Black Pearls Magazine is a fantastic digital magazine committed to inspire, encourage and empower a international group of readers. Our mission is to provide information that is essential, enlightening and entertaining. The information that we publish helps to empower our BP readers, therefore enriching their lives and benefiting the communities in which they live. We believe in Giving the Gift of Knowledge! We are here to bring you those literary jewels, Black Pearls, that are sure to bring you and your love ones much pleasure and empowerment. Every issue of this weekly published newsletter will celebrate the accomplishments of authors and writers from around the globe, honoring proud traditions and spotlighting ways to enhance the reader"s everyday life.  This is our newsletter, visit the main site here. Promote your book in this newsletter by visiting our parent company EDC Creations here.

 

  

Black Pearls Blog Tours - 5 new articles



 

Schedule Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival




Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival

Celebrating Our Legacy 365!
November 19-25, 2014

Share this Hashtag: #BondingThruBooks
 
Hosted by Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group




You are invited to Bonding Thru Books Weekend, a totally ONLINE book festival hosted by EDC Creations Media Group.  Every year we present a very diverse author showcase with live readings, writer's workshops, book club panel discussions, and several awesome book giveaways. Join BAN Radio Show host Ella D. Curry, avid readers, book bloggers and publishing industry insiders.

If we are to survive in this nation, we all have to learn to recognize and respect the fundamental differences between races, cultures, and our diverse socio- economic human rights. It is our hope that through the nightly panels we can highlight the differences in our ideas and attitudes, yet still embrace a sophisticated dialog. We aim to share life's exhilarating variety, while eliminating much of the assumptions and fear surrounding our lives.

It is our mission to connect readers with the authors of quality books, written with a purpose. We offer  books that will change their lives!  Instead of giving expensive gifts that don't shape lives, let's Give the Gift of Knowledge, pay it forward and help to strengthen our future generations by sharing our wonderful literary legacy! 

Tweet this event!  Share on Facebook!  Tell at least 10 people about this online event, please.  Post this show on your blogs too.  Remember, Give the Gift of Knowledge!  Visit Black Pearls Magazine for more author interviews and 100 book club interviews:   www.blackpearlsmagazine.com   

STAY CONNECTED!  DON’T FORGET TO SHARE!

Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival
Share this Hashtag:  #BondingThruBooks
Hosted  Ella Curry, EDC Creations Media Group
BTB Official Bookstore:  http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20 
Chatroom for readers:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network



   



Wednesday Night,  November 19 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)

Defenders of the Heart: Fiction Authors Showcase

 FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

*8:00 - Deborah Johnson -  The Secret of Magic

*8:30 - Marian L. Thomas, Living the Empty Carriage Way of Life

*8:45 - Renee Daniel Flagler, Society Wives

*9:00 - William F. Cooper, Unbreakable

*9:15 - EN Joy, More Than I Can Bear

*9:30 - Ann Jeffries  and  Gracie Hill  (pre-recorded)

*9:45 - Leiann B. Wrytes, Virtuous Deception


Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!


 


Thursday night, November 20 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)

We're celebrating mind, body and spirit on DAY 2 of the Bonding Thru Books Festival. We have an awesome author lineup and the community panel discussion is titled: 1000 Steps: Overcoming Life's Obstacles Panel Discussion!


FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

* 8:00 - Lauren Francis-Sharma, 'Til the Well Runs Dry

*8:30 - Lutishia Lovely, founder of A Lovely Day Experience

*8:45 - Pamela Samuels Young, Anybody's Daughter

1000 Steps: Overcoming Life's Obstacles Panel Discussion
Thursday night, November 20 at 9-11:00 pm EST

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turning Mishaps to Ministry: 
The importance of learning to love yourself!  We are discussing finding solace from within first!  The panelist will discuss how your health determines your leadership abilities and the importance of balance in our lives. We are discussing  the power of forgiveness, clean eating, health, fitness, mental health, meditation & healing, depression & recovery and  financial literacy.

How We Love: Health, Marriage & Family Ties:  Life coaches, ministers and authors will talk about their motivation for writing books that teach, guide and empower our community on how to achieve overall health and wellness, as we build stronger leadership roles in our personal and professional lives. This unique radio opportunity will provide valuable information on how to achieve balance between mind, body and spirit. Finding balance in life is real!

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

* Cheryl Donovan, founder Cheryl Lacey Donovan Ministries

* Kristin L. Mitchell, He Wasn't My Daddy

*Lá Tanyha Boyd, International Host of Spiritual Food for Thought Global Radio

* Villa Powell, Thirty Day Journey Toward Transformation

* Makasha Dorsey,  First Family Secrets (The Church House, Book 1)

* Lisa Renee Johnson, founder of I Got Sunshine. women’s empowerment movement

* Live Out Loud, 52 Weeks to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose By Melisa Alaba


Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!


 



Friday Night, November 21 at 8:00-11:00 pm (EST)
The Lies Lovers Tell Author Showcase


FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS


*8:00 - Trice Hickman, Troublemaker

*8:15 - Victoria Warren Jackson, Untraditional Love In The Dark

*8:30 - RM Johnson, My Wife's Baby: I'm Not a Murderer

*8:45 - Electa Rome Parks, These Boots Were Made for Stalking



The Pleasure Principles Panel Discussion
Friday Night,  November 21 at 9:00-11:00 pm (EST)

Topic of Discussion - The Pleasure Principles: Truly adult conversation!  We are discussing the art of writing Erotica, Urban Lit and Fantasy novels. The relationship panel discussion will include topics New Sexual Revolution: Polyamory-multi-partnered relationships;  maintaining monogamy in a digital age;  online & long distance dating;  alternate lifestyle choices; tips for building long lasting relationships.

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

Co-host:  Shakir Rashaan, author of the Nubian Underworld series, including The Awakening, Legacy, and Tempest

Co-host:   N'Tyse, National bestselling author of Twisted Seduction and executive producer of the documentary series, Beneath My Skin.

*Lutishia Lovely, founder of A Lovely Day Experience,  Author of THE PERFECT DECEPTION

*Denise Bolds, Raising Princes to be Kings; A Single Black Mother's Guide to Raising Her Black Son

*K.D. Harris, author of Bliss 1-3

* Shana Johnson-Burton, Flawbulous

*Valarie Prince, Novel: The Virus: When Love Turns Deadly

*Naleighna Kai, Was it Good For You Too and Open Door Marriage

* Lorna L.A. Lewis, co-author Signed, Sealed, Delivered…I’m Yours

Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!


 
 


Saturday night, November 22, 2014 at 6:30-9:30 pm (EST)
Get Ya Read On- YA Readers and Fiction                

We are celebrating National Family Stories Month!  We all have family stories, tall tales and folklore based on our communities. They are entertaining, yet powerful because they serve to connect our families through the ages. By telling our family stories, we can preserve family history and unlock conversations that can become history lessons too.

Beacons For the Future - Fiction Book Showcase
Five remarkably talented, authors will talk about their motivation for writing, how they prepared to be an author, how they crafted their unique stories.

Topic of Discussion:  How to promote a book for children in the digital age. We are discussing ways to engage young readers.  Speakers will share their journey as children's book writers.

* 6:30 - Janet Autherine Mahon, Growing into Greatness with God:7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters

* 6:45 - Michelle M. Spady, ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground

* 7:00 - Shelia Goss,  Jasmine: Lip Gloss Chronicles

* 7:30 - Necole Ryse, The Missing - play legacy recording

* 7:45 - Jean Love Cush, ENDANGERED


Speculative Fiction, Mystery and Thriller Showcase
Saturday night, November 22, 2014

Each author will read from their book and share how they went about getting their fiction books published. Readers will experience surreal speculative fiction, post-apocalyptic YA novels, spy thrillers, and the wild dystopian trilogies!

* 8:00 - SD Skye, A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) Book 3

* 8:15 - Alexandra Lane, A Vision of Angels:  The Battle Begins

* 8:30 - Nakia LaShaul, Locked in Purgatory

Author Readings Pre- Recorded
* Cerece Rennie Murphy, Order of the Seers Trilogy

* The Last King: Book 1 by A. Yamina Collins


Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!


 



Sunday night, November 23 at 8:00-11:00 pm EST.
Our Cup Runneth Over:  Good Health and Peace of Mind

Bedrock Faith: Christian Fiction Author Showcase


* 8:00 -  Ella Curry Give Out Tips and Advice; Introduce Crown Holders

* 8:15 -  Ruth Watson, An Elderberry Fall

* 8:30 -  Colette R. Harrell, The Devil Made Me Do It

* 8:45 -  Julia Blues, The Last Exhale

* 9:00 -  Tyora Moody, Oven Baked Secrets

* 9:15 -  Charmaine Galloway, Golden

* 9:30 -  Bonnie Taylor-Williams, With These Hands: A Country Girl Came to Town


Shaking the Tree: Publicity & PR Pros Panel Discussion
Sunday Night,  November 23  at 9:30-11:00 pm (EST)

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind!” — Jim Morrison


Topic of Discussion - Shaking the Tree: Marketing and PR in the Digital Age

Shaking the tree means taking action that makes something happen! We are discussing innovative ways to market and promote any product in this digital age.  We will also discuss the different services each magazine or company offer authors, business owners and readers.  With ebooks and digital music becoming all the rage, how do you capture the attention of  bookclubs and readers? How do you stand out?  How are your supporting the arts?  How are we mixing traditional marketing with social media marketing?

The challenge for book lovers today is discovery. How do readers find out about new books and plays by established and emerging writers? What books are they reading and reviewing now?  How do the readers grade the publishing industry?  We will address all of these questions during the panel discussion.  Meet established reviewers, book bloggers, virtual tour hosts, radio hosts, bookstore owners and book club members. During this panel, we will show listeners how books can open your universe!

*Tonya Shirelle, ES Communications Agency & Infinite Xpression Publishing

*Tyora  Moody, The Literary Entrepreneur Toolkit

*TaNisha Webb, Publisher of Book Club 101 Magazine

*LaShaunda Hoffman, Shades Of Romance Magazine

*Darlene Aiken, How to be a Young Lady: Your Total Guide for Being the Best Possible You!
Founder of the award-winning Inner Beauty Solutions, Inc.

*Renee’ Sunday, M.D. is the founder of Sunday Publishing Company,  Host of Good Deeds Radio & TV Show

Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!






Monday night, November 24 at 8:00-9:00 pm EST
Books Without Borders Author Showcase


Topic of Discussion - Books Without Borders: We are discussing the art of writing historical fiction and writing books that are in settings or take place outside the USA.


Books by African American writers should be read around the world, which is our belief! We bring wonderful stories to the minds and imaginations of everyone. We have stories to tell, using our voices and our experiences, that speaks to all races and cultures.  During the Bonding Thru Books Literary Festival, we will introduce readers to cross-genre books meant to be enjoyed by ALL READERS, period!  We want readers, all readers, from all races, to appreciate the work of authors of color!

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

* 8:00 - Breena Clarke, ANGELS MAKE THEIR HOPE HERE

* 8:15 - Marlene Banks, Gunmen Have No Sabbath

* 8:30 - Piper Hughley, The Mayor's Mission

* 8:45 - Navi Robins, Walking Among the Shadows: Awakening

* 9:00 - Sherryle K. Jackson, Submissionary

*  The Deadly Rose, An Assassin's Tale By J. M. Lominy


Behind the Curtain: Balancing Life, Weight, Career and Care-giving
Monday night, November 24 at 9:00-11:00 pm EST

Igniting the Power Within:  Define Yourself, Redefine the World

Our guest speakers represent greatness and courage as they share their moving testimonies. We invite you to join the discussion to share your stories of triumph and survival too!  Call into the radio programs to speak up and out. You may not feel that you are one to mentor or minister to others, but you never know. Your testimony might heal a hurting person. Your struggle might eliminate the pain in someone else’s future.

FEATURED AUTHORS AND SPEAKERS

*Cheryl Donovan, Cheryl Lacey Donovan Ministries

*Renee Wiggins, Being Fabulously Fit in God's Kingdom: A 40-Day Journey to Wellness

*Brittani D. Williams, It's Not a Piece of Cake Nutritional Coaching and Education

* Tess Tims, author of The 3C's System: Your One Evening Guide to Health and Wealth Creation

*Dr. Sheronda Orridge, PH. D. - Life Coach / Life Coach Trainer, Loving Spirit Life Coach Academy LLC

*Joyce A. Brown, Getting Away With Everything

*Martha Kennerson, Consequences

Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!

 


Tuesday night, November 25, 2014  at 8:00-11:00 pm EST
 Who Motivates the Motivator:  The importance of women empowerment and balance in our business lives. We are also discussing the personal protection of women, mental & physical wellness,  financial literacy and hospice and caring of elders in the home.

* 8:00 - Nika Beamon, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House, a medical memoir

* 8:15 - Annie Brown, My Little People: A Social Worker’s Journey

* 8:30 - Andrea Foy, Hire Power


Join us in the BAN Radio Chatroom at 8-11pm EST: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/black-author-network  Tell at least 10 people about this online event. We have great book giveaways each night in the chatroom! Spread the word! Thank you!
 
 



The Black Pearls Bookstore is now fully stocked. Please browse all of the shelves, we have some awesome book selections for you! Keep our authors in mind for your holiday gifts and for your Books-of-the-Month coming in 2015. Bring all of your friends to the BTB Official Bookstore:  http://astore.amazon.com/edcmagazine-20


YOU DO NOT NEED TO OWN A KINDLE TO READ THE GIVEAWAYS!

 Read the ebooks on your smartphone, tablet, device,  or computer by downloading the FREE Kindle reading app from here:  http://goo.gl/slQb6z

           
 



 

BAN Radio Special with Dangerously In Love by Aletta H.




FEATURED BOOK:  Dangerously In Love: Blame it On the Streets  by Aletta H.   Join us on November 3, 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


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.







           
 


 

South Bowie Branch Library Event with O. H. Bennett Discussing Recognition



MahoganyBooks is proud to announce O.H. Bennett as the featured author of November's Meet the Author Book Signing & Author Talk. A resident of Fairfax, VA, O.H. Bennett's fourth novel, Recognition, represents a departure from his earlier works, characterized by rich depictions of African-American families rendered in quiet but powerfully charged prose. These qualities are present in Recognition, but with the addition of a twisting plot and thriller-like intensity.


This event is Free and open to the public. Reserve Your Seat Today! Order tickets via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-author-featuring-oh-bennett-tickets-13745891331

Join us as author O. H. Bennett discusses his newest title Recognition.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 @ 7:00 PM, South Bowie Branch Library, 15301 Hall Rd, Bowie, MD  20721






 The emotionally charged story of a woman obsessed with finding a homeless man she glimpses on a street corner, who bears a powerful resemblance to the husband who disappeared from her life a decade earlier.

This fourth novel by O.H. Bennett represents a departure from his earlier work, characterized by rich depictions of African-American families rendered in quiet but powerfully charged prose. These qualities are present in Recognition, but with the addition of a twisting plot and thriller-like intensity.

Dana, a single-mother, is driving home one rainy evening when, as she passes a homeless panhandler, she recognizes the features of her long-absent husband. Warren Reynolds disappeared from Dana's life a decade earlier — his body mysteriously missing after a terrible auto accident from which a pregnant Dana was rescued. After glimpsing the man she believes might be her husband, Dana begins surreptitiously searching for him, and is plunged back into memories of the difficulties they were grappling with at the time of Warren's disappearance. She struggles with whether she can reveal her belief that her husband might be alive to her friends, her in-laws, and, most importantly, her son.

Masterful and psychologically penetrating, Recognition is a taut, engrossing work from a critically acclaimed author. Bennett, known for his terse style and vivid characters rooted in the mainstream of African-American experience, has put his rich, unique, and riveting storytelling talents on full display for all readers.


Advance Praise for RECOGNITION

"An absolutely golden ending...a novel you'll want to spend one more day with." —Terri Schlichenmeyer, "The Bookworm Sez" syndicated column

"This engaging literary thriller from Bennett...ratchets up the tension, and delivers satisfying revelations at the climax, revealing a humane and intriguing story of personal redemption." —Publishers Weekly

"The book explores a number of themes in 200 short pages: homelessness, loneliness and, above all, the unreliability of both eyewitness recognition and long-term memory — as Bennett puts it, 'how difficult it was to hold images in your head that time had decided you no longer needed.'...There’s a good deal of suspense and some nice twisty writing." —Kevin Allman, Washington Post



EXCERPT FROM RECOGNITION


I. The Long Bad Day


Sirens still frightened her. In the car, she looked around frantically, over one shoulder, then the other, for the source of the screaming. Someone was having a bad day, and a bad day, Dana knew, could last a long, long time. For nearly a mile, she had not put her foot on the gas, just eased off the brakes and allowed the car to inch forward. Rain fell sporadically, spattering her windshield and hood with hundreds of crystal drops. Though it was early in the evening, the clouds, in a wide palette of gray, made it seem later and added to her impatience. Slashing light and slashing sound cut through her car as another siren surged from behind and the cars in her rear mirror parted. Her heart jumped and she jerked the car to the side, feeling for the road’s shoulder, feeling the right-side tires crunch rocks.

The ambulance shook her car as it went by. The wind carried another brief drenching of rain, which ended as  abruptly as it had started. She watched the progress of the red strobe light down the highway. The accident appeared to be a good mile or more away. She could see the red flickering against the sky’s gray ceiling. The light and the siren and the rain led her back to cracked glass, imperfect cubes of broken windshield in her lap, and the voice of  the police officer. Ma’am? Ma’am? Hold on, we’re going to get you out of there. Dana eased off the brake and let her car roll. She picked up her cell phone to call her son Franklin as she had ten minutes ago, only to discover that she had let the batteries run down, as she had discovered ten minutes ago. She tossed the phone onto the passenger seat, where it bounced and fell to the floor. She hoped he would order pizza or go next door to Brenda’s. Dana was getting close to the accident now. The two lanes of southbound traffic were being herded into one. He would do his homework first. Never heard of a kid who wanted to do nothing but school work. At first, Dana was quite proud of him and his grades, but now it seemed he used the schoolwork to hide from people. He could disappear and not get
into any trouble because he was doing what he was supposed to be doing, and he could avoid everyone. He  participated in no sports, no team activities. He did belong to a couple of after-school clubs that he never spoke of. He swam on Sundays. Just a bookworm, she thought. For some reason, when she thought of the word “bookworm,”
she pictured her son as he was newly born, pale and bald like larvae. Someone honked at her. She wasn’t keeping up with the slow procession.

The minutes passed, matched to the crawl of the traffic. The man in the car next to hers had been eyeing her, but turned his head when she looked his way.

The rain turned furious again. An oasis of light shone where the emergency vehicles had encircled the accident.  There was a little black car with its front end completely caved in, its windshield a gap-toothed grin. A pickup truck was on its side. Another crumpled car faced the wrong direction. There was no way to glean what had happened from the current positions of the cars involved. The strobe lights of the emergency vehicles revealed plastic and glass shards scattered everywhere. The back of one ambulance was open and the white insides looked impossibly bright in contrast to the dark evening. Dana could lean to the passenger side and see people working in there. She saw a man pulling a piece of equipment from a shelf and another hand reaching. A woman stood outside the  ambulance with her hands covering her face. Her bad day is just beginning.

Dana was aware her breathing had quickened. Little cubes of bloody glass. She saw her windshield crumble. The glass was in her lap, small crystals stained red were on her chest like crumbs, as if she had eaten glass. Her wet windshield reflected the light from the ambulance. Someone knocked on her window. We’ll get you out of there, lady. But this cop, covered in a clear raincoat, tapped her glass with a flashlight; his face was in a snarl. “Hey, move it along before I write you up.”

Dana had zoned out. Her face flushed. She mouthed I’m sorry to the officer, but risked one more glance. The  woman at the back of the ambulance looked to be shouting something. I’m sorry, Dana imagined the woman saying.

Despite her headlights, the road was reflective black. The taillights of the car in front were pin sized. The rest of the commute looked to be easy. The trickle of emancipated cars left a lot of maneuvering room and everyone was  making up time despite the rain. The traffic congestion didn’t return until the businesses flanking the road and the traffic lights in Yorkshire and Manassas Park held them up. Just two miles beyond the accident, the road was perfectly dry and the evening sky was considerably lighter, but bands of clouds were coming in. Ahead was the light to turn left on Liberia Avenue and then it was just three turns and four blocks to home. Traffic had tightened, so it was going to take two, maybe three, rotations of the light to get through the intersection.

On the concrete median stood a shambling, shaggy rag of a man. He held up a crumpled cardboard sign. He waited until the light turned red and began walking down the line of his captured audience. Even from her distance, Dana could see people rolling down their windows to hand him change or a dollar or two. She looked at her bag in the passenger seat, but did not reach for it. Why should she enable some alcoholic to continue his addiction? She was a schoolteacher; people should be rolling down windows to hand her money; at least she was trying to earn hers. She thought about school for the next couple of minutes. Then the turn arrow was green again and Dana let her car ease forward. By now she calculated she had been behind the wheel for an hour and twenty minutes.

She could feel herself growing tired and cranky the way her kids did when they hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before. She flipped her visor down and looked in the make-up mirror. She told herself she wanted to see if she  looked as tired as she felt. Her mind replayed parts of her day, especially when her principal had asked her to take the lead on the science fair. Dana had immediately demurred and Anne’s face had hardened. “I need to see my teachers involved in the school community,” she had said and walked away. I’m a single parent, she should have shouted after her, what time do I have?

The light turned red. Dana slowed to a stop and saw she was only eight cars back from the light. She could see the shaggy beggar a little bit better now. He had wild wires of hair sticking cactuslike from his beard and moustache. He was momentarily backlit by the red traffic light and looked as if his head was on fire. His sign read “Need change. Need a chance.”

Dana was immediately suspicious. The sign read like ad sloganeering. Repetition, consonance...fairly nice for a homeless addict. She had always wondered if beggars were authentic or just grifters too lazy or too smart to suffer through nine-to-fives like the rest of us.

He was working his way toward her. Come on light, turn green. Turn green. She repeated this mantra even as the driver two up from her dropped change into the beggar’s opened palm.

The shape in the next car waved him away.  He held up his sign for the driver in front of Dana. That window came down.

Turn green. It turned.

He was handed what looked like two ones.

Dana eased off her brake. If the car in front would just go, she thought.

He raised his cardboard sign to his chest and came toward Dana. Rain fell. Dots speckled the sign. They tapped on her windshield. The driver in front of her finally released his brakes and moved. Dana stayed right on his tail, relieved.

She suppressed the urge to smile. As she passed the man, she looked up into his face just as he turned to go back to the beginning of his catwalk. Her breath caught. She turned to get a better look at that face. The car behind her came up tight so as not to miss the light and she had to make the turn. She looked back again, turning her shoulders. Her car climbed the tip of the median, then bounced down. Dana felt her hands trembling and tightened her grip on the wheel. She could only see the beggar’s back now. The rain finally decided to drop in force and the man on the median seemed to dissolve into it.

“My God. My God,” she said. She fought to control the wheel, then clamped a hand over her mouth. She couldn’t act, couldn’t think, having just looked into the face of her long-lost husband, thought dead these past nine years.


II. Have You Seen Me?

Her car rocked to a stop in the parking space in front of her town house. She left the motor running; her foot smashed the brake.

That was him.

She knew that face. It could be disguised by scraggly hair and road dust and the exhaust of thousands of cars...yet the face she knew was there, lined by whatever had happened to him between the accident and now. She knew that face. She had pressed her face to that face. She had made that face laugh and made it cry. She turned the key to start the car and heard a cutting grind from the already running engine. Reynolds. Did he know she had moved?  Did he know they were here? Checking behind her, she stepped on the gas and the car jumped forward. “Shit.” She put it in reverse, but then slammed her brakes, causing the car to rock again on its chassis. This time she killed the engine, pulled her keys, and ran to her house. Inside, she called, “Frankie.” He did not like “Frankie” anymore. “They call me Frankfurter in school,” he had told her.

“Franklin!” She called his name a few more times before running out the front door and shutting it behind her. She ran two doors down to her friend Brenda’s. The door opened to Brenda’s smiling face.

“Come get some spaghetti. It’s just jar sauce, but we have some garlic bread.”

“I’m sorry, Brenda. Accident on 28.”


(  Continued...  )

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

Purchase copies of  Recognition by O. H. Bennett
http://www.mahoganybooks.com/9781932841794









           
 



 

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 


 

           
 



 

Did You Miss These Defining Moments In Our History....