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The Journey of Ruthie Belle
by Imani Wisdom
The Journey of Ruthie Belle
Contemporary Women's Fiction
The meek, Ruthie Belle dreams of one day being free from her husband's constant mental and physical torment, until one day she finds the courage to break free from his bondage. Even though the plan goes without a hitch, Ruthie spends the rest of her life riddled in guilt and shame. Later at the ripe age of 103, Ruthie discovers forgiveness and redemption are a part of everyday journeys.
During her pilgrimage, she meets people from her past and makes new and important friends to help her heal and to find understanding. Yet the further into her journey, the darker it gets. Ruthie discovers things aren't the way it seems when her shame comes back for his revenge - her husband.
Will new revelations keep her from her pursuit to redemption? Or will the haunting of her past stop her cold in her tracks?
Excerpt (Chapter Three)
It was June 1, 1927, and I was babysittin' my five-year-old granddaughter, Georgia, while her parents attended a church meetin'. I was braidin' her hair at the kitchen table when I got a knock on the door that changed my life. When I opened it, I found a note sittin' on my porch, written as if someone tried to write it in the dark.
Miss Ruthie, I hate to do this, but I can't tell you this in person. Jacob and his buddies will have me killed if they saw me talking to you. Please meet me far back in the woods behind your barn. Please hurry!
Although I couldn't make out what the note said, I understood bits and pieces of it: Jacob and his buddies and meetin' her in the woods. I remember askin' Mattie Jean, twenty-one at the time, to watch Georgia Raye.
I hurried through the woods, recallin' ev'ry word Gladys's childhood friend wrote. Walkin' through that area was sometimes frightenin'. There were wild dogs and mean white folks that wouldn't hesitate to hang a Colored person. I knocked down any hangin' branches or ignored little rustlin' sounds behind bushes. All I wanted to know was what was goin' on with Mary Beth. But what made me burst through the woods was a feelin' I had in the pit of my stomach. I knew somethin' was wrong, terribly wrong!
I saw a petite, white woman surrounded by a bunch of huge trees. Mary Beth was holdin' a shiny object close to her chest, and her eyes were blood shot red, as though she had been cryin' non-stop.
"Miss Ruthie," she sobbed. "I am so sorry."
Although words were floatin' from her mouth, I was fixated on that shiny object. It was the locket I'd givin' to Gladys as a weddin' present.
"Where did you get this from?" I yanked it from Mary Beth's hand, further inspectin' it to see if it was really Gladys's, and it was. "This is Gladys's locket. Where is she?"
With the moonlight sparklin' on her rich black hair, Mary Beth kept cryin'. Her body language was enough to tell me somethin' had happened to my daughter. She sobbed, as she stood stiff with her hands clasped together in front of her pelvis.
"Oh, Miss Ruthie, I am so-"
"Child, stop apologizin' and tell me where's Gladys!" I shouted.
She raised her head as though she was tryin' to look at the moonlight, but her eyes looked into a particular direction. I followed her blue eyes and saw a sight that ripped my heart out. My legs buckled from the shock. All I saw was a man's dress shoes suspended in the air. I looked up to see a shirtless and bloody man that was bounded and hanged. Ev'rytime I grabbed at his shoes to see his face, his body gently swung from one direction to another. I wrapped my arms around his ankle and glared straight up at the rope. It was Pastor George.
"OH SWEET JESUS! WHO DID THIS TO YOU?" I screamed.
I was heartbroken. A good man bein' hanged like this was disgustin'. What could a man of God do to deserve this? What? Then my daughter rushed into my mind. Gladys, I thought. I gave a stiff and angry expression to Mary Beth, took her by the shoulders and shook her, tryin' to shake the truth out of her.
"Where's Gladys!" I yelled.
"There!" she cried, pointin' to a freshly packed mound of dirt. Still holdin' her shoulders, I took a moment to stare at the earthly grains, tryin' not to believe Gladys was there. I finally let go of Mary Beth to come close to the pile of dirt.
"Lawd, no," I mumbled, tryin' to keep it together. But, my heart dropped to my feet when I saw a lifeless hand stickin' out from the dirt. "GLADYS!" I cried.
I hysterically unburied my daughter from the cold, pile of dirt. Then with all of my might, I pulled her to my breast, where I used to nourish her. I was beyond speechless, but angry! My daughter was covered with bullet wounds on her chest and one on her face. I could barely recognize my baby. That bullet took off half her face. I hugged my daughter's motionless body, hopin' she could still feel my love. After that, I thought of Mary Beth. I glanced at her while she still looked pitiful.
"Did Jacob do this?" I wept.
"Miss Ruthie, I..." she sobbed.
"Child, don't Miss Ruthie me, did your husband and his heathen friends do this?"
Mary Beth looked away from me to answer, "Yes, ma'am."
Oh dear Lord, I thought, my daughter's best friend's husband, brutally killed my daughter and her husband. And for what?
Back in the 1920s, there was no justice for white folks killin' a Colored. To them, that was one less nigger to worry about. But why my child? Gladys wouldn't hurt anybody. She even got along with ev'ry white folk in town. So I didn't understand this, not at all!
As tears streamed down my face, Mary Beth's tiny voice said, "Miss Ruthie, I'm really sorry. I loved Gladys, she was my-"
"Please go!" I said calmly, as I rocked and held my dead baby girl to my chest. "Leave me and my family be. I love you like a daughter, Miss Mary Beth, but you have to keep your distance from now on. Now go!"
"This was an outstanding read. My emotions were all in. I was angry and sad at the treatment of this woman, a mother and wife. This story had me from the first page as it started out on high octane. I enjoyed the story how it took a twist to the after life. I felt the fear and pain and then the joy in the end. The story and how it was written reminded me of The Shack. Outstanding. Looking forward to reading more by Imani, her writing is clear and detailed."
"Journey - an act of traveling from one place to another. That is exactly what Imani Wisdom takes you on in the book " The Journey of Ruthie Belle." From the first page to the last you are captivated by the one decision Ruthie makes that changes her life and takes you on her journey a somewhat spiritual journey. Of course, we all have a storied past; memories that we most certainly wish we could forget however In order for Ruthie to move forward, she must revisit those memories." --Amazon Customer
"A new favorite of mine. The journey of Ruthie Belle will take you on a personal journey as well. I laughed, I cried, and I prayed. A Journey of Redemption. This book will not disappoint."
This Too Shall Pass: Poetry
by Patricia A. Saunders
This book of poetry spans the journey of life, death, grief, love, and weathering all storms. When life has thrown you curveballs and you think that it's over, no one is there for you, or no one can love you, it is in those moments when you have to hang on. There is hope, there is love, and there is a second chance. You just have to believe that this too shall pass!
Purchase This Too Shall Pass, Poetry by Patricia A. Saunders
POEM: I Melt
When I see your eyes
I fall in love all over again
Never thought I would feel like this
Though I carried you
Saw you grow within me
Seeing you lie on my chest
When you open your eyes
Looking at me as you nurse from my breast
I smile because I love you
You are my legacy
You are my world
The blessing of the birth of a child
Some take for granted
Some don't want to go through it
I look at you and I can't imagine
Your tiny fingers touch mine
And I ...
A 5-Year Sentence
You had the cancer scare
You had it cut out
You had treatments
You learned how to breathe again
You were exercising
Being healthy is what you always were
Doctor said you have a 10% chance it can come back
5 years is what they told you
Let's count together 1-2-3
So as your friends were dying off
From different types of cancer
Your mortality was in question
You started saying you lived a good life
You needed to finish everything you put on your bucket list
You were scaring your spouse
Where was your faith?
A tear ran down your cheek
You said, "I have 5 years!"
( Continued... )
© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia A. Saunders. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Intimate Conversation with Patricia A. Saunders
Self-published award winning author, Patricia A. Saunders was born and raised in Connecticut before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 20 years ago. She received her Master's in Management from the University of Phoenix in 2011. After the passing of her mother who had Alzheimer's, Patricia decided that all the words that she kept to herself were to be released.
In March of 2016 she released her fourth book This Too Shall Pass, this book of poetry touches on the subject of suicide, death, love and faith. Her work has been featured on In the Company of Poet, Women Owned Business Club Magazine, and Coach Deb Bailey Secret of Success Talk Radio. She performs locally at spoken word events and Capital Jazz SuperCruise Open Mic with Grammy Award Winner Eric Roberson. Saunders is a monthly blogger to Blessed & Curvy http://blessedpoetpat.blogspot.com
Ms. Saunders recently was one contributing writer of 300 women across the world for Sister with Ink Voices (Hill-Dudley, 2013) She works as a supervisor for a corporate financial organization. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys writing poetry, traveling, spending time with family and wine tasting.
Her books are available at your local book retailers and at www.patriciaasaunders.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?
The book was written after going through the storms and realizing I made it. I had to appreciate everything that I went through to see the blessing. Is this book available on Nook and Kindle? It is available on both.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers.
The book is of poetry that covers my personal experience, anything that impacted me such as our young black men being slain and other people stories shared. What makes each one so special? As a reader you can relate to the experiences because it touches the heart, spirit, and makes you reflect
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
My mother was an ordained minister who had Alzheimer's and seeing her decline quickly made me what to have a legacy to leave behind. My words. Why now? If I inherit the disease I want to get all the words out now before I can't
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Remembering experiences of my youth when both parents were living.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
It comes from life. If I am happy, sad, grieving, and seeing something in the news I have to express it.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
I touch on a subject that people don't want to discuss. Suicide. If so, discuss them. I was seeing in the media people who you thought had it all committing suicide, I knew for myself after my mother passed I felt that my world was turned upside down and I was losing everything. I wanted to get in the ground and go with her.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?
I was self-employed, making six figured, living in a gated community. I was a happy. The rug got pulled from under my feet and I was lost. On the brink of being homeless and offered to stay at a shelter. It drew me closer to my faith, I was blessed with people in my life to pour into me positive mantras, and I started my second chance. I went back to school and received my Master's degree. There are people out there who can relate to my journey.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
I learned that I am stronger than I thought. That there may be dark days but the sun is going to shine.
BPM: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
There are my Saturday morning hair salon divas who share stories with me about love, how to deal with challenges, and more. My friends share with me about being single, over 50 and the struggles we go through.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
I feel this book is a testament for those who are going through any of life's challenges to know you can come through. I wanted to pay homage to three women who sent me separate notes all saying This Too Shall Pass! I have been good reviews from those reading it. I feel if I touch one person than my vision has met its goal.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I have written a book a year except in 2014 but that's because I was writing two books at once. Now for 2017 the next book I have writing about love so for those on the journey with me maybe it's knocking at the door!
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
STATIONS: Changing Your Life
Changing Your Career
by Lynda Mubarak
Is your child a first generation college student? Are you a first generation college student? If you are a school counselor, Student Affairs Coordinator, Upward Bound student, high school student, parents of elementary students, teens, young adults, or a newly hired worker, STATIONS is the quick resource guide that offers suggestions and time-proven recommendations to parents and professionals as they interact with children and young adult workers in a 21st century environment.
STATIONS is a collection of essays that provides food for thought as we make our way through the different situations, events, stages, circumstances and parental decisions that will ultimately affect personal lifestyles and career options. STATIONS examines childhood academic and social skills, and addresses the challenging task of teaching children to be healthy and financially sound while preparing them to thrive and survive in a global workforce driven by cutting edge technology and ongoing competition.
STATIONS is concise, amusing, informative and frank in its discussion of life's everyday circumstances, including social media and proactive workplace practices that affect all of us from childhood through adulthood.
Life Has an Assignment for You... Do You Know What It Is?
To live a vibrant and successful life, you must embrace two truths: everyone's life path is about change, and each phase of life offers opportunities that we often overlook. No matter where you find yourself in life, you have unexplored talent, un-imagined resources, and the ability to make the most of the station you are occupying at the moment, while still looking down the road to your next assignment.
Chapter 13 Excerpt
The Plastic Dollar
This may be hard to believe, but at one time in this country, there were no credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, online shopping or any other types of paperless financial transactions. Money actually moved from one pair of hands to another, a receipt was written (if paper was available and someone could write), a handshake was exchanged and the deal was sealed.
Well, the honeymoon is over! Somewhere along the banking highway of installment plans and lines of credit things got way out of hand. Now, checks are bouncing, credit scores are crazy, and we're all wondering how we arrived at this strange, penny pinching destination. And to make matters worse our children seem to manage, or mismanage money and all that goes with it in the same way.
Living in a digital society means that many of our financial transactions are electronic, invisible, and are done quickly with the swipe of a plastic card including phone calls, debit, and credit or gift cards. As a result, our children do not see large amounts of money changing hands very often. It's no wonder that money seems magical and everlasting to them.
While we smiled our way through images of Hollywood lifestyles, fast food, overpaid athletes, overpriced coffee houses, attitudes of entitlement and weight loss commercials, we forgot to teach our children the fundamentals of money management. Not only did we neglect teaching them the basics of financial stability, we also overlooked the importance of instilling the responsibilities involved with day to day living.
Do your children believe that money grows on trees? Do you ever wonder why? Maybe we need to teach our children financial responsibility early so that their lives won't fall apart later. It's not too late to implement a few money basics and the best time to start is now.
Show and Tell
When children learn early that a home operates like a small business, they will be better prepared to deal with the biggest challenge faced by all businesses or homes - daily operating expenses. Begin your money discussion by telling your child that nothing, absolutely nothing is free and use the material things in your home to demonstrate your point. Next, select a room in your home or begin with his or her bedroom. Finally, sit down with your child while both of you calculate the total cost of the room. If you have a teenager this will be quite interesting.
Your calculated items should include furniture, curtains, carpet, clothing, TV, computer, stereo, linen, shoes (and sneakers), cosmetics, yearbooks, iPod, iPad (all versions you have purchased), cell phone updates, high end headphones, sports gear, and the leftover French fries in the McDonald's bag under the bed.
Finally, after you have recovered from the shock, calculate how many work hours or paydays it took to cover the cost of the room. Discuss the expenses truthfully and completely, including the heating and cooling costs. If it doesn't impress him or her, I'm sure it will take your breath away and increase your heart rate when you realize just how much you have invested in one room.
Fixed and Flexible
It's never too late for high school seniors or too soon for elementary aged children to learn the basics of fixed and flexible expenses and it's best to use familiar physical examples to illustrate your straight talk. Emphasize that fixed expenses such as rent, car payments, or student loans are specific amounts that occur at same time, weekly or monthly, and must be paid on time to avoid penalties. In the same manner, stress that flexible expenses are those things that occur infrequently, never cost the same, and include items like a doctor's visit, car repairs, or a new prescription for granny's meds. Other flexible expenses are those we want, but can live without such as summer vacations, eating out frequently, concert tickets, and CDs. And yes, it's a horrible thought, but it's also good for them to learn that life goes on without satellite or cable TV.
Whatever happened to pay yourself first?
There is nothing more precious to a child of any age than a personal container in the bedroom or some other secret place quietly holding their hard earned savings. When a child saves money he or she learns patience, persistence, and delayed gratification. While it may be perceived as an old school practice, saving for a rainy day also teaches your child to prepare for future emergencies and set long term goals. In short, saving money has its own rewards and instills a sense of power.
Try to teach a money lesson each week if possible. In addition, remind your children that labor experts are already telling us to be prepared to work until or past age 70 if personal savings are not in place and to guarantee the best return on social security.
So, help your child find a jar, box, or can. Give it a name, decorate it and watch your child slowly fill it with pride. Isn't life grand as you watch your child count coins and know there are no annual percentage rates, finance charges, pin numbers, passwords, grace periods, late fees, or text alerts from the bank staring you in the face?
In the end it does not matter if your child saves 10 cents or $10.00. It's the lessons learned and the effort that really counts. It's priceless!
Purchase STATIONS: Changing Your Life - Changing Your Career by Lynda Mubarak
Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda Mubarak
Dr. Lynda Mubarak is a native Texan, Army veteran, and grew up in Waco and Ft. Worth. She is a retired teacher and special education facilitator with 37 years of experience in special needs instruction, ESL education at Tarrant County College, and developmental writing at Strayer University.
Lynda is a graduate of P.L. Dunbar High School, Ft. Worth, TX. She earned her BS in Elementary/Special Education from Texas Christian University, M.Ed. from Texas Wesleyan University, and Ed.D in Higher Education from Nova SE University.
Dr. Mubarak is an active volunteer with several Ft. Worth organizations. She loves crossword puzzle competitions, live theater and contemporary music history. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her husband, Kairi, and Ebony, their rescue dog.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work?STATIONS
is my debut novel. It is available on Kindle and also published in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book is composed of essays I have written over the years. Each essay covers a phase, decision, transition, pathway, or challenge that ordinary people experience during the course of a lifetime as children and later as adults.BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I have always wanted to write a book, but only discussed it briefly (and quietly) with a few friends over the years. I assumed that my thoughts and ideas had been written and discussed many times over and there was no need to 'repeat' what others had done. I began to write down my observations and thoughts several years ago and decided to publish them after a chance meeting with a former colleague in a restaurant. She and I were teachers at the same middle school over twenty years ago. During those years, she told me weekly about her desire to write a children's book. When I asked if she had accomplished her dream, she explained that she had published four books and that I should move forward and contact a publisher. I did, and the rest is history!BPM: Where do you book ideas come from? STATIONS: Changing Your Life - Changing Your Career
relates to the various circumstances that families face when raising children from early social skills and financial responsibility to proactive soft skills and behaviors required of students, new workers or tenured employees.
BPM: Are there any under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
Yes. STATIONS addresses many issues and concerns for young parents, first generation college students, adults in job transition, and ex-offenders in re-entry programs. Some persons have not been exposed to the nuances of a college campus, support group interaction, workplace protocol, or even networking practices. STATIONS attempts to cover these areas in a simple, but practical manner.BPM: How does your book related to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
I think my book is a condensed version of the positive and negative experiences of my life and the lives of persons I have encountered over the years. The topics I selected were the ones that had the most profound effect on me as a child, parent, educator, college adjunct, observer, confidant, advisor, and caretaker of aging parents. BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
The personal lesson I learned from writing this book is acknowledging that we often have things (gifts) in us that we do not investigate, promote, develop, or expand. Many times the hesitation stems from fear and doubt. My husband had been trying to persuade me to publish for over 20 years. I simply had one excuse after another to delay my dream of writing a book. After my parents died, and I talked with my former teacher/colleague, I realized that I had run out of excuses. Finally, I learned that often when it is time to act, we create reasons or hurdles to slow down or hinder the decision to move forward. My excuse had been my parents' declining health.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in writing this book and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals and intentions of this book were to encourage and inspire others to move forward while making better decisions, utilizing time wisely, and identifying those skills and competencies necessary for living a life filled with achievement and personal success. Most important, teach all children the concepts and behaviors required to survive in a fast moving world that becomes more competitive each day. In the end, they will be working on jobs that were not created during your lifetime. I think I wrote in a way that was thought provoking and parent friendly!BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
I am currently working on a book about my childhood memories of living in segregated Waco, TX during the 1950s. The name of the book is "Carver Park". Carver Park is an African-American community area east of the Brazos River and downtown Waco that was designed years ago by public officials for people of color.
Readers can find out more about my work at: www.lyndamubarak.com
Shattered Innocence Trilogy
The Shattered Innocence Trilogy chronicles the lives of the Kyle family. The twins, Angel and Teek, and their cousins Troi and Keisha. They are four vibrant, bright, talented and dynamic young women with a wonderful future in the music industry ahead of them. However, their lives take a dramatic turn when they are forced to defend themselves against a group of bullies, which subsequently leads to the Kyles being sent away from their home.
Moving to a strange city with family they barely know, begins to alter the girls' characters and personalities. The absence of stability, familiarity and support manifests itself in the worse way.
Throughout the series, the Kyles face lies, secrets and betrayal which threatens to destroy the close-knit family bond they once shared.
Trying to maintain that bond while attempting to recapture their personal happiness and desires for their adult lives, proves to be more difficult than any one of them could imagine.
Shattered Innocence Trilogy by Denise Coleman
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
* Shattered Innocence (Shattered Innocence Trilogy Volume 1)
* Shattered Innocence 2: The Drama Continues (Shattered Innocence Trilogy)
* Shattered Innocence 3: Keisha's Betrayal (Shattered Innocence Trilogy)
Purchase Denise Coleman Books
Shattered Innocence (Shattered Innocence Trilogy - Volume 1)
Teek and Angel Kyle and their cousins, Troi and Keisha are beautiful and talented girls on the verge of living exciting lives. However, they find out early in life that the beauty and talent they possess is more of a curse than a blessing.
Faced with being harassed and bullied by a group of haters, the girls defend themselves viciously and are forced to leave their home and family. They find themselves living in a strange city with family they barely know.
They each try to make the best of the situation amid homesickness, uncertainty and a secret one cousin feels she needs to keep to herself. Just when each believes she will finally live a life that will make her happy, everything changes.
Having not had the proper guidance, each girl is ill equipped to deal with the broken hearts, stalkers and unforeseen nemesis that enter their lives.
In the midst of the chaos and turmoil of their young adulthood, each tries desperately to find out who they are and who they're meant to be before they lose everything.
Excerpt: Shattered Innocence Trilogy - Volume 1The first half of the school year went by pretty quickly for the girls. Keisha spent every waking moment preparing herself for basketball tryouts. She ate, slept and breathed basketball. Without it she didn't exist. Without being a basketball player, there was not one other thing she knew about her own self to be true.
Troi spent her time doing cheerleading activities and trying to convince Angel, who focused on her studies, to join. Eventually Angel gave in and tried out for the squad. Teek on the other hand, didn't seem to be interested in anything at all, in or outside of school. She just went through the motions, trying to rush the time.
Jackie and her cohorts seemed to pull back after that first incident. They reduced their drama to minor bumping in the halls, name calling and eye rolling whenever they ran into one or more of the cousins.
This all changed during home coming week however. Although the girls weren't allowed to run for home coming queen or her court, they were allowed to take part in the talent show.
The aunties had the girls rehearsing for weeks for the show. That was their thing! As their Aunt Hillie would say, "These girls can blow!" As much as the girls didn't like working as hard as their mothers made them, they did enjoy performing, and they each knew how happy it made their parents to see them shine.
The night of the talent show, the school's auditorium was packed. The girls had to sit through an hour of other kids singing, dancing, reciting poetry and playing violins and such, before it would be their turn.
They used their grand parents' sir name - Marchon- as their stage name. When announced, they stepped out onto the stage ready to tear the house down. The girls looked like seasoned professionals. Their Aunt Hillie had designed their dresses; Two gold and two silver sequined halters which stopped at mid-thigh.
The dresses were paired with matching stilettos and they wore their hair flowing straight down their backs. The look was completed with faux diamond jewelry and their makeup, while subtle, enhanced the cousin's young beauty.
The DJ cued the music and when the first cords of Teena Marie's Square Biz filled the auditorium, the cousins broke out singing and dancing like stars. Angel sang the lead and together with her family, they sang the hell out of that song. By the time they'd gotten to the rap portion of the song, the crowd was going wild. When they were done, the audience erupted in thunderous applause. Hands down, the girls were the best in the bunch. They received the only standing ovation of the evening.
While the cousins were winning over the crowd, Jackie and her cronies were sitting in the front row, shooting daggers with their eyes. The girls had no idea that the next few months would completely change the course of their futures.
( Continued... )
© 2016 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Denise Coleman. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase Denise Coleman Books
Shattered Innocence 3: Keisha's Betrayal by Denise Coleman
Shattered Innocence is the saga of the Kyle family. Four strong, talented, beautiful women who face betrayal, secrets, destruction and murder. Happiness is always elusive for them, yet they continue to push through with the desire to finally find peace, love and joy, no matter how painful the journey.
Purchase Denise Coleman Books
Intimate Conversation with Denise Coleman
Denise Coleman was born and raised in Camden, NJ where she still resides. As an avid reader, her love of the written word has grown into a passionate desire to share her stories with the world.
Although she has penned four novels to date, continues to work tirelessly at her craft, as she wants to grow as much as possible into a better writer and story teller with each work she creates.
As a former student of Woodrow Wilson High School, and the parent of four, it is her hope that the young people of Camden believe enough in themselves to dream big... And, in doing so, go after the best that this life has to offer.
Her first novel, Drama with A Capital D, is doing very well. Also, her most recent release, Keisha's Betrayal, is the finale of her Shattered Innocence trilogy. She looks forward to putting out many more books in the near future.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
The main characters, twins Angel and Teek Kyle, and their cousins Troi and Keisha, who early in the series are forced to eave home to live wit relatives they hardly know. Each girl has her own distinct personality. We have Angel, who is the nurturing leader of the group. Teek is the perpetually confused, yet supportive twin. Then there's Troi, who is sneaky, selfish and almost always up to no good. Keisha, the baby of the group, is unsure of herself, and oftentimes, finds herself trying to figure out where she fits in.
BPM: Is there a specific place/space/state that you find inspiration in?
I actually find my inspiration in people. A look, a conversation, a mood, a feeling. other human beings seem to spark something in me at any given moment.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. What brought about the title "Shattered Innocence"?
My creative process is always fa more difficult for me tan I intend. Whenever I have an idea, I start with an outline. However, every story I've ever written develops organically. I allow the characters to take over. The title Shattered Innocence literally comes from the circumstantial effects of the main characters' displacement.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-drive or character-driven?
The idea from this particular series came from witnessing some of the issues our young clients have at my place of business. I work in child protection services. Although I am more interested in the plot, I do allow the character's personality to take over. They seem to always drive the story forward.
BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer?
I find that writing sometimes difficult for me because, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I want to be considered a great writer. I am continually pushing myself to do better and be better. Yes, I always feel that being a writer is a lonely business. The creation process is a singular experience for each writer.
BPM: What did you enjoy mot about writing this book?
The most enjoyable part bout this series was seeing where each character went, and how they evolved more with each installment.
BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book? How long does it take to complete one of your books?
The only planning I do is, taking notes about the situations I want to place the characters in, and how I want to resolve the issues created. It can take me anywhere from a few months to a year to complete a book. it depends on so many external factors.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project?
Well, because I feel that writers ae dreamers to a degree, I would say never give up on your dreams! Write, write, and write some more. we all get discouraged, but the end result is pure joy.
BPM: What period of life or topics do you find you write about most often?
I am focused on young adults in this particular series. I simply wanted to understand how adults get to be who they are, how they are, and here it all began.
BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
I actually use different opinions to gain a different perspective into the human condition. If I do find myself offended, I try to turn that around to be useful for my growth as a writer.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
If I had to say there was an under represented group in my series, it would have to be the LGBT community I felt that it was important to have at least one character who was the extreme opposite of the rest of the family. I wanted to explore her emotional perspective on being gay.
BPM: Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
The one point that resonated most with me was learning how to accept myself as I am. In doing so, I learned how to recognize when changes in my own behaviors need to be made.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Writing "Shattered" actually taught me how much I've grown over the years. As well as, how much I am still very much that girl I once was.
BPM: Can you share some stories bout people you met while researching this book?
Because the business I work in is strictly confidential, I'm not sure it's a good idea to share specific stories. I will say that I've witnessed and had conversations with clients which inspired the thoughts behind how very specific events can change the trajectory of one's life.
BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has opened me up to a whole new world. Where I was once shy, I am now outgoing and more personable. Meeting people and engaging with them brings me joy.
BPM: What does literary success look like to you?
For me, literary success would be to create works that make people think, feel, talk and want more.
BPM: What are the 3 most effective tools for sharing our book with the world?
Social media, word of mouth and participation in literary events whenever possible.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the preset?
Right now I'm working on a piece about the loss of a child to gun violence. Being from a city like Camden, so many of us have loss someone in this manner. I feel I have to write about it.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Contact and comments can be sent to my website: DeniseColemanBooks.com
College Life 201: Sophomore Studies
by J.B. Vample
Much to the relief of many, a new school year has fallen upon the students of Paradise Valley University. Alexandra Chisolm, Chasity Parker, Sidra Howard, Malajia Simmons and Emily Harris are thrilled to officially be sophomores. With a roommate shake-up that takes some getting used to, the girls hope that it's the only shake-up that will happen. When Alex's high school friends, Stacey and Victoria enter PVU as freshmen, she couldn't be more excited. Having all of her friends in one place is a dream come true. Alex's excitement is short lived once Victoria begins to show jealousy towards Alex's "college family". That, on top of facing a shocking betrayal, sends Alex into a fit of anger that she is unsure she will be able to recover from.
After a scare, Chasity decides to look for her birth mother and her decision causes a major clash with someone she least expects. As if that stress weren't enough, Chasity realizes that the growing feelings that she has for Jason Adams have become harder for her to ignore. During a blackout, the two cross a line that leaves both confused. In a fit of emotion, one makes a decision that ultimately changes the course of their relationship. Emily's new living arrangements and mother's constant hovering start to take its toll. Feeling helpless and lonely, Emily's grades begin to suffer. Finding the stress too much to bear, Emily finds a way to cope. But her methods may prove to be too much for her to handle.
Mistakenly, the girls thought that after surviving the events of their freshman year; that their first semester as upperclassmen would be a breeze. With secrets, drama, and emotions at an all-time high, these unlikely friends find that on top of handling their growing course load, they'll have to get a handle on their personal lives, both on and off campus.
The College Life Series follows the lives of five young black women as they make their journey through their four years of college at Paradise Valley University. Chasity Parker, the troubled beauty, Malajia Simmons, the party girl, Sidra Howard, the prim princess, Alex Chisolm, the self proclaimed "know-it-all", and Emily Harris, the shy mommy's girl are five main protagonists, thrown together by chance. Bringing to college different voices, vastly different backgrounds, and different ways of confronting challenges.
This series touches on different issues that affect college aged people; such as class pressure, family drama, personal drama, relationship issues, peer confrontations, discovery and friendship. This ill-assorted group discover in this new environment and through unlikely friendships who they are.
More About The College Life Series by J.B. Vample College Life 101: Freshman Orientation (The College Life Series, Vol. 1)
College Life 102: Social Learning (The College Life Series, Vol. 2)
College Life 201: Sophomore Studies (The College Life Series, Vol. 3)
Order the 3-Book Series