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Editorial Reviews for Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Grant Park is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts's gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.

Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras as it unfolds. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication.

While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint—at the same time dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activist—Toussaint is abducted by two improbable but still-dangerous white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Obama's planned rally in Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as idealistic, impatient young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.

Editorial Reviews From the Publisher

"A novel as significant as it is engrossing." —Booklist, starred review

"Grant Park is layered, insightful, and passionate. Pitts's subtly explosive language grips readers with the delicate subject matter and earnestly implores them to understand that '[race] has always meant something and it always will.' The scars will remain, but stunningly powerful examinations like Grant Park can be the salve that helps heal open wounds." —Shelf-Awareness, starred review

"An important book, one that honestly examines the current, tumultuous racial divide in our country and demands we not turn away from its harsh realities." —Amy Canfield, Miami Herald

"[A] high-stakes, hard-charging political thriller. . . . The sharply etched characters, careful attention to detail, and rich newspaper lore propel Pitts's socially relevant novel." —Publishers Weekly

"Leonard Pitts has written a taut thriller that weaves together a stark look at America's tortured racial past with a fast-paced tale of terrorist conspiracy and love rekindled." —Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun Times

"The book is a page-turner, but also one that commands deep reflection on history, racism, and personal choices." —Blanca Torres, The Seattle Times

"Pitts masterfully revisits [election night on November 4, 2008] and four decades of the civil rights struggle to create one of the most suspenseful and spectacular fictitious moments you'll experience this fall." —Patrik Henry Bass, Essence

"Pitts does a skillful job of building tension in the novel's historical sections as well as on Election Day. . . . He also does something not every political thriller writer does: builds believable, complex characters." — Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

"And then there are those thrills—gasping, mouth-gaping page-turners that author Leonard Pitts Jr. weaves through another realism: truthful, brutal plot-lines about racial issues of the last five decades, mulling over exactly how far we’ve really come. That makes this will-they-live-or-won't-they nail-biter into something that also made me think, and I absolutely loved it." —Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez


Martin Luther King stood at the railing, facing west. The moon was a pale crescent just rising in early twilight to share the sky with a waning sun. He leaned over, joking with the men in the parking lot below. A couple of them were wrestling playfully with James Orange, a good-natured man with a build like a brick wall.

“Now, you be careful with preachers half your size,” King teased him.

“Dr. King,” called Orange in a plaintive voice, “it’s two of them and one of me. You should be asking them not to hurt me.”

“Doc,” someone called out from below, “this is Ben Branch. You remember Ben.”

“Oh yes,” said King. “He’s my man. How are ya, Ben?”

Another voice yelled up from below. “Glad to see you, Doc.”

As Malcolm Toussaint moved toward King, it struck him that the preacher seemed somehow lighter than he had the last time Malcolm had seen him. It had been late one night a week before, by the Dumpsters out back of the Holiday Inn. The man Malcolm met that night had seemed… weighted, so much so that even Malcolm had found himself concerned and moved—Malcolm, who had long scorned the great reverend doctor, who had, in the fashion of other young men hip, impatient, and cruel, mocked him as “De Lawd.” But that was before Malcolm had met the man. That was before they had talked. Now he moved toward King, his mind roiling with the decision that had sprung from that moment, the news he had come to share. King, he knew, would be pleased. There would be a smile, perhaps a heavy hand clamping on Malcolm’s shoulder. “Good for you, Brother Malcolm,” he would say. “Good for you.”

Malcolm was vaguely amused to find himself here on this balcony, anticipating this man’s approval. If you had told him just a few days ago that he would be here, ready to go back to school, ready to embrace nonviolent protest, he would have laughed. But that, too, was before. Malcolm meant to raise his hand just then, to catch King’s attention, but a movement caught his eye. Just a reflected ray of the dying sun, really, glinting off something in a window across the street. Something that—he knew this instinctively—should not have been there. He wondered distractedly what it was.

King’s voice drew him back. “I want you to sing it like you’ve never sung it before,” he was calling to someone in the parking lot below. “Sing it real pretty.” And Malcolm realized he had missed something, because he had no idea what they were talking about. His attention had been distracted by… what was that?

“It’s getting chilly.” Yet another voice calling to King from below. “I think you’ll need a topcoat.”

“Okay, Jonesy,” King was saying. “You really know how to take good care of me.”

And here, the moment breaks, time fracturing as time sometimes will into its component parts, until an event is no longer composed of things happening in a sequence, but somehow all happens at once. And you can see and touch and live all the smaller moments inside the right now. This is how it is for Malcolm Toussaint now. King is laughing. Malcolm is taking a step toward him. King is straightening. Laughter is echoing from below. King is reaching into a pocket for his cigarettes. He is becoming aware of Malcolm on his left. His head is coming around. There are the bare beginnings of a welcoming smile. And Malcolm knows. Suddenly knows. And Malcolm is leaping, leaping across space, across time itself, becoming airborne—he was sure of it, that detail felt right, even though by this time King is barely six feet away. Malcolm grabbing two hands full of expensive silk, yanking Martin Luther King off balance, yanking him down hard in the same instant they all hear the popping sound like a firecracker, in the same instant he feels the soft-nosed 30.06 bullet whistle past his cheek like a phantom breath, in the same instant he falls awkwardly across King’s chest.

And then…

And then time seems to reel for a crazy breathless moment, as if decid¬ing what to do now. The fulcrum of history teetering, the future hanging, suspended in midair.
Until all at once and with a brutal force, time decides itself and slams back into gear.

A woman shrieked.

Someone yelled, “Somebody is shooting!”

Someone yelled, “Doc, are you OK?”

Someone yelled, “Stay down!”

Malcolm’s breath was ragged in his own ears. His heart hammered like drums. Then from beneath him, he heard a familiar baritone voice say calmly, very calmly, but yet, with a touch of breathless wonder. “Oh my God. Was that a gunshot?”

Their eyes met. Malcolm didn’t speak. Couldn’t speak. “Brother Malcolm,” said Martin Luther King, his voice still suffused with wonder and yet, also, an almost unnatural calm, “I think you just saved my life.”

Malcolm was overwhelmed by the thereness of the man. He was not myth and mist and history. He was not a posterboard image on a wall behind a child dutifully reciting in a child’s thin, sweet tenor, “I have a dream today.” No, he was there, beneath 20-year-old Malcolm Toussaint, who had fallen crosswise on top of him. Malcolm could feel the weight and heft of him, the fall and rise of his chest. He could see his very pores, could smell the tobacco on his breath, the Aramis on his collar. Martin Luther King was there, still alive, beneath him. Malcolm opened his mouth to speak.

And then, he awoke.

( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Leonard Pitts Jr. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

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About the Author
Leonard Pitts, Jr.
is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. He is also the author of the novels Freeman (Agate Bolden, 2012) and Before I Forget (Agate Bolden, 2009); the collection Forward From this Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2009, Daily Triumphs, Tragedies, and Curiosities (Agate Bolden, 2009); and Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood (Agate Bolden, 2006). Born and raised in Southern California, Pitts now lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.

Intimate Conversations with Nina Foxx

Intimate Conversations with Nina Foxx

A Letter for My Mother and Momma: Gone A Personal Story

Nina Foxx is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and novelist. She writes as both Nina Foxx and Cynnamon Foster. Her work has appeared on numerous bestseller lists around the country, and her films have won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, Cannes, and the Rome International Film Festival. 
Originally from Jamaica, New York, she lives with her family near Seattle, Washington, where she works in Human-Computer interaction for a major software company. Nina is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, The Links and Jack & Jill of America. Visit her at www.ninafoxx.com or her blog at ninafoxx.blogspot.com

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book, A Letter for My Mother?
A year or so ago, I got a call that the woman who used to be my mother in law was dying. We hadn't had a good relationship, but I was surprised because the news was very upsetting to me. I was across the country and couldn't go to where she was encouraged by my sister to write a letter to her and tell her what I wanted to say. The idea was that someone who was there with her could share the letter with her.

After I was done, I thought I would blog it or try to have it published in a magazine. My agent suggested that I write this as an anthology instead; so many woman have interesting relationships with their mothers, mother figures and other women in their lives. So I asked my writer and filmmaker friends to contribute to what is now this book. I didn't realize how difficult it would be for so many people. People caled me crying and struggling through. Others just couldn't do it so they refused to be in the project. They weren't ready to face whatever issues they had with their mother-figure. They are people who had things to say but chose to write under pseudonym to conceal their identities. Everyone that participated said the process was cathartic for them and the result are some amazing pieces.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work, A Letter for My Mother.  
A Letter for My Mother is creative non-fiction and essays. It is available where ever books are sold and in all digital formats.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Every woman that participated wrote a letter and a short essay, to their mother or mother figure. They had to tell them something that they either never had the chance to, or something they coudlnt' tell them before. My only requirement was that they had to focus on the positive that they had gained from the relationship with this person. My own mother died when I was a child, and I didn't think I felt any way about that anymore. After I helped each person write their piece, I realized I had something to say to my own mother and sister. That is the last letter in the book.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book, A Letter for My Mother? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
After reading this, I would hope that readers tell a woman they love something they have given them; thank them for whatever that is. I also have related film project in my head.

Discussing Momma: Gone A Personal Story

BPM: What inspired you to write this book, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?

I started writing this many years ago. I think it is actually the first thing I ever tried to write. I had a memory of going to a bar with my mother and wanted to put it on paper. She died before I was seven, so it was very hazy, but more things unfolded from my memory.

BPM: Is this a true story, Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
Absolutely. This book is based on my childhood. It is embellished, of course. Sweetie (main character) had a story that needed to be told.

BPM: Introduce us to Momma: Gone A Personal Story.
Well, this book is literary fiction. If I'd had more courage, I would have written it as Creative non-fiction. This is a story about family and heartbreak as much as it is about loss and recovery. More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life's misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side.

BPM: Tell us about your main characters. What makes them so special?
Sweetie is seven years old when this story begins. She is a precocious child that is very much aware of the things that are going on around her, even though the adults never tell her what is going on. She is aware of her mother's illness and the effect it has on the family.

"Momma set me on the jukebox." So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. As cultures clash, we see the family through a child's eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever. 
More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side. -Momma: Gone A Personal Story was shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction.

BPM: What are your goals for your writing career?
Momma: Gone is my 15th book. I just want to continue to tell good stories and make a few good movies.

BPM: What would you like for readers to do after reading Momma: Gone A Personal Story?
I want people to feel along with the main character as she grows, then go out and tell someone about it. 
Nina's website: http://www.ninafoxx.com 
Blogging: http://ninafoxx.blogspot.com
Like and follow on Twitter: @ninafoxx

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx

Genre: Creative Non-fiction
Link: http://amzn.com/1593095325

Momma: Gone A Personal Story 
by Nina Foxx

Link: http://amzn.com/0615902162

Intimate Conversation with Lutishia Lovely

Lutishia Lovely is an award-winning author of seventeen novels, six of which are romance titles written under her alter-ego pseudo, Zuri Day. In addition to her wildly popular Hallelujah Love Series, Ms. Lovely has a hot new trilogy called "The Business" about a soul food dynasty where delicious drama and sizzling scandal is always on the menu!

Prior to becoming a full-time author, Lutishia enjoyed many different careers. They all, however, had one thing in common - they all were linked into a "world of words". From administrative assistant to radio personality to actor to managing editor and senior writer for a holistic magazine,words have always been the magic that made Lutishia's world go 'round. Probably one of the spins that would most surprise readers is the fact that Lutishia was a rapper! That's right, for a short stint in the 90s, Lutishia was billed as "The Rhaptress" (a combination of a rapper and an actress), and toured with other singers and musicians throughout southern CA. She's happy now to beat out a rhythm on her keyboard...songs in the key of "writer" that she hopes will inspire and entertain!

BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
One day, this amazing story simply began downloading in my head. It was awesome, just like a movie. The woman, now known as lead character Jacqueline Tate, gave me the basic premise, which I immediately fleshed out into an outline and shot over to my editor, Selena James. She loved the idea, as I did, and approved it right away. There were still a couple books due before I’d get the chance to dive into this brave new world but once that happened I was in seventh heaven. Still am, as I am now writing the sequel to The Perfect Affair titled, The Perfect Deception!

BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that all of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve learned inspires all creative artists, be they writer, actor, singer, painter, etc. That being said, I am also a voyeur with a chameleon-like personality so it is easy for me to relate to and describe a lifestyle or situation very personally and vividly while having no personal experience on the matter. I think my background as an actor helps me in this as well.

BPM: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? Do you have a special time to write?
I am blessed and thankful to be a full-time author without a set writing schedule. Most days, I’m writing, editing and/or promoting something and when not doing that handling the business aspects of my company, Lovely Day.

BPM: Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it?
That’s basically what happens when I send the book off to the publisher for its first edits. When it comes back to me, there have usually been a few months in between and I see the story with new eyes. Inevitably, this leads to positive changes and sometimes whole subplots newly formed.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
Ella, they come from the Universe! Sometimes that’s as easy as the character tapping on my shoulder, as Jacqueline Tate did, or through a pow-wow with my editor or literary friends. Other times inspiration comes from hearing a news story, watching something on TV or overhearing a conversation. I’m constantly being inspired which can be both a blessing and a challenge all at once!

For the most part, my novels are plot-driven by very strongly identified characters.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
The Shady Sisters Trilogy is a fascinating new contemporary fiction series about women who find themselves in interesting and precarious romantic situations. In the debut novel, The Perfect Affair, we meet a woman who finds Mr. Right just when she’s about to give up on the game. When she finds out he’s married…oh well. Jacqueline Tate knows this is but a minor inconvenience because she always gets what she wants!

BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
First of all, I must say that I am absolutely in love with these characters and with this book! There are so many layers to both of them; complexities brought about by some of the very things I mentioned earlier that make us who we are: what we know, what we’ve learned, and experiences we’ve had. On one hand, Jacqueline is a woman with whom most of us is familiar – we either know her or someone like her. She’s attractive, smart, with an exciting career. But like so many women, this success doesn’t translate into the relationship department. I believe readers, like her friends in the novel, will want to know why, and will root for her to find this happiness. 

On the other hand, again, like many of us, the problem in Jacqueline’s relationships begins with the relationship with herself. People do things and we judge without understanding; we blame without having all the facts. She’s written to take readers on a reflective journey…and that makes her special to me.

Dr. Randall Atwater was fun to write. First off, it’s the first time I’ve dealt with a scientist which considering how bad I did in chemistry, was a bit intimidating, even fictitiously Ha! But I loved showing this guy who came from a tough background but because someone recognized and showed interest in his passion, was able to rise above his situation and achieve success. He’s special because of his character and integrity, even when situations around him contradict these parts of him.

Intimate Chat with Angie Daniels & Sasha Campbell

Intimate Chat with Angie Daniels & Sasha Campbell

ANGIE DANIELS  has released over two dozen novels. She has won or been nominated for four RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and numerous Emma Awards. For more information about upcoming releases, and to connect with Angie on Facebook, visit her website at www.angiedaniels.com.

SASHA CAMPBELL,  the alter ego of Angie Daniels, is a free spirit who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind or even better, write about it. Since strutting onto the literary scene in five-inch heels, she’s been capturing her audience’s attention with her wild imagination and style for keeping it real. This vivacious woman knows exactly what her readers want and is always ready to deliver. Visit Sasha online at www.sasha-campbell.com.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now? 
I had been hearing so many positive things about meeting your soul mate on an internet dating site that I decided to give it a try. My experience was so hilarious, I felt compelled to write Talk a Good Game.

BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing? 
Funny you should ask. Everything in my life inspires my writing. I always manage to find a way to sprinkle a little of my own life experiences on top of a double dose of drama to create the perfect plot twist for my next book.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? 
My books are always dialogue driven. I am all about the characters and giving them their own voice. I think stories that have strong characters with amazing voices are what drive a story.

BPM: Introduce us to your current work, Talk A Good Game. 
After years of failed relationships, two sexy, single best friends decide to each take a chance at on-line dating. And they quickly discover that things aren’t always what they seem…
Air Force sergeant Nyree Dawson meets Jeremy Samuels, and as far as she’s concerned he is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. It isn’t until after the couple is married that the lies begin to surface, and the relationship goes from “I do” to, “what in the world have I done?”  Restaurant owner, Janelle Fox has always had a spare boo in her back pocket, but when she meets Kaleb Kerrington on a dating site, the rules change. At first Janelle finds the jealousy cute, but after a while the accusations get to be too much that she realizes the confident man she craved is very insecure and unforgiving.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
I loved creating the characters of Talk A Good Game. Janelle Fox is the owner of FoxTrot and looking for a new sponsor to provide her the finer things in life. She has a hard exterior but she truly has a soft spot for a teenager desperate for help. Throughout the series, readers will get to see just how determined she is to find out the truth and the strong connection she has to this child. Nyree Dawson is a sergeant in the military. She has spent her entire life letting other people tell her what to do, but like so many women, she’s ready to finally rule her own life. Nyree will show readers she’s a lot stronger than they realized.

BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The primary topic of this book is trust. Janelle and Nyree both find themselves in relationships with men who aren’t at all what they made themselves to be. While writing this book I learned a great deal about relationships and that it does take time before you really get to know someone.

BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success to me is being able to write a book that touches or changes someone’s life. That means more to me than anything. I really like to write about life’s painful lessons hoping that others will be able to personally identify.

BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book? 
My expectations are always to entertain my reader. I would also like for readers to really be cautious if they are considering online dating. Things aren’t always what they seem.

BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 
Sasha Campbell is the alter ego of Angie Daniels. I decided to write a book using both names with the hope of merging the two audiences. I bring the romance and Sasha is all about the drama.

BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Readers can find me at www.angiedaniels.com and www.sasha-campbell.com
Facebook  -  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAngieDaniels
Twitter -  https://twitter.com/authorangied


Purchase Talk A Good Game

Link: http://amzn.com/194134299X
Kindle: http://amzn.com/B00I80U66M

Intimate Conversation with Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Intimate Conversation with Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Multi-published author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010), Taylor- Made (2011), Land of Promiscuity (2012) and Path to Promise (2013) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her family.

BPM: What topics does your latest book address? Why?

I started with what it meant to be a missionary. My sister is the President of the Missions Ministry at my church and has been on several missions’ trips. We’re so different in that respect. To be real, I know I am not selfless enough most of the time to shed my comfortable existence to the degree where I can be of service.
My question when starting this novel became can servants also be self-serving in the process of helping others. I thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see a totally selfish person try to navigate that landscape. I mean, imagine your most self-absorbed friend or high maintenance family member leaving their cell phone, tablet or priceless wardrobe pieces behind for the barest of necessities.
My main character sets off on a mission’s trip to Haiti with the goal to find his birth father. He’s a fatherless child trying to answer a lifetime of questions about the man that helped conceive him. In the midst of that struggle I layered an interracial love story and all the issues that brings. I’ve connected with some great people on Pinterest who support the missionaries in their lives and found a community dealing with the absentee of loved ones similar to that of military families with a loved one on a long deployment.

BPM: Did you conduct alot of research for this book, Submissionary (Seek. Find. Release)?
Yes! Have you heard of Symbaloo? It's like a dashboard of websites all in one place. Some might find it interesting to see the sites I used to get insight into pre and post quake Haiti. Check it out: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/submissionary

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
I write personally poignant and hopefully impactful and uplifting literature. It’s my version of Christian fiction that is neither preachy nor compromised. My goal is never to write a salacious story. I think many equate that with being a really good story. In reality most of us don’t live on that extreme. With storylines centered around the root of my character’s decisions and the impact on their relationships, my literary work speaks to women and Christians specifically. I call it my brand of soul satisfying reads.

BPM: You believe strongly in:
I believe strongly in showing faith in action which is not an elaborate Hollywood set washed in white light, full of one-liners and magic tricks. I am also on a mission to take the dirty laundry off the clothes lines of our community, sweep the streets clean of other people’s business and bring virtue back.

BPM: Faith allows you:
Faith allows me the freedom to hope and face life’s challenges, to call out inconsistencies in the world, but particularly, inconsistencies in my life that are contrary to what God ordained and promised. I suppose ( in fact, I know) I can get as arrogant, self-absorbed or ratchet as the next person, BUT, something reminds me to, “act like I know.” I have to act like I know Him, and that I am profoundly different because I know Him. Yep, I preach to the choir. It’s characteristic of my brand. I am the one that gives you the gentle reminder - Seriously, you better act like you know!

BPM: Criticism makes you:
Criticism makes me reassess. I’m sure it depends on the spirit in which the criticism is given. I can’t say I am one with great discernment of people’s motives. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I receive it in love. I get my feelings hurt sometimes. Ultimately, I know what to take from critism and what to discard.

BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
Everyone is to a certain degree. I mean, I am a teacher as well, and not just by profession. I am keenly aware that we have a role to edify one another. So when I see people follow my RSS feed, or on social media, I am conscious of the message I put out.

BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
When I am fearful I become unproductive. Fear is something I work to get under control right away. Besides the fact that the Bible suggest that fear is a fabrication because the Lord hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, for that reason, a wise woman once said, “I aint got time for that.”

BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming a business owner?
It surprised me that it is completely different from my natural, creative being. Although, publishing yourself can both work to lessen and add to your stress. You have the leeway to let a story unfold organically, but you have the added pressure to put out a quality product and be responsible for all parts of the product. You have to take note of the persuasions in society to be seen and heard among the rhetoric of the day.

BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom are:
The greatest threat to literary freedom are those that try to silence the story tellers Choked out of major and mom and pop bookstore shelves alike that are closing by the dozens, we fail to recognize the soul and essence of who we are. We feel all our stories must somehow have to be the same. We sometimes become divisive in our pursuit to compete with each other for readers. It is important that our work be as diverse as we are. It is also important that the authenticity of our stories, and not solely money or notoriety be the aim of the storytellers.

BPM: How has your writing evolved:
I now know I don’t have to hammer every point. Readers desire a distraction not constant direction. I am a wordsmith that can sometimes get happy in the turn of a phrase, but I’ve learned I cannot forget my audience.

BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
A career may be the hope, writing is a definite gifting. It’s cathartic. You may hear some writers speak of the words to a story just flowing at a point in their process. I think this is an accurate account of what gifting truly is. There is a natural ebb and flow to things. When you are working in your gifting there is a point you can tuck into the flow and the story comes out naturally.

BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
Read. Write. Be brave and find your own voice.

BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
Besides the seven novels, and one anthology, I am most proud of my offerings to my church magazine, Kingdom Living Magazine. In one edition I wrote an article called, “What is Special Needs” that highlighted those differently-abled members of our congregation and their caregivers. Many family members came to thank me for the recognition the article garnered them.

BPM: What you know for sure:
I know for sure that God’s Word is true. Do I understand every part of the Bible? Do I understand why people don’t get along and most of us have to suffer great pain in our lives? No. The Word says, now, we only know in part like looking through a glass darkly, but one day we will know as we are known. Deep, I know.

BPM: Life's greatest teacher is:
Life’s greatest teacher is experience

BPM: Success means:
You attempt to live out your purpose.

BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
If I am successful it will do all three; educate, illuminate and entertain..

BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
The printed book may become obsolete, but a well-written story doesn’t lose its potency if you engage the mind of the reader.

BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers:

My literary legacy will show that words live beyond the pages if they are true and authentic.

Purchase Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Watch the Submissionary movie trailer: http://youtu.be/Ty75E4eiG-g
Visit Sherryle Kiser Jackson's website: http://www.sherrylejackson.com
Books by Sherryle: http://www.amazon.com/Sherryle-Kiser-Jackson/e/B004G1X9HU

Intimate Conversation with author A. Yamina Collins

Intimate Conversation with  A. Yamina Collins

A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature.

First of all, congratulations on your book, The Last King, being a top 100 bestseller on Amazon!
Thank you. It’s actually been in the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Women's Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. I am very excited about it, especially since the book hasn't even been fully released, yet.

You're releasing The Last King in episodes, right?

Right. Amazon has requested that I call the episodes volumes. So I am about to release episode 4  next. Here are the links for the first three episodes of The Last King. I hope your readers will enjoy them and download the others.

The Last King: Book I,  Episode #1
Link:   amzn.com/B00HJZVMJW

The Last King: Book I,  Episode #2 
Link:   amzn.com/B00IC0M8HS

The Last King: Book I,  Episode #3 
Link:  amzn.com/B00K1QFKSK

Tell me about that process. Why release the book in pieces?
Well, actually I'm taking something old and try to make it new again. In the 19th century, authors like Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas would release segments from their upcoming books in periodicals on a monthly or weekly basis. It sort of helped to build readership and helped them connect to their audiences. And that’s exactly what I want to do. In fact, in some cases, those 19th century writers would slowly release a book over a period of more than two years! My time frame is about a year and a half. And of course, I am doing it digitally. This is the first book in The Last King trilogy and it will be chopped up into about 14 volumes (episodes). Each episode is made up of five chapters.

So what is The Last King about?

It tells the story of a young woman named Emmy Hughes who, in modern times, innocently finds herself caught in the midst of a game of wits between two rivals - God, and these immortal beings called Edenites whose ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life.

God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill the Edenite off.

It turns out that Emmy discovers that she is a the Glitch of a rather imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly. Now he has to get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him. Problem is, Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat, but also their greatest love. And so the game begins.

Wow. Okay. That covers a lot of territory. Now your book is not typical of what one thinks of when they hear the words Fantasy Romance, is it?
No. It's a fantasy book that takes place in present day New York, well upstate New York that is. It’s a fantasy world full of cars, cell-phones and modern contraptions. But it’s still a fantasy world.

And the book covers several genres at once?

Yes. The book is classified under Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Women's fiction, Religion and African-American literature. By the time the second book in the trilogy comes out, I am really going to have to throw in History as a category, too. Ha ha. I wish I could tailor it down to less genres, but it's an epic book and that’s just how it’s going to be.

Do you think all those genres will deter readers?
I hope not. In fact, I am hoping that audiences are looking for something new and different. So why not go for a book that has it's feet in a myriad of categories? Of course, it will be up to the readers to decide if I've done a good job of balance with all the genres. We shall see.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Oh, yes. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother's living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. And I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That's what I want to be able to do as a writer - to move people with my words.

What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Well, I must admit that, as a writer, I have always dreamed of of writing The Great American Novel. Is that a bad thing to confess? I don’t know. It's a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires me to want to be excellent.  I guess you could say my ultimate goals, however, are to educate and inspire.

Does your faith or education inspire your writing?

Absolutely. For example, I intentionally do not have my character's curse or take God's name in vain. I chose not to cross that line even though my main character hates God and is angry with him. I believe, as a Christian, I am not called to do those things, even in literature. So I have had to be real creative in how my characters vent their frustrations.

I also could not help but bring God into the story. He is literally the One behind this intriguing game that Gilead and Emmy must play with one another. I know for some people these are not always topics they want to read about it, but I’ve tried to put it in a unique format.  Since the book takes place in New York, do we get to see a magical world in this modern-day tale?

Of course! How could I not add in some sword fighting, mind telepathy, wings, and animals who can fly? Just the sort of thing you expect to happen to a young woman who works in Brooklyn.

Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com. or follow her on Twitter


The Temptation of a Good Man by Delaney Diamond

The Temptation of a Good Man
by Delaney Diamond

For the first time ever, the first book in the Hawthorne Family series is absolutely FREE! Meet the oldest sibling, Roarke Hawthorne, in The Temptation of a Good Man. A physics professor, Roarke falls hard for Celeste Burton the night he meets her. Then read how the other siblings find their happily ever after in this contemporary romance series: A Hard Man to Love, Here Comes Trouble, and For Better or Worse.

Can true love be found after one night of passion?

Celeste Burton goes out with her girlfriends to celebrate turning thirty and winds up spending an unforgettable night with the man of her dreams. One week later, as a favor, she attends a wedding with a friend as his date and is shocked when she sees Roarke again.

Roarke Hawthorne despises cheating. Cheating tore apart his family years ago. When the physics professor sees the woman he spent the night with show up at his sister’s wedding on the arm of his brother, he knows he should keep his distance. But because of the night they set fire to the sheets in his hotel room, he can’t resist the urge to be close to her–nor can he resist the temptation to have her back in his bed.

Excerpt: The Temptation of a Good Man

“It’s my birthday.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Well, happy birthday. I’m not even going to ask your age because I know better.”

“Smart man.” They both laughed. The tension in her shoulders lessened. “So . . . astrophysicist? I don’t meet one every day. How did that happen?”

“I’ll give you the short version. My mother bought a telescope for my tenth birthday, and ever since then I’ve been fascinated by astronomy. I became obsessed. At night, I would get up after I should have been asleep, pull aside the curtains, and watch the stars. I was in awe of the universe and amazed by its beauty. As I got older, I wanted to know more.

“I studied ancient civilizations, their take on astronomy and its relevance in guiding their everyday lives. I read every book I could get my hands on about Galileo. Imagine, we now see him as the father of astronomy and physics, but in the early part of the seventeenth century, they placed him under house arrest because he dared to contradict the geocentric view at the time that the earth was the center of the universe. He argued that it was the sun, and scientists back then—” He stopped, then grinned ruefully. “I got carried away. Boring, right?”

“No, not at all.” Boring was the last thing she thought of him. He spoke so passionately about the subject, she practically felt his excitement. “I think it’s kind of . . . interesting.”

He groaned and, making air quotes with his hands, repeated, “Interesting?”

Celeste nodded. “In a good way.”

“Years ago it wasn’t in a ‘good way.’ I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, and I wore the Coke-bottle-lens glasses to match.”

“You wear glasses?”

“No. Thank God for laser eye surgery. And puberty.” They both chuckled.

Especially puberty.

“Okay, so what’s your story?”

Celeste shrugged. “There’s not much to tell. I recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in public policy.”

“My younger brother and sister graduated from there. Congratulations.”

“Thanks. Now I need to find a job.” She took a deep breath. “And I have a six-year-old daughter. My world revolves around her.” She liked to mention her daughter up front, which caused some men to run in the opposite direction. She watched his reaction, but he didn’t flinch.

“I understand.”

The vehemence with which he said the words prompted Celeste to ask, “Do you have kids?”

“No, but I raised my younger brother and sister from the time I was eighteen. I tell them all the time they’re my kids.”

“What happened to your parents, if you don’t mind my asking?”

The immediate transformation in his disposition made her regret the question. The smile on his lips evaporated, and his face became shuttered. Even though she’d tried to tread carefully, her question had obviously been too personal and made him uncomfortable.

“They’re both dead.”

“I’m sorry. I—”

“There’s nothing to be sorry about. You didn’t know, and they died a long time ago.” He seemed to force himself back into a lighthearted mood. “Are you having fun on your birthday?”

She pretended not to notice the abrupt change in conversation. “I haven’t been here long, but . . .” She let her voice trail off. “Well, to be honest, this isn’t what I wanted to do tonight. I would much rather go somewhere quiet and listen to a small ensemble play jazz or something.”

“Really? I wouldn’t mind doing the same thing.” He edged closer, and her skin warmed to his nearness. His voice lowered to a warm purr. “Xander and Lucas got me a room at the Ritz-Carlton for the night and invited me here. Since they’re paying for everything, I thought I’d better stick around, but . . . I think you and I may be victims of meddling friends. Am I right?”

Celeste nodded. His conspiratorial tone made her curious.

A speculative look came into his eyes. “You know, there’s a spot around the corner. They serve tapas and have a small band that plays jazz. Would you like to check it out?”

She hesitated. What did she know about him? He seemed harmless, but looks could be deceiving. The battle scars crisscrossed all over her heart served as a reminder.

He leaned closer. Their eyes locked, and she held her breath against the attraction that crackled across the short distance between them. His direct gaze and flirtatious half smile caused tiny pinpricks of heat to surface along the back of her neck.

“I’m one of the good guys. I promise.”

A good guy. Did they really exist? After years of disappointment, she had dismissed the thought of finding one, treating the idea like an urban legend, or a unicorn or some other mythical creature.

Nonetheless, here was a man who claimed to be good, and the spicy scent of his cologne made him smell delicious. Real delicious. The manly fragrance coupled with the inviting sound of his voice made her second-guess herself. Maybe, just this once, she was correct in her assessment.

“What about our friends?” she asked.

“They’re welcome to come, too.”

That wasn’t what he was offering, and they both knew it. He knew she was attracted to him, and he observed her with unabashed interest.

“Okay. Let’s go.”

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Delaney Diamond. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Purchase The Temptation of a Good Man by Delaney Diamond 
Hawthorne Family Series
Contemporary Romance

Silver Bullets by Suzetta Perkins

Silver Bullets
by Suzetta Perkins

In this sizzling, exciting novel, four women show that age is just a number by seeking out new forms of pleasure, love, and romance.

Emma Wilcox is fifty-five, has been married for twenty-five years, and has a husband who cooks, cleans, and makes her bathwater but they haven’t had sex in a long time. Queenie Jackson is fifty-eight, pleasingly plump, divorced, has a male friend she entertains and doesn’t mind fixing his favorite meal in her birthday suit while wearing four-inch heels.

Yolanda Maxwell Morris is short, petite, divorced and still turning heads. She often tells men who come on to strong that she’s not interested and that it is her and Jesus—that is until she meets Mr. Phine himself, Illya Newsome.

And there’s Connie Maxwell, Yolanda’s sister, who is forty-nine, never been married, all the while putting pressure on her boo, Preston Alexander, to put a ring on it so she can have his baby before her eggs turn to powder. They’ve put too much pressure on themselves to look exceptional or please a man, and fail to realize that they’re still fierce and fabulous. Life isn’t over because you’re over fifty and in the prime of your life.

Excerpt from Silver Bullets

The Passion Party hostess stood in front of the group with a big smile on her face. She was in her mid-to-late thirties, lean, approximately six feet tall—give or take an inch in either direction, and very attractive, if Queenie had to say so herself. Her skin was a smooth, satiny, mocha color, and her hair was swooped up into a ponytail, although the ponytail’s benefactor was either a Korean or Asian woman from Bali. Her acrylic nails were painted fire-engine red and were at least an inch in length. She wore black leggins’, a blue and white silk chemise that dropped below her knees, and blue, four-inch Prada stilettos that made her look as tall as a giraffe.

“Good afternoon. My name is Taylor Chisolm and I’m your Passion Party representative. You’re going to be in for a real treat this afternoon. And for those of you who may be a little inquisitive or squeamish as to what this is all about, I promise that in the next hour, all of your inhibitions will be tossed to the wind. If at present you’re not sure how to enjoy the body you were given, I’m going to show you how you can exact pleasure for yourself and your man, that’s if you have one.” The shower guests chuckled.

“I’m getting out of here,” Jackie hissed at Queenie. “I thought I was coming to a baby shower, not Sodom and Gomorrah. This is heathen worship.”

“What are you talking about?” Emma asked, getting in on the tail end of Jackie’s rant.

“This crazy mess Yolanda invited us to. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to pleasure myself or my husband. And I certainly don’t need some stupid apparatus to help me. This is sinful. I’m getting out of here.”

Before Emma could say anything, Jackie was on her feet.

“Oh, we have our first volunteer,” Taylor said, motioning with her hand for Jackie to come forward. Jackie froze and stood in the middle of the room with a dumb look splattered across her face. “Don’t be shy.”

With all eyes on Jackie, she looked at Miss Passion Party representative and pointed to herself. “Are you talking to me?”

“Yes,” Taylor said with a smile. “Come on up.”

“Oh, no,” Jackie waved her hand. “This is not my scene.”

Taylor stepped forward and held her hand out to Jackie. “Come on. You're going to be in for a pleasant surprise.”

Not sure what else to do, Jackie moved forward and stood next to Taylor. There wasn’t a happy bone on her face. In fact, Jackie flexed her facial muscles—her nose up in the air and her mouth twisted in disgust. Some of the ladies in attendance whispered amongst themselves while others passed disapproving looks in Jackie’s direction.

“What’s your name?” Taylor asked.

“Jackie, First Lady Jackie O’Neill.” There were muffled moans from the group.

“This must be your first Passion Party.”

“I came here for a bridal shower not some crude display about pleasuring yourself. That’s why I have a husband.” The other ladies snickered.

“I was a little outdone, too, Jackie, but you know my sister,” Connie interjected.

“Hmph,” Jackie said, rolling her eyes at Connie. “I can’t believe you’re buying into this nonsense.”

Yolanda rushed to the front. “Everyone, excuse Jackie. She’s new to the idea of taking care of her body, if you know what I mean. She’ll be alright. Continue, Taylor.”

Jackie stared at Yolanda as if she didn’t have any sense. Instead of moving toward the door, Jackie stood in place as if she was glued to the floor. Taylor took her hand and rubbed a compound on the back of her hand that had a red shimmer to it. “What is this?” Jackie wanted to know, wrinkling her nose.

“It’s an edible powder. Lick your hand.”

“Are you serious? Jesus keep me near the cross.”

“Jesus doesn’t have a thing to do with this,” Queenie shouted, opening her mouth for the first time in ten minutes.

“Trust me,” Taylor said with a smile.

Jackie frowned, grunted, and gave Queenie the evil eye. “I need some hand sanitizer.”

“This little bit isn’t going to hurt,” Taylor said.

“Lick it,” Queenie shouted.

“Yes, lick it,” Emma interjected, snickering on the side.

Jackie continued to roll her eyes. She looked at the back of her hand and then drew it to her mouth. With encouragement from the audience, Jackie stuck her tongue out and licked her hand. “Uhmm, this has a nice taste to it.”

Yolanda, Connie, Queenie, Emma, and the other ladies howled and clapped their hands.

( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Suzetta Perkins. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Silver Bullets (Zane Presents)  by Suzetta Perkins

Link: http://amzn.com/1593095589 


The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell

The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell

The Devil Made Me Do It
is Christian Fiction at its best. The novel is full of lessons about passion, pain and God's abundant blessings. Filled with suspense, laughter and touching moments, this page-turning novel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Colette is a new author to definitely watch. Brava, Ms. Harrell. --- Victoria Christopher Murray, Bestselling Author

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She’s a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.

Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father’s worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.

Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.

When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?

Excerpt from The Devil Made Me Do It



Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (Genesis 1:2).

Two ominous figures sat in quiet contemplation, the larger one’s head was gargantuan in nature, and foul droplets of acidic mucus fell from his protruding fangs. The smaller one stood sixteen feet tall and his rapier tail was wrapped protectively around his middle. He sat as still as cold hard stone. His sinister eyes were yellow rimmed and telegraphed evil cunning. He was known as The Leader. Their silhouettes cast eerie shadows against the backdrop of the smoke-filled flames that spewed from the lake of fire.

“Ummm, this is my favorite place. Listen to the melodic sound of souls screaming in agony—it is music to my ears. If you concentrate, you can hear the desperate pleas for release. Yessss . . .It allows me to know that all is right in our world,” The High Master said.

The Leader shuddered as the menacing timbre of The High Master’s voice snaked fear around his chest. For him, it was equal to the singe of demon skin from a thousand innocent prayers; he loathed it. His tail subconsciously tightened as he awaited his newest orders.

The High Master continued, “These human souls are pathetic with their self-serving natures. They frighten at the sound of our bumps in the dark, but create havoc in their own lives. What idiots they are and not fit for company until they have totally crossed to our side. And even then they tire me soooo . . .”

The Leader didn’t stir; his thoughts were of survival. He refused to speak. He knew a wrong word could cause such suffering and pain. The High Master’s punishments are prompt and fierce. One seeks death, but yet, death will not come.

The High Master continued his tirade, his grimace displaying double rows of slime-covered fangs. His was a chilling profile. “Your charges are young. Both are being raised in good homes, and, as a result, they are overconfident creatures. Leader, do not underestimate their youth; innocence is a powerful weapon. In their kingdom, the weak become strong. But we must prey on that weakness and use it to our advantage. You must destroy them before they complete their purpose. I am giving you this head start; you must not fail.”

After speaking, he stood his full twenty feet in height, his shoulders reared back as his frame vibrated with his frustrated bellowing. “In the beginning, we owned their world. After the fall, we adjusted; the land we were given was dark and empty, but we were content with our lot. Then He whose name is not spoken, created man, and we were once again demoted. All we seek is our rightful power, our rightful place. Make haste, bold one, and steal, kill, and destroy all that stands in your way.”

The Leader bowed his head in submission.

“And, Leader—this was a most productive conversation. You are learning.”

The Leader’s tail unwrapped from his torso as he swiftly rose and slithered toward his point of ascent into the Earth realm. He was determined not to fail.

Chapter One 

The Detroit pollution and cold, foggy weather covered Esther Wiley’s shivering body in crisp, arctic shades of blue gray, reminiscent of watercolors dancing in the jelly jar after her arts and crafts class. She shivered, but stubbornly refused to let her mother put a scarf around her small head. She was going to be Cinderella. Cinderella didn’t wear an old ugly scarf. Well, maybe when she was cleaning, but she wasn’t trying to be that kind of Cinderella. No ashes to ashes and dust to dust for her. She was all about glass slippers and diamond tiaras.

Esther’s round cheeks were rosy from the wind, her hated freckles beet red glowing in contrast to the caramel cream of her skin. Her knobby knees were pressed together whenever she wasn’t bouncing from foot to foot in the frigid air. She was on a mission. She wasn’t allowing a hideous scarf to mess up her hair in exchange for a little warmth. She had endured two hours of “hold the grease jar lid on your ear pain” that produced silky pressed hair. There was torture in the quest for straight tresses. In her seven-year-old mind, her priorities were clear.

Esther’s petulant voice screeched. “Mama, how much longer do we have to wait? I can’t stand it. I want to try on the glass slipper—right now.”

“Mind your manners. In a moment, I’m going to give you what your Grandma Vic used to call a private deliverance in a public place.”

A curl of warm breath escaped when Esther sighed. She turned away, rolled her eyes, and then stared defiantly at her mother. The same hands that calmly cuddled her at night now moved restlessly after giving up trying to place a warm scarf on Esther’s head. Esther didn’t dare speak. She had badgered her mother to bring her and her two best friends to downtown Detroit for the Cinderella contest. When they arrived, the line to enter the historical skyscraper snaked around the building. Two hours later they still couldn’t see the front entrance. As the wind bellowed, time stood still, but because of her mother’s mood, she resisted the urge to tell her she was freezing.

She peeked at her friends’ reaction to her mother’s scolding. She could see Sheri and Deborah were indifferent to her embarrassment; their faces tense as they craned their necks to see the start of the line.

Esther puffed warm breath into her mittens. “Y’all shouldn’t have come if you didn’t want to wait.”

Sheri’s elfin face was etched in anxiety. Her shoulders sagging, she grimaced at the time on her watch. She leaned forward in a panicked whisper. “You know I had to sneak out of the house to come. If my mama finds out I’m here, I’ma get a whipping.”

“You should have told her,” Deborah smacked her sour grape gum, then twirled it around her finger.

Sheri’s jaw tightened. “I tried.” She pointed her finger in a mock role play of her mother. “‘Ain’t no such thing as Cinderella, and sho’ ain’t no Prince Charming. Get in them school books. There isn’t anything worse than being ignorant.’ Y’all know how my mama gets.”

Laughing, Deborah slapped her hand against her thigh. “Uh, uh, uh,” she stuck her gum back into her mouth and popped it. “Girl, you sounded just like your mama.”

With hands on her small hips, Esther swung her head toward Deborah. “Well, what about you? You could have stayed home.”

“Oh no, where you two go, I go. You can’t leave me out. I can stand this girly stuff for one day.” Deborah eyeballed her and popped her gum for emphasis.


The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell
Link:  http://amzn.com/1601627823  


Twist by Roni Teson

Twist by Roni Teson

A Romantic Suspense full of twists and turns...
When a steamy incident in the back seat of a borrowed car plunges sixteen-year-old Beatrice Malcolm smack in the middle of a global manhunt, she discovers that the search for her fugitive father has more to do with her than she could ever imagine.

With her mother gone, Bea's life is unraveling in the worst possible way as she's thrust into a world of government conspiracy, insanity, and mind-altering experimentation that forces her to make a life or death decision on who to believe—the FBI or her father.

In Twist, Roni Teson has crafted a suspenseful tale of love, betrayal and intrigue with a cast of characters who will leap off the pages and stay in your heart long after the last page has been turned.

Excerpt Chapter 1

I’d seen him at school before, the kid who came in with Mr. Drake. I didn’t know his name was Lucas. When he brushed his blond hair away from his forehead and his blue eyes met mine, my insides liquefied. I thought I saw a flicker of recognition on his face, but how would he know me?

“Do you go to Sage Creek High?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, as I looked down at my tennis shoes and wished I’d dressed better. But I didn’t know a cute boy would be standing in front of me tonight.

“I thought so,” he said. “Aren’t you new?”


We were at Aunt Charlotte and Uncle George’s house, me sitting in the living room and the boy hanging around the threshold.

Only a few seconds earlier, my uncle’s plumber, Mr. Drake, had said, “Stay here, Lucas. Talk to Beatrice for a minute while I work on George’s sink.” And then he followed my uncle into the kitchen.

“Did you hear me?” Lucas said.

“What?” I answered.

A tiny chuckle puffed off of his lips. “I didn’t think you were listening. Call me Luke.”

His voice was so smooth my belly did backflips. “Bea,” I said, because a single syllable was all I could manage under the gaze of such a magnificent creature as Luke.

“So, Bea.” His eyes wandered around the living room and stopped on me. “What’s your story? Where you been hiding?”

I stared at his perfectly straight, white teeth and froze.

“Dad makes me tag along on some of his jobs,” Luke said, as he sat down on the edge of the couch. “I’ve been to this house a lot, but I’ve never seen you here.”

“You weren’t here last week when the kitchen flooded.” I flicked a piece of lint off of my leg, acting disinterested. “I’m staying with my aunt and uncle for a while”—and then I stopped short, before the darkness of the last twelve months could creep into our conversation. I picked up the remote and channel surfed, looking for something he could grab on to instead of me.

“Where’d that frown come from?” he asked. Then when I didn’t answer, after a pause, he posed another question. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

And that was all I needed to hear. I lost interest. He was way too nosy, and far too comfortable asking me about my personal life. I kept my eyes on the TV and said, “Do you always talk so much?”

“Hey, a cute girl shows up at school and I want to know.”

“Now you’re way too flirty.”

“I like the tomboy thing you’re rocking. What can I say?”

In my peripheral vision I saw him wink at me. That was so cheesy, I thought I was being played. “Really?” I rolled my eyes.

“I’m just being friendly. Geez, Beatrice.”

And the timber of his voice, mixed with a playful tone, hit the right note—it softened me. “Call me, Bea,” I said.

“Can’t anyone be nice to you?” he asked.

When his lower lip protruded, exaggerating a pout, I must have been like a swinging mood tree because my entire being thawed. “Yeah, I’m just having a bad day,” I said.

More like a bad year.

We stared at each other and he smiled again, so I smiled, too.

“See,” Luke said. “I knew you had it in you.”

He moved closer to me on the couch and put his hand on mine. “My official name is Lucas Drake.” With that, he squeezed my fingers, lifted my hand, and kissed my knuckles.

An unfamiliar feeling of warmth ran down my spine and into my toes. I jerked my arm away and stood up in a curtsy. “Beatrice Malcolm.” I plopped down again, tucking my right leg under my butt.

Luke glided even closer and whispered, “I’m glad you moved to Cali. I think you’re cute.”

I wondered if his head had begun to swirl, the way mine had. I’d never experienced anything like this before, ever. But suddenly, Uncle George and Luke’s dad were standing at the front door, about fifteen feet from where we sat. And thank goodness Mr. Drake broke the spell with his gruff voice. “Lucas, let’s go!”

Luke seemed to become abruptly aware of his surroundings and even looked puzzled when he saw how close we were sitting. He flexed his hand and wiggled his fingers—I ran my thumb across my knuckles and glanced at him. We both blushed and quickly looked away. I was relieved to stand up and walk the few steps to the entryway with Lucas Drake behind me.

Purchase Twist by Roni Teson


Submissionary by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Damon Myers-Jones despised the awkward hyphenated name forced upon him at birth because it represented two things Damon would rather forget: his adopted father’s death and his real father’s absence. Now thirty years old, newly engaged Damon struggles with the constant tug-of-war with the women in his life.

His mother, Laverne Myers-Jones, who cloaked him with his name in the first place, wants to extend her influence to his choice of mate. Damon’s fiancée, Hope Daniels, can’t see beyond her longing to keep what she deems the perfect man and plans for her happily ever after.

In a desperate attempt to find himself, Damon impulsively sets out on a mission's trip to Haiti in search of his birth father where he experiences a shift that changes his world. Will his personal mission coincide with what God has in store for him?

Praise for Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Sherryle Kiser Jackson is to be commended for creating an emotionally authentic tale of redemption and one man's search for love. Fans of her other works will not be disappointed, and new readers prepare to discover your new favorite author.  --- Booker T. Mattison, filmmaker and author of Unsigned Hype and Snitch.

Chapter 1

He boarded first at Shady Grove station. She boarded six stops later at Bethesda. They rode another six stops together. She exited before him at DuPont Circle. He held his spot until Judiciary Square. The red line of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area subway system—or Metro, as it is called—represented the vein of their relationship—a mastery of timing and schedules. A twenty-eight-minute ride, five times a week that became thirty-three minutes the midst of rush hour, was the delicate tissue that covered that vein. It provided a great quantity of quality time for their relationship.

Today was the beginning of a typical workweek for them, but it felt like anything but to Damon Myers-Jones. He glanced down at a text message summoning him and his teammates to a mandatory meeting, which would take place first thing this morning. Ever since the previous evening, when he first spotted the text, he’d tried to figure out what the meeting could be about. His preoccupation seemed to throw him off, to swirl in the nauseating abyss that immersed his life nowadays.

Damon missed the opening and closing of the doors, and his fiancée, Hope, entering the subway car, with her carefully rehabbed right leg, encumbered by a slight limp, moving toward him. He had muscled his way to a seat when he boarded, and used his bag to save the vacant seat beside him for her.

“What, no bagels?” Hope Daniels said, as she shifted his bag and plopped down beside him, wearing a waist-length leather jacket and a Wrangler satchel strewn about her body to tie together her outerwear.

“I’ve got that meeting,” Damon said.

“Yeah, that’s right, the mystery meeting,” she said. “Well, at least we both got seats.”

Staring at him with one arched eyebrow, a jutted chin and a smile begging him to smother her with his lips, a peck was the best he could do. He had too much angst for anything else. He had not always been reluctant to participate in the public displays of affection she craved. Now engaged, and although the ring had unlocked chambers and doors, a big part of his reluctance was because it didn’t get him any closer to the vault of physicality, the war chest of sex that he craved from her. A smaller portion of his reluctance was also due to the guilt he felt that he had not yet told his mom of the seriousness of his relationship with Hope, and that her little boy had taken the ultimate big-boy step. For that, he felt as if he were being watched, and the lookout would report the ring size, cut and clarity of the diamond directly to his mom before he had the chance to tell her himself. Still, a fraction of that guilt was reserved for the itch of an impulse that he kept a secret from both his ladies. So, as far as he was concerned, and with all he had going on, Hope’s engagement ring and Facebook profile would have to suffice her need to flaunt their upgraded relationship status right now.

Leaning forward, he rested his arms on his thighs amongst the butts and guts of passengers forced to stand in front of them. Once again, he checked his text message, as if it had changed in the last ten minutes.

“Damon, stop obsessing,” Hope said, stroking his back with her right hand. “Wait, look, I got something to show you.”

Damon watched her pull out a stack of papers with a section of the New York Times on top. He determined that if she started in on him about moving to New York again he would exit the train at the Van Ness station, leaving her alone, and connect with another train there.

“You know the extra credit vocabulary I like to assign from the crossword puzzle each week? Well, guess who came up with the right answer this week?” she gloated. She began shuffling through the pile of corrected papers. “A six-letter word that means spread dirt on someone crossed with a thirteen-letter word meaning the race for the highest office in a state, each starting with the letter G.”

Relieved, Damon sat up and began pointing at his fingers, as if he were counting. She punched him, and he smiled. “You got me. I’m the numbers man, remember?”

When Hope found the paper she was searching for, she bent the corner toward her so Damon couldn’t see the name. “Gossip and gubernatorial are the answers. Challenging, right? Guess who got the answer correct?”

Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura

Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura

In the late 90s, Washington D.C., affectionately dubbed “Chocolate City”, was recovering from the crack epidemic and the label of “murder capital”. Interaction beyond the bulletproof glass that divides Black customers and Korean merchants is what drives SEOUL REVELATIONS. Race, culture and inner city survival are examined and revealed.

SEOUL REVELATIONS is a story of friendship and betrayal; one that analyzes the challenges of a budding interracial relationship between Marcus Richardson, a young Black community college student and aspiring four-year university enrollee, and Kim Han, a young Korean American college girl whose father runs Sunbeam Market, a liquor store/bodega in Marcus' inner city neighborhood. Marcus, wanting to escape the snares of the inner city, has built a friendship of trust and fresh perspective with Kim.

Meanwhile his best friend Tyrell deals with issues of depression and self-esteem because he feels that he lives his life in Marcus’ shadow. Neighborhood thug Delonte Harris has no intentions of leaving the ‘hood, in fact, he intends on becoming a major player in the local drug game. He gets an opportunity from a regional kingpin Parnell “P-nutt” Jacobs.

Worlds collide when Delonte cheats P-Nutt and is given an ultimatum to recover the money plus interest or face execution. Delonte sets his sights on Sunbeam Market as a target for robbery which drastically impacts Marcus’ and Kim’s relationship.

Excerpt from Seoul Revelations 

Ms. Thompson knelt down a little and talked to Marcus. “Honey, I am honored that a handsome young man like you would stand up for a lady like Ms. Thompson. Not many grown men would do such a thing, but what you have to understand, honeychild, is that it is your duty to get your education. I know you are a young man, and you have to stand up for what’s yours. I want you to use your head. Students like Jamal can take you places where you don’t want to go.”

The beef between Marcus and Jamal and had marinated, and the entire 7th grade was buzzing about and wanted to see a barbecue at 3:20 p.m.

After school, Marcus, Tyrell and Delonte walked to the football field. All Marcus was thinking about how he would fight Jamal. Pride drug him to the battlefield, and no matter what he would retain his honor.

It was amazing that at such a young age they have a concept of honor. One could hear about numerous shootings in the city, sometimes because someone stepped on someone’s shoe, or looked at them wrong. Where was the honor in such senseless violence?

In feudal Japan, a man would be killed for stepping over the sword of a samurai. These timeless shoguns, symbols of nobility and martial art, could arguably be the most senseless or the most honorable, depending on how you look at it. In those times, if you wanted to live, or you didn’t want to kill, you would not step over the sword of the samurai. They lived by a code—and people of the street, follow these codes to determine who is who.

The only people talking about “senseless” are those with something to lose. They don’t want to lose their lives, or limbs, or go to jail and lose time, or lose their job, or reputation. There is a fear behind loss.

Everyone cleared a circle for the two fighters as Marcus stood in the middle.

JR said, “Go on,” and hit Jamal on the back. Jamal walked with his fists balled toward Marcus. As he approached, Marcus recalled a story his mother told him about David and Goliath. Marc felt as if he was David and Jamal was Goliath, the giant uncircumcised Philistine. This was the battlefield of the Lord. His fear left him and he walked toward Jamal. They both came to each other’s presence and then Jamal moved in close, face-to-face with Marcus, again.

Since Marcus was shorter, Jamal craned his neck down to talk in his face. “Pop all that junk you was poppin’ earlier.”

Marcus inched down a little, and Delonte saw it and shouted, “Come on, Marc, don’t punk out! Hit him!”

Jamal continued to talk in Marcus’ face as he shrunk lower.

“Come on, you punk, talk that trash again, so I can steal you in your face.”

Marcus crouched a little lower.

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