#WritingWithPurpose: Into The Mist by Lynn Emery

Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series

Children are missing in ever increasing numbers. LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard have to make sure their child isn’t next. After a series of gruesome murders, LaShaun has to answer one critical question to stop the bloodbath: are the children victims or weapons?

LaShaun Rousselle finds herself and her young family at the center of a devious and deadly series of crimes once more. A girl goes missing, bad enough. Yet when LaShaun follows the threads, she discovers the six year old is only one of many. What’s the connection to a string of attempts to get at LaShaun’s own child, Joëlle? She must help sort through the facts and evidence to convince level-headed law officers that supernatural forces are at work. Her life and the lives of those she cherish depend on LaShaun making a way out of no way.

LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series - A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. The second book is Between Dusk and Dawn. The third book is Only By Moonlight. Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series.


NEW FALL 2016 RELEASE - Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Topics: Faith, Supernatural forces, Family loyalty, Redemption, Creole and Cajun Culture
Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Audible, and Smashwords


Excerpt from Book 1: A Darker Shade of Midnight

LaShaun went to her. She kissed the hand that had guided her through childhood. Now the knuckles were knotted, the tapered fingers weakened by arthritis. Yet, the skin appeared strangely smooth.

“Bon soir, Monmon. You should be in bed.” LaShaun kissed her forehead. She breathed in the familiar scent of Cashmere Bouquet. The fragrance of lavender and chamomile came from another era.

“So, you finally come home. To watch me die, eh?” Monmon Odette patted LaShaun’s cheek.

“To celebrate your life, sweet mother,” LaShaun whispered. A tear slipped down her face. No need to make pointless protestations otherwise. They both knew Monmon Odette’s time on earth was growing shorter.

Monmon Odette shushed away her sadness with a soft hiss. She produced a scented lace handkerchief from the pocket of her robe and dabbed away the tear. LaShaun sat on the floor and rested her head in Monmon Odette’s lap.

“Don’t grieve just yet, Cher . The blood is still runnin’ warm in these old veins. I’ve got just enough time left I think.”

“Time for what?” LaShaun toyed with the hem of her grandmother’s cotton gingham robe.

“You’ll know soon enough. But tonight you need rest after a long journey. You’ve come back home through time and space I think,” Monmon Odette murmured.

LaShaun looked up at her. “Has anything changed here?”

Monmon Odette patted her shoulder as a signal she wanted to stand. With a short grunt from the effort, and a hand from LaShaun, she rose from the chair. Monmon Odette held LaShaun’s arm as they walked down the hallway to her bedroom.

“Some things are eternal. The movement of the wind, the heat on the bayou when summer comes. All that is the same.”

“The land stays the same if people don’t ruin it. Like they ruin a lot of things,” LaShaun said softly.

“Human nature doesn’t change either, Cher .” Monmon stopped and gave LaShaun a sideways glance. “The same deadly sins rule a man’s nature.”

“And women,” LaShaun added raising an eyebrow back at her.

Monmon Odette laughed and started walking again. “True. But age does make a difference. When you get to be old you look at things differently.”

They arrived at the door to her grandmother’s bedroom. As they entered, LaShaun let her go in first. Then she fluffed the down pillows as her grandmother sank onto the bed. LaShaun helped her remove the robe and ease back onto the pillows. Once she’d tucked the vintage quilt around Monmon Odette’s chest her grandmother sighed.

“Thank you, sweet girl. Now sit with me awhile.”

LaShaun sank onto the cushioned seat of a large oak rocking chair next to the bed. A Bible was on the nightstand. “Of course. Shall I read to you?”

“Non.”

Monmon Odette closed her eyes after a few moments. LaShaun watched the slight rise and fall of her grandmother’s chest. After a while, she gazed around. Monmon Odette had redecorated. Her grandmother had a fondness for antiques, history and tradition. Yet, Monmon Odette was no old lady clinging to the past. LaShaun smiled when she saw the combination radio and compact disc player on the other wide nightstand. The high tech device didn’t clash with the country style décor. Curtains with a lovely old rose pattern on a cream background matched the quilt, the rug and pillow shams. An overhead cane ceiling fan looked old enough to have come from one of the plantation homes along Vermilion River. Then LaShaun saw the family photos on a round table. She left the rocker and went to it. Several pictures were sepia toned, taken before the turn of the last century. “Celie LeGrange, 1866-1932” was written at the bottom of one. Monmon Odette’s mother. Jules Paul LeGrange, husband to Celie and Monmon Odette’s father, stared stone-faced from another photo. An even older picture of a lovely woman dressed in a long dress and button top shoes sat next to it. LaShaun did not have to read the faint letters to know her. Acelie LeGrange stared at her descendant across time, two hundred years to be exact. LaShaun’s mother stared from a photo taken in 1982. She looked beautiful in a flowered sundress. Francine stood next to a five year old LaShaun. Both wore forced smiles trying hard to look happy for the camera. LaShaun didn’t remember that particular day, but she remembered her mother’s overwrought disposition. Still in love with Antoine St. Julien even five years after he married another, Francine never found happiness.

“I’m glad you’re home, Cher . Have you forgiven me?”

LaShaun looked up to find her grandmother’s dark gaze fixed on her. “I didn’t blame you for anything that happened to me, Monmon.”

“Maybe you should have, and for your maman, too. So many mistakes and no time to fix them. But I may still have time to do some good for you.” Monmon Odette inhaled deeply causing a rattling sound deep in her chest. She breathed out slowly then closed her eyes.

“I made my own choices, and my own mistakes.” LaShaun blinked away tears.

Monmon Odette nodded without opening her eyes. “Maybe Le Bon Dieu will have mercy on this old woman.”


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lynn Emery. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/XbzkOM
Audible: http://goo.gl/lT9aji
Nook: http://goo.gl/WKS71d
Kobo: https://goo.gl/BFYaF9
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/sgHm7u



A Darker Shade of Midnight - Book Review Written by Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE 


In A Darker Shade of Midnight by Lynn Emery, LaShaun Rousselle is returning home to Vermillion Parish, Louisiana because her grandmother is dying. Shortly after crossing the county line, LaShaun finds herself sitting in the sheriff's station wondering what bogus charges warranted her being detained. Yes, she has a scandalous past that caused her to leave home ten years ago, but that is the past. When the sheriff department finds nothing but a broken taillight, feisty LaShaun cannot help shaking up the sheriff and the department by issuing them a challenge, knowing some fear her voodoo powers. With that settled, LaShaun is looking forward to making peace with her grandmother, Monmon Odette, and catching up with family. Unfortunately, life will be anything but peaceful for LaShaun - greedy relatives, a sadistic ex-lover, an attraction to a deputy, an evil force and murder all come into her life. Fearing that mayhem and evil are a curse she cannot overcome, LaShaun starts to despair that she should not have returned home. Will LaShaun be able to trust her psychic powers, and accept help from unexpected sources, or will the demon win this round for her soul?

A Darker Shade of Midnight is a tale of revenge, deceit, betrayal and political corruption. This combination makes for a juicy murder and the plot serves up several victims. Drama of the family fighting among themselves adds another layer of tension and intrigue to a plot with all kinds of twists. Emery is known for her love of Louisiana, a setting she vividly brings to life in this story. I enjoyed how the paranormal elements were skillfully woven into the storyline with grace and ease, being a natural part of the locale. 

LaShaun is an alpha female who fights back at the least challenge, but over the course of the story she learns to accept who she is and how to accept genuine help. It is a nice touch to see her interact with the sexy deputy, Chase Broussard, as the attraction between them allows the reader a respite from all of the mayhem in the story. While fans of the author will love visiting with old friends and new readers will be entertained by the characters, they might be slightly confused by references to previously mentioned events.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal mysteries and fans of Lynn Emery. A good read for a summer night, as the forces of good and evil battle with each other.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Reviewed by Beverly, APOOO Literary Book Review



Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Amazon: http://goo.gl/XbzkOM
Audible: http://goo.gl/lT9aji
Nook: http://goo.gl/WKS71d
Kobo: https://goo.gl/BFYaF9
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/sgHm7u


Meet the Author

Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery.  Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.



 
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#WritingWithPurpose: Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright



When Mr. Right is Oh So Wrong

I’ll never let you go…Allina had always dreamed of hearing those words. But when her fiancé, Isaac, utters them, it isn’t a promise—it’s a threat. Scared and confused, with only moments before the wedding, Allina knows what she must do. Forget walking down the aisle; it’s time to run. Back to Michigan. Back to Kent.

Kent has loved Allina for longer than he can remember. Out of respect for their friendship, he’s never crossed the line, but when she turns up on his doorstep wearing her torn, tearstained wedding gown, the fire inside him ignites. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Allina feel safe—like the beautiful, desirable woman she is. But as Kent and Allina grow closer, and their passion pushes deeper, it’s clear that something bigger than a botched wedding still lingers between them . . .



Elle Wright Book Reviews 

“Simply put… Fantastic!!!”
– Tanishia Pearson-Jones on Her Kind of Man

“My favorite romance of 2015!!!”
–Tiffany Tyler on His All Night

“Scandal never read so good! Elle Wright wraps passion, desire and taboo into a delicious read.”
– Cheris Hodges on The Forbidden Man

“What an emotional journey! Elle Wright's debut release, The Forbidden Man, will hit the right chord for romance readers. From the first few pages, drama unfolds and maintains a steady pace that keeps any sagging bits out of sight. The launch of this new series - Edge of Scandal - starts with a strong, compelling introduction of family and friends. Through Wright's craft, we see the characters at their best and at their worst. As a result, tension and conflict intertwine to test the boundaries and stamina of the hero and heroine, providing us with rich content to devour. So now that Wright has us hooked, we eagerly await the next installment, His All Night.”
– USA Today on The Forbidden Man

“This gripping debut is packed with drama and a love triangle that will certainly tug at the old heartstrings. Ms. Wright's entry into the world of romance is a memorable one that I'm sure readers will enjoy from the first page to the last.”
– J.D. Mason, Bestselling Author of the Beautiful, Dirty, Rich series on The Forbidden Man

“4 stars! Scorcher! An emotional story that causes one to evaluate just how much one's past experiences should color one's present. The portrayal of the heroine's huge struggle with allowing anyone to get close to her and the hero's patience and support are outstanding.”
– RT Book Reviews on His All Night

“From the first sexy encounter, it's obvious this couple belonged together. Elle Wright weaves an angst-ridden story with smoking hot love scenes that will make you keep reading until the perfectly sweet conclusion.”
– Delaney Diamond, USA Today bestselling author on His All Night


Excerpt: Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

The doorbell rang. Kent rushed to the front door and swung it open. Allina stood before him in the doorway, her head down, clutching her purse against her chest. Closing his eyes, he slumped forward in relief.

“Allina?” He tilted her head up to get a good look at her face.

Letting his gaze wander over her, he took in the lightweight jacket she wore and the…wedding dress. It was dirty and ripped at the bottom. She was soaking wet, from head to toe. Her hair covered her face like a veil, her hands were clenched together, and her shoulders were slouched. Swallowing, he reached out and swept the hair out of her face.

“Allina,” he called to her softly. “Are you okay?”

Slowly, she raised her head. When their gazes met, he was hit with an overwhelming urge to hold her, which wasn’t really new. It just wasn’t normal. But he’d do anything in that moment to make it better. Her bottom lip trembled and he inched closer to her. When she let out a whimper, he pulled her to him in a tight hug.

As she cried into his chest, he whispered that she’d be okay, that he’d protect her, that he’d help her. But the more he assured her, the louder she cried. His chest tightened as he rubbed her back. His thoughts were spinning. What the hell had happened? He had so many questions, but God, please let her stop crying. It was pure torture. And he’d had the nerve to think Morgan was soft. He hated to see anybody he loved cry. But Allina…she wasn’t an overly emotional person. In all the years he’d known her, he’d only seen her cry a handful of times. That last time had been here, the last time he’d seen her. An ache settled in his throat as she sobbed.

When the tears finally tapered off, he glanced out the door and noticed the cab still sitting in the driveway. Reluctantly, he tapped her arm lightly. She pulled back and her big, glassy eyes stared back at him. He swept his thumbs under her eyes.

“Let me go take care of the fare, okay?”

She nodded, setting her purse on a small table by the door.

“I’ll be right back,” he said gently.

He pulled his wallet out of his pocket and ran out to the cab. After he paid the driver, he returned to the house and kicked the door closed behind him. Wrapping an arm around her, he led her into the living area.

She tugged off her small jacket, giving him a complete view of the form-fitting silk dress. Without a word, she dropped down on the couch. He sat down next to her, their knees touching. “It’s going to be okay,” he murmured, rubbing her arms. “I’ll take care of you.”

Peering up at him, a pained expression in her eyes, she let out a slow breath. “I didn’t get married. I ran. I didn’t even think to change clothes. I just had to get out of there. I bought a train ticket, and then I fell at the station. My dress is ruined,” she cried. “Everything is ruined. I’m ruined.”

He grabbed a box of Kleenex off the coffee table. “You’re not ruined. Stop saying that. Can you tell me what happened?”

“I don’t have anything with me, obviously,” she continued. He could tell she was trying to pull herself together. She cupped a hand over her mouth and let out a muffled sob. “My phone broke. I dropped it, and then Isaac took it.”

He’d replace her phone in the morning, but he had to know… “Did he…hurt you?” he asked. Kent steeled himself for her answer. If he hurt her, I’ll hurt him.

Allina closed her eyes and hugged herself. Shaking her head, she said, “Not really, not physically.” Her hands gripped her elbows.

Her tears continued to fall unchecked. He grabbed a few tissues and wiped her eyes, then her cheeks. “What did he do?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you. I promise. But do you mind if I take a shower, get out of this dress? I can’t stand being in it another minute.”

Sighing, he nodded. “Whatever you need.” It wasn’t a surprise that she’d changed the subject without answering his question. Allina did things on her own time, in her own way. And he’d wait. He always did.


( Continued... )

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



Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright
Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: http://amzn.com/1455560405  



Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series


Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.


Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series
http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78 



Meet the Author

Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

Visit Elle's Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78


 
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#WritingWithPurpose: Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel by Tomeekha Pitre


Earth’s Quiet Chaos: A Novel
by Tomeekha Pitre

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

Moon is paranoid, violent, erratic, and irrational. She thrives in her life of chaos, and has no regard for the pain it causes her family.

Ra, their brother, is the lifeline between his two sisters. He’s the glue that holds the family together until a horrible and violent act results in Moon’s arrest.

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


Excerpt: Chapter 2

Rashidah and I giggle at ourselves as we walk from store to store in the open-air mall called The Grove. It’s a hot summer day and we duck into my favorite store to temporarily escape the blazing heat.

“I love the artistic vibe of the designs and fabrics in this store.”

Rashidah holds the tag on a cute shirt and murmurs

“Look at these high ass prices!”

We pick out some outfits to try on. I find some tops, pants and a dress to add to my wardrobe. We walk out of the store and look for a shady spot where it’s cool.

“Xavier will like me in the long summer dress, don’t you think?”

Rashidah doesn’t respond. After a short break, we continue shopping.

We hit up the computer store where she buys herself an iPad for scheduling client appointments. We grab a half veggie sandwich and salad from The Veggie Grill. We hit up every store at The Grove before heading to the Beverly Center.

“I want to treat myself to one of those small flat Louis Vuitton cross body purses.”

We find it at the Louis Vuitton store and then check out other stores that aren’t at The Grove.

Pleased with my purchases and delighted to spend time with Rashidah, the one who knows me best, I’m all shopped out.

“Rashidah, can you believe that I don’t have any plans tonight other than dinner with Ali and a dress rehearsal for the play?”

“Well, you never know. Maybe Xavier will surprise you and he’ll be the one sitting at the dinner table when Ali brings you to the restaurant.”

She has a half grin. She’s in the know of something that I’m not.

“Now that would be the surprise of a lifetime, but if something goes down, I’m ready to dress and impress. That’s for sure.”

Then it hits me to check my cell phone for the time. “Speaking of time, its 3:45. Are you ready to roll?”

“Yep, I think we’ve done enough financial damage for the day.”

“You’re right about that!”

We make our way to the parking lot, fill the trunk with our bags, and drive off.

We go to my place and, like we always do when we go shopping together, Rashidah comes in with her bags and we go through each and every item, trying them on as we help each other change. Rashidah takes down my locs and sections them into twisted bantu knots all over my head.

“Okay, here you go Earth, give it an hour and then we’ll take down the bantu knots and your locs will be slightly curly and I’ll do a quick style for your date tonight.”

“Please, dinner with Ali is not a date. We are friends and are going to catch up with each other. That’s all. Now, if Xavier is at the table that will be an entirely different story.”

“And that is what I’m talking about. We have to stay ready so we don’t have to get ready. So, you are going to pick out your dress and we are going to do your hair and makeup as if Xavier will be somewhere waiting to surprise you tonight.”

She’s in her beauty makeover mood. I’m excited about the thought Rashidah planted in my head. We begin our mission for me, Earth Hartley, to look like a million bucks for my man tonight wherever he may be and at whatever time he decides to show up.

“Besides, it is my B-Earth-Day today, I can look fabulous all day if I decide to do so.”

I need to keep myself in the moment and not get too excited and set myself up for a letdown.

This time of the year in southern California, the weather is unpredictable. But today is nice and hot so we go with it and choose the long summer lounge dress. It’s a sheer fabric so I glide into a white ankle length cotton slip to wear underneath. The dress fabric has water colored flowers of purple, yellow, orange, and green. The butterfly sleeves are elbow length and the front of the dress has a low V-neck. Since I am going out with Ali, who stands six feet, five inches, I put on my four inch gold sandals that tie up the leg.

When I turned 16, my Baba gave me one yellow gold and one white gold chain necklace, one with an Ankh pendant and the other with a Gye Nyame pendant. Both pendants have a crystal planted in the middle. I fasten the white gold chain. The end of the Ankh hangs perfectly at my cleavage. I keep on the earrings that Rashidah gave me and add white gold and yellow gold bangles, and the gold Ankh ring that Momma gave me a long time ago on my right hand and a turquoise ring that Baba gave me on my left hand.

Rashidah takes down the bantu knots, pins up the back and allows the locs to fall in the front to frame my face. She beams with the look of a proud Mother.

( Continued... )

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


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#WritingWithPurpose: When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine


When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine
by Tumika Patrice Cain


Have you ever been in love? Has your path ever crossed with someone that caused every cell in your body to wake up and take notice?  Meet Jacquie & Michael!  Share their love, the journey, in When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.  It is a story of hope, accepting love, embracing one’s personal truths, and making no apologies for it. 

Jacquie remembered a time when she was once a tender, caring, hopeless romantic. But happily-ever-after’s and once-upon-a-time fairytales, proved over time to be just that – fairytales. After what she feels has been “a lifetime” of true love eluding her, she loses all hope, resigning to live a single (and loveless) existence. As time passes, she shifts her focus, choosing to concentrate on her career and makes the best of it…alone.

Gorgeous, artsy and charismatic was the man who Jacquie’s eyes fell upon, causing her heart to beat in a rhythm she’d forgotten existed. Michael was more than enough man to make her lose herself inside dreams of a future interwoven with the very fabric of all that defined the beauty of being in love.

But just like in fairytales, there’s always something out of place. For alas, this knight in chocolate armor, was twelve years her junior – an age gap that defined a cultural difference and a major problem for Jacquie’s overbearing mother. Will pressure from family and other obligations turn their love into a nightmare? Or can Michael and Jacquie tune out the rest of the world, embrace the sweetness that they share, and build a foundation that lasts?


Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine

Jacquie didn’t know exactly when it happened. She just knew that it did. She found herself in love. And what was funniest of all was how different he was than what she’d always thought she wanted or been told she should want. He was twelve years her junior, but more man than anyone who had ever come before him. Dealing with him was like a welcomed cool lakeside breeze on a scorching summer day.

Michael was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but didn’t know that she needed or wanted. Tender. Sweet. Attentive. Strong, but not overbearing. All things cool. So opposite of her in many ways, yet so like her in many ways that mattered. It was a perfect fit.

There was a vibrancy about him that instantly caused everything in her to perk up and take notice. He made her want to wear bright colored clothing and flowers in her hair. Big hoop earrings and sexy sandals to show off blood red toenails and fresh pedicures. This was such a huge shift for her. Always prone to muted colors and conservative clothing, she had been raised to subdue everything about herself, almost to the point of extinction of her authentic self. At times she didn't quite know what to make of the changes taking place in her life. When it became scary, she urged herself to press on pass the fear. This was such a great time to be alive, and for the first time in her life, she actually found that she was happy to be in the land of the living.

It’s funny, but she hadn’t realized how much of a drag her life was until being in his presence made her feel so alive. Made her wonder how long had she been walking around half dead just waiting on someone to breathe life into her. Well, whatever he had, made her spirit soar high above the clouds. In his presence, she became a bird; free to roam, to fly unhindered, to just be. He was the key that unlocked the cage she’d lived in her entire life. Suddenly, she felt years younger. Almost how the teenage years should have been if she hadn’t been so bogged down with responsibilities and pressures. Finally, she felt like other girls looked: youthful, carefree, lovely. She was loving every minute of it!

Old behaviors didn’t just disappear overnight. The practicalities making up her personality were still very much alive and at work. What was different was a newness to get out from under the mundane and do something…anything…new. This newfound state put her in a place where she could dream again. Come to think of it, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d dreamed about doing anything. Clueless as to how to change her life, the dreams slowly faded away like the last refrain of a song. Repeat, repeat, then fade, fade, fade until finally it was gone. Over. Finito. That’s what happened to Jacquie. Her dreams had died into the empty pause that lives between songs. He was her new song.

This season would start with a fresh hairdo. The signature wrap, although lovely and perfectly coiffed, would have to go. Surely she could find some sort of sweeping updo that could be versatile enough for both day and night, work and play. Until the right look came along, Jacquie found herself really studying the looks of other women who had some of what she felt being birthed in her spirit. That’s what made her decide to finally let the soft coral nail color go in search of something vibrant and popping. Yep….fire engine red. How about that?! She found a similar color for her lips, as well as a plum, bronze and a translucent shade to switch up her looks.

Clothing was next. Flirty skirts, fitted tops, and big belts replaced stiff suits and pleated pants. And for leisure, she went all out. Wide-legged pants, fitted jeans, long tops, high heeled boots, funky jewelry. She was absolutely loving this transformation. Her new colors were extreme. Orange, fuschia, lime green, hot pink, reds, plums, emeralds, bronze, cobalt – even in the winter. A host of jewel tones to help celebrate her new found Queendom. Yes, it was high time a daughter of royalty looked like one. She had been a King’s kid living beneath her privilege for far too long.

For as much as she came into the self that had been hidden all those years, the more the world presented other opportunities for her to embark upon. Her appetite had been whetted and a deep desire to explore the world had been birthed. Even alone, she found herself doing all sorts of things she would not have done before.

This transition had her giving serious thought to her future and what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life. She knew that being an executive assistant wasn’t it, although she had not figured out exactly what it was. Inside she could feel a stint with school coming. And travel. Lots and lots of travel. She was looking forward to all of it.

( Continued... )


Copyright 2016 Tumika Patrice Cain - excerpt from When a Man Loves a Woman 2: A Love Divine.

Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Book 2: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Love Divine


A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.


Purchase Book 1: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Link:  http://amzn.com/B019HLV65U 










When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
by Tumika Patrice Cain
The stars seemed to have been aligned for Avery and Alicia. From the outside looking in, Lady Luck passed their way and left a fortune! They had a whirlwind, fairytale romance filled with all the little things that make dreams come true, a wedding of grace and beauty, and perfectly magical careers that produced almost enough money to burn. They were the picture-perfect couple.

Unfortunately, time has a way of revealing fissures in what appears to the naked eye as impenetrable. The results send this fairytale romance spiraling out of control.

Avery, as perfect and so right as he seemed, struggles to free himself from his demons. He clings to this delicate relationship that he desperately needs as if his last breath depends on it. Alicia, on the other hand, struggles to make the necessary corrections that will release her from a prison of unexpected, agonizing turmoil.

A novel of enduring strength, undeniable empowerment, and the compelling ability to overcome incredible odds, Book one in the When a Man Loves a Woman series is a powerhouse that will impact readers long after the last words have been read.

Excerpt: When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change


That was one of the best days of my life. I'd finally gotten what I'd wanted forever. Someone who loved me. Loved me so much he wanted to tell the world. Wanted to make me his forever.

We slowly made our way out on the balcony, where all of the preparations had been made. It was all so lovely. Michael had black wrought iron patio furniture where we sat and ate the tantalizing dishes the caterers had prepared. There was fresh steamed lobster with lemon butter sauce, New England crab cakes, seafood kabobs and a wide range of other seaside resort foods that reminded me of the first weekend we’d spent out of town.

At Avery's request I'd gotten off of work early one Friday and met him at the airport. The spontaneity of the whole weekend made everything seem so fresh. Northwest Airlines took us to Massachusetts where we spent four glorious days at Martha's Vineyard. Just lying on the beach and soaking up the rays. I didn't even have a change of clothes. Ave said not to worry about it; we'd just go shopping when we got there. That's exactly what we did. A perfect weekend spent miles away from reality. In a cove on the beach is where we first made love. I'll never forget it.

Once the sun set and we were slow dancing on the verandah, Avery touched my arm and motioned for me to look out across the river. I couldn't believe my eyes. Usually the Cadillac Club in Windsor was all lit up at night in white neon. But instead of the marquee reading “Cadillac Club” it read, instead, “Alicia Will You Marry Me?” I remember being speechless for endless moments as tears welled up in my eyes, the lump in my throat rendering me incapable of speaking. The only response I gave was to gently touch his face and shake my head yes, while tears of happiness poured down my cheeks. So much for my mascara. He picked me up and swung me around for the longest time, whispering in my ear “I love you” time and time again.

It was several long minutes before I could compose myself. All remaining memories of that night are now a blur, except for us nibbling on the most succulent strawberries a mouth could feast on. And us making slow, sweet love all night under the stars while the moonlight caressed our skin.


Book Reviews: When a Man Loves a Woman

Tumika Patrice Cain has poured her abundant faith, wisdom and passion for helping others into a new book that tackles one of the toughest of family crises. Tumika’s extensive experience ministering to others through writing and counseling, as well as many years in human services, make her a voice worth hearing. 
~ Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize Winner & Author of War Hospital


Tumika Cain did an outstanding job on this novel and I am just still reeling from the contents. 
~ OOSA Online Book Club


This has to be the best book I have read this year. 
~ Book Referees


It is tragedy and triumph in its most raw form. 
~ Matthew Keith Reviews


Cain is a true wordsmith, and her writing has a refreshing maturity. 
~ Sweet Georgia Press


This reviewer urges you to give Tumika Cain's premiere novel, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change, a chance today! These pages leave no stone unturned, and no heart untouched. 
~ Lindsay McDonald, Indyscribable


A powerful read with many powerful messages, When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change shows we have to be willing to move on in order to grow. 
~ Cyrus Webb, Conversations Live


Purchase When a Man Loves a Woman: A Season of Change
Link:  http://amzn.com/B019HLV65U 




Meet the Author
Tumika Patrice Cain
is an award-winning author, media personality and publisher whose works centers around uplifting, encouraging and empowering others to live the abundant life. She is also an accomplished poet; founder of the Say What?? Book Club; and host of the internet radio shows Living Abundantly with Tumika Patrice Cain, In The Spotlight, and Say What?? Author Spotlights. In addition, she is a respected book reviewer and columnist for PEN’Ashe Magazine, a contributing writer for BLOG and Belief Magazines, and editor for two smaller publishing companies.

A champion for indie authors, she works tirelessly to level the playing field to bring exposure to those authors who excel at their craft, but whose marketing budgets are limited. Inkscriptions, her publishing company, offers a myriad of book publishing services. Living by the motto of each one reach one, each one teach one, Tumika shares her passion for purpose and for life with all who cross her path.

She is the 2013 recipient of a Spoken Word Billboard award for her debut novel, Season of Change (December 2012), a novel that has since been picked up by Shan Presents and will be re-released as When a Man Loves a Woman – A Season of Change in December 2015. To her publishing credit, she is also the author of After the Rain…a Poetry Collective (March 2014) and The Heart of a Woman (August 2015). Tumika’s works have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, newsletters and periodicals.



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#WritingWithPurposeTour: Crime Thrillers by Sage


Introducing the Black Bird Detective Series by Sage


When you begin to read Assumptions Abound you step inside of the book and journey along with the characters. Assumptions Abound will keep you on the edge of your seat as you ride every twist and turn.


Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington.  Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life! Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.

Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue. This psychological thriller has all of the key ingredients to create an explosive literary masterpiece.

Detective Nina Kelsey is also introduced in this series. Detective Kelsey is not who she appears to be. A complex person with her own dark past, Detective Kelsey is always searching for more. She is determined to solve the Cold Creek murders before another life is lost.

Fireworks will ignite when Detective Kelsey and Monét Worthington meet and someone ends up dead.

Through this story, the Black Bird Detective Series is born. Assumptions Abound is the first book in the Black Bird Detective Trilogy. This series features characters from Assumptions Abound, including Raven Carter. Raven is a young African-American detective determined to solve murders in the small town of Cold Creek.  As she solves mysteries, she also works to uncover the truth about her past. The trilogy continues with Seeking Truth and Sweet Revenge.


Assumptions Abound by Sage

Assumptions Abound is a murder mystery, thriller and thought-provoking novel combined into one. This novel is told through the words of Monét Worthington. Raised by her father and stepmother during a difficult part of their marriage, Monét is on a mission to find true love and answers. Monét is a naïve girl with a tumultuous past and a troublesome childhood. Subjected to rape, mental and physical abuse, Monét is terrified to think about her future. Her terror continues as she finds herself running for her life!

Lucky for Monét she has Victoria to protect her. Victoria loves Monét and she is willing to do anything for her, including commit murder. Only Monét has no idea that Victoria exists.  Monét tells her life story as her loved ones and those around her are brutally murdered. The plot twists and turns as the murder investigations ensue.

Enter Detective Kelsey. Someone is murdering the citizens of Cold Creek County and Detective Nina Kelsey is determined to find out whom. Lonely and running from a haunting past, she finds solace in her work. She has pledged to solve this mystery at all costs.

Will her life be the ultimate price?


Prologue


The darkness enveloped my room as I lay in bed with my eyes shut tightly and my arms wrapped across my chest. My heart beat steadily and rapidly against my chest. I said a silent prayer that tonight would be different, but I knew in my heart that tonight would be like so many other nights before it.

When I heard his footsteps in the distance I closed my eyes tightly and prayed that he would walk by my room. He quietly opened the door and pried the covers away from me. He lay in the bed next to me and I cried as another night passed by without an answer to my prayer. I decided that if I wanted to get away from him, I would have to take matters into my own hands.

He kissed my cheek and whispered “good night” in my ear. I didn’t respond. I was hoping that he would die right there. He didn’t care about me. My thoughts were swirling around in my head. I realized that nobody could save me from this monster. Then suddenly I heard a voice.

The voice whispered in the darkness, “You must do it. Who else will protect you, but you?” I listened to the voice. “Have you ever killed anyone?” said the voice. “No!” I responded. I was only seven years old. I knew nothing about death. I thought to myself. The voice heard my thoughts. “True you are only seven, but we can show them that it doesn’t matter how old you are. You can still make a difference.” The voice calmly replied.

And so it began…

Have you ever killed anyone? I have and I must say it is the most exhilarating experience in the world. If I had to quantify it I would say that committing a murder is more exhilarating than sky diving, surfing or skiing down a hill at top speed. There is something powerful about watching the life leave a person’s body and hearing them take their last breath.

The first person I killed was my mother’s boyfriend Luciano. He was a handsome Italian man with dark hair and dark brown eyes. I remember everything about him. He would touch me in my special place, even after I told him that he shouldn’t. He took advantage of me and I promised myself that I would never let another person take advantage of me again.

I took a knife out of the drawer in the kitchen and hid it under my pillow. I knew that once my mother fell asleep, he would creep into my room and that particular night I was ready for him. I pretended like I was sleeping when he slowly opened the door and walked into my room. I felt him climb into the bed behind me and snuggle close to my back. I felt his breath on my neck. When he reached around to take my nightgown off of me, I grabbed the knife. Before he could react, I shoved the kitchen knife into his throat.

I still remember the look on his face. His eyes bulged out of his head and he grasped at his throat trying to stop the blood. My heart was beating so fast and I felt a rush of pure adrenaline. I watched him closely as he struggled to breathe. I put my ear close to his face; smelling the metallic scent of his blood and listening to him mumble inaudible words.

I watched intently as his chest rose and fell for the last time. As I watched the life leave his body, I knew that this could not be the end.

Luciano died that cold rainy night, he was the first person to meet the real me. Luciano met Victoria as his life slowly crept away from his body.

( Continued... )

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


Order Book 1: Assumptions Abound (Black Bird Detective Series) 

Link: http://amzn.com/B00642W77M 




Seeking Truth by Sage

The characters from Assumptions Abound are all grown up and searching for answers. Detective Raven Carter is on a quest. For years her mother lied to her about her past and now that her mother is dead, Raven wants to know the truth.

Joel knows that his past is riddled with secrets, whispers and lies, but wait until he finds out that it also involves murder. Joel and Raven are engaged and planning their future together. Little do they neither past will be the ultimate deciding factor for their future.

Meet Raymond Thomas, the Superintendent of Cold Creek Public Schools. As the Superintendent of a large school district, Raymond has alot to prove. When his employees are systemically murdered, Raymond may have more to prove than he could ever imagine.

Order Book 2: Seeking Truth by Sage

Link: http://amzn.com/B008D2ZARA 





Sweet Revenge by Sage
A high profile murder sets Raven on a wild goose chase to find the killer. Her boss is pressuring her to handle the case and he is personally involving himself. Raven must be careful; as she chases the next criminal, someone is chasing her. She hasn’t forgotten about her estranged husband. He is the love of her life, only problem…he wants her dead, or does he?

The wealthy son of a local socialite and businessman are adding to Raven’s headache. He is demanding answers that Raven does not have. When the case heats up, Raven may end up burned.  Raymond is back with an ax to grind. He has enacted a plan to take down those who damaged his reputation, stole his money and ruined his life. Will he succeed?

Everyone is out for revenge….but as the saying goes, Revenge is a dish best served fast and cold!

Order Book 3: Sweet Revenge 
Link: http://amzn.com/B012P17C1Q 





The Butterfly: A Novel by Sage

Meet the Butterfly, sexy, intelligent and lethal but severely lacking in self-esteem. With nothing to lose and everything to gain she is on a journey. A journey to make everyone who hurt her, pay. As confident as she is about her journey, there is one thing that she never considered. Will that thing be her ultimate destruction?

Order  Book 4:  The Butterfly:A Novel by Sage
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Black Bird Detective Series
Link: http://amzn.com/1522738673 


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#WritingWithPurpose: The Sisterhood: Book One by Nichol Bradford


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




The Sisterhood: Exploring mental freedom through fiction!

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

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

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

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


EXCERPT: CHAPTER 1


Friday, December 5th - 2:00 am

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


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

“Do it,” Tonia ordered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


( Continued... )

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


Download The Sisterhood: Book One 

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




About the Author

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

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

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

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




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Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Chicago Sistahs and Friends Book Club

Founders of Sistahs and Friends - Yvette Barrett, Malinda Burden and Priscilla Myers. In December, 2014 we lost our 4th founder, Theresa Jackson.

BPM: Please tell us about your book club! How did your club get started?  Does the name of the club have a special meaning? How many members do you have? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club started in 1997, in Chicago, when 4 young professional co-workers, Priscilla Myers, Theresa Jackson, Malinda Burden and Yvette Barrett discovered they shared a common passion. That passion was the love of reading and the desire to share their thoughts with each other. We had our first book club discussion in a conference room during our lunch hour. It was such a great experience that we decided to continue and called ourselves, Sistahs Bookclub. Later on we had a male that wanted to join us. So in fairness to him and other potential males, we changed our name to Sistahs and Friends Bookclub. We started with 4 and currently have 12 members.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Is there something in particular that makes your group different from other groups? 

Sistahs and Friends unites mature women and men from diverse backgrounds together in sister and brotherhood. We promote spiritual, motivational and intellectual development and awareness through the reading of fiction and non-fiction books, embracing the style and diversity of each member and each author. What we thought would be just a past time, for getting together among friends and sharing views on literature, led to so much more. We increased our membership, produced a mission statement, elected officers, created by-laws, paid dues, and 19 years later we are still Sistahs and Friends Book Club.

BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?

Sistahs and Friends exemplify the true essence of sisterhood. Our legacy will be that true Sistahs support, lift and motivate each other not tear them down.

BPM: Tell us about your members. What is the demographic of your group? How would you describe the personality of your group as a whole? 

Our members are mature professionals who all grew up from various backgrounds and areas in the city of Chicago. We started this group 19 years ago as "Bubbies" and have grown into mature outgoing, outspoken women who love a great book, with a great meal, a great glass of wine and a great discussion. These is no room and no tolerance for pettiness and or catiness. We may not always agree on the rating of a book but we will always have a great debate regarding the merits of our selections or lack thereof.

BPM: When accepting members into the group, what are you looking for in the person? Has it been difficult to get people to join the group or to stay in the group? Do you have an online version of the group?

We look for someone who will fit in our circle and have the passion for reading as we do. When a vacancy occurs, we invite the potential member to a meeting to ensure that their personalities mesh with the current membership. We have never had a problem attracting members however in the beginning we had problem retaining them. Some members were not committed to reading which lead to the creation of bylaws which have proved to solve the problem. Our current members have been active 10 years or more.

BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation? Do you keep the conversation on topic, or roam? Does the availability of a reading guide help with the discussion?

By everybody sharing their own opinion of the book it leads to great conversations. Sometimes we can walk into the meeting ready to give a low rating and after much discussion it can easily be adjusted higher. Our sistahs are definitely not shy, they are very outspoken and will tell you like it is with no regrets. Many authors have experienced the brutal truths of Sistahs and Friends. Sometimes a reading guide is helpful but we don’t always use. We have very creative members who come up with games, quizzes, etc. to engage the group and stimulate conversation during the meeting.

BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? Do you read and discuss books outside of the book of the month? Do you use social media to share your featured books with other readers? 

Sistahs and Friends Book Club’s season is from September - May. During the May meeting members randomly select a month to host for the next season. It is the responsibility of the host to select the book for the month which she is hosting. Most of the members make their selection based on recommendations from family and friends, reading over the summer or just reading reviews on-line. There have been times when some of us have read another book and discussed it outside of the book of the month for the bookclub. We share our book selections (2011 to present) on our website.

BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you support self-published authors? Do you borrow books from the library?

In the early years of Sistahs and Friends we only read books by African American authors. However over the years we have developed an appetite to broaden our horizon and not limit ourselves. During the years we have supported all authors as well as self-published authors and invited some of them to attend our bookclub discussions (via in person, Skype, FaceTime and conference call). Yes, a few of our members still borrow books from the library but the majority have Kindle or a Reader.

BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group? Have the types of books changed over time? 

The types of books we prefer to read has changed over the years, in the beginning we read books by authors like E. Lynn Harris, Michael Baisden, James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, Zane and J. California Cooper. The books dealt with short stories, sex and relationships respectively. As we have matured so have our books. Today, we read books by authors like Brandon Massey (Don’t Ever Tell), Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), Pamela Samuels Young (Anybody’s Daughter), Dwayne Alexander Smith (Forty Acres), and Daniel Black (Perfect Peace) and Naleighna Kai (Every Woman Needs a Wife). As you can see our selection of books have expanded and our members have welcomed all authors regardless of ethnicity.

BPM: Can you share a few 5-star books that have expanded your horizons?

Here are a few that received the highest rating that we give - (5stars) Good To The Last Drop.
Standing at the Scratch Line - Guy Johnson
Forty Acres - Dwayne Alexander Smith
Perfect Peace - Daniel Black
Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skoot
The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
My Soul to Keep - Tananarive Due
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
The Douglass Women - Jewell Parker
No Regrets - Patricia Haley

BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities? Do you get together as a group to socialize outside of your book club meetings?

Sistahs and Friends started out doing a grab bag each Christmas but decided that we wanted to give back to the community instead. So now we do just that. We have worked with Chicago Public Schools, DCFS, and St. Joseph Children’s Hospital. Through them we have provided children with everything from clothing, school supplies to toys. This year we decided to change our focus gave to a domestic violence shelter. We provided them with purses filled with all the day to day necessities. We are very proud of our accomplishments and it fills us with such satisfaction to see the smiles. Sistahs and Friends have an outing once a year in the summer (during our break) to do something fun with each other (dinner, painting, plays, and architectural tours). We have also hosted a luncheon, had weekend trips to Wisconsin, San Francisco and next year our 20th Anniversary (TBD).

BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who are in or who might want to start a book club?

Don't be discouraged if you don't start out with committed members. It took us at least 10 years before we had truly committed members. We had to develop bylaws to vet out serious readers versus those who were only in the club to eat, drink and be merry. As a result, some members have come and gone. Also, don't look for members who are all exactly like you. You will end up with the Stepford Book Club and this will make for very boring conversations. What has kept us going over the years is our passion for good reads, our like of each other and our mutual respect of each others differences.

BPM: Can we invite you to future events and discussions? Do you have a website or social media pages?

We would love to receive an invite for future events, chats and discussions. You can follow us below on our website and Facebook.

Website: sistahsandfriendsbookclub.com
Facebook: Sistahs and Friends




 
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Intimate Conversation with Re'Gena Bell-Roberts


Intimate Conversation with Re'Gena Bell-Roberts


Re'Gena Bell-Roberts was featured on the Steve Harvey Show as one of the Harvey's Heroes!


Re'Gena Bell-Roberts is an actress, poet, award-winning playwright and author whose published work includes a collection of prose and poetry. She earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Los Angeles and raised her four children as a single parent while continuing to pursue a career.

Re’Gena won the Rockefeller Foundation award for her play "Eclipse"; and a Prose award from Culver City Community College. She produced and directed an NAACP Martin Luther King Day celebration event; and received numerous awards for her community service. She was featured on the Steve Harvey Show and honored as one of “Steve Harvey’s Hero.”  Re’Gena resides in Murrieta, California.


BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
My passion for writing began at an early age while searching for a voice among my seven siblings. It was then that I discovered the power of the written word in the form of poetry or short stories. I am driven to write because it empowers me as an artist to evoke my inner feelings, thoughts and emotions and share them with others.

I want Walking on Thin Ice to take the reader on an unforgettable journey of love, pain and heartbreak that will inspire, motivate an empower them to make better choices and decisions in order to have a better quality of life.


BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book. 
Walking on Thin Ice is a love story told amid the backdrop of passion, betrayal and pain. The book opens up with all the candor –– frustration, love, trial, tribulation and humor –– indicative of the human spirit. I wrote the book after cultivating it mentally and physically for many years.

Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman's pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.

The young woman longed for fame and fortune until at last a man comes to set her free - only to be betrayed again. The saga portrays her tumultuous life as she struggles to deal with a tragic life-threatening event. Against life’s most overwhelming odds, she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... a message of hope in the face of adversity.

BPM: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest in publishing the book was to share my story–– my struggles, my truths and my journey to convey a message of love, hope and redemption.

BPM: Who did you write this book for? Why?
I wrote this book for young girls and women who are craving the love of a man, as I did, and who are interested in or can relate to the ups and downs of a tumultuous relationship, and the risks of following your heart and desires into dangerous territory. I wrote this book for anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship whether it’s physical, emotional or psychological. The story is as relevant today as it was decades ago.

BPM: Walk us through your journey to success. How did you get to this point? What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My success came after my lowest point and on the threshold of losing faith until I surrendered the reigns of my life to God. My faith allowed me to trust God and understand that sometimes the plans we make for ourselves is not the plan that He has for us. At that point I prepared to use my gift of writing knowing that it would be a long and arduous task.

My greatest challenge was facing reality –– the truth about the choices I made and how they impacted not only my life, but the lives of my family and friends—my loved ones. I overcame the experience first by accepting responsibility in the detrimental role I played in self-destruction and second, accepting the amazing grace of a second chance.

BPM: At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it?
I discovered my real worth the moment I regained use of my hands and placed wet ink on paper. I claimed it and took ownership of it.

BPM: Was there anyone early in your career that recognized your talent and help cultivate it?
Yes. It was definitely two of my English/literature teachers in high school who encouraged my writing talent and offered personal selections of books for me to read.

BPM: Do you feel as if your writing is making a positive impact on readers, women, or the world?
Yes. I do believe my writing is making a positive impact on readers of both gender, male and female. I feel that my book causes readers to pause and examine their relationships. It draws them deep into the very fiber and psyche of how it feels to be “Walking on Thin Ice.”


Connect with Re'Gena Bell-Roberts 

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rlbroberts 
Website:  http://walking-on-thin-ice.com
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/regena.bellroberts


Order Walking on Thin Ice by Re'Gena Bell-Roberts
Download Link:  http://amzn.com/1491764759 
Genre:   True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir 



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Intimate Conversation with Tia Williams

Intimate Conversation with Tia Williams

Tia Williams
is the ultimate style insider. For fifteen years, she was a magazine beauty editor (at Elle, Lucky, Glamour, Teen People, and Essence.com), and created one of the first style blogs, the award-winning Shake Your Beauty. She’s the best-selling author of The Accidental Diva and the It Chicks series, and co-writer of Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Currently a copy director at Estee Lauder Companies, Tia lives in Brooklyn with her 7-year-old diva daughter and their various accessories.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing?
TW: I’ve always been a writer. I can’t do math, I have zero business sense, and I’m a disaster in the kitchen. But writing always felt right to me. I wrote my first book at age 7! And two weeks after I graduated from college, I moved to New York to become a magazine beauty writer. I also knew I wanted to publish books, but at twenty-two, I felt like I hadn’t had rich enough experiences to inspire juicy fiction. But after five years in New York – falling in love with a couple of charismatic lunatics, having my heart broken, experiencing a career in fashion magazines, finding a colorful community of young black journalists and authors in Brooklyn – I felt like I had enough material for my first novel, The Accidental Diva!  Five books later, I’m still at it.

BPM: Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you?

TW: Growing up, I loved Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz's books...their protagonists were always strong, glamorous women with creative jobs, passionate love stories, and exciting lives in cities like Manhattan or L.A. But I never found books like this with black characters, so I made it my mission to change that.

As a kid, I wanted to be the black "version" of their main characters. With all my novels, whether they’re adult, like The Perfect Find and The Accidental Diva, or YA, like my It Chicks series – I try to create dynamic, fabulous characters so this generation of readers won't have to be the black "version " of anything! It’s so satisfying for me to introduce quirky, weird, witty, sexy, brainy, fully three-dimensional characters from all backgrounds – just being black and excellent, out in the world.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

TW: The Perfect Find is a juicy, hilarious story about star-crossed love and starting over! Jenna Jones a 40-year-old fashion editor who, in one nightmare week, gets dumped by her fiancé of two decades, fired by Darling magazine, has a nervous breakdown – and then reinvents herself at an online fashion ‘zine, where she’s working for her evil rival from the ‘90s, Darcy Vale. But Jenna, who doesn’t have Facebook and has never “Twittered,” finds herself in over her head and surrounded by uber-cool millennials who think she’s a dinosaur. 

Worse? At her first party back in NYC, she gets tipsy and hooks up with a fine 22-year-old, Eric Combs, who ends up driving her nuts in all the right, but also wrong ways (especially since he has a secret identity that makes him the one person who could destroy her big comeback). Will she risk it all for love? Read it to find out!

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

TW: The Perfect Find is chick lit (my favorite genre). I’ve always been drawn to big, sexy love stories set in the world I know best – the beauty and fashion industry, in New York. There’s so much material in that world; so many delicious characters.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

TW: Absolutely. Jenna Jones is the alter ego I created when my own life imploded. I was laid off from my magazine, got divorced, lost everything, and had to start again. I lived vicariously through her fight to start-over, and such a late stage. Jenna was a type-A weirdo like me, a perfection addict, and when things fall apart she discovers what she’s truly made of – and comes out on the other side, more powerful than ever before. She inspired me to chase my own comeback!

BPM: How may our readers follow you online?

TW: Readers can check out my website, shakeyourbeauty.com, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @shakeyourbeauty, and Facebook at Tia Williams.

Follow Tia for chit-chat, beauty babble, and book updates:


Shake Your Beauty Blog
http://www.shakeyourbeauty.com 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shakeyourbeauty
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/shakeurbeauty 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TiaWilliamsWrites 



Purchase The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in Paperback
Chick Lit, Steamy Romance, Workplace Drama, Fashion Fiction
Check out a free chapter! See more at: http://www.shakeyourbeauty.com  


 
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Intimate Conversation with Elle Wright

Intimate Conversation with Elle Wright
Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).

BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I would not be where I am today without God. Without Him, I’d be nothing. My mother used to sing a song when I was little that says “Without Him, my life would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”

I’m where I am as a writer because of hours spent daydreaming, hard work, and perseverance. I’ve always wanted to do more, be more. My mother inspired me to read. My children inspire me to create, to follow my dreams. How can I instill in them follow their dreams if I don’t lead by example?

BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I think my body of literary work speaks to lovers of romance and drama! I love to write love stories and delve into how people find love, sustain it. There are so many authors that I consider role models; authors who are doing their thing in this genre and others. I’m always amazed and very grateful for the many authors who’ve given awesome advice, shared my book, and read my work.  It’s been a wonderful experience meeting authors I’ve read and getting a chance to pick their brains or just chat with them.

BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?

Her Kind of Man is book 3 in my Edge of Scandal Series. When I started the series, I wanted to explore the dynamics of a close-knit group of friends. There is a theme in each of the books. This book delves into unrequited love. There is something about Allina and Kent that is pure magic. There’s an innocence to their relationship. I had a good time heating them up, but I especially loved the bonding scenes. They had an ease and genuine affection for each other that made me smile. I love it!

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Actually, the best part of writing this book was that was so challenging. I really had to push myself with this one. There are disturbing moments in the book, but mostly, it’s a journey to happiness. Allina and Kent had to climb out of that box they put themselves in; in their careers and in their relationship with each other.

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Usually, my book ideas come from weird questions posed by friends or family. The Forbidden Man came about when a friend asked the simple question, “What would happen if a woman was torn between two brothers?” From there, it became my goal to write a book where the reader would sympathize and even root for the forbidden relationship.

Character-driven. I want my characters to make sense, so I spend a lot of time with characterization. My cousin always tells me “if it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.” For example, Allina was a runaway bride. She left her wedding, her parents, and her groom behind because she felt like she was in danger. She was dealing with so much in the present that was bringing up demons from her past. So, I had to slow the romance part down because it didn’t make sense for her character to rush it. Also, Kent was so noble, he would have never taken advantage of her.

BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Engaged to a prominent preacher, Allina Parker is the envy of Cleveland. But instead of walking down the aisle, she’s running out the door. After her groom-to-be reveals his true nature, she flees to Michigan, back to Kent. Kent is the man she left behind, the one man she knew she’d always love. He is also one of her dearest friends. When she appears on his doorstep, Kent makes it his mission to protect her and finds out that there is more to her story than she’s telling him. The book is available on Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
Allina is incredibly intelligent and creative. She’s the friend that you know is going to support you through whatever while remaining calm and collected. Her dream of dreams is to design wedding gowns, but she’s left that behind to marry. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that her Prince Charming was a sociopath. The best thing about Allina is that she surprises me. On the surface, she seems one way. But there’s so much more to her. I enjoyed figuring her out.

Kent is… loyal, dedicated, handsome, strong, protective, and funny. I absolutely loved him in all three books. He was my comic relief, but he’s also the type of friend everyone needs. He’s creative and extremely hardworking: the perfect book boyfriend.

BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 
Yes! I love to write African American romance. I love writing diverse characters. It’s my reality.

BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
Honestly, I think I was Allina. I was the good girl. I married my best friend. I’ve struggled with living up to people’s perception of me. Yep, she’s me and I am her. LOL

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
One thing I always learn when writing my books are new ways of thinking about things. Each character approaches decisions differently. Most of the time in ways I would never think of.

I’m laughing because I found out that yoga pants are apparently sexy to some men. So I put that in the book. I also had to learn about different sketchpad apps for a particular scene, which was neat.

I’m from Michigan (GO BLUE), and part of the book takes place in Cleveland, so I got a chance to talk to a few friends who are from the Buckeye state. I learned about a few festivals and restaurants there that I’d want to visit one day.

BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

My goal was to write a different book. I didn’t want all the books in the series to be the same. Each couple was very different. They all had their own crosses to bear, things to overcome. I needed to do each character justice. I feel that I achieved that in this book. It’s nothing like the first two books of the series, in my opinion.

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

At the moment, I’m plotting two contemporary romance series. Both feature secondary characters introduced in the series. Also, I’m plotting a romantic suspense series and a Women’s Fiction.

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

Website: http://www.ellewright.com
Twitter: @LWrightAuthor
Instagram: @lrwright09
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElleWrightAuthor



Purchase Her Kind of Man by Elle Wright

Series: Edge of Scandal (Book 3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series


Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)

Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.

Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)

Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.

Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series

http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Wright/e/B00VMEWB78


 
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