Everything Old, Is New Again by A. Yamina Collins

Everything Old, Is New Again
by A. Yamina Collins

If Amazon's recent Kindle Serials debut back in 2012 is any indication of current publishing trends, then releasing a novel in episodes may be the hottest new thing publishing has seen in a while - even though there is actually nothing new about the serialized format.

Years ago, it was the print novel that was being serialized rather than digitized works of today, and no less than Charles Dickens helped to establish the format with the release of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers back in 1836. In fact, that book is largely considered to have been the prototype of all serialization and indeed most of Dickens subsequent novels were originally published serially as well - in both weekly and monthly magazines, and often in as many as twenty monthly installments.

And make no mistake - Charles Dickens was not the only famous author to have tried his hand at serialization. French author Alexandre Dumas dolled out his Count of Monte Cristo in eighteen parts in the Journal des Débats, with publication running from August 28, 1844 to January 15, 1846, while Uncle Tom's Cabin, the American classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was serialized beginning in June 1851, over a 40-week period in an abolitionist periodical called National Era.

It's true that serialization sputtered in the early to mid-twentieth century and pretty much died. It's also true that now days audiences seem to have the attention span of two-year olds, making it difficult to hold readers interest in books that are dolled out slowly for public consumption. Yet it should not be assumed that there is absolutely no consumers for the serialized format.

In fact, one could make the argument that series books such as Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games, are themselves episodes told in larger, lump sum quantities (seven novels for Potter and three for Twilight and Hunger Games respectively).

There have been even success stories of authors actually serializing a single novel in this day and age. In 2011, for example, author Hugh Howey wrote the indie sci-fi book "Wool". The book had been conceived as a stand-alone shorty story, but as its popularity increased, so did Mr. Howey's need to expand on the story, and thus a series was born - and a wildly successful one at that.

But what are some of the benefits of serializing a book today? For starters, serialized formats can help build up readership for unknown authors, and help create greater interaction between an author and his or her audience (it has been said that for Charles Dickens, this format created greater intimacy between he and his readers).

Another advantage is that authors can revise the novel even after it is serialized, in preparation for its stand-alone publication. As recent as 1984, Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, ran in twenty-seven n parts in Rolling Stone magazine for which he was paid $200,000 for and yet, Mr. Wolfe went on to heavily revised the work before it was released in full form.

Yet another advantage, As Mr. Howey once explained in an interview with Wire.com, is that stand-alone books might remain invisible in a sea of books, but with a serialized novel one gets the same strange title sprinkled throughout the charts together, and that "sorta build(s) on top of each other like individual ripples growing into a much larger wave." In other words, ten entries of a book title are better for that book's chart hopes then just a single entry.

It is for all of these reasons I am releasing my two-book novel "The Last King" in a serialized format. I want to engage my readers even during the on going writing process; I want have a chance to correct some things I might miss down the road; and I want a chance build up an audience before the full, stand alone novel is released in late 2014.

It's also helpful that with Amazon's Kindle Serials, readers save money. When readers buy a Kindle Serial, they receive all existing episodes on their Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published at no additional cost. This will prove to be cheaper than buying all eleven episodes at separately.

I can't wait to see how serialization will change and grow throughout the next coming years. It's a totally new way for authors to think about publishing - even though it's also a very old idea.


About the Author
A. Yamina Collins
is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. She has written for publications such as New York Resident magazine, Our Town and the Manhattan Spirit. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel.


The Last King  (Book I, Serial #1) 
Link:  http://amzn.com/B00HJZVMJW
Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news:  http://www.yaminatoday.com
 
 
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Is Stress Damaging Your Marriage? by Jewell R. Powell

Is Stress Damaging Your Marriage?
by Jewell R. Powell



Life is busy. Life is stressful.
These are facts of life, but how we handle that busyness and stress makes all the difference in our lives and especially in our marriage. A common scenario for busy couples is for the husband and wife to get wrapped up in their individual projects and issues. Instead of managing the stress together, they may find themselves trying to deal with it all alone, which can actually create space between husband and wife, rather than creating unity. Being able to identify when stress may be damaging your marriage is the first step for taking control, so you and your spouse can work together to focus on protecting and strengthening your relationship. 


The Bible actually addresses stress and anxiety many times and for good reason.
Our human side, our flesh has a tendency to give into stress, so we NEED the reminders and promises from God to help us keep our Godly focus and know where to turn when challenging times come. Can you identify certain issues in your life that create the most stress? Whether they are problems within the marriage itself or external stressors, the same promises from God apply.

Stressors Are To Be Expected


In Isaiah 40: 30,31, we can read,

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." This verse shows us that YES stressors will come, you will grow weary, you will fall, but when you place your trust in the Lord, your strength will be renewed and you will soar.

So don't get down on yourself or your marriage if you and your spouse are experiencing stress. This is normal and to be expected. However, allowing stress to damage your marriage relationship is where you have to draw the line. While we cannot control the stressors we encounter in life, we can control our responses.  Choosing the right responses to stress will minimize or even eliminate problems it can create in marriage.

Signs Stress May Be Damaging Your Marriage

None of us is perfect, and the human side of us may allow stress to do some damage. Below are some warning signs to look out for in your marriage relationship:

* Arguing or "snapping" at each other
* Tension that seems to hang around continually.
* Rarely spending time with each other.
* Difficulty communicating without arguing or disagreeing.
* Decreased intimacy, both sexual and otherwise.
* Financial struggles.
* Critical comments or even just critical thoughts about each other.

If one or more of these seem to be a common occurrence in your relationship, it is time to seek some spiritual healing for your marriage as well as the Godly insight to help you learn to cope with stressors together as a couple. The good news is that God is more than capable of helping you through this stressful time. Trust in Him, connect with God and each other through prayer, and you will find your relationship bond is strengthened and you have the firm foundation you need to withstand the storms that life can bring.

5 Ways to Deal with Stress as a Couple


Whether you are newly married or have been married for years, learning how to deal with stress as a couple is a learned skill. Rarely is it something that people just know how to do intuitively. Instead, it is a choice that one must make. However, it is never too late in the marriage to begin making good choices and learning new coping skills.

Unfortunately, too many people rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms that do not strengthen the marriage and in most cases do nothing to alleviate stress and may even cause MORE stress. Alcohol, drugs, sex, affairs, gambling, overeating and shopping are some of the activities that may seem to improve stress levels for a moment, but the repercussions can be devastating. 


READ MORE HERE



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What I Have Learned From Publishing My First Book by Cerece Rennie Murphy

What I Have Learned From Publishing My First Book 
by Cerece Rennie Murphy, author of the Order of the Seers Trilogy



A year ago, I published my first full-length story EVER– a sci-fi novel called Order of the Seers. It took me about a year to write and almost as long to get up the courage to publish it. But on September 4, 2012, I took the plunge, hit the send button, uploaded my file to Amazon and waited for the masses to collectively shudder in awe at the little piece of my heart that I sent out into the world. It has been quite a journey since then, and ever since I got my head out of my you-know-where and started using it, its been kind of fun too. How hard this journey has been hasn’t exactly been a surprise to me, but watching myself slowly evolve into a publisher has. This is a short list of some of the things I have learned so far.

1) Welcome to the REAL world AKA you are NOT an overnight sensation. The day my first book was published, I spent the entire day sick in bed with worry and fear. After a week, I think I had only sold about 20 ebook copies. I was devastated. I told myself my book was horrible and I shouldn’t have even tried to publish it. It took me a week to start THINKING about what I might have done better or differently. That’s when I really started to move into the new career that I have chosen.

The Lesson: If you don’t become a bestseller your first week out, it’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s just where you started. Where you end up is up to you. 



2)
One blog tour and one eblast does not a marketing plan make. Seriously - that was pretty much my marketing plan for the release of my 1st book. Yes, I was very naïve about what it would take for people to find out about my book. Most of my reluctance to developing a marketing plan had to do with  a) my fear of putting myself out there and  b) my general ignorance about what methods and resources were available to me. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that for a while. Some things worked (I built my mailing list by going to comic/sci-fi conventions, did a cover reveal blog tour for the 2nd book along with a $.99 week long sale promotion for the 1st book) and some things didn’t (spent a ton of money on a Christmas ad campaign that cost way more than I sold in books).

The Lesson: If you have the guts to publish a book, have the guts to market it. One barely makes sense without the other. One of the best marketing pieces of advice that I have gotten so far is, “pick a monthly budget, no matter how big or small and do something every month to promote your book. Keep writing and keep marketing. Consistency will pay off.” It has taken me over a year, but I am finally seeing the maturity and wisdom of these words. For most writers, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


3)
Guard Your Headspace AKA Read Reviews Sparingly. I have read this time and time again from accomplished veterans of the writing profession, but this advice is so hard to heed. In the beginning, I used to check my reviews every day. It would stress me out so much that, at one point, I was literally afraid to go on Goodreads. A glowing review would be met with relief, quickly followed by skepticism. A strong, but not effusive review would be picked over to death for the rest of the day. Neither one helped me write any better, but one could shut me down for a good 24-48 hours.

The Lesson: Everyone isn’t going to like your book. That’s a fact and it’s ok. Find some people you trust and respect. Get them to read and critique your work. Modify as needed, then let it be. Periodically, I will check the number of reviews I have when I am in the middle of a promotion. Sometimes, if it appears that I’ve gotten a few good ones, I’ll chance a glance and feel happy, but I don’t let myself linger. It’s just not that helpful to my state-of-mind.


4)
Building Buzz Takes Time AKA Give yourself more than 4 month before you publish your 1st novel. I decided to publish my book at the end of May 2012 and I published my 1st book in September. This was stupid. The process of trying to learn what I was doing while I was doing it was so stressful and crazy. At the time, I didn’t want to give myself the chance to chicken-out, so I think I just tried to plow through it, but in the process, I missed opportunities for reviews and using other promotional resources that might have made my first release more successful.

The Lesson: Don’t do what I did. Give yourself time to learn the business before you dive in. (But don’t use your research as an excuse to procrastinate!) 


5)
The doubt doesn’t go away, but it gets more manageable as you go. I wish I could say that, a year later, I feel like a super-awesome self-published author, but I don’t. Most days, I feel the weight of all the things I still need to learn and do, but I can also acknowledge how far I have come. The release of my second book in the Order of the Seers trilogy this summer was a bit less personally traumatic and much more thoroughly planned out and executed than my first release. This was made possible only with the help of an author’s assistant, street promotion team, 3 book blog/promotion services running simultaneously, a small, but positive, collection of pre-release reviews, a week-long free sale of the 1st book and an uber-coordinated mailing list, Facebook and twitter campaign. The result - my second book stayed on Amazon Kindle’s best-seller list for over a month in the sci-fi/genetic engineering category and made it into Amazon’s Hot New Sci-fi releases list.

The Lesson: Believe in your story enough to work on writing it, honing it and sharing it, every day that you can.


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.   Books by Cerece Rennie Murphy, see here.


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If You Don't Know Me by Mary B. Morrison

If You Don't Know Me
by Mary B. Morrison


MOVE OVER REAL HOUSEWIVES…



If you can’t get enough of all things reality television get ready for the drama like only New York Times bestselling author MARY B. MORRISON can bring it!  New York Times and #1 Essence best selling author Mary B. Morrison knows how to write stories that will have readers on the edge of their seats. 


Her critically acclaimed debut series Soul Mates Dissipate explored the topic that puzzles most of us: how to find— and keep — your soul mate. The series did so well that Morrison received a multi-film development deal. Publishers Weekly noted Morrison’s sensual novels “pack in dozens of juicy episodes” in her “high drama page turners” and described her as “prolific.”

Her new series which introduced readers to sexy vixen Madison Taylor and a whole cast of juicy new characters has continued to keep readers panting with Elev8.com noting “Mary is at the top of the African-American fiction genre” and Library Journal praising the second installment and encouraging readers to “buy in anticipation of high demand.”

Mary returns in April with IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME;  the third installment of the If I Can’t Have You series being published by Dafina Books in hardcover original.

Two women, a sizzling wager, and the fallout that would turn their lives upside down, that’s exactly what readers will find in Mary B. Morrison’s newest release. Sindy Singleton isn’t about to lose Chicago DuBois to Madison again. But getting him to open his heart once more won’t be enough to satisfy her. Enlisting the help of Chicago’s worst enemy is the fastest way she knows to expose Madison’s most brazen deception yet. But Madison has more than one devastating card to play.

If there’s one thing Madison has learned from her disastrous bet, it’s how to turn catastrophe into opportunity. Playing on Chicago’s fatherly instincts will maintain her access to the DuBois fortune—and keep her family’s empire successful. Using sweet Sindy’s niceness against her will knock her out of the running. And the cherry on top: Madison’s got the perfect scheme to finally take care of her ex-lover, her rivals, and the husband she’ll never let go.



EXCERPT: IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME

CHAPTER 1

Sindy


"When he walks in, you'll walk out."

"Are you sure?" Nyle asked me after the prison guard closed the door to our private glass-enclosed room.

We sat facing each other. The chill from the stainless steel chair made me sit on the edge of my seat. The rectangular-shaped metal table was cold enough to keep my favorite butter pecan ice cream from melting. Three feet of space separated us.

I stared into his crystal-blue eyes as I said, "Help me get Granville Washington back behind bars and you'll be discharged the same day he's booked. The remaining two-and-a-half of your three-year sentence will be dismissed. You'll be on a one-year probation with an officer that you'll meet face-to-face one time. After that you'll check in over the phone. A few people owe me favors. If you complete the assignment to my satisfaction, your early release is guaranteed."

Nyle sighed heavily. His neatly arched brows drew close together. His eyes darted to the left. He blinked. When he opened his eyes, they were intensely on me. Instantly, I became motionless.

"I've already done what you've asked of me."

"Not exactly."

"Not exactly my ass." Veins protruded from his neck. His voice escalated in anger. "The outcome isn't what either of us anticipated but I did my part. Now you want me to do you another favor? Fuck the money you paid me. I want out of here today."

That wasn't happening. When we left this room, I was going home; he was headed back to his cell. I did not influence him to commit a crime. That was his choice. Helping him get out was mine.

"What if what you want now isn't what you expect later? Then what? You walk away and leave me to do all of my time?"

Precisely. In my mind, I nodded, but didn't move my head. He had nothing to lose. I did. I needed him to calm down so he could focus on what was important to me.

I softened my tone. "Fair enough. Regardless of what happens this time, I'll keep my word." Not sure if I were lying, I extended my hand and shook his. I had to tell Nyle what he needed to hear.

Getting men to do whatever I wanted—with the exception of my father—that was my strength. Loving another woman's husband was my weakness.

Better for me to pursue the man I wanted than to allow my dad to arrange for my husband the way he'd done with Siara. I missed her. Skype was nice but I hadn't seen my sister in person in twelve years. Her being sold by our father wasn't my fault but she didn't feel the same. Occasionally, she still says, "You are my big sister. You were supposed to protect me." I think our father or her husband told her not to come back to America and not to let me visit her in Paris. I wasn't sure how or when but one day we would reunite.

Trust your gut instincts. That was how I lived. My word used to be a firm commitment. Since I was a little girl, when Sindy Singleton made a promise, I kept it. Truth or lie, right or wrong, my love for Roosevelt "Chicago" Dubois was gradually overruling my senses. Lately I'd been doing what was in my best interest. When things didn't go my way, I didn't hesitate to change my mind.

This morning I'd smoothed back my long straight cinnamon hair and coiled it into a bun that sat at the nape of my neck. My cream-colored pants, which I only wore when I visited the Federal Detention Center, were loosely fitted. A simple short-sleeved matching blouse draped my hips. Comfortable leather flats clung to my feet. No lipstick. No perfume. No jewelry. My purse was in the trunk of my Bentley that I'd parked in a downtown lot a block away. My keys were secured in one of the small lockers in the lobby. My Texas driver's license was left with the guard at the security entrance.

Sitting in a room reserved for attorney/client visits, I was the attorney. Nyle Carter was my protégé. I needed this inmate's help the same as he desperately desired mine.

"Let me get this straight. I have to find a way to bring Granville back to prison before you'll get me out of here?" he lamented.

Peering through the glass door, I scanned the visitors' room. There was a handful of folks who had come to see what I called "the mentally ill and prayed up." Prison made grown men ask the Lord, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, or whatever higher power they believed in to set them free. Forgiveness wasn't practical for repeat offenders. I wished repentance wasn't an option for them either.

A lot of the criminals I represented were guilty but the majority of them had raised their right hand and sworn on the Bible that they were innocent. I was paid to defend, not to judge. Ultimately, that was God's job.

Nyle had pleaded the Fifth on his charges and still had to do time. He'd become known to those on the inside as G-double-A. Some youngster by the name of No Chainz had given Nyle the name saying it meant "Got All the Answers." I wished that were true for me. I wouldn't be sitting in this cold room trying to convince a man to entrap another man so that I could be with the man I loved.

"I said you were to make sure he never got out."

Nyle remained quiet.

On a scale from one to ten, Nyle was handsome above average. Put a suit on him the way he used to dress prior to getting locked up and no one would believe he was forty years old when he was arrested. Not that there was a better age to be charged but with his thick blond curly hair and smooth pale skin he could easily pass for thirty.

"I paid you twenty thousand to give Granville advice that would get him convicted with two consecutive life sentences."

He slid his hand from his forehead to the nape of his neck. No response.

Nyle could benefit from a daily dose of natural vitamin D. The inmates didn't get much sunlight. Everything was indoors, including the gym. The few windows they had were high above the basketball court. Nyle deserved to be here but didn't belong. There were some people you never envisioned behind bars. Others you knew it wasn't if they were going to do time. It was when and for how long?

"Why did the judge overturn the jury's decision?" I asked.

Getting myself this involved, I could risk being disbarred and losing Roosevelt if he thought I was part of the conspiracy to kill him. I was undoubtedly determined to have that man.

Secretly, I was attracted to Roosevelt well before we'd met. A schoolgirl crush, more like college, was what I had. We didn't go to the same university but I'd gone to his football games. Unlike some of the other players, Roosevelt never had a bunch of groupies tailing him. For me it was one of those situations where I liked him, but never thought we'd meet. After his engagement was announced on the news and he married Madison, I'd given up on my fantasy of being with him until his brother came to my office one day for business. Chaz suggested Numbiya and I stop by Eddie V's. Roosevelt was there. Instantly, we hit it off. Initially, I wasn't, then I was, then I wasn't saving my virginity for him but now that I knew him better, I'd decided Roosevelt—not the billionaire who had paid my father for my hand in marriage—was the one.

How long was Nyle going to hold out without answering me? I refused to say another word. If he was done, so was I.

My father was a self-made multimillionaire. If Charles Singleton owned all the gold in Fort Knox, it wouldn't be enough and it'd never make him happy. He was so driven by greed he didn't know how to enjoy life or value people. Money was his god.

I still didn't believe my mother accidentally fell down the stairs. Never saw her insurance policy but knowing my father he'd probably collected a hefty seven figures. My father told us he had our mama cremated. Her family begged for a memorial service. They had no legal rights. Jasmine Singleton had no funeral. Dysfunctional as we were, until the day Mama died and Siara was sold, we were a family. Shortly after Mama's ashes were scattered over the Gulf of Mexico, my daddy became richer. My gut told me there was no wake because there was no death. Perhaps that was my wishful belief.

The man that I wanted couldn't be bought. If I were more like my father, I'd pay Roosevelt's wife to leave him alone. If she'd refused, I'd hire a hit man.

Nyle had ten minutes. If I stood, I was leaving and not coming back.

I was thirty. Ready to walk down the aisle and eventually breastfeed Roosevelt's children. Unlike my father, I knew how to be happy. I think.

Tired of Madison Tyler-DuBois interfering with my getting her husband, I added her to Sindy's shit list. I was about to strip that bitch of her last name like she'd lost an all-or-nothing game of poker. It was time for her to find herself another man. The horrible things she'd done, she should've petitioned for their divorce.

Madison was responsible for her husband having been shot, then she'd taken him off the respirator hoping he'd die. God had a different plan. Her soon-to-be ex-husband had survived. And rather than her letting him love me, she'd prefer to keep him and smother his generous forgiving spirit. Her having his baby was the last lucky charm I was going to snatch from her.

Roosevelt had no idea what to do with Madison. Keep her? Let her go? Stay for the baby? Men generally embraced the "Do as I say" philosophy. The women, "Do as I do." Neither gave a damn about how the other felt as long as the other obeyed. Madison wasn't the conforming type. Neither was I. I was a true Southern belle born and wrapped in a Republican cloak of cutthroat confidence.

I was soft, only on the outside.

Three minutes.

When I saw on the news that Roosevelt "Chicago" DuBois had been shot three times, I had to find out who wanted him dead and why. Granville pulled the trigger but that imbecile could never mastermind an execution. Right now, I was getting involved with every aspect. That was why I was sitting in this freezing room instead of being outside in the sunny eighty-degree weather.

Nyle stared at me. "Welcome back," he said.

"Same to you." I'd drifted into my own world but where had he gone?

"Granville is so dumb he's actually smart. Tell me what I need to do to walk out of here. I'll make sure it's done."

Nyle's son was in my I'm Not Locked Up nonprofit program for kids with parents in jail. His son was an amazingly brilliant child. Landry was so impressive that six months ago I accompanied him on a visit here to the Federal Detention Center to meet his father.

I had to know what kind of man could have single-parented a brilliant child then end up behind bars. I'd learned that Nyle had an office downtown. He represented hundreds of clients for a decade. Problem was, he'd never passed the bar. His degree was real. His credentials weren't valid. How could people retain a lawyer without certifying if the attorney was legit?

I agreed. "Granville is the smartest dumbest person I've witnessed as well. Do you know how many inmates represent themselves and get off? Almost none. Hearing Granville question Chaz, watching him get Loretta arrested, seeing him present that sex tape of Madison, made me realize we cannot underestimate this guy. When he degraded Roosevelt on the stand. Made a mockery of my man. That was it. We've got to get him to state and I'm not talking about a high school championship. Prison is where Granville belongs."

"What do I need to do this time?" Nyle asked.

"Tell the guard to inform the warden that Granville Washington is attempting to kill Roosevelt again. Then—"

Shaking his head, Nyle interrupted. "How do you know this?"

"Trust me. I do. All I need you to say is Granville told you this in confidence before his release. Then you must insist that they issue a search warrant for all of his property. His apartment, his car, his mama's house, and her grave."

Leaning back, Nyle said, "Her what?"

I was the type of woman who believed in staying three steps ahead of all men. Perhaps Granville wouldn't do such a thing but the gun hadn't been found after the shooting. He either knew where it was or now that he was out of jail he had it in his possession. The guy had proven he wasn't dumb. Playpens, cemeteries, cereal boxes, diaper bags were just a few of the countless places I'd discovered where criminals had hidden weapons.

"You heard me right. Her grave. Her services are tomorrow. If Granville has that gun, he's going to get rid of it. Tell them to dig up Sarah Lee Washington, search the soil, and her coffin. Roosevelt's life is dependent on you." I'd make a few calls later today and have someone secretly videotape Sarah's funeral from beginning to end.

Roosevelt was a good man. He was the youngest vice president/general manager in the league and we were blessed to have him for our football team. After all the wrong his wife had done to him, he did all the right things for her. A man that wonderful deserved a wife like me.

I didn't disclose to Nyle the details of what the authorities would find. What my father had done, I was about to undo.

(Continues...)

Excerpted from If You Don't Know Me by Mary B. Morrison. Copyright © 2014 Mary B. Morrison. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.


If You Don't Know Me (Book 3: Series If I Can't Have You)
Books by Mary B. Morrison:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-B.-Morrison/e/B001ILIDYU 



About Mary B. Morrison 
 

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison believes that women should shape their own destiny. Born in Aurora, IL, and raised in New Orleans, LA, she took a chance and quit her near six-figure government job to self-publish her first book, Soulmates Dissipate, in 2000 and begin her literary career.

Mary’s books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and she’s a frequent contributor to The Michael Baisden Show. Mary is also actively involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, and in 2006 she sponsored the publication of an anthology written by 33 sixth-graders.

In 2010, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB. In addition to her novels and play, Mary has a multi-film development deal with Codeblack Entertainment for her Soulmates Dissipate series.

Mary currently resides in Oakland, CA, with her wonderful son, Jesse Byrd, Jr., who is following in his mother’s creative footsteps and pursuing a career in TV/film and writing. Visit Mary's website at www.marymorrison.com


The Series in Order of Publication
Book 3: If You Don't Know Me
Book 2: I'd Rather Be With You
Book 1: If I Can't Have You






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The Last King by A. Yamina Collins

The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins




The Last King went #1 on the Free Amazon kindle bestsellers list in three categories:
African American literature, historical fantasy, and African-American romance.



Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being an Elf from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people who marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings. Indeed, 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" and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love.




Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 1

Chapter 1


It is doubtful the Master will ever hear of what is about to take place, Markus thinks, standing at the bank of this deserted lake. The branches on the trees around him sway peacefully, and the evening air hums a lullaby.

Markus does not suppose that the Master will hear about this and, really, what difference should it make if he does? It's just an old homeless guy that is going to die: Markus feels no guilt about it, so how could his thoughts give him away?

In a moment, he removes his hand from the old man's mouth because he knows the poor fool is too stunned to scream anyway---people are always speechless when they first see Markus's wings, stretched out as they are, twenty feet on either side of him, and tonight the old man simple blinks and lets spittle hang from the corners of his lips.

Markus does not know his victim's name, but his victim certainly knows it: Johnnie is what they call him, Johnnie Kubrick, and his very soul seems to have unzipped itself from his body and stepped outside of him. He is not just rigid but catatonic, and he longs for this to be some terrible dream he will soon wake up from.

But this is no dream, this is reality: there is a man standing before Johnnie who looks human, yet has glass wings on his back that are yellow and whose edges taper off to a thin, razor like end. The wings make a sound like metal crashing against metal as they flap - it is a harsh sound, a cold sound. And yet the wings themselves do not frighten the old man as much as what is attached to the wings do.

Johnnie's pale lips tremble.

"Wha---what are you?" he finally stutters. He does not mean to ask questions. He means to beg for his life because he does not want to die like this---not in these shabby clothes, near a bed of water where he can easily be disposed. He wants to die in a warm room, with someone who loves him holding his hand; Johnny Kubrick wants to die with dignity, different from the way he lived.

The old man chokes on his tears, wishing he was important again, the sort of man who would be missed in death, and he tries to recall how he ever became the sort of person other people diverted their gaze from on the streets. How had he become nameless, faceless, and useless to the world? When he was a boy, he never imagined the day his red hair, so straight and neat, would be constantly matted against his head.

Johnnie wants his mother here with him, so he could take in the soapy smell that was always on her, and smile at the sight of her emerald green eyes. If Johnnie's mother were still alive she would shield him from this boogeyman, and sing to him, like she did that Christmas morning when the cold of winter snapped at his bones but he happily cradled a shiny new firetruck in his arms.

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Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson

Pink & Patent Leather
by Candy Jackson

Sasha "Pink" Jansen has heard the voice of God. He spoke loud and clear at her purity ceremony, when she was just sixteen years old and Pastor Malik Stroman placed that ring on her finger. And He was just as clear when He told her that purity ring would someday be replaced with a wedding ring from the same man . . . all Pink had to do was save herself.

Dreams of a life with Pastor Malik were enough to keep the privileged princess committed to her vow, dodging all kinds of temptation, resisting every romance, and the whole time, keeping her eyes on the prize –the day she would become first lady. There’s just one problem - Pastor Malik already has a wife. But Pink is accustomed to getting what she wants - by any means necessary. With her grace and virtue on the line - and what she thinks is God’s word in her head - Pink is on a mission no one understands.

She's determined to show Pastor Malik that they belong together – and come hell or high water, she plans to get the good reverend to agree. Candy Jackson has penned a page-turning tale of one-woman’s quest for love and the spiraling descent she’ll take to get it…


* Book Excerpt:

"True love waits," he said, as he gently slipped the platinum band with diamond chips onto my finger. "I am proud that you have decided to save yourself for marriage."

That's when it happened, right then, at that moment, in that instant. It was like I was being washed in this overwhelming feeling that God had a message for me.


* Book Excerpt:

As if I had an audience watching me, I sauntered over to my bed in nothing but my bashful colored Le Pearle lace thong and matching demi-bra. When I laid down, I let my thoughts wander to him.

I pictured his reaction when we'd finally come face to face once again tonight. It had been so long since he'd seen me. He was going to be surprised, mesmerized, and hopefully hypnotized with what he saw.

Because now, I was a woman.


* Book Excerpt:

Now, I was a grown girl, with my Bachelor of Arts degree from Spellman and my high-rise condominium located in the great metropolis, formerly known as Chocolate City. With my fancy little 525 BMW with custom wheels and personalized tags. I truly was a long way from where I used to be.

Many might think that I am spoiled, but heck, I worked hard in college. I remained a permanent fixture on the Dean's list each semester, spent my summers abroad, and graduated magnum cum laude with a degree in journalism.

Now, I was a young, rising junior editor at Power Play Magazine, where even though I'd only been there three months, I was on the move. I was flirting, teasing, and proving to my boss that I had beauty, but it was my brains that was going to get me to the top without sleeping with him or any man.


About the Author

Washington, DC author, Candy Jackson is a cosmetology teacher who loves to create poetry and short stories. Her reading rose to a brand new height with the discovery of many black writers whose work exploded in the ‘80’s. An avid reader, she began to tap into her own creative side and decided to write stories of her own.  Candy is the mother of three young adult children and one grandson. She can be reached at pepperedpages@hotmail.com.

Purchase Pink & Patent Leather by Candy Jackson
Purchase today:  http://amzn.com/099153221X 
BGP Publisher:  www.browngirlspublishing.com





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Free Ride to College A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship

Free Ride to College

A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship
by author and educator N. J. Richards




What if I told you I have $200,000 in scholarship money sitting in a bank ready to give out to a qualified student, and all you have to do is present a compelling argument as to why I should give it to you and not the next student?  Are you ready to take full advantage of this scholarship opportunity? What would you show me or say to me to get the money? That is exactly what is being offered to you right now!  Millions of dollars in scholarship money is up for grabs. You should be getting your share of that money.  In Free Ride to College: A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship, I show you how to put everything in place.

What are scholarship committees looking for? What will make your application stand out? If you don’t know where to start or which turn to take next, you’ve made the right stop at Free Ride to College: A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship.

Free Ride to College: A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship is a decade of hard work, research and experience of how I raised my children-one who was labeled as a candidate for special education, another labeled as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the youngest who was almost legally blind-to earn full academic scholarships to college. Despite what my children were labeled as or tried to be labeled as, they all became writing and math whizzes and matriculated in engineering at college.

So my book is part of a series of books that take you from pre-school and elementary, to middle school, to freshman through junior years of high school and finally the last book in the series ( which I wrote first) rising senior and senior year of high school. I started with the last book first because I wanted parents and students to know how to end up with a competitive student profile, and how to market it to universities and scholarship committees. And last but not least, Free Ride to College features lots of unconventional ways to earn money for college.


MEET THE AUTHOR

N.J. Richards'
experience as a parent and teacher working in several types of school settings, has given her a unique perspective on how to prepare and market students to colleges and scholarship committees. She teaches parents, guardians and students how to prepare for college academically and financially! She is the author of a book that I will be promoting heavily for the next few months:

N. J. Richards has been married to Mr. Wonderful for over 20 years.
· 6 children/ 3 biological
· 4 grand children
· certified science teacher in the State of Ohio
· Graduated form Howard University with a degree in Microbiology and Chemistry

The most important message for me to share from N.J. is what kinds of scholarship are currently most abundant. You can find out more about her work with young adults heading to college here: www.FreeRidetoCollege.com


Purchase Free Ride to College: A Guide to Grooming Your Kids For a Full Academic Scholarship (Rising Senior/Senior Year) by N.J. Richards.  Purchase mulitple copies today: http://amzn.com/B00GV268VQ


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Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai

Open Door Marriage
by Naleighna Kai


“Open Door Marriage is a page-turner from start to finish, uniquely written to explore the emotions of three people who have bonds that seem unbreakable. That is, until they are tested in a relationship that causes their families, religious leaders, and the public to be up in arms. Naleighna Kai has written a provocative novel that is about a relationship that is as complicated as it can get.” –Valarie Prince, author of The Lair of the Python


A chance encounter lands NBA star Dallas Avery back in the arms of the woman of his dreams. A woman he hasn’t seen in years. A woman he soon discovers just so happens to be his fiancée’s aunt! But Dallas’ fiancee, Tori, isn’t ready to give up all that she’s worked for, so she makes him a shocking offer – go through with the wedding and she’ll still allow him to be with the one woman he now can’t seem to do without. Dallas will get a family, something her much older aunt, Alicia can’t give him. Tori will get the lifestyle she clamors. And Alicia will get the love she’s longed for all her life. Everyone will get a little of what they want . . . and maybe a whole lot of what they don’t.

The details of the trio’s love life play out in the tabloids and on talk shows, making Dallas the center of an NBA scandal. And eventually, the doors slam shut on this open marriage and Dallas is forced to make a choice to end the chaos. But moving on is easier than it looks and by the time all is said and done, secrets will be revealed, passions will be extinguished, and everyone’s lives will be forever changed.



PRAISE FOR OPEN DOOR MARRIAGE



OPEN DOOR MARRIAGE IS ... READERS CHOICE APPROVED!!! 
"Handsome and all so charming, Dallas Avery, finds himself in an awkward relationship with two women who just happen to be related. One woman, Tori, is not about to throw him into the arms of her aunt, Alicia, who appears to love him dearly. Alicia, however, doesn’t want to cause her niece a lifetime of pain, but when Tori pushes forward with the idea of having an open marriage with Dallas, they all manage to jump onboard. But hold up and wait one minute! How in the hell is something like that supposed to work? How can two women, related to each other, share the same man and live under one roof? More so, why would they be willing to do it? Are they simply crazy, or are they caught up in a battle that no one wants to lose?

While reading Open Door Marriage, those questions hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted answers to all of the madness transpiring within this story, and needless to say, the author, Naleighna Kai, delivered in a major way. I love that she continues to take risks with stories that revolve around relationships, and they are never the same ole relationship stories that we tend to read over and over again. We can always expect shocking and uniquely written storylines with unexpected twists and turns. And the one thing we are guaranteed from this author is a darn good read. In addition to that, I’m happy to announce that the readers voted and Open Door Marriage is…READERS CHOICE APPROVED  4.5 STARS.
Brenda Hampton, founder of VOICES Books & Publishing

“While a few books have tackled this subject in different ways, the way Naleighna Kai approaches a difficult situation is sure to be fuel for heated conversations for years to come. Open Door Marriage proves many things, but mostly that the title of my novel holds true. —Janice Pernell, author of There’s No Right Way to do a Wrong Thing.


Excerpt from Chapter 1

THANKSGIVING - CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

NOVEMBER 22—7:23 P.M.



“You slept with my aunt?”

The words still didn’t register, even though this had to be Tori’s fifth time saying them. She glared at her fiancé, still desperately trying to come to terms with the information her mother had blasted to everyone at the packed Thanksgiving dinner table.

“Seriously? How is that even humanly possible when you didn’t know the woman four hours ago?” Tori shouted.

“Tori, l-let me explain,” Dallas stammered.

Twelve pairs of eyes were now focused on the not-quite-blissful couple standing at the bottom of the stairs just off from the dining room.

“But not here. Let’s go somewhere and talk. It’s not what you think.”

“What did you do?” Tori snapped, glaring up at Dallas. “Trip over the sheets, and your penis somehow landed in a woman nearly twice my age?”

The drumstick in Uncle Bill’s hand paused in midair on its journey to his wide mouth. Cousin Tiny’s fleshy hand flew to her overexposed bosom and came to rest somewhere above her heart. Even Tori’s father’s frozen expression of alarm would have been Three Stooges comical if the situation weren’t so tragic.

Aunt Yoli was the first to recover. “Did they just say what I think they said?”

In unison, everyone nodded.

“Girl, shut the front door and run out the back!”

A few bursts of nervous laughter sprang up around the table, but they were not nearly enough to chase away the unease that had flooded the room when Tori stepped into the house. She’d gone to drop off Aunt Rose’s drunk self at home. Tori hadn’t even been in the house good when her mother, Bernice, blurted out that she’d caught Alicia and Dallas together. Alone. In bed. In the nude. Tori had picked up from there and summed it up in one sweep. “You slept with my aunt ...”

“Nothing happened, Tori,” Dallas said, his voice shaky. “I didn’t sleep with her.”

“So, my mama is lying?” Tori asked.

Dallas shifted uneasily.

“Hell naw. I know what I saw,” Bernice snapped. She had moved from the dining room table to the end of the staircase, right next to her daughter, poised as if she was ready to go to battle. “Both of you were in bed butt-ass naked.” She jabbed a finger in her sister-in-law’s direction. Alicia hadn’t moved from her spot at the top of the staircase. Probably, because she knew what was best for her. “She was butt-naked. And he was nut-naked,” Bernice yelled. “Wasn’t an inch of space between them.” She flickered a gaze a Dallas. “Look at him. You can tell he just got dressed!”

Tori closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm the emotions that warred within her.

“See, I told you Alicia wasn’t worth a damn,” Bernice, crowed with savage satisfaction. “And looks like Mr. NBA ain’t much better. You thought he was all that and a side order of fries.”

Dallas Avery was the NBA’s most valuable player, and a man most women would give their right and left ovary to call their own. But Most Eligible Bachelor or not, he had set Tori’s bitch meter into overdrive. Even with his chiseled, handsome face, towering muscular frame and million dollar bank accounts, he was now worth next to nothing in her eyes. Too bad her aching heart didn’t get that memo.

Tori didn’t know if she was more enraged or hurt that her mother had been all too willing to drive this stake through her own daughter’s heart in order to publicly disgrace Alicia.

“Tori, we need to talk about this,” Dallas repeated before adding, “in private.”

Bernice wore a satisfied smirk as she glared openly up at Alicia, who just kept staring stoically at them from the second floor landing. “The angel of the family has fallen,” Bernice said.

“Hey, Bernice,” Bill taunted with a hearty chuckle. “Bet you won’t say that when Alicia comes downstairs. You know she’s gonna put a hurting on you.”

“You mean put another hurting on her,” Aunt Yoli added, doubling over with laughter.

Tori wanted to scream. Her life was unraveling in front of her and her family was cracking jokes.

Instinctively, Bernice inched away from the staircase and back toward the dining room table. Her hands went up to the small scar on her neck, probably remembering that a year ago on this very same holiday, Alicia had ended a vicious blow-for-blow fight with a knife at Bernice’s throat. Almost gave the woman a “Sicilian Smile”—an ear-to-ear slice across the throat.

Dallas reached for Tori’s hand. “It’s not what it seems.”

She snatched away, parted her lips to give him what was left of her mind, but Cousin Tiny chimed in first. “Alicia had every right to take Bernice to the floor last year for that foul mess she said! I would’ve pulled out my own can of whoop ass behind that one.”



Purchase Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/B00I5VFS3K
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The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson

The Real Thing
by Brenda Jackson

What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!

No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews—and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he'll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?


Excerpt from The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson 



"I understand you're in a jam and might need my help."

In a jam was putting it mildly, Trinity Matthews thought, looking across the table at Adrian Westmoreland.

If only what he'd said wasn't true. And.. if only Adrian wasn't so good-looking. Then thinking about what she needed him to do wouldn't be so hard.

When she and Adrian had first met, last year at his cousin Riley's wedding, he had been standing in a group of Westmoreland men. She had sized up his brothers and cousins, but had definitely noticed Adrian standing beside his identical twin brother, Aidan.

Trinity had found out years ago, when her sister Tara had married Thorn Westmoreland, that all Westmoreland men were eye candy of the most delectable kind. Therefore, she hadn't really been surprised to discover that Thorn's cousins from Denver had a lot of the same traits-handsome facial features, tall height, a hard-muscled body and an aura of primal masculinity.

But she'd never thought she'd be in a position to date one of those men-even if it was only a temporary ruse.

Trinity knew Tara had already given Adrian some details about the situation and now it was up to her to fill him in on the rest.

"Yes, I'm in a jam," Trinity said, releasing a frustrated breath. "I want to tell you about it, but first I want to thank you for agreeing to meet with me tonight."

He had suggested Laredo's Steak House. She had eaten here a few times, and the food was always excellent.

"No problem."

She paused, trying to ignore how the deep, husky sound of his voice stirred her already nervous stomach. "My goal," she began, "is to complete my residency at Denver Memorial and return to Bunnell, Florida, and work beside my father and brothers in their medical practice. That goal is being threatened by another physician, Dr. Casey Belvedere. He's a respected surgeon here in Denver. He-"

"Wants you."

Trinity's heart skipped a beat. Another Westmoreland trait she'd discovered: they didn't believe in mincing words.

"Yes. He wants an affair. I've done nothing to encourage his advances or to give him the impression I'm interested. I even lied and told him I was already involved with someone, but he won't let up. Now it's more than annoying. He's hinted that if I don't go along with it, he'll make my life at the hospital difficult."

She pushed her plate aside and took a sip of her wine. "I brought his unwanted advances to the attention of the top hospital administrator, and he's more or less dismissed my claim. Dr. Belvedere's family is well known in the city. Big philanthropists, I understand. Presently, the Belvederes are building a children's wing at the hospital that will bear their name. It's my guess that the hospital administrator feels that now is not the time to make waves with any of the Belvederes. He said I need to pick my battles carefully, and this is one I might not want to take on."

She paused. "So I came up with a plan." She chuckled softly. "Let me rephrase that. Tara came up with the plan after I told her what was going on. It seems that she faced a similar situation when she was doing her residency in Kentucky. The only difference was that the hospital administrator supported her and made sure the doctor was released of his duties. I don't have that kind of support here because of the Belvedere name."

Adrian didn't say anything for a few moments. He broke eye contact with her and stared down into his glass of wine. Trinity couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking.

He looked back at her. "There is another solution to your problem, you know."

She lifted a brow. "There is?"

"You did say he's a surgeon, right?"

"Yes."

"Then I could break his hands so he'll never be able to use them in an operating room again."

She stared wide-eyed at him for a couple of seconds before leaning forward. "You're joking, right?"

"No. I am not joking. I'm dead serious."

She leaned back as she studied his features. They were etched with ruthlessness and his dark eyes were filled with callousness. It was only then that Trinity remembered Tara's tales about the twins, their baby sister, Bailey, and their younger cousin Bane. According to Tara, those four were the holy terrors of Denver while growing up and got into all kinds of trouble-malicious and otherwise.




The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson

Series:  The Westmorelands
Available Mar 4, 2014
Link: http://amzn.com/0373733003



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African American Jubilee Legacy ~ Spiritual Odyssey

African American Jubilee Legacy ~ Spiritual Odyssey


“Never before has a book so clearly defined the African American heritage!”
- Mr. Lamario G. Bradwell- Chairman/Executive Director The Civic Group, Inc.

Powerful, informative, life-changing: The African American story has never been told this way before! “African American Jubilee Legacy: An Adventure in learning and rediscovery” is a 460-page, full color vigorous adaptation of historical knowledge, archaic works of art and resourceful information that propels the iconic story of African Americans to a platform of resounding heroism and achievement. Co-Editors Dr. Charles H. Smith (American Bible Society; Former Deputy Director NAACP) and Cain Hope Fielder (World Renowned Speaker; Howard University Professor) provide an eloquent portrayal of the “Black Experience” with riveting facts and superb presentation.


Described as a “Spiritual Odyssey” the “African American Jubilee Legacy” takes readers on a compelling Spiritual and historical journey from beginning to end; with familiar topics relative to slavery and civil rights, to astounding revelations of Africans in the Bible. Plus, an arduous historical list of: African American clergy and the establishment of African American organizations, along with methodical research that outlines the legacy of ancient kingdoms ruled by Africans.

The “African American Jubilee Legacy” ~Spiritual Odyssey~ is a soul-stirring experience that confronts every misconception regarding the “Real Story” of African Americans past and present. If you’re looking for a resource that will enrich the lives of readers of all ages, races and socio-economic groups; full of inspiring topics and solutions for the existential crisis facing African Americans, then your search is over! This book is a “MASTERPIECE” and qualifies as a timeless keepsake for Institutions of higher learning and ALL generations for centuries to come!

Also available is the beautifully crafted leather bonded Jubilee Legacy: Holy Bible filled with magnificent pages of scriptures along with an arousing study outlining the unique culture of “the Black Church” highlighting the importance of understanding the African American Spiritual Legacy based on “TRUTH!”
Visit www.thecivicgroup.org

Purchase African American Jubilee Legacy 
http://www.amazon.com/African-American-Jubilee-Legacy-Spiritual-Odyssey/dp/0910683662


The Civic Group, Inc. "Purchase for A Cause" book promotion for the African American Jubilee Legacy ~Spiritual Odyssey~ African American Jubilee Legacy website address: www.thecivicgroup.org

Lamario G. Bradwell
Executive Director of The Civic Group, Inc.
Visit the website: www.thecivicgroup.org

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Smoke In The Citi by Joy Avery

Smoke In The Citi
by Joy Avery
Where there’s smoke…

When Passion Phillips agrees to work elbow to elbow with the man who left her at the altar, flames ignite inside the Citi Café. Flames capable of engulfing her mind and body. She’s made the mistake of loving him once, but won’t make the same mistake again. Burned by his betrayal, she is determined keep him at a distance. If only her heart would listen.

…there’s fire!

Dasher Howard is not the man he used to be. All he needs now is the opportunity to show Passion that he’s no longer the man she once knew. With a mission to prove to her love can be better the second time around, he’ll do whatever it takes to reclaim her heart. Even if it means manipulating the odds in his favor.

The only thing hotter than the food inside Citi Café is the blaze igniting between Passion and Dasher. How will he prove to her that he is the only man for her? Especially when she is hell-bent on hating him.


Excerpt from Chapter One


The idea of showing up at Second Empire restaurant, in full wedding attire, to confront the man who’d jilted her at the altar two months earlier had seemed like a grand idea to Passion Phillips two hours ago; not so much now as she stood in the Pine Room of the restored Dodd-Hinsdale house.

Dasher’s eyes glowed intense as hot embers as he watched her with a hard stare. Those captivating brown eyes had once made her dizzy with desire. Had the setting been different, they probably still could. The reality of the admission caused a knot in her stomach.

The other diners at the table, presumably colleagues, stared at her as if she’d recently been released from a mental institution and still donned the facility-issued wardrobe instead of the Vera Wang gown she wore.

The strapless, natural-waist ballerina gown had cost over six thousand dollars. It’d been much more than she’d ever dreamed of paying for a gown she would only wear once. In awe, she’d marveled at the bottom layers of laser-cut organza with a floral pattern etched in, as well as the detachable bustier top with its sweetheart neckline. It wasn’t long before she’d fallen in love with the pricey garment. And thanks to the man in front of her, it had been a total waste of money.

Standing feet away from Dasher made her realize just how unprepared she was. Unprepared to face the one person who, despite her loathing, still made an inferno burn in the pit of her stomach. That shouldn’t be the case. Especially when he’d shattered her heart just months earlier.

Although distance lay between them, she could feel Dasher’s body heat. It was more likely the heat of rage and fury coursing between them as his lethal eyes penetrated to her core.

Standing in front of the rolling cameras of a local news investigation team a year prior, defending her restaurant against trumped up allegations of food poisoning, was a cakewalk compared to standing inches from the man with whom, up until that fateful day, she’d planned to spend the rest of her life with.

“Good evening, Dasher,” she said, sweeping her veil over a shoulder.

His dark, thick brows bunched. “Passion, what are you doing here?”

Was he that oblivious? Did he really have to ask? “I wanted you to see exactly how I would have looked on our wedding day. You forfeited that opportunity when you left me at the altar.” Simply saying the words made her want to break down in tears, but she took heed not to show any emotion. Why did he need to know how much she was still hurting over his deception? Why did he need to know that her heart was still bleeding over him?

Dasher scanned the table of well-dressed and distinguished men and women. “This is neither the time—nor place for this.”

A condescending laugh escaped her. “Really? And at the church, an hour before our ceremony, was the appropriate time for you to decide you didn’t want to marry me?”
 
 
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When Perfection Fails: Victory Gospel Series by Tyora Moody

When Perfection Fails: Victory Gospel Series
by Tyora Moody

Reverend Jonathan Freeman and his wife Lenora are quickly becoming Charlotte’s “it” couple. All eyes are on them as Jonathan is named pastor of a church following the death of his father and Lenora has become a sought-after wedding planner. The Freemans are media darlings and a model couple; the picture of perfection. Or are they?

Behind the scenes, Jonathan struggles with his role as pastor of a megachurch while Lenora grows increasingly and uncharacteristically distant. A number of odd and tragic incidents push her further away from the love of her life and the façade of perfection begins to crack.

A carefully guarded secret catches up with Lenora and it threatens her security as well as that of her family. Has an imperfect past finally caught up with her? Will the ghost of someone she thought long dead rise like Lazarus from the grave and destroy all she has worked to preserve? Or will Lenora fight to protect the man she loves and the beautiful life God has blessed her to have?


Excerpt from When Perfection Fails by Tyora Moody

PROLOGUE

Charlotte, North Carolina, 1989


Lenora clutched the car dashboard and shouted as her friend almost rammed the Honda Civic into the car in front of them. The brakes squealed in protest as the car came to a stop inches away from the back of the Buick LaSabre. Charmayne smacked the steering wheel. “Woo, that was a close one.” Then, she started to laugh. 

Lenora stretched her eyes wide as she watched her friend appear as if she was having a mental breakdown. “That wasn’t funny. You need to get yourself together.” 

The light changed from red to green. The unscathed Buick took off and the driver behind them was blowing his horn. Charmayne stopped giggling. She grabbed the rearview mirror and made an obscene gesture with her hand. “I know you ain’t blowing your horn at me.” 

Lenora pointed towards the light. “Charmayne, the light is green. Go!” 

“Whatever!” Charmayne placed her hands on the steering wheel. The car lurched forward as she pressed the accelerator. After they had driven half-way down the block, Lenora asked, “How much did you drink? Maybe I should drive.” 

Charmayne shook her head. “Girl, you can’t drive. Besides I’m fine.” 

Her friend held up her fingers and counted. “I only had like two, three beers. I think.” 

Lenora held her hand to her forehead. “If I had known...” 

Charmayne held her hand towards Lenora’s face. “Girl, would you stop tripping? I can tell your momma don’t let you go nowhere. This might have been your first time to a party, not mine. Just sit tight. I will have you home in a second, okay.” She reached over and turned the radio’s volume dial up high. 

As Charmayne proceeded to sing loudly to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative,”  Lenora sucked her teeth and crossed her arms. Why did I let Charmayne convince me to go to this party? She felt bad lying to her mother knowing how hard she worked and expected Lenora to keep up her grades. Tonight was definitely not a study group session at Charmayne’s house. As Lenora glanced out the window, something whizzed by the passenger side. Before Lenora could register what she was seeing the car slid to the right crashing into the flying object. The sounds of screeching metal over the loud thumping music terrified Lenora. 

“What was that?” Lenora yelled. She turned her body to see what had just scraped the side of the car. “Charmayne, you have to stop the car.” 

Charmayne slowed the car down and turned the blaring music down. She grabbed the rearview mirror and whined, “Oh no!” 

“What?” Lenora spun around to peer out the back window. They had turned down the road leading to her home and there weren’t any other cars behind them. Lenora squinted into the darkness. A streetlight illuminated cars parked along the streets. Her eyes locked in on what appeared to be a body on the road. Panic rose in her gut. She looked at Charmayne. “What did you do? Is that a person?” Lenora spun around and reached for the door handle. 




When Perfection Fails, Victory Gospel Series, Book 3
Romantic Suspense/Christian Fiction

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The Replacement Wife by Tiffany L. Warren

The Replacement Wife
by Tiffany L. Warren

In this page-turning new novel from Essence® bestselling author Tiffany L. Warren, Atlanta's most eligible widower isn't looking to remarry--but for one woman, that's a mere detail. . .


Five years after his beloved wife's death, wealthy Quentin Chambers still hasn't returned to the church or his music ministry. Even his home is now devoid of music, and without his attention, Quentin's five children are getting out of control--until his mother steps in and hires him a live-in nanny. Montana is pretty, compassionate, church-going, and even has a beautiful singing voice. The children take to her right away, and soon enough Quentin finds his heart opening to faith--and love--once more. But not everyone loves Montana.

A "friend" of Quentin's first wife, Chloe has been scheming to become the next Mrs. Chambers since the funeral. Chloe is convinced she's just one seduction away from a marriage proposal. Now she'll do whatever it takes to get rid of Montana--including blackmail, theft--and digging up a troublemaking man from Montana's past. But Chloe forgets she's got secrets of her own, and the tables may turn with a twist she never sees coming. . .


Excerpt The Replacement Wife

Chapter 1


Five years later . . .


Chloe walked into the packed nail salon for her weekly pedi- cure with her best friend, Lichelle. The Nail Spot was always crowded and always cost just a little bit extra. Maybe it was because it was owned by an ex-rapper turned entrepreneur. Or maybe it was because gossip was on the menu, just like the paraffin wax and the acrylic tips.  Lichelle waved Chloe to the back of the salon—the VIP area. She’d saved Chloe a spot, which was darn near impossible to do, but Lichelle, the wife of a wealthy real estate broker, was a regular. And a good tipper.

Chloe slid into the luxurious chair and leaned back, careful not to muss her freshly perfected hairdo. Her short tresses were expertly sculpted, and they framed her face perfectly, softening the potentially strong features created by her excessive workouts.

“Girl, I thought I was gonna have to fight that queen over there. He kept eyeballing your chair like he was about to snatch it,” Lichelle said, as she blew Chloe a kiss.

“I am not thinking about him.” Chloe cut her eyes at the man, who gave her much attitude. She didn’t have time to exchange words with him, nor did she want to ruin her mood. She was going to Lichelle’s yacht party later with Quentin, and it was going to be a blast. But first she was about to get her feet rubbed and mashed by her favorite nail tech, Trey. He was fine and buff, and his foot massages took her to the mountaintop.

Trey slid over in front of Chloe on his little stool. “Hey, ma. How’s your day going?”

Chloe grinned as Trey cracked his knuckles and took her foot into his hand in a miniature caress. “It’s going great now, babe. Do your magic!”

“I am telling Quentin,” Lichelle said.

Chloe lifted Lichelle’s left hand and touched the enormous rock on her ring finger. “You’re the only one married. I am still very unmarried.”

“But not unattached. You’ve been with Quentin for an eternity.”

Chloe winced at the word. It had been a long time. Five years, to be exact. Quentin didn’t seem the least bit interested in marriage. She didn’t think he loved her, but he enjoyed her company enough to foot the bill for her ever y need. He even gave her a small shopping allowance.  Admittedly, she wanted more. Not necessarily marriage, but at least a commitment. A bit of assurance that the fun times were more than temporary.

“Five years is not an eternity. Especially since we got together right after he buried his wife.”

“How long are you going to wait for him to marry you?” Trey asked.

“I’m not waiting for him to marr y me. I’m enjoying what we have. Savoring the moments.”

Lichelle sucked her teeth and shook her head. “What if he wakes up tomorrow and decides he’s ready to trade you in?”

“You do have quite a few miles on you, and you are definitely fine—I wouldn’t kick you out of bed. But you’re not a twentysome- thing anymore,” Trey said.

“Is this attack Chloe day? I’m not feeling this.”




The Replacement Wife
by Tiffany L. Warren

Link: http://amzn.com/0758280602
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