Thursday, December 28, 2017

#Book Review - The Rhythm of Blues

The Rhythm of Blues (Love In Rhythm & Blues Book 1) by [Belvin, Love]

Reading a Love Belvin novel is truly a unique, engrossing, and all-consuming experience. I should know; I've read them all, sometimes two or three times. I would compare reading her work to trying to put together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. There are times when you wonder if some of the pieces even belong or somehow ended up in the wrong box, but when you are able to lock them into place, your eyes are opened to the fact that their placement was by design. Her books are not for those who want a simple story of perfect characters. She addresses difficult subject matter, draws clear illustrations of flawed people, pulls you in, and won't let go. This story is no different. I loved every word. My only complaint is I have no idea what to do with myself now that I've finished reading this book. I neeeeed book 2!!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

#WriterWednesday with Poet Shaumese Massey

Today's author interview is with Poet Shaumese Massey!!
Check her out!!

AT: Where do you live? What’s your town’s claim to fame?
SM: I currently live in Tallahassee but I'm from Monticello, FL. Monticello is a small town and people often joke that Monticello is right around the corner from Tallahassee. I sometimes say I'm from Tallahassee because of this and because I've lived in Tallahassee for a few years.

Claim to fame? Tallahassee is known as a college town and also because it's the capitol. I'm not sure about Monticello but I do know it's a very small town, it's known for the Watermelon Festival, the Opera House, haunted houses, and it was named after Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home.

AT: Nice! What genre do you write?
SM: I write poetry but I do plan on writing drama, thriller, and inspirational fiction in the near future.

AT: I love poetry, dabble a little myself. Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
SM: I am a published author!! I recently published my first poetry book, Unapologetically Me, on March 31st. My plan is to publish two or more poetry books which will be sequels to my first one. 

AT: Putting it on my list! What inspires you to write?
SM: Life inspires me to write. I tend to write about life experiences. Things that people can relate to. Things that will give hope, encouragement, and inspiration. I'm also inspired to write because for me writing is simply a way for me to communicate and express myself.

AT: I can definitely relate. Name one book you wish you’d written.
SM: I don't have a book I wish I'd written. All the books that I want to write, I will write. 

AT: I like the sound of that! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
SM: I read "You Mean the World to Me" by Author Alicia Hall. I really loved this book! It's one of those books you can't put down. 

AT: Oh, I'm adding that one to my list, too! Who is your favorite author? Why?
SM: I don't really have a favorite author but I love Brandon Massey, R.L Stine, Lemony Snicket, Tiffany L. Warren, and Jacquelin Thomas to name a few.

AT: Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
SM: I would be "Girly Pink" because I love pink! It's my favorite color and it goes well with my skin color.

AT: Cute name! What would your autobiography be called?
SM: I'm not sure what my autobiography would be called but it would say something about overcoming. 

AT: Love it! Do you believe in love at first sight?
SM: I do believe in love at first. Dating is different today than how it was years ago. I wish that dating would be more traditional because it has changed but I definitely believe love at first sight is possible.

AT: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
SM: If a genie granted me three wishes, I would wish for time with my paternal grandmother, more money, and money for my parents so they can pay off all their bills and be taken care of.

AT: Great wishes! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
SM: I am spring simply because it's warm around this time, it's beginning of the year, and the picture I get in my mind of spring is colors. 

AT: I'm a fan of spring, too. Tea or coffee?
SM: Coffee. I'm actually not sure if coffee wakes me up but it makes me feel like an adult and that I'm being productive. I also like the fact that it's hot and there are different flavors.

AT: Good points. Tell us about your most recent/current project.
SM: I recently published my first poetry book on March 31st. I've always wanted to be a writer so I'm very proud of this accomplishment. 

I started writing the poems as a way to cope with hurt. I had recently experienced what some call church hurt and my friend encouraged me to get alone and write unapologetically. This is where the title, Unapologetically Me, comes from, I wrote unapologetically so my poems are raw, honest, and real. I put it all out there and told the truth. I wrote about what I was experiencing, what I was thinking, and how I felt.  I plan to write more books as sequels to this book.

AT: How can readers connect with you?
SM: Readers can connect with me on Facebook under my name Shaumese Latiahra Massey. The address is Readers can reach me through email at or through phone at 850-629-8577.

AT: Any final words?
SM: I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be accomplishing dreams and for all the support and encouragement I have received. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Virtual #Book Tour - Burnt Orange

Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for Burnt Orange by Meiah Shaun. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs December 18-29,2017.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL

ISBN-10: 1683143728
ISBN-13: 1683143727
Genre: AA Christian Fiction

About The Author

Meiah Shaun pens fiction, non-fiction and plays with faith-based messages linking her personal life experiences with spiritual life lessons. She launched A Crown of Beauty Ministries. She's a native of Orange, Texas and currently resides in the Dallas, Texas area. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University. Her anticipated new release "Burnt Orange" is an inspirational coming-of-age story. In addition to writing, she's an avid reader, a foodie, loves flowers and shoe shopping.

About The Book

A coming-of-age story of Erin and Erika, Texas twins in an abusive home in a town segregated by white and black color lines, who are wounded by the revealing of a shocking family secret and long to escape their circumstances and erase what they have been labeled. Follow their journey in this compelling novel filled with inspiration and triumph.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Top 7 #Books of 2017!

Hey, blogosphere! Today I'm sharing the top 7 books I read in 2017!! This list is formulated purely from my reading experience this year and of course, I didn't read every book in existence, so your list will most definitely differ from mine. These books are listed in no particular order. Here goes!
(Click on the covers to learn more about these books)

1. Haunted - a paranormal love story by [Jones, Christina C]
Haunted by Christina C. Jones reminded me what I used to love about romance. Now, I'm hooked on her work! I've never been a big fan of paranormal, but this right here? Whew! (Note: this is NOT a ghost story)

2. The Perfect Find by [Williams, Tia]
I was once a pop culture, fashion, magazine junkie and I loved it! I'd forgotten that part of my life and personality until this book. Man, when I tell you it was good! And it felt like a walk down memory lane. Great plot, wonderful array of characters, awesome writing! I LOVED it!!

3. In Covenant with Ezra (Love Unaccounted Book 1) by Love B...
I had to choose only one of Love Belvin's books, because to be honest, this entire little list could be just her books. Since this was my introduction to her, I chose this one. It's dark, and I like dark. My favorite movies as a kid were Mommy Dearest and Poltergeist. Yeah, I was strange. Still am. Anyway, Ezra, the hero (and I use that term loosely for book 1) was probably one of the most intriguing characters I've ever read! Complicated, troubled, sexy, a true enigma. I highly recommend reading the entire Love Unaccounted series, because you won't really understand these characters or their story if you stop at book 1. This series is one of the best I've read, and I plowed through the author's entire bibliography after finishing this book!

4. The Bed We Made by [Symone, Ivy]
So, I really tried to expand my reading horizons this year and read outside my self-constructed box. This is an urban love story full of twists and turns. It's dark (See a trend here?) and VERY inappropriate at times (Read at your own risk, but it was so good!). This was my first Ivy Symone read and I could not put it down, kept thinking about the characters when I wasn't reading, and still think about this story months after finishing it.

5. Behind Closed Doors: A Novel by B. A. Paris
Another dark one. Yeah, I really embraced my dark side this year, lol. Taut and disturbing with a satisfying ending. I listened to the audiobook and wholly enjoyed it!

6. Bell Bottom High: Book 1: Freshman Fears by [Williams, B.J.]
This is a YA series that appeals to adults who want to take a trip down memory lane. Soooooo nostalgic. I loved every word contained in this 4-book series!

7. Baby I'm For Real by [Brigham, W]
W Parks Brigham writes the SWEETEST love stories! They are full of romance, full-figured women being adored, and strong family ties. This one is no exception. Just a sweet, sweet read!

There you have it! What books are on your list of the top reads of 2017? Comment below and let me know so I can read them, too!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

#WriterWednesday with Author Chelle Ramsey

Today's #WriterWednesday interview is with the immensely talented, Chelle Ramsey!! Get to know her!

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AT: Where do you live? What’s your town’s claim to fame?
CR: I live in the ATL, home of the 2000 Olympics, or as JD says “Where the players play.” So, yes, we’re famous for our juicy peaches, Coca-Cola, and of course hip-hop and our rappers, T.I., Ludacris, Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, Andre 3000, Big Boi, J.D., and so many others who have made a mark in the industry.

AT: Okay!! Come through, ATL! What genre do you write?
CR: I write women’s fiction, because it allows me to use daily women’s issues in a dramatic way to drive home an empowering, impactful, and inspirational message. 

AT: And you do it well!! I already know the answer to this one, but for my blog readers, are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
CR: I have six published novels, including The House of BeJeweled series. I have three waiting to be published, and two waiting to be re-released.

Image result for BeJeweled: The Flight of an Angel (The House of BeJeweled Book 1)

AT: Love your books! What inspires you to write?
CR: Life inspires me to write. I see love, hope, joy, and peace all around me. However, I also see hurt, pain, suffering, and fear, and I want to uplift those who struggle with it so that they can be empowered to rise above their limitations.

AT: Beautiful! Name one book you wish you’d written.
CR: There isn’t a book that I wish I’d written. I’ve already written the ones that I wish were written.

AT: I ain't mad at you! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
CR: In all honesty, it was your book, Breathe Again. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially how Maria was able to move to healing after the devastating event that occurred in her life. I loved how patient Malachi was with her and loved on her until she gained self-confidence and strength. I have been blessed to have a man like Malachi in my life, and I thank Almighty God for him daily. 

AT: Wow! Thanks so much!! Who is your favorite author? Why?
CR: I have so many from Terri McMillan to James Patterson, Chicki Brown to you, Adrienne. There are some wonderful writers out there, but I love you all because you write relatable stories that deal with issues that people struggle with daily. I love James Patterson for the mysterious element that he brings into my life. 

AT: Those are some of my favs, too! Including me! LOL. Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
CR: Phoenix Blue because I bring the fiyah in my art! The hotter the fire the deeper the blue. My writing skills are undeniable like a phoenix rising. Like the deepest blue, there’s something in my eyes that lets you know there’s always something hidden deep within me that you will never know. 

AT: Yes, honey!! What would your autobiography be called?
CR: “And Still I Rise…”

AT: Nice! Do you believe in love at first sight?
CR: No. I believe you can fall in lust and deep desire, but you really don’t know that person. Love is about sacrifice, commitment, and getting to know yourself and what you will and won’t go through for someone else, and getting to know the other person on that journey. It’s about going through the fire together. You have no idea that you would do that for someone you don’t know.

AT: Great points! If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
CR: Financial prosperity, healed relationships that are broken in my family, and deliverance for those who are bound and broken.

AT: I love those! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
CR: I’m fall all day, all night, all season, and all year long. Like fall, I’m a little bit chill and laid back. I’m not overly bright, but I love comfort, easygoing, laid back days, and my personality is pretty much the same.

AT: Great description! Tea or coffee?
CR: Tea! Especially sweet southern and chai.

AT: Yum! Tell us about your most recent/current project.
CR: My most recent release has been A Woman’s Design: Afflictions

A Woman's Design: Afflictions by [Ramsey, Chelle]

Ambiance – Loving her husband, building her brand, and being there for her girls are the only things that matter to her. But she’s quickly learning that her love is not enough to build a strong, stable marriage. Surrounded by family, friends and business constituents should be enough; yet, she’s all alone. When her love isn’t enough to suffice her husband’s needs, Ambiance considers stepping beyond the vows and taking matters into her own hands. When the results are tragic she finds herself questioning her marriage, her life, and running to the Lord.

Naomi – As a teen she made the decision to be a single mother. Choosing to build her life around her daughter has molded and shaped all the decisions she has made until now. Her relationship with her daughter is highly valued and nothing can shake it, not even her daughter’s attempts to grow up. But when her daughter’s so-called “deceased” father comes back, Naomi’s carefully constructed world may begin to crumble. Her efforts to protect her child may be the one thing that pushes her away, and she must decide if she will open herself up to love again.

Paige- running from her inner demons she struggles to build a life vastly different than her mother and aunt’s. With a mindset of use or be used, she takes the concept of “love ‘em and leave ‘em” to a new level, and her promiscuous lifestyle is a cause of concern for all those who love her. She doesn’t care whose heart she’s breaking or whose life she’s ruining, it’s all about her. Until it no longer is. Paige finds herself engaged in a deadly attraction that will cost someone their very life.

Three women are on a journey of self-discovery, as they deal with the fallout from choices made from emotion rather than self-awareness. 

We dug into our food after saying our grace. Food was a common denominator among most people, which induced a peaceful atmosphere. And my daughter and I were both enjoying one now. But that peace only lasted so long.

As we finished our meal, I heard a distantly familiar voice behind me. I hadn’t heard that voice in a while and thought maybe I was mistaken. Something told me not to turn around in my seat, but I ignored that natural instinct and turned.
My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach as I watched a very familiar face making its way in our direction. When he passed our table, I felt a sense of relief wash over me. But it lasted only for a moment. I set my napkin on the table and looked up at my daughter.

“Mom, are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost.”

“I’m fine, Sashaberry. I’m not feeling so well. I don’t know if it was something I ate or what. Come on, I’m ready to leave.”

“Just like that, Mom? What about dessert? We always have dessert.”

“Not tonight, Sasha. Come on, let’s leave.”

“But Mom, you haven’t even paid your bill, yet. Can we at least order it to go?” she pleaded.

“Sure,” I replied. “Look, I’m really not feeling well. Baby, let’s just pay it at the bar and order your dessert from there.”

“Okay, Mom,” she stated. “But you sure are acting strange.”

We left our table and headed to the bar. I paid for our food after ordering the dessert. It seemed as if that dessert couldn’t get there soon enough.  It arrived ten minutes later, and I was relieved we could finally leave.

“Come on, baby, let’s go. I just need to lie down for a while. I’m sure once we’re home and I get some rest, I’ll feel better.”

“I hope so,” Sasha replied. “What came over you anyway?”

“Oh, nothing, baby. I think just the taking you back and forth to school and the altered schedule is taking its toll on my body.”

“Do you want me to drive home?” Sasha had had her license for six months. I quite often allowed her to drive for small errands in our community or drive to her friends’ homes. But I wasn’t about to let her drive that far at night in my baby. It didn’t matter if I would be sitting in the passenger seat.

We had discussed getting her a little vehicle, because I wasn’t comfortable with allowing her to drive my baby. I had recently purchased that Mustang as a rare gift for myself. But I knew with all the hard work I put in, I deserved something special. So on my thirty-third birthday, I had gone out and paid cash for her. No car notes, no strings attached.

“Uh-uh I’ll be just fine, baby. I can make the drive, come on.”

I headed towards the door as we passed the restrooms, and my heart stopped once again. “Naomi.” My heart plummeted to the floor. That smooth smile carved that honey-colored face into a familiar grin. And those smoke-grey eyes shined brightly at me. I had been looking at that smile and those grey eyes for the last sixteen years. And now they were back in the flesh to haunt me.

“How’ve you been?” Jaime asked.

Purchase Links:

AT: You know I love it!! How can readers connect with you?
CR: a. WEB:
c. FACEBOOK: ChelleWrites
d. TWITTER: @UndeniablyChell
e. PINTEREST: ChellesBooks
f. INSTAGRAM: UndeniablyChelle

AT: Any final words?
CR: Believe in yourself, have faith in God, and live your dreams out loud and on purpose!

AT: Amen!

Monday, December 18, 2017

One Season #Book Blitz

Contemporary Fiction
Date Published:  October 2017
Publisher: White Tiger Media

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Angelo Astone has just been recruited by the Tassie Devils to play in the National Australian Rules Competition. The 18-year-old from country Victoria is about to fulfil his life’s dream of playing professional Aussie Rules, however, trouble awaits in unforeseen ways.

Todd Thomson, the club captain and one of the best players in the competition, has a drug problem and is grooming young players to sell for him. Off the field, the club is $20 million in debt and a boardroom crisis is looming as opposing powers struggle to get their way. Two of the board members, Wang Li and Rahul Patel, from China and India respectively, not only want to buy the club outright but also want to host a NARC match in their home country and will do anything to get that opportunity.

One Season depicts one topsy-turvy ride of a professional sporting club who think the only boundaries that exist are the ones marking the oval.

About the Author

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

#WriterWednesday with Author Racquel Brown Gaston

Today I'm interviewing Author Racquel Brown Gaston! Read on!

AT: Where do you live? What’s your town’s claim to fame?
RBG: I currently live in Accokeek, MD moving from New York City. I am from Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica, W.I. My town's claim to fame is Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell and many other track and field Olympians who came from Trelawny.

AT: All right, now! What genre do you write?
RBG: I write crime suspense thriller and/or urban fiction

AT: Love me a good suspense thriller! Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
RBG: I am a published author with one book-Deadly Instincts

AT: What inspires you to write?
RBG: Writing saved my life when suicide plagued my mind at 14. It was and is my escape from everyday reality. It is also knowing that my voice will shed light to someone whose life will then be transformed positively.

AT: That's beautiful! Name one book you wish you’d written.
RBG: The Alchemist

AT: Great choice! A favorite of many people. What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
RBG: Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

AT: Who is your favorite author? Why?
RBG: Robert Ludlum because he is one of the masters of crime suspense thrillers and description.

AT: Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
RBG: Aquamarine. I am a water sign so I find aqua to be tranquil. The color is light and airy, playful and inviting, gives a warm feeling and very pretty.

AT: I love that color, too! What would your autobiography be called?
RBG: The Life Journey of Racquel Brown Gaston

AT: Nice! Do you believe in love at first sight?
RBG: Yes

AT: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
RBG: 1. That my son will never fall prey to a criminal system, the victim of a crime, or the other end of a bullet fired by a police officer
2. God would allow the universe to bend to my will so I can use my talents to transform countless of lives, household and communities globally,   especially in increasing social mobility for the marginalized.
3. That human beings could simply love each other and be introduced to a power unimaginable as God is love.

AT: Wonderful wishes! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
RBG: I am fall. The fashion. The cool weather.  The slowing down of the pace. The beauty that arises, even in death as depicted in the fallen leaves. Their striking colors say I can smile when my world is about to get dark for longer, because it won't be long before I spring again, this time for longer days.

AT: Beautiful! Tea or coffee?
RBG: Tea.

AT: Tell us about your most recent/current project.
RBG: I am working with an A list screenwriter for the film adaptation of my novel, Deadly Instincts. I am also writing a memoir for another as a ghost writer. I remain busy rendering motivational speeches (e.g. from commencement speeches to addressing incoming college class and everything in between).

AT: Wow! How can readers connect with you?
RBG: website:;
facebook: racquelbrowngastontheauthor;
Instagram: rbg.theauthor
Twitter: rbgaston1

AT: Any final words?
RBG: Do not get lost in the everyday distractions of life; they would have been successful in their job. Find the purpose for your existence and serve it. One more thing-thank you.

AT: You are more than welcome!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

#WriterWednesday with Author Wendy Jones

Today's #WriterWednesday interview is with Author Wendy Jones! Enjoy!!

AT: Where do you live? What’s your town’s claim to fame?
WJ: I live in Springfield, New Jersey. The Battle of Springfield, June 23, 1780, was the decisive battle during the American Revolutionary War that assured the eventual British defeat in 1783.

AT: Interesting! What genre do you write?
WJ: I write fiction and creative non-fiction, in book form and as essays. I am the only person I would inflict my poetry on.

AT: Lol, I see. Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
WJ: My first book, An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones, a biography, was published in May by Ida Bell Publishing, LLC.

AT: Awesome! What inspires you to write?
WJ: I have been fortunate to come in contact with many intriguing people in my life. If I don’t write about them who will?  Also, just as you did, Ms. Thompson, I quit a secure position to write. Writing is as fundamental to me as breathing. I came to the earth plane to write.  

AT: I can totally relate. Name one book you wish you’d written. 
WJ: The Blassingame Sisters, the novel I will finish in a few years, but wish I had already written. 

AT: You got this! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
WJ: The Third Reconstruction by Rev. William Barber. Rev. Barber, the initiator of Moral Mondays in North Carolina, tells a story of collaborative activism, powered by love, with fellow Americans of all beliefs, gender identities, and political persuasions. His writing spurs me to do the same. 

AT: Sounds like a compelling read! Who is your favorite author? Why?
WJ: I can’t choose one. Here’s the list: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Poe, de Maupassant, Hawthorne, Twain, Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, Denise Lewis Patrick, Oscar Hijuelos, P.D. James, Márquez, Gretna Wilkinson, Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Chinua Achebe, Zadie Smith, Lisa See, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
All of these authors write three-dimensional characters or present ideas in ways that move me to tears, make me laugh, and enrich my brain.  

AT: That's quite a list and we share some favorites. You definitely are a reader! Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
WJ: Purple. It is associated with royalty, mourning, and the sacred. The highs, the lows, and the divine in one color.

AT: Purple's a beautiful color. What would your autobiography be called?
WJ: I can’t decide between Take a Risk! and Don’t Make My Mistakes: Be Creative, Make Your Own!

AT: I like both! Do you believe in love at first sight?
WJ: No. I believe in “deep liking at first sight,” a feeling of comfort, a sense that I know this person and have met her/him before. That’s how I felt when I met my life partner 32 years ago.

AT: Hmm, never heard it put that way before. If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
WJ: 1. The ability to see my shortcomings and overcome them. (That really is one wish.)
2. The gift of seeing the joy in every day.
3. That I live to be 120 years old sound in mind, body, and spirit, so I can finish the work I came here to do.  

AT: I absolutely love those wishes! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
WJ: Spring is the beginning of all things new and vibrant.

AT: Tea or coffee?
WJ: Tea. The varieties are endless: some calm, some energize, and some heal. 

AT: True! Tell us about your most recent/current project.
WJ: An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones is the story of a South Carolina sharecropper’s daughter, born in 1920, who comes to New York City in 1946 to work as a cook in private homes and becomes not only a Harlem activist, but the first Black woman in management at a Fortune 500 company, then Standard Brands, now Kraft Heinz. She also, as a single parent, raised her daughter and laid the foundation for her to be educated in private schools and to graduate from Yale University and Columbia University. I am that daughter.

Praise for An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones:

A native of the South, a descendant of slaves and the daughter of sharecroppers, Mrs. Jones ventured north, to New York and Harlem, to find her chance. The tale of her tenacious advance, transforming what to others might seem to be insurmountable obstacles and burdens, into opportunities to shine---the stuff of alchemy, might in less able hands, seem apocryphal. But Wendy Jones, like her role-model-mother, keeps things real. The saga she spins out is so inspirational, because in relating the highly specific history of a highly individual figure, she has made her mother’s quest: to enhance her community, to enlighten her people, to educate and arm--with truth and an appreciation of beauty--her only child, into a universal story.

- Michael Henry Adams – author of Harlem, Lost and Found: An Architectural and Social History, 1765-1915 and currently working on the forthcoming Homo Harlem: A Chronicle of Lesbian and Gay Life in the African American Cultural Capital, 1915-1995.

My mother’s words are the heart center of this book about her life. Brief chapter introductions give historical context. Notes include supplementary information about incidents she describes. Thumbnail sketches identify important relatives in the story. And finally, the Appendix describes how she nurtured my education.

The excerpt is my mother speaking.

An Excerpt from An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones:   
       The first thing I remember was when my father went away in 1922. I remember watching and waiting for him to come home. He had gone away to work up in Buffalo, New York. It was a year when he was having a hard time with the farm. The boll weevils were eating up all the cotton, so he went up north. He started working at the headquarters of the Lackawanna Railroad Company. Pa laid crossties for the railroad, which started in New Jersey and ran all the way up through Lackawanna until it got to Buffalo.
     The day he left, I went part of the way with him, as far as the mailbox. There he told me to go back. Pa had been gone a month or so before my family realized that I had stopped eating and playing. I just crawled into a shell.
      When Mama took me to the doctor, he looked at me and asked where my father was. My mother told him that he’d gone north. The doctor told her that that’s why I wasn’t eating; I was emotionally sick. He told her the family would have to do things with me to get my mind off him. If she didn’t, she would lose me. I was grieving myself to death.
      Mama showed me the fall colors of the leaves and a running brook, where I saw a fish. When she showed me these things, it helped me get over my grief. She also told me that my father had just gone to work and he would be back. I thought maybe he was dead. When I knew he would be back, I got over my grief.
     In the meantime, we started getting letters from him. My mother would always read the letters to us.
         It wasn’t Christmas yet, but I know it was cold because we had a fire when Pa came back. He brought a lot of balloons and had something different for each of us. He gave me what we used to call a glass doll, but I guess it was a china doll. It was beautiful. Naturally, it was white. We didn’t have black dolls then.
         My sisters—especially my older sisters—kept telling me to get the doll so they could see it and play with it. They kept pushing and jumping around and kept me going back and getting it. This one wanted it and that one wanted it, until . . . it got broken that night!
         Then they all said, “Oh, she doesn’t have a doll now.” I cried about it for three or four days. I got more dolls, but I didn’t get that doll back. I realized then that they always wanted what I had and not what they had. Pa didn’t do any more for me than he did for the rest of them, but he encouraged me. I saw how he did things, so I patterned my life after his.
      When Pa left again, I crawled back into a shell. He was just home on vacation. I was three years old. That was 1923.

AT:  Wow! I've got to read this! How can readers connect with you?
WJ: You can buy the book at Ida Bell Publishing, LLC’s website:

To find out about events and post comments, you can request inclusion on the email list (your email is not shared with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time) email me at:

AT: Any final words?
WJ: It is so important to record the stories of our elders. Please record the life stories of your family members and friends.  Have them professionally transcribed, make copies for your family and friends, then donate a copy to your local library. Later, if you want to shape these memories into a book, go ahead. But preservation is vital. 

This is especially true for African Americans and our indigenous sisters and brothers. African American literacy was illegal during enslavement and our history was invisible even in the best American schools and universities until the late sixties. Indigenous history was written by European Americans until the late sixties.   Extraordinary stories of ordinary people are treasures we can’t afford to lose.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

#NewRelease - Fatal Opposition

Creative Expressions Literary Services is pleased to announce Virtual Book Tour for Fatal Opposition by Tracee Lydia Garner. The tour will run November 27-December 8, 2017.
Author Name: Tracee Lydia Garner
Book Title: Fatal Opposition
Book Release Date: November 27, 2017
Genre: Multicultural, Inspirational, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

About the Author

Tracee Lydia Garner is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes stories full of complex heros and heroines, relationships and families that experience tough but realistic life challenges in their quest for love. Born and raised in a suburb of the DC metro area, Tracee works in health and human service by day, has a degree in Communication and is a speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. Find Tracee on the web at, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Book

More than anything, she wants to be a part of something that feels right....

Cashell Bruer has lived a sheltered life. When she meets handsome NFL rookie James Parker on her birthday, she's smitten. With him, she can truly begin to live. But will he want her when he discovers she has a heart condition? Not to mention her new job involves polishing his bad boy image!

He longs to make his adoptive family and his team proud, while making peace with his past…

James Parker has it all, a family who chose him, and a coveted spot on an NFL team. When lovely, spirited Cashell keeps turning up in his life, he wonders if she's the one to share it all. But what if her only interest in him is status? And even worse, what if his search for his real family ends up putting her in danger?

Social Links

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

10 Things About The Bennu Project #scifi #postapocalyptic

Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for The Bennu Project by Tyrone Givens. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs November 23-December 6, 2017.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL

ISBN-10: 1620309580
ISBN-13: 978-1620309582
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi

About The Book
On a dangerous run to scavenge supplies from a remote excavation site in the Meza Ruins, Azubuike and his friends encounter a unique piece of technology left by their ancestors. Once exposed to the device, Azubuike’s reality is altered in ways that could unravel his mind. The team has no way of knowing the danger—or benefit—posed by this ancient technology which triggered a series of events forever changing Azubuike and his friends. Has he unlocked the secret to end the alien occupation of his world or will this device result in the extinction of his people?

The Bennu Project is a genre-defying novel with the suspense of mystery, metaphors of science fiction and accuracy of historical relevance depicting the rise-and-fall of several Nile Valley civilizations.

10 Things about The Bennu Project

Lots of research on historical African civilizations went into crafting The Bennu Project. Although I drew distinct lines between my research and the plot of the book, these ten subtleties are often overlooked:

1. Roha Taharqa is named after the last true Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. 
2. The Bennu Project is not set in Ancient Egypt, but rather at KSH near Ancient Sudan. 
3. The Kandake character is similar to the real-life heroine Queen Nzinga of Angola. 
4. Most of the names of vehicles or weapons in The Bennu Project are mythological creatures derived from stories all over Africa. 
5. The personalities of some of the main characters are modeled after my children. 
6. The time era for this book is equivalent to the 1960s to 1980s; depending on the country in which the event occurs. 
7. The Bennu Project draws parallels with real-world events in several countries; with each country having its own corresponding planet. 
8. Most of the characters’ names came from various African dialects intended to correspond to that character, their motivations and behaviors. 
9. A significant event happens to one of the protagonists in Chapters 11 and 12. I often encourage my readers to reread that scene to fully grasp the message conveyed. 
10. I had initially intended to write three books in this series. However, by the time I completed The Bennu Project (the first book in the series); the epilogue led to a prequel trilogy in which some plots and characters will be explained in more depth. 

About The Author
Fed up with the stereotypical caricatures used to falsely portray the Black culture, Tyrone Givens is committed to creating heroes and heroines as positive images for our children. To reverse the less-than-flattering qualities that diminish self-esteem, self-worth and cultural value, this master storyteller entertains readers with science fiction plots infused with historical facts often omitted from school curriculums.

Givens, a homeschool educator whose high school-aged children are attending college, is a multi-lingual, federally-licensed airplane pilot. The Bennu Project is the culmination of his passions: empowering Black children, accurate depiction of our history and rebuilding our community.

Connect Socially
InstaGram: @thebennuproject

Buy Links

Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours