casual lunch with a friend. The story does well with offering descriptive wording to assist with the experiences Michele faced from day to day while being homeless.

 

BOOK CLUB REVIEW
“Truly an easy, inspirational page turner. As I was reading, I laughed and reflected on God’s amazing grace. The author is truly gifted. I look forward to sharing and reviewing this book with my book club”. – Ms. Karese M

 

CHAPTER EXCERPT

It was time for some truth. It was the type of truth that needed to be said out loud. Would I offend God if I told Him what I was wrestling with? Would it insult Him after all He had done for me? Would it bring shame to me if I admitted out loud what I was struggling with internally? Would He separate Himself from me? After all He has done, I should have a different perspective, right? I believe the time has come to tell Him out loud what I already knew internally. Look, let’s cut the nonsense. He Is God, and since He is God, there is no such thing as “breaking news” to Him. The fact is, He already knows, and He is waiting on me to be honest with MYSELF. He is waiting for me to admit it out loud, so my ears can hear it. But when I do, what happens next? Well I guess that is what I would find out because I was not going to hold it in and pretend any longer.

Well, I opened my mouth and said, “God, I believe but help the part of me that has un-belief. I don’t trust you anymore and my faith is wavering. I am frustrated belonging to you. You are silent when I need you to speak. You are elusive when I need you to be near. Belonging to you always requires sacrifice but I am tired of sacrificing for your name’s sake. I am sick of being yours. I can’t stand it anymore! I want to walk away but then where am I going to go? Will I go to the enemy? Don’t I have a say in what I choose for me? I have been raised in the church but church ain’t working for me anymore. Something is shifting in me that require more. I am sick of this. I just don’t… I can’t…it’s just…you know what… I’ve had enough. Yeah, I know what you have done for me since I have been homeless, and I know how you have covered me and taken care of me all my life, but I want more.

This agitation in me is causing me to be angry and pissed off and…I can’t continue like this…I just can’t with you…I just can’t.”

I stopped walking. “Did I just say out loud what was really in my heart towards God? What the hell was I thinking?” I said.

( Continued… )

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

 

Purchase Stripped For Greater: Walk By Faith by Michele Nicole
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130360365?ean=9780578413082
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stripped-Greater-Faith-Michele-Nicole/dp/0578413086
Non-fiction > Transformation Self-Help > Christian Growth > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoir

 

 

 

 

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

“A book for people who appreciated Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family through years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. “You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down…It is packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred, yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities” (The Atlantic).

Purchase Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

Editorial Reviews for Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

“Heavy is a gorgeous, gutting book that’s fueled by candor yet freighted with ambivalence. It’s full of devotion and betrayal, euphoria and anguish, tender embraces and rough abuse…the liberation on offer doesn’t feel light and unburdened; it feels heavy like the title, and heavy like the truth…Salvation would feel too weightless—as if [Laymon] could forget who he is and where he has been. This generous, searching book explores all the forces that can stop even the most buoyant hopes from ever leaving the ground.”
—New York Times

“With echoes of Roxane Gay and John Edgar Wideman, Laymon defiantly exposes the ‘aches and changes’ of growing up black in this raw, cathartic memoir reckoning with his turbulent Mississippi childhood, adolescent obesity, and the white gaze.”
—O Magazine

“[Heavy] take[s] on the important work of exposing the damage done to America, especially its black population, by the failure to confront the myths, half-truths, and lies at the foundation of the success stories that the nation worships. In the process, Laymon … dramatize[s] a very different route to victory: the quest to forge a self by speaking hard truths, resisting exploitation, and absorbing with grace the cost of being black in America while struggling to live a life of virtue…You won’t be able to put [this memoir] down, but not because [it is] breezy reading. [It is], in Laymon’s multilayered word, heavy—packed with reminders of how black dreams get skewed and deferred yet are also pregnant with the possibility that a kind of redemption may lie in intimate grappling with black realities.”
—The Atlantic

“Heavy is one of the most important and intense books of the year because of the unyielding, profoundly original and utterly heartbreaking way it addresses and undermines expectations for what exactly it’s like to possess and make use of a male black body in America … the book thunders as an indictment of hope, a condemnation of anyone ever looking forward.”
—LA Times

“Staggering … Laymon lays out his life with startling introspection. Heavy is comforting in its familiarity, yet exacting in its originality … Laymon subtitled his book, ‘An American Memoir,’ and that’s more than a grandiose proclamation. He is a son of this nation whose soil is stained with the blood and sweat of his ancestors. In a country both deserving of his love and hate, Laymon is distinctly American. Like the woman who raised him and the woman who raised her, he carries that weight, finding uplift from sorrow and shelter from the storms that batter black bodies.”
—Boston Globe

“Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love … Kiese Laymon is a star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful. Heavy is at once a paean to the Deep South, a condemnation of our fat-averse culture, and a brilliantly rendered memoir of growing up black, and bookish, and entangled in a family that is as challenging as it is grounding.”
—NPR.org

“Weight is both unavoidably corporeal and a load-bearing metaphor in novelist-essayist Kiese Laymon’s sharp, (self-)lacerating memoir, addressed to the single teen mom turned professor who raised him to become exceptional…a deeply personal book, where race, class, and the scars of sexual violence are front and center.”
—New York Magazine

“Laymon’s memoir is a reckoning, pulling from his own experience growing up poor and black in Jackson, Mississippi, and tracking the most influential relationships, for better or worse, of his life: with his brilliant but struggling single mother, his loving grandma, his body and the ways he nurtures and punishes it, his education and creativity, and the white privilege that drives the world around him…with shrewd analysis, sharp wit, and great vulnerability — Laymon forces the reader to fully consider the effects of the nation’s inability to reconcile its pride and ambition with its shameful history.”
—Buzzfeed

“Laymon examines his relationship with his mother growing up as a black man in the South, exploring how racial violence suffered by both impacts his physical and emotional selves.”
—Time

“Spectacular … So artfully crafted, miraculously personal, and continuously disarming, this is, at its essence, powerful writing about the power of writing.”
—Booklist, starred

Read the rest of this entry »

 

A Life-Changing Experience Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

A Life-Changing Experience: The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds

My family’s life changed when doctors diagnosed my sister, Theresa, with advanced stage pancreatic cancer in 2015. In January 2016, she left us and 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 my sister, I feel her presence so deep within my heart. Whether it is a chill running through me, or a warm, loving feeling, I can only hope it is Theresa, 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 room, there is no longer any sign of her; just 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 will send 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. Each day, it is difficult to wake up without some thought of her, and with the burning question: Why was she taken 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.

We went through life protecting each other from harm, and, when she needed it the most, 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.

Using my journal as a shield from the pain, I documented 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 not empty. She embraced life and lived it while dying. There were so many times I was truly amazed at how gracefully she accepted what lie ahead for her, as if someone 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.

 

The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister by Annette Leeds
Listen to a reading from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8kxyzX 

 

Author Annette Leeds
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.  Website: http:/www.annetteleeds.com | Book Website: https://find1cure.com

 

 

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
On Sale May 07, 2019

 

Common—the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe–winning musician, actor, and activist—follows up his New York Times bestselling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.

Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life.

Touching on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, Common explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love. He moves from the personal—writing about his daughter, to whom he wants to be a better father—to the universal, where he observes that our society has become fractured under issues of race and politics. He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love—for yourself and for others—is where the healing begins.

Courageous, insightful, brave, and characteristically authentic, Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. It is a powerful call to action for a new generation of open hearts and minds, one that is sure to resonate for years to come.

 

Praise for One Day It’ll All Make Sense

“A powerful memoir that speaks to all audiences.”
— Queen Latifah

“Common distinguishes himself here as a true artist and a writer of deep talent. This book is the story of an artist in constant evolution, one who embodies the strength of the brilliant woman that raised him, the love of the Southside Chicago land that spawned him, and the raw spirit of the pro basketball player who fathered him. I’ve always heard that the people of Southside Chicago were special. I’m glad their native son Common shows us why.”
— James McBride, The Color of Water

“Common has written a magnificent memoir. It states that it is a book about his fascinating life. That is true. More importantly, his story is the story of all young people trying to grow up. His saga reminds the reader that love liberates and poverty cripples. Common writes beautifully, like the poet he is.”
— Maya Angelou

“Common is a 360-degree human being, and I don’t say that about many people. He never needed to “pimp the hood” to achieve his deserved success. He is an eloquent and honorable role model and his memoir is a perfect example of his depth as a human being. In addition, reading about his childhood and upbringing in Chicago is really a trip – because we went through so many of the same experiences albeit decades apart. Chicago is still the roughest and primary “Institution of Hard Knocks,” and if you can make it there, you can truly make it anywhere!”
— Quincy Jones

“Raw in its honesty, profound in its insights, One Day It’ll All Make Sense establishes Common as a voice that is as compelling on the page as it is on a record. This is not simply the story of an individual artist but a crucial page the history of hip hop itself.”
— Jelani Cobb, The Substance of Hope

 

Purchase Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common
https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Let-Love-Have-the-Last-Word/Common/9781501133152

 

About the Author
Common is an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Award–winning music artist. He is an actor and producer and has appeared in numerous critically acclaimed films as well as hit TV series. Common is the author of One Day It’ll All Make Sense, which was a New York Times bestseller. He was raised in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

 

They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen


They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
On Sale April 23, 2019

2019 First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association

An “urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink” (Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood), They Come in All Colors follows a biracial teenage boy who finds his new life in the big city disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

It’s 1968 when fourteen-year-old Huey Fairchild begins high school at Claremont Prep, one of New York City’s most prestigious boys’ schools. His mother had uprooted her family from their small hometown of Akersburg, Georgia, leaving behind Huey’s white father and the racial unrest that ran deeper than the Chattahoochee River.

But for our sharp-tongued protagonist, forgetting the past is easier said than done. At Claremont, where the only other nonwhite person is the janitor, Huey quickly realizes that racism can lurk beneath even the nicest school uniform. After a momentary slip of his temper, Huey finds himself on academic probation and facing legal charges. With his promising school career in limbo, he begins to reflect on his memories of growing up in Akersburg during the Civil Rights Movement—and the chilling moments leading up to his and his mother’s flight north.

With Huey’s head-shaking antics fueling this coming-of-age narrative, the novel triumphs as a tender and honest exploration of race, identity, family, and homeland, and a work that is “emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers” (Library Journal, starred review).

Raves & Reviews

“An urgent and heartrending novel about an America on the brink. With force, Malcolm Hansen writes about race, identity and the fleeting deceptions of youth.”—Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

“This is a voice so honest and alive it feels like a stranger whispering a confession in a dark room. Malcolm Hansen’s novel is a prodigious debut of a rare literary talent.”—Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym

“In They Come in All Colors, Malcolm Hanson is not writing about saints or monsters, just vivid human beings. And does so with humor and insight.” —Victor LaValle, award-winning author of The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom

“Emotionally acute…eye-opening and rewarding for a wide range of readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“It’s possible to imagine literary recluses J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee coming out of hiding to forge this shaggy, rakish, yet haunting account of a smart aleck’s coming-of-age in harsh times.”—Kirkus

Purchase They Come in All Colors: A Novel by Malcolm Hansen
https://www.amazon.com/They-Come-All-Colors-Novel/dp/1501172328

About the Author
Malcolm Hansen was born at the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Adopted by two Civil Rights activists, he grew up in Morocco, Spain, Germany, and various parts of the United States. Malcolm left home as a teenager and, after two years of high school education, went to Stanford, earning a BA in philosophy. He worked for a few years in the software industry in California before setting off for what turned out to be a decade of living, working, and traveling throughout Central America, South America, and Europe. Malcolm returned to the US to complete an MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

 

Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love


ENDGAME:  AMAZON
GAME TIME:  AMAZON
GAME CHANGER:  AMAZON

 

TIYE LOVE recalled reading romance ever since she was a young child and would sneak and read the Western love stories her grandmother kept on her bedside table. Although she didn’t understand half of the words she read at the time, something about those books captured her attention. As she grew older, her love of romance expanded to other genres, and she became a fan of anything remotely related to reading and books, such as libraries, bookstores, and the coffeeshop around the corner.

She loves to travel and has lived in several cities, including New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Houston, and finds inspiration for her stories from every place she has had the fortune to visit or inhabit.

When Tiye is not obsessed with her latest characters, she spends time with herself, family, and friends doing whatever she can to create her best life possible.

CONNECT WITH TIYE LOVE:  AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 

 


 


 

Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love

Psychologist Dr. Zoe Broussard has always been a no-nonsense, play by the rules woman until she meets her new client. From the moment the impossibly gorgeous Michael Carson walks into her office, she finds herself dangerously drawn to him and irrevocably hooked.

Michael is an NFL quarterback with a multi-million-dollar contract and a penchant for breaking hearts. He’s used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to tempt his hot new therapist into exploring the obvious passion between them. Even though there’s another man in her life.

Can Zoe resist Michael’s charms and her growing feelings for him? More importantly, is she willing to risk everything for a man who may not be there tomorrow?

 

 

Excerpt: Endgame (Endgame Trilogy Book 1) by Tiye Love

It had been four days since the party, and I had refused all calls and texts from him. He had sent a diamond and emerald bracelet, which was my birthstone, delivered to the office in a beautifully wrapped box yesterday. I didn’t know he even knew when my birthday was. Surprisingly, Michael did not show up at the office during his appointment time. I admit a part of me was disappointed, but a part of me felt relief that maybe now I could let go of him. I thought he had given up until I saw him sitting outside of my house.

He had the first official game of the season tomorrow, so I thought he wouldn’t contact me again until afterward. I missed him terribly, and the fact that tomorrow was important for his career, but he still wanted to see me, was breaking my resolve. I began pacing because I didn’t know what else to do.

“Babe, please stop. You’ve got to believe me, I did not plan or want her to be there. She surprised me.”

I unlocked and opened my door, but before I could close it in his face, he pushed himself inside. He walked to my open living area and watched me with a frown.

I remained at the door. “Please leave. I don’t want you here.”

“Come on. You don’t mean it,” he reasoned. “Why are you so upset? You have a man.”

“Are you serious? You know what, you’re playing games. I have been honest about my relationship with Xavier. If you’d told me about her, at least I wouldn’t have been blindsided by the two of you. She walked around as if you bought your house together and you didn’t seem to mind. If I knew you were back together, at least I would have been prepared and wouldn’t have made a fool out of myself in the pantry with you!”

“What was I supposed to do? I never told her that we were back together. I wanted to be with you, but you’re too worried about being seen with me.” He came closer, and I stiffened.

“Did you get the bracelet I sent you? Did you like it?”

“I received it and I would have returned it if I knew where to send it.”

He looked hurt, which almost made me relent, and then I thought about him kissing Taylor after being in the pantry with me, which angered me all over again. “I don’t want you here. I would ask how you found me, but you know what, I don’t care!” I screamed the last words. “Leave. Leave!” I stomped around like a two-year-old having a tantrum.

He stood in place, looking slightly amused instead of worried now. “I’m not leaving until we talk.”

“I don’t want to hear the shit you have to say. You’re wasting your time.”

“Am I? I didn’t know you cursed so much,” he said with humor before saying calmly, “Come here.”

“Are you kidding me? I want you out!” I headed back toward my front door.

He called to me again. “If I’m wasting my time, come here and prove it.”

I didn’t turn around and stopped at my door. “Prove what?”

“If you don’t want me anymore, look me in my face and tell me.”

“I don’t want you,” I said, barely looking him in the eye.

“I’m going to walk out that door and never bother you again if you come here and look me in the eye and tell me you don’t want me anymore.”

I looked at him then. “Okay.” I didn’t move.

“Come here,” he said with a smile, his dimples showing. Read the rest of this entry »

 

JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE by Sherry Jones Book Club Favorite

From the international bestselling author Sherry Jones comes an illuminating novel based on the life of one of the most legendary performers, Josephine Baker 

 

Sherry Jones on why she wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE: Josephine Baker was a woman who lived life on her own terms, fearlessly and with heart. 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.

I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with the hope that it will inspire others to keep fighting the good fight, 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.’

Josephine Baker was a legendary performer, a trailblazing activist, and one of the most remarkable and powerful cultural icons in history. International bestselling author Sherry Jones lifts the curtain and pays homage to her fascinating life in the moving and insightful biographical novel, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE.

Josephine Baker was born an illegitimate child of poverty in St. Louis, Missouri but emerged as a black ingénue in Paris at the height of the flapper movement. Sherry Jones creates a fictionalized reimagining of Josephine Baker’s rise to international fame and success as a headlining performer on Paris’s grandest stage.

A celebrity in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond, Josephine Baker also had a secret career as a pilot in the French Air Force and intelligence spy for the French Resistance. She took center stage as a dedicated Civil Rights activist, becoming the only woman invited to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, and her views on social justice and advocacy continue to influence American life today.

Symbolic of her life, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE is structured around the program of Josephine Baker’s final triumphant performance. As the final curtain falls, 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.

SHERRY JONES’ SEDUCING THE PEN VIRTUAL AUTHOR’S TOUR
https://www.smore.com/t5v9q

 

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

 

“[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

 

“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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 Medina, Four Sisters, All Queens, The Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart. She 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 and at Facebook.com/SherryJonesFanpage.

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

 


 

GALLERY BOOKS is an imprint dedicated to publishing a variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics.  Launched in February 2010, Gallery is designed to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—in both fiction and nonfiction genres.

SIMON & SCHUSTER, a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. For more information, visit http://www.simonandschuster.com.

 

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

 

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

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

 

Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens

 

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

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

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

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

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

Maxine smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

( Continued… )

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

 

 

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Something New: An Interracial Romance by Janie De Coster

Follow the journey of an interracial couple who are not only from different worlds but worlds that goes beyond the color of their skin.

 

Tobias Benton – a handsome, white rich and successful businessman who is soon to inherit his father’s billion dollar company. Tobias has been dating Sharon English, a beautiful and wealthy lady who owns several Art Galleries. From the world point of view, they are the Barbie and Ken couple who are destined to marry and have a wonderful life together that is until…..

Brylane Robinson – a beautiful, bright and intelligent black sister who lives in the housing projects on the South side of Chicago, steps into the picture. Brylane fights for survival and a better life for herself in the hood.

One morning on her way to work, a handsome man literally runs into her. When their eyes met so did their hearts. Will Brylane and Tobias venture into Something New?

 

Book Reviews – Something New: An Interracial Romance

 

Bayoubabe 5.0 out of 5 stars Oooh weeee!!!
What a hot story. The drama has me reeling. When a man has a crazy obsessive witch on his trail, his life is pure hell. Tobias Benton is finding out just how evil Sharon can be when she does not get her way. His poor mother Carolyn is just as sad by staying with his philandering father James for years.

CJM 5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed Something New
Looking forward to part 2. Definitely looking forward to you putting an end to Sharon’s shenanigans and for Tobias and Brylane to get together. I must say my two problems was Tobias and Toby… the same name to me…also I would love to see at least one other black male character doing well besides Demetrius…Brylane’s brother…like Desmond…maybe he can become more than what he is and not be murdered or go to prison…turning a negative lifestyle into a positive one. Don’t make me wait too long for part 2…thanks

LadyBurger 5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising read
I thought I wouldn’t like it but loved it!! Very well written and the plot draws you in. The family in drama on both sides keeps you on the edge. Can wait for the follow-up.

 

 

EXCERPT: Something New: An Interracial Romance by Janie De Coster

Brylane treated herself to a nice hot bath. Then, she put on her favorite pink cotton pajamas and got into bed. Her mind began a replay of the day’s events. Mr. Tobias Benton was certainly at the top of the list. Closing her eyes, she envisioned his handsome face, those deep blue eyes of his staring down into hers as the wind blew through his short wavy hair. Her breath quickened as she thought about his lips and what it would have felt like to kiss them. Turning over on her stomach, she propped her chin up on her soft pillow. Sighing, she wondered, was Vonita right? Could such a man be really into her?

Somehow, she just couldn’t accept the fact as easily. After all, they were from two entirely different worlds. Vonita saw things through a different set of lenses because of how she was raised. Here in the hood, if a white man looked your way, it was either because you owed him some money, or it was the Po Po locking your ass up. Brylane tossed and turned. Her mind continued to race, scrutinizing her attraction to this man and wondering if anything would come of it.

After several attempts at reaching the Sandman, she gave up. Sitting up in bed, she reached over to her nightstand and retrieved the remote, turning on her nineteen-inch TV. She surfed the channels, hoping to find a good movie to take her mind off of the handsome man. Finally, she found an old love story, and she began to immerse herself into the storyline. The lovesick woman ran into the arms of the knight in shining armor, and the next thing Brylane remembered was her mom waking her up to a phone call.

Pulling the covers over her head, she murmured to her mom to tell Vonita she was tired and would call her tomorrow.

“Honey, it’s not Vonita.” Frances sighed nudging her again. Brylane let out a soft groan but made no attempt of getting up.

“It’s some man. He says his name is Tobias,” Frances said, looking down into her daughter’s sleepy face. Brylane’s eyes popped open like a dollar store doll. She pulled the covers away from her body and jumped out of bed. Is this really happening, she thought as she ran to the phone. She paused for a brief moment, cleared her throat, and took in a whiff of air. Exhaling slowly, she picked up the kitchen phone.

“Hello.” She greeted in a low tone.

“Good evening, Brylane. I’m sorry to call so late. I had a business meeting that lasted longer than I expected. I didn’t wake you, did I?” Tobias asked pleasantly.

“Oh no. I was… just watching an old movie on TV,” she uttered softly. For a brief moment, there was total silence on both ends of the line.

Tobias spoke up as he asked, “Are you free tomorrow? I… uh… would love to take you out to dinner… if that’s possible.”

Brylane felt light as a feather. She couldn’t believe he was actually asking her out.

“Um… sure. That would be nice,” Brylane found herself saying. Tobias let out a sigh of relief. He’d never been so nervous about asking a girl out since high school. He was hoping she would accept his invitation, and she had.

“Is seven okay?” he asked.

“Um… yes,” she answered slowly.

“Great, I’ll see you at seven then,” Tobias said. Brylane was about to hang up when she heard his voice again.

“Wait, Brylane. I think it would help me out a lot if I knew where you lived.” He chuckled lightly.

. Brylane’s blood began to run cold. Here it is, truth or dare, she thought. I might as well come clean here and now. That way he can let me down easily, and I could go on with my life.

“I… um… live on the east side of town…Village Town Apartments on Riverdale, apartment 5 B,” she stammered. There was another awkward silence as she waited for the letdown she knew was coming.

“Alright. I’ll be there at seven. You have a good evening, and enjoy your movie.”

And with that, he hung up. Brylane slowly placed the phone back on its cradle. She looked over at her mom who was standing in front of her with a blank look on her face.

“I have a date tomorrow!” Brylane squealed as she hugged her quickly and then ran back into her bedroom. Brylane had a smile on her face that could outshine the glorious sun. That is… until a little voice whispered into her ear, a nice dinner and your car repaired. After that, you will never hear from him again. Her smile slowly faded as she fell into a deeply troubled sleep.

( Continued… )

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

 

Purchase Something New: An Interracial Romance by Janie De Coster
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DBCJVYQ

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson is the author of Survival Math. His debut novel The Residue Years was praised by publications, including The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Times (London). The novel won the Ernest Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, and it was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, TED, the Lannan Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Salon, and Tin House, among other publications. He serves on the faculty at New York University and Columbia University.

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson. Survival Math is about the calculations Mitchell made to survive his youth in 1990s Northeast Portland, and we wanted to reach out to you because it is absolutely perfect for book club discussion. The book explores difficult topics—addiction and gun play, masculinity and near-death experiences—all framed within the stories of the author and his family’s experiences in Portland. But of course, the book is about something much bigger than one family. Mitchell illuminates the forces that led his family and his community to this point, from the Great Migration to gentrification, and he does so with humor and style.

So far, the book has been praised by some of the most talented writers on the planet. Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward called the book “virtuosic.” Author of Orange Is the New Black Piper Kerman says Survival Math is “an unforgettable mix of sharp humor, wide interrogation, and indelible tragedy.” Pulitzer Prize winning poet Terrance Hayes says Mitchell’s “insights into how black men survive become insights of everyone’s survival.”

 

 

Excerpt: Survival Math

Survival Math EXODUS

My exodus occurs after years wandering the wilderness of my hometown, the crucible that included working a part-time, and only-time, gig at the Oregonian’s downtown insert facility stacking pallet after pallet of inky-ass newspapers. For bread to live. For bread to leave. The day in question, I got a phone call from someone who, for the love (and just maybe his liberty), I’ll call Brother A. Brother A called me to plead a ride to his apartment in the burbs to sweep for dope after his dope-dealing roommate, a dude who’d already done a nickel in the pen on a drug charge (which, by the way, is not judgment, but context), had just got knocked by the Feds. Brother A explained he needed the ride because his main squeeze had wrecked his Jeep, and he couldn’t think of anyone more fitting than me, of all people on God’s verdant earth, me, to be the one to shuttle him.

Heeeeeelllll no! That should have been my answer. But that was not my answer. My answer tugged me out of my job at the end of my shift and into the forest-evergreen Lexus I’d bought in the bygone unblessed days when I sold more than weed. It sent me bolting out of my job and into my ride to swoop Brother A from someplace close and hit Highway 26 with most dubious sense.

Guessing now is as good a time as ever to mention that this was the age during which I might’ve been selling weed—twenty sacks, eighths, half and whole zips, and in the most blessed of times, half and whole pounds. Selling chronic, stacking newspapers, and throwing parties because evermore this brother, a brother, every brother should diversify his hustle. No mights or maybes to that.

Memories from that age, hypothetical and otherwise, seldom feature date stamps, but I can assure you this incident occurred May 2002 AD, which I know for truth because one of my homeboys and me had just thrown a well-attended Memorial Day shindig, and between my cut of the door and profits from the weed I may have been selling, I had a knot of bills in my inky work jeans—which accounts for why at the time I was feeling at least extra medium about myself. Brother A and I traded lightweight banter en route, and before I knew it, we’d reached his apartment complex, grounds of such expanse, there was plenty of time for my pulse to cease between the moment I pulled into the lot and when I found a place to park my tree-colored ride. Can’t speak for Brother A, but in that interstice of arriving and stepping a wary foot out of my ride, I had visions of police swarming us from bushes and vans, seizing discomfited me, slamming my cheek against unforgiving asphalt, and KABLOWING! on cuffs.

We did not—word to Yahweh—get ambushed that moment. We hustled past a passel of blithe youngsters and mounted a flight and a flight and a flight of stairs and stood at the threshold of his apartment door (my heart athunder) and asked each other again and for the last time if we should enter, which, inhale, of course we did.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

No one was inside. Good sense says I should’ve left Brother A to brave his fate alone but instead I sat on the living room couch while he proceeded to sweep his roommate’s room and the hall closets and every place else he could think to look. He didn’t find any meth, but he did find cooking supplies and utensils, which he took straight to the kitchen to scrub and scour. Meanwhile, I sat on the living room couch doing my best impression of ecclesiastical calm.

“Man, I can’t believe we was so spooked,” I said.

“Yeah, we silly,” he said. “Like the police worried about us.”

He paused and motioned at me. “Shit, I almost forgot. Come check this out.” This is when Brother A led me to his bedroom, pulled a pound of weed from a stash spot, and flaunted a sample. “This some killer,” he said. “Smell it.” What may or may not have happened next now seems like an act of intercession bestowed by my great-grandmama or some other churchgoing kin. That act, amen, was using my shirt to grab the plastic bag and inspect a few fluffy, sticky, fragrant stems. I put the weed back and mentioned how fast it would sell and may or may not have asked him if he could cop for me.

He and I strolled back into the living room—me to the couch and Brother A back to washing possible evidence down the drain. Seconds later I heard footsteps on the stairs. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Heard them and said to myself, Here come those kids. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Thought to myself, Wow, them some heavy-footed-ass kids. PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER, PATTER! Mused, Boy, there must be more kids than I thought. That’s when Brother A hustled over to the peephole, said, “Oh, shit! POLICE!” and broke for his bedroom.

Before I could move, a mob of police, sheriff, and DEA bum-rushed into Brother A’s crib. “Get on the ground! Get on the ground now! Keep your hands where we can see them! Get down! Get down!”

Oh. My. God! I thought, and dropped to my knees then prostrate.

Brother A darted into the living room and ranted, “Let me see your warrant. Let me see your warrant,” and in an instant, they spun him face to wall and cuffed him. One officer jerked me off the carpet and asked if I was carrying drugs, if I had anything in my pockets that might cut or poke him. No, I said. And he emptied my pockets, beheld my cell phone and pager and the knot of cash—most of which, let me remind you, I’d made from my Memorial Day shindig and some of which I may or may not have made from serving fat sacks of chronic. More officers appeared, one of them tugging a stout German shepherd. That same officer informed me that if the dog hit on anything from my pockets, he’d confiscate it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Book Review: 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 by Annette Leeds
Listen to a reading from the book: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CP8kxyzX

 

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.

 

Book Review from Laura S. Reading
4.0 out of 5 stars

Pulling no punches, this author offers a touching tribute to a sister & a family impacted!

A touching tribute to a sister and a view into the impact cancer has on a family as a whole. This book hit very close to home at a vulnerable time. It also made me re-examine the relationship I had with my own mother before she passed.

Pulling no punches, this author tells you that it is up to each of us to make our individual decisions on how we are going to live and die. We must search for our own meanings and understandings. Every journey is singular, even when there are some similarities in the course of a disease.  Surround yourself with people who care and make the time we are given count.

 

 

Excerpt: The Other Side of Cancer: Living Life with My Dying Sister

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 »

 

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: What you don’t know about the amazing Josephine Baker

What you don’t know about the amazing Josephine Baker by Sherry Jones

 

When I give talks on the great African-American performer Josephine Baker, I always ask what my audience knows of her.
“Singer,” someone will call out. “Dancer.” “Paris.” And, always, “Banana skirt.”  But few seem to know of the most fascinating aspects of this woman’s life.

Yes, she danced topless on the Paris stage (at age 19!) wearing a skirt ringed with rubber bananas, a witty send-up of her own status as a sex symbol and black exotique–emblematic of French colonialism and the national craze for all things African. And her scandalous bootyshaking crosseyed antics made her a superstar.

But Josephine Baker was so much more than a comedic dancer in a silly skirt. She is one of the most remarkable women ever to have lived: a survivor who grew up in poverty, abuse, and neglect; an entertainer who perfected the art of intimacy with her audiences, entrancing them; a beloved singer, opera diva, movie actor, recording artist, and fashionista; a woman of color who became the most highly paid performer in Europe, and more. Much more.

 

Fighting for a cause

As is true for so many women, by the time she turned 30, she was just getting started. In 1936, she turned 30—and, as is true for so many women, began to empower herself. Soon afterward she joined the cause against Nazism, using her skills as a pilot to fly medical supplies weekly for the Red Cross.

While on tour in Berlin, Josephine had experienced racial hatred first-hand from Hitler’s Brownshirts, and she hated the Nazis in turn. By the time they invaded Paris in 1940 she was already working as a spy, seducing generals and diplomats to get information that she sneaked across borders under the guise of touring.

She risked her life every time she passed a customs checkpoint; as a woman of color, if caught, she would be sent to a concentration camp—or worse.

In her castle on France’s Dordogne River, Josephine Baker harbored other members of the French Resistance, who gathered there to plan their next missions, using her remote Medieval fortress as a base. When the Nazis got suspicious and searched the castle and grounds, Josephine took off for Lisbon, the spy capital of Europe, to await orders from Gen. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the French Resistance.

Josephine Baker’s eldest adopted son, Jean-Claude Baker, wrote snidely of Josephine’s later accomplishments, saying she was a thrill-seeker who, unable to safely perform in Paris, chose the excitement and glamour of spying.

Really? She never accepted a dime for her Resistance efforts, and, penniless, often had to sleep in unheated hotels, where she caught pneumonia and nearly died from the complications. With no money for food, she became emaciated. She spent more than a year in a hospital in Morocco, but when U.S. troops flooded the streets, she dragged herself out of bed, got dressed, and went out to greet them. She spent the next several years entertaining the troops, touring throughout Europe, all without pay.

 

A fully empowered woman

When the war had ended, she emerged a woman aware of her powers. Fighting racism, always a desire, now became her driving force. Unable to bear children, she began adopting babies from cultures around the world. Her vision: a “Rainbow Tribe” of multicolored, multicultural children who loved one another, showing the world that hatred is not innate, but learned. She would eventually adopt 12 children.

The United States would be her next frontier in the fight for equality. Invited to perform in a Miami nightclub, she insisted that its owner include black people in the audience. Because of a city curfew, the nightclub owner had to bus and even fly people in to achieve integration, but the experiment worked: soon other clubs in the city were integrating, too.

Ms. Baker continued her one-woman show for racial justice during her U.S. tour, calling out racism and publicly announcing that she would not appear in any venue that segregated its audiences.

Ultimately, Ms. Baker lost bookings, a film deal, and popularity with U.S. audiences as her fight for equality led the FBI to brand her as a subversive and possible Communist sympathizer. When she left the country, she was told not to come back. She never did until 1963—invited to participate in the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Josephine Baker was the only woman to speak.

 

About the Author, 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 Medina, Four Sisters, All Queens, The Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart. She 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 and at Facebook.com/SherryJonesFanpage.

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

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

 

 
 
%d bloggers like this: