Monday, November 30, 2009

Look at me by Linda R. Herman



Look at me, take a long, hard stare.
I'm the face of HIV. I represent every woman 25-34 who has died or is dying from AIDS.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in African American women in this age group.
So, LOOK at me!

Do you think I'm ready to die? I'm not ready. I don't want to leave my children, family, and friends. LOOK at me!

Can you honestly tell me we can't change the statistics by raising awareness? Can we not see the Consequences of our actions? Oh God, is anybody even listening to me? LOOK at me!

Now, take a long hard look at yourself and answer this question:
What am I going to do today to raise awareness of HIV & AIDS?

To learn more about Linda R. Herman and her passion for saving lives by raising awareness, please visit www.LindaRHerman.org.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Intimate Conversation with author Nikkea Smithers

Nikkea Smithers is a spoken word artists and Essence Magazine Best Selling Author She has performed on stages in front of thousands. Her literary work often speaks to issues in the community that are often under-discussed. Her readers have fallen in love with her ‘tell it like it is’ approach to writing making her readers lifelong fans.

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry, CEO of EDC Creations


Ella: Hello Nikkea! Introduce us to your book, On The Flip Side.
Nikkea: On The Flip Side deals with a situation that many men face but little light is shed on. We often hear the story about the single mother doing it for her kids on a daily basis. While I would never want to take anything away from them, what we don't often hear about is the single father who is standing up to his responsibilities and being burdened with social issues beyond his realm of control. What if the mother is not the one holding it down? What if the father has the kids but the mother has the greed? On The Flip Side deals with a different kind of baby momma drama and show that real men are fathers and not just baby daddies.

Ella: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?
Nikkea: Tavares was on the path to be a very successful young man. A one night stand turns his life up side down and he finds himself in a position where he has to be accountable. As he struggles to be a respectable father the mother of his children does everything in her power to break him down. The twist to this tale is he just isn't just a single father, he is also paying child support as if his kids don't live with him and in two different states.

Danica is a very interesting woman with a serious God complex. She truly believes that she is better than everyone around her. Not only does her complex cause her to throw stereotypes around like they are going out of style but it causes her to play the role of karma. The problem with playing karma is that it's bound to come back on you if you aren't living right.

My favorite is Tavares because he is the epitome of real man. He immediately steps up to the plate and makes things happen. As you read the book you genuinely feel for him. His kids come first, plain and simple. Who doesn't love a man like that?



Ella: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? What inspired you to write this story?
Nikkea: The characters aren't based on real people but are influenced by conversations. I love talking to people and my husband and I often throw these parties where there are debates on different topics. Of course one of the most popular topics of debate is child support. The men thought they paid too much. The women thought it wasn't enough. One man talked about how he was paying support in both NY and VA. He talked about how neither state would take into consideration the order in the other state. This blew my mind!

My mother was even present and shared her views on the subject which opened my eyes even more. I see story lines in the strangest of things so I thought, what if was the other way around? What if the man had his kids and was still paying child support? So I wrote the poem On The Flip Side and was surprised at the response it got from men that were going through this very thing. Then a friend of mine and I were talking after she saw me perform the poem and was telling me about a friend of hers going through this only his child's mother left the kids at the hospital after birth! I immediately thought oh this needs to be a book! I then took the poem and turned it into this book.

Ella: What issues in society have you addressed in the book?
Nikkea: Child support is the obvious issue addressed in the book but there are several subliminal messages. I love dealing with subliminal messages and try my best to place a few in every novel I write. One issue is accountability. Society is really hard on women in regards to promiscuity but men don't always get the same scrutiny. I want to show young men that they have to be responsible for their actions as well. That one night of passion could mean kids with a woman you don't know or worse, a death sentance of H.I.V. Another issue that is addressed is karma. We really need to understand that what we throw out into the universe will come back to us pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Ella: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
Nikkea: I love to break down barriers and talk about things that no one is talking about. At least not in this sense. I wanted the roles to be reversed and stretch my imagination. Especially with Danica's character, I had to dig deep for her because she is so far from me and what I would naturally do. I wanted this book to be true to the characters and show them for who they are regardless of the outcome. I love being able to uplift my brothers and say kudos to those doing the right things. Through Tavares I get to connect with readers and share with them the story of a good man.

Ella: Thousands of books are published each year. What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
Nikkea: It's all about the message. My work is educational but entertaining. I want to enlighten people. I want them to finish one of my books thinking about the subject matter and want to take action. How can we change things if we don't start by talking about them? I actively strive to write away from whats popular and get to the bottom of social issues that need to be addressed.

Ella: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Nikkea: When I'm not writing I love to read! I'm the biggest book worm. My husband and I joke that our house looks like the Library of Congress. I don't discriminate. I have poetry from Langston Hughes to Nikki Giovanni. I have nonfiction from George Jackson to Steve Harvey. I have fiction from John Gresham to E. Lynn Harris. With me being a self published author I am also a huge supporter of self published authors because I understand their grind. I also enjoy culture. I love museums, art viewings, jazz clubs, and poetry readings. I love the movies too!

Ella: What does your family think of your writing?
Nikkea: My family is very supportive. My husband has a prized collection of all of my books in his 'man room' that he shows off to all his friends. He gets the first copy in every edition of all of my works. When he sees something has discouraged me he tells me to shake it off and keep doing what I do. My mother buys my books in bulk like she doesn't know me! They are my two biggest supporters. I appreciate being surrounded by positivity and they keep me inspired to keep on writing.

Ella: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Nikkea: Do your research, stay positive and value the message over all else.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. Nikkea: I was excited to find out that two of my books (Keith's Story and Attitudes of a Woman) were awarded with the Literary Hallmark & Legends Top Books 2009 award by Black Pearls Magazine. That honor was one of the highlights of my year!

Within the next year I have three more books that will be released. I also look forward to touring and performing. I want to dedicate my time in the new year connecting with my readers. Book clubs who select my book as their book of the month can reach out to me so that I can make plans to either be present or available for a teleconfrence.

Email: info@nikkeasmithers.com Website: http://www.nikkeasmithers.com/

Purchase the book at: Amazon Online

Purchase the book at: Barnes & Noble Online









Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Woman Scorned by Ericka Williams


















Meet our featured author Ericka Williams

Ericka Williams is a determined business woman and author. She never takes no for an answer. When she sets her mind on a goal, she doesn't stop until it is reached. She is a graduate of Teaneck High School, in Teaneck New Jersey. She attended Howard University and graduated from Rutgers University. She is currently a teacher. Ericka has always had a yearning for knowledge, expression, and creativity. She is the author of three books the Essence Magazine bestseller “All That Glitters”, and the sequel “Shining Star”, as well as the forthcoming release A Woman Scorned.

Ella: Ericka, introduce us to your book, A Woman Scorned.
Ericka: A Woman Scorned is about pain. It is about death. It is about love and revenge. When someone you love hurts you, your pain often times turns to anger and feelings of betrayal. That rage can turn into violence. Crimes of passion are real and have happened since the beginning of time. A Woman Scorned shows what happens when a woman's broken heart turns her into a predator. It makes her hate instead of love.

I feel most readers will relate to this book, A Woman Scorned, because it’s about redemption and consequences. It points out how we can not use excuses for our wrongdoings nor dodge retribution. We all have irrationally thoughts from time to time, but we can turn ourselves around. It brings attention to the fact that self-love is necessary and essential to our sanity. It also brings home the truth—you must pay for your actions one way or another. The primary thing I hope all readers will take away from reading A Woman Scorned is that loving YOU, even when no one else does, is crucial in living the best life.

Q: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
Ericka: Brielle was the main character. She was my favorite because she wanted to be a better person. She had aspirations for her life. She didn’t relish in being destructive the way her cousin Janay did.

Brielle had been molested, abused, and mistreated from a child. She yearns for the love she never felt from anyone. She never found love in the right places, until Dante rescued her and married her. She thought she was safe in his love, until two miscarriages and one affair too many, made her snap. The faith that she puts into her husband, is the very faith she should have found in herself. When he disappoints her, she wants nothing but to see him in pain.

Brielle not only exacts revenge on her husband for his grimy living, but she gets to “do it for the Ladies” as well, by making a few more men accountable for their actions. Until she meets Darren and Shawn; both men are falling for her. Brielle cannot see beyond her past to give them an honest chance at loving her sincerely. One prevails as the victor, while the other is another victim of A Woman Scorned.

While Brielle is unleashing her “fury” on men, there are two women, her cousin Janay, and her husband’s pregnant lover, who may be the ones to bring her down and stop her reign of terror on the opposite sex.
(ISBN-10: 1934230715 or ISBN-13:9781934239718)

Q: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
Ericka: Yes, real people who react to life’s drama in a negative way. We have all made bad choices in responding to wrongs we feel have been inflicted upon us. This book takes a poignant look at the repercussions of letting one’s rage get out of control.

Q: What issues in today's society have you addressed in the book?
Ericka: Infidelity, Domestic Violence, Molestation, Murder, and Revenge.

Q. What impact will this book have on the community?
Ericka: It deals with an emotion that many understand, revenge, giving the community a glimpse inside the mind and heart of a damaged individual; showing how revenge is not profitable.

I want people who read this book to accept that they are not a product of their circumstances and that anyone can change. Also, that your past does not have to dictate your future.

Q: What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
Ericka: One powerful scene is a scene where Brielle meets with her father on his death bed after five years of no contact with him.

Q: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Ericka: My next book will be The Clique in 2010.

Q: Ericka, how many readers contact you online?
Ericka: At my email address: erickawilliamsinfo@yahoo.com  or by visiting my website at: http://www.erickaw.com/


A Woman Scorned by Ericka Williams
ISBN-10: 1934230715
Visit http://www.lifechangingbooks.net/  to pre-order today!

Pick up a copy at Amazon Online here.
http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Scorned-Ericka-Williams/dp/1934230715

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Even Sinners Have Souls Too

Even Sinners Have Souls Too
Introduction by National Best selling author, K'Wan, with four stories by Darrell King and Essence Magazine bestselling authors, Michel Moore, Tysha and Victor L. Martin.





Meet author and editor E.N. Joy
E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, which was her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly a secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, this author has fully dedicated her writing to Christ. She is currently working on the “New Day Divas” series as well as completing the “Sinners Series” project.



Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry of EDC Creations


Ella: Introduce us to the book, Even Sinners Have Souls TOO.
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls TOO is book two from the “Sinners Series”. As editor and publisher of this project, it was my goal to share with the reading audience well written and compelling stories by some of the industry’s most respected and authority authors in the Urban Lit genre.



Ella: Why was it important to produce this work today?
E.N. Joy: Books and authors of books that are categorized as urban, erotic, street, ghetto, gangster, Hip-Hop fiction, or whatever else they are being labeled, are taking hard hits in the industry, especially by these so-called “literary writers”. Why is it that whenever black people bring the life they live front and center and turn it into art, society goes crazy? Are we that afraid and offended of the ghetto and the projects to the point where we ridicule those who talk about it? Is growing up in the hood that taboo?

E.N. Joy: Despite popular belief, everything that comes from the ghetto isn’t all bad. There are some good products of the ghetto. It produces great individuals, some even authors. But because of the type of genre that these authors choose to pen, they are stigmatized and rumored unable to create literature without glorifying a trigger happy, drug dealing thug, or a burgundy micro braid wearing, gum poppin’, promiscuous gold digger, or a television stealing crack head (in addition to at least two curse words per paragraph).



Ella: Will this book change how Urban Lit is protrayed as a industry?
E.N. Joy: There is a huge misconception that authors who write Urban Lit, referred to as Street Lit by many, can’t pen a decent story that doesn’t include foul language and explicit sex scenes. These authors are even often accused of glorifying street life. The “Sinners Series” forces critics and skeptics alike to take a different stand when they read the storylines contained in the “Sinners Series.”




Ella: What are some unique aspects of the Sinners Series?
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls Too offers more of Urban Lit's finest take a walk on the other side in book two, Even Sinners Have Souls Too, of the three book Sinners Series. Darrell King and Essence Best-Selling authors, Victor L. Martin, Tysha and Michel Moore bring you four smashing tales, but not before National Best-Selling author, K'Wan, hits you with the powerful introduction, "Oh Sinner Man."

E.N. Joy: The authors bring to life the same raw and gritty characters found in some of their other works. There are the dope boys, the hood rats, the promiscuity, homosexuality, the gang bangers, abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc...; all the things that exist in real life on the streets. But what makes these tales so phenomenal and unique is that in the midst of it all, just like in real life on the streets, there is also, God, prayer, and sometimes a praying grandmother. What pleased me the most about each and every story is that they never, for one moment, lost their authenticity. The authors still walked away from this project with their street credit, so to speak.




Ella: What impact with the Sinners Series have on the community?
E.N. Joy: The “Sinners Series” is going to shatter the myth about urban and street literature and its authors once and for all. This project is not so that authors have to defend their work, or even compromise it.

The purpose is to show that they are multi-talented with a natural gift to pen what flows through their spirit and not just what’s selling, and at the same time to add a creative twist on their already original writing styles. In doing so, we pray that readers will be touched and moved by every single character; every single story…that they won’t be the same person as they were before reading these works.

Website: http://www.enjoywrites.com/

ISBN-10: 0970672659 | ISBN-13: 978-0970672650

Pick up a copy at Amazon


Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center-- Twitter with Ella

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Color Me Jazzmyne by Marian L. Thomas


Author Interview: Color Me Jazzmyne by Marian L. Thomas

I would like to introduce you to a fantastic new book, Color Me Jazzmyne. Readers of Color Me Jazzmyne have been captivated by the depth of the emotional journey that the book takes them on. It digs deep into what it takes for women to embrace who they are no matter what size, color, educational background or social status. Sisters will learn to love themselves despite what society says or the voices that surround them!

Marian L. Thomas is native of Chicago but currently resides in Atlanta.She first awakened her desire to write while in her second year of high school. She majored in Journalism but received her Bachelor of Art degree in Business Communication, graduating Magna Cum Laude. 2009 the dream of becoming a published author was realized when she was able to debut her first title Color Me Jazzmyne. She is a wife and supporter of victims of abuse and was recently featured in the Atlanta Skirt! Magazine as one of Atlanta's 9to5 Women in the Media Industry.


Motivation Behind Color Me Jazzmyne
Color Me Jazzmyne addresses a major issue in our society today..."Rape is often the "hush" word in our lives. It's the thing that we prefer to put into the closet of other skeltons that we pray no one has the key to.

Child abuse often occurs at a young age and more than often it is done by someone that is very close---a family member or friend of the family. It's a difficult thing to get over, it's even more difficult to explain.

According to one statistic.... one out of every six women will be raped over their lifetime and 73% of all rape victims know their assailants. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of all sexual assaults are not reported. I hope that women who read this book and have gone through something similar will find the courage to reach out and talk to someone about it."


Color Me Jazzmyne Book Excerpt
Read Chapters 1-3 and give us your opinion.
http://www.freado.com/book/4169/Color-Me-Jazzmyne



Intimate Conversation with author Marian L. Thomas


What impact do you want your book, Color Me Jazzmyne, to make on readers?
Marian: "I hope that women who read this book and have lived the life of Naya Mona in some form or fashion will find the voice, strength and motivation to push past the pain and live."


Why do you write? Is is healing or to create awareness in our community?
Marian:  Both! For me, writing is more of a release from the reflection of the world around us. It is a way to express the obvious using tones that soothe,excite, uplift and allow the reader to step out of their comfort level. That is my goal when writing. That is what drives me to create characters such as Naya Mona.


Are your characters, in Color Me Jazzmyne, a portrayal of real people?
Marian: Reality is always a part of us and as such what we read must adhere to some form of it in order to make it so that one can relate to the story that is being told. Naya is clearly a reflection of the many women that I have met over the years and the struggles that they have gone through. I do not remove myself from that reflection. Misty represents all the so-called friends that revolve in and out of our lives and Chris is what I term the 'life-time' type of husband. He represents the compassion and love that we as women need, want and deserve.

Contact Marian Online
Email: larrita@lbpublishingco.com
Website: http://www.marianlthomas.com/
Author's Blog: http://findingmycolorwithmlt.blogspot.com/

Pickup Your Copy Today!
ISBN-10: 0615270670; ISBN-13: 978-0615270678

Amazon .com
Kindle Download
Barnes & Noble.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young


I would like to share a preview of Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young. If you like mystery novels or legal thrillers, you are sure to love this new release!

“Pamela Samuels Young takes her place among the top tier of legal thriller writers with her latest, Buying Time.” —Sheldon Siegel, Bestselling Author




Book Introduction

Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he's about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.

In Waverly's new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there's a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker's fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.

The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who's bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.


****************

Prologue of Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young

Veronika Myers tried to convince them, but no one would listen. Her suspicions, they said, were simply a byproduct of her grief.

Each time she broached the subject with her brother, Jason, he walked out of the room. Darlene, her best friend, suggested a girls’ night out with some heavy drinking. Aunt Flo urged her to spend more time in prayer.

Veronika knew she was wasting her time with this woman, too, but couldn’t help herself.

“My mother was murdered,” Veronika told the funeral home attendant. “But nobody believes it.”

The plump redhead with too much eye shadow glanced down at the papers on her desk, then looked up. “It says here that your mother died in the hospital. From brain cancer.”

“That’s not true,” Veronika snapped, her response a little too sharp and a tad too loud.

Yes, her mother had brain cancer, but she wasn’t on her deathbed. Not yet. They had just spent a long afternoon together, laughing and talking and watching All My Children. Veronika could not, and would not accept that the most important person in her life had suddenly died. She knew what everyone else refused to believe. Her mother had been murdered.

“Did they conduct an autopsy?” the woman asked.

Veronika sighed and looked away. There had been no autopsy because everyone dismissed her as a grief-stricken lunatic. When she reported the murder to the police, a disinterested cop dutifully took her statement, but she could tell that nothing would come of it. Without any solid evidence, she was wasting everyone’s time, including her own.

“No,” Veronika said. “There wasn’t an autopsy.”

The funeral home attendant smiled sympathetically.

Veronika let out a long, exasperated breath, overwhelmed by the futility of what she was trying to prove. “Never mind,” she said. “What else do you need me to sign?”


Later that night, Veronika lay in bed, drained from another marathon crying session. She rummaged through the nightstand, retrieved a bottle of sleeping pills and popped two into her mouth. She tried to swallow them dry, but her throat was too sore from all the crying.

Tears pooled in her eyes as she headed to the kitchen for a glass of water. “Don’t worry, Mama,” Veronika sniffed. “I won’t let them get away with it.”

Just as she reached the end of the hallway, a heavy gloved hand clamped down hard across her mouth as her arms were pinned behind her back. Panic instantly hurled her into action. Veronika tried to scream, but the big hand reduced her shriek to a mere muffle. She frantically kicked and wrestled and twisted her body, but her attacker’s grip would not yield.

When she felt her body being lifted off the ground and carried back down the hallway, she realized there were two of them and her terror level intensified. But so did her survival instinct. She continued to wildly swing her legs backward and forward, up and down, right and left, eventually striking what felt like a leg, then a stomach.

As they crossed the threshold of her bedroom, she heard a loud, painful moan that told her she had likely connected with the groin of one of her assailants.

“Cut it out!” said a husky, male voice. “Grab her legs!” he ordered his partner. “Hurry up!”

The men dumped her face down onto the bed, her arms still restrained behind her back. The big hand slipped from her mouth and Veronika’s first cry escaped, but was quickly muted when a much heavier hand gripped the back of her neck and pressed her face into the comforter.

Fearing her attackers were going to rape, then kill her, Veronika defiantly arched her back and tried to roll her body into a tight ball. At only 130 pounds, she was no physical match for her assailants. They easily overpowered her, forcing her back into a prone position. As one man sat on her upper legs, strapping her left arm to her side, the other man bent her right arm at the elbow and guided her hand up toward her forehead.

During the deepest period of her grief, Veronika had longed to join her mother. But now that she was face-to-face with the possibility of death, she fought valiantly for life.

That changed, however, the second Veronika felt something cold and hard connect with her right temple. She stiffened as one of the men grabbed her fingers and wrapped them around the butt of a gun. At that precise instant, Veronika knew with certainty that her suspicions were indeed fact. Her mother had been murdered and now the same killers had come to silence her before she could expose the truth. And just like her mother’s death, her own murder would go undetected, dismissed as the suicide of a grieving daughter. A conclusion no one would question.

As the man placed his hand on top of hers and prepared to pull the trigger, a miraculous, power-infused sensation snuffed out what was left of Veronika’s fear, causing her body to go limp. The heavy pounding of her heart slowed and she felt light enough to float away.

Completely relaxed now, Veronika closed her eyes, said a short prayer, and waited for a glorious reunion with her mother.

###

Bookclubs, select one of Pamela’s novels for your book club meeting and she will join you in person, via webcam or via speaker phone. Read more book excerpts here: http://www.pamelasamuels-young.com/books/index.html

To schedule a visit with Pamela, email her at  author@pamelasamuelsyoung.com

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young
ISBN-10: 098156271X | ISBN-13: 978-0981562711

Pick up a Copy Today at Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/buyingtimeamazon

Pick up a Copy Today at Barnes and Noble
http://tinyurl.com/buyingtimebnonline


Meet the Author
Pamela Samuels Young is the Essence bestselling author of Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit, Every Reasonable Doubt and the newly released Buying Time. The former journalist and Compton native is the fiction writing expert for BizyMoms.com and is on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.Pamela served as legal consultant to the Showtime television series Soul Food. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of writing and self-empowerment. View her books here: http://www.pamelasamuels-young.com