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Category Archives: Top Book Awards

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 How he fought back against a segregated society, outdated thinking and even hate crimes made a lasting difference for his family and for the lives of countless others.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

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


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

2018 Christian Literacy Awards: Maxine’s New Job Nomination

Maxine’s New Job has been nominated to receive the prestigious “Henri Award” at the 2018 Christian Literacy Awards for outstanding literacy work in the Children’s Books division.

 

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

 

Maxine’s New Job by Dr. Lynda J. Mubarak
Audio introduction: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CwnKcptX


BOOK REVIEWS

Maxine’s New Job: #RWYK Great Read Certified

 

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.

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 behavior 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

Word Food for Doods by Duane Lance Filer

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

 

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

Short Stories

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

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

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

One-Act Plays

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

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

Essays

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

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

 

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

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

 

 


 

Black Pearls Magazine Interview

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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!

 

 

STATIONS FOR KIDS INTRODUCTION

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.

All STATIONS FOR KIDS books are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon in ebook format, hardcover and paperbacks.

 

AMAZON
https://www.amazon.com/Maxines-New-Job-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak-ebook/dp/B07CQPB1JT/

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

 

 

EXCERPT: Maxine’s New Job by Lynda Jones-Mubarak

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?” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Makayla Smyles

 

 


 

Bound by Passion by Makayla Smyles

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 


 

 

Bound by Passion Excerpt

Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Breanna…it’s me, Charles.”

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

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

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

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

She didn’t find his question amusing at first.

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

After that, she had to laugh along with him.

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

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

“I’m ready, Charlie.”

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

“What things?” she said, frowning.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Excerpt: The Legend of Diddley Squatt by Duane Lance Filer

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

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

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

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

“Possum’s can’t talk?” Didd said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wow!’ was all Diddley could say.

( Continued… )

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

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

BPM Interview with Author/Poet ME

ME was raised in the dirty South: the inner-city neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, Florida. He considers himself a classic old-school gangsta, a hustler, and a scholar. He is also a Vietnam-era veteran.

ME wrote and illustrated a comic strip book in the seventh grade, and in college, he penned articles for the newspaper of the University of the District of Columbia. But it was not until he spent time in a maximum-security federal prison that he had the time to focus on polishing his writing skills. Like a diamond formed in the wall of a volcano due to prolonged, intense heat, he gradually transformed into a poetic prophet of truth and love—a poetic Picasso from the hood.

OPEN YOURSELF TO SOMETHING UNIQUE!

ME is the pen name of the author. ME represents the Mirrored Mankind of existing as human beings. The author identifies himself, to the reader as ME, a paradox to those who ask about the author’s identity. So, ME is a shrewd alter ego of you woman. A reflection of the imperfections ME be’s in you, you be’s in…who ME, Yeah you. ME places the reader in his space, his fate, his yai eye. He writes for all who doesn’t exist as ME. Who can only be but a mystical reflection of humanity’s Spirit Jewel. ME.

BPM: Tell us about your new book. What topics are discussed?
My book, FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels introduces an innovative, creative writing style of Poetic Intellectual Art. It incorporates a mix of profound insight and spiritual wonders of Love, Life and Relationships.

FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels has a central subject matter of Love is forging upon the FOUR ways we experience Life: Mind, Spirit, Body and Soul. Spirit Jewels manifest as creative masterpieces of poetry, prose, short stories, and plenty of game! And yes, it will be available on Amazon Kindle in May, 2018.

 

BPM: What was your hardest section to write, the opening or closing?
Neither. It was in the middle. The short parable story: “Sleeping Beauty (Based on a True Story).” ME was challenged on how he could effectively reach and awaken our ‘Baby Girl‘ Spirit Jewels of society. Sweethearts, lost in a deep sleep… within the dark side of Love and Life. Caught up in a asshole’s destiny… of dumb shitz. What’s the answer? How can Sleeping Beauty be awakened?

 

BPM: Do you try to deliver to readers what they want or let the subject matter guide your writing?
Both, ME writes to deliver to readers what they Need and Want. Readers want to ‘Connect’ with material they can relate to. The deeper the better. The subject matter does this and much more. It’s Got Game! A raw creative edge steeped in truth. Just what Readers need.

 

BPM: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
No, there is no subject ME wouldn’t write about because everything under the sun has a story. ME knows that the truth speaks for itself. As a writer, he simply shines a spotlight on IT.

 

BPM: Is there a certain type of scenario that’s harder for you to write than others?
Oh no. As a Spiritual Gangsta who is a writer, the rawness of his ‘connection’ to whatever it is…ME expresses in its purity. It’s all game.

 

BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
It was destiny. ME was born as a writer. Bred to be a writer. Compelled and driven by humanity’s malignant genocidal ignorance of the truth… to write. Any way, ME began writing in Jr. High with a comic strip book. And with some newspaper articles here and there. ME embarked on a destiny of writing when he was incarcerated in 1980, bank robbery. “Spirit Jewels” is now those crushed fermented wines laid before you.

 

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
One: The sheer joy and challenge in such Creative Force of Impulse.
Two: The sheer POWER from ME “Ability” to connect humanity’s mind, spirit, body, and soul.

 

BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Uhmm. When your book is entitled FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels, such writings must personify a Spiritual Reality. So, when you’re a Spiritual Gangsta, writing is a Spirit Jeweled Reality.

 

BPM: What was the most surprising things you learned from this project?
On the business side, I saw how cynical people are. On the personal side, how cynical people are in NOT telling ME how they really feel about ‘Our Book.’ They simply refuse to reveal their true feelings about how deep it is to them…Soul personal.

 

BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonates with your journey.
CROWN JEWEL: *Oprah*In the book of Spirit Jewels, the summit of our “Inner (Soul) Chapter” on Love there is ‘ME’ Crown Jewel, Oprah. Baby Girl embodies ME celestial alter ego, his Aquarian Sista in this Age of Aquarius. She IS the Crown Jewel of ME super egoed journey.

 

BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state of mind that you find inspirational?
Yes, the ‘Geometric Grid‘ of knowledge with mind, squared with the raw body of what matters and unparalleled feelings soul deep… that it generates a Spirit Fire of empowering inspirational insights and visionary wisdom.

 

BPM: Does writing energize or you?
Based on the geometric principles ME outlined on his inspirational states above, it’s logical to conclude that writing energizes and empowers ME. There is no other way it could be.

 

BPM: What are the top three things that make you feel happy and fulfilled?
1. The Power and Majik of God and feeling aware and connected with such Godness… Mind, Spirit, Body, and Soul. There is no greater ‘High.’
2. The Power and Majik of Love. Since God is Love, such empowerment of Oneness, connecting and joining with Life and what matters is majikal.
3. You Woman. Your essence and presence is a divine gateway to our immortality, our destiny… to our rawest ecstasy. ME greatest inspirations.

 

BPM: What make you forget about the world around you?
Only God and the Universe’s cosmic wonders can make ME forget the world around ME. ME get ‘Hope-Fully’ pro/found in such GRAND-NESS.

 

BPM: What strengths did you use to achieve two major goals in Life?
1. The positive development and application of positive energy forces.
2. Focus of Vision.
3. Perseverance.
These strengths helped ME achieve: The goal of being a writer and completing our book – FOR YOU WOMAN: Spirit Jewels. And the goal of being a ‘consummate’ businessman, first and foremost, as an independent self publisher.

 

BPM: What other projects are you working on at the present?
Re-Drafting the outline for my next book, ‘For Everything, There’s A Time.’ A novel that has a mix of everything in it. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, science, spiritual and historical romance… as it transcends time.

Re-Structuring a scientific thesis ME wrote on METAPHYSICS. The alter ego to his Spirit Jeweled work of art. Metaphysics is the highest science of all. What can be greater than knowing the ‘Nature of Reality and Existence.” Such knowledge must be based on the Logical Propositions of Absolute Reality…you know as God.

 

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
The author, ME, is based on his website/blog: spiritjewelsinc.com. Created designed for the customers to explore his book, life and works. And as a ‘Gateway’ connection to the Best of You thru ME!

ME’s Website: spiritjewelsinc.com
FB Profile: goo.gl/r1YkYx
FB Page: goo.gl/LMtEtb
Twitter: twitter.com/spiritjeweler
FB: https://www.facebook.com/For-You-Woman-Spirit-Jewels-322681971234925/

 

Better Late Than Never (Rev. Curtis Black Series) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

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

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

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

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

 

Chapter 4:  Better Late Than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

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

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

“It’s good to see you, Uncle Curtis.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How are you?” Curtis asked her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlotte smiled. “Of course.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You,” she said, and everyone laughed.

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

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

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

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

“No, not at all.”

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

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

 

Intimate Conversation with Dr. Raye Mitchell


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

 

Chapter Excerpt from There Is Sunshine After the Rain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak


Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Shorty and The Sullivans is a children’s story that demonstrates how a friendship can develop from some very unusual circumstances. It also teaches young children that one should not make judgements based on appearance including color or size. The message of the story emphasizes that observation over a period of time will often determine the true value of a situation.

 

Book Excerpt:  Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak

Every Saturday morning Mrs. Sullivan shopped at the Johnson Supermarket. Archie, the manager, and the cashiers knew her because she always bought the same meat, veggies, milk, fruit, dog food and doggie treats. They also knew Mrs. Sullivan because big, happy Ebony Joyce was always with her, wagging her tail and looking at the other customers as they walked by. Archie didn’t mind Ebony Joyce being in the store because she was a friendly dog. The customers like rubbing her ears, the kids like rubbing her back and Ebony Joyce never barked.

Ebony Joyce walked a little slower in the store than Mrs. Sullivan, but that was alright because she took her time going up and down the aisles of the store to search for the best bargains, especially on the meat and dairy aisles.

One day a cashier asked Mrs. Sullivan, “How old is Ebony Joyce?” Mrs. Sullivan replied, “We don’t know Ebony J’s age. When we moved into our house years ago we found her hiding in the shed in the back yard. We fed her, gave her a bath and she’s been with us since then.” The cashier smiled and Mrs. Sullivan smiled. She paid for her groceries, rolled the grocery cart out to the car and put the groceries in the trunk while Ebony waited for her to open the car door.

Mrs. Sullivan drove home while Ebony J looked out the window at the passing cars, big buses, and the people jogging along the sidewalks or talking on their cell phones.

When Mrs. Sullivan returned from grocery shopping Ebony J always waited quietly next to the kitchen sink while Mrs. Sullivan put the food away. Ebony knew when the last paper bag was emptied there would be a doggie treat for her. She loved the treats!

One morning, Mrs. Sullivan noticed that Ebony J was not awake when she began to cook breakfast. She was usually the first one awake in the mornings and watched Mrs. Sullivan as she prepared the coffee, toast, turkey bacon and eggs.

(  Continued…  )

 

Order Shorty and The Sullivans by Lynda Jones Mubarak
Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4
Paperback: 60 pages

Shorty and The Sullivans is a children’s book appropriate for grades 1-4.
https://www.amazon.com/Shorty-Sullivans-Lynda-Jones-Mubarak/dp/1626768552

 

About the Author
Dr.Lynda Jones Mubarak is a native Texan and was raised in Waco and Ft. Worth. She is an Army veteran, retired special education teacher, and college ESL adjunct. Dr. Lynda’s love for reading and books began when she was an elementary student and continued during her teaching years. She is the author of Stations, Carver Park, and Shorty & The Sullivans. Dr. Lynda loves to travel, live theater and crossword puzzles. She is currently a co-host on “The Author’s Lounge Radio Show”, Fish Bowl Radio Network, Grey Stream, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, CST, and she is busy writing her fourth book.

Website: http://www.lyndamubarak.com
Instagram: https://ljmubarakstationsforkids
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamubarak

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Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

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

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

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

 

Reviews for Broken Conditions by Jo Lena Johnson

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Longtale Children’s Books Series by Duane Filer

Duane Lance Filer is a retired funkster extraordinaire, writer, painter and musician who grew up in Compton, California with six brothers and sisters. He and his wife, Janice, have two adult children and currently reside in Carson, California. This is his seventh book. For more about Duane and his artist endeavors, visit him at http://duanelancefiler.wixsite.com/duanelancefiler.

 

FastJack Robinson by Duane Filer (Longtale #1; Children’s Books)

Fastjack was coming to spend the summer with his grandrabbits, Grandpaw and Grandmaw Robinson, in Bunny Junction. Fastjack Robinson moved to Hare City, but always loved coming back home to visit his beloved grandrabbits as well as his childhood friends, House Mouse and Stooley the Pigeon.

After a big welcome-home supper of carrot stew and rabbit tea, Fastjack was informed by the squeaky voiced House Mouse that the notorious, mischievous Grabbit Rabbit was wreaking havoc in Bunny Junction by stealing pies and other carrot items from the families in Bunny Junction.

Little did the Grabbit Rabbit know that, like a young Jackie Robinson, Fastjack Robinson was the fastest rabbit in the world! Somebody in Bunny Junction had to stop the notorious Grabbit Rabbit. So Stooley, House Mouse, Grandpaw, and Grandmaw devised a plan to catch the Grabbit Rabbit. It’s Fastjack to the rescue!

Purchase FastJack Robinson by Duane Filer
Link: http://a.co/bswk8tD

 


 

Ms. Missy: Bishop’s First Dog by Duane Filer (Longtale #2; Children’s Books)

Who out there doesn’t remember their first pet? Bishop’s first dog turns out to be the beautiful diva Missy. Plus, Missy soon has a surprise for the family. “Ms. Missy – Bishop’s First Dog” is a true story concerning my family’s first pet – Ms. Missy the diva dog!

Follow along as Bishop, oldest child of the Morrow household, learns the ins and outs of owning and taking care of a dog. Bishop has daily duties of feeding and caring for Ms. Missy; bathing her in the Morrow backyard with younger siblings Maxine and Kelvin; and training Missy in the ways of the pet and human world. Time passes, as both Missy and the Morrow family grows with additional kids. One day, Missy disappears, and young Bishop feels it is his fault because he scolded Missy too hard. Bishop feels terrible, and fears she has run away for good. When Missy is finally found – she has a surprise of a lifetime for the Morrow family!

Purchase Ms. Missy: Bishop’s First Dog (Longtale #2) by Duane Filer
Link: http://a.co/2gshwsU

 


 

Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer (Longtale #3; Children’s Books)

The year is 2050. The space shuttle to the moon has been a reality since 2030. There have been scientists, explorers, politicians, entertainers and celebrities; just about every type of scientific type person has been or has plans to go to the moon………but no ordinary people have been included? Black, white, brown, or yellow….no regular ordinary people have been to the moon. Finally, in 2050, the USA government has decided it is time to send some regular folks to the moon. A contest was held to pick three lucky souls to be sent to the moon. Each person selected could bring a friend. And the best part is that the government claims once the lucky winners get to the moon, there would be a surprise waiting for them.

Young Duncan (Dunk) Sylers, 11 years old and from the city of Compton, California, enters the contest. You guessed it – Young Duncan wins and decides to take his younger cousin Drew on the exploration of a lifetime. Follow along as Duncan, Drew, and the other winners (including a wanna-be hippie who brings his parrot as his guest; as well as an aging actress and her equally washed up boyfriend) travel toward the moon. Do they succeed? You’ll have to read the book.

Purchase Duncan & the Chocolate Bar by Duane Filer. (Longtale #3; Children’s Books. For sci-fi lovers.)
Link: http://a.co/4Sm4WWG

 

 

A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister


A Touch of Love (The Grays of Los Angeles) by Sheryl Lister: http://amzn.to/2xM4eQV

Lexia Daniels can’t deny that her café’s most loyal customer is as tempting as any of the delicious treats she bakes. Burned by a bitter divorce, she tries to keep her desire in check around Khalil Gray, but the gorgeous ex-model is intent on seduction. Then a devastating accident reveals the complicated man behind the perfectly sculpted body… A man she can’t seem to resist.

At first, Khalil sees Lexia as a sexy challenge. But after an explosion shatters his world, she becomes the only person he can’t seem to push away. And every sign around him is telling him he needs her close. Khalil is happy to explore their erotic chemistry as long as it means resisting real emotion. But playing by his old rules could cost him the love he never thought he’d find…

 

Excerpt: A Touch of Love by Sheryl Lister

Chapter 1

“What the hell do you mean they were charged twice?” Khalil Gray stopped in his tracks. He met the disapproving glare of a grandmotherly woman and offered up a tight smile. Lowering his voice, he repeated the question.

“I have no idea,” Felicia McBride answered. The twenty-six year-old college student worked as the assistant manager at his fitness center, Maximum Burn. “There’ve been four calls since you left with members saying their accounts were debited twice this month. They’ve already been corrected, but I have no idea why it happened in the first place.”

He ran an agitated hand down his face. “Thanks, Felicia. I’ll check it out when I get back.”

He ended the call, still trying to figure out what was going on. He had owned the gym for five years and never had a problem before. Khalil continued through the lobby toward the elevators and jabbed the button with more force than necessary. He toyed with stopping in Oasis Café for his favorite low-fat apple cinnamon coffee cake, but because of traffic and construction across from the Wilshire District office building, he was already fifteen minutes late for the Wednesday morning staff meeting at his family’s home safety company. The elevator doors opened and he stepped back to allow the stream of people exit before boarding and riding the car up to the sixth floor.

Khalil greeted the receptionist and walked briskly down the hallway to the large conference room. He slid into a vacant seat and turned his attention to what his older brother, Brandon was saying. Brandon had taken over as CEO of the company nine months ago. Their father, Nolan Gray, had started the company upon his discharge from the Army after being disheartened by the difficulty in getting services and accommodations for the disabled. He’d decided to do something about it by designing them himself.

Their father’s best friend, Thaddeus Whitcomb—who had lost the lower part of his leg while serving—joined the company as a minor partner and vice president. The two men had a long-standing agreement that there would always be a Gray at the helm as CEO and a Whitcomb as vice president. Currently, only Brandon and their older sister, Siobhan, worked for the company. He listened as each department gave updates. After the last person finished, Brandon directed his attention to Khalil. “Khalil, you’re still going to be meeting with production about your equipment, right?” Khalil nodded.

“Next week. The second gym is scheduled to open in June and I don’t want any delays.” They had broken ground a year ago on the now three-level center and the building would be completed in four weeks, barring any problems. He wanted all the equipment to be ready for installation.

“So, roughly three months until opening day. Let me know if you run into any difficulties. Is there anything else?” Khalil glanced at the wall clock. It was almost eleven. Any hope he had of getting that coffee cake dissipated. When no one spoke, he pushed the chair from the table and started to stand.

“I have one quick thing.” He dropped back into his seat and groaned inwardly. He loved his sister-in-law, but couldn’t she table her comments until the next meeting? Brandon had met Faith Alexander when he’d come to her rescue after a car accident. Unbeknownst to either of them, Faith was the long lost daughter of Thaddeus Whitcomb, and rightful heir to the VP position. Uncle Thad, as they affectionately called him, had been looking for his daughter for twenty-eight years after his wife divorced him.

Khalil smiled inwardly remembering all the fireworks that followed when Brandon found out the woman he had rescued and begun dating was actually going to be his second-in-command. Brandon hadn’t been too happy since he’d grown up thinking he would head the company alone—a fact that Brandon had reiterated several times. Things had worked out between Brandon and Faith and they had married six weeks ago. Khalil tuned back into Faith discussing the new intern program. It gave him an idea about doing something similar at the gym. A few minutes later, the meeting ended.

“Hey, Khalil. I want to talk to you before you leave.” He shot a glare at Brandon. Another five minutes passed before his brother made it over to where Khalil stood impatiently waiting.

“Why are you frowning at me like that?” Brandon asked.

“Because it’s after eleven and my coffee cake is probably gone by now.” He strode out of the conference room, leaving Brandon to follow. “If you want to talk, we need to do in on the way downstairs.” Brandon chuckled.

“Weren’t you grumbling about that three weeks ago when you were here?” He pushed the down button on the elevator. Khalil only attended the weekly staff meeting when he had something on the agenda.

“Yeah, and you’d better hope it’s not all gone again. Dad’s staff meetings never ran this long. You’re taking this CEO thing way too far.”

“Well, we have two new products in the design phase and have to finalize plans for our interns who’ll be starting soon, so there’s a lot to discuss.”

When the elevator arrived, they joined four other occupants and rode down to the first floor without speaking. As soon as the doors opened, Khalil hurried across the lobby to Oasis Café. The only things left in the display case in the spot where the coffee cake usually sat were the tipped over sign and crumbs. Behind him, Brandon laughed softly. “Guess you’ll have to get here early next time.” Before he could tell his brother where to go, a tall, pretty woman approached. Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore

When a late life love affair blooms between Mr. Forrest Payne, the owner of the Pink Slipper Gentleman’s Club, and Miss Beatrice Jordan, famous for stationing herself at the edge of the club’s parking lot and yelling warnings of eternal damnation at the departing patrons, their wedding summons a legend to town. Mr. El Walker, the great guitar bluesman, comes home to give a command performance in Plainview, Indiana, a place he’d sworn—and for good reason—he’d never set foot in again.

But El is not the only Plainview native with a hurdle to overcome. A wildly philandering husband struggles at last to prove his faithfulness to the wife he’s always loved. And among those in this tightly knit community who show up every Sunday after church for lunch at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, are the lifelong friends, known locally as “The Supremes” —Clarice, facing down her longing for, chance at and fear of a great career; Barbara Jean, grappling at last with the loss of a mother whose life humiliated both of them, and Odette, reaching toward her husband through an anger of his that she does not understand.

Edward Kelsey Moore’s lively cast of characters, each of whom have surmounted serious trouble and come into love, need not learn how to survive but how, fully, to live. And they do, every one of them, serenaded by the bittersweet and unforgettable blues song El Walker plays, born of his own great loss and love.

 

Edward Kelsey Moore Book Reviews

“This lusty novel sings with life, saluting friendships through dreams, marriage and long-held secrets.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Summer Books”

“Moore’s bluesy, breezy novel takes readers through life’s highs and lows and in-between times when no one knows what is coming next; its air of folksy optimism should appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Fredrik Backman.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Edward Kelsey Moore, besides being laugh out loud hilarious, has a profound understanding of human nature. This gift, combined with his clear love and affection for his characters, makes him a truly remarkable writer. This book is a joy to read.”
—Fannie Flagg, author of The Whole Town’s Talking and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

“Spending time with the Supremes is like slipping into a warm embrace of love and laughter, soul-searching and sass. There’s nothing these three strong women can’t handle, and that includes the legacy of the pain inflicted by fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. Edward Kelsey Moore has crafted a novel that beautifully illustrates the healing power of forgiveness.”
—Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife

“The arrival of Edward Kelsey Moore’s new novel had me singing anything but the blues. Even better cause for celebration? Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean are back . . . and what a supreme encore it is!”
Julia Glass, author of A House Among the Trees and Three Junes

 

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

It was a love song. At least it started out that way. The lyrics told the tale of a romance between a man and the woman who made his life worth living. Being a blues song, it was also about how that woman repeatedly broke the man’s heart and then repaid his forgiving ways by bringing a world of suffering down on him. The beautiful melody soared and plunged, each verse proclaiming rapturous happiness and gut-wrenching pain. Here, in a church, this piece of music couldn’t have been further outside its natural habitat. But the tune’s lovely mournfulness echoed from the back wall to the baptismal pool and from the marble floor to the vaulted ceiling and settled in as if the forlorn cry had always lived here.

As the song continued and grew sadder with every line, I thought of my parents, Dora and Wilbur Jackson. The blues was Mama and Daddy’s music. Nearly every weekend of my childhood, they spent their evenings in our living room, listening to scratchy recordings of old-timey blues songs on the hi-fi. One of those might have been as sorrowful as the dirge ringing through the church, but I couldn’t recall hearing anything that touched this song for sheer misery.

Mama preferred her blues on the cheerier and dirtier side—nasty tunes loaded with crude jokes about hot dogs, jelly rolls, and pink Cadillacs. The gloomy ballads, like this one, were Daddy’s favorites. I never saw him happier than when he was huddled up with Mama on the sofa, humming along with an ode to agony. He would bob his head to the pulse of the music, like he was offering encouragement to a down-in-the-mouth singer who was sitting right next to him, croaking out his hard luck.

Sometimes, before sending me to bed, my parents would allow me to squeeze in between them. They’ve both been dead for years now, but their bad singing lingers in my memory. And, because I inherited their tuneless voices, I remind myself of my parents every time I rip into some unfortunate melody. Whenever I hear a melancholy blues, I feel the roughness of Daddy’s fingertips, callused by years of carpentry work, sliding over my arm like he was playing a soulful riff on imaginary strings that ran from my elbow to my wrist.

I’d be ordered off to bed when Mama’d had enough of the dreariness and wanted to listen to a record about rocking and rolling and loving that was too grown-up for my young ears.

Even though the song rumbling through the sanctuary would have been a bit dark for Mama’s taste, she’d have loved the singer’s wailing voice and the roller-coaster ride of the melody. And she wouldn’t have let this song go unnoted. If she had been in the church with me, she’d have turned to me and declared, “Odette, your daddy would’ve loved this song. Every single word of it makes you wanna die. I’ve gotta write this in my book.”

My mother’s “book” was a calendar from Stewart’s Funeral Home that she kept in her pocketbook. The cover of the calendar showed a gray-and-white spotted colt and a small boy in blue overalls. They were in a meadow, both of them jumping off the ground in an expression of unrestrained bliss. Above the picture were the words “Jump for Joy,” and below, “Happy thoughts to you and yours from Stewart’s Funeral Home.” Whenever Mama ran into something that she felt was remarkable enough to merit celebration, she wrote a note on that day’s date so she’d never forget it. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Atlanta Chocolate Social Updates

Subject: Important Updates for 2017 Chocolate Social
 
Hello!
We are about 30 days away from the annual Chocolate Social and Excellence Awards. This is the 10th anniversary for Black Pearls Magazine! I’m excited about meeting you all in Atlanta on Thursday Night, July 27, 2017.  I’m coming to you today with a few updates and to share some important news.

 

YOU ARE INVITED TO THE BLACK PEARLS MAGAZINE MEET & GREET
There is a free, private Meet & Greet on Wednesday, July 26, night for readers, authors and book clubs in the Atlanta area. Tell your friends! Just email Ella and let her know who will be attending. RSVP here: edc_dg@yahoo.com. We will all meet in the front lobby at exactly 7pm. Details on the main website. See the information: http://www.edc-creations.com/chocolatesocial16.htm

MEET & GREET LOCATION
HYATT Atlanta Midtown Hotel at 7-11:30pm
125 10th Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
Meet Ella in the front lobby at exactly 7pm
Across the parking lot from the Loews Atlanta Hotel

AWARD WINNERS:
If you can not attend the event and would like your award, 2 of the featured books and a copy of the printed keepsake book shipped to you on Monday, August 17, 2017, the fee is $50.00. Email Ella Curry your address immediately after paying. Pay here for printed souvenir book AND your award shipping cost today: https://www.paypal.me/edc1creations/50

 


 

HOW TO ORDER KEEPSAKE BOOK
Order your copy of the official Black Pearls Magazine souvenir book from the Excellence Awards

Preview here: https://issuu.com/edccreationsmedia/docs/2017_bpm_excellence_awards

Pay here for Black Pearls Magazine souvenir book and 1 featured book:  https://www.paypal.me/edc1creations/35

Important Note: After paying the $35.00 for the full color magazine and shipping, email Ella Curry at: edc_dg@yahoo.com with your mailing address and full name. Printed keepsake magazines will be mailed out on Monday, August 17, 2017 via priority mail. Check your address twice before emailing to Ella. Deadline to order keepsake book: Monday, July 31, 2017


 See the keepsake book here: https://issuu.com/edccreationsmedia/docs/2017_bpm_excellence_awards

 


1. Our event has been moved to the Atlantis Room on the lower level. When you arrive at the event, come directly to the lower level. I will have the DJ waiting on you. There will be a 7ft banner in place so that you can take photos and stream live to social media.

2.
Please know that people will be taking photos, live-streaming and videotaping this event. I plan on having a professional photographer join us, so that he can take photos of all the guests. All of my event photos will be posted across social media and in printed material for EDC Creations.

3.
We want to feature all of the book clubs and book bloggers attending in the Souvenir Book, that will be given out at the event. If you have interviewed with us and want to send updated photos, do so immediately. If you have not been interviewed for Black Pearls, let me know and I can send over the questions immediately. The hardcover of Black Pearls Magazine will be on sale too.

4.
This year all of our guests will have assigned seating. I want to get people in the room and seated as fast as possible. I will email the seating chart on July 15, 2017. You will be seated with people you should get to know!  The idea behind this event is to introduce readers and authors so that you can support each other. Email all information to: edc_dg@yahoo.com.

5
. If you are an author attending the event, we have great packages to showcase your books during the event. The Chocolate Social Bundle is ideal for new books, backlist titles and for books coming out later in 2017. See the Black Pearls advertising opportunities and packages: http://www.edc-creations.com/chocolatesocial16.htm

6.
I need to know the names of all the guests attending with you. If you purchased tickets for a group, email Ella all of the names of the attendees. If you want to sit together, now is the time to send me all seating requests. I need to know all of the names before June 17, 2017.

7.
There is a private Meet & Greet on Wednesday night for readers, authors and book clubs in the Atlanta area. Tell your friends! Just email Ella and let her know who will be attending. We will all meet in the front lobby at exactly 7pm. Details on the main website.

8. We have 10 authors with tables to selling their books. Please prepare to support our event sponsors with a purchase. They will sign books and autograph the printed Black Pearls Magazine. Their books will not be included in the swag bags given out at 10pm. I will also have my Crown Holder Treasure Boxes on sale for $35.00.
 

9.
We are looking for business owners and authors to help sponsor the event, so please feel free to share all of my social media posts and the link to the EDC Creations website. Thank you in advance!

10.
You can call or email me at any time with questions about the event. Call (301) 892-6573 and leave your name, number and a detailed message.
2017 Chocolate Social Location and Details
HYATT Atlanta Midtown Hotel
Party in the Atlantis Room, Lower Level

125 10th Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
Across the parking lot from the Loews Atlanta Hotel
Parking is $5.00. Attire: Semi-formal white clothing. Adults Only
 

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

 

Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

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

 

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

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

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

 

Praise for Dangerous Consequences

“Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson, Waiting to Exhale meets Fatal Attraction!  Johnson makes a stunning debut with a well-written, fast-paced, suspenseful novel full of engaging, realistic characters and dramatic twists at every turn.  Readers will be engaged until the shocking end, but not to worry – book two is in the works.” —RTBookReviews, 4 Stars

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Sin of a Woman (A Curtis Black Novel) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

“Kimberla Lawson Roby has reached a pinnacle
most writers only dream of.” – Rockford Register Star

After her very public divorce from Dillon, Raven Black is recovering nicely.  Dillon has done everything he can to discredit her, but Raven has learned from her mistakes and him.  In fact, she’s intent on using every bit of Dillon’s revenge and betrayal, as she prepares to take what is hers—and more.  Her ambitions have never been so great, and Raven always knows how to get what she wants.  She also won’t allow anything or anyone to get in her way.

She has become her ex-husband in more ways than one and is slowly leading those connected to her down a terrible path of destruction.  But playing with the lives of innocent people has dire consequences—the kind that Raven won’t see coming.  Raven, of all people, should know that what happens in the dark will eventually come to light…and that there’s only so far you can run before your past catches up to you.

Chapter 1

Raven—Pastor Raven Jones Black, that is—scanned the interior of her massive second-floor office, smiled, and strolled closer to the large picture window. But as she gazed down at all the vehicles that were lined up in the church’s parking lot, it was still hard to believe that everything had evolved so quickly. And in such perfect order, too. Yes, having a one-thousand-plus-member congregation was all that she’d hoped for, but she wasn’t sure she’d expected to see her dreams come to pass in only two years. Of course, it hadn’t hurt that nearly two hundred members from her ex-husband’s former church had joined right away. Because had they not, she knew her ministry would have taken a lot longer to build.

Raven gazed around her office again, admiring her espresso-colored Italian leather sofa, matching loveseat, two oversized chairs, CEO-style mahogany desk, and executive chair. When they’d first purchased New Vision Christian Center and had moved into the building six months ago, the pastor’s study had been only half the size it was now. But the more folks had joined the congregation and paid tithes and offerings on a regular basis, the more upgrades Raven had been able to make—both at the church and for herself. From tearing out a wall and doubling the size of her office to clearing out her closet at home and stepping up her wardrobe game, she’d made lots of changes for the better.

To tell the truth, she’d always dressed in expensive clothing, even when she’d been married to that awful ex-husband of hers, Pastor Dillon Whitfield Black. But today she only wore suits that came from some of the highest-end stores people shopped at. In fact, the couture-style fuchsia jacket and skirt she wore now had come from Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She didn’t get the opportunity to shop there often, what with her residing in Mitchell, Illinois, but whenever she did fly to New York for a ministry engagement, she never left before spending at least a little time at Bergdorf, Barneys, or Saks’s flagship location. She did the same thing at the Neiman Marcus flagship store when she visited Dallas, and although some people might not understand her great desire to live well and have the best of everything, she knew it was only because they didn’t know her story. Her childhood horror story. Her reason for deciding early on that when she became an adult, she would never go without any of the things she wanted, not if she could help it.

What was so amazing, though, was that regardless of how great her life seemed to be going, she still reflected on her blemished past. She certainly didn’t want to, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t forget about her very public and very nasty divorce from Dillon. She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t spent time in prison for stealing a hundred thousand dollars from her former father-in-law, Reverend Curtis Black. She couldn’t dismiss the fact that she’d once struggled with a very serious gambling addiction.

She hadn’t even known Dillon back when she’d worked as CFO for his father’s church, and now, she regretted the day she’d contacted him. But when she’d heard about the fallout between him and his dad, she’d decided to reach out to Dillon, letting him know that she understood his pain and that she could help him build a much larger church than the one Pastor Black had founded. This, of course, had secured Dillon’s undivided attention, and not long after she’d been released from prison, they’d begun seeing each other and had gotten married. Raven had truly loved him, too, and she could tell he’d loved her—at least for a while. But then greed and power had become a lot more important to Dillon, and he’d commenced having an affair with another woman. And then a second one.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma

Nandi has been inspiring girls all across the country, and she loves meeting new little faces. Grab your little ones a copy of Nandi’s Unexpected Gift today!

 

With her 10th birthday coming up, Nandi is eager to receive a special gift that she’s never asked for before, something that makes her feel like she’s really growing up and becoming more like her big sister Vanessa. She and her buddies Anara and Lila have some very important studying to do for school, but Nandi’s excitement about her birthday causes her to lose focus and head down a path she wasn’t expecting to go. In the end, it’s her Grandma Janie who teaches her a very important lesson and gives her the best gift she’s ever received. The unexpected gift her grandmother gives her is not only a gift for Nandi, but for you as well!

 

Nandi’s Unexpected Gift Book Reviews
Read more Amazon book reviews, go here.

 

 

 

“In Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, Ama Kuma creates a character and a community full of Black love and Black beauty where children not only thrive to be their very best, but also see their beauty reflected in their culture and the nurturing of mamas, grandmas, teachers and friends, especially in the face of life lessons that yield the greatest gift of all: Love.  All children will see themselves in Nandi and her struggle.  At time when representation of Black children in American publishing is lacking, Ama Kuma gifts us Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, a story that is, in the words of Alice Walker, a ‘temple of our familiar.'”
-Tony Medina, Poet, Children’s Book Author, Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University

 

 

“As a mother to a young girl, I look for diversity in the books I choose for her to read.  Ama’s story Nandi’s Unexpected Gift not only celebrates the beauty of our young brown girls, she captures the sense of family, and our values as well.  Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is a story for young and older audiences.  I was able to share and enjoy this story with my daughter along with the beauty of seeing a young girl who mirrored her reflection.  This is a timeless story, by a truly extraordinary author.  I can’t wait for the next story in Nandi’s journey.”
-Elle Henry, Managing Editor/Owner, Tres Chic Edits                                                                                              

 

“There is a certain urgency to the life of a young African American girl discovering what makes her unique in a world that seems to demand that everyone fit some standard that is based on how we look or what we wear.  It is a journey shared by many youth, one often too mysterious and difficult to understand.  But here, in Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, author Ama Kuma creates an intimate space for discovery through a familiar experience rendered anew through the life of Nandi, one super smart and adventurous young African American girl.  Nandi is delightfully engaging as she counts raindrops during thunderstorms, climbs trees, makes up lyrics to the jazz her grandmother plays at home, and basks in the love of her family. Set in the lush landscape of Polk County, Florida, this story illuminates an important rite of passage in Nandi’s life as her tenth birthday approaches.  There are unexpected challenges for her to face, even in the magical realm of her dreams.  Avery-Liell-Kok’s illustrations reflect the vibrant lives of the characters revealed so lovingly by Ama Kuma’s writing.  And the book is certainly a crucial affirmation of the spectacular lives of African American girls.  It centers, lifts, and celebrates them.  It is one of those children’s books that will be remembered for years to come; the kind that you hold onto far into your adult years.  It is a book you pass to others, knowing they will find themselves in the pages and hold onto what’s discovered there.  It is a treasure of a book, an absolute gift of a story.”
-Nina Angela Mercer, Playwright/Interdisciplinary

 

Nandi’s Unexpected Gift  gives its readers a gift: a story that brings to life intriguing and thoroughly human characters whose time together captures a slice of their lives and finds joy and wonder in the ordinary elements that make up their days.  The adept way in which the story entwines the characters’ conversations and the accounts of their actions makes this story one that will draw in readers and convince them to turn the pages to find out what happens next.”
-AuthorHouse Editorial Dept

 

Book Excerpt: Nandi’s Unexpected Gift

When her mother finally pulled up in the driveway, Nandi jumped to her feet and sprinted to retrieve the carefully crafted list from under her pillow.  Before her mother even made it to the front door, Nandi was already at the entrance, jumping up and down, flailing her arms about, and yelling, “Mama, Mama, I finished my birthday list!”

Her mother sighed as she rubbed Nandi’s cheek and replied, “That’s wonderful, baby doll, but give me a chance to get settled for a minute before I take a look at what you got, okay?  Today was a long day at work, and I just need some peace and quiet.  Also, I need you to grab another umbrella and help me get the rest of the groceries out of the back seat.”

Reluctantly, Nandi put her list down and ran back to her room to get an umbrella.  She didn’t realize all the noise she’d been making had woken her grandmother from her slumber.

“Hey, now, Di-Di, what have I told you ‘bout runnin’ in the house?” her grandmother said.  “Child, one day you gonna fly into a wall like a lost bird or knock over a lamp.”

“Sorry, Grandmama Janie,” Nandi replied respectfully. “I’m just excited to show Mama my birthday list.  I finished it up last night.”

“That’s fine and dandy honey, but you still can’t go around runnin’ like a wild boar.  You almost scared your poor Grandmama to death.  I ain’t no spring chicken no more,” she said with a heavy sigh. “Now let me take a look at this list that’s got you actin’ all crazy.”

( Continued… )

© 2016 All rights reserved.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Ama Kuma.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

Order Copies of Nandi’s Unexpected Gift
Genre:  YA, Children’s Book (8-11)
https://www.amazon.com/Nandis-Unexpected-Gift-Ama-Kuma/dp/1524619124

About the Author

Ama Kuma was born Alexia J. Hogan in Orlando, FL.  The pen name “Ama Kuma” was adopted after a trip to Ghana in 2007.  As a child, she loved to read, sing, dance, and climb trees.  Her passion for language and art continued to grow as she grew older, and she loved to learn about people from all walks of life.  She studied English at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Africana Studies at New York University before returning to Polk County to teach elementary school.  Ama currently resides in her hometown of Orlando where she enjoys writing, painting, singing, playing the piano, and going wherever the wind takes her.  Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is her first published book.

Website:  http://www.amakuma.net
Twitter:  @ama_kuma1
Instagram:  amakuma_author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ama_kuma1
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/NandiUGift

 

 

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No Regrets by Patricia Haley-Glass

Johnny and Karen Clark have spent the last twenty years buying a slice of the American dream. It would seem the Clarks have a blessed life, with three bright kids, and a lifestyle to be envied. Instead, their idyllic relationship has begun to unravel. After her bout with an illness and a few of Johnny’s indiscretions, all is in chaos. Karen wants Johnny gone but is in no position financially or physically to take care of herself and the children.

At the same time, Johnny desperately wants out but doesn’t feel right leaving Karen destitute in her moment of crisis. They need help and neither knows what to do. Where Johnny and Karen go from here will all depend on how much they’re willing to sacrifice and how much value they place on life, marriage, and faith in a God that neither seems to know personally.

 


 

Book Reviews for Patricia Haley-Glass

“No Regrets offered me a different way, a healthier way based in faith and hope, to look at trying situations.”
—Montgomery Newspapers

“Haley-Glass shared how God does choose the most unlikely person for ministry when we think there is no way. A must read…Highly recommended.”
—APOOO Book Club

“Phenomenal … Haley-Glass did an outstanding job on each person’s outlook and how, without forgiveness, no problem can truly be solved.”
— Urban Reviews

“The perfect blend of faith and romance.”
—Gospel Book Review

“Haley’s writing and visualization skills are to be reckoned with…This story is full-bodied…Great prose, excellent execution!”
—RAWSISTAZ™ on Still Waters

“Haley-Glass has hit the mark yet again! I couldn’t put this book down —the characters are believable and compelling.”
—Maurice M. Gray, Jr., author of All Things Work Together

“A deeply moving novel. The characters and the story line remind us that forgiveness and unconditional love are crucial to any relationship.”
—Good Girl Book Club

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Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101) by J. Nichole

In Love 101, we meet Laila a student at Lee University, a Historically Black College & University in Tallahassee, Florida.  Throughout the series,  Laila tackles the challenges of finding new friends, and a new love.  Each book in Love 101 chronicles the progression of her college experience, and ultimately her relationship with the man who snagged her freshman year.

 

Reviews for Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101: Book 1) 35 Amazon Ratings of 4.4 or 5.0 Stars

 

Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101: Book 1) 5 Star Review
“I loved the book it reminded me of my freshman year LOL… I hope there is a part 2 to see what the characters have been up to.”

Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101: Book 1) 5 Star Review
“This was a quick page turner about a young woman entering a new chapter of her life. We not only got a chance to take this journey with her but we were also able to catch a glimpse at the supporting characters embarking on their own journeys of self discovery. There were plenty of life lessons sprinkled throughout the book. It also included humor and of course love. I recommend this book to anyone who remembers what it was like to be young, dumb(kidding), and down for fun. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book to see what the Lee University students are up to. P.S. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Courtney.”

 

About the Love 101 – New Adult Series
After releasing Freshmen Fifteen, book one of the Love 101 series, the feedback J. Nichole received was that the book left readers wanting more!  What happened to Laila and Chris?  What becomes of Laila’s best friend, Tanya?  Although Love 101 was not in the plans, J. Nichole wanted her readers to feel satisfied with their investment into Laila’s life.  So with that, J. Nichole went back to her desk and didn’t emerge until she completed Laila’s story.  With the series, readers can follow Laila from her first year in college until she walks across that stage four years later.

 

Excerpt: Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101) by J. Nichole

He stands up and slowly wraps his arm around my waist as he starts dancing, and I feel his muscles tense as he moves.  I’m going to ignore how inappropriate this is, he gets a pass this time. I cock my head up and say, “Well, hello there.”

“It’s about time I get a chance to get close to you.”  He stops dancing and stares me in the eyes with a playful smile.  Staring back, I take note of each of his features.  His eyes are slightly darker than hazel and his goatee is perfectly trimmed. “I hope you are having fun tonight.  I have to go, but let me give you my number so you can call me.”

“Your number? I don’t even know your name, nor do you know mine.”

“Oh, I know your name, Laila.  But I apologize.  My name is Chris, Chris Clark. Now like I said, let me give you my number.”

How does he know my name?  I pull my phone out and begin entering each number as he says it. As I press Done, he takes my phone and presses the call button. When he hands my phone back, I look at him sideways and say, “You didn’t have to take my number, I would have given it to you.”  Sexy, but cocky.  I’m not sure about this one.

“You’re right, but like I said, I need to run.  Promise me you will call me when you make it back to the dorm.”

I don’t make any promises, but I give him a gentle smile.  He kisses my cheek, then walks away, leaving his scent of sweat and cologne behind.  I turn to Jennifer and Nicole, who are standing with big goofy grins on their faces.  I shake my head a couple of times.  Never would I have imagined I would have met Mr. Sexy like this.

( Continued… )

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

Purchase Freshmen Fifteen (Love 101) by J. Nichole
https://www.amazon.com/Freshmen-Fifteen-Love-101-Nichole-ebook/dp/B06XP9635Y

 

 


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A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey takes a look at our friends from Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard five years later.


Life makes the distinction between lasting or lust and forever or not.  Nearly five years ago, the contrasting lives of these unlikely friends became cemented.  Through all their differences, they toiled through the grit of building friendships and finding love.  Now it truly begins.  Perry and Robert Nichols have finally transitioned from living a lie into living that life.  Despite her once-pretentious facade, Perry now touts a coveted life—one she never apologizes for.  What matters is her marriage, her two children, and the success of her upscale business, Lux Body & Soul.  Perry’s wrath abruptly becomes unleashed once being betrayed, causing her life to quickly unravel.  When everything she holds dear is put at risk, Perry must call on Harlem Brooks.

Harlem Brooks, the good boy gone bad, has returned to the city.  He has cleaned up his act and is no longer the judge’s prodigal son.  Harlem is back at the firm, committed and living a more suitable life.  As his determination increases to spare Perry from ending up behind bars and keeping her family intact, he is unknowingly blind-sided by what is awaiting his own.  When he returns to the office late one night seeking any crucial evidence to turn around a plummeting trial, Harlem makes a shattering discovery.  Now more than ever he longs for what his brother has . . . his own family.  Like many men, Harlem hasn’t quenched his insatiable needs.  What he desires most is the one thing he can’t have.  Erika Townsend’s beauty is alluring to Harlem, but what intrigues him most is her resilience.  That unshakable strength is what Harlem needs now more than ever.

Torie Matthews is finally settled and happy after marrying Quinn, her best friend and kindred spirit.  In the face of their marital bliss, there has been immense heartbreak.  When their marriage receives yet another devastating blow, Torie questions whether their bond is strong enough to endure.

A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey
http://www.authortraceyfagandanzey.com

 

 


Tracey Fagan-Danzey was raised and educated in the woodsy suburb of  New Canaan, Connecticut.  Following her attendance at Fairleigh Dickinson and Fairfield Universities, Tracey obtained her credentials as a Professional of Human Resources.  All the while Tracey continued to pursue her natural craft of writing.

To further her aspirations of becoming a published author, Tracey elevated her commitment by becoming a participant of the Westport Writers’ Workshop and critique groups. Tracey continues to reside in Connecticut with her beloved son Tanner Ryan and doting husband Tony.

Jasper’s  Cafe On The Boulevard is a rework of  a debut project titled “Where Is The Box For Someone Like Me?”  This project advanced in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. See here: http://www.authortraceyfagandanzey.com/music-page

 

And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson

AND THEN THERE WAS ME
by Sadeqa Johnson


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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister

A Touch Of Love by Sheryl Lister
(Book 4 in The Grays of Los Angeles Series)

And, yep, it’s available at:  http://amzn.to/2jaTxAc

Lexia Daniels can’t deny that her café’s most loyal customer is as tempting as any of the delicious treats she bakes. Burned by a bitter divorce, she tries to keep her desire in check around Khalil Gray, but the gorgeous ex-model is intent on seduction. Then a devastating accident reveals the complicated man behind the perfectly sculpted body… A man she can’t seem to resist.

At first, Khalil sees Lexia as a sexy challenge. But after an explosion shatters his world, she becomes the only person he can’t seem to push away. And every sign around him is telling him he needs her close. Khalil is happy to explore their erotic chemistry as long as it means resisting real emotion. But playing by his old rules could cost him the love he never thought he’d find…

 

Excerpt: A Touch of Love by Sheryl Lister

Chapter 1

 

“What the hell do you mean they were charged twice?” Khalil Gray stopped in his tracks. He met the disapproving glare of a grandmotherly woman and offered up a tight smile. Lowering his voice, he repeated the question.

“I have no idea,” Felicia McBride answered. The twenty-six year-old college student worked as the assistant manager at his fitness center, Maximum Burn. “There’ve been four calls since you left with members saying their accounts were debited twice this month. They’ve already been corrected, but I have no idea why it happened in the first place.”

He ran an agitated hand down his face. “Thanks, Felicia. I’ll check it out when I get back.”

He ended the call, still trying to figure out what was going on. He had owned the gym for five years and never had a problem before. Khalil continued through the lobby toward the elevators and jabbed the button with more force than necessary. He toyed with stopping in Oasis Café for his favorite low-fat apple cinnamon coffee cake, but because of traffic and construction across from the Wilshire District office building, he was already fifteen minutes late for the Wednesday morning staff meeting at his family’s home safety company. The elevator doors opened and he stepped back to allow the stream of people exit before boarding and riding the car up to the sixth floor.

Khalil greeted the receptionist and walked briskly down the hallway to the large conference room. He slid into a vacant seat and turned his attention to what his older brother, Brandon was saying. Brandon had taken over as CEO of the company nine months ago. Their father, Nolan Gray, had started the company upon his discharge from the Army after being disheartened by the difficulty in getting services and accommodations for the disabled. He’d decided to do something about it by designing them himself.

Their father’s best friend, Thaddeus Whitcomb—who had lost the lower part of his leg while serving—joined the company as a minor partner and vice president. The two men had a long-standing agreement that there would always be a Gray at the helm as CEO and a Whitcomb as vice president. Currently, only Brandon and their older sister, Siobhan, worked for the company. He listened as each department gave updates. After the last person finished, Brandon directed his attention to Khalil. “Khalil, you’re still going to be meeting with production about your equipment, right?” Khalil nodded.

“Next week. The second gym is scheduled to open in June and I don’t want any delays.” They had broken ground a year ago on the now three-level center and the
building would be completed in four weeks, barring any problems. He wanted all the equipment to be ready for installation.

“So, roughly three months until opening day. Let me know if you run into any difficulties. Is there anything else?” Khalil glanced at the wall clock. It was almost eleven. Any hope he had of getting that coffee cake dissipated. When no one spoke, he pushed the chair from the table and started to stand.

“I have one quick thing.”  He dropped back into his seat and groaned inwardly. He loved his sister-in-law, but couldn’t she table her comments until the next meeting? Brandon had met Faith Alexander when he’d come to her rescue after a car accident. Unbeknownst to either of them, Faith was the long lost daughter of Thaddeus Whitcomb, and rightful heir to the VP position. Uncle Thad, as they affectionately called him, had been looking for his daughter for twenty-eight years after his wife divorced him.

Khalil smiled inwardly remembering all the fireworks that followed when Brandon found out the woman he had rescued and begun dating was actually going to be his second-in-command. Brandon hadn’t been too happy since he’d grown up thinking he would head the company alone—a fact that Brandon had reiterated several times. Things had worked out between Brandon and Faith and they had married six weeks ago.  Khalil tuned back into Faith discussing the new intern program. It gave him an idea about doing something similar at the gym. A few minutes later, the meeting ended.

“Hey, Khalil. I want to talk to you before you leave.” He shot a glare at Brandon. Another five minutes passed before his brother made it over to where Khalil stood impatiently waiting.

“Why are you frowning at me like that?” Brandon asked.

“Because it’s after eleven and my coffee cake is probably gone by now.” He strode out of the conference room, leaving Brandon to follow. “If you want to talk, we need to do in on the way downstairs.” Brandon chuckled.

“Weren’t you grumbling about that three weeks ago when you were here?” He pushed the down button on the elevator.  Khalil only attended the weekly staff meeting when he had something on the agenda.

“Yeah, and you’d better hope it’s not all gone again. Dad’s staff meetings never ran this long. You’re taking this CEO thing way too far.”

“Well, we have two new products in the design phase and have to finalize plans for our interns who’ll be starting soon, so there’s a lot to discuss.”

When the elevator arrived, they joined four other occupants and rode down to the first floor without speaking. As soon as the doors opened, Khalil hurried across the lobby to Oasis Café. The only things left in the display case in the spot where the coffee cake usually sat were the tipped over sign and crumbs. Behind him, Brandon laughed softly. “Guess you’ll have to get here early next time.” Before he could tell his brother where to go, a tall, pretty woman approached.

“Good morning. Table for two?” She reached for menus.

“No, thank you.” Khalil pointed to the glass case. “Do you have any more of the low fat apple cinnamon coffee cake?”

“Sorry. We sold the last piece about an hour ago.” She chuckled. “It’s our most popular item and it goes fast. We still have some other pastries you can choose from.” He frowned. He didn’t want any of those sugar-laden sweets. After spending over a decade in the modeling and fitness business, he was very selective about what went into his body. The only allowances he made were family dinners. His mother could throw down in the kitchen and he looked forward to the monthly get-togethers. “Thanks, but I’ll pass.” She smiled. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Yes, I’ll take…” Khalil trailed off when a woman wearing an apron came from the back and placed a plate on the counter. A wide headband held her thick, wavy natural hair back, and she had flawless skin, wide dark brown eyes and lush lips, all set in an exquisite mocha face.  “I saw you this morning and knew you’d be in. You’re later than usual,” she said. The deep, throaty sound of her voice caught him off guard and sent a jolt to his midsection. Khalil sent a scathing look over his shoulder at Brandon then smiled, reached for her hand and brought it to his lips.

“This is the best thing that has happened to me lately and I just may have to ask for your hand in marriage lovely lady.”

Her brow lifted and she gave him a sassy smile. “Sorry, but I only accept marriage proposals from men whose name I know.”

His grin widened. “Is that right?” Was she flirting with him? She tried to pull her hand back, but he didn’t let go. “Then let me introduce myself. Khalil Gray. And you are?”  Staring at him, she said softly, “Lexia. Lexia Daniels.”

“So, Lexia Daniels, exactly how long do we need to know each other before you say yes to my proposal?”  Lexia shook her head and gently, but firmly withdrew her hand. “I need to get back to work.” She placed a cup on the counter, along with a Decaf Vanilla Chai tea bag—his favorite.

“Enjoy your coffee cake and tea.” She turned and headed back the way she’d come.

“This should improve your mood some,” Brandon said.

“Mmm hmm.” Khalil had been here several times since the café reopened under new management almost two years ago and couldn’t recall ever seeing her. His gaze followed the sweet curve of her hips until she disappeared. The other woman smiled knowingly and rang up his purchases.

( Continued… )


Purchase A Touch of Love (The Grays of Los Angeles) by Sheryl Lister

http://sheryllister.com/a-touch-of-love-the-grays-of-los-angeles-book-4/

 

 

About the Author
Sheryl Lister has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. When she’s not reading, writing or playing chauffeur, Sheryl can be found on a date with her husband or in the kitchen creating appetizers and bite-sized desserts. She holds a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and post-professional M.S. in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She resides in California and is a wife, mother of three and works as a pediatric occupational therapist.

 

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Black Cotton by Tomeekha Pitre

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Website:  https://www.tomeekhapitre.com

 

Purchase Black Cotton by Tomeekha Pitre
Book genre: Art & Beauty, Photography
Celebrating the beauty of the black woman
Target audience:  African-American women, ages 10-65
https://www.tomeekhapitre.com/product-page/black-cotton
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Persuasion (Sisters-in-Love Book 3) by J.L. Campbell

Persuasion (Sisters-in-Love Book 3) by J.L. Campbell


Do you remember being young and in love? Relive the memories with Gary and Yolanda in Persuasion.

School. Music. Blogging. These are Yolanda Charles’ priorities. She likes life simple and is content to hang around her step-sisters. That’s until she admits she’s attracted to Gary Cheung-See, a web developer who exemplifies the strong, silent, and surly type.

Each time a bug hits her website and social media accounts, Gary helps to solve her issues. Despite his good looks and brilliance, Yolanda is undecided about her feelings for him and suspects he might be the culprit trying to ruin her life and reputation—no matter what her heart says.

Gary is from a dysfunctional family and refuses Yolanda’s help with bridging the gap between himself and his father. When a life-threatening illness hits the person he cares about most, he is forced to reassess his stance on forgiveness, while Yolanda has to decide whether Gary is friend or foe and if she can trust him with her heart.

 

Chapter Excerpt: Persuasion

When it came to people, I didn’t give a rat’s behind what they thought about me. Well, everybody except my mother and Joshua, my business partner and housemate.

I switched on the laptop, knowing if Joshua caught me smiling at nothing, he’d think a few of my brain cells had short-circuited or died.

I’d left Yolanda’s house a half-hour ago after sorting out her laptop and installing a virus protection program. It wasn’t the normal thing for me to do, but she was so upset about her machine being invaded that I couldn’t leave without doing something to help her.

Her father had come home after we had dinner, but we were still at the table, and he sat down to eat. After he did a low-key examination while we talked, I got the feeling he knew I liked his daughter. He didn’t say anything I could take as any kind of warning not to mess with Yolanda, but his size alone would intimidate anybody up to no good.

It wasn’t until later, when he was joking around with Yolanda, that I realized he was her step-dad. At the time, I couldn’t help comparing the non-relationship with my father to what Yolanda had with the man she called Uncle Xavier.

“You went out today?”

I twisted sideways when Joshua’s voice came to me from the doorway. He frowned, pushing his glasses up on his nose. Joshua was short and dark-skinned, which made us total opposites, but I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

“Yeah, I was over at Yolanda’s house,” I said.

His eyebrows did an is-that-so thing and a wide smile greeted me. “Boy, I miss all the good stuff. You two don’t talk in months and then suddenly, you’re over there … doing what, by the way?”

“She called me up. Something was wrong with her computer.”

He gave me a sly look. “And in your brilliance, you couldn’t solve her problem from here?”

“Not even I’m that good. I had to go to her since she didn’t have a ride.”

“I guess you fixed whatever the problem was, right?”

“Yeah, some sort of malware on her site and something with her laptop.”

He leaned against the doorway, hands shoved in his pockets. “So did you make a move?”

“Come on. I was over there to fix something, not to try and get inside her panties.”

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Lady of the House by E. N. Joy

 


The man might be the head of the family, but the woman is definitely the head of the house. Pastor Margie has been doing just fine running her house, as well as the house of the Lord, New Day Temple of Faith, all by her lonesome. As a matter of fact, her motto has been, “I can do better all by myself.”

Well, certain members of the congregation beg to differ. Some of them have been nagging at Margie for so long about finding a help mate that she just might be crazy enough to give it a try. Once her congregation learns the method in which she goes about seeking a man for the house, they might worry for her sanity. After all, a woman of the cloth would have to be certifiably nuts to agree to go on a reality dating show in order to find a husband.

Margie assures her members that she will be just fine, because the Lord will guide her. That may be so, but a former member comes across the miles to offer her help as well. Usually the voice of reason who can speak truth and sense into any situation, even Mother Doreen might not be able to handle this scenario.

As Margie and Doreen navigate the pitfalls of reality television, will the voices of the producers, production team, and not to mention the men—some of whom aren’t even saved—drown out the voice of God?

Watch the book introduction: https://youtu.be/LuJO444ihKA

 

 

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To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Two Souls
One Desire
To Find Each Other…Again
How many times would you die to find your one true love?
The journey begins with Ama and Ekow ~ Two lovers betrothed, then torn apart by an enemy disguised as a friend. And in the midst of an unthinkable bargain, their freedom is sold for a bag of gold.

But what their enemies thought would break them only unleashed a power greater than life itself.

From the ancient shores of Ghana to the streets of pre-colonial India,

From the burning embers of Oahu to the heart of a nation’s capitol,

Their souls risked war, death, and betrayal to bend destiny to their will.

Will they survive? Will they succeed? Join them on this timeless journey and see…

Listen to a reading from the Historical Romance, To Find You by Cerece Rennie Murphy
http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/C7GN8vWk/

 

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

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

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

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

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Affirmed: 365 Days of Positive Thoughts and Actions to Start Your Day by Cheryl Polote-Williamson

Affirmed is a yearlong journey with positive words, thoughts and sayings for each day of this year. God has blessed me with the opportunity to meet and speak to hundreds of people in doing my coaching calls, public speaking engagements and networking events. One of the most common themes that I hear about in coaching and mentoring others is a lack of self-esteem specifically dealing with negative thoughts. I began to pray for the people who told me their stories of poor self-image and lack of confidence. As I prayed, God began to give me positive words to speak to others. He gave me, Affirmed.

Books by Cheryl Polote-Williamson
https://www.amazon.com/Cheryl-Polote-Williamson/e/B00JGC7QRI


The Affirmed Tour is coming to your city! Stay tuned more dates and cities to come.  View all of the details for Cheryl Polote Williamson’s #Affirmed Tour Book Signings. See all of her upcoming events: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/cheryl-polote-williamson-10727114829

 

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Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel by Tomeekha Pitre

Earth’s Quiet Chaos is set in a historically significant community in Los Angeles, California. Earth Hartley is an African American businesswoman whose life is consumed by caring for her older sister, Moon, and trying to save Moon from the consequences of her careless behavior and substance abuse.

Moon is paranoid, violent, erratic, and irrational. She thrives in her life of chaos, and has no regard for the pain it causes her family. Ra, their brother, is the lifeline between his two sisters. He’s the glue that holds the family together until a horrible and violent act results in Moon’s arrest.

The story of Earth’s Quiet Chaos is about finding and holding onto true love while dealing with family issues that are considered to be taboo in the African American community, but are relatable to all.

5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Written By Amazon Customer
This is a MUST READ, not only for the African-American community but for all. It is relatable, inspiring, educational and a very easy read. It is unique in it’s style and content. It was difficult putting the book down once I began to read it. After completing the book, I was encouraged and motivated again. It inspired me to begin meditation activities; to stay hopeful and to progress forward no matter what the circumstances of my or my families’ life were. The author blessed us with this story and helped to make the quiet chaos in my life more manageable.

5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Written By Paulette 
The author has written an excellent book about the emotional turmoil experienced between close siblings and their significant others when the eldest appears to be in denial about being controlled by substance abuse. It’s evident the three siblings, the main characters, love each other as they endure many struggles in their attempts to keep the family intact. Blessed with great parents who instilled spiritually-driven values, the younger two are committed to doing whatever it takes to save their sister.

The character descriptions and actions are so vividly detailed you find yourself communicating with them and reluctantly putting the book down to sleep. Although the story was complete, I’m still hooked and crave more about the secondary characters who helped to make this story seem more real than fiction. I hope the author takes the hint and blesses us with a sequel.

 

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Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma


Nandi has been inspiring girls all across the country, and she loves meeting new little faces. Grab your little ones a copy of Nandi’s Unexpected Gift today!  Give Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma as a gift today!

With her 10th birthday coming up, Nandi is eager to receive a special gift that she’s never asked for before, something that makes her feel like she’s really growing up and becoming more like her big sister Vanessa. She and her buddies Anara and Lila have some very important studying to do for school, but Nandi’s excitement about her birthday causes her to lose focus and head down a path she wasn’t expecting to go. In the end, it’s her Grandma Janie who teaches her a very important lesson and gives her the best gift she’s ever received. The unexpected gift her grandmother gives her is not only a gift for Nandi, but for you as well!

 

Check out Nandi’s Unexpected Gift by Ama Kuma
Genre: Children’s Book (8-11)
https://www.amazon.com/Nandis-Unexpected-Gift-Ama-Kuma/dp/1524619124

 


Book Reviews

“In Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, Ama Kuma creates a character and a community full of Black love and Black beauty where children not only thrive to be their very best, but also see their beauty reflected in their culture and the nurturing of mamas, grandmas, teachers and friends, especially in the face of life lessons that yield the greatest gift of all: Love.  All children will see themselves in Nandi and her struggle.  At time when representation of Black children in American publishing is lacking, Ama Kuma gifts us Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, a story that is, in the words of Alice Walker, a ‘temple of our familiar.'”
-Tony Medina, Poet, Children’s Book Author, Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University

“As a mother to a young girl, I look for diversity in the books I choose for her to read.  Ama’s story Nandi’s Unexpected Gift not only celebrates the beauty of our young brown girls, she captures the sense of family, and our values as well.  Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is a story for young and older audiences.  I was able to share and enjoy this story with my daughter along with the beauty of seeing a young girl who mirrored her reflection.  This is a timeless story, by a truly extraordinary author.  I can’t wait for the next story in Nandi’s journey.”
-Elle Henry, Managing Editor/Owner, Tres Chic Edits                                                                                              

“There is a certain urgency to the life of a young African American girl discovering what makes her unique in a world that seems to demand that everyone fit some standard that is based on how we look or what we wear.  It is a journey shared by many youth, one often too mysterious and difficult to understand.  But here, in Nandi’s Unexpected Gift, author Ama Kuma creates an intimate space for discovery through a familiar experience rendered anew through the life of Nandi, one super smart and adventurous young African American girl.  Nandi is delightfully engaging as she counts raindrops during thunderstorms, climbs trees, makes up lyrics to the jazz her grandmother plays at home, and basks in the love of her family. Set in the lush landscape of Polk County, Florida, this story illuminates an important rite of passage in Nandi’s life as her tenth birthday approaches.  There are unexpected challenges for her to face, even in the magical realm of her dreams.  Avery-Liell-Kok’s illustrations reflect the vibrant lives of the characters revealed so lovingly by Ama Kuma’s writing.  And the book is certainly a crucial affirmation of the spectacular lives of African American girls.  It centers, lifts, and celebrates them.  It is one of those children’s books that will be remembered for years to come; the kind that you hold onto far into your adult years.  It is a book you pass to others, knowing they will find themselves in the pages and hold onto what’s discovered there.  It is a treasure of a book, an absolute gift of a story.”
-Nina Angela Mercer, Playwright/Interdisciplinary

“Nandi’s Unexpected Gift gives its readers a gift: a story that brings to life intriguing and thoroughly human characters whose time together captures a slice of their lives and finds joy and wonder in the ordinary elements that make up their days.  The adept way in which the story entwines the characters’ conversations and the accounts of their actions makes this story one that will draw in readers and convince them to turn the pages to find out what happens next.”
-AuthorHouse Editorial Dept

 


Meet the Author

Ama Kuma was born Alexia J. Hogan in Orlando, FL.  The pen name “Ama Kuma” was adopted after a trip to Ghana in 2007.  As a child, she loved to read, sing, dance, and climb trees.  Her passion for language and art continued to grow as she grew older, and she loved to learn about people from all walks of life.  She studied English at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Africana Studies at New York University before returning to Polk County to teach elementary school.  Ama currently resides in her hometown of Orlando, where she enjoys writing, painting, singing, playing the piano, and going wherever the wind takes her.

Nandi’s Unexpected Gift is her first published book.
Website:  http://www.amakuma.net

 

 

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Dangerous Consequences by Lisa Renee Johnson

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

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

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

 

Praise for Dangerous Consequences

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

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

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

 

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

 

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The Journey of Ruthie Belle by Imani Wisdom

The meek, Ruthie Belle dreams of one day being free from her husband’s constant mental and physical torment, until one day she finds the courage to break free from his bondage. Even though the plan goes without a hitch, Ruthie spends the rest of her life riddled in guilt and shame. Later at the ripe age of 103, Ruthie discovers forgiveness and redemption are a part of everyday journeys.

During her pilgrimage, she meets people from her past and makes new and important friends to help her heal and to find understanding. Yet the further into her journey, the darker it gets. Ruthie discovers things aren’t the way it seems when her shame comes back for his revenge – her husband. Will new revelations keep her from her pursuit to redemption? Or will the haunting of her past stop her cold in her tracks?


 

 

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#WritingWithPurpose: Introducing the Black Bird Detective Series by Sage

Introducing the Black Bird Detective Series by Sage

When you begin to read Assumptions Abound you step inside of the book and journey along with the characters. Assumptions Abound will keep you on the edge of your seat as you ride every twist and turn.  Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one.  This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington.

Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life!  Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder.

Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists. Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered.  The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue. This psychological thriller has all of the key ingredients to create an explosive literary masterpiece.

Detective Nina Kelsey is also introduced in this series. Detective Kelsey is not who she appears to be. A complex person with her own dark past, Detective Kelsey is always searching for more. She is determined to solve the Cold Creek murders before another life is lost. Fireworks will ignite when Detective Kelsey and Monét Worthington meet and someone may end up dead.

Through this story, the Black Bird Detective Series is born. Assumptions Abound is the first book in the Black Bird Detective Series Trilogy This series features characters from Assumptions Abound, including Raven Carter. Raven is a young African-American detective. She is determined to solve murders in the small town of Cold Creek.

As she solves mysteries, she also works to uncover the truth about her past.

The series continues with Seeking Truth, Sweet Revenge and The Butterfly.


The Black Bird Detective Series is a bookclub favorite!

Listen to the author reading:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CRSH3Htk
 


Assumptions Abound Available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Assumptions-Abound-Black-Bird-Detective-ebook/dp/B00642W77M

Seeking Truth Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Truth-Black-Detective-Mystery-ebook/dp/B008D2ZARA

Sweet Revenge Available on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Revenge-Sage-ebook/dp/B012P17C1Q

The Butterfly Available on Amazon: 
http://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Sage-ebook/dp/B01BVLG8RK

Lost and Turned Upside Down on Amazon:  
http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Turned-Upside-Down-Sage-ebook/dp/B01CBY45P8

About the Author
Sage
was born and raised in Huntingtown, MD. She has been married to her best friend, for over ten years and they have two amazing sons.  She is also an Autism advocate and a parent of an autistic child, which inspired her to write a non-fiction book on raising a child on the Autism spectrum, The Optimistic Autistic: Our Testimony.

Sage also writes mysteries centered on characters that are close to the heart. She has vowed to produce books that encourage the reader to deliberately read; not just for entertainment but to read with the intention of solving the mystery along with the Detective.

Her belief that, “if you don’t see the books you’re searching for write them” has inspired her to write with a purpose and a passion.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sage.inspires
Sage’s author website: http://www.blackbirddetectiveseries.com

 

#BlackLove: Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Best Friends Forever
by Kimberla Lawson Roby

In this page-turning marital saga, Roby tells the story of a woman who, only days apart, learns that she has breast cancer and that her husband is having an affair—yet this doesn’t stop him from leaving her for the other woman.

After being rejected by numerous literary agents and publishing houses in 1996, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Kimberla Lawson Roby started her own company and self-published her debut novel. Now, Roby is releasing her 23rd family drama, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, which centers on a wife, her husband, breast cancer and infidelity. Roby has sold more than 2.6 million copies of her books and is the 2013 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER tells the story of Celine Richardson, her husband, Keith, and their 10-year-old daughter, Kassie. But this once loving marriage and happy family unit turn devastating when, only days apart, Celine is diagnosed with breast cancer and learns that Keith is having an affair. Worse, Keith still leaves her for the other woman. Celine then wonders how she’ll navigate the difficult process of surgery and additional cancer treatment, but comfort and support come in the form of Celine’s best friend, Lauren. They’ve been attached at the hip since they were children, and it is Lauren who’s there for Celine in her darkest moments. Of course, Keith may want to come back home, forcing Celine to consider some tough decisions relating to the marriage and otherwise—and for the very first time in her life, she wants to give up. Lauren vows to help her best friend in any way she can, but will it be too late?

Roby can discuss issues covered in this thought-provoking read that many also face in real life via Skype, video chats, teleconferences and over social media chats or in person meetings:  “Regardless of what family we’re talking about, breast cancer affects all colors, nationalities, and social status in a heartbreaking fashion—and sometimes so does infidelity in a marriage,” Roby says. “So, in BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, I wanted to show what happens when, only days apart, a woman discovers she has breast cancer and learns her husband is having an affair. Additionally, I wanted to explore how the family is affected when a husband leaves his wife for the other woman, and the woman’s best friend is forced to step in.”

Roby’s novels—which address true-to-life issues—have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and Publishers Weekly magazines, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and many others.


Chapter 1: Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby 

“Keith, do you know what time it is?” Celine Richardson asked her husband as he walked into their bedroom. She’d just turned on her lamp and was sitting against two pillows.

“Five a.m.,” he said, clearly sounding as though this was no big deal.

“And you think you can just leave the house and waltz back in here whenever you feel like it? You must be out of your mind if you think I’m going to put up with this kind of crap. I almost called the police to report you missing.”

Keith pulled his short-sleeve knit shirt over his muscular shoulders and dropped it on the chair. “Time got away from me.”

Celine folded her arms. “Where were you, Keith?”

“At a friend’s. A bunch of us guys played cards and had a little too much to drink. And I fell asleep.”

Celine laughed out loud. “And you think I believe that? You think I’m that naïve?”

“Believe whatever you want. That’s on you.”

“You have a lot of nerve staying out till the wee hours of the morning and then acting like you’re the one who’s upset. How dare you.”

“I’m upset because anytime a wife decides that her work is more important than her husband, she shouldn’t worry one bit about where he’s going…or what he’s doing.”

“Excuse me? So you’re now staying out late and sleeping with only God knows who because you feel neglected? Please.”

“I’ve been telling you this for months. More like a whole year. But nothing’s changed.

You spend all your time online doing work for your clients, and that’s basically where things end with you.”

“That’s not true, and you know it.”

“Well, actually, you’re right. You spend lots of time with Kassie, but with the exception of our daughter, everything else revolves around your business. Which means there’s no time for me.”

“Why is it that you can spend all the time you want focusing on your career, but I can’t?

It took a lot of hard work for me to build up my client list, and it’s completely unfair for you to ask me to give that up. Especially since I’ve never asked you to give up anything.”  Keith was vice president of sales for a health care insurance company, and Celine had always supported him and encouraged him to excel every step of the way. So none of his complaints about her spending hours on her social media marketing business made sense.

It was as if he now despised the fact that she was finally seeing some real success with her career. She’d started her business five years ago, and she’d worked her behind off, doing everything she could not only to get it off the ground, but also to gain as much exposure as possible with small companies and major corporations. It was the reason she now sometimes had to pass on projects or refer clients to some of her colleagues.

“Do whatever you want,” he said, pulling on his pajama bottoms. “Because that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Celine pulled her flowing hair around to her shoulder. “And what is that supposed to mean?”

“It’s not like I stuttered. My words were very clear.”

“So who exactly are you sleeping with, Keith?” she asked, ignoring his last comment.

“Look, I’m tired, and I have to be at work in three hours. So can I at least get an hour of sleep in peace? Without all these ridiculous questions?”

“You’re the one who decided to stay out, so I’ll ask any questions I want.”

Keith sighed and got in bed, turning his back to her.

“I’m telling you now, I won’t put up with this,” Celine said. Keith didn’t respond.

“Are you listening to me?”  He still didn’t say anything.

“Keith!” she yelled, becoming angrier.

He finally turned toward her in a huff and sat up. “What? And why are you screaming at me when you know Kassie is sleeping?”

“Because I want answers, and I want them now.”

“I told you months and months ago that I was tired of going to bed at night with no one lying next to me,” he said, pointing his finger at her. “I told you how tired I was of you staying in your office until well after midnight. Work, work, and more work. That’s all you’ve cared about for more than a year, and I finally got sick of it. I complained and tried to talk to you about it several different times, but you never took me seriously. You did what you wanted, and now I’m fine with it.”

“But you know how hard it is to start your own business. Before I even decided to go forward with it, you and I talked about what it would take. We discussed all the time I’d have to spend to make it work, and you were good with that.”

“Yeah, I supported you a hundred percent, but when I started to see how you had no problem talking on the phone to your friend Lauren for sometimes as much as two hours and how you never miss any of your favorite TV shows, that’s when I realized how unimportant I was to you. Your priorities are totally in place, but they certainly don’t include me. And don’t get me started on how little we make love. Sometimes only once a month. And in case you haven’t noticed, I stopped asking you to do that a long time ago.”

Celine thought about everything Keith was saying, and she couldn’t deny that some of his statements were true. She hadn’t paid much attention to the time she spent doing other things, but now she had no choice but to acknowledge it. Nonetheless, this still didn’t give him the right to break his vows to her. He wouldn’t admit that he was having an affair, but no man stayed out as late as Keith had unless there was another woman involved.

( Continued… )


READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER ON KIM’S WEBSITE
http://kimroby.com/bookpage_bestfriendsforever


Purchase Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Link: http://amzn.com/B00X47ZQAK 


 

About the Author
Kimberla Lawson Roby
is the author of the bestselling works The Ultimate Betrayal, A Christmas Prayer, The Prodigal Son, A House Divided, The Perfect Marriage, The Reverend’s Wife, Secret Obsession, Love, Honor, and Betray, Be Careful What You Pray For, A Deep Dark Secret, The Best of Everything, Sin No More, One in a Million, Love and Lies, Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of a Good Thing, A Taste of Reality, It’s a Thin Line, Casting the First Stone, Here and Now and Behind Closed Doors. She lives with her husband in Illinois.  Visit her website at: http://www.kimroby.com

 
 

#BlackLove: Ellis and The Magic Mirror by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Ellis and The Magic Mirror



by Cerece Rennie Murphy (Author)  and  Gregory Garay (Illustrator)

Ellis Monroe has always been curious about the world. When his father brings home an ancient mirror with the power to reveal the truth about the people and things around him, Ellis begins to see the world in a whole new way. But things get more than a little strange/even more interesting when Ellis brings the mirror to school. While on the playground with the mirror and his best friend Toro, Ellis discovers that someone or something is hiding out at Harriet Tubman Elementary and trying to stop children from learning.

Determined to solve the mystery, Ellis, Toro, and his little sister, Freddye go on a secret mission to find out the truth about the mischievous Buddy Cruster and stop whatever he has planned. Join Ellis, Freddye and Toro as their quest leads them deep into the forest and on an adventure you will never forget.


Message from Cerece Rennie Murphy

Besides my immediate family, you are among the FIRST to see the official cover of the upcoming Ellis and The Magic Mirror early reader chapter book. This story has been a labor of love that began about a year ago, when my 6 year old son asked me to write a book for him.

He told me upfront that sword-fighting, a skateboard and his stuffed penguin “Chirpy” had to be in the story. With my work cut out for me, I began writing, and thanks to the exceptional artistic talents of Gregory Garay of Visual Verbosity, I finally have a story that my son not only approves of, but is excited about.

The book is intended for readers like my son, who was ready to begin reading chapter books, but was a bit intimidated by “too many words” and too few pictures. Ellis and The Magic Mirror has about as much action and suspense as I could throw into a children’s book and still keep it “kid-friendly”.  My target reading audience is between 6-10 years old.

Would you like to read Ellis and The Magic Mirror to a little person who is near and dear to your heart?
Preview the book Ellis and The Magic Mirror, click here.   This is truly a special moment for me, as a writer and a Mom.  To learn more about the story click here.


You can also order your copy on Amazon here: 

http://www.amazon.com/Ellis-Mirror-Cerece-Rennie-Murphy/dp/0985621052

Ellis and The Magic Mirror by Cerece Rennie Murphy
Order Link: http://amzn.com/0985621052 


About the Author

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry.

She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event – a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

 

#BlackLove: Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom

Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom 
by Alysia Burton Steele

GLORIA STEINEM – This window into the Mississippi Delta is a labor of love by Alysia Steele — to bring us the lives of the warrior queens and rescuers known as grandmothers. To meet them is to be rescued and inspired. If they did so much, who are we not to do whatever we can? Buy the book!

Feeling the emotional pull to reconnect to her grandmother’s wisdom and her African-American heritage, award winning photojournalist, Alysia Burton Steele, embarked on a personal mission to interview, photograph, and document Mississippi Delta women of her grandmother’s generation. Their stories and portraits are beautifully captured in Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.

Mrs. Tennie S. Self shares her experience of buying a new Cadillac and her right to have “Mrs.” by her name in the telephone book: “I just speak and if I have to die for what I believe in, then so be it.”

Mrs. Lillie B. Jackson, whose husband prepared Emmett Till’s body for his funeral, shares family stories and how she does the best that she can as a mother.

Mrs. Myrlie Evers, widow of Civil Rights leader, Medgar Evers discusses her grandmother and the power of prayer.

Mrs. Lillis M. Roberts expresses pride in her activity in the NAACP, as the first Black citizen in Coffeeville, MS to register to vote.

Each experience is as different as the woman who lived it, yet all of their experiences have a common landscape, the Mississippi Delta. Alysia Burton Steele complements the rich narrative with her poignant photographs illuminating her appreciation of each of the precious Jewels, who have endured inequality, injustice and heart-wrenching tragedy.

These inspiring portraits reflect the faces of love and triumph that will inspire readers to hold on to their faith and exhibit courage in the most challenging or ordinary circumstances.

BOOK ENDORSEMENTS

LEONARD PITTS, JR. – Delta is a place in memory–a repository of the cotton we picked, the “Whites Only” signs we obeyed, the strange fruit found hanging in the trees and bobbing in the rivers during the long, strange night of Jim Crow’s America. Veteran photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele plumbs that place in memory through the words and images of over 50 ordinary mothers who made it through and emerged with tales to tell. 
—Leonard Pitts, Jr., nationally syndicated columnist and author of Freeman


RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS – Alysia Burton Steele’s Delta Jewels presents to us a visual landscape of immeasurable wealth, wisdom, and dignity. We witness truth, history, memory, and the unforgettable legacy of fifty extraordinary women who share their stories and lives with us. Steele’s photographs are hymns, diamonds, work songs, and enduring fields of the South’s strongest flowers. Their faces and voices speak clearly in the bright gospel of Steele’s intimate and spiritual testimony. Here, you will find in the honor of Steele’s portraits, again and again, the triumph of joy and survival in the church of elder women’s eyes that shine back at you.
—Rachel Eliza Griffiths, photographer, author of Mule & Pear, and recipient of the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association

SUSAN GLISSON – “It has been said that when an old person dies, a library burns to the ground. Alysia Steele’s Delta Jewels prevents the tragedy of such a monumental loss by lovingly documenting and curating the powerful stories of these amazing Mississippi women. They are the stories that our culture most often overlooks, underestimates, or denies, but exactly the ones we most need to hear in our troubled times, if we are to learn of grace and dignity and resilience and liberation.”
—Susan M. Glisson, Executive Director, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.


Excerpt – Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom

My paternal grandmother, Mrs. Althenia Aiken Burton, died in 1994. Although I’ve taken photos since I was 15 years old, I never thought about taking Gram’s photograph or recording her voice when she was alive. When we’re young, we think we’re going to live forever and just assume our family will, too.

I missed her increasingly over the years. Time didn’t stop my brain from trying to remember, having regrets, wondering what I could have done to preserve every single thing about her, before her ways, her tone, the color of her nail polish, her mannerisms, her looks at me became a shadow of a memory.

Gram was originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina, not too far from Aiken. My great grandma Marie Aiken never talked about her upbringing, but their name, “ Aiken,” and roots made me think they were enslaved. As a Northerner, when I ventured to Mississippi to accept a teaching position in 2012, I saw cotton for the first time and began to wonder about my black family. Gram Larson, my white grandmother, is amazing at family history. That side of my family knows our history from County Meath, Ireland. This photographic journey began because I wanted to connect with my black side, the black women of my grandmother’s generation. How many picked cotton, were treated poorly, and took beatings?

That’s what I wondered when I saw the rows of cotton growing in the Mississippi Delta and took my first photo of it in 2013. I have severe asthma and allergies, which worsened in Mississippi because all this greenery doesn’t agree with me, but even with allergies, it’s beautiful. It feels just like the cotton balls that I buy in a plastic bag at a drugstore. When I drove past the cotton fields, darn it if I didn’t start thinking about my grandmother and how much I missed her. I wondered what she would think if she saw the cotton.

I had a successful career as a newspaper photojournalist and picture editor for 12 years. I was on the Dallas Morning News photo staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for its Hurricane Katrina photographic coverage. I was a picture editor on staff and called my supervisor before the storm touched down.

“The storm sounds worse than expected,” I told him.

“I think we should send more staff.”

“You make a decision,” he told me, and so I started calling the staff to see who would start the trek to New Orleans.

As I photographed vast fields of snowy flowers, I wondered if Gram would be proud of my accomplishments, what she’d think of me living in the South, if Gram would be proud of me teaching at a university. She never wanted me to be a photographer. She worried I would not find employment and make a decent living.

“How many black girls from Harrisburg made a living in photography?” she’d ask me.

I would do anything to hear her voice one more time. How I wish I’d captured her image and voice.

“I could honor her memory by recording stories from other grandmothers of her generation,” I said to myself.

I began to interview and photograph grandmothers in Mississippi, my new home state. These Delta grandmothers are matriarchs to their families, like my grandmother. They are ordinary women, like Gram, who have lived extraordinary lives under the harshest conditions of the Jim Crow era and were on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. They are church women. I needed help finding the women who would help me find memories of my grandmother and honor her.

“Would you help me find black pastors who might introduce me to their ‘mothers of the church’?”

I asked Clarksdale mayor Bill Luckett, a white man. Bill e-mailed me five names and churches and told me that Rev. Juan Self pastors the first church where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke outside Atlanta. Going to the church where King spoke gave me chills. Rev. Self is also the architect who renovated the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. (The museum celebrated its reopening in April 2014.)

Rev. Self sounded young when we talked on the phone, and he asked, “What is this project you are doing? How can I help you?” His youthful voice surprised me and I asked myself if he might be too young to help me find elder women.

“I’m doing a book to honor my grandmother, the woman who raised me. She passed away 20 years ago, but I want to honor her by interviewing other people’s grandmothers.”

( Continued… )

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

Purchase Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom
Link: http://amzn.com/B00P74VI50


About the Author

Alysia Burton Steele
is a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi and author of Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom. In 2006, she was a picture editor for The Dallas Morning News photo team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. She designed the National Urban League’s 100th commemorative poem booklet written by Maya Angelou. Prior to teaching, Steele was a photojournalist, who later became a photo editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Articles about her book have appeared in The New York Times, NBC.com, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times and Southern Living.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsalsteele
Website: http://www.alysiaburton.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/pixlady/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deltajewelswisdom

Photo credits:  Jacqueline Dace (left), project manager of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which opens in 2017, Alysia Burton Steele (middle) and Reena Evers-Everette, executive director of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute (right).

 
 
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