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Category Archives: #StorytellersBookTour

Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier

A year after Rico’s death, Chloe is still working to piece her life back together after learning of his betrayal and sickness. Though she wants to be with Shane, she senses that it may be too soon to move on, given that she is broken inside. After recommitting her life to God, she learns to love again, but just when she thinks she’s over the past, Raegan resurfaces.

Rico’s lies initially introduced them to one another, but Chloe’s mother has an even bigger lie that has remained hidden for over thirty years. Can Chloe handle it? Will she allow yet another secret to keep her from experiencing the love that Shane is so willing to give?

If she allows God to mold her heart, out of the shadows of her pain will come love, forgiveness and a sense of peace unlike she’s ever known.

Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier


Excerpt from Out of the Shadows

“Look at that smile. What did Shane say to you?” Kelly teased.

“Whatever. He just does what he always does.”

“And what’s that?”

Make everything better, Chloe thought to herself as her smile widened, but she said to Kelly, “I think we have more pressing things to deal with.” She recalled the day that she and Shane were outside playing tag the day before they started fourth grade. She must have thought she was part of someone’s stunt team because she jumped over a hedge of bushes trying to catch him and skinned her knee in the process. Shane immediately ran into the house for bandages and alcohol to patch her up. He even prayed and asked God to make it better so that her first day of fourth grade would still be good. She wasn’t sure why that particular thought popped into her head just now, but it was a reminder that he’d always wanted to do whatever he could to make things better for her.

“Maybe. But if Shane can put a smile on your face after that scene you put on in there, I need to talk to him too.”

Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier. Read an excerpt of Chapters 1-3: https://amzn.to/2lRvXPP


Excerpt from Out of the Shadows

“So here’s this woman who slept with my husband, got pregnant, lost the baby, and I forgave her. I wasn’t supposed to see her again. That was supposed to be the end of it. Now here she is with her perfect little life dancing right back into mine. I never even conceived a child with Rico and here she is with three children! It’s not fair and I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I’m angry, Shane. Angry at her and at my parents. And I feel really helpless but I’m trying to get over it. I had a good talk with God last night, so I’m trusting that He will help me through it.”

Chloe didn’t realize that tears had escaped her eyes in her frustration. Shane slid his chair around next to her and took a napkin to dab at her cheeks. “I’m sorry sweetheart. I’m here for whatever you need. It seems like a lot to take in, but we can get through this together. Can I pray with you?”

Read an excerpt of Chapters 1-3: https://amzn.to/2lRvXPP



Purchase Out of the Shadows: Love, Lies & Consequences (Book 4) by Natasha D. Frazier
https://www.amazon.com/Out-Shadows-Love-Lies-Consequences-ebook/dp/B07VLNMYXP

 
 

The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi (Book II) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

To claim their future, she must avenge her past.

War has come to the Land of Yet and though the wolf has awakened within her, Ameenah Yemini has just begun to understand the legacy behind its magic.

Without the wisdom to wield it, she knows she is no match for the treachery of the Hir, whose lust for absolute power threatens everything she holds dear.

Her only chance – Yet’s only hope – is for its people to band together and fight.

But the Hir’s iron grip reaches deeper than they ever realized and the land that once stood together is more divided than ever. While Ameenah travels to the isolated Province of Harat in search of allies and the remnants of the mythical Amasiti, the man she loves must take a different road, each uncovering terrible secrets, centuries in the making that could unravel their rebellion before it has time to take root.

In a desperate race to rally a force strong enough to defeat the Hir, Ameenah’s quest plunges her into the depths of a cursed land to recover what remains of an age-old promise—but the cost of saving her people just might be her life.

The final chapter of The Wolf Queen adventure is here.

Purchase The Wolf Queen (2 book series) By Cerece Rennie Murphy: https://amzn.to/2kIc4ub

Follow the Seducing the Pen Tour for The Wolf Queen books: https://www.smore.com/zympn

Book Review:
“An imaginative, immersive fantasy [with] beautiful details, exciting action, and a chillingly evil villain.” – Laurie Forest, Author of The Black Witch Chronicles

Prologue Excerpt: The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi (Book II)

Standing beside his guardsman, Nebiri was no longer so sure they could let Fewa go.

Tales of the Amasiti were few and often half-told. Most read like fairytales. Still, Neberi knew every one by heart. As a boy he studied the texts his ancestors had gathered with a passion that very little else in his life inspired. With gold bangles at her feet and wrists and cowry shells and bells twisted into her hair, he had no doubt the woman before him was one of them.

“No!” Nebiri said. His voice was cool and steady. “She will come with us or we will grant her no mercy.”

Fewa smiled despite the sweat on her brow. “Nor will I ask for any.”

Lem shrugged his broad shoulders and charged.

Ready, she swung her arm around and let her dagger loose. It soared through the air like a flash of lightning before burying itself deep into Lem’s left eye. He dropped to the ground in mid-stride. Nebiri looked down at his guard in shock for only a moment, but it was still a moment too long. By the time his eyes returned to her, Fewa had an arrow aimed at his heart.

“Drop your weapon,” she commanded. Nebiri seethed, gripping the skinning knife in his hand. Behind Fewa, the wolf mother’s eyes bore into him, baring her teeth through shallow, labored breaths. This was not a fight he could win. Not today. But I will not forget this, he thought. If Father will not act, I will.

“Forgive me, Mother,” he offered smoothly. The skinning knife dropped from his outstretched hand. “We meant no offense.”

Sheer determination kept Fewa’s arms from trembling as pain and the chill of a new threat coursed through her.

He knows. He wants me to know he knows.

If she hadn’t been in the throes of labor, she might’ve killed him just to keep her secret. The secret of her daughter. But she could not justify killing him without cause.

If he takes one step towards me, I will be within my rights, Fewa thought. She held her bow taut and waited.

A knowing smile slithered across Nebiri’s face. I will not make it that easy for you. He took two steps back before turning and running away. I will be back for you.

Despite the lingering threat in his words, relief flooded her shaking limbs. Fewa knew she could not afford a fight in her condition. As soon as she lost sight of him through the trees, Fewa fell. The pain seized her back so fiercely she had to grit her teeth and dig into the ground to keep from screaming. When it subsided, she closed her eyes and rolled to her side, collapsing into a small puddle of wet sickly liquid. Fewa’s eyes flew open and found a trail of blood before her.

The wolves.

All four pups now lay still just outside their mother’s reach. The mother wolf held Fewa’s gaze as she lifted to reveal a fifth pup hidden beneath her. The pup was weak and wounded, but very much alive. Agony seized Fewa again before she could decipher the reason the wolf had revealed her last remaining child.

But this time the pain was different. In addition to the deep pulling of her womb, there was a burning between her legs. My child is coming! Fear gripped her as Fewa realized that she was too far away for anyone she knew to help her. In the back of her mind, she knew this was all happening too quickly, faster than it should have, but there was nothing she could do to stop it now.

Another contraction took hold before she could catch her breath, bringing more pain. She screamed through the burning in her loins as blood and fluid rushed from her body. She needed to push.

“Help me, Mother!” Fewa gasped. “Please! Spare my daughter!” Shaking uncontrollably, she managed to rock herself onto her back again. Propping herself up on her elbows, she spread her legs wide.

“Amalaki, give me stren –” Fewa’s voice caught in her throat as she watched the mother wolf rise. Just below the wolf’s rib cage a deep wound dripped blood as she hobbled towards the space between Fewa’s legs with the wolf pup, her last living child, dangling from her maw.

Horror struck Fewa. Will she feed her young by devouring mine?

Before Fewa could close her legs, pain gripped her, pulling her open from the inside.

“Please,” she sobbed as the wolf settled down between her legs. Delirious, she bore down. Protect your child, Amalaki. She is your daughter. The last of our line!

The mother wolf ducked her head beneath Fewa’s dress, coarse fur brushing against her calves and thighs.

“No!” she screamed. “No!” Fewa dug her heels into the ground, trying to push her own body away, but it was no use. Halfway through her efforts a new wave of contractions came, and her body responded without her permission, pushing and tearing to bring new life forth.

“Don’t!” Fewa pleaded. “Don’t hurt my child!”

In the haze of silence that followed, the wolf raised its head with Fewa’s daughter wriggling in her jaws.

( Continued… )

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

Purchase The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi (Book II) by Cerece Rennie Murphy:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998274933/?tag=newsstory-20

 
 

The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Sometimes the Secrets in Your Past Can Unleash the Power of Your Future

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed…

In the Land of Yet
At the edge of the Forbidden Forest
A young woman lives alone.

Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer, only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.

Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful Hir. And her careful life begins to unravel.

Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in everything she touches, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, using the people around her to force Ameenah into his grasp.

When she realizes that her greatest enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past. But, at what cost? As an ancient power waits to be unleashed, Ameenah’s choices will make the difference between awakening a new magic or delivering it into the hands of evil.

Read The Prologue from The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) – https://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com/adult-books


Purchase The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I)
by Cerece Rennie Murphy – https://amzn.to/2LMMpwb

The Wolf Queen (2 book series) By Cerece Rennie Murphy https://amzn.to/2kIc4ub

Follow the Seducing the Pen Tour for The Wolf Queen books: https://www.smore.com/zympn

About the Author
National bestselling and award-winning author Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy. Mrs. Murphy has since published seven books.

In addition to recently publishing her first time-bending romance titled, To Find You, Mrs. Murphy released the 2nd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror children’s book series with her son. Mrs. Murphy is currently developing a fantasy adventure, titled The Wolf Queen and a 2-part space opera.

Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at www.cerecerenniemurphy.com.


The Wolf Queen: The Hope of Aferi (Book I) by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Read an excerpt: https://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com/adult-books

 
 

Unfortunately Francine by Joan Vassar

Unfortunately Francine

(Unfortunate Series Book 1) by Joan Vassar  Georgia, 1995–A gentle push from her sister causes Francine Adams to agree to one date with the handsome, Jalal Dorsey. When his ex-girlfriend makes an appearance, a perfect evening takes a turn for the worse. Blinded by humiliation and desperate to put distance between herself and the drama, Francine flees the upscale eatery. Unfamiliar with Atlanta, she wanders down a dark side street and encounters a series of unfortunate events.


Troy Bryant has spent seven years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon his release, he realizes the man he was before prison is gone. Now, he’s everything he was wrongfully accused of. After witnessing a young woman running from a restaurant in the heart of Atlanta, Troy follows her hasty retreat down an unlit side street, forever changing the course of both their lives.


Troy decides to keep her–no matter the cost, and Francine is forced to need the man who stole her from her life. Two souls collide, and a dark romance begins to bloom. Unfortunately Francine spins an erotic tale of anger, love and acceptance.

Celebrate with a passionate indie author: https://conta.cc/2zkkn3a

Share the Unfortunately Francine Kindle ebook preview:  https://amzn.to/33TJKXC

Listen to a reading from Unfortunately Francine:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CH1BJWvX


Excerpts from Unfortunately Francine

“Truce is for the man who approaches me from the front not from the back.” ~Troy


“All races commit crimes against their own. People perpetrate corruption where they are most comfortable. Statistically, black on black crime is no higher than any other race. It’s prejudice that keeps a slanted black experience in the forefront of the nightly news.”

“Troy almost laughed out loud as he came to understand that he would have to submit to her–to get her to submit to him.”

“Unfortunately, we live in a society that is unforgiving of the poor and people of color. And often times as black folks, we fall under both categories.”


Reviewed by Ebony Eyecu Evans

Was he a good man who did bad things or was he a bad man who did good things?


Well, let me start by saying….Whatever Troy Bryant is or isn’t, he’s FOR SURE THE MOST INTENSELY ANGRY, CONTROLLING, EROTIC AND SEXIEST VILLAIN I’ve ever encountered. I mean…NEVER HAVE I EVER read such a dark and deliciously disturbing romance that’s kept me riding a wave of conflicting emotions. With captivating character development and meticulous detail, this multilayered twisted plot is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
Bravo!!! Joan Vassar OUT DID HERSELF with “Unfortunately Francine!” Can’t wait to see what comes next! –Ebony, EyeCU Reading Approved & Highly Recommended


 Intimate Conversation with Joan Vassar

New York native, Joan Vassar is an avid reader and storyteller. Joan graduated from the High School of Graphic Communication Arts in NYC which heightened interest in journalism. She has always had the in-depth ability to astutely relate, interpret and bring words to life.

Joan works as a software analyst by day, but her true passion is storytelling. She enjoys writing narratives that bring to life the African American experience both past and present.


Joan is the author of Introduction to Love and SelfThe Black Series and her latest novel Unfortunately Francine.


“I love to hear from my readers. When a man tells me that my character made him feel a heightened sense of pride, or a woman shares with me that she enjoyed the romance rarely seen between African Americans in literature, I know I’ve done my characters justice.”
Joan currently resides in Georgia and is happily weaving great tales.

BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? I choose my genre based my love for romance, black love and black family.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?Unfortunately Francine is a dark romance based on the black experience. Available on Kindle.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? Troy is the anti-hero; in this novel I explore the villain. What makes Troy special is his need to right the wrongs of the world, while being an unapologetic villain. 

BPM: What was your hardest scene to write, the opening or the close?The ending scenes were difficult, because I want to keep readers hooked.

BPM: Do you write multiple books for a series?I do write multiple books in a series. I am currently working on book 4 in the Black Series. I have also started a new series called the Unfortunate Series.

BPM: Do you try to deliver to readers what they want or let the characters guide your writing?I try to do both, but mainly I try not to be predictable.

BPM: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?Erotic scenes can be very difficult.

BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?I have two novels written that are not published.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?I’m working on book 4 in the Black Series.

BPM: Share all of your social media links.Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joan.vassar.16Twitter: @jvassar0709 or https://twitter.com/jvassar0709Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joan.vassarBooks by JV: https://www.amazon.com/Joan-Vassar/e/B0193XERMGSTP Tour Page:  https://www.smore.com/9y2c0-unfortunately-francine

Joan Vassar is now an Author on BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/joan-vassar

Purchase Unfortunately Francine on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QBM26ZV 


The Black Series (3 Book Series)https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5H67VA

The main character, BLACK, is the fictional son of Nat Turner. Nat Turner (October, 1800 – November, 1831) was an enslaved African American who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia. Nat Turner is widely regarded as one of the most complex figures in American history and American literature.
Black shares the appealing tale of a passionate love between a man and a woman bound together to change their destiny.
Elbert: The Uncaged Mind is a passionate story of love and healing despite the ugly backdrop of slavery.
Emancipating James reveals the complicated facets of the human soul exposed against the backdrops of Civil War, slavery, and romance.

Join the blog tour and help spread the word about The Black Series by Joan Vassarhttps://www.smore.com/fe7qv-the-black-series-3-book-series

Joan Vassar is now an Author on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/joan-vassar 


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The Key to My Pain by Antoinette R. Davis

Have you ever shared your deepest darkest pain with someone you love and someone you thought loved you? 

The Key To My Pain takes place in Baltimore City in the early to mid-seventies, when racial tension is still high from the late nineteen sixty’s riots.The family of five are living just enough with Mr. Batchler being a police officer after leaving Vietnam and Mrs. Carolyn Batchler is a loving mother and wife to three aspiring sons.


Mrs. Carolyn Batchler is in love with her husband Rodney Batchler Sr.  He promised to give her the family she never had but always wanted but she didn’t know her dreams of a happy ever after would unlock doors she never dreamed of.

Rodney Batchler Jr. the eldest of the three sons, he wants to be a basketball superstar, Edwin Batchler wants to be an artist and the youngest of the three Corey is just trying to find himself.

Rodney Sr. runs his house like a jail and his family like a warden. Carolyn is forbidden to work because Rodney Sr. wants to keep her subservient and he controls his sons with pure fear.

Verbal, mental and physical abuse happens every single day in the Batchler home. There is not day Carolyn can open her eyes and enjoy the beauty of the sun nor the sound of the rain.  Rodney Sr. has single handedly  put her internal light out with abuse and now her sons are starting to look at their mother as weak, helpless and a fool.  The abuse is not limited to Carolyn, oh no. Rodney Sr. keeps his sons in line with the same mental, physical and emotional abuse he uses for his wife.


Experiencing abuse will and can lead you to the arms of people you think you can trust until the day that person unlocks the pain you gave them the key to. Love, Pain, Forgiveness and Hurt is all wrapped up in this 230 page novel.  Follow the journey of the Batchler family as they discover life through tainted vision.


Message from the Author

I dedicate this novel, The Key To My Painto every person who has ever witnessed domestic violence and to everyone who has shared their pain with a person they trusted and loved only to have them use your deepest darkest pain to hurt you. You can’t trust everyone with the key because they will unlock doors you have closed.


Chapter Excerpt:  The Key to My Pain

The long awaited visit.

Will somebody get the front door,” yells Chetta. The housekeeper is making up the beds and doesn’t hear the door so Chetta walks out of the kitchen to get the front door.

Chetta opens the door, “Hello.”

“Hello my name is Carolyn Batchler and I am…” Before Carolyn can finish introducing herself Chetta cuts her off.

“I know exactly who you are; please come in.” Carolyn walks in and looks around.

“Let me take your coat and have a seat.” Before Carolyn can take her coat off and have a seat Rodney Jr. walks down the staircase and looks right in his mother’s face.

Carolyn remains standing, “Hello son.” Rodney stands at the bottom of the staircase in a stare.

Chetta looks at her husband, “Rodney say something you’re being rude.” Chetta whispers. It’s been twenty three years since they both laid eyes on each other and Carolyn has dreamed of this day.

Carolyn walks over to Rodney, “Hello son.” A cold chill goes up Rodney’s spine and it causes him to shake. Chetta stands next to her husband looking on at the two of them and waiting for Rodney’s response.

“It’s been twenty three years since you walked away from me and I‘ve never stop thinking about you,” tears roll down Carolyn’s cheeks as she breathes easy. “I’ve watched you play basketball all through college and the NBA; I even watched when you went to the Olympics and won a gold medal. I have a photo album full of pictures when you were featured in the newspaper.”

Carolyn looks at Chetta, “You two had a beautiful wedding.”

“Thank you Mrs. Batchler,” says Chetta. Rodney turns to walk away from his mother.

“Do not walk away from me Rodney Jr.”

“Why should I stand here and talk to you?”

“Because like it or not I am your mother.  I am the women who gave life to you,”

“That didn’t seem to matter when you were letting your husband take life from me.”

Chetta steps in, “Excuse me Mrs. Batchler.” Chetta pulls Rodney to the side.  “This is your mother and she has come to talk to you at least hear her out.  Honey this is what you need to get your head in a better space.  You have spent years not living up to your full potential as a father and a husband; now is the time to get your questions answered,” Chetta whispers to him

“Rodney please talk to me,” asks Carolyn.

Rodney raises his voice,“Talk about what, why you let that man beat me, why you stayed married to a psychopath who abused you and mistreated your children while you watched and telling us it will get better and it never did!  You didn’t even come to my high school graduation,” Rodney breaks down in tears. Carolyn walks closer to him and puts her arms around him.

“Get off of me,” Rodney backs away from Carolyn and leans up against the hallway wall.

Rodney’s oldest daughter walks in the house, “Mama whose car is that out front,” asked Carolyn (Rodney’s daughter)

“Carolyn come over here and meet your grandmother; your father’s mother and your name sake,” says Chetta trying to take away the awkwardness in the room.

Rodney’s daughter walks over to her grandmother wearing a big smile, “Hello grandma; I’ve always wanted to meet you.”  The two of them hug.

Carolyn hugs her granddaughter tight and closes her eyes, “I can’t believe this.”

“My name is Carolyn just like yours. My father named me after you.”

Carolyn looks over at her son. Chetta rushes over to her daughter, “Come on with me let’s go upstairs and let your grandmother and your father talk.”

Carolyn (Rodney’s daughter) looks over at her father, “Dad what’s wrong?”

“Come on I’ll explain to you later,” says Chetta as she ushers her daughter upstairs.

Carolyn walks over to her son, “You named your oldest daughter after me; that must mean you don’t hate me.”

“I don’t hate you, I just don’t understand you and all that you put up with from that man.  How could love him more than you love your own flesh and blood?”

“Rodney look at me, it’s time I explained my actions to you. I was in foster care from the time I was three years old. I didn’t have a family my parents died in a car crash and no one wanted me.  I grew up lonely and when I met your father he gave me love and he promised me a good life and a big family.  I didn’t know he had issues at the time and  I didn’t have a place to run to son and I was afraid to live outside of the life he provided.  I’m sorry for not standing up for myself and for my children. I realize that staying with him and tolerating his abuse damaged my children and me.  I know the things that run through your mind because they run through mine too.  Some days it’s all I can think about but I can’t get the years I suffered back. I press my way through and it’s been rough without you and your brothers.” Carolyn starts to cry again.

Rodney finally feels for his mother, he walks over to her and places his arms around her shoulders and they share a moment they both have been dreaming about.

( Continued… )

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

Purchase The Key to My Pain by Antoinette R. Davis
https://www.amazon.com/Key-My-Pain-Antoinette-Davis-ebook/dp/B07JMVWM1Y


The Key to My Pain is available as a paperback novel, on audiobook and Kindle Unlimited ebook



Intimate Conversation with Antoinette Davis


Creative, a dreamer, loving and helpful, those are just some of the words used to describe Ms. Antoinette Davis. “Nette” as she is called by her closest friends and family members, has always had a way with drama. She is a dreamer and she encourages others to do the same.

Antoinette attended Baltimore City public schools and went on to Strayer Business College where she majored in Business Management.. Antoinette stepped out on faith in 2009 and started her own business first selling artwork that’s when a friend at the time asked her to write poetry for some of the artwork she was selling and from there the writer in her was re- birthed.

In 2010, Antoinette started writing poetry on book markers, journals, planners and put together her first poetry book that included a CD of poetry to music. Antoinette shocked her family and herself when she completed a CD of spoken word entitled “A Scent Just for Her.” 

All of her writings seemed to gravitate to the spiritual side in her and when asked why she simply replied, “That’s where my heart is now. It’s a pleasure writing with you in mind,” Antoinette loves to be creative and let her mind takes her and the readers places they can only imagine. 

Antoinette’s novels are thought provoking; she discusses issues people want to read such as domestic violence, race and love and she takes pleasure doing so. Her mother speaks to the support of her writings, “I knew my daughter was creative at an early age and I am very proud of her and the love she has for people. You can find her hidden in every novel she creates.”

BPM:  It is such a pleasure to have you join us to discuss, The Key to My Pain. Describe yourself in three words.

Dreamer/funny/loving.

BPM:  What drove you to publish your first book or create your first series? How long have you been writing?

I have been writing 10 years now. I was going through a bad time and I needed to channel my pain into a different direction and writing helped me to do that and once I did that I wanted to help others with my writing. 

BPM:  Describe what you do outside of writing to expand your business or brand.

I promote through social media.I’ve done speaking engagements at centers for women and book signings and I throw parties and invite book clubs and other authors.

BPM:  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your body of work/books?

You need an editor. You cannot edit your own book no matter how careful you are.

BPM:  How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?

I chose fiction because I wanted to take people minds places, exotic places, dark places and I find that you can do that with fiction with a twist of realness.

BPM:  Tell us about your most recent work.  Available on Nook and Kindle?

The Key to My Pain is the title and it deals with depression and abuse in a household.  It gives a story of men dealing with mental abuse from childhood to adulthood.

BPM:  Introduce us to the people in the book! Give us some insight into your main characters.

Okay, Carolyn is a loving submissive wife who is being abused by her husband but she refuses to leave him.  Rodney Jr. is the eldest son who is determined to be a professional basketball player despite his father’s firm stances on him not playing ball but becoming a respected professional.  Rodney hates his mother because she won’t leave the man that is tormenting the family and then there’s Rodney Sr. A big black mean son of a gun.  He’s a womanizing whore, LOL.  He has women all over Baltimore and the babies too.  He even slept with the neighbor and her sister.  When he walks into the house so does the devil and if you don’t talk right or look at him right you’ll catch a right and left hook.

BPM:  What’s so unique about their story-line or voice in the story? What makes each one so special?

The uniqueness is the hurt and pain and then the overwhelming forgiveness.  I would have to say Carolyn holds the voice in the story because she has to get up and find herself and then when she does she has to go back to the thing that hurt her and forgive.

BPM:  Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.

I witnessed my mother be abused and I felt helpless and angry with her for not leaving.  I would lie in bed and wonder why we are here.  I was mad at her.  I vowed never to be that foolish, oh but I was.  Let’s just say I’ve learned to respect the power of love.

BPM:  Are there certain characters you would like to go back to or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Yes, I would love to go back to the next door neighbor, “Ethel” she comes across as the helpful neighbor and friend however, her sister has a baby by Rodney Sr. 

BPM:  Have you ever received a rejection from an agent or a publisher?

No, only because I’ve never sought after one.  I started self-publishing right out of the gate.

BPM:  Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle? Have you ever had to deal with rejection?

Oh goodness yes, but I’ve learned to walk away and wait until it’s time.   Yes, I do struggle with the writing process  in many ways as a new author. In the business yes, I’ve had book stores tell me I was a nobody or I wasn’t good enough as the people who have been around for years.  I’ve had book clubs reject me because I wasn’t perceived as popular as the big name authors.

BPM:  Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, about three. I write all the time.

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

Currently, I am working on two, The WAY EYE SEE IT and I CAN’T BLAME YOU.

BPM:  How do you stay connected with others in publishing and your readers?

Through social media, I have a Facebook page just for my readers It’s A Pleasure writing with you in MIND.

BPM:  What legacy do you hope to leave future generations of readers and new writers with your writing?

WOW! I never thought about that because I am to busy thinking of my grandchildren and the legacy I want to leave them. I would say to future readers, just because the genre is fiction it doesn’t mean it’s not real. There’s a twist of realness in every fiction novel, I think.

BPM:  How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Youtube and Facebook – It’s A Pleasure writing with you in Mind,

Instagram –  #Authorsworkhardtoo.
Pearl Page Reading:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C4rGnBPXAntoinette R. Davis Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authorsworkhardtoo Antoinette R. Davis Facebook Fanpage:  https://www.facebook.com/IAPis4me


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Warmest regards,
Ella D. Curry, President of EDC Creations President 

Crown Holders Transmedia Group 

Black Pearls Magazine Online-Founder

Black Authors Network Radio-Founder

Small Business Coach | Digital Marketing Strategist | Brand Developer


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Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson


“Unveiled” promises to become a Book Club Favorite!

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

Purchase copies from Amazon Today!
https://www.amazon.com/Unveiled-Rhonda-Crosby-Johnson-ebook/dp/B07QTP82XB


Crown Holders Interview:  Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson
Listen to the chat with Ella D. Curry and La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson:  http://tobtr.com/s/11164635

Excerpt: Unveiled by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

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

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

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

Morgan fanned herself slowly with the funeral program, which created a pleasant albeit warm breeze. Winston’s high school graduation picture grabbed her attention as she placed the program on the seat of the car. At eighteen and dressed in his tuxedo, he still had the face of a little boy. Her stomach tightened as she remembered missing his graduation because of a last-minute work assignment.

Things had changed so suddenly, Morgan thought as she eased her car into the funeral procession. Weeks before Winston was to report to Grambling University on a football scholarship, his girlfriend, Tanya, told him she was four months pregnant. Winston stayed in St. Vincent, married Tanya, and took a job driving a delivery truck for a local market. They named their son, William. Winston continued his training after he promised Morgan he would make good on his scholarship “one day.” Now six years later, he laid dead of a heart attack at the age of twenty-four.

The gravesite ceremony was sad; final. Morgan felt goose flesh rise on her arms, despite the wet heat of the afternoon. Her stomach churned as she cast her eyes downward away from the flailing arms of the mourners surrounding the freshly dug grave. Morgan clinched her teeth and willed herself not to cry. She feared if she started she might never stop. Irene, Winston’s mother, had to be carried away by relatives and friends as she kicked, screamed, and threw herself at the coffin to stop it from being lowered into the ground. Family and friends encircled her and tried unsuccessfully to quiet her before getting her seated in the back of the Garrett Bros. limousine. Morgan was drained and suddenly felt the reality of Winston’s death like a weight tied around her heart. She decided to forego the traditional after funeral gathering at Irene’s and instead went straight home after leaving the cemetery.

“Mama! Mama!” Morgan called as she entered the living room of her mother’s home. The hardwood floors and rich mahogany wainscoting gleamed in the shadows of the early evening. The silver tea service shone brilliantly atop the highly polished buffet and was only rivaled by the matching silver candelabras that stood guard on each side. Morgan smiled as she wondered whose house had all the extra dust that was forbidden in Marie’s home. She spied a note leaned against a crystal vase filled with white tulips on the dining room table.

Lisa, I hope you have not exhausted yourself completely with the day’s events. I am giving a

lecture at the university, followed by a reception sponsored by the Deltas. I’ll be late.

Your uncle Raymond wants you to call him.

Mama

Lisa. Here was another reminder that she was no longer in New Orleans. No one there knew the “L” in L. Morgan Franklin stood for Lisa. For that matter, no one there knew much about the Rockhurst District of L’Ouverture, Louisiana.

( Continued… )

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

La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson Social Media/Contact Information:
Email: larhondawrites@gmail.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ideatepub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larhonda.crosbyjohson.94
Ideate Publishing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ideatepublishing


Meet Author La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson

La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson is a contributor to the award-winning Life Spices From Seasoned Sistahs anthology series and has also published work in Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write To The New First Lady, Sassy, Savvy and Bold After 50, Jubilee’s Journey an e-book, serial novel, and All The Women In My Family Sing edited by Deborah Santana.La Rhonda is co-founder of Ideate Publishing, LLC. Ideate’s debut project, an anthology of short stories by women writers titled Where’s My Tiara? was released in the fall of 2017. Unveiled, her first novel was released in 2019. Read more:  http://www.ideatepublishing.com

BPM: It is such a pleasure to have you join us to discuss, Unveiled. Describe yourself in three words.
LCJ: Reliable. Honest. Committed.

BPM: What drove you to publish your first book or create your first series? How long have you been writing?
LCJ: Publishing my work is a way to share my love of writing with others. I’ve been writing most of my life.

BPM: Describe what you do outside of writing to expand your business or brand.
LCJ: The business of writing is still fairly new to me. As an author, I look forward to connecting with readers. I plan to use several vehicles to stay in touch with them – social media, blogging, readings/book signings, participation in book festivals and conferences, etc. – and give them a chance to get to know me as a writer and person.

BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your body of work/books?
LCJ: I learned that even when I thought I was finished, there was more work to do. Tina McElroy Ansa told me, while attending the first Sea Island Writers Retreat, hard writing made easy reading. Unveiled has allowed me to understand what Tina told me on an entirely different level.

BPM: How did you choose the genre you write in? Have you considered writing in another genre?
LCJ: I don’t want to limit myself to any one genre. However, I initially saw myself as a fiction writer until my first published work was in an anthology of non-fiction. Since then, I’ve been a contributor to several non-fiction anthologies. It then occurred to me that a writer writes. I plan to continue to write and hopefully publish in both fiction and non-fiction. I recently placed second in a poetry contest, so I may venture into that genre again in the future. I have a friend who is writing afro-surrealism/speculative fiction and I find that very interesting.

BPM: Tell us about your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
LCJ: My debut novel, Unveiled, was published in 2019. The book will be available in print and e-book: Kindle and Apple Books.

BPM: Introduce us to the people in the book! Give us some insight into your main characters or the speakers.
LCJ: I’ll introduce you to three of the characters: Morgan Franklin, Marie Baptiste Morgan, and Mary Joyce Lyons. Morgan, the main character, at first glance, is your typical overachiever. She’s excelled in school and her career. As the story unfolds, readers will get to see Morgan has as a strong sense of justice and believes her privileged life must be used to help those who don’t have it so easy. Morgan also has a vulnerable side that adds to her strength and resilience.

Morgan’s mother, Marie Baptiste Morgan, can easily be described as having ice water in her veins. Marie believes vulnerability is a weakness and doesn’t extend herself to others without benefitting personally – quid pro quo. There is so much more to Marie. The reader will get an opportunity to see to how she was shaped by her upbringing and experiences. Mary Joyce is Morgan’s younger half-sister who didn’t have the opportunities Morgan had. She finds herself married to a man who would rather drink than work, pregnant, and the mother of three small sons. Mary Joyce has been overwhelmed by her circumstances and has to make some difficult choices. The reader will get to know these and other characters in Unveiled in a way I hope will make them memorable long after the book has been read.

BPM: What’s so unique about their story-line or voice in the story? What makes each one so special?
LCJ: The characters are unique because people are unique. We are all more than we first appear to be and the reader will find this true of the characters in Unveiled. While it will be easy to label some of the characters as “good” or “bad,” you’ll find once you’ve made up your mind, you may have to change it.

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
LCJ: Great question. I hadn’t thought about this before. I think the experience of a minor character, Stephanie Arceneaux, speaks to my journey. Stephanie is recreating her life. Many times, I’ve found myself in a place of recreation. Stepping fully into writing is just one example. Morgan’s commitment to the truth and the way she shows up for her family and friends is also a huge part of my journey.

BPM: How do you balance the professional, personal, and spiritual sides of your life, while pursuing your dreams?
LCJ: I don’t even know if balance really exists. Balance seems to indicate there is some parity between the different parts of my life. This just doesn’t ring true for me.

What works better for me is to acknowledge all the parts exist (as a whole) and practice caring and giving each its requisite time. Some days, my professional life takes up more hours (in addition to writing, I’m a life coach and publisher) because on that day it requires it. Some days, I write for hours and other days not at all. My spiritual life is very important to me and supports all the other parts of my life, so it receives daily attention. I have days where I don’t go near my office, computer, or email. I’ve learned REST and PLAY are critical to my well-being, so I make sure to practice them regularly.

BPM: Tell us about a project that forced you to be your most innovative and creative.
LCJ: There have been many. The one that comes to mind quickly is working as a substitute teacher (primarily middle school). Each day called for something that wasn’t written in the lesson plan. Working with people, throughout my career, has required constant innovation to connect on a human level.

BPM: We have to step out of our comfort zone periodically to act on our passions. Have you ever stepped out on faith and combated your worst fears?
LCJ: It seems I do more of this more than I realized. Publishing Unveiled is certainly a leap of faith. Learning the business of writing/publishing is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I started a consulting business (which I still run) in 1994 and that was one of the scariest things I ever did. While I’ve dreamed of being exactly where I am right now, it still brings the need for me to stretch my “faith muscles.”

BPM: What does the phrase ‘Fail Forward’’ mean to you?
LCJ: I am a believer in there being no such thing as failure. This was instilled in me early, and I was taught to use every experience as a lesson to improve for the future. “Fail Forward” means, to me, each “failure” takes you closer to your desired outcome.

BPM: What advice would you give to young people who want to follow in your footsteps?
LCJ: First, I would tell them to forget about my footsteps and make their own. They’ll have so much more success this way. I would tell young people (and not so young people) not to allow themselves or others to put limits on them based on what they see. Everything I’ve ever started in my life didn’t exist before I did it. I would tell them to take a chance on themselves.

BPM: If you could pass on a single piece of advice to authors out there reading this interview, what would it be?
LCJ: To do YOUR best. While inspiration is important, comparison can be detrimental to creativity. Don’t worry about how your work will be judged or received. Tell the best story you can tell.

BPM: Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle? Have you ever had to deal with rejection?
LCJ: YES! And then I stop. I never want writing to feel like a struggle. Now rewriting and rewriting and rewriting is a different thing. Unveiled went through more drafts than I even want to count. I have been very fortunate that as it relates to my writing, I haven’t suffered rejection. The anthologies I submitted to accepted my work.

I attended a workshop at the United California African American Bookclubs (UCAAB) literary conference and heard author Gary Hardwick say, “Do not wait for someone to ‘approve’ your work or say ‘yes’ to you. Write your own acceptance letter.” This drove me to self-publish an e-book serial novel, Jubilee’s Journey, and co-found Ideate Publishing.

BPM: Have you written any other books that are not published?
LCJ: I have at least four that are in various stages of completion that may one day be published. I have folders of other stories that haven’t been fully developed. I also have written stories just for myself that I have no plans to publish.

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
LCJ: Unveiled is my number one priority right now and I’m working hard to ensure it has a successful launch. I am also very close to finishing a young adult novella.

BPM: How do you stay connected with others in publishing and your readers?
LCJ: Right now, through social media, book events, and writers’ groups. I am a member of the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association and once Unveiled is published, I will increase connections with readers through book clubs and attending book conferences and conventions.

BPM: What legacy do you hope to leave future generations of readers and new writers with your writing?
LCJ: I heard Maya Angelou tell Oprah Winfrey that you don’t get to say what your legacy will be. I get that. I have no idea what my legacy will be. I would like readers to have an enjoyable experience reading my work. I’d like them to travel to places they never saw themselves and think of things they’d never considered. I’d like writers to be inspired to tell their stories. I’d like for my work to live on after me.

BPM: What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
LCJ: Readers can email me at larhondawrites@gmail, LIKE me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/larhonda.crosbyjohnson.94 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
LCJ: Readers can get more information on Ideate Publishing’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ideatepublishing, Twitter via @IdeatePub, and my author page on Amazon.

Purchase copies from Amazon Today!
https://www.amazon.com/Unveiled-Rhonda-Crosby-Johnson-ebook/dp/B07QTP82XB

 
 

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
Maxine Listens #RWYK Great Read Certified

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.

Order Your Copy of Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak 
Picture Book for ages 6-10. Genre: Children’s Literature
Purchase books:  https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Mubarak/e/B01ELLYYGO

The Stations for Kids Series is a collection of stories emphasizing early childhood literacy, human compassion, and community service. Each story can be used as a classroom supplement to teach social skills, personal and civic responsibility, and encourage career exploration. The characters are family members who find themselves facing everyday life challenges, but they find ways to address, solve or cope with each situation.

Dr. Lynda believes that social skills and community service are an integral part of early childhood education. In addition, these two components are essential in creating a balanced child who understands that he or she is part of a global community.  Visit our website today:  https://www.stationsforkids.com


The Detective Maxine Hill SeriesNow available in Spanish!

Great for young readers age Level: 6 – 10.  Diversify your home library collection and encourage others to do the same.Meet the Detective Maxine Hill characters: https://www.smore.com/xhn65-stations-for-kids

El Trabajo Nuevo de Maxine (Spanish Edition) by Lynda Jones-Mubarak 

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak
Shorty y los Sullivans son mis vecinos. Los Sullivans parecen agradables y amistosos, pero tengo algunas dudas acerca de la Sra. Sullivan. Hmmm, creo que la Sra. Sullivan está ocultando algo. ¿Es una agente secreto? ¿Es una espía alienígena? ¿Es un robot? Mi mamá piensa que hago demasiadas preguntas, ella dice que debería convertirme en una científica forense o una detective. ¡Guau!, Es para pensarlo. Ambas carreras resuelven misterios. ¡Genial! ¡Sigue a Maxine Hill a medida que revela el misterio de la Sra. Sullivan, su vecina!
Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle ebook.

Maxine Escucha (Spanish Edition) by Lynda Jones-Mubarak 

Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak
Maxine Hill continúa con sus técnicas de investigación para revelar misterios and acertijos mientras practica servicio comunitario y la compasión humana en la escuela y en su comunidad. Un diagnóstico médico envía a Maxine en un viaje para conseguir respuestas a una inquietud muy personal. ¿Qué descubrirá Maxine esta vez? ¿Tendrá éxito? Sigue a la joven Maxine Hill a medida que busca revelar y abordar otro reto importante.
Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Jones-Mubarak available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle ebook.

STATIONS FOR KIDS

La serie Stations for Kids es una colección de historias que enfatizan la alfabetización de la primera infancia, la compasión humana y el servicio comunitario.
Cada historia se puede utilizar como un suplemento en el aula para enseñar habilidades sociales, responsabilidad personal y cívica, y alentar la exploración de carreras.


Los personajes son miembros de la familia que se enfrentan a desafíos de la vida cotidiana, pero encuentran formas de abordar, resolver o enfrentar cada situación.


La Dra. Lynda cree que las habilidades sociales y el servicio a la comunidad son una parte integral de la educación de la primera infancia. Además, estos dos componentes son esenciales para crear un niño equilibrado que entienda que él o ella es parte de una comunidad global.

Visite el sitio web de Stations for Kids hoy: https://www.stationsforkids.com

Meet the Detective Maxine Hill characters: https://www.stationsforkids.com/meet-the-characters

Follow and Like Stations for Kids on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lyndamubarak


Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda Mubarak

Dr. Lynda Mubarak is an award-winning author and a retired special education teacher. She was an avid reader in elementary school and her love for books continued during her career in education. Her Stations for Kids Book Series promotes early childhood literacy, community service, human compassion, and career exploration. Dr. Lynda is a graduate of Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, and Nova SE University. 


Dr. Lynda is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), International Literacy Association (ILA), Metro Authors Group, and the North Texas Book Festival, Inc.

Dr. Lynda’s first book, Stations: Change Your Career – Change Your Life (2016), was nominated for “Up and Coming Author Award” at the 2017 Indie Author Legacy Awards. Carver ParkMaxine Listens and Maxine’s New Job received the Certified Great Read Award, by the Reading With Your Kids Foundation.


In addition, Maxine’s New Job won the prestigious Henri Award for excellence in the children’s category by the 2018 Christian Literary Awards

Dr. Lynda is also the author of an ebook, The Author in You: New Writers Searching for a Theme. Dr. Lynda is currently working on the next installment of the Detective Maxine Hill Series.

Dr. Lynda has established a lifetime partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of each book sold is donated to feed families in need. She loves crossword puzzles, painting birdhouses, live theater, and traveling with her husband, Kairi. Visit the  Stations for Kids website today: https://www.stationsforkids.com

BPM Describe yourself in three words.
I am funny, optimistic and creative.

BPM What drove you to publish your first book? How long have you been writing?
I did not write my first book until I retired as a special education teacher and facilitator. I have been writing professionally for three years.

BPM Introduce us to the people in the book, Maxine Listens. Give us some insight into your main speakers.
The main characters in Maxine Listens are 5th grader student Maxine Hill and her parents, the Hills. Maxine is an only child with a pet cat named Amos. She spend hours reading, doing community service with her family at a local food pantry. Maxine enjoys solving mysteries, puzzles, and other family, neighborhood and school events. She is often told by her mom that she asks far too many questions. Her family thinks she may have a future career in law enforcement as a detective or in forensic science as an investigator or researcher. Maxine reads constantly, is president of her school book club, plays Scrabble with her BFF, Amanda Grayson, and often enrolls in courses offered at the local library including American Sign Language and Creative Writing. Mr. and Mrs. Hill are often amazed by Maxine’s interest in anything and everything from architecture and engineering to learning Mandarin Chinese.

BPM Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Maxine’s mothers tells her, “Max, if you want to learn the truth about a person or a group of people, take some time to learn how they live, work and play.” I think so much time is spent analyzing or over-analyzing people or other cultures that we often forget that life experiences are different for all of us and we are all products of the events and backgrounds in our life. Your view of life can transition as you mature and grow. How you feel about a person or situation at 20 may be totally different by the time you reach 35. We all live our lives in phases.

BPM Tell us about you most recent work with the community.
I have a lifetime partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of each book sold by Stations for Kids is donated to the food bank to assist families in need and displaced workers. I am honored to part of an organization that provides so much for so many!

BPM What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I was surprised by the families that related to my themes in my first and second Maxine books. The story topics are common to all families and Maxine offers some simple solutions to the challenges faced by each family in the stories. The solutions are doable and simple to implement.

BPM Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Writers are often overcome with the term ‘writer’s block’. What I have discovered as many will affirm, is that ‘writer’s block’ is another term for distractions. Daily distractions keep you from focusing and remaining grounded until your book is completed. Finances, children, job issues, aging parents, ill family members, or personal medical issues can be a deterrent to your book project. It often becomes difficult to stay on course while keeping your purpose on target, and allowing your faith to provide the strength to forge ahead. You must select a time each day or on the weekend to pull away from everyone for a few hours and continue your writing journey. It is essential if you truly want to become an author.

BPM What project are you working on at the present?
I am currently completing Maxine’s Hands, Book 3 of the Detective Maxine Hill Series. Maxine continues to learn new concepts and apply her knowledge of community service anywhere it is needed. In progress is a Stations for Kids website which will be completely kid friendly and interactive.

BPM What legacy to you hope to leave future generations of readers with your writing?
I would like to instill a love of reading and writing to the readers of my writing. I want them to know that reading my book or other great literature will allow your mind to flourish, explore and navigate through life and its challenges. In addition, reading will increase your critical thinking skills and provide a way to understand mankind in general. They also need to know that everything you need to know about yourself and life has been recorded in a book somewhere.

BPM What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Readers can get in touch with me by email at ljmubarak@gmail.com

Website: http://www.lyndamubarak.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stationsforkids
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamubarak
Amazon Page:  amazon.com/author/lyndamubarak.com
IG: https://www.instagram.com/ljmubarakstationsforkids


Maxine’s New Job 
by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
(Book I, Detective Maxine Hill Series)

2018 Christian Literacy Awards Winner: Maxine’s New Job Maxine’s New Job won the prestigious “Henri Award” at the 2018 Christian Literacy Awards for outstanding literacy work in the Children’s Books division. 


Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Maxine Hill is an inquisitive fourth grade student who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is also on a quest to find out why her neighbor, Mrs. Sullivan, is acting so weird. Mrs. Sullivan is always outside sitting on the front porch with her two rescue dogs or working in her flower bed. However, she seems to get very nervous when Maxine talks to her about everything. What is going on with this lady? Is she a robot spy? Is she an alien? Is she working for the CIA? Follow Maxine Hill as she solves the case of the strange neighbor!

ORDER BOOKS FROM AMAZON TODAY! 
Age Level: 6 – 10  |   Length: 58 pages 
https://www.amazon.com/Maxines-New-Job-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak-ebook/dp/B07CQPB1JT 



ORDER BOOKS FROM BARNES & NOBLE
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maxines-new-job-lynda-jones-mubarak/1128565433 


BOOK REVIEWS

Maxine’s New Job: #RWYK Great Read Certified

5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by Elizabeth Wroten, @ Home Librarian Book Reviews

We’re back in the world of Shorty and the Sullivans, this time across the street with Maxine Hill,  a precocious fourth grader. Maxine is an adorable girl with big glasses and a big heart. Her family is gentle too and I enjoyed meeting them. The illustrations have a cozy feeling to them as we see into the places in Maxine’s world.


The book is definitely on the long side for a picture book. Obviously this isn’t unheard of, I simply tend to prefer keeping picture books shorter and saving more complex stories for transitional chapter books, but that’s totally a personal preference. I think the story and length does make the book a better fit for older audiences, first or second grade and up. If you could get your third and fourth graders into it, it would be great!


From a social justice standpoint I thought this book really tackled some interesting problems. Maxine and her family support being involved in community and helping out how and when they can. They volunteer at a food pantry once a month and started to do so after Maxine noticed an unhoused man and began asking questions. (Side note, I wish the book had called him unhoused instead of homeless.)

I really love that her family is so willing to engage in this way and the way Mubarak has written it, it comes across as genuine and sincere instead of didactic.
It’s this ethic of service that leads Maxine to help Mrs. Sullivan, her neighbor across the street, solve a problem. It turns out Mrs Sullivan is functionally illiterate, largely because she struggled so much in school learning to read, never got the help she needed to be successful, and then dropped out of school. I have never seen a picture book that takes on this issue, but it isn’t an uncommon one.

I know my library system has a program for adults who are illiterate or need more reading instruction and it isn’t the only program like that out there by any means. It might not be super realistic that a fourth grader is going to help a woman with learning disabilities to learn to read, but I love books that take a positive stance on children stepping in and stepping up, even if it’s not totally plausible.

I think it’s a representation of sorts. It shows kids they can help and puts faith in them. No need to squash their optimism and willingness to do good. If anything I think it encourages them to stay engaged and find ways they can help even if it doesn’t look exactly the way they first think it will.

5.0 out of 5 stars Review written by Jedlie
Maxine’s New Job written by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak and illustrated by Adua Hernandez introduces us to a young girl named Maxine Hill who loves to read, work crossword puzzles, visit her best friend, Amanda Grayson, and play with her cat, Amos. Maxine is a fourth-grade student who is full of curiosity and wants to take up a career of forensic scientist when she grows up. Maxine is concerned by her neighbour Mrs. Sullivan’s strange behaviour and is determined to track down the cause.

She embarks on a fact-finding mission and finds out that Mrs. Sullivan was dropped out from school when she was in seventh grade and can’t read! Fortunately, Maxine with the help of her supportive family takes up a new job of being a tutor to Mrs. Sullivan and teach her how to read.


Maxine’s New Job is a nice introduction to what a neighbor is and the role a neighbor should play. Teaching service and helping others can’t be done through direct instruction. You can share positive examples of service via stories in great children’s books and Dr. Lynda’s book does a wonderful job at teaching kindness, service, and helping others. I especially love the sense of community that is prominent throughout the book. It introduces kids to what a community service is and the importance of serving people in need.


It’s a good lesson for our children to learn, that although everyone has deficiencies in some area, there is always something we can do to help if we are looking for opportunities and making ourselves available. I love the line said by Maxine’s mom “When a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know”. It’s a sweet story about open hospitality and generosity to those around us.


What I particularly liked about this book is that it features a young black girl as an adorable protagonist of the story. We know that all children love seeing faces like theirs within the pages of their picture books, but it can be hard to find books starring kids of color. Dr. Lynda’s book not only gives children of color an opportunity to see themselves in stories but also helps broaden the perspective of all children by fostering children’s sense of empathy and connection with characters who might look different from themselves.


The illustrations are so beautiful, and the plot is captivating. You’ll love this friendly little girl who has quite a fun and busy school life but takes the time to check on her neighbour and help her by teaching how to read. Highly recommended to kids of all ages!


BOOK EXCERPT:  Maxine’s New Job 

It was a warm, bright Sunday morning and a special time for the Hills. Once a month on Sundays, the Hill Family spent four hours at the Helping Hands Food Pantry. Max had asked her parents several important questions after watching a homeless family standing on a corner last year. That’s when Mr. and Mrs. Hill decided that Max needed to learn how community agencies serve people in need. The Hills contacted the pantry and made arrangements for the family to volunteer one day per month. Maxine enjoyed the community service hours. Her job was filling each family meal box with a can of green beans and cereal. Mr. and Mrs. Hill worked in the pantry kitchen.

“Max, when a person needs help, you do what you can for them with what you have or what you know. Never forget that,” said Mrs. Hill. “OK mom, I won’t forget,” said Maxine.


The Hills completed their four volunteer hours and shook hands with the families before leaving. Max thought, Wow, it feels great to help someone who is having a difficult time. Mom says we should continue to do this once each month and I think she’s right! The Hills stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat and returned home so that Max could prepare for the first day of school.


The first day at B. H. Obama Elementary School was awesome! Maxine listened as the new principal welcomed the students and the parents. She was happy to see her classmates from the past year and she saw some new faces. The lunchroom had been repainted and it looked completely different. Maxine also discovered that she would be in the new wing of the school because the student enrollment had increased. Wow, everything was new in this area from the desks to the lockers! And to make it even better, she didn’t have to share a locker this year. 


At the end of the day, she had shared some summer memories and made new friends. Maxine also had several school papers to take home. One of the papers was a flier about open house in a few days. When the evening school bus stopped on the corner, Maxine and four neighborhood kids hopped off and began walking home. As Maxine walked, she smiled, looked down at her new sneakers, and thought about all the new changes at school. She was trying to decide whether she wanted to join the chess, robotics or Scrabble club. When she looked up, she was facing her house and Mrs. Sullivan was watering the flowers in her little red well next door.  Hmm, the Sullivans may want to come to my school’s open house, so I’ll give the flier to Mrs. Sullivan, thought Maxine. 


She ran over to Mrs. Sullivan, handed her the flier and began discussing the first day of school. Maxine talked very hurriedly about the first day of school and said good-bye quickly. She knew it was time to get home and take Amos outside. Mrs. Sullivan listened and nodded, but had a concerned look on her face as Maxine walked away.


Maxine thought about asking Mrs. Sullivan if she was feeling alright, but she thought about what her mom said last week, “Max, please try to be courteous. You ask so many questions. Maybe you should be a detective!” She thought for a minute, walked back into the house, ran up the stairs and called Amos. It was time for his afternoon walk and his favorite doggie treat. I’ll talk with Mrs. Sullivan later thought Maxine.


 Amos ran out of the bedroom, rubbed his head against Maxine’s leg and ran downstairs to the front door. He was ready to take the afternoon walk around the block. After walking with Amos and waving at the neighbors, Maxine and Amos slowly walked back to the house. Mrs. Hill was busy preparing dinner. Today was Monday, so it was going to be chicken tacos, Maxine’s favorite. Maxine looked at the Sullivan house from the kitchen window and inquired, “Mom, have you ever noticed anything strange about Mrs. Sullivan?”


“Max, what may seem strange or unusual to you could be normal behavior for another person.” responded Mrs. Hill. “I know that Mom, but she seemed uncomfortable when I spoke to her about my first day at school. She looked very uneasy when I gave her the announcement about the school’s open house”, stated Maxine. “Maybe she had something on her mind Max. People sometimes look at you when you are talking, but they are thinking about other important things. We all do it from time to time”, explained Mrs. Hill. I know Mom is right, thought Maxine but no one should look that weird if I’m discussing school or a piece of paper.


Maxine sat down at the kitchen table and enjoyed the tacos and ice tea with Mrs. Hill. Mr. Hill always worked late on Mondays so Maxine and Mrs. Hill had their special time to talk about all the new school developments. Amos was curled up in a furry ball under her chair. The first day of school had been great and she ended the day with her favorite meal!


Before Maxine went to bed she thought about Ms. Parker’s remark after math class ended today. “Max, if you are still thinking about becoming a detective, you should also consider a career as a forensic scientist. Both jobs require an interest in science, working with many pieces of information called clues, and solving mysteries”, explained Ms. Parker.
I think I need to go to the library tomorrow at school or the city library on Saturday morning to see what this forensic thing is all about! thought Maxine.


The next day Maxine decided to finish her lunch early and ask the lunch monitor for a pass to go to the school library. When Maxine entered the library, she walked over to a student computer and began her search for detectives and forensic scientists. Maxine was surprised to learn that uncovering mysteries was one of the oldest sciences in the world. Wow! So solving mysteries involves reviewing pieces of evidence or clues and building a story or opinion around the material piece by piece. This sounds like fun!

( Continued… )
© 2018 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.

Purchase Maxine’s New Job by Lynda Jones-Mubarak
Download Kindle Link: http://a.co/34dskQW

ABOUT THE AUTHORDr.  Lynda J. Mubarak is a retired special education teacher, facilitator, and adult ESL adjunct who read constantly as a child.  Dr. Lynda is an advocate for early literacy and life long learning. She loves to create stories for young children with an emphasis on community service, global empathy, and human compassion.  She is a graduate of  Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, Nova Southeastern University and she is an Army veteran.


Dr. Lynda is a co-host of The Author’s Lounge Radio Show at the Fish Bowl Radio Network. She enjoys crossword puzzles, live theater, and traveling with her husband, Kairi, and their rescue dogs, Ebony Joyce and Shorty Junior.  Dr. Lynda has established a life-long partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of all book sales will be donated to the CFB to assist families in need. Visit our website today:  https://www.stationsforkids.com


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Maxine Listens by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Carver Park by Lynda Jones Mubarak

All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Amazon in Kindle ebook, hardcover and paperback: http://amzn.to/2FiomT8

All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Barnes & Noble in Nook Book, hardcover and paperback: http://bit.ly/2oW6536

Purchase STATIONS: Changing Your Life – Changing Your Career by Dr. Lynda Mubarak
https://www.amazon.com/STATIONS-Changing-Your-Life-Career/dp/1478766670


Stations for Kids Founded by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak

STATIONS FOR KIDS is dedicated to early literacy and community service. The best way to ensure your child’s personal and career success is to begin the learning process as soon as possible. Academic success is always necessary, but your child also needs to see how he or she fits into the world community. A combination of community service and applicable educational concepts will give your child a balanced view of the world. Visit our website today: https://www.stationsforkids.com



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JOIN THE SEDUCING THE PEN BOOK TOUR: https://www.smore.com/xhn65-stations-for-kids 
All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Amazon in Kindle ebook, hardcover and paperback: http://amzn.to/2FiomT8


All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Barnes & Noble in Nook Book, hardcover and paperback: http://bit.ly/2oW6536

 
 
 
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