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Black Pearls Blog Tours - 5 new articles



 

Intimate Conversation with Activist Terrance Tykeem



Intimate Conversation with Terrance Tykeem

Terrance Tykeem was born in Atlanta,Georgia, spending equal time between Atlanta and Philadelphia before becoming an NFL walk-on. Due to early injury his NFL career was short lived and Terrance deftly transitioned into the entertainment industry.

Terrance has signed with two different record labels and developed a TV show called the Players Club. [ A show whose name he eventually sold to Rapper and Director “ICE CUBE”.]

In recent years Terrance's focus has shifted to social reform which resulted in the 2013 release of "Guilty by Reason of Arrest” and his third book “Touched” in 2014.  His second and third books, deal with mass incarceration and child molestation, respectively. Growing up between relatives and the Foster care system Terrance provides first hand insight into the issues plaguing our communities.

As a writer, speaker, and activist, Terrance is not afraid to challenge the system and does not shy away from asking or answering difficult questions. Terrance has founded the We Stand Up Coalition a non-profit that tours nationally providing education and awareness on such issues.


Author/Singer Terrance Tykeem releases Touched a short film music video to address the issue of Child Sexual Abuse. While in the Foster Care System a young Terrance Tykeem witnessed first hand the sexual abuse of countless boys and girls and barely escaped being a victim himself. These images have haunted him for years.  This short film music video has some of today's well known actors, reality stars and personalities such as Eva Marcille, Chaz Shepherd, Ramona Rizzo, Mama Jones and many others. The music video can be found at:  http://vimeo.com/99473045


BOOKS WE'RE DISCUSSING

1. Guilty By Reason Of Arrest by Terrance Tykeem
2. Touched: When Innocence is Stolen the Pain Lasts Forever by Terrance Tykeem

Books can be purchased on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Terrance-Tykeem/e/B00J1I7X20



BPM:  Tell us about your journey and the beginning of your career.  How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you? 

I was motivated to become an activist and advocate after my own experiences with the legal system. I also learned from my various life experiences that it was more worthwhile and important to me to help others than to use my money for selfish motives.

BPM:  Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
The Guilty by Reason of Arrest book speaks to an audience that wants to better understand how the legal system is biased and places minorities and those in low socioeconomic status at a greater risk of being incarcerated than their affluent white counterparts. It also deals with the injustice that privatized prisons causes our society as a whole.
Touched speaks to adults survivors of child sexual abuse, young adult victims, and their family members that may want to better understand what it is like to be victimized.

I think some authors are role models but I don't think it applies to every author. As an artist whether I am writing a song, producing a movie or writing a book my intention is to find a way to move the intended audience. If an author can create a piece of work that pushes the audience to think differently, to challenge the status quo, or even to inspire than I think they are a role model.

BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book, Touched? Why now?
I was inspired to write Touched because when I was working on the song alot of individuals chose to disclose their stories of abuse to me. I just wanted to share a few of the stories as told to me.

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

The song birthed the book Touched, the book in turn birthed my non-profit foundation, and the non-profit is currently working to birth an entire national movement. To see an idea that existed only in ether come to life and have a following of people behind it is pretty great. To talk with the people that are moved by the song and what we are doing makes you feel like you are building a legacy. I want to have bodies of work that really change peoples lives. I think this is what is beginning to take hold now.

BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? 

I have lots of ideas, they are mostly plot-driven. The news, current events, the political climate, the financial climate, it all impacts me as an artist. Sometimes it moves me to write music, sometimes I write books, other times I am working on screen plays.

BPM:  Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Are your books available in digital forms?
My most recent work is a documentary also titled "Touched" that was an idea I got when I received feedback from the music video. Yes, my books are available on Kindle.

BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers from both books. What makes each one so special? 
Guilty by Reason of Arrest references actual legal issues that affected either myself or those I knew. Touched has two stories, each told by the victim in their words. Each book is educational and can also be viewed as self help.

BPM:  Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your books? 

If so, discuss them. Guilty by Reason of Arrest speaks to minorities, less educated and low socioeconomic status individuals. Touched raises awareness of the pandemic of child sexual abuse. Approximately every 2 minutes a child is sexually abused.

BPM:  How does your books relate to your present career path, spiritual practice or journey?

My books are a reflection of what issues are really weighing on me. These are topics that have resonated within me because of personal experiences coupled with the reality of how often these crimes are occurring in our communities.

BPM:   Did you learn anything personal from writing your books? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching the books?
I have met really genuine people that are really invested in changing their communities. Conversely, I have met alot of people that verbally supported the causes but when our organization reached out to them to help with community events or cameos in the documentary it was apparent that in spite of the cause or even that they themselves were victims, some activists and celebrities were more concerned about how much we were willing to pay them for their time. I was really disappointed in that aspect.

As for the people that I met while writing my books, or the people whose stories I used, they were amazing individuals that I think were courageous. It takes alot to share your darkest secrets. It is hard for most people to trust another [person] to share such horrific details with but because they were victims and by the very nature of the crimes committed against them, these individuals already have a history of broken trust. The fact that these individuals (and others as we are touring) share their stories with me is definitely courageous.

BPM:   What were your goals and intentions for crafting the two books, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  
I feel like each book accomplishes what I intended. I just wanted to be able to educate others on the given topics. I can't speak for other authors but I know I can re-read my books a thousand times before they go to publishing and be happy with them but as soon as I get them back bound and beautiful I think of different ways I could have expanded certain parts of the books. I find my works are like living objects because they are created in a form I create and then as they get viewed and taken in by others and I get feedback, I feel like they take on a form of their own. I also think of how I could have done the subject matter more justice. I'm very Type A though so I don't know if I will every be completely content with any one body of work I've created. I'm always looking for how to out do myself on the next project.

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

My current project is to complete the documentary, Touched. I also have a few television shows I also would like to do a national tour in some format.. like visiting alternative schools inspiring adolescents, speaking in juvenile detention centers and prisons. The staff of my non profit are also working on a national tour in collaboration with treatment facilities for sexual abuse. We would like to have individuals create glass tiles from all 50 states to create a national mosaic tile memorial piece dedicated to victims and families of child sexual abuse. We have a wonderful artist Susan Jablon and her daughter Emily that have graciously agreed to create the piece with us. 

BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Follow me on social media.. like my non-profit on Facebook, We Stand Up Coalition, attend one of my events. Book me for speaking engagements.


We Stand Up Coalition Website: www.we-stand-up.org

Terrance Tykeem | Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/terrance.tykeem



Guilty By Reason Of Arrest by Terrance Tykeem


There have been countless books, movies, TV Shows and documentaries describing the criminal justice system and the people who control it. What they all have failed to do is make clear the true motives of those behind what can actually be described as the “In-Justice system”.

The police, politicians, court and prison officials have waged war on the poor and minority citizens of this country for financial and political reasons among others, while successfully turning millions of our nations less fortunate into commodities and stock options in the process.

Each of these five step chapters will do what others have refused to, by describing in great detail who, where, when and why the self-proclaimed land of the free has become the world leader in incarcerating and disenfranchising it’s poor.

Guilty By Reason of Arrest, will not only shed light on what has become a human rights atrocity, but also provide a blueprint to assist scores of others from getting caught up in an ever expanding web.



Touched: When Innocence is Stolen the Pain Lasts Forever 


There will be 500,000 babies born this year in the United States alone that will be sexually molested before the age of 18 (http://cachouston.org/child-sexual-abuse-facts). This means there are more than 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S.( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006). Children of every gender, age, race, ethnicity, background, socioeconomic status and family structure are at risk.

It isn’t strangers our children have to fear…

Most child sexual abusers are respected members of the community drawn to settings where they gain easy access to children like schools, clubs and churches. Even worse to comprehend is when the abuser is a parent, foster parent, or relative.

The two individuals that allowed me to share their heartbreaking stories of molestation are part of a fraternity of millions whose lives have been forever changed by individuals that were entrusted to be their protectors but instead would become their tormentors.


“What I do know is that sexual abuse is completely preventable. We, as parents, educators, siblings, and caretakers should bear the responsibility to take all measures to keep our children safe. When we allow our children to have their innocence stolen it saddles the victims with feelings of shame, self hatred and pain. The long term consequences can be devastating” – T. Tykeem


Books can be purchased on Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Terrance-Tykeem/e/B00J1I7X20

           



 

BAN Radio Special: A Vision of Angels:The Battle Begins by Alexandra Lane



Alexandra Lane reads from the suspenseful novel A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins on BAN Radio. Listen to the author's interview with Ella Curry and the exciting reading from the book: http://tobtr.com/s/6070859






A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins by Alexandra Lane

 What happens when you’re born into a world of darkness where there are no choices? 
Where the undercurrents of evil are so strong you can’t fight your way out.  What do you do?



Minty, a slave, was born into a world that offered no solace, no happiness but more than anything, no hope.  But on a cold, bitter night, Minty will be forced into making one of the hardest decisions of her life; to leave everyone that she knows and loves behind.  Her decision will bring forth an evil that will stop at nothing to keep her from reaching her destiny.  For it knows, it sees what Minty does not.

Jack, a loner with a dark past, and a few men will pursue her in the dark swamps of Maryland, along with Red, a sinister gray-eyed man who is the perfect embodiment of evil.

Unaware of what’s waiting for him at Little Canyon, Jack will be faced with unbelievable events that will cast him into some of the most frightening experiences of his life.

A weary search, wrought with unexplainable happenings, will begin to take its toll.  Fateful choices will be made.  Choices that will bring about an unimaginable outcome.


This story is a looking glass into the world of angels and the incredible feats they performed for the sake of these two lives.  To understand why, you will have to read the story.  This is about hope in the face of hopelessness and redemption when one feels there is none. 



Chapter Excerpt:  The Beginning
 
Minty has just suffered a horrific beating by one of the slave masters who believed she  and a few other slaves were trying to escape.  She's lying on the ground unconscious because the pain was unconscionable.  Zacharius, one of the young male slaves picks her up and takes her to her mother, Old Rit.  This is a pivotal moment in the book. 

(Readers, please keep in mind these are slaves, so they will speak differently.)



Zacharias quickly carried Minty to her mother’s quarters and stood before the door, kicking it and yelling for Old Rit to let him in. Old Rit opened the door with concern etched in her face. When she saw her daughter’s flaccid body draped in the young man’s arms, her eyes immediately reflected the fear that rose up inside her.

“She ain’t dead! She jus’ passed out,” said Zacharias.

Old Rit looked up at the young man to make sure she heard him correctly.

“She ain’t dead,” he repeated.

“Take her and lay her in dah bed.”

Old Rit scrambled around the room looking for salve and clean rags.

Zacharias gently laid Minty on the bed and then turned toward Old Rit with the front of his shirt soaked with her blood.

“I’s kin fetch some water from dah well fo’ ya, but den I’s gotta go and work dah fields befo’ old man

Brodess finds out where I is.”

Then Zacharias grabbed a small tin bucket on the floor and ran out the door.

As many times as Old Rit had seen her daughter like this, it never got any easier, for tears would still well up in her eyes, but this was the worst she had seen.

Almost immediately, Zacharias returned with the bucket, and with water spilling everywhere, he fretfully placed it on the floor in front of Old Rit then quickly left out running toward the lumber yard.

As she sat cleaning Minty’s cuts, she began to think about her daughter’s plight and what her end would be on this earth. Minty thought she had a right to humanity and to freedom, and because of that very thought, she was subjected to many beatings. She knew Minty’s stubborn nature, along with her illness, would either get her killed or sold, for she was as rebellious as a wild stallion.

However, some of the younger slaves didn’t agree with her ways. They said she was a twenty-seven-year old married woman, and she should know better. They never quite understood why she just wouldn’t humble herself and simply follow the master’s rules as they did.

After regaining consciousness, Minty realized she was lying on her mother’s bed, naked and bleeding. With her jaws tight and her face stern, she secretly promised herself and God that Ben would never beat her again.

“Ouch!” Minty yelled as her mother sat by her side spreading salve on the open wounds. But the constant writhing from the sting of the herbal ointments was making it difficult for Old Rit to apply.

“Now you’s gotta try and lie still why I’s fix yo wounds ‘cause you’s got quite a few of dem dis time,” she said.

“It hurts, Momma!”

“I’s know, baby, but you’s gotta go through dah pain to get to dah healin’.” Then silence filled the room as Old Rit worked on her daughter’s body like a skilled doctor.

“I’s had enough, Momma,” Minty suddenly said, breaking the silence. “I’s can’t take no mo. Two days ago, Zacharias told me ’bout a white man, a abolishnist that was helpin’ slaves scape ta dah North. So ’bout three months ago, I’s went to ’im, and he gave me a map showin’ me how ta get ta dah river where’s  a boat would be waitin’ that would take me up north, close ta a place called a safe house,” she explained.

“Is that what got ya like dis? Minty, ba—”

“No, Momma!” Minty shouted. “I’s got no choice.”

“Minty, you’s can’t trust ‘im, baby. You’s don’t know nuttin’ ’bout ’im.”

“If I stay, I’s gonna die.” Minty paused. “I’s gonna die, Momma. And I don’t wanna die. Not like dis… not like dis.” Then Minty broke down and began to cry.

Old Rit tearfully looked at her daughter then reached down to embrace her, but she quickly let her go when Minty screamed out from the painful touch.

Then she leaned back and looked at Minty’s body. She saw the deep bloody cuts, her bruised and busted lip, and the welt marks that were grotesquely displayed on her body. She realized that her daughter survived, once again, but the day would come when she would not. She gently rubbed Minty’s head and began to slowly shake her head in agreement.

Old Rit could see that Minty’s once vibrant spirit was slowly fading, not only from the beatings but from the struggle to be free. She knew that it was out of her hands and that it was now in God’s.

Then suddenly the door to Old Rit’s quarters violently flew open. Minty’s husband, John, burst into the room. Minty raised her head. Then she strained a little harder, looking into his eyes. Her face quickly changed.

John, a tall, average-built man, stood in the doorway breathing heavily with his chest visibly heaving up and down. He had run all the way from town when he heard the news of Minty’s savage beating. Seeing her battered body and her blood-soaked clothes lying on the floor next to the bed was more than he could take. He was neither happy nor thrilled at the fact that Minty was still alive. Instead, he was furious.

“I’s told you you’d get a beatin’ if you didn’t learn ta shut yo mouth!” he said. “Sneakin’ round here, always talkin’ bout escapin’. Where’s ya gonna go? You’s need ta stop thinkin’ you’s better than everyone else. Thinkin’ you’s kin say or do whateva you’s want. Have ya forgot that you’s a slave?” Then he slammed his fist against the door, making a small dent. “Well, let me help ya! You’s a slave, dammit!”

John abruptly turned to leave out the small quarters, but he turned back around and pointed his calloused finger at Minty.

“You’s best start thinkin’ ’bout how you’s gonna change yo ways befo’ you get both o’ us kilt.”

Then he turned and walked out the door, slamming it behind him. He slammed it so hard that it rebounded off the framed doorway and swung back open.

 “Minty, he’ll neva understand how you’s feel. He be a free man, bone that way. You’s runnin’ away and gettin’ yo freedom means him losin’ his wife and bein’ alone. Ya see how he acts when you’s talk ta him ’bout bein’ free. You’s kin see it in his eyes. He don’t want ya ta leave, and he’ll do whateva he can ta stop it. Even said he’ll tell ole man Brodess if you’s kept talkin’ bout it. You knows dis ta be true.”

Minty slowly laid her head back down and blankly stared at the open doorway. Something was changing…something in her.

 Then unexpectedly, in the midst of staggering summer heat, the whisper of a cool breeze blew in through the open doorway and encircled Minty’s face and body. The breeze felt as if God was blowing his divine breath upon her battered and bruised body. So Minty closed her eyes and welcomed the comfort that the cool breeze bestowed upon her stinging wounds.

Old Rit looked at her daughter and smiled as she gently rubbed her head, for as the old folk would say, God was whispering to her soul. 


(  Continued...  )


© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Alexandra Lane.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Suspense, Inspirational, Fantasy, and Christian Fiction

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Vision-Angels-Alexandra-Lane-ebook/dp/B008S19ODW

Barnes and Noble.com
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-vision-of-angels-alexandra-lane/1108912950  



Intimate Conversation with Alexandra Lane


Alexandra Lane
was born in Fayetteville, NC but due to her father’s military career she has lived in various states and countries. To have the opportunity to become familiar with other cultures and their traditions was an uplifting and educational journey. One she was glad to have participated in.

She later returned to Fayetteville where she attended Fayetteville State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Management. Upon graduation she worked in the financial world of banking. Although she enjoyed her years as a Banking Center Manager she wanted to devote more of her time to writing and telling compelling stories. This is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.


BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book. 
A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins is the story of a woman name Minty, a slave and Jack, a slave hunter. Both their lives are shattered beyond what most people would be able to bear.

Minty will make a decision to run away to save her life and Jack and a few men will pursue her in the dark swamps of Maryland. However, Jack is unaware of what he is about to encounter at a place called, Little Canyon. Unimaginable, is how I would describe what happens next. Evil is amongst them, but more than anything, it is very aware of these two souls.

This story is a looking glass into the world of Angels and the incredible feats they performed for the sake of these two lives. This is a story of hope in the face of hopelessness and redemption even when one feels there is none. 
Of course, you will have to read the story to understand why.


BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  
The idea came about one day when I was watching a daytime talk show. There was a man on the show that described an incredible situation where he survived a paragliding incident that should’ve robbed him of his life. But thankfully, he lived. However, he went on to say he was incredibly “lucky.”

I saw it different. I saw his angels safely guiding him to earth because his purpose had not yet been fulfilled here on earth. So I wondered how amazing it must look to see our angels in action. How does it look when they’re doing extraordinary things behind the scenes for us? Like saving us from danger, protecting us from harm and even guiding us through life? That is when the story was born.

So far as plot or character driven, I would have to say that this is more character driven because I wanted to focus more on the people in the story. Who they are, and what made them that way. We are all flawed in some way, but there are some people who have more challenges and bigger road blocks in their lives. As a result they develop certain “defenses” to help them cope with the more strenuous obstacles of life. It makes for some very interesting outcomes.


BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special? 
Well the main characters are Minty, Jack and Red. What makes Minty special is her spirit. Even as a slave she doesn’t lose hope. She never stops believing that she can, one day, be free. Even when everything around her, the environment, the other slaves and her husband, says NO YOU CAN’T.

Jack is special because his life started out one way but made a drastic turn when his parents died. He tries hard to fight the dark emotions that try to rule over him but it’s difficult. He actually has a good heart but it worthless to him. So, he just drifts through life trying to run from a past he hates but realizes it follows you wherever you go.

Red is different. He was born with these awful, menacing eyes that frightens everyone. But as he gets older and begins to partake in some unsavory acts, those eyes are not only frightening but they become occupied with something more sinister than himself.

And I don’t want to make light of Patty and Melinda because they are both instrumental in the story as well. Patty is the owner/madam of a saloon. Her reason for becoming a madam is very interesting.

Melinda
is a young woman who was taken in by Patty when she was kicked out of her aunt’s home. However, things begin to take a turn when she and Jack meet for the first time.


BPM: Can you outline some areas where your characters dealt with issues that are in current affairs?
Yes. Although this story takes place in 1849 around the time of slavery, I picked this time to show that even in the direst situations, there is still hope. Keep in mind slavery can come in many forms. Sometimes we are enslaved to our environment: Poverty, crime, drugs, domestic violence, abuse and the list goes on and on. Sometimes when it's all you know and you don't see a way out, it's easier to give in and accept it as your fate. (Just as the other slaves did in this story) But I strongly believe you can change your outcome.

A Vision of Angels is a story about hope, looking beyond your circumstances and what everyone else is saying and doing and fighting for a better life. Start preparing, set a plan in motion, study hard, hold onto patience and above all have faith in God and follow your angel that He has assigned to you. Do these things and you can make it out of whatever hell you may be in.

Is it going to be easy? No. Are there bumps and bruises in attempting to free yourself? Yes, many. But how great is the reward that awaits when you’re finally free.


BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? 
Psalms 91:11 says, “For He shall give His angels charge over thee in all thy ways. The translation of the word “angel” is “messenger.” Simply put, Angels are God’s messengers. What I want people to take away from this story is that we have all been assigned an angel...or two. (Smile) God sent them to help guide us on this journey, therefore, we need to listen when they are trying to do their job.

Whenever you hear a still, quiet voice in your spirit saying, Take her some food and Buy the child some clothes or sometimes a strong urge may come over you to call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in years. Do it, there's a reason for it. And in some cases they have messages of warnings. For example, you’re getting ready to take a ride with someone that maybe you just met, but all of a sudden this overpowering feeling/warning comes over you and you know you shouldn’t get in that car or Stay away from that place. This is your angel trying to guide you in life as well as protect you. Each act we perform or obey takes us closer to fulfilling our purpose.

And have you ever noticed that when you “do” listen, you’re so glad you did?! Sometimes, it is revealed to us later why we were told to do what we did. Makes you smile. Makes you feel really good inside.


BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author?
When someone calls you or leaves a message and tells you how much they loved your story. As an author, at least for me, it’s not always easy putting a story together but when you finally complete your story, that is the most gratifying feeling. But what’s more exciting is when others read your book and get just as excited about the story as you did when you were writing it. When they say it made them feel good or how they really liked a certain character. When I hear the words, suspenseful, inspirational, blessing or better yet, it made them think. To me, that is success! A wonderful feeling to have.


BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life? 
Yes, yes and yes to all of the above. Writing in a different time period is a challenge in itself. You have to research the clothes, the words, everything. You have to stay in that time and not forget that there are certain words we say today that were not used back in that time. Certain mannerisms and behaviors were more acceptable back then but not today. So, I had fun learning about those little details that we don’t really think about every day.


BPM: Our life experiences, challenges and success help define who we are on a personal and professional level. At what point in your career did you discover your real worth and own it? 
Actually, there are several points in my life that I can reflect on that shaped who I am today but I will address this particular one. My first trial in life came when I became a divorcee and I had three children to raise on my own. Whew! That was a tough one. I had to move to a place that my kids weren’t use to living in, but that was so I could go to college and hopefully provide a better life for them. I had always wanted to go but I didn’t have the money or any scholarships or rich relatives. LOL. I honestly didn’t know where to start.

So, I went to the college and spoke to the administrators and they were wonderful in guiding me on where to begin. But in pursuing this journey, I had to “back up” in life in order to go forward and I also had to be patient and stay focused on the end game and not my current situation. You realize how strong you are as a mother and as a person when you have very little to live off of and nowhere to pull from. But when I finished college and walked across that stage to receive my degree the REWARD was far greater than the struggle and the pain I endured.

I can’t find the words to describe how it felt to get a good paying job and what it felt like to move your family into a better home and neighborhood and comfortably provide for them.

One day, while sitting at my computer and thinking back on my life, I wrote this short poem for myself. Of course, I titled it, New Beginnings:

**A new beginning represents the journey and transition of a woman. Her struggles through difficult times and the transformation she undergoes. Strength is the gift given to each woman that has had to start over in her life, for her choices were few, and her path reset. And for every dramatic change she endures, like the butterfly, she emerges stronger, wiser and more beautiful. When you thought you couldn’t run any further, you now realize you have wings…and you can soar. **

This poem hangs on my wall in my room as a reminder of what I was brought through. Thank you, God.


Website: http://alexandralane.tateauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avisionofangels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.lane11


Purchase A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins

Available on Kindle and Nook and in print 



Barnes and Noble.com:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-vision-of-angels-alexandra-lane/1108912950 


 

           


 

BAN RADIO Oct. 27 - A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby





FEATURED BOOK: A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby  Join us on Oct. 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST) by calling into the live radio show:  646.200.0402.  Or click here the night of the show, to listen.
 


Readers can never really miss a BAN interview!  If you miss the live show, listen to the BAN Radio Show archives 24/7 from your device, phone, tablet or PC at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network



 
A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby


BARNES & NOBLE has discounted the hardcover version of Kimberla Lawson Roby's upcoming book, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER by 50%!    If you PRE-ORDER it now, the cost is only $10.00!   You can get a copy for your own collection, and/or buy it as a gift for someone else! You can order by clicking here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-christmas-prayer-kimberla-roby/1118862156




Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis's fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He's kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis's career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything.  Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?  



Chapter 1 - A Christmas Prayer


It was Black Friday, and while millions of folks were out chasing some of the most colossal deals of the century, all Alexis wanted was for this whole Christmas season to be over with. There were times when she wished she could feel differently, but ever since her mom had passed away five years ago, she hadn’t wanted anything to do with it. Of course, she did still recognize and mentally rejoice at the beautiful birth of Christ, but when it came to huge family celebrations and festive gatherings, she wanted no parts of them. What she did instead, mostly, was pray that New Year’s Day would come as quickly as possible so she could get on with her life.

Alexis curled her body into a tighter ball, picked up the remote control, and looked toward the flat-screen television on her bedroom wall. It was shortly past one in the afternoon, yet she still lay in her dark mahogany sleigh-style bed with her pajamas on. She just didn’t feel like doing anything, and the fact that almost every news channel she turned to showed massive shopping crowds and footage of customers and workers being trampled, well, that made Alexis want to turn off the TV altogether. As it was, she had already been trying her best to avoid every one of those sappy Hallmark Christmas card commercials, and she’d certainly been staying clear of one of her personal favorites—the Hallmark Channel itself, since they were doing what they did every year: airing those depressing Christmas movies day in and day out, twenty-four seven .

If only her mom were still here, Alexis would be so much happier. Even now, she couldn’t help thinking about how much her mom had loved, loved, loved Christmas. It had been by far her favorite holiday, and she’d adored it so much that she would immediately begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving. She would celebrate in various other ways, too, the entire month of December, including playing some of her favorite Christmas carols, such as “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and “The First Noel.” Then, on the twenty-fifth, she would host a huge family dinner. She bought gifts for everyone, she baked and cooked and baked and cooked some more, and on Christmas afternoon, she would say, “I almost hate to see the sun go down, because Christmas will be just about over.”

This was how it had always been, and it was because of these kinds of sentiments that Alexis was full of happy childhood memories. She even had fond memories from her adult life…that is, until her mom had passed.  Now her heart was consumed only with sadness.

Alexis flipped through more channels, sighing heavily. But then she came upon one of her favorite movies, This Christmas, starring Loretta Devine, Regina King, and Idris Elba. She could tell the movie had been on for a while because Chris Brown was already walking toward the front of the church, preparing to sing…“This Christmas.” Alexis watched and listened, though she wasn’t sure why she tortured herself this way, because not once had she ever watched this scene without breaking into tears. It was such a reminder of her mom and the way she had loved and doted on her family. It also reminded Alexis of how her mom had taught her children exceedingly strong Christian values. She’d raised Alexis and her younger sister, Sabrina, to treat all people the way they wanted to be treated and to keep God and family first in their lives. The two of them had been very blessed to have such a loving, caring, and compassionate mother—and it meant everything.

Alexis watched Chris Brown singing from the depths of his soul and then saw family members standing and walking into the church aisle, embracing one another. It was after this that Alexis’s eyes welled up with tears, and she cried uncontrollably. She missed her mother so tremendously that her chest ached. Then, to make matters worse, the next scene showcased the entire family gathered around the dinner table. They looked as though they couldn’t be happier, and Alexis couldn’t help thinking how this was the way she’d once felt, too.

But as the saying went, that was then and this was now. Her mother was gone, and as far as Alexis was concerned, there wasn’t a single thing or person that could make her feel better about it, not even the people Alexis loved. Paula, her best friend since childhood, had been trying to lift her Christmas spirit for years, and so had Alexis’s fiancé, Chase, for the time he’d known her. But if anything, Alexis seemed to feel sadder with each passing year. In fact, this year she’d begun dreading the whole idea of Christmas as early as September. She wasn’t sure what had set her off, exactly; all she knew was that not long after Labor Day, the thought of Christmas had entered her mind and she’d become depressed. It was as if the simplest anticipation of it all had been enough to ruin Alexis’s day, which was the reason she’d taken that particular afternoon off. This hadn’t been hard to do, since she was self-employed as a motivational speaker and her hours were flexible, but she still hated that mere thoughts of Christmas affected her so gravely.

It also didn’t help that she and her sister, Sabrina, were usually at odds about one thing or another. Alexis and Sabrina had never gotten along the way sisters should. They were just too different, she guessed. But at least when their mom had been alive, they’d worked harder at it and tolerated each other more. Now, Alexis practically had to beg to see her niece, Courtney, and there were times when Sabrina still told her no just to be spiteful. The two of them had a lot of bad history, but that was a whole other story and one Alexis didn’t want to think about because it was far too distressing.

As one thought after another raced  through her mind, Alexis wept like a child. She was miserable, and she wished she could sleep for the next week. She knew this wasn’t logical, but she just wanted this awful pain to go away. She wanted to be at peace, and before long, she glanced over at the bottle of amitriptyline on her wooden nightstand. Her doctor had prescribed it for insomnia, and although she only took one ten-milligram pill at bedtime, and sometimes only half a pill, she contemplated taking much more. Or maybe all she needed to do was take two of them, because she knew one woman who took twenty-five milligrams for unexplained abdominal pain and another who took more than that for depression. If Alexis only took twenty milligrams, she wouldn’t be overdoing it, and she also wouldn’t likely wake up until many hours from now—meaning she wouldn’t have to think about the loss of her mom or anything relating to family or Christmas. She would simply be able to sleep away her sadness, and by tomorrow, Black Friday and all the hoopla surrounding it would be over. She was sure the media would continue covering all the shopping stories throughout the weekend as well as  on Cyber Monday, but at least the biggest shopping day of the year would have ended, and she’d be one day closer to January 1.

All she had to do was bide her time, and things would return to normal. They had to, because after all, she and Chase were getting married in June, and the last thing she wanted was to be an unhappy bride. She was engaged to the man of her dreams, and she looked forward to becoming Mrs. Chase Dupont III. This was what she kept telling herself, anyway—especially since her future mother-in-law was the most heartless woman she’d ever met. Still, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t be thrilled about marrying a man like Chase? He was gorgeous, well educated, and CEO of a Fortune 500 company called Borg-Freeman Technologies—which, interestingly enough, was the same position his father had held for years before his passing. He’d also placed a five-karat ring on her finger, and he truly loved her. By most people’s standards, Chase was everything a woman could hope for, so Alexis tried to remember that.

But for now, she reached over and picked up her pill bottle, opened it, swallowed two pills with water, and lay back down. She closed her eyes and smiled. In a few moments, she’d be sound asleep and wouldn’t have to think about Christmas at all…and she certainly wouldn’t have to think about Chase’s mother—or the disastrous time she’d had with them yesterday during Thanksgiving dinner. She wouldn’t have a problem in the world, and just knowing that made her feel better already.


( Continued... )


As the online publicist for EDC Creations, hired by Kimberla Lawson Roby, I have her permission to share this excerpt.  © 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Kimberla Lawson Roby.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.


 

Purchase A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby
On Sale Date- October 28, 2014;  Novella - Pages: 192


B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-christmas-prayer-kimberla-roby/1118862156

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Prayer-Kimberla-Lawson-Roby/dp/1455526045



Meet Kimberla Lawson Roby


New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 20 novels and she has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 2014 Literary Excellence Award from Black Pearls Magazine, the recipient of the 2014 AAMBC Award for Female Author of the Year, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame (Rockford, IL).

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and overweight issues to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.  Her 21st title, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER will release on October 28, 2014.   Listen to the author reading from book:   http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CHDXS4Wx/

 

BPM: Share with us your personal journey into publishing.  Was this a fun time in your life?
Writing was not a lifelong dream of mine, however, back in April 1995 I sat down and began writing my debut novel, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.  It took me about seven months to complete, and I then began querying literary agents in search for representation.  I was rejected by all of them.  Finally, I submitted query letters directly to editors at publishing houses and received rejection letters from them as well.  This is when my husband suggested that I start my own company to self-publish my book, and I did.  My mom kept telling me not to give up also.  As it turned out, I learned a wealth of important and very helpful information about the business of publishing, and I sold just over 10,000 copies within the first 6 months of publication.  This was truly a fun and exciting time in my life.


BPM:  How did you get to be where you are in your life today?  Who or what motivated you?
My mother and my maternal grandmother were two of the kindest and wisest women I have ever known, and they began instilling a certain level of Christian and family values and wisdom in me from the time I was a small girl. Even after all the rejections, my mom told me I shouldn’t give up (I miss her tremendously), and my husband continues to be my biggest encourager and supporter as well.


BPM:  Who does your body of literary work speak to?  Do you consider authors as role models?
I believe my literary work speaks to everyone in one way or another.  I write about real-life social issues that can and do affect all human beings.  Corruption within the church, infidelity, domestic violence, drug addiction, gambling addiction, adult sibling rivalry, care-giving of a terminally-ill parent, childhood sexual abuse, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, social status, overweight issues, and the list goes on.  There is also always some level of redemption and forgiveness in every single book I write.  I don't consider myself to be a role model per se, but if someone does in fact view me in that manner, my prayer is that I am able to represent myself well, particularly to young people.


BPM:  Could you tell us something about your most recent work?  Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER centers on Alexis Fletcher, who sadly, hasn't had a merry Christmas in five years—not since her mother passed away.  Every December, she remembers the joy that her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence.  This is even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking, and her future mother-in-law would do anything—anything at all—to stop her son, Chase, from marrying Alexis. Yes, it is available in all digital formats.


BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
Alexis is kind, compassionate and very intelligent, yet she is struggling with lots of sadness because of the passing of her mother.  No matter what she does or how wonderful every aspect of her life is, she still can't seem to get beyond her feelings about the holidays.


BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
About three years ago, my editor, Beth de Guzman suggested that I write a Christmas book, and while I wasn't sure what I would center the story on, I told her about my own personal feelings about Christmas, and she said, "Well, that's the story."  I can't personally relate to every aspect of Alexis Fletcher's life, but I can certainly relate to not truly wanting to celebrate Christmas since the passing of my own mom 13 years ago.


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

I enjoyed writing this book because even though Alexis is sad about the holidays, she is blessed in so many other ways and there is a strong sense of love and family throughout the entire story.


BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from?
With every book I write, I first decide which social issue I'm really feeling passionate about at the time and then I create my characters around it.  From there, I outline the story.


BPM:  Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  Why?
My books can tend to be both, depending on which title.  What I hear most often than not, though, from the majority of my readers is that they can always relate to both my characters and the overall storyline.


BPM:  Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.
In many of my books, there are.  One example, is my novella, A DEEP DARK SECRET where I wrote about a 12-year-old girl who was being sexually molested by her stepfather who was an upstanding deacon in the church.  She was suffering in silence and so are millions of children in this country who never tell anyone what's happening to them.


BPM:  How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?

As I mentioned above, I can't personally relate to every aspect of Alexis Fletcher's life, but I can certainly relate to not wanting to celebrate Christmas since the passing of my own mom 13 years ago.  My prayer, however, is that God will give me a renewed spirit and the desire to enjoy the holidays again with family and friends.


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

I wanted to show that not everyone is the same and that loss of a loved one can affect people very differently.  I also wanted to show that even through loss, God still gives each and every one of us so many other blessings and loved ones to be there for us.


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

I'm currently finishing up THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, which is my 22nd book and the 12th title in my Reverend Curtis Black Series.  It will be released, Tuesday, May 5, 2015.


BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can visit my web site, www.kimroby.com. or visit me through social media at www.facebook.com/kimberlalawsonroby or www.twitter.com/KimberlaLRoby





           



 

BAN RADIO Oct. 29 - Dangerously In Love: Blame it On the Streets by Aletta H.




FEATURED BOOK:  Dangerously In Love: Blame it On the Streets  by Aletta H.   Join us on Oct. 29, 2014 at 8:30 PM (EST) by calling into the live radio show:  646.200.0402.  Or click here the night of the show, to listen.

Readers can never really miss a BAN interview!  If you miss the live show, listen to the BAN Radio Show archives 24/7 from your device, phone, tablet or PC at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network


Dangerously In Love: Blame it On the Streets  by Aletta H. Reminisce would blame the streets for the way her life turned out. She grew up poor, insecure and wanting the finer things in life. That’s where Jimmy came in at. He was a hustler and soon able to give Reminisce all the things in life she dreamed of. The problem was, Jimmy not only took care of her, and he also indulged in the finer things of life too. He was an obsessive cheater and a womanizer. 

Their relationship was entering the fifth year and things had gotten worse. But Reminisce loved Jimmy and was willing to put up with his bullshit as long as the money kept coming. But things changed when some men broke in the house to rob Jimmy and nearly killed them both during the robbery. Reminisce wanted out. She retreated to writing poetry, something she used to do as a little girl. She soon found strength in her heart to want out. 

Jimmy got arrested and she found her first real chance of leaving Jimmy. But would she make it on her own without the drug money Jimmy provided? Reminisce blames the streets but the streets doesn’t owe anyone any loyalty. Dangerously In Love is a modern love tale filled with danger, passion, and one woman’s dream of escape.


Purchase Your Copy of Dangerously in Love
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NF9HBEG




Dangerously in Love: Modern Urban Love Story Provides Uplifting Solace to Abused Women Making Transition from Victim to Victor.


Masterfully crafted by Aletta H, ‘Dangerously in Love’ fuses prose and poetry to tell the story of Reminisce, a bold and brave young woman who is taunted by failed love and lost direction at a time when she needs it the most. The world around Reminisce and the people within it are dragging her own existence into the ground – but will hope prevail? Find out in this gripping new novel that proves walking out of abusive relationships is far easier said than done.

 Urban Fiction is quickly picking up pace to become one of the most in-demand genres among the female readership. However, critics are currently crying out for wholly-unique new narratives that don’t succumb to the recycling of the ‘same-old’ literary concepts. Thankfully, author Aletta H has answered the call with gusto, to twist fact with fiction in a debut novel that can easily rival any bestseller.

Aletta won’t say how much of ‘Dangerously in Love’ was inspired by her own life experiences – but maintains that the adversity faced by heroine Reminisce is a microcosm of the daily lives of thousands of young African Americans in urban settings across the nation.


Dangerously In Love is a modern love tale filled with danger, passion, and one woman’s dream of escape.  “The book brings both prose and poetry together, words that will remind every woman either of herself or someone she knows,” explains Aletta. “I want to make it clear that leaving an abusive relationship is not as simple as walking out of the door; there’s a huge mental battle that ensues and it holds many back from changing their lives.”

Continuing, “You have to build yourself back up in something of a physical and mental rebirth. This book explains that entire process and will touch the heart of anyone that has stared abuse in the eyes.”

Since its release, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. Spring Olsen comments, “I just finished reading Dangerously in Love by Aletta H.! I couldn't put it down once I started! This book is amazing! I can't wait for her next book! I am definitely pre ordering that one, too! A very talented author!”

Jacqueline Passaway adds, “Definitely a must read! This book grabs your attention and won't let go. People look up! Author Aletta H. is on her way to the top!”

With the book’s popularity expected to increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.


‘Dangerously in Love’, from Cinematic Ink Publications, is available now: http://amzn.to/1xVzPgg.



Meet Aletta Hodges


Author Aletta Hodges is poet and writer born and raised in Mid-Michigan. Her debut novel, Dangerously In Love was published in August 2014 on Cinematic Ink, a subsidiary of SBR Publications, owned and operated by best selling author David Weaver. Aletta currently lives in Lansing Michigan where she is a Dental Assistant and Tax Preparer. She began writing poetry at the age of twelve and has always been an avid reader. Her poems have long been sought out by fans and friends alike for years. Her book, Dangerously In Love is a trilogy series that chronicles a love tale filled with danger, passion and one woman’s dream of escape.







           


 

BAN RADIO Oct. 29 - Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House by Nika Beamon




BAN RADIO FEATURED BOOK:
Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House by Nika Beamon

Join us on Oct. 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST) by calling into the live radio show:  646.200.0402.  Or click here the night of the show, to listen.

Readers can never really miss a BAN interview!  If you miss the live show, listen to the BAN Radio Show archives 24/7 from your device, phone, tablet or PC at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network



Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House is the tale of a Nika Beamon's quest to find the correct medical diagnosis after years of getting false assessments. This frank and engaging story takes the reader on journey through her various hospital trips, and procedures, as well as her feeling and emotions that are as real as they are raw. It also introduces them to a quirky cast of characters who go through this 17 year odyssey with her until she finally finds out that she has an autoimmune disorder.

Misdiagnosed gives a voice to the 30 million Americans diagnosed with rare diseases, who have struggled to figure out what ail them. It gives people suffering with chronic conditions, rare or not, tips on how to continue to get the best medical care possible. I also provide tips on how to care for someone who is chronically ill and the things all single chronically ill people should do to make things easier for their family and friends.

Also, Misdiagnosed serves a cautionary guide to anyone who falls ill or has a loved one suffering with an ailment in the US. A recent John Hopkins study found that hospital errors lead to as many as 40,500 patients dying annually. Also, a study published in April showed 1 in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S.

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House  has been endorsed by bestselling authors Wes Moore, Marya Hornbacher and Richard Cohen (Meredith Vieira’s husband) as well as Dr. Robert Lahita of UMDNJ and the Nation Women’s Health Network.



WHY BEAMON’S MISDIAGNOSED IS A MUST READ

Misdiagnosed sheds light the experiences of African American and other minorities who have a well-documented history of getting substandard or inadequate medical treatment in the U.S. A research study cited in a February 14, 2010 Daily Beast article said “race-related differences in health care cost the country 229 billion between 2003 and 2006” alone; a fact that “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called ‘just stunning and shocking.’”

The Mayo Clinic found 26 percent of cases are misdiagnosed; this number rises to a staggering 44 percent when it comes to some types of cancer according to the Journal of Clinical Onocology. These mistakes cost nearly one third of the 2.7 trillion spent in the US on healthcare. A study published in April showed one in every 20 people or 12 million per year are misdiagnosed at outpatient clinics in the U.S.    Source



WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Anyone who has not had a chronic illness.
Anyone who has a chronic illness. 
Anyone who has cared for someone with a chronic illness. 
Anyone who has treated, or attempted to treat, someone with a chronic illness. 
Anyone who influences health policy in the U.S. or other countries. 


Order Links for Misdiagnosed

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/457341

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosed-The-Search-Dr-House/dp/1500436674

http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosed-Search-House-Nika-Beamon-ebook/dp/B00M5G9TLI



Intimate Conversation with Nika C. Beamon

Nika C. Beamon is a TV News Writer/Producer in New York. She pursued a BA in Communications and a BA in Sociology at Boston College in Massachusetts.

Beamon has been credited as a reference in the several books on television news and has also won many awards throughout her career including a Peabody Award for ABC News’ coverage of the September 11th Attacks.

In 2009, Chicago Review Press published her well-received non-fiction book: I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out. In 2000, she published her first mystery novel, Dark Recesses. In 2002, her second mystery novel, Eyewitness was released.


BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
I sat down to write this book after having my first lymph node biopsy and realizing the delay in my diagnosis may have led to my illness progress to the near terminal stage. Family, friends and co-workers encouraged me to share my story to inspire others.  Months later, the first draft of Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House was complete.

BPM:  Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?

Certain my life experiences have taught to me to embrace myself, flaws and all, so that I can keep growing and sharing who I am with the world.  My upbringing taught me I’m capable of succeeding, despite my limitations, with the help of my support system.

BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?  Why?
My book ideas are influenced by the stories I read about or come in contact with every day.   I’d like to think my books are character driven; that readers connect with someone in the story and go on the journey with them. However, I believe the social themes I address are equally as important to grasp.

BPM:   Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
My new book is my first memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House.   I work in television and am a self-professed TV junkie so naturally I was a fan of the show, “Dr. House, MD.”  When my own illness seemed to baffled doctors, I searched for a doctor, like the one on the show, who could help figure out what was wrong with me.  It takes me 17 years and nearly 22 doctors to find an answer but thankfully I survived to get it. The book will be available a paperback and in all e-book forms starting August 1st.

BPM:   Give us some insight into your main speakers. What makes each one so special?
The main speakers in the book real people: me and my ex-boyfriend. You gain great insight into our nearly decade long romantic relationship and the toll my physical decay takes on it.  Additionally, you are introduced to my parents and several close friends that form a village to take care of me when I am unable to do so myself.

BPM:   What topics are primarily discussed?  Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House deals with a variety of topics including: being sick and single, dealing with chronic illness, the plight of medical misdiagnosis, the financial toll prolonged illnesses take, the role of the caregiver in the lives of the chronically ill and the strength of the human spirit, as well as the role of faith in healing. Reflecting on the various bouts with illness in my life taught me to appreciate where I am in my life right now and all those who have aided me.

BPM:   What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
The only real ambition I have as a writer is to tell stories that entertain and enlighten readers about subjects, persons or thoughts they don’t often consider.  I define success as anytime I reach anyone outside of my circle of friends, family and co-workers.

BPM:   What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
I truly hope this book as used as a resource to aid other people struggling with illness.  I provide tips at the end to help others avoid the pitfalls I ran into so that they can focus on getting well.

BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can find out more about me and my other books by logging onto my website:
http://www.nikabeamon.com
https://twitter.com/NikaBeamon
https://www.facebook.com/NikaCBeamon


Reviews for Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House



“Misdiagnosed is an eye-opening, fascinating account of a brave journey through the labyrinth of American medicine. Beamon draws the reader in skillfully, and gives us a close up view of the power of human persistence.”
—Marya Hornbacher, a Pulitzer Prize and Pushcart Prize nominated author. Her bestselling books include: Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia; Madness: A Bi-Polar Life and Waiting: A Non-Believer's Guide to a Higher Power.

“How long can my body endure all the invasions by doctors?   Nika Beamon’s cry is heard throughout Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House. That doc does not exist, of course, but the author’s journey across hazardous terrain in the medical jungle did.  Her misery being mangled by modern medicine provides lessons on arming ourselves for the battles many of us face.”
—Richard M. Cohen, New York Times Best Selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places.
“This is a book is a “must read” for all doctors and healthcare professionals...  Enigmatic to most physicians, devastating to patients, the stuff of science fiction, and limitless in presentation; autoimmune diseases are the frontier of medicine in the 21st century.  They demand an understanding of complex science and while practicing the art of medicine with compassion…Read Nika’s story to understand why patients long for a diagnosis.”
—Robert G. Lahita MD, PhD, FACP, MACR, FRCP,  Chairman of Medicine and VP, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Professor of Medicine, UMDNJ

“Misdiagnosed” is a gripping medical detective story. It could be a fictional episode of “House” from the patient’s perspective, but this story is real. It is a raw telling of Nika Beamon’s journey through high-tech American health care. Just as she recounts stripping naked for doctors’ probes and surgeons’ scalpels, Beamon bares hers physical and emotional tribulations to readers.”
—Andrew Holtz, MPH Editor-In-Chief, HoltzReport and author of The Medical Science of House, M.D.

“Nika's book is a well written, eye opening, call to action. An inspiring, yet alarming story that lets us know that even in our darkest and most alone moments, that we are not alone.”
—Wes Moore, Bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore.

“…Everyone with an invisible illness, whether named or not, will relate to Nika Beamon's hidden dramas in her life, dealing with the daily frustrations of a mysteriously uncooperative body -- and then, often worse, with an ill-equipped, punishing medical system…”
—Paula Kamen,  Author of All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache

“...I believe it will truly help someone as they are on the quest for their own.  More people need to realize that doctors truly don’t know everything and that doctors can be learning about a patient’s illness right along with them!”
—Shaniqua D. Seth, Health Communications Manager, National Women's Health Initiative






















           



 

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