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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Next Up from Home Again: Tyora Moody

Birthing Pains by Tyora Moody

Is Birthing Pains your first published work? If not, what other titles have you authored?

Yes. This is my first published work of fiction.
Do you plan to write more stories or novels?

I may write more short stories. This story was the first one I've written in over fifteen years. I have two manuscripts that I'm working whenever I can to find homes for with a traditional publisher.

How did you get your idea for your story?

The idea for Birthing Pains was inspired by the backstory of one of my manuscripts. I have a cozy mystery in which my short story character, Eugeena Patterson, becomes a reluctant amateur sleuth. The short story events take place about four years before the story in the manuscript.

What is(are) the specific main theme(s)/platform(s) in your story?

The specific themes in my story deal with bitterness and resentment. Hebrews 12:15 says, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." This family let a seed of bitterness grow over the years until it became like a weed ready to choke and destroy them.

For more on Tyora Moody, please visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

Next Up from Home Again: Dr. Linda F. Beed

Next Up from Home Again: Dr. Linda F. Beed

Flavorful by Dr. Linda F. Beed

How did you get your idea for your story?

This fictitious story was pulled from what I’ve observed throughout my 25 years as a children’s minister.

What is(are) the specific main theme(s)/platform(s) in your story?

The main theme in this story is that even though we have made mistakes in our walk, it does not change the plans that God has for our lives.  My prayer is that Flavorful will first serve as a reminder that God places specific gifts within each of us. As those set in authority over others (especially as parents and educators), it is our responsibility to seek God as to who our charges are and what our role is in helping to nurture their gift(ings).

I desire to have opportunity for dialogue on how to forgive the shortcomings of our past so that:

1. Reconciliation can be made

2. Forgiveness - Ask and Forgive

3. True purpose can be recognized, apprehended and utilized for original intent

Is this your first published work? If not, what other titles have you authored?

Business Unusual, the first in the Covenant Series was my first published work.
Do you plan to write more stories or novels?

I have several books in line or publication. They include Not Your Own, due out in 2011, a historical fiction and a non-fiction work.

For more on Dr. Linda F. Beed, please visit .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Next Up From Home Again: Shenette Jones

Next Up From Home Again: Shenette Jones

Uncovered by Shenette Jones

Is this your first published work? If not, what other titles have you authored?

This is my first published work

Do you plan to write more stories or novels?

I'm completing the full novel of Uncovered which has unbelievable twists and turns that are not in the short story. I'm also working on a youth novel titled,

T.J for President which follows an African American 10 year old boy as he discovers his purpose in life through a prison ministry. The proceeds for this book will go toward Christian Library International. My goal is to release them both by Dec 2011.

How did you get your idea for your story?

My husband and I have personally struggled with feelings of doubt, insecurities, and rejection within our marriage. After overcoming great obstacles and finding fabulous love again, we vowed to dedicate our gifts to the ministry of marriage. My story represents the lives of so many women I've encountered in friendships and ministry. 

What is(are) the specific main theme(s)/platform(s) in your story?

I want people to realize how close a fall from God can be when they allow their own desires to take the lead but also convey that restoration and forgiveness are available gifts from God for all people no matter how close or far one may be from God.

For more on Shenette Jones, please visit

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Next up from Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships anthology - Maurice M. Gray

Next up from the Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships anthology - Maurice M. Gray

Family Matters by Maurice M. Gray, Jr.

Is this your first published work? If not, what other titles have you authored?

I am the author of two novels, To Whom Much Is Given and All Things Work Together (sequel to To Whom).  I also contributed to two other anthologies, Blessed Assurance (2003 from Literally Speaking Publishing) and The Soul Of A Man (2009 from Peace In The Storm Publishing).

Do you plan to write more stories or novels?

I sure do! Female Problems is my next novel; it’s set to release in April 2011. It will pick up the story I started in Family Matters; Erik is one of the lead characters in Female Problems.

How did you get your idea for your story?

As I mentioned, this story actually leads into my upcoming novel, Female Problems. Erik is one of three men featured in this novel about Christian men bonding over issues surrounding church, love, work and where to get a decent haircut. When I learned about Home Again and agreed to do my story about a mother and a son, I realized that I hadn’t delved much into Erik’s family situation in Female Problems and that I didn’t really have room to do so. I’ve known a few people who open their hearts to children and young adults the way Erik’s mother CC does, and thought that this would be a good family history for him.

What is(are) the specific main theme(s)/platform(s) in your story?

The overall theme of the anthology of course is restoration. My story deals with how fostered resentment can build up over time and damage even the strongest relationship. It also deals with the need for forgiveness; without that, restoration of a relationship cannot happen.

For more on Maurice M. Gray, Jr., please visit

Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships (an anthology)

Author, and now publisher, Wanda B. Campbell, releases the debut publication under Micah 6:8 Publishing. Home Again is an anthology of short stories authored by Wanda B. Campbell, Dijorn Moss, Tyora Moody, Trinea Moss, Maurice M. Gray, Jr., Shenette Jones, Bernard Boulton, Tavares S. Carney and Dr. Linda F. Beed.  The stories are about restored relationships - husbands and wives, sisters and friends, mothers and daughters, fathers, sons and brothers. Life brings its many challenges, and with them comes what can be assimilated to rollercoaster ride relationships, relationships that have suffered in some way, shape or form. Injecting a sense of "hope from heartache," these short stories are relatable to people from all walks of life.

Blood's Redemption is Mrs. Campbell's offering.

How did you get your idea for your story? I've always admired twins and there bond. I built the plot around showing the closeness shared in the womb is never loss, no matter the circumstances.

What is(are) the specific main theme(s)/platform(s) in your story? Forgiveness and healing

What other titles have you authored? First Sunday in October, Illusions and Right Package, Wrong Baggage.

Do you plan to write more stories or novels? Yes. My next novel, Silver Lining, is sheduled for August 2011.

For more on Author, Wanda B. Campbell, please visit and

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blog Tour Feature: A Love For Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller

Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained “exhorter” in her church, explaining, “God has called me to exhort readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”

A Love for Tomorrow is the second book in the Second Chance at Love series.


When Christian talk show host Serenity Williams’ fiancé calls off their wedding because he can’t deal with her popularity, she determines that she will never fall in love with another pride-filled, ego-driven pastor. Then, Serenity’s producer asks her to interview the charismatic Pastor Phillip McKnight, who has recently gone through a divorce. Serenity feels that this is her chance to expose the arrogance of ego-filled pastors to the world. But Pastor Phillip is broken and humbled from his experiences, and the surprising humility of this man causes Serenity to want to un-break his heart. However, Serenity will need the Lord to fix her heart and change her mind about male preachers before she and Phillip can become all they were meant to be to each other.



A Love for Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller

Review by Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating:  4

Let Go and Let God

A Love for Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller is a story that deals with past pains, life missions and learning to let go and move forward. In this novel, Serenity Williams, an evangelist who has grown up in a ministerial family, has seen the good, and what she believes are some of the worst things about being committed to people. These very things are why Serenity Williams has chosen the ministry route that she has, reaching and pouring into the hearts of many. Serenity’s ability to touch lives at the same time remaining untouched, lead to her many emotional and relationship struggles. In addition to a family event Serenity witnessed in her youth, supporting characters Michael Randolph and Philip McKnight will help readers to understand Serenity’s complexity.

I enjoyed reading this selection. My favorite character is Phillip McKnight. I think it was mostly because of his “been there, done that” mentality, and his patience and heart to really yearn to do what is right in the eyes of God. I closed this book believing that each character realized a lot about themselves and each other, and that they each had somehow grown for their own past experiences.

This book is very entertaining, touching upon issues such as “women in the pulpit,” letting go of past emotional hurts and learning to live and love again. I would read other selections authored by Ms. Miller.



• Visit the author online at
• View the blog tour schedule at

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blog Tour Feature: Right Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell

About the Author

Wanda B. Campbell is an extraordinary and talented writer who brings creativity, a new sense of hope, and restoration through the healing power of God to the Kingdom, by way of Christian fiction. She uses real life everyday issues to exhort, motivate, and give comfort.

Wanda B. Campbell’s literary achievements include: Mommy’s Present, a short story appearing in the anthology The Midnight Clear (KNB Publications, November 2006) ISBN 0-9742207-0-1, First Sunday in October (W.B. Campbell Publications, January 2007) ISBN 978-0-9790458-0-6 and the Crusin for Christ I Short Story Contest winner with Illusions by Urban Christian, February 2009, ISBN 978-1601629432. Right Package, Wrong Baggage is her third novel.

Wanda currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of twenty years and two sons. She also has the unique position of being the oldest of five siblings and also the youngest of twelve. Her hobbies include writing and reading of course, traveling, and collecting magnets from around the world. Wanda is the self-proclaimed biggest Oakland A’s fan.

Visit her online at:

About the Book

For five years, Pamela Roberts, has balanced the demands of being a single mother and a devoted Christian. She unselfishly places the needs of her son, Matthew, above her own. Although she tries to convince everyone that she’s happy with Jesus alone, Matthew handpicks the perfect present for her—a husband. Everything about the man her son chooses is perfect, except for his past.

Micah Stevenson is excited when he learns the son of the woman he has been praying about wants him to join their family permanently. Believing Pamela Roberts is his soul mate sent from God, Micah pursues her. Once he is certain of her love for him, Micah reveals his dark history, shaking the foundation of the once loving and stable relationship. Trust is broken as judgments and prejudices threaten to deny the couple’s destiny.

Will the man he used to be prevent Pamela from loving Micah for the man he is now?

Wanda B. Campbell's message to readers:

MP3 File


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Faith-Based Hip-Hop Artist Lecrae Continues His Inspired Journey this Fall with Rehab

Still sky high off the ascension of Rebel, his 2008 album, to the top of the Billboard Christian Albums chart, a first for any rapper, Lecrae, the world's best selling faith-based hip-hop artist, refuses to let up. Encouraged even more by the unprecedented 75-plus weeks Rebel spent on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, Lecrae has returned with Rehab, his fourth album. Scheduled for a fall release, with Rehab, Lecrae is even more focused than ever on spreading the gospel to even wider audiences.

Unlike so many hip-hop artists who have preceded him in both the Christian/Gospel and mainstream realms, Lecrae offers complex lyrics that give voice and provide thoughtful discourse about today's challenges. Using his considerable skill for a higher purpose, Lecrae stretches beyond hip-hop's limitations on both sides of the industry to reach a larger audience hungry for salvation. To that end, Lecrae employs energetic beats and inspired lyricism to meet listeners, saved and unsaved, where they are, addressing their skepticism while also advancing God's love as the ultimate solution to their woes. As with his previous albums, Lecrae uses Rehab to push beyond stereotypes to capture a generation of believers who would otherwise be lost.

Featuring top-notch production that easily rivals most mainstream hip-hop offerings, Lecrae continues to use his skills for God, expanding his consistent and genuine message of love and redemption with Rehab. Executed with deep thought and reflection, with Rehab, Lecrae further demonstrates his ability to dissect the larger issues of the contemporary world while also reconciling living a righteous life in an often unrighteous world.

"I named it Rehab," he says of the album's title, "because I feel as if everyone is looking to find a sense of purpose and worth and value," explains Lecrae. "We're all kind of messed up. We all have issues and we all have addictions in one form or the other and I just look to point people to the answers through rehabilitation."

Staying true to his mission of "giving people authentic, good music that really helps them out," Lecrae avoids the self-righteous indignation that has prevented some Christians from spreading the gospel. Capturing people at their own crossroads, Lecrae favors "reality" raps that emphasize his own struggles and those of others in hopes of reaching those who are like he once was and "Used to Do It" featuring KB is one of his many vehicles.

Boasting a very musical track slightly reminiscent of the infectious rhythms of the timeless "Little Drummer Boy" that literally defies one to remain still, "Used to Do It" makes clear that both rappers have been where many of their listeners are. "I used to do it too" repeats incessantly throughout the song as the lyrics subtly reveal how finding Jesus transformed each rapper's life. Alternating lyrics like "now I'm something different" and "saved from my own sins" with "I'm changed" that make up parts of the hook don't thrive off of preaching, but, rather, peer-to-peer reaching.

By delving deep into the bowels of temptation, "Killa" hits harder. "I know it's gone kill me/But I just can't let it go/And it tastes so appealing/It's got a grip upon my soul" begin the lyrics after several "killa" chants over a sinewy, contemporary track. The brooding production augments the high drama as other lyrics like "sipping on seduction while we eating on some secret sin" and "evil look so lovely covered in her lace of lies" further emphasize how formidable the obstacles along the road to righteousness truly are.

On "Children of the Light," a collaboration with Christian metal group P.O.D. singer Sonny Sandoval that's one of Lecrae's favorite songs on Rehab, a strong guitar riff helps to kick off the track just before the heavy drums thunder in. "We are children of the light/Royal rulers of the day/Saints over the streets of the night/Because only love can lead the way." Very musically diverse, with an infectious feel that's a guaranteed chart-topper, "Children of the Light," which even incorporates reggae, promises a broad appeal that's sure to be an anthem for Christians of all musical persuasions.

Poised to surpass Rebel, Rehab continues to mesh stellar and artistically inspired production with a purposeful message intended to captivate and steer today's mislead generation towards salvation. Free of the extremely negative messages that permeate much of contemporary hip-hop but infused with the energy that makes the music so alluring, Lecrae is sure to extend his reign as the world's leading faith-based hip-hop artist with Rehab.

Born in Texas and raised largely there, with stints in several cities, including San Diego, by a single mother, the Atlanta-based Lecrae, emerged on the music scene in 2005 with Real Talk on Reach Records, the label he co-founded. Well-received, the album peaked at #29 on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. His 2006 follow-up After the Music Stops reached #5 on the same chart, even landing at #7 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart and #16 on the Billboard Heatseeker Albums Chart. Rebel, his third and most successful album to date released in 2008, topped the Billboard Christian Albums Chart for two weeks, becoming the first rap album to do so. In addition, Rebel spent more than 75 weeks on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. A critical and commercial hit, Lecrae has received three GMA Dove Award nominations, the industry's highest honor and even won a Gospel Music Channel award for Best Hip-Hop Video.

For more information on Lecrae, please visit or contact Bradley Tomlinson at 404-775-8053.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blog Tour Feature: Soon After by Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Getting to Know Sherryle Kiser Jackson

TPS: Sherryle, when did you first begin writing?

Sherryle:  I can say I have been preparing to be a writer my whole life. I was that one who got in trouble for writing notes in school. My notes were so entertaining that in high school I would dramatize crushes and break-ups in mini books. I remember wanting to be a news reporter. I have an early memory of a typewriter I used to carry up and down the stairs with me. I remember falling down the stairs with it and being extremely sad when it didn’t work anymore. Subsequently, I wrote articles and copy for both my Junior and Sr. High School newspaper and yearbook. By my senior year, I was editor-in-chief of both.

TPS:  What is the name of your first published work and what is the story about?

Sherryle:  Soon and Very Soon was my first novel published in 2007 by Urban Christian/Urban Books/Kensington. It was a story about two pastors who get married and decide to combine their churches.

TPS:  How do you come up with your stories, characters, etc.?

Sherryle:  Most stories have characters or themes I have meditated on for some time. With my first novel, Soon and Very Soon, I wanted to write on what I knew. It really was a marriage- a marriage between my passion (writing) and my faith. In my second novel, I wrote about a troubled teen and his parents' struggle to get him on track. I had seen enough of this scenario as a teacher in the Middle School. Soon After marks the return of my franchise characters, Willie and Vanessa Green.

TPS:  When do you get most of your writing done?

Sherryle:  I get my writing in mostly in the morning before anyone is up and the house is quiet. Sometimes I write by the light of the computer screen. Because I am a teacher, I have the added benefit of writing during the summer.

TPS:  Do you have any other projects on the horizon?

Sherryle:  I am currently writing my 4th novel Taylor-Made.

TPS:  What other authors do you like?

Sherryle:  I love Ernest Gaines and Pearl Cleage. They are expert storytellers whose style is simplistic and clean. Now for action, I got to read Eric Jerome Dickey. His Gideon series – hot, it’s just pure adrenaline. I credit Victoria Christopher Murray with helping me define which genre I wanted to write for. Her stories are edifying entertainment without being preachy.

TPS:  What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

Sherryle:  Sitting still - -honestly sounds like paradise to me. I’m very busy so in my down time I like to sit and reflect, read a little bit, maybe listen to music

TPS:  Please share your upcoming events (book release, signings, workshops, conferences)?

Sherryle:  As you know, this interview is apart of a blog tour. I will be appearing on several blogs like RAW SISTAZ ( on Sept. 7th, Shades of Romance Magazine ( on September 8th and APOOO ( on Sept. 10th.

My Soon After Mystery Launch party will be held at the Urban Knowledge Bookstore in the Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover MD from 5-8. After that, I am signing books at the Capitol Bookfest in Harrisburg, PA (Sept. 18) and Largo, MD (Oct. 2nd) & the Baltimore Bookfest on Sept. 26th.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blog Tour Feature: Desires of the Heart by Beverly Taylor


What would you do if you were in jeopardy of losing your man to another woman? Carson and Katharine O’Connor seem on the surface to be perfect people—good looking, successful and God-fearing, but no one could accuse them of being too perfect to be believable.

Katharine spends her life building a home and family until the day Carson leaves her and allows a voluptuous, cunning school counselor, Cindy Lomax, and her disturbed pre-teen daughter, Deanna, to move in with him on a temporary, platonic basis—or so he thinks. Katharine must find her way beyond the past and will stop at nothing to rebuild her marriage, to include having breast and buttock implants in order to compete with Cindy’s striking figure in winning her husband back.

When tragedy strikes, Carson realizes it was pure love that guided him to Katharine. Is it too late for Carson to rectify his mistake with her? Will Cindy’s vengeful tactics prevail? Will Deanna’s criminal intention manifest itself? Will Katharine find the strength to forgive, despite the fiery darts that have been thrown at her?

Desires of the Heart is a story of lost and found faith, learning to love yourself, how one man’s selfish decisions affect and endanger those around him, and a stunning glimpse into how man looks on outward appearance but God looks on the heart.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eddie Connor: A Man on the Move - He's Purposefully Prepared to Persevere

Purposefully Prepared to Persevere by Eddie Connor

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Roadblocks vs. Detours

Purposefully Prepared to Persevere is an autobiographical testimony of author, Eddie Connor’s, personal journey from being diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness to the man he is today. Between the covers of Purposefully Prepared to Persevere, readers will learn who Eddie Connor was a boy, traveling with him as he shares the emotional, physical and spiritual transitions that transpired from then until now. He shares the diagnosis, the treatments, actions of friends and family and so much more. The best part about this book is that Eddie Connor shares what was going on in his mind, body and spirit at varying stages, from diagnosis to deliverance. Eddie is a very engaging writer, using language that is very relatable to youth and young adults. His words are very encouraging.

I recommend this book to readers who need inspiration after what seems like a life storm. Eddie explains, through his own account, how faith, positive thinking, healthy living and a positive environment all play a part in healing and overcoming.

About Eddie Connor

Eddie Connor was born in Southfield, Michigan but grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. The British Education that Eddie received during his formative years in Jamaica can be attributed to his thirst for knowledge. As a product of a divorced family, Eddie realizes that he was not born with a "silver spoon" in his mouth, but was raised by a strong mother, who instilled in him lifelong values and the importance of governing himself as a positive individual. His mother, Dr. Janice K. Connor (author of "Propelling Faith"), has been a missionary to Jamaica for the past twenty-five years, and has raised her son to be a standout man of excellence.

As an Author, Educator, Evangelist, Motivational Speaker, Poet, Radio and TV Host, Eddie Connor shares his story of overcoming cancer in his three books, "Purposefully Prepared to Persevere", "Collections of Reflections: Symphonies of Strength, Volumes 1-3", and "E.CON the ICON". Eddie encourages youth to overcome life's obstacles on his radio program, "Youth On The March" which broadcasts on AM 1500 WLQV (, every 2nd Saturday of each month, from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. in Detroit, Michigan.

Today, the 20-something author, minister, inspirational speaker and amazing human being continues to share his triumphant story of how he made it to Hell and back.

For more on Eddie Connor, please visit

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Interview: Authoress, Sandra Boykin

Authoress, Sandra Boykin

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing at the age of 11. I didn't know it then that it was my greatest indwelled gift from God. I was just inspired to write short stories and poetry. I remember even way back then how I could visualize stories in my head, almost like watching a movie, and then I would put pen to paper. It's very rewarding. I encourage everyone to seek the gift/talents that God has given them, as it is not so much for us, but for us to be a blessing to others. God reminded me one day - He said to me, "It is my responsibility to take care of you, and for you to feed my sheep.”

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I actually considered myself a writer as a young teen. I knew it was the one thing that I did well. It just came naturally to me. As I got older, God, you could say, "watered my gift,” and it has grown as He has elevated me for his glorification.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I've been writing for some 35 years, but I never could have imagined having my manuscript in print. Approximately 5 years or so ago, when God instructed me to write "The Table's Edge", he told me that it would be published. I must admit I was a little doubtful, but I persevered, and wrote on the topics in my book that were not so easy to write because of the content. My book touches on child abuse, neglect and abandonment, rape, domestic violence, STD’s and AIDS. Some of these topics are very close to my heart. This time, my writing wasn't about what I wanted to say, but what God instructed me to do. It is necessary that the enemy be exposed. It is necessary that we help people to unveil the masks they wear in their day-to-day lives. People must get back to communicating and stop allowing the enemy to cause separation by texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I pray that my novel series, "The Table's Edge" and its sequel, "The Table's Edge 2", which will be released this December, will do just that.

Please tell us your latest news.

Right now I am in the process of working on a reprint of my debut novel, The Table’s Edge. I am working on my sequel, “The Table's Edge 2”. I don't want to give anything away. The Table's Edge is a cliffhanger. Readers will have to wait until the sequel is out. I've gotten a lot of comments saying, 'I can't wait until the sequel’ or ‘What happens next?' A third novel, “In the Absence of Man”, is also in the works.

I have been blessed to be televised twice already this summer, and have attended 2 conferences in Atlanta: The Hank Stewart 9th Annual White Linen Affair, where Kendra Norman-Bellamy hosted The Literary Cafe, and The Black Chocolate Social Affair hosted by Ella Curry. Additionally, I've been asked to speak at Durham's Center for Employment Training "CET" on entrepreneurship and for the "Women of Essence" about the topic, "What Is Breaking Me". This presentation will be televised on our local community calendar, channel 18, in 2 weeks on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

I have a lot to be thankful for. God is working it out not only for my good, but for the good of others that I can bless. I give him all the glory!

Do you have a specific writing style?

When I write I get into my space and be still. I listen quietly and wait for God's inspiration, and then it just flows freely from my hand to the paper.

How did you come up with the title, “The Table’s Edge”?

Actually I didn't. The Table's Edge was spiritually inspired and when I pray about the title to my work and characters, I seek from the Holy Spirit. So when I heard the words The Table's Edge, believe me when I say I had to ask God - "Am I hearing you right?" When God revealed to me the message behind the title, it makes sense. The main character in the story, Charlotte, finds peace and comfort from the turmoil of her home underneath the table's edge in her mother's kitchen. It’s also because people live their life on the edge, and that there are some people who will go to great lengths to push you over the edge.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes - communication and rebuilding relationships. Because of the in-depth content, my prayer is that after reading my novel series, parents will validate their children so that they don't seek it from the world, that people will seek Godly counsel before getting married, that children will stop having children, leaving some of those children being unwanted, that it will help someone that has been raped, abused, abandoned and just basically unloved or lost to have a closer walk with God and their family.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I believe that all authors write on some of their experiences, but my novel is fiction.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The ending. It’s hard to close out because your product is like your baby, and when you're done its like it’s over, but it’s good to relive my joy of writing it with my readers when they have finished reading it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Having to expose some of myself and my life in the content. Also having to put domestic violence into words. I remember asking God, “how do you put a man beating a woman into words.” He quickly answered in-kind and said, “I will put the words into your mouth.” That was the hardest part.

Who designed your book cover?

It’s funny that you ask that. You know my cover begins with a sketch. God created the design and placed it on my heart. I can't draw, but my cousin's son, Rodney Coffin, Jr. is a wonderful sketch artist. God said do something different. Everybody's cover tends to look the same, but my cover tells the story. I heard from several that I wouldn't be able to get it [the cover] in print from a sketch, but the devil is a liar. Alex Johnson, who lives in Atlanta, GA, took my sketch and made a wonderful book cover – better than I could ever have imagined. You can reach Rodney Coffin at and Alex Johnson at

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I tell you, God brought about a healing for my soul, as I am certain that it will do for the readers. I came out stronger, wiser, and able to put to rest some of my own demons - and to forgive those who had wronged me.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

That's a hard question to answer because not only do I love to write, I love to read. I can say that Jacquelin Thomas and Terri McMillan were two that inspired me. Terri McMillan's book, "Mama", is actually my favorite. I also like the writing style of Eric Jerome Dickey, but I wouldn't actually say that I consider them as mentors; however, I do like their styles of writing.

What book are you reading now?

I'm not. I don't read when I'm in the process of writing or editing my work. Even if I did, I wouldn't have the time.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, most definitely. Myi-shanka McMillian. She wrote a book entitled "The Little Girl Inside of Me". This is a powerful and heart wrenching story. She wrote of the abuse that she went through from age 3 to age 14. It moved me so, I actually had to stop and pray after reading it. If she could forgive those who had abused her, then I must forgive them as well. I can honestly say that her book, which includes her poetry, is a must read.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The first thing that I say to anyone who has just started to write or has a passion for writing is to keep a pen and journal handy at all times because you never know when the inspiration is going to hit you and you want to be prepared. I would also say to them to be encouraged, no matter how hard it might seem. This process is not easy, but the reward is great. I must have cried a thousand tears when my finished product arrived by UPS. So I say to them, 'the easiest thing to do is to give up, so don't.'

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. Please go to my web site: and leave me a comment. I would also like to let them know that I will help any 1st time author get started in the process. And of course to say "thank you for your patronage and support!"

Friday, September 3, 2010

National Black Book Festival

The National Black Book Festival (NBBF) is an annual event, sponsored by, the world's largest African-American retailer online. The event attracts a wide array of authors, publishers, book clubs, libraries and individual readers from the Southwest U.S. and nationwide. NBBF 2011 will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Houston.

The event features a pavilion of authors, including those who are notable and new. Book signing and discussion sessions with featured authors, workshops and seminars, a spoken word poetry slam and door prizes are just a few of the exciting featured activities at NBBF. Authors will be grouped according to genre and there are 18 genres that will be represented.

The Festival is open to the public and admission is $5.00 per day for adults and teens. Admission is FREE for children under the age of 12.

All events will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Downtown Houston. The Festival schedule includes the following events (items with asterisk [*] are ticketed events which require ticket purchase in advance):

Friday, June 10, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

"Welcome to Houston" Reception*

Friday, June 10, 2011 - 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Slumber Party w/Author Mary B. Morrison*

Ladies only - Must be 18 years of age

Saturday, June 11, 2011 @ 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

"Get Acquainted" Breakfast*

Sunday, June 12, 2011 @ 9:00 a.m.

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday, June 12, 2011 @ 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Sunday Jazz Brunch*

Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 4:00 p.m.

Spoken Word Poetry Slam

Tickets for the above events may be purchased online here:

For more information, please e-mail .

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Review: Inside Rain by Monique D. Mensah

Inside Rain by Monique D. Mensah

Amazon Rating: 4

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Voices and Visions

Author, Monique D. Mensah, delivers a gripping psychological thriller with her second novel, Inside Rain. After being witness to her mother’s cold-blooded murder, the emotional trauma suffered causes Rain to question voices of reason, all the while grappling to understand what actually happened the night her life changes forever.

Danny, Carmen, Gigi, Kyle and Jay Jay are interesting characters. I found Gigi and Kyle nurturing and genuinely concerned for Rain’s well-being, while “siblings” Danny and Carmen are the voices of reason Rain relies upon to help her deal with the loss of her mother. Jay Jay was a user and vindictive. I didn’t like him at all.

While reading this novel, I thought about the effects of traumatic experiences on young children and the importance of counseling early on. Counseling will, ideally, help children to manage emotions or deal with feelings more appropriately. Prevalent themes include sibling rivalry, multiple personality disorder, abuse, suicide, homosexuality/lesbianism and grief counseling.

I like the author’s writing style. Some of the scenes are so descriptive I could feel the raw emotions coming off the pages. The book read like a mystery for me. I wanted to know who killed Rain’s mother. Admittedly, I did have an inclination that Rain may have suffered from some type of psychological dysfunction, but I really had no idea just how serious. I was unable to figure things out for certain until the very end. I recommend this book to readers who love a good, fast-paced mystery.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Paulette Harper brings us her latest, Completely Whole

About the Author

As an inspirational and motivational speaker, Paulette’s desire is to motivate women to reach their God given potential through conferences, workshops and seminars. Combining enthusiasm with an energetic speaking style, audiences describe Paulette’s presentations as inspiring, enriching and encouraging. She is committed to speaking a message that is always uplifting and edifying.

About the Book

Life's daily struggles can often leave us perplexed and bewildered on how to cope with hard issues. In COMPLETELY WHOLE, Paulette Harper offers keys to help those who are searching for answers that can lead to a life of complete wholeness: Spirit, Soul and Body. COMPLETELY WHOLE focuses on how to overcome suffering caused by alcoholism, substance abuse, poverty, and other obstacles blocking the path to a life of wholeness.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: "Lord, I Am Made Whole by My Experiences"

Distractions are designed to derail us, to sidetrack us, and to redirect our attention—ultimately causing us to miss our mark. Distractions can create the illusion of being important issues, but in reality they aren’t, they’re merely illusions. A distraction can be anything from a previous issue resurfacing to perhaps an old boyfriend, girlfriend or business acquaintance fighting to recapture your focus. Have you ever experienced a former acquaintance calling you from out of nowhere? These kinds of distractions can trigger an emotional imbalance, causing you to entertain thoughts that are far from the truth. Distractions will take your focus from what God is doing, causing confusion.

Visit the author here: Paulette Harper

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Movie News: Latifah and Parton to star in "Joyful Noise"

(From - *Like all strange pairings, there is a purpose for Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton’s hook up. The two will co-star in an upcoming studio production “Joyful Noise,” a gospel film to be released by Alcon Entertainment.

While Latifa’s acting career has been on fire lately, with her recent role in “Just Wright,” she is set to play the part of a mother of two and new choir directress after the former director dies. Parton on the other hand will play the choir’s widow who wants to take the previous role of her dead husband as directress.

The film will center its story on an unlikely partnership between these two female characters who are forced to work together to save a small town gospel choir after budget cuts threaten to shut them down.

Todd Graff, who previously worked on “Bandslam” is on board to serve as both helmer and scribe for “Joyful Noise.”

The film is set to release some time in 2012.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review: Beautiful Rage by Janaya Black

Beautiful Rage by Janaya Black
Amazon Rating: 4

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Inside the Minds

Janaya Black takes readers into the minds of women who kill in Beautiful Rage. Journalist, Vanessa Jackson, is on assignment, interviewing women of the Wayne County Correctional facility who want their stories heard.

I like the way Ms. Black shows us the difficulty faced by Vanessa Jackson. How can this journalist remain neutral if she finds herself able to identify with the women she interviews? Women who have killed. Vanessa’s primary interviewee, Dawn Langston, introduces supporting characters Detective Jones and Ross Styler, who all add elements to the story that keeps readers wanting to know what happens with each of them next.

This novella deals with themes of pre-judging others, taking justice into one’s own hands, spirituality, the justice system and legal corruption. Beautiful Rage is a page turner that stimulates readers to examine situations from all angles before rushing to judgment or leaping into action.

I would consider other offerings by this author.

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Book Review: 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

Review by Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating: 5

The Life and Times of Davidia Jones

Ernessa T. Carter’s debut, 32 Candles, is a coming-of-age story that begins in Glass, MS and takes readers on a journey leading to Los Angeles, CA. Readers begin this journey with Davidia Jones, the intelligent ugly duckling whose mother, Cora, is mean and abusive – the person who is also the reason Davidia does not use her voice.

While reading this story, I was particularly enthralled with Davidia’s strength in the face of adversity while in high school, staying focused on her grades and not caring about material things. The plot thickens as Davidia attempts to escape her past, her mom, and the cruel Farell sisters. She moves to L.A. and begins to use her voice. Things are not so cut and dry though. Davidia ends up a minor in the hands of an L.A. club owner, Nicky, and doesn’t let go of her obsession with James Farrell. Themes that stood out for me while reading this selection were childhood safety, incest, abuse, parental influence, fame/fortune, greed, and the potential psychological effects of the same. The author also touches on atonement, righting wrongs.

Ms. Carter does a fantastic job with character development and the pace of the story was on point. I really liked the “In Between Then and Now” chapter. I didn’t know Davie had it in her! I was happy with how things turned out, but sad the story ended. I will definitely read future offerings from Ms. Carter.

Review by Tavares S. Carney

For more on the author, please visit: Ernessa T. Carter

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blog Tour Feature: The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Diamond by Chizelle Archie

About the Author

Chizellé T. Archie is an author, registered school nurse, mother and wife for thirteen years to her husband John Archie. She works for a private school and lives in Atlanta, GA with her family.

About the Book

Posh Manhattan investment banker Victoria Diamond Cartiér lives a life of ultimate success: owning an affluent estate in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights district, working on 5th Avenue, and having the love of her devoted husband Malcolm. But when Victoria discovers that her marriage is a lie, she uncovers a deadly horror that may threaten her belief in healing, second chances at love with Marcel and God’s providence over her diamond life.

Author Interview: Chizelle Archie

At what age did you first know that writing or becoming an author is what interested you?

To be honest, I’d say it was in middle school, it was then I was adamant about writing the class songs. [It was] coming up with lyrics for a song (rap) that would ultimately help me place as first runner up in the 8th grade talent show.

Do you have other stories you have not published?

Actually yes, as we speak I am working on the sequel to my current novel, “His Grace, His Blood, His Mercy!”

If you are already employed full or part-time what occupation/field?

I’m in, and have been for several years, the medical field, as a Registered Nurse.

Would you like to write full-time?

Yes I would.

When did you receive what you consider to be your first “big break?”

The day I heard the words congratulations, you are now a published author.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

Five years from now, I see myself, more stable in my writing career. Also I pray that I will have developed a more sound relationship with God, a lot stronger in my prayer life. By that time, I would hope that I would have proven myself to be a noteworthy and reputable author. And ten years from now, oh my goodness, I plan to be on an island somewhere enjoying the fruit of my labor, even though I realize my two year old daughter will not yet be a teenager yet! So please pray for me, though it would be nice by that time, if I would have written several novels, and better yet running my own publishing company. Huumm, that’s something to think about.

Were there any familial or educational influences that contributed to where you are today? Parents? Teachers?
My aunt Cynthia G. Williams first paved the way for me; she’s an author of four children’s books. “The Enid Series.” At that time when she first wrote her books, I didn’t even think it was possible for anyone such as myself to write a book, get a deal, or better yet self publish. She gave me great advice and wisdom along my journey to help me along the way, as always she would constantly let me know how much she loves me and that she is proud of me. Then there is my cousin Vincent T. Williams who did self publish his first book, titled “How to Reach Your True Destiny”, in which it is an Empowering-Motivational- Inspirational book. He too has provided countless moments of advice to help me, as well as let me know the what to do’s, and not to do’s. I love them both.

What has been your experience to becoming a published author? What would you recommend aspiring authors do to prepare for becoming a published author?

A great one, one I would not change for anything, even though in this process I have learned so much, yet, there is still so much more to learn. As far as the challenges I’ve faced, it would have to be finding the right editor. I didn’t realize so much goes into that. I thought all I had to do is just write a book, but no, there is reading and rereading, and rereading again, but first you must have a great editor from the start. Next because my book included medical facts I need it to be correct, and it had to be perfect, so this meant I had to research everything. There were times I felt as though I was in nursing school again, and in that I would recommend to anyone preparing to become published I would say, ask questions, read for yourself, find someone who has been down this road before that can help you. Furthermore, I would have to say don’t rush it; take your time, because the story is going to be there, you just have to do what it takes for it to stay there.

What other aspirations do you have?

To first be around long enough to see my little girl Freedom grow up and one day fulfill all of her dreams. To make sure she becomes the best she can be at whatever it is she chooses to be. Next, I would like to become a motivational speaker around the world, helping to bring health awareness to all of our African American sisters and brothers. Ensuring that they understand the absolute necessity of safe sex, and how important it is to take care of their physical, mental, and mainly spiritual being. Lastly, other than my writing career, I’ve always had a dream of owning a Bridal Saloon, with all the frills. A One Stop Shop!

Favorite authors?

Me of course, (laughing), Kimberla Lawson- Roby, Sistah Souljah, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Omar Tyree.

Last book read?

Honestly, it was my book. I had to read it again from beginning to end.

Do you have a favorite book? If so, what is it? (you can name more than 1)

Outside of my own, it is “The Coldest Winter Ever,” I have had it since forever; I have given it out for birthday gifts. It’s that one I can read over and over again.

Most memorable events of this year thus far . . . . and why?

The day I received my book in my hand, it was like, wow … it’s finally here. I had to caress it, love on it. It was almost surreal. Then there was my Book Premiere in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama. It was so much fun having my family and friends to share that day with me.

What’s next for you?

Prayerfully, the completion of the sequel. Watch out, because my teens I’m coming for you, too.

I am also scheduled to have a [book] signing on September 18th, at Nubian Book Store in Southlake Mall, Morrow Ga., 3-4 p.m. and I am really excited because I have my first Book Club Reading in Montgomery, Alabama with the Page Turners, can’t wait ladies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Essence of Motown Literary Meet and Greet 2010

WHEN:     Saturday, August 21, 2010 from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM (ET)

WHERE:     Barnes & Noble

                     82 W Warren
                     Cafe Area
                     Detroit, MI 48202

Local Authors, Poets, Community Leaders and Businesses bring you LiterTainment at its best!

Readers and Writers Join Us for a great time.

This event is FREE to the public, but if you RSVP special gift bags will be available at the door for you!

Author Readings, Performances by Poets, Theatrical Entertainment, Face Painting and Informative Information. All Ages are invited!

Authors and Poets will present literary endeavors and be allowed to pass out promotional materials; however, in order to sell your product, authors myst purchase a vendor table at the location.  Register @ EventBrite (click the link).  Once your donation is received, please email your pic and your bio to

If you have an event presentation or you are a community leader or business that would like to make presentation to participants, please contact

If you would like to submit promotional materials, please send them to:

Sylvia Hubbard, Meet and Greet 2010, 11393 Coyle, Detroit, Michigan 48227

For more information, please contact, Sylvia Hubbard @ 313.289.8614

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Proverbs 31 Ministries: Get in the SONlight

Excerpt from today's devotion . . . Authored by Lynn Cowell
Life can be a lot like my myrtles. Sometimes, we are just not blooming. We might try the recommendations of friends. You need a hobby. You need a different job. You need a man. Wait until this season is over and then make a change. Often, though, what we really need is Sonlight. The Professional Gardener will tell you getting in the Son is the only thing that is going to bring beauty.

In Isaiah 55:13 the prophet says that instead of briers, the myrtle will grow. Do you have any briers that need to be exchanged for myrtles in your life? Are you effective and are you living what the Bible refers to as an abundant life in Christ? Just as other trees in my yard cast too much shade for my myrtles, is there something in your life that is casting a shadow, blocking your Sonlight? If so, it is time to make the move into the Son.

Getting into the Sonlight, like moving a tree, is no easy task. It often involves change; sometimes a dramatic change. A change in habits, a ridding of addictions, a move in friendships, a laying down of dreams, or a picking up of one that you have feared. Part of soaking up the Son also includes spending consistent time with Jesus in prayer and reading His Word each day.

Don't be afraid of change, friend. The Psalmist said that pain comes in the night, but joy comes in the morning. In the end, the blooms that follow will tell the tale of the power of life in the Son.

Powerful Jesus, that is what I need You to be today. Powerful Jesus. I see the shadow on my life and often I fear that it will overtake me. You have promised that in You, with You, all things are possible. Show me where to move today Jesus, so that I position myself in Your Sonlight. Give me the discipline to study Your words so that my life will be for Your renown and an everlasting sign to others of life in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Review: Till You Hear From Me by Pearl Cleage

Till You Hear From Me by Pearl Cleage
Amazon Rating: 5

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Different Road, Same Destination

Only child to a stern, know-it-all, old-school civil rights pastor emeritus, and an ultra-feminist mother, Ida B. Wells Dunbar finds her way, and herself, in this tale of old school vs. new school, family and politics.

Post-Obama campaign, Ida hopes to land a position working in the White House, especially after she and her father have worked so hard to help President Obama become elected. The challenge begins when the parent and child dynamic is rocked for differences of opinion, casual outbursts, media frenzy and people with alternative motives.

I particularly enjoyed the way Ms. Cleage wove themes of traditional and new ideologies, politics, community and family into this story. Some of the issues I found myself pondering while reading this selection were the emotional struggles an aging generation may face in passing responsibilities to a younger generation, and acceptance of new technologies and ways of doing things; the level to which some will go for the almighty dollar - greed; and, the importance of not only family, but the well-being of the community and the nation as a whole.

The characters in the story made it even more interesting. I found one of the characters, Miss Ionia, to be very direct, and she even made me laugh a few times. She was my favorite. I read this selection in 2 days, wanting to know what happened next and to finally get to the bottom of the mystery. I recommend this selection and will definitely consider other titles authored by Ms. Cleage.

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Friendship Day!

Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends began in US in 1935. Gradually the festival gained popularity and today Friendship Day is celebrated in large number of countries including India. On this day people spend time with their friends and express love for them. Exchange of Friendship Day Gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.


" Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends. " - Mary Catherwood

" Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival. " - C. S. Lewis

" Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success. " - Oscar Wilde

Send a message to a friend today.  Let them know just how much you appreciate them!

Sooooo . . . to all my friends - reason, season and lifetime - I LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

FEATURED BUSINESS: Creations by Victoria

Creations by Victoria was established in March 2008 by Victoria Blake out of her love for baking and creating unique and delicious baked goods. Creations by Victoria is a custom cookie & cake and edible arrangement company that specializes in unique and custom decorated cookies, cakes of all kinds, gift baskets and fruit arrangements for all occasions and special events.

Creations by Victoria offers a complete and diverse line of custom-made fruit arrangements, cakes, and cookies. Blake offers customers a wide range of goods, specializing in creating bouquets and arrangements shaped as floral bouquets but made from fresh fruit or cookies.

Blake says , "fruit arrangements are made from the freshest of fruits, and the finest of chocolates. Our cookies are hand cut one by one, and iced to perfection. Our cakes are custom-made and accommodate any party size. Our batter is homemade and delicious to say the least. We are perfect for parties, congratulations, sympathy, thank you, and I love you messages, weddings, and so much more.

For more information, you may view the company brochure by clicking here: CREATIONS BY VICTORIA BROCHURE

OR e-mail Victoria at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Submit to the Keeping the Faith Anthology presented by Vanessa Miller

Author, playwright and motivational speaker, Vanessa Miller, is in need of three (3) more stories for the Keeping the Faith anthology.

Do you have a story of faith that you'd like to share with thousands of readers? Are you a writer, but you’re still trying to find a way to become published? Do you have a book out, but you just haven’t been able to connect with your audience yet, and you’re looking for a way to introduce yourself to more readers? Becoming a contributing author in the Faith Series Anthologies can help you achieve your goals.

I have already published two books in this series (This Far by Faith and Have a Little Faith) which have sold thousands of books. Keeping the Faith will be the third and final non-fiction book in the Faith series.

What are the writing guidelines?

The genre is strictly Christian, so the material submitted MUST be biblically sound. It should be double-spaced and in 12-point type (Times New Roman font only). This anthology will be filled with stories of HOPE, and VICTORY through Jesus Christ. I’m looking for short stories that show how faith in God can bring you through the storms of life and personal testimonies concerning the situations in your life that caused you to KEEP THE FAITH even when you didn’t want to anymore. There are also countless personal testimonies of God’s healing power in the area of illness and deliverance. I need those stories for KEEPING THE FAITH. Absolutely no profanity, sexually explicit or vulgar language permitted. Each story should be 4,000 – 6,000 words.

If you have a story that would meet this guidelines and are interested in contributing to the Keeping the Faith anthology, email Vanessa at: In the subject line, type the words Keeping the Faith and let her know that you would like more information and Ms. Miller will forward submission guidelines.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Parents' Day

In the United States, Parents' Day is held on the fourth Sunday of every July. This was established in 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution into law (36 U.S.C. § 135) for "recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children (" 

The establishment of Parents’ Day affords a wonderful opportunity for communities, organizations, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples to honor exemplary parents and to encourage families everywhere to invest in our most precious resource – our children. Among the most popular of these activities has been the recognition of outstanding couples as parental role models who have been honored as "Parents of the Year" at the national, state, local and faith community level. encourages you to get involved in helping recognize outstanding parents worthy of this recognition by establishing a Parents' Day Selection Committee in your faith community or local area. Please also recommend such parents to your state's National Parents' Day Council affiliate or the national office for consideration to be selected "Parents of the Year" at the state or national level.

For more information, visit

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tashera Simmons Writing Memoir and Starring in Upcoming Reality Series

Tashera Simmons Writing Memoir and Starring in Upcoming Reality Series

Tashera Simmons, soon-to-be ex-wife of critically-acclaimed rapper, DMX, recently confirmed her official separation from her spouse of 11 years. Ms. Simmons’ upcoming memoir, Tashera Simmons: Strength of A Woman, is a positive story of she and the rapper’s life together. In an interview with, Ms. Simmons states, “"It's not a tell-all, I want to clear that up.” While her reality show has yet to be picked up by a television network, Tashera Simmons’: Life After X will showcase Tashera and the rest of the immediate family’s life without the rap star. DMX will not star in the series.

FOR DISCUSSION: Many of us know that DMX has had run-ins with the law, as well as experienced many bouts of drug addiction. Tashera stayed for a long haul. Would you get help for your mate? Could you stand the constant relapses? Would you stay or would you go? If you have stayed or would stay, what tools and resources do or would you recommend to help get through a situation similar to Tashera’s? If you’d leave, what would be the turning point for you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Company searching for qualified applicants to fill school bus driver positions.

Company searching for qualified applicants to fill school bus driver positions.

First Student, Inc., the nation’s leader in student transportation, will host two open job fairs on July 22 and 24, to fill approximately 100 school bus driver positions for Detroit Public Schools. The company is seeking applicants with or without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and will provide all necessary training for those in need of a CDL. First Student began the five-year contract with the district in June.

The job fairs will be held at First Student’s west Detroit bus lot, located at 8145 Greenfield, on Thursday, July 22 from 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Interested applicants who are unable to attend the job fairs may apply in person at the First Student offices located at 8145 Greenfield or 10205 Mack Avenue Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Potential drivers must understand the importance of driving a school bus and make safety their core value. They must be able to pass the company’s extensive background checks, drug and alcohol tests, and rigorous training program, which includes in-classroom, behind-the-wheel and safety training for new drivers. Prospective drivers must also be able to safely transport students in a timely manner and complete all pre- and post-trip shift activities. Applicants should possess a sincere desire to work with the public, follow all traffic and corporate regulations, and meet additional company requirements.

Additional information on the job fairs can be found by calling (313) 945-9324.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Introducing Karen Dabney: Author, The Magic Pencil

The Magic Pencil by Karen E. Dabney
The Magic Pencil, a powerful novel for young adults, is the story of Malcolm Bakersfield and the star of his latest and greatest dream, Nia Stellar.

Nia is "the new girl" at Gillespie School. Malcolm quickly notices she's definitely different from all of the other kids he knows.

One day, Malc forgets to bring his pencils to school and borrows one from Nia. When he begins to use it, the pencil glows and his writing flows! Malcolm becomes as mystified as Nia is mysterious.

Many wonderful things continue to happen with Nia on the scene. She challenges Malc to be better than his best and he soon discovers amazing things about himself and the world! But whenever he gets the chance to ask Nia if the pencil has special powers, her answer is usually just a laugh.

We join Malcolm in his quest to discover the secret to the power of the pencil! And we'll uncover hidden powers within ourselves, along the way.

Writing Contest

A student from the age groups 8-12 and 13-17 years old will win 5 copies of The Magic Pencil novel for their school!

The entrants must write an essay on "What is Code-switching?" using The Magic Pencil as a springboard. The winners will be chosen, based on the overall quality of their essay, by 5 professional writers/teachers/editors.

The essay must be accompanied by a letter of authenticity signed by the students' Language Arts or Social Studies teacher and co-signed by a parent or guardian of the student.

The contest is open to U.S.A. students, only.

Entries must be postmarked by Thursday, September 16, 2010. The winners will be notified through their schools.

Send entries via U.S. Mail to:
Dabs and Company
P.O. Box 47327, Oak Park, MI 48237

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: An Inconvenient Friend by Rhonda McKnight

An Inconvenient Friend by Rhonda McKnight*
Reviewed by Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating: 4

Using What You Have to Get What You Want

The author of An Inconvenient Friend, Rhonda McKnight, brings gold-digging Samaria Jacobs back for Round 2. Samaria first arrived on the literary scene in Ms. McKnight’s debut novel, Secrets and Lies. In this offering, Samaria is up to her same conniving ways. Though this time around, Samaria’s plan is to win the man of her dreams by any means necessary, even if it means getting too close for comfort.

Highlighting major concerns that have the ability to either make or break a marriage, Ms. McKnight gives readers a story ripe with the marital issues of infidelity and fertility, as well as subplots of relationships amongst women in the church, drug abuse, as well as familial financial dependency and emotional abuse. This story will cause readers to ruminate existing relationships, and to possibly even consider what they would do in any of the given scenarios presented - at work, at church or at home.

The messages conveyed throughout the novel are the importance of a strong, committed relationship with God, the importance of communication, and truth and honesty in marriage. An additional subplot involving Samaria’s relationship with her own mother caused me to have just a tad bit of empathy for Samaria. A part of me wanted to understand her need for attention – albeit from the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Can faith and forgiveness heal a mighty blow?

I look forward to future offerings from Ms. McKnight.

Reviewed by Tavares S. Carney

*Advance Reading Copy provided by author.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Everyone wants to be a PRINCESS… now you CAN BE!

Everyone wants to be a PRINCESS… now you CAN BE!
The Princess Scholarship Program is designed to recognize women between the ages of 17-23, that are currently a high school senior or enrolled in an accredited Michigan university. The Parade Company is looking for candidates whom invest their time and energy in their community in a positive way and whom represent The Parade Company’s mission of bringing people together from all walks of life to create lifelong happy memories.
A panel of judges will select the Top 5 candidates based on academics, campus & community involvement, personality and knowledge of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. Four (4) of the Top 5 will be recognized as Parade Princess Ambassadors and receive a $250 scholarship. The final candidate will be named the 2010 America’s Thanksgiving Parade® Queen and receive a $1,000 scholarship. Please note this is not an actual pageant. Contestants will be judged and selected based on their written responses to the application and information provided. Photos are requested for media releases and promotion of winners only.
All five (5) women will have the opportunity to ride in the 84th America’s Thanksgiving Parade® in downtown Detroit with the opportunity for media interviews and additional appearances with Parade Company activities throughout the year. The Parade is televised LIVE on WDIV-Local 4 with the first hour nationally syndicated in 74.5 million households.
In addition to the scholarship, America’s Thanksgiving Parade® Queen also receives:

· Tickets to Hob Nobble Gobble®, the premiere Detroit Black Tie event
· Interview and media opportunities
· Tickets to the VIP Rooftop Party to view the Target Fireworks
· Jewelry and other prizes!

Everyone that enters to become thee 2010 America’s Thanksgiving Parade® Queen will receive two (2) tickets to the Princess Tea in September, where the Queen will be crowned.
This is a great opportunity to advance your resume and represent your organization. There is a $25 application fee and the deadline for applicants is August 2, 2010.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact CarolAnn at, 313.432.7831 or visit

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review: Faith by Michelle Larks

Faith by Michelle Larks*
Reviewed by
Tavares S. Carney
Amazon Rating: 5

Through Thick and Thin
Author, Michelle Larks, invites readers into the lives of Monet and Marcus Caldwell, a middle-aged happily married couple, whose years of fertility woes have left the couple feeling hopeless of ever being able to conceive a child. Just when everything seems to be going well for the couple otherwise, Monet and Marcus’ world is rocked by a devastating turn of events. Shortly after, Monet discovers she is with child.

The particular chain of events occurring about the same time as Monet’s conception arouse the issue of paternity, which threatens to tear the Caldwell’s marriage apart. With friends Liz and Wade, as well as Reverend Wilcox, by their side to support the couple through their tribulation, the Caldwell’s manage to work through their individual beliefs, exercising varying degrees of faith.

This was an interesting read for me. I empathized with both primary characters - Monet, as a mother who believed she would never conceive and Marcus, as a man feeling torn between his wife and feeling forced to love a child that may not be his own flesh and blood. I was very interested in learning how things would pan out between Monet and Marcus and was quite pleased with the story’s ending.

I will definitely consider future offerings from Ms. Larks.

Reviewed by Tavares S. Carney

*Review copy provided by author.