Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree

  

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree 

Winner of the Association of Black Women Historians’ 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize for best publication on an African American woman

  

Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree is the story of pioneering Army veteran, attorney and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, co-authored by Katie McCabe. This is a love song to the black family and a celebration of the eternal values that make it possible to transcend our pain and limitations. Dovey Roundtree is an icon, and her story is an inspiration to all families. 

Dovey Johnson Roundtree is a retired lawyer, an Army veteran, and an A.M.E. minister. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.   Katie McCabe is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washingtonian Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, and Reader’s Digest, among others. Her National Magazine Award-winning article on black medical legend Vivien Thomas was the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, winner of three Emmys and a 2005 Peabody Award.

 Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”

 

Excerpt:  Chapter One: Walking Unafraid

Every evening, in the tiny kitchen of the old frame shotgun house where I grew up in Charlotte, my Grandma Rachel marked the day’s end by a ritual etched in my memory with a clarity that belies the eighty years since then. 

She ceased to rush, as she did endlessly in the hours between dawn and darkness, and she commenced to draw water and lay out clean towels and mix an ointment she made of turpentine and mutton tallow.  I would stand, quiet, watching her heat the water on the wood stove, pour it into a metal pan, then remove her stockings and hoist her skirts as she lifted her feet into the steaming bath.  

Her feet were broken.  They were gnarled and twisted and horribly misshapen, with the bones sticking out in strange ways.  As she lifted them into the steaming water, she winced. And I would know, though she had spoken no word and given no sign, that all day long her feet had been paining her.

How frightened I was the first time I saw those poor broken feet. I was five years old, and my mother and my three sisters and I had just moved to my grandparents’ home after the death of my father, James Eliot Johnson, in the influenza epidemic of 1919.  My grandmother had scooped us up and taken us under her wing, whisking us from my parents’ house to the little parsonage where she lived with my Grandpa. All day long, she hovered over us…Like a tiny whirling dervish she moved, and so, when I first saw her grow quiet, I was startled.

Then I saw her feet, so large and misshapen they seemed to belong to another woman entirely, and I drew back, frightened.  Every night after that, I’d look at her scarred, twisted feet, at the skin stretched taut over the jutting bones, and I’d want to ask her what had made them that way.  But something in her silence warned me not to. 

The day came, finally, as I was just beginning to mature into womanhood, when Grandma took me to her in private and spoke to me of what had happened to her feet.

A white man had broken them.

It had happened a very long time ago, Grandma said, when she was a young girl, just coming into womanhood herself…and she had seen the man watching her with a look that told her he meant to do her harm.

“The slave master,” she called him.  He was the overseer on the farm near Henrietta, North Carolina, where her father worked, and when she spoke of what he had tried to do to her, a look of anguish crossed her face unlike any I had seen before or would see after.

“He was meanin’ to bother me, Dovey Mae,” she told me, in the delicate way she had of speaking about things sexual.  “I ran and fought every way I knew how.  And I hurt him. Then he grabbed hold o’ me and he stomped, hard as he could, on my feet – to keep me from runnin’ for good, he told me.  But I kept on runnin.’”

“Wasn’t nothing to do but fight him, hard as I could,” she said. “He wasn’t goin’ to have his way with me.”  

Grandma’s mother had wrapped her smashed, bleeding feet in cloth and rubbed them with the mutton tallow and turpentine ointment Grandma would use for the rest of her days.  But the bones had been so crushed that her feet were forever misshapen, and so twisted that for a while she could not walk at all.  When she did, it was with a swaying awkwardness that late at night became a limp.

And yet, for all of that, she had won.  He had not, as she said, had “his way” with her.

I saw my Grandma Rachel fight everything with that same fierceness – poverty, sickness, injustice, and even despair.  Like a mighty stream, her courage flowed through my childhood, shaping me as rushing water shapes the pebbles in its path.

###
Note: Excerpt used for promotional purposes. Permission given by University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS)

Review from Summer 2010 Women Lawyers’ Journal, posted on MS. JD web site:
http://ms-jd.org/summer-reading-justice-older-law-katie-mccabe-and-dovey-johnson-roundtree
Review from The Charlotte Observer, August 23, 2009, posted on Black Christian News web site:
http://blackchristiannews.com/news/2009/08/new-book-tells-of-pioneer-for-justice-women-and-civil-rights.html

» Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 160473132X
http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Older-than-Law-Roundtree/dp/160473132X

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins

 

Intimate Conversation with author Renee Wiggins

Renee Wiggins is the owner of  Results By Renee, a wellness company based in Maryland.  Her mission is to help people achieve optimum health through nutrition, fitness and supplemented with stress reduction techniques.  Ms. Wiggins designs lifestyle programs for individuals and groups.  She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Massage Therapist.
Listen to various health related coaching sessions by Renee, by clicking here today. 


BPM: Renee, please introduce us to your book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle.
RW: Transformations: Give UP The Struggle is a unique collection of affirmations written to encourage readers to break the chains of negative thoughts and actions, to embrace the positive aspects of change and to take the necessary steps to live a happy, fulfilling life. We all have had our ups and down in our lives, some more than others. But, how we end up in the end, determines how we actually see the storms. The storms help us to change to a better and stronger person.  
 

BPM:  How did the title of your book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle, come about?
RW:  I was searching for a word that would express the idea of change, so I came up with four different titles  that embodied that concept and I sent them to friends, family members and colleagues I trusted. With their help, I came up with the word” Transformations”, as I thought, that really got to the core to the message I wanted to share. I added the “Give UP The Struggle because I wanted the reader to know in order to transform, one must give up. Thus the title, ” Transformations: Give UP The Struggle’ was born.
 

BPM:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write Transformations?
RW:  As a diabetes educator, nutritionist, and personal trainer, I hear a lot about the struggles my client’s experiences. And as I’ve listen to them over the years, I soon began to realize that many of these men and women were in unpleasant, unhealthy situations because they were unable to break bad habits and unable to realize that making simple changes in their lives could make the difference they desired. So I wrote the affirmations in this book as a way of teaching people that their chain can be broken and that they I wrote Transformations” Give UP The Struggle as a way to let people know that just as a caterpillar grows wings and transforms into a butterfly, they too, must also be open to similar evolutionary process in their lives.
 

BPM:  Are the affirmations a representation of your life?
RW:  Yes, some of these affirmations come deep within my soul, while others were birthed from the experiences men and women have shared with me regarding their own personal struggles.
 

BPM:  Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
RW:  I want to reach men and women from the ages of 18 years to 92 years of age, who are entering a storm or going through a storm. The affirmations presented in this book can be a turning point in the reader’s life.
 

BPM:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
RW:  The central themes of my book revolve around encouraging and empowering my readers to embrace their struggle as life lessons that they can move from their current situation toward greatness. I ‘m happy to have these themes in the form of affirmations because research has shown that people who recite and /or live by affirmations have a more positive attitude.
 
 
BPM:  What is your best advice to anyone who wants to be a writer?
RW:  I encourage writers to  take classes, workshops, travel to seminars, connect with other writers, join groups and most of all, and help other writers without hesitation.
 

BPM:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
RW:  I am currently writing part two of my current book, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle. This book will be a collection of stories of people who successfully danced through some of life’s most turbulent storms. It s my hope that these stories will provide the strength and guidance others may need to change their lives for the better.
 
 
BPM:  How can readers reach you online?
Readers can find more info on me and purchase the book at: www.resultsbyrenee.com.  Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/giveupthestrugg

When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson

When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson is featured in Essence Magazine, September 2010!

 
“WHEN I GET WHERE I’M GOING is about three very different sisters and is a wonderfully entertaining read.” — Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times Bestselling Author

 

Intimate Conversation with author Cheryl Robinson

Cheryl Robinson is the author of five novels. Most recently, When I Get Where I’m Going, In Love with a Younger Man and Sweet Georgia Brown. She is a native Detroiter and graduate of Wayne State University. Robinson now resides in Central Florida where she is writing her next novel.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
As a person I feel power in my faith. It allows me to press on through the rough times and to remain positive. I try not to let the daily stresses of life get to me. And I try not to judge others. The more I stop myself when I feel my mind going in that direction, the easier it becomes. I get tired of seeing people get built up by the media to later get knocked down. The less I judge others the better I not only feel, but also when I write and develop characters it’s much easier for me to remove myself from the situation. I realize it’s impossible for everyone to love my books, but I always keep that as one of my primary writing goals. And, I try to keep a healthy balance between being my own worst critic and one of my biggest fans.

BPM: Where do you find your inspiration?
All of the inspiration I could ever need I can find from everyday life–the joys and the pitfalls. I can open one email from someone telling me how upset they are at the way I ended my last book and then turn around and open another email from someone telling me how much they thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s an example of how life is in general. One minute you can be down, but in a second it can all turn around. You have to take the good with the bad and learn from them both. But honestly, sometimes I just want it to all be good.

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
Some years ago, when I was about nineteen or twenty, I answered the phone at my parents’ home and there was a woman on the other end who insisted that we were related. She was trying to tell me that she was my half sister and that we had the same father. I remember my heart sinking. In order for that to be true, based on her timeframe, that would mean my father, who I thought had been happily married to my mother for years, had cheated. But as the conversation continued we both realized that while the two men shared the same name they weren’t the same person.

Still, for those few minutes, I had to ask myself what if that was actually the case. The thought never completely escaped my mind, and in some ways it was that event that prompted me to eventually get around to exploring the scenario. And now, in the age of social networking, it’s much easier to find your missing relatives. And in the case of these three sisters, it’s also true, and they do share the same father.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with When I Get Where I’m Going and the message within?I am a Women’s Fiction author. That does not mean I only write for women. Nor does the fact that I’m black mean I only write for black people. I don’t write to exclude any one, but to enlighten and entertain us all. I write about women and women’s issues, and of course, men are in my novels too. As an author I have an opportunity to go beyond stereotypes. I’ve learned over the eight years that I’ve been writing professionally that there is a way to entertain without offending.

If I, as a black woman, do not feel good about how we are represented in the media. If I don’t feel empowered about what is being written about us on the internet and elsewhere and if I have to continuously hear from the media that black women are “the least desirable of all the races” or not a preference by some men even within our own race, as an artist, I have an opportunity to present a different message that isn’t a negative one, but can still be realistic. It’s like music. Some songs only have a good beat while others also have wonderful lyrics. I want to write books that make people feel good.

My intended message isn’t given to readers, but written in such a way that the reader gets out of it what they came to the story with and how they view the story and the characters will be interpreted by how they view the world. But maybe, if I do my job as I intend to, they will have a different opinion after it’s all said and done.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, When I Get Where I’m Going.What would you do if you discovered that you had a sibling you never knew existed? Would you be like Heaven, so excited to connect to that person that you quickly took to Facebook and started searching? Would you be like Hope, too caught up in the trials and tribulations of your own life to even care? Or would you be like Alicia, skeptical at first, but willing to open up to the idea?

Alicia, Hope, and Heaven are three estranged sisters embarking on one special reunion. And it will take an earth-shattering discovery, a lucky lottery ticket, and a near-fatal encounter to finally bring three sisters together and have them realize that nothing can save a person like family.

BPM: Introduce us to your main characters in When I Get Where I’m Going. Heaven Jetter, Hope Teasdale, and Alicia Day are three special sisters! Heaven is twenty-one and the youngest sister. She’s on probation, caught up in an abusive relationship, and trying desperately to get her life back on track. Hope is a young widow and single mother searching for the truth behind her husband’s death, but once she finds out, can she handle it? Alicia is a struggling actress trying to catch a break in Hollywood after thirteen years of trying, but a devastating one-two punch forces her back to Detroit.

BPM: What are two major events taking place?
The novel is written in third person and begins with a prologue that occurs five months prior to the start of the story. And then the rest of the novel is divided into three parts and most of the chapters alternate between the point of view of each sister. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that each sister has a major turning point that makes each of them reevaluate their life.

BPM: What are a couple of the specific issues or problems addressed in this book?
One issue in the story is domestic abuse. Heaven is involved in an unhealthy relationship, but like so many other women involved in something like that, she finds it nearly impossible to leave. Her story isn’t from the viewpoint of a woman who is both a wife and mother and being abused, but from a young woman who has gotten caught-up with the wrong man and finds herself so confused that she doesn’t know what to do and feels that her life in general is spiraling out of control.

Alicia Day’s character was written for anyone who has been holding on to a dream for a very long time and wondering if it will ever come true. Aspiring actors, singers, and writers should be able to especially relate to her story. Black actresses, in particular, should also be able to as much has been discussed about the struggles that black women experience while trying to succeed in Hollywood.

Discussion Topics: When I Get Where I’m Going Domestic violence, sisterhood, estranged family, the entertainment industry, and specifically the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. When I Get Where I’m Going is featured in the September issue of Essence Magazine. And I recently completed my next novel, Remember Me, that will be released in September 2011.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? Readers can connect with me through my website at: http://www.cherylrobinson.com and also join me on my recently created Facebook page. There is a link on my web site.

Cheryl Robinson–When I Get Where I’m Going
Purchase your copy today at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/When-Get-Where-Im-Going/dp/0451229479

Please check out the featured book and return feedback below. Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the BP magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com

Book Excerpt: One Who Loves You More by Andrea Clinton

Life Knows No Bounds: One Who Loves You More by Andrea Clinton
• Alisa is a money grubbing gold digger who sashays through her days wearing this title like a tiara. Feeling life’s all about the expensive gifts and money a man can give her, Alisa follows the steps of her mentor and basks in the glory of using men, until she stumbles upon Omar.
Omar is an African American Muslim trying to fight his demons and find his way back to the Islamic life he knew as a child. Distraught over disagreements that divided the Muslim community a decade prior, where many Muslims became victim to inner city chaos, Omar became a product of his environment and is at the head of that chaos.
Tired of hearing her mother rant and rave about her gold digging ways, Alisa decides to take her great grandmother’s advice, “Always get a man who loves you more than you love him.”   Stumbling upon Omar in his brand new Cadillac, Alisa decides to make him her man, or rather, her victim, or will the tables turn?   Hell erupts, splatters like geysers, while skeletons and bones fly out closets in, Life Knows No Bounds, “1 Who Luvs U More.”
Andrea Clinton: What Impact will this book have my readers? Readers will learn about a very overlooked profession on the rise, “Gold Digging.”  They’ll get to see that there’s more than what meets the eye when women toy with men’s emotions and  use them for their hard earned money.
 

Excerpt from  1 Who Luvs U More
My Plight: Some would say I was ungrateful, and I guess to a degree I was. But more than ungrateful, I was blind, too blind to see straight. Even now I can’t see what it is I should’ve done. I just know what I shouldn’t have done. And I know I wasn’t happy. I was unhappy with myself, with what was going on, and it was the unhappiness that drove me. It drove me to do things, drove me to where I am today, nowhere, with no one. Just sitting here playing the song, I know how it feels to be lonely by Morgana King, in my head, over and over and over again.

I was a mental-mess, and I mucked things up really bad, and now they can’t be fixed. Forgive me if my story’s scrambled, but how else can I tell it when my mind is scrambled. So, when my story sounds twisted, shaky, and unclear at times, just know, so is my mind. Why else would I be sitting here talking to a Greek statue of a white woman with cellulite thighs, barely any clothing and no pupils?  Yes, I’m really messed up in the head, and my nerves are shot. But that’s how it is when you see yourself as a casualty, and the world deems you the antagonist.   ###

RAWSISTAZ Book Review — 4 Stars
“Life Knows No Bounds: 1 Who Loves You More,”  Andrea Clinton’s first installment in the LIFE KNOWS NO BOUNDS chronicles, is a harsh realistic portrayal of urban love and life in mid-1980’s New Jersey. Alisa, a boastful, self-proclaimed gold-digger, finds herself lost in a world of love and conflict as she tries and fails to apply her great-grandmother’s wisdom to her complicated love life.

Alisa is well known in her hood for her selfish, gold-digging ways. Despite aggressive warnings from her family, she has mastered the game of getting a man for everything he has and gracefully moving on to the next. But when she hooks up with Omar, she soon realizes that she has entered into a game that she is ill-equipped to play.

Omar, a young, sexy hustler from around the way, knows what it takes to get Alisa’s attention. He uses his flashy car and genteel manners to lure her in, but he has so much more in store for her. They start a tumultuous love affair that’s riddled with gun fights, jealousy, expensive gifts, explosive arguments, and Alisa’s spoiled rotten attitude. When Alisa’s antics push Omar to the limit as he struggles with the conflict of his religion and his love for her, the future of their relationship is gravely threatened.  “Always get a man who loves you more than you love him”, the powerful last words of her dying great-grandmother which Alisa vowed to follow. When she finally understands the meaning of those words, it may be too late, as she comes dangerously close to losing what she fought so hard to gain.

With Life Knows No Bounds: 1 Who Loves You More, Andrea Clinton has created a dynamic urban love story, decorated with realistic dialogue and hard-hitting pragmatism. The story was compelling and the characters were vibrant. Although Alisa was a spoiled brat with an ugly attitude, I found her to be relatable and worthy of my empathy. I felt Alisa’s and Omar’s struggle until the very end and found myself routing for them despite their flaws and troublesome relationship. Life is no fairytale and Clinton has colorfully portrayed that truth through this novel.  I was able to thoroughly enjoy the read. I recommend this novel for those looking for an explosive urban love story with a realistic perspective. — Reviewed by Guest Reviewer Monique D. Mensah, The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers

 

Author Andrea Clinton

About The Author:
Andrea Clinton is a novelist, poet and essayist, and aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker. As a Montclair State University graduate, she posses’ a degree in English, Film and Journalism. She’s the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People; worked as Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper, New Jersey; and is presently working on a biography and screenplay featuring the life of her uncle George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and the Clinton family. 

Visit with Andrea at the Around-The-Way Publishing, LLC website: http://www.aroundthewaypublishing.com/.  To request a complimentary review copy and press kit, or to purchase copies for resale, call: (973) 280-2729. Tear sheets may be sent by email: AroundTheWayPub@aol.com.   ISBN-10: 0981837638

Brought to you by EDC Creations and Black Pearls Magazine. Visit the magazine here: http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/

Meet Author and Publisher Wahida Clark

Business Spotlight: Wahida Clark Publishing
Website: http://www.wclarkpublishing.com




Wahida Clark was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She is no stranger to the hard work and the sacrifices that breed success. This Trenton native owned and operated L.M. Clark Printers & Publishers Inc., a printing and publishing company in Trenton.   She is crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters.

Her Essence and Black Issues Book Reviews bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, and her latest anthology with Kiki Swinson titled “Sleeping With The Enemy.”
 
She has just completed her latest Novel ‘The Golden Hustla’ which will be released August, 2010. Coming in May is ‘What’s Really Hood?’ Part 1 an Anthology featuring, Wahida, Lashonda Teague, Victor Martin, Shawn ‘Jihad’ Trump and Bonta. She is vice president of the non-profit organization based out of East Orange, New Jersey, Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Services, a re-entry program for convicts and ex-convicts. The organization also provides support groups and mentors for at-risk youth.

Today, Wahida operates her printing & publishing company out of East Orange, New Jersey, Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. Her first releases include: Trust No Man 1 & 2 by Cash, Thirsty by Mike Sanders, Cheetah by Missy Jackson, Karma With A Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne and The Ultimate Sacrifice by Anthony Fields.


 


Interview with Conversations Bookclub of Mississippi

Meet Wahida Clark, she is a remarkable woman, grounded by her knowledge of who she is and what she represents. Wahida is first wife and mother, but she excels as a businesswoman in all she does. The writing career that has taken the literary world by storm only began in 2002 or 2003, yet you would think by the accolades she has received that she has been in the game for over a decade.
 
What led her to writing while in prison? Her answer was simple: “My husband was locked up, I was locked up and we needed money. People don’t realize it, but it takes money to live even in prison, and I also needed money for my family on the outside.” While in prison she worked in the law library, normally by herself, and she would do a great deal of reading during that time. It was during one of these occasions that she was reading XXL Magazine and read about an author who also had their beginning while incarcerated. “I said to myself that if he could do it then I could as well.”
 
There was a literary agent who was also in prison that decided to teach a course on writing, and Wahida signed on. She wrote on legal pads and let others read it for input. They devoured the pages and were always asking for more. I asked her if she ever worried about not being able to make it in the business. “I knew I would get published,” she said confidently. “My work was going to see the light of day.”
 


Who inspired her before she wrote what became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM? “I read everything from Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim to James Patterson.” When asked who she was initially writing for, she answered that it was the Urban lit market. “My husband told me that if I was going to do this that I had to do my research.”
 
Not long after writing her book, Wahida happened to read “Married Men” by Carl Weber. She noticed that he was getting praise from critics and writers alike so she decided to reach out to him. “I wrote him and told him that I had just finished writing a book and wanted to know what I should do next. He asked me to send him my manuscript. It was from there that he submitted the book to Black Print Publishing. They told me it was too big so I would have to cut it down. The publisher ended up splitting the book, and that manuscript became THUGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM and EVERY THUG NEEDS A LADY.”
 
Wahida told us that she can still remember the first time she saw her name on the cover of a book. “I was in Lexington, Kentucky and it was mail call. Some of the ladies on lock down with me had ordered some copies, and they had come in a big envelope with about seven or eight books in there. It was like ‘Wow, this is my book.'”
 
Little did she know that readers all over the world were wowed by her as well.
 
After her relationship ended with Black Print, Wahida—with the help of her literary agent—-was signed to a deal with Dafina, an imprint of Kensington. Ironically, becoming a label mate of Carl Weber, the author who helped her get started in the industry. Her other titles include PAYBACK IS A MUTHA and THUG MATRIMONY.
 


Today, Wahida’s focus is not only her own career as an author, but helping others as well. She has begun her own literary agency to publish new authors, and she is now signed with Warner Books. I mentioned to her that in one interview she said that her writing is meant to entertain. She stood behind that, but added that her agent likes the fact that there are consequences to the things that her characters do. “Once I start writing and get in their heads, they take on a life of their own sometimes. If you get a message from what I write,” she said, “then that’s wonderful.”
 
A workaholic in every sense of the word, Wahida is working on the 6th book in the THUGS series as well as what she calls her “crossover” book. “I want to get some of those James Patterson” dollars,” she told us with a laugh. Also in the works is an anthology with author Kiki Swanson and her novel PAYBACK WITH YOUR LIFE. Robin Garder, a member of the book club asked Wahida if she had thought about writing her autobiography. “People have asked me that,” she answered, “but I honestly hadn’t thought about it.”
 
With everything that she has been through in the last decade, Wahida related that she can’t even look at her jail time as a bad thing. “I can’t say it was a negative. Without it there is no way I would’ve written a book.”
 
When asked what authors have been on her reading list, she told the group that they are diverse as the rest of her life: James Patterson, Guy Johnson, Maya Angelou, Omar Tyree, Dean Koontz and Nikki Turner. Ironically, it was Turner who gave Clark the title of “Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” I asked her was there any pressure with titles such as that or “bestseller.” Wahida’s answer was short and to the point. “I really don’t think about that, not as long as I can back it up. It’s flattering, but it just means that I have to stay on top of my game everyday.”
 
As we wrapped up the discussion, Wahida was asked what advice would she give those who say they have a story in them. “I would tell them to write. I have had people tell me that they have five books in their head. What I tell them is they need to put them down on paper, because they aren’t doing you or anyone else any good while they are just in your head. Do your research and make sure it is the best it can be.”
 
And what did Wahida have to say to her growing legion of fans? The bestselling author actually became emotional before answering. “Thank you so much for your support. Thank you to everyone who wrote me, telling me how much they enjoyed the books. It meant so much for me to get that encouragement.”
 
The future is bright for the author who had no intention of being a writer, but whose literary star is one of the brightest on the market at this time. She has a fan base that at this point is hard to fathom, and has made an impact that will probably take some time to wrap herself around.
 
One thing that is clear at this point, however, is that Wahida Clark is a fighter in every sense of the world. She is not one to allow her circumstances to define her, but the lives she has introduced us to through her characters will remain with us for years to come.
 
You can also visit her at: http://www.wclarkpublishing.com   or  WCP community at:  http://wclarkpublishing.ning.com
 

 



 

Intimate Conversation with Marc Lacy

Meet Huntsville’s own Marc Lacy, a graduate of Alabama A&M University. He is a nationally renown, award winning poet/author and spoken word artist. He has performed all of over the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues. Marc is a contributing writer to RADAR
and The Grove Magazines. He is also a writer for Blogginginblack.com.

In The Summer of 2009, Marc met up with the co-founder of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, Mr. Bruce George and Poet Rene Reyes in Los Angeles to serve on the panel at The Annual “So you Think you can Spit?”poetic symposium for youth. Lacy credits his faith in God and love of family for providing energy to succeed.

Ella: Let the party begin! Marc, what makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
Marc: I would not necessarily deem myself as a powerful person; but I do think that there is power in the written word. The more we learn about the craft and our abilities, the better off we will be in positioning ourselves to get the message out to the people. Thus creating a powerful force in the act alone.

Ella: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
Marc: I have several mentors (who actually do not know that they are my mentors)…too many to name. But they are fiction, non-fiction writers as well as poets/spoken word artists. My hunger to become a better writer and a voice for the people, with faith in God, keeps my engine churning.

Ella: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Marc: A creative instinct which is the by-product of a hunger to always be the best that I can be…no matter what. Write better…and write the best.

Ella: Before we go too deep, Marc, I would like to take a minute to shine the light on your fabulous co-author.
Assuanta Howard was born and raised in New York City. Howard is known for her dynamic and innovative persona. She began her career in higher education, serving over 17 years in various leadership roles. She managed grant funded programs with budgets over 3 million dollars. Howard is qualified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Howard took her extensive literacy and ESOL experience, leadership and program development expertise and established several business entities within the literary industry.

She is the proud founder of Asta Publications, LLC, a mainstream and self-publishing company and Asta Public Relations Services, a public relations firm that focuses on brand management and marketing campaigns for literary professionals.

Ella: Introduce us to Wretched Saints and the main characters.
Marc: My book is a fiction short story collection which touches upon very sensitive matters…mainly “so-called” good people who call themselves walking the righteous path; but living an unrighteous lifestyle.

Wretched Saints provides a literary window through which we may possibly see traits of ourselves within one or more of the characters as they learn the hard way to listen when God is talking. Thus His signal, when digested properly allows suppression of sinful urges opening up the door, for spiritual growth.

Are you a Wretched Saint? Open the covers…and see.

Of course our desire is to walk within The Kingdom’s Neighborhood, but it can be very difficult leaving the alluring amenities of home. We have the protocol down pat; especially when others can witness us witnessing.

However, when backs are turned and the sun has set, the righteous hotness of the self-proclaimed saint can suddenly turn lukewarm. Although the tongue can no longer house rationalizations, we still find a way to verbally cover spiritual deficits…thus casting us further into a pit of unrighteous debt surrounded by several unused shovels.

Ella: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Marc: Self-righteousness, reactionary, impulsive, arrogance, and hard-headedness just to name a few.

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Marc: I honestly feel that saints, sinners, churched, un-churched, educated/uneducated, young/elderly professionals, and people of all races can identify with this book. However, if I had to choose a specific demographic, it would be those who want to “do right,” but seriously struggle with it.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, Wretched Saints?
Marc: God never stops working on us or others.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Marc: I (Marc Lacy) have been nominated as AAMBC Poet of the Year for 2010. Also, there are several spoken word products coming out during the summer and fall of 2010.

Ella: How can our readers reach you online?
http://www.marclacy.com
http://www.avopublishing.com
http://www.facebook.com

One Night with You by Francis Ray

One Night with You by Francis Ray; Pick Up A Copy Today! One Night with You by Francis Ray New York Times bestselling author Francis Ray continues her captivating series about the Grayson family and their circle of friends with One Night With You, as two people with no plans for romance find themselves blindsided by desire…

One Night with You by Francis Ray New York Times bestselling author Francis Ray continues her captivating series about the Grayson family and their circle of friends with One Night With You, as two people with no plans for romance find themselves blindsided by desire…

Latest Release: One Night with You
November 03, 2009
Series: Grayson Friends Series
ISBN-13: 9780312365066; ISBN-10: 0312365063

When you first started writing, did you think you would ever write as many books as you have and have such a loyal following? Did you know this would become a “business venture” for you?
Francis: I had no idea I would write this many book or have such a loyal following when I started writing. I simply keep trying to write the best book possible, and was blessed to find an editor who kept buying my books. Yes, I always knew that you had to take the business side of writing seriously to stay in this industry for years. It requires a great business head for book promotions and even more professionalism to handle the contracts.

What has been the best and the worst experience you’ve had on your literary journey?
Francis: The best is after I sold my first book, I’ve never had a book that was rejected. The worst was walking away from one publisher and unsure if I’d find another publishing house that wanted my books. Scary. Scary.

How long does it take you to write a novel?
Francis: The time frame differs. I wrote ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, my November 03, release in 3 months. IT HAD TO BE YOU, Book #4 in the Grayson Friends series, and the last book I wrote took six weeks.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Francis: No, the writing bug didn’t hit me until I read SHANNA by Katherine Woodewiss. By her third book I knew I wanted to write similar books. The difference was I wanted people of color to take center stage.

How did you get started writing?
Francis: I joined my local chapter of Romance Writers of America, North Texas Romance Writers of America. I’m proud to say I won the first service award, The Yellow Rose. The friendships and mentors were invaluable. I can honestly say that without them I would not be published now.

Do you remember the very first story you ever wrote? What age were you when you wrote it? Was it romance even then?
Francis: I had no idea I wanted to write until Woodewiss’ third book. The first story I wrote was Wife For Hire for Black Romance. I was an adult.

Since romance novels have a pretty set formula that they follow, how difficult do you find it to continue to write stories that will make loyal romance readers overlook that aspect of the book?
Francis: The only set formula I can see is that hero and heroine are at odds, but by the end of the story they’re in love and the writer has tested that love so the reader knows that whatever happens in their lives their love is strong enough to endure. I’d say the possibilities are endless. My plotting skills, not the parameters, is the challenge I face.

Several romance authors have ventured into writing in other genres such as mystery, etc. Have you ever considered taking that step also?
Francis: I wanted to write Christian fiction and was blessed to have been given that opportunity when Harlequin publishes, HOW SWEET THE SOUND. I’ve thought of writing young adult but I haven’t gotten past three pages.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Francis: The actual writing is probably my favorite part. Starting a new book is always scary. I plot slow. And despite my best intention, I always have loads of research on my character’s profession, the setting, even the cars they drive..

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Francis: I guess the hardest part of writing is plotting. If I can’t see it, no matter how wonderful the story might be, I can’t write it.

What challenges have you faced in your literary journey? How did you overcome them?
Francis: Probably the biggest challenge in my literary journey was finding a publisher who wanted to publish African-American romances. Then, when I did find a publisher, distribution was spotty at best. If the book did make it to an outlet, the challenge was getting readers not to think the book was badly written because it was written by an African-American. I overcame the challenge by continuing to write and believing that I had a story to tell that people wanted to read.

What are your best and worst experiences as a writer?
Francis: The best is after I sold my first book I have never had a book that was rejected. The worst was walking away from one publisher and unsure if I’d find another publishing house that wanted my books. Scary. Scary.

What is the one thing that has surprised you the most during your writing career?
Francis: That people think all published authors are wealthy.

What authors influence your work?
Francis: Katherine Woodewiss, Elizabeth Lowell, Amanda Quick, and Nora Roberts.

What are you currently working on?
Francis: I’m working on BECAUSE OF YOU, Book # 6 in the Grayson Friends series.

How may we contact you online?
Website: www.francisray.com
Blogspot: www.francisrayblog.com
Myspace: myspace.com/francisray
Fanclub: readersoffrancisray@yahoogroups.com

Pick up a copy at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/One-Night-You-Grayson-Friends/dp/0312365063/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1256167034&sr=8-1

Pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/One-Night-with-You/Francis-Ray/e/9780312365066/?itm=3

One Night with You by Francis Ray —Read the First Chapter Excerpt



Link to read full screen:
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=13513498

Living Life After Tragedy by Loretta Faith Harris

“Living Life After Tragedy”
by Loretta Faith Harris

So, how do you pick up the pieces after the winds and waves of life has apparently knocked you so far to the ground that it seems nearly impossible to recover? What I am about to say may sound like a cliché, but it’s not. You are out for the count and there is no HELP in sight!

Tell you what, TRUST GOD!

Ha, “Trust God” she says. “Where was God when I needed Him the most? How can I trust a God that would allow such devastation to occur in my life?” I know that some of you may be feeling like this and you DEMAND answers. Listen to me, because I was there. I struggled to understand the ways of God. I asked the resounding question, “Why do bad things happen to good people.” Honestly, after surveying God and throwing my fist up towards the Heavens, I finally asked myself, “What’s so good about me?” If this trial did not occur in my life, it definitely would have occurred in someone else’s life. What makes it wrong because it happened to me and not the next man?

It’s easy to stand on the sidelines gazing into the life of that person on the news, but what happens when it’s your turn to have the “spectators” and “naysayers” hover over you awaiting your next move. It is during these unexplainable moments my friend when you MUST trust God. He has already ordained your TRIUMPANT comeback! He is carrying you through the fight of your life!

You are listening to someone who the doctors gave up on and left to die. I am the one that they said, “She won’t make it.” Death came for my soul and I was no match, BUT GOD! He delivered me and much more than that, brought me back better than before! I am here to encourage and uplift those who feel like giving up. Please, DO NOT throw in the towel! God is not finished with you yet! Your moment of TRIUMPH is sooner than you think!

The writer of James says it best, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So do not try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4, MSG). So when you are involved in a head-on collision with misfortune, know that you are predestined to OVERCOME. It is a fixed fight!

Loretta “Faith” Harris, M.Ed.
Children’s Heart Publishing, CCR certified
Author of, “The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph”

Email: LHarris@chpublishing.org
Website: http://www.chpublishing.org/
Professional Reviews: www.myspace.com/chpublishing

Children’s Heart Publishing where we are “capturing the heart of the writer”…™

In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

 

Black Pearls Magazine Interview with new author Martha A. Taylor

Intimate Conversation with author Martha A. Taylor and Ella Curry, Black Pearls publisher

In The Land of Cotton
is beautifully written. Martha Taylor successfully captures the essence of the era: racial tensions, war, space exploration, poverty, families transitioning North, riots, John F. Kennedy’s  impact of America and Martin Luther King’s vision. The reader is transported back in time. Many may think the late 50’s and early 60’s were a time of innocence, but was it really and for who?  In The Land of Cotton is a story of  deep seated emotions, strong relationships, personal growth, and most of all  love.

Ella: Hello Martha! Tell us a little about your writing before, In the Land of Cotton.
My writing career has been, until the last few years, one of those “don’t quit your day job arrangements”. Having made my living as a tax professional, I found early on that my creative writing skills came in handy when I had to write client letters to the IRS.

Ella: Answer this for us: Why am I powerful?
I am powerful because I never once accepted there were things in this world I could not overcome; I could not conquer; I could not embrace.

Ella: Please introduce us to your book, In the Land of Cotton.
As a child growing up in Memphis I could not have known that the Boyd family, the main characters in In the Land of Cotton, would have such a haunting effect on me. Last fall, their indelible personas became overwhelming. They were all I could think about. I sat down one afternoon and the book began to flow to paper. I still had vivid memories of Cypress Grove, a primitive farm the Boyd family had lived on since the days of the Civil War.

They had no electricity, no running water and certainly no refrigeration yet they wanted for nothing. It was a step back in time but, as a child, I wanted to be part of that. As the reader journeys through the 1960’s, they travel along side the Boyd family as they experience the historic events of that decade. You will find as a reader that you will become immediately vested in the characters. The Boyds have the voice for every Black American that lived through those turbulent times.

In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor 

SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES
SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND

Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.

Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha’s natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone’s life changed forever.

Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times – a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.  The year was 1956. 

 Buy the book here.  (Book info: ISBN-10: 1432734717; ISBN-13: 978-1432734718)
  


Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick it up?
I hope the cover represents the book well. I wanted it to preview the contents and draw the reader inside. It makes the reader curious.

Ella: Do you think we should celebrate Black History 365 days a year? Why?
Black History should be a daily celebration. Everyone should celebrate the sacrifices that have been made for the sake of freedom. Black History has rich roots that have woven the very fabric of equality. It has positioned every Black American to make history and not just be a part of history.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Ultimately, if you lived through the 60’s, I want you to revisit all the history that decade produced. If you weren’t alive in the 60’s, you need to learn about that decade from someone who had a ringside seat.

Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
The most important thing I have learned from writing books is that its not just words on a page. It becomes a creation from your heart. With my first book I discovered it could be a very personal journey that you shared with only your readers.

Ella: What advice would you give another new writer?
There are so many things I would share with a new writer but these are my top three.

#1- Pick a topic you know well or that you have enough interest in to do the research. Most new writers write on subjects that are mostly autobiographical in nature. There’s a reason for that.

#2-Don’t write and rewrite your work. Complete it, start to finish, then go back through it with fresh eyes. You won’t loose your chain of thought and you won’t loose your momentum. This tip will really improve the flow of your work.

#3- You have to be true to your characters- even the ones you do not like. Your readers have to be able to relate to them on some level. You want someone to be able to “see” your characters and think, “Yeah, I know someone like that.”

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I am very committed to the Boyd’s story and bringing the various family stories to life. The next book, Dixie, will begin right before the Civil War and end at 1900. I can hardly to see how the historical events of those years will unfold and how they will effect the Boyds.

Buy the Book: www.Amazon.com

Martha A. Taylor, Author, “In the Land of Cotton”
Email: Taylortsg@Aol.com

Praise for In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

Racism from the perspective of an innocent white girl who learns firsthand how absurd it is. 
Book Review by cashbacher@yahoo.com   (TOP 50 REVIEWER, Amazon)

The innocence of youth is a beautiful thing, it is refreshing to witness and gives the world so much, except when it is a young white girl being exposed to a poor black family in the southern United States in the 1950’s. In that context, it could have meant the death of some of the participants.

Martha was a young white girl who bonded with her black maid when her parents were generally absent. Her natural curiosity and openness led her to an enclave of an extended black family living in primitive conditions. Martha was quickly “adopted” by the family, as they allowed her to be a part of their activities and she responded in kind. Martha’s parents were racist and she maintained her relationship with the black group in secret for many years and even over great distances.

Martha also fell in love with Silas, first a playmate from the black family, then a companion and eventually a fiance. Silas was extremely intelligent and handsome and when he was old enough, he went off to school in Chicago and then joined the military, becoming a helicopter pilot flying rescue missions in Vietnam. Silas is seriously injured and Martha rushes to his bedside to take care of him.

One simple, yet significant scene is when a white soldier in the hospital wing with Silas objects to the black-white relationship. Another white soldier immediately responds, telling the white soldier, “That man saved my life, he can have whatever girlfriend he wants.” The history of the civil rights movement, from the Rosa Parks refusal through the assassination of Martin Luther King is chronicled and placed in context.

Therefore, the story has two significant and complex tracks. The story of two people who grow to love each other within the bounds of a truly extended “family” and the broader context of the segregation of the south and how it was finally and thankfully forever broken. Given that the names of the title character and the author are identical, it seems clear that the book is an autobiography, which increases the power of the depiction of the events.               

 


Reader’s  Reviews for In the Land of Cotton

 

The South of the 1950’s and 60’s, April 23, 2009

By 

Amos Lassen (Little Rock, Arkansas) 

I was born and raised in the South and have been here all my life except for an extended stay in Israel during which time I had forgotten about the racial situation in the U.S. Of course I was here during the heyday of the civil rights movement and was somewhat active myself but when I left this country, I also left the racial problems and did not think about them until I returned right before Hurricane Katrina. Now having back for a few years, I see the results of what was going on.

In “In the Land of Cotton”, Martha Taylor takes a deep look at the American civil rights movement and shows what goes on when the color line is crossed. Like myself, Martha is from the South and grew up in Memphis , Tennessee surrounded by the ideas of the white majority and her parents reflected this at home. When she was eleven, the predominant mentality was that Blacks knew their place and should stay there. Things changed for Martha when Lucy, a Black nanny came to work for the Taylor family. Lucy kept Martha infatuated with her stories and when money was scarce and hard to come by causing Lucy to lose her job, Martha would take secret walks on the weekends to the woods where Lucy lived. Little by little, Martha found herself drawn to Lucy’s family and she felt comfortable with them. She also began a relationship with Lucy’s nephew Silas and this was unheard of at that time.

In the book, Taylor shows us what it was like living during a period when justice meant injustice. People’s lives were determined by the color of their skin in the South. This is a book that must be read and digested and never forgotten. Slavery has continued to exist and we see that it has become part of the mind of those who allow it to rule their lives.

We see that once some of the Blacks that we learn of here leave the South, their lives become completely different. They were able to escape that state of mind as well as the stereotypes that had been pushed on them there. The situation of Blacks in the South is a sad part of our history and thanks to Martha Taylor we get to have a look at the way it was. I cannot emphasize how important this book is and how it cries to be read.

 

 

Meet author Monique Mensah

Monique Mensah Tour l

Join Author Monique D. Mensah on a virtual tour…

EDC Creations and the Sankofa Literary Society announces the official virtual book tour of Monique D. Mensah, the award-winning author of the dramatic fiction, Who Is He To You. From September 1 to October 30, 2009, follow Monique D. Mensah on an interesting journey all over the Internet from the comfort of your home. Readers will be intrigued by the intelligent exploration of sensitive issues such as cutting, emotional abuse, depression, and drug-addiction.The first page which is filled with intense emotion and a descriptive setting that pulls the reader right into the scene. This virtual book tour is brought to you by EDC Creations Media Group. To learn more about our virtual tours, visit www.EDC-Creations.com.



Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign

EDC Creations announces the launch of the 2009-2010 Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign, bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy and change lives through the gift of books. A sincere thank you to all of our tour hosts, wonderful readers and book club members who continue to support us and our authors and business owners. During our travels, we meet so many wonderful people and we look forward to meeting more of you, and getting to know you and providing what you need to satisfy your literary appetite. If you have not done so already, please sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of new literary events and the latest book news, reviews and author tours. We select 4 newsletter subscribers each week to review newly released books for us. Register here for the Sunday News from EDC Creations.


Prizes for Bloggers and Reviewers

We offer special gifts for those who support the authors during our Intimate Evening reading series on BAN Radio and to those who respond to the posts! To become eligible to win 1 of 5 copies of Who Is He To You by Monique Mensah, follow author Monique Mensah on her virtual tour and leave comments at the blog stops and interviews. The lucky winners will be announced on EDC Creations’ Black Pearls magazine blog on November 7, 2009! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network



Ch. 1 Who Is He To You by Monique Mensah


How to Join the Who Is He To You Book Tour

If you would like to follow the Who Is He To You virtual book tour, visit theonline media center frequently at http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/moniquemensah.htm for the tour schedule. Meet her on the sites listed and add your comments or reviews. If you would like to host author Monique Mensah on your site, blog, radio show or magazine, please visit the online media center and select promotional material that will Give the Gift of Knowledge to your network.

Thank you all for Giving the Gift of Knowledge! Make sure to check out our bookshelves for gifts and books that change lives!


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Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations
Website: www.edc-creations.com