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



 

#WhatIWantWednesday - The One That I Want - Holiday Anthology


Be The Change!


Hello Lovelies! Spirit is amazing! I'm so excited about the projects Zuri and I are working on, but had to come out of the cave to share something that is dear to my heart. It's a tad lengthy but knowledge is power, and I wanted you to be one of the first to know the story behind the story. 
In April, I attended the RT (Romantic Times) Booklovers Convention, an annual event drawing 2,000 avid, excited, mostly-White book lovers every single year. This year, I was delighted that the organization chose to honor the legends of African-American Romance! Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, and Sandra Kitt were on hand to personally receive awards!!!
Next, they ran a video featuring more legends, our stars who've paved the way for so many including: Gwynne Forster, Rochelle Alers, the late Francis Ray, Evelyn Palfry, Shirley Halstock and Donna Hill. For each new face, a spattering of enthusiastic applause from the dozen or so AA authors in attendance went up. I looked around and wondered why the majority weren't clapping. Then it hit me. This huge ballroom filled with diehard romancers had no idea who these writers were.
That is a shame.
Recently, I attended the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, where 300 or so loyal, voracious readers, many of them part of a book club, gathered to celebrate readers, especially book clubs, authors and the written word. During a panel discussion, we talked about the rapidly-changing industry, the dwindling employment and publishing opportunities and how the wonderfully written stories by prolific authors could be read not only by more of our own culture, but by everyone. A special concern for several in attendance, is the fact that those making the decisions regarding content, relevance, book covers, topics, and in general what makes a good and believable African-American story are often people who are not Black nor familiar with Black culture.


What can we do to take back our voice?

Great question, one I'd discussed passionately with Publicist Ella Curry, of EDC-Creations, just one month ago. The answer isn't necessarily simple, but it doesn't have to be over-complicated either. Do what we've always done. Put our heads together and make it happen. Come together for a common cause. Through the use of collective consumerism, we can catapult a number of well-deserving authors onto the pages that will not only get them noticed, but increase their sales, which in turn, increases their power in the boardroom. Additionally, it would put their book titles in places where more readers, buyers, publishers, etc., can know their name and discover these wonderful talents.


First up? The New York Times Bestseller list.
The campaign?  #WhatIWantWednesday,  promoting an upcoming anthology featuring Donna Hill, called The One That I Want.

Taking back our power is as easy as 1, 2, 3. 
#WhatIWantWednesday - October 8, 2014

1.  On or before October 8, 2014,  purchase an ebook copy of The One That I Want, featuring Cheris Hodges, Zuri Day and Donna Hill.


2. 
Send proof-of-purchase to: WhatIWantWednesday@Gmail.com,  and be entered to win a prize package valued at $500.


3.  Watch your mail on October 15, to see who has won the grand  prize giveaway!


Amazon:  
http://www.amazon.com/One-That-I-Want-ebook/dp/B00J7W1EE8
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-one-that-i-want-zuri-day/1117797556



Join us!  Order your copy of The One That I Want today!
Let's be the change we want to see and diversify the literary landscape one author, one book, one click at a time! 


The One That I Want - Holiday Anthology
Heat up the winter nights with this trio of sexy, festive stories.

For downloads to Kindle, click cover.   
For Nook lovers, click here.

Here is the anthology to put the sizzle in a cold winter night.  Three hits by Zuri Day, Cheris Hodges and Donna Hill!  How can you go wrong?

A Promise For The Holiday Donna Hill
Devastated by her divorce, Cara Holiday vowed never to be vulnerable again. Now she's a wildly successful real estate broker, and wildly lonely. Restaurateur Mitch Davis has had his eye on her, but can't break the ice--until he cooks up a scheme to hire her. Soon Cara is enjoying his company--and secretly drawing out the process of selling his house. When their deceptions collide, will their blossoming relationship make it to the holidays?


A Sexy Christmas Carol Zuri Day
After years of travel working for a pop diva, Carol Robbins has moved back to Detroit in time for the holidays. She's bought a home and bonded with her family. As for romance, she's got no prospects--until she attends a VIP party and makes a surprising love connection. Soon she's torn between her old "big life," her hopes for the future--and one man who may give her the greatest gift of all. . .


Christmas Surprise Cheris Hodges
Tired of coming second to her wealthy husband's career, Lola Yvonne Joseph is sending him a very special gift this year: divorce papers. Then she's leaving Miami for the kind of wintery white Christmas she's always wanted. She definitely does not expect Jonathan to track her down, whisk her away, and do everything possible to win her back. If he succeeds, Lola has one more surprise in store for him. . .


Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/One-That-I-Want-ebook/dp/B00J7W1EE8
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-one-that-i-want-zuri-day/1117797556





           
 



 

#AuthorReading: The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell


The Devil Made Me Do It 
by Colette R. Harrell




The Devil Made Me Do It  is Christian Fiction at its best. The novel is full of lessons about passion, pain and God's abundant blessings. Filled with suspense, laughter and touching moments, this page-turning novel will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Colette is a new author to definitely watch. Brava, Ms. Harrell.   --- Victoria Christopher Murray, Bestselling Author

The voluptuous Esther Wiley has always known that she is special. She's a tiara-wearing, wand-carrying kind of Cinderella princess in disguise. The problem that her very own Fairy Godmother, the Prophetess Mother Reed, struggles with is getting her to live like it.
Briggs Stokes is the reluctant heir to his father's worldwide, multimillion-dollar televangelist ministry, yet he yearns to be his own man. His past mistakes have caused him a private life of hurt and loneliness.
Esther and Briggs meet and develop a deep soul connection, until tragedy strikes and the two are thrust apart. Their separation leads each down a different path scattered with emotional minefields. While each step they take brings them closer to who they were always meant to be, the devil is on assignment. He sends in reinforcements to usher in confusion and create chaos, and soon no one is safe. The members of Love Zion church reel from the rumors, innuendo, and downright sabotage that is going on around them.  
  
When others devise evil schemes to seek the destruction of Esther and Briggs through jealousy, greed, and murder, only divine intervention can save them. As an all-out battle for dominion breaks out in the heavens, will Esther and Briggs become a casualty of war?

Purchase Your Copies Today!
 
 

Captivating 5-Star Read!  Review written by Orsayor Simmons
 
We have heard the saying... When a reader opens a book, they are transported to a new world, and they never know what they may encounter. Maybe that's not exactly how the saying goes...

This author piqued my interest within the first few lines of the book. I started to reminisce on my childhood days growing up in Detroit. The book starts off with Esther as a kid experiencing her first disappointment in life. After standing in line for hours for an opportunity to try on Cinderella's slippers - when it fits she is told it doesn't and is sent on her way. As the book progresses - we get to witness the trials & tribulations Esther has to endure throughout her life.

"For each of his young assignments, he was just beginning. He knew from experience it was better to catch the fruit before it matured."

When I read that line I closed the book and started searching for my book tabs. This book shows how the enemy tries to build his "foundation" early on in our minds/lives. It can start with a simple heartbreak and manifest into something you think you have no control over. The author takes readers through each pivotal moment of the character's life which makes it easier to relate to their dilemma(s). This is a story of loss, love, family, faith, and forgiveness. The characters are well-written; the settings are so descriptive that you feel you are narrating the story.

The Devil Made Me Do It is a captivating novel from start to finish. Author Colette R. Harrell's debut novel will stay with the readers long after they have read the book. I highly recommend this book.

Hands Down! One of the best books I have read this year. (I'm on my 90th book for the year...)



Excerpt from Chapter Six
Roger clapped his hands in her face to emphasize his message. "I said you are not going out. You at that church too much as it is."

Esther flinched. She was a grown woman standing in front of her husband being scolded like a four-year-old. This man was evil and small-minded. The caramel angular face, she had once thought so attractive now held a demonic quality to it, the gray-silver eyes piercing with cruel intent.

She shivered and subconsciously crossed her heart with her right finger.

"Did your big tail just make the sign of the cross against me, girl? So now I'm the devil?" he raged.

Esther's chin quivered. "Don't call me names."

Before Esther could move, Roger snatched her backward and slapped her in the face. She backed away, holding her cheek in disbelief. She knew he had been drinking, but to hit her? Was he crazy? The hallway mirror provided proof of his madness; his handprint was red against the lightness of her complexion; the wetness in her eyes testament to her pain.

Roger's chest heaved from exertion as though he was trying to control himself. "See what you did?"

Grabbing his jacket and stomping to the door, Roger spun around, heading straight for Esther's purse. He rifled through it, found her wallet, and pulled out all of her cash; then he pushed the bills down into his pants pocket, and pat it in satisfaction.

Mission accomplished, he walked out the door, reminding her, "Girl, don't you go anywhere."

Esther felt cold hard rage, but she squashed it down and fled into the kitchen. All of a sudden she was hungry; frantically so. She grabbed containers out of her refrigerator. Placing a hefty amount of leftover fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens on an oversized plate, tears trickling down her face. While she nuked the food in the microwave, she went to the sink and ran cold water. Afterward, she soaked a paper towel and applied it to her cheek, then slumped down onto the nearest kitchen chair.

She held her cheek and prayed. "Lord, I don't want to be here. Help me be a doer of your Word and not return evil for evil. Give me the grace to sustain this marriage or the mercy to leave it. In your precious Son, Jesus' name. Amen."

The microwave buzzed, and like a champ coming out of his corner, Esther came out of her daze. She looked down at all the food and remembered Roger's hurtful words. With purpose, she covered her plate and placed it in the refrigerator.

Marching through her living room, she picked up her purse and Bible and rushed out of the house. The cold towel pressed to her face, she was late for church.



(  Continued...  )

© 2014  All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Colette R. Harrell.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Purchase copies today:   





   MEET THE AUTHOR   



Colette (Ford) Harrell
the author of the debut novel The Devil Made Me Do It is passionate about the written word. Holding a master's degree, she is a director of human services. Her creation and implementation of a health and energy medical program stands as a best practices model. Her philosophy of service is compassionate care through a spirit of excellence. A motivational speaker, she specializes in customer and human service workshops on state and national levels.  She is cofounder of COJACK Productions, a Christian entertainment company. As an active member of her church, Kingdom Christian Center, she serves in several ministries.

Colette is a wife, mother, author, poet, songwriter, and playwright. Her novel is a delectable read, where romance, suspense, humor, and the supernatural all come together to entertain, educate, and inspire.

A Detroit native, she currently resides in Ohio, writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it "for love alone."

 
Purchase copies today of The Devil Made Me Do It by Colette R. Harrell


 

           
 


 

#AuthorReading - Taming The Female Impostor Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity




"Dr. Vie’s book will inspire many to change their lifestyle and way of thinking for better health, peace of mind and harmony." - Dr. Verma, Ayurveda Doctor,  India

 

Ancient secrets to creating the new woman - feminine, creative and super-conscious.  She is the healing power to change the future of our Planet Earth. Coming in August, 2014. (400 pages)


Taming The Female Impostor:  Book of Secrets to Rescuing Humanity - There is a global crisis where crime, illness and unhappiness are increasing, world-wide. The Book of Secrets uses fantasy characters to unravel shocking new insights into the root cause of the problems, and reveals the Magical Weapons of Veedinti, tools to restore peace, love and joy in your personal life, in your communities, nation and the world at large. The book is ideal for men and women, from teens to seniors seeking to improve their lives in general, and especially, in the areas of sexuality, family, food, friendships, work, relaxation and introspection.  Through The Great Rescue Game (for children) and Taming the Human Impostor (for adults), you learn how to implement the tools in daily living. Dr. Vie Academy and Dr. Vie Radio Show: “Who Do You Think You Are?” stimulate further interaction.



Book Reviews for Taming The Female Impostor

"Finally! After millenniums of spiritual teachings primarily by and geared to men, teachings which have dismissed and often denigrated feminine wisdom and power, comes Dr. Vie's much needed guidance to help women cultivate and unleash their essential spirit. And just in time, so we wisely use balance feminine-masculine energy and co-create the healthy and harmonious evolution of humankind."~ Ellen Eatough, MA, Extatica, San Francisco

“The first word that comes to mind is inspiring. One inspiration is Dr. Vie herself who finds her own power in her extraordinary story. Another is the wisdom passed down through the Book of Secrets that tells of the power of women. We don’t always see the power in ourselves, but here in the words of this book it can be found, and self-confidence can flourish.” ~Melissa C. Water, Author, Lady Injury, Toronto

The book integrates lifes most sought after questions into a captivating tale and journey, where the reader can explore who they are, how to find true peace and the meaning of life. Dr. Vie radiates compassion, courage and love as she inspires service to humanity and our great planet.  ~Jenni Parly, Life Coach, Los Angeles

“Every once in a while there comes along a book that captivates the mind and uplifts the soul. This is one of those books. In real life Dr. Vie has managed to maneuver through global cultures with ease and finesse.  With the same level of sophistication, she weaves a tapestry of universality in her book.  Each of us has the ability to rise above our circumstance, be it racism, sexism, environmental issues or cultural and religious biases. Each of us can choose to reject change and remain the same or board the “Life Express” and embrace the change. This winning book will appeal to a wide range of audiences globally.”  ~Lena McCalla Njee, MA, Special Education, Author, Autism Inspires.  Teacher of the Year 2011-2012, Nominee -2014 Governor of the Year Award, New Jersey

“Through new insights, Dr. Vie unravels the root cause of the female global crises, and provides powerful practical tools to restore peace, health and vitality,”  ~Dr. John Gray, Author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, San Francisco

 “I have worked all of my professional life with high performance women, whether it was a National Team, a University varsity team or our leading entertainment company. Dr. Vie is certainly an elite, high performance person regardless of the field she chooses to endeavor in to! Dr. Vie is a pioneer in each field she chooses to focus on! I’ve loved Dr. Vie SuperFoods since 2007. Now, yet again, through this book she reveals fascinating perspectives and intuitive wisdom, making it a must read, for men also.”  ~Boris Verkhovsky, Former National Acrobatics Team Head Coach, Montreal


First Chapter from Taming The Female Impostor

Ch 1. Who Do You Think You Are?



At 29,000 feet above sea level, the tranquility of the Great Himalayas took Shakti’s breath away. She had waited twenty-five years for this day, for this moment. She had been preparing her whole life for this feeling, this state of being one with her true Self.

The tiny Indian woman, slender at 45kg (99 lbs.) and barely five feet tall, perched her body cross-legged on the bare rock surrounded by an expanse of virgin snow. She drank in the beauty around her, became mindful, lowered her eyelids, and took in a deep breath through her nostrils. She held it as she focused the energy on her third eye. In that moment of silence and super-consciousness, she was one with her true identity. She became a witness of her past life and the future.

As quickly as her rollercoaster past sped before her, the future shone so brightly that it startled her delicate frame. She opened her eyes briefly, took in another deep breath, and started to soar into the oneness of the eternal existence as she began to meditate in the home of the gods and goddesses, the land of her roots. She was blissfully peaceful.

It was only last week that she was in Australia, the country of her birth, spending a quiet Sunday afternoon with her dearest mother. Shakti had not been home for ten years. While sitting at the cozy dining table, she was startled when she said something aloud. It seemed as if the words were pouring out of her being. Once the words were spoken, she knew what was going to happen. Been there, done that! She had experienced that sensation hundreds of times before. . . .

When Shakti was a little girl growing up in Melbourne, she often experienced moments where she would say certain words without much control over what she was saying. It would seem as if someone else were saying those words through her. Strangely enough, within a few months, the very words that she had spoken, like a premonition, would turn into reality. As she grew into a young woman, the time between what she said and it happening became shorter and shorter. Eventually she learned to pay closer attention to the power of her words.

So when she casually said, “Mom, we should go to India,” Shakti’s mother was not at all surprised. Parvathi was quite used to her only child’s adventurous spirit. As her mother, Parvathi had partaken of so many of her child’s amazing experiences around the planet, and she could sense that yet another was unfolding.

Within a week, the Boeing was landing in Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, carrying two excited women on board. Their next adventure had begun. They were in India, among over a billion people.

As Shakti sank into deep meditation high in the Himalayas, images of women, children, babies, and the elderly from around the world entered her vision. Their wretched faces were lined with tears and wrinkled with pain. She could feel their emotions, their profound hurt, and their desperate desire for change, for hope, and for salvation. She shuddered at times as the images became stronger, closer, and clearer. Mothers were carrying babies on their hips, sobbing from hunger and dying of disease.

Young girls who had been violated by their family members were crying themselves to sleep, hoping for a miracle. There were women so overweight they could barely walk without discomfort. Some of them were in motorized chairs. Other women were skeletally thin from the ravages of anorexia. Elderly women appeared fatigued by pain, suffering with brain disease and dementia. Young females were crying out, on the brink of ending their lives because of depression. The pain ripped through Shakti’s light body as the sorrow of millions and billions of individual souls entered her, sharp as knives. Oh, dear heavens above, what pain, what sorrow, what helplessness, what desperation, what cries for help she experienced in that fleeting moment! Why was there so much suffering? Where was peace?

Just as quickly, a feeling of loving warmth enveloped her, as if a new era had dawned. She witnessed, through her third eye, women of every color smiling, arms held high as if reaching for the stars, dancing to the rhythm of their cultural music. Billions of women all around the world danced. Tears of joy streamed down Shakti’s face as she continued to observe throngs of children surrounding these women, their tiny faces filled with glee, dancing in rhythm to the sways of the blissful women.

All around the unsuspecting world, this dance emerged, this vibration of peace, this feeling of complete awareness, this sense of immense super-consciousness. These women, these creators of life, these mothers of Earth, were infusing the ground, the water, the air, and the heavens with their deep vibrational energies. Their natural healing powers were changing the fertility of their lands, the safety of their water, the purity of their air, and the power of their food. They were carving out a future of wellness, peace, happiness, and love over every inch of this planet. Around them, men were joyous as they used their amazing physical strength and lifetimes of wisdom to propel and maintain this new age in which the women and children were happy and well. Together, they became one. As one source of cosmic energy, they were changing the world. Love shone bright. Bliss descended over all. There was contentment.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Vie.  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.


COMING TO A BOOK STORE NEAR YOU!

Read more:  http://drvie.com/tamingthefemaleimpostorsummary


Meet the Author

Born in South Africa, with roots in India,  Dr. Sherine Vie, a former Swiss-based medical device scientist changed her career to natural health after losing her father to heart disease and helping her mother recover from breast cancer. Facing heart-breaking challenges while living solo in six countries, in 2004 Dr. Vie Research pioneered Dr. Vie SuperFoods™ in the North Americas, & since 2007 Dr. Vie SuperKids mentors children & recently, Dr. Vie Academy with Dr. Vie Radio helps all ages globally. Dr. Vie is focused on restoring the link between humanity, nature and the source of all life. Dr. Vie is a mountain-lover and has trekked many ranges including the Himalayas.


           
 



 

#AuthorReading: Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young


Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young





Go On Girl! Book Club, one of the largest national reading organizations in the U.S. dedicated to supporting writers of the African diaspora, is proud to officially announce its reading selections for July thru December 2014.  The books were chosen by members of the GOG Reading List Committee headed by Chairman Joyce Williams.  She says, "We are excited to present another round of compelling titles that are sure to generate incredible discussions among our members."   The selections represent six of the twelve official genres read by Go On Girl! Book Club.

Popular novelist, Pamela Samuels Young sheds light on child sex trafficking with a story full of suspense.  Writer Jason Mott imagines life in a small southern town when deceased loved ones come back to life.   Author Lauren Francis-Sharma takes us to Trinidad with a story of enduring love.   Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks makes the list with her only published novel.   Writer Gil Robertson IV explores the issues facing African American couples.   Dancer Misty Copeland traces her journey from life in a shabby hotel room to the prestigious American Ballet Theater.

 
Go On Girl! Book Club Reading List is Legendary and Important!
Please Check out the August, 2014  Featured Selection
Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young




Is Anybody's Daughter Ever Safe?

Based on the real-life horrors faced by thousands of girls, award-winning author Pamela Samuels Young takes readers deep inside the disturbing world of child sex trafficking in a fast-paced thriller that educates as much as it entertains.

Thirteen-year-old Brianna Walker is ecstatic. She's about to sneak off to meet her first real boyfriend—a boyfriend she met on Facebook. But Brianna is in for a horrifying surprise because her boyfriend doesn't exist. Instead, Brianna unwittingly becomes the captive of a ring of drug dealers- turned-human traffickers who prey on lonely girls from dysfunctional homes. But they’ve made a big mistake in targeting Brianna because she doesn’t meet either of those criteria.

Brianna’s Uncle Dre, a man with his own criminal past, is determined to find the niece who is more like a daughter to him. Rather than sit back and rely on police to bring Brianna home, Dre scours the dark corners of Los Angeles looking for her. He is stunned to learn that the trafficking of children isn’t just happening in other countries. It’s occurring at epidemic levels right in his own backyard.

Dre is not alone in his desperate search. Loretha Johnson knows this world well. A social worker who previously lived “the life,” Loretha now dedicates her time to saving as many young girls as she can find. She turns out to be an invaluable resource for Dre, who ultimately gets a lead on The Shepherd, a mastermind in the trafficking world whose every move is fueled by ego and greed. Dre vows to bring his reign of terror to an end.

While Brianna makes a futile effort to thwart her captors, Dre is getting closer and closer to finding her. The woman he loves, attorney Angela Evans, knows the dangers faced by sexually exploited children because she represents them in juvenile court. Angela lends her moral support and, eventually, an important clue to Brianna’s whereabouts.

As he races against the clock, Dre ultimately comes up with a daring plan—one that puts many lives in danger, including his own. But will he find Brianna before it's too late?


About the Author
Pamela Samuels Young
is a practicing attorney and bestselling author of the legal thrillers, Every Reasonable Doubt, In Firm Pursuit, Murder on the Down Low, Buying Time, Attorney-Client Privilege, and Anybody’s Daughter. She is also a natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.

In addition to writing legal thrillers and working as an in-house employment attorney for a major corporation in Southern California, Pamela formerly served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. The former journalist and Compton native is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s School of Law.


Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young
Dre Thomas Series Book 2.  Available on Kindle

Purchase Today:

http://www.amazon.com/Anybodys-Daughter-Thomas-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00GC7UI8E













           
 


 

#AuthorReading: Troublemaker by Trice Hickman


Troublemaker by Trice Hickman
Unexpected Love Series




Every joy has its challenges. . .


After twenty years, childhood best friends Alexandria Thornton and PJ Brightwood have reunited--and fallen in love. Alex's artistic nature as a spoken word artist, and PJ's success as a talented surgeon promise a bright future. But their happiness brings unexpected complications for those they care about most. . .

A devoted wife, loving mother, and successful businesswoman, Victoria Thornton is a pillar of her suburban Atlanta community. But when her daughter, Alexandria, becomes engaged to the son of Victoria's former lover, her past mistake threatens her orderly life. As the impending marriage reunites both families, it reignites old feelings that test all of their relationships--and all of their boundaries. . .



CHAPTER 2

Alexandria


Alexandria smiled as she stretched her long, shapely legs across PJ's buttery-soft leather sofa. "Now that I've finished cooking, it's time to relax" she said aloud. She ran her fingers through the mass of thick curls atop her head and let out a deep breath of relief, glad she was finally able to relax after her long day. She'd been busy from the moment she'd stepped out the door this morning with a coffee mug in one hand and a toasted bagel in the other. Her life had been more hectic in the last year than she could ever remember. So much was changing so fast, but with that change she felt the hope and excitement of new possibilities that lay ahead.

She breathed a sigh of relief when she thought about the fact that this Friday would be her last day of work at a job she'd dreaded since the day she'd started. She was an attorney, on the fast track, employed with the prestigious downtown Atlanta law firm of Johnson, Taylor, and Associates. Alexandria had worked there since she'd interned with them while still in law school. Now, six years later, she was ready to step out of what she'd been academically trained to do, and take hold of the direction in which her heart had always led her, which was to pursue her passion as a writer and spoken-word artist.

Alexandria thought about her promising future as she lay on her back and flipped through one of her many bridal magazines. Even though her wedding day was just one month away, and all the major details had been planned to a tee, she still couldn't resist looking at pictures of happy couples, replete with bountiful flowers and their wedding parties in tow, all overflowing with nuptial bliss.

Alexandria smiled every time she thought about how happy she was and how much her life had significantly changed since this time last year. It seemed as though it were just yesterday that she'd broken up with her old boyfriend, Peter, and in less than twenty-four hours, fate, along with her grandma Allene's sage advice, had led her down a completely different path to peace, understanding, and true love. Now she was engaged to PJ, her childhood best friend who'd walked into her life and changed her world.

She could still remember her grandma Allene's words. Speak what's in your heart. Say what it is that you desire, and watch it walk into your life.

Alexandria had heeded those words and still lived by them today. She knew that speaking what she wanted, and then trusting and believing with indomitable faith that her desires would be met in abundance, was the reason PJ was in her life. As she looked at the beautiful gowns of silk and tulle, she raised her hand in the air, as if in praise, and gave thanks for her blessings. "Amen," she said quietly.

She was thankful for this joyous time in her life, and she planned to savor every moment because she was all too aware of the trouble that was lying in wait on the other side. Gritty realities and unpleasant truths were about to surface, not just in her life, but in the lives of family and friends whom she loved. She knew the road ahead was paved with detours, rough patches, and a few hazard signs. But she also knew she'd get through them thanks to her faith, her grandma Allene, and the amazing gift of prophecy she now embraced.

"Thank you, Grandma Allene," Alexandria whispered. "I love you for showing me the way."

As soon as her words floated into the air, Alexandria knew that her grandma Allene's spirit had entered the room. Whenever she felt a warm breeze, a gentle, unexplainable tug at her arm, or smelled the unmistakably sweet scent of magnolias—which had just wafted by her nose—she knew it was her great-great-grandmother communicating with her.

Alexandria inhaled the fragrant, uniquely Southern scent that always made her feel safe and at ease. That sense of comfort and security was very different from the turmoil and strife she'd experienced in the past whenever she thought about her gift.

Communicating with spirits and having premonitions were abilities that had burdened Alexandria since she was five years old. She'd always felt different and out of place, constantly trying to navigate where she stood in a world filled with uncertainty. Her lack of grounding and understanding of her gift had made her afraid of the supernatural powers she possessed. But all that had changed last summer when Allene had contacted her for the first time.

Initially, Alexandria had been leery, and she hadn't want any part of the mysteriously frightening world that had been haunting her since she was five years old. Many times she could remember waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and covered with fear, terrified of the voices that belonged to spirits from another world that she couldn't see or touch.

She also recognized that the ability to know what was going to happen in a given situation before it took place wasn't always a good thing, and it had quickly become a heavy weight on her shoulders. She'd worried about things that kids her age didn't have to deal with. She'd witnessed accidents, death, and destruction, and it had made her fearful of doing something as normal as dreaming at night because of what she might see. She'd often stood helpless with her knowledge, not knowing what to do or in whom to confide, so she'd learned how to ignore her gift and block out visions whenever they threatened her peace of mind.

But once her grandma Allene had come into her life and shown her the beauty of her gift, along with the strength and infinite possibilities it held, a new world had opened up to her for the first time.

She'd been hoping that her grandma Allene would soon make contact with her again. She missed hearing the old woman's comforting voice and the soothing, down-home Southern accent it carried. Allene hadn't communicated with her in nearly three months, which had initially alarmed Alexandria. But then she remembered Allene's promise—that she'd always be there to guide and protect her. Alexandria knew she'd have to wait patiently and trust in Allene's words, which were solid and rooted in love.

The one thing that Alexandria longed for more than anything was to talk with Allene face-to-face, instead of speaking in whispered tones through visions that always seemed to end much too quickly. During one of their talks, Alexandria had asked Allene to appear to her in the flesh.

"Grandma Allene, I want to see you. Can you come visit me?" she'd asked.


( Continued... )

Excerpted from Troublemaker by Trice Hickman. © 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Trice Hickman. 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.



About the Author
Trice Hickman is a self-proclaimed Southern girl, and award-winning, bestselling author. Trice’s love of reading and the power she recognized in the written word inspired her to become a writer. After receiving rejection letters from every agent and publisher she submitted her work to, Trice was determined to bring her stories to life. She self-published her first three novels to great success, and shortly thereafter, landed a multi-book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books) where she is currently published. When she’s not busy writing and reading, Trice enjoys cooking, traveling, decorating, and meeting good people. Learn more about Trice at www.tricehickman.com.

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