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Essence Magazine October 2014

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for October 2014

Essence Magazine’s book features for October 2014, highlighting “five fierce & fearless new books” — featuring George Clinton, Dr. Cornel West, Bridgett M. Davis, Eartha Kitt, and Rachel Renee Russell:

Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir
by George Clinton and Ben Greenman

Atria Books
October 21, 2014
Hardcover

The long-awaited memoir from one of the greatest bandleaders, hit makers, and most influential pop artists of our time — known for over forty R&B hit singles — George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic.

George Clinton began his musical career in New Jersey, where his obsession with doo-wop and R&B led to a barbershop quartet — literally, as Clinton and his friends also styled hair in the local shop — the way kids often got their musical start in the 50s. But how many kids like that ended up playing to tens of thousands of rabid fans alongside a diaper-clad guitarist? How many of them commissioned a spaceship and landed it onstage during concerts? How many put their stamp on four decades of pop music, from the mind-expanding sixties to the hip-hop-dominated nineties and beyond?

One of them. That’s how many.

How George Clinton got from barbershop quartet to funk music megastar is a story for the ages. As a high school student he traveled to New York City, where he absorbed all the trends in pop music, from traditional rhythm and blues to Motown, the Beatles, the Stones, and psychedelic rock, not to mention the formative funk of James Brown and Sly Stone. By the dawn of the seventies, he had emerged as the leader of a wildly creative musical movement composed mainly of two bands — Parliament and Funkadelic. And by the bicentennial, Clinton and his P-Funk empire were dominating the soul charts as well as the pop charts. He was an artistic visionary, visual icon, merry prankster, absurdist philosopher, and savvy businessmen, all rolled into one. He was like no one else in pop music, before or since.

Written with wit, humor, and candor, this memoir provides tremendous insight into America’s music industry as forever changed by Clinton’s massive talent. This is a story of a beloved global icon who dedicated himself to spreading the gospel of funk music.

Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West and Christa Buschendorf

Beacon Press, October 7, 2014, Hardcover

An unflinching look at nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

In an accessible, conversational format, Cornel West, with distinguished scholar Christa Buschendorf, provides a fresh perspective on six revolutionary African American leaders: Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X, and Ida B. Wells. In dialogue with Buschendorf, West examines the impact of these men and women on their own eras and across the decades. He not only rediscovers the integrity and commitment within these passionate advocates but also their fault lines.

West, in these illuminating conversations with the German scholar and thinker Christa Buschendorf, describes Douglass as a complex man who is both “the towering Black freedom fighter of the nineteenth century” and a product of his time who lost sight of the fight for civil rights after the emancipation. He calls Du Bois “undeniably the most important Black intellectual of the twentieth century” and explores the more radical aspects of his thinking in order to understand his uncompromising critique of the United States, which has been omitted from the American collective memory. West argues that our selective memory has sanitized and even “Santaclausified” Martin Luther King Jr., rendering him less radical, and has marginalized Ella Baker, who embodies the grassroots organizing of the civil rights movement. The controversial Malcolm X, who is often seen as a proponent of reverse racism, hatred, and violence, has been demonized in a false opposition with King, while the appeal of his rhetoric and sincerity to students has been sidelined. Ida B. Wells, West argues, shares Malcolm X’s radical spirit and fearless speech, but has “often become the victim of public amnesia.”

By providing new insights that humanize all of these well-known figures, in the engrossing dialogue with Buschendorf, and in his insightful introduction and powerful closing essay, Cornel West takes an important step in rekindling the Black prophetic fire so essential in the age of Obama.



Into the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis

The Feminist Press at CUNY, September 9, 2014, Paperback

It’s 1986 and twenty-one-year-old Angie continues to mourn the death of her brilliant and radical sister Ella. On impulse, she travels from Detroit to the place where Ella tragically died four years before — Nigeria. She retraces her sister’s steps, all the while navigating the chaotic landscape of a major African country on the brink of democracy careening toward a coup d’tat.

At the center of this quest is a love affair that upends everything Angie thought she knew about herself. Against a backdrop of Nigeria’s infamous go-slow — traffic as wild and surprising as a Fela lyric — Angie begins to unravel the mysteries of the past, and opens herself up to love and life after Ella.

Bridgett M. Davis’s debut novel Shifting Through Neutral (Amistad, 2004) was a Borders Books “Original Voices” selection and a finalist for the 2005 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright LEGACY Award. Davis was selected as the New Author of the Year by Go On Girl! Book Club — the largest national reading group for African American women. She currently writes for O, The Oprah Magazine and other publications.

America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Miss Eartha Kitt
by John L. Williams

Quercus, October 7, 2014, Hardcover

Strait-laced, pre-civil rights America wasn’t ready for Eartha Kitt. Waiting for others to be ready was never her style. in America’s Mistress John L. Williams captures the person behind the myth in this engaging biography but also race relations in Twentieth-century America.

From humble roots on a South Carolina cotton plantation, the multilingual, possibly multi-racial chanteuse emerged seemingly from nowhere to seduce the nation and redefine cosmopolitan glamour. Blending intellect, self-awareness and unprecedented sex appeal, she was a Technicolor presence in a black-and-white world.

But the key to her allure was always her mystery, and her three not-entirely-consistent autobiographies raise more questions than they answer about who she really was–whether singing, dancing, acting or drawing headlines for her romantic dalliances and political activism.

Drawing on extensive original research and interviews with the people who knew her best, Williams–whose previous biographical subjects include Shirley Bassey and English civil rights activist Michael X–delivers a comprehensive, compassionate and thought-provoking record of a life that defied stereotypes, shattered boundaries, yet seemed to fall short of its potential in the end.

Beginning with Eartha’s tumultuous childhood, Williams makes a bold claim about the identity of her true father–a question that has never been answered. From there Williams traces her escape to Harlem, where she came into contact with leading black entertainers and found quick success as a company dancer-which, in turn, enabled her to travel the world and segue into film, television and music stardom.

Williams details her time at the top of the entertainment business–when Orson Welles famously called her “the most exciting woman in the world”–with candor and striking revelations. America’s Mistress focuses on how, as Eartha’s social consciousness developed, she found herself awkwardly torn between the realities of Jim Crow oppression and her lucrative role as white America’s ultimate sex kitten.

Whether or not her decline began with her 1968 infamous public confrontation with Lady Bird Johnson (that left the First Lady in tears), the later decades of Eartha’s life were marked by America’s growing indifference to the woman who once captured its attention like no one before or since.

But America’s Mistress is ultimately a celebration of a remarkable American life that paved the way for black entertainers from Belafonte to Beyonce. With objectivity and thoroughness, John L. Williams provides sought-after answers to tantalizing and elusive questions.



Dork Diaries 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star
by Rachel Renee Russell

Aladdin, June 3, 2014, Hardcover

Everyone’s been rooting for Nikki Maxwell and her crush, Brandon and fans will finally learn if they had their first kiss in this seventh book of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki’s juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice, and little sister Brianna’s latest wacky hijinks. Nikki’s sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes?

The Dork Diaries series has more than 13 million copies in print worldwide!

Child, Please: How I Learned That When It Comes to Raising Kids, My Mother Had It Right All Along
by Ylonda Gault Caviness

Tarcher, April 14, 2015, Hardcover

In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obsessively devouring as a new parent (and sharing with the world as a parenting expert on NPR, Today, in The Huffington Post, and elsewhere) didn’t mean scratch compared to her mama’s old school wisdom as a strong black woman and mother.

With child number one, Caviness set her course: to give her children everything she had. Child number two came along and she patiently persisted. But when her third kid arrived, she was finally so exhausted that she decided to listen to what her mother had been saying to her for years: Give them everything they want, and there’ll be nothing left of you. In Child, Please, Caviness describes the road back to embracing a more sane — not to mention loving — way of raising children. Her mother had it right all along.

Twintuition: Double Vision by Tia and Tamara Mowry

HarperCollins
April 21, 2015
Hardcover

Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley are the latest stars looking for a spot on your bookshelf.

Thanks to series like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures and Twilight, Young Adult Fiction has never been hotter with readers of all ages. Looking to broaden their horizons (and the brand), the twins told E! News that they’re penning their own run of line of YA books titled Twintuition.

Their first book, Double Vision, is slated to be released by HarperCollins in April 21, 2015. Tia and Tamera haven’t divulged any details about what the series will be about, but prospective readers should expect a fantastic adventure when they crack open the tome.

“We are huge fans of supernatural fiction and have always wanted to write a book that tweens can relate to,” Tia and Tamera said in a statement. “This project gives us a chance to combine both interests.”

Teach Me How to Fly by Alberta Lampkins

A.L. Savvy Publications
July 5, 2014
Paperback

“Settle down and take a journey through a heartrending story of faith, friendship and forgiveness as secrets unravel and the truth unfolds.”

Teach Me How to Fly is a true to life story of Jocelyn Hamilton, wife of a retired Army Sergeant Major and coffee shop owner in Buffalo, New York, and her friend, Angel Medina, a fashion clothing designer. Jocelyn sets out on a train ride headed from New York to Virginia. She is determined to find the truth behind a secret her mother never shared. Jocelyn thought she knew everything there was to know about her mother – that is until she received that phone call.

Jocelyn’s curiosity leads her back to her mother’s hometown of Martinsville, Virginia, to meet the one lady who can give her the answers she is looking for. While Jocelyn is busy putting the pieces of her life together, her friend, Angel Medina, is desperately seeking to keep her past tucked away. Angel soon comes face to face with the one person she hoped she would never see again. What happens to a broken soul left untreated? Can you escape what lies behind you? How do you learn to forgive? Jocelyn and Angel find strength through their unexpected friendship in Teach Me How Fly.

Rose Gold: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley

Doubleday
September 23, 2014
Hardcover

Rose Gold is two colors, one woman, and a big headache.

In this new mystery set in the Patty Hearst era of radical black nationalism and political abductions, a black ex-boxer self-named Uhuru Nolica, the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, has kidnapped Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer, from her dorm at UC Santa Barbara. If they don’t receive the money, weapons, and apology they demand, “Rose Gold” will die — horribly and publicly. So the FBI, the State Department, and the LAPD turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary borders to resolve this dangerous standoff.

With twelve previous adventures since 1990, Easy Rawlins is one of the small handful of private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called immortal.

The Reunion by Charles L Freeman Jr

MEG Books
November 15, 2013

The Reunion is the story of four lifelong friends attending their 20-year high school reunion. It’s also the tale of two love stories: one that involves a long marriage and one that involves a couple who broke up years ago and still have unresolved issues between them. Over the course of a long weekend in San Diego, California, the four friends will catch up with each other and come to grips with a past tragedy that strengthens the bond between. The author takes readers deep into the life of Lorenzo (Chocks) Taylor, an award-winning music producer and record company executive who’s at a crossroads in his professional and personal lives. Step inside Lorenzo’s fast-paced world of music, money, power, jealousy and corporate intrigue as he tries to remain true to his beliefs and his friends.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Nancy Paulsen Books
August 28, 2014
Hardcover

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Essence Magazine, June-2014

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for June 2014

Essence Magazine’s book selections for June 2014, featuring their “Summer Reading Challenge” (Wendy Williams’ “Hold Me in Contempt,” Walter Mosley’s “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore,” Morowa Yejide’s “Time of the Locust,” Cynthia Bond’s “Ruby,” Lauren Francis-Sharma’s’s “‘Til the Well Runs Dry,” and Elizabeth Nunez’ “Not for Everyday Use”), Toni Braxton’s memoir “Unbreak My Heart,” and T.D. Jakes’ “Instinct”:

Hold Me in Contempt: A Romance by Wendy Williams

Move over 50 Shades, there’s a new romance in town. Superstar Wendy Williams brings on the heat in her first ever, no-holds-barred, down and dirty, romance novel.

Kimberly Kind is trying to get beyond her roots. A successful, beautiful, smart lawyer, she’s finally finding direction in her life and getting out of the streets. But a terrible accident threatens to throw her carefully laid plans off course. Now Kim’s hiding a huge secret — one that could threaten everything.

Enter King. A perfect mix of Justin Timberlake and David Beckham, the man oozes sex and has more swagger than anyone Kim’s ever met. Their chemistry is off the charts. But after passion-filled nights, the intensity of their emotions takes both of them by surprise.

Love was not supposed to be an option. Now it’s the only thing holding them together. When their pasts come back with a vengeance, can love possibly be enough?

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore: A Novel by Walter Mosley

In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn’t going to “do it anymore.” But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.

Millions of men (and no doubt many women) have watched famed black porn queen Debbie Dare — she of the blond wig and blue contacts — “do it” on television and computer screens every which way with every combination of partners the mind of man can imagine. But one day an unexpected and thunderous on-set orgasm catches Debbie unawares, and when she returns to the mansion she shares with her husband, insatiable former porn star and “film producer” Theon Pinkney, she discovers that he’s died in a case of hot tub electrocution, “auditioning” an aspiring “starlet.” Burdened with massive debts that her husband incurred, and which various L.A. heavies want to collect on, Debbie must reckon with a life spent in the peculiar subculture of the pornography industry and her estrangement from her family and the child she had to give up. She’s done with porn, but her options for what might come next include the possibility of suicide. Debbie . . . is a portrait of a ransacked but resilient soul in search of salvation and a cure for grief.

Time of the Locust: A Novel by Morowa Yejide

Travel into the heart and mind of an extraordinary autistic boy in this deeply imaginative debut novel of a mother’s devotion, a father’s punishment, and the power of love.

Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the “real world” in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world.

Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him — a smile on his face would be a triumph. Meanwhile, Sephiri’s father, Horus, is sentenced to life in prison, making life even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and the height of his isolation, Horus develops supernatural mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other — and find hope in ways never imagined.

Deftly portrayed by the remarkable and talented up-and-comer Morowa Yejide, Time of the Locust is a brilliant narrative about the psychological realms of solitude, youth, and wonder. At its heart, this is a harrowing, surreal, and redemptive journey to the union of a family.

Ruby: A Novel by Cynthia Bond

The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her — this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city–the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village–all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom’s Juke, to Celia Jennings’s kitchen where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.

‘Til the Well Runs Dry: A Novel by Lauren Francis-Sharma

A glorious and moving multi-generational, multicultural saga that begins in the 1940s and sweeps through the 1960′s in Trinidad and the United States.

Lauren Francis-Sharma‘s ‘Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman (so taken with Marcia that he elicits the help of a tea-brewing obeah woman to guarantee her ardor), the risks and rewards in Marcia’s life amplify forever.

On an island rich with laughter, Calypso, Carnival, cricket, beaches and salty air, sweet fruits and spicy stews, the novel follows Marcia and Farouk from their amusing and passionate courtship through personal and historical events that threaten Marcia’s secret, entangle the couple and their children in a scandal, and endanger the future for all of them.

‘Til the Well Runs Dry tells the twinned stories of a spirited woman’s love for one man and her bottomless devotion to her children. For readers who cherish the previously untold stories of women’s lives, here is a story of grit and imperfection and love that has not been told before.

Not for Everyday Use: A Memoir by Elizabeth Nunez

Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the “sterner stuff” of her parents’ ambitions for their children and her mother’s seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use.

But Nunez sympathizes with her parents, whose happiness is constrained by the oppressive strictures of colonialism, by the Catholic Church’s prohibition of artificial birth control which her mother obeys, terrified by the threat of eternal damnation (her mother gets pregnant fourteen times: nine live births and five miscarriages which almost kill her), and by what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as the “privilege of skin color” in his mother’s Caribbean island homeland where “the brown-skinned classes…came to fetishize their lightness.” Still, a fierce love holds this family together, and the passionate, though complex, love Nunez’s parents have for each other will remind readers of the passion between the aging lovers in Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s Love in the Time of Cholera. Written in exquisite prose by a writer the New York Times Book Review calls “a master at pacing and plotting,” Not for Everyday Use is a page-turner that readers will find impossible to put down.

Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton

In this heartfelt memoir, six-time Grammy Award-winning artist and star of WE TV’s reality hit, Braxton Family Values, Toni Braxton writes about her personal life decisions and their impact on her health, family and career.

While Braxton appears to be living a gilded life — selling 60 million records, appearing in sold-out Las Vegas performances and hit shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” and starring in her own reality series — hers is in fact a tumultuous story, a tale of triumph over a life filled with obstacles, including two bankruptcy filings. The mother of an autistic child, Braxton long feared that her son’s condition might be karmic retribution for earlier life choices, some of which will shock fans. But when heart ailments began plaguing her at the age of 41 and she was diagnosed with Lupus, Braxton knew she had to move beyond the self-recrimination and take charge of her own healing.

Intensely honest and deeply inspirational, Unbreak My Heart is the never-before-told story of the measures Braxton took to make herself and her family whole again.

Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive by T. D. Jakes

Modern life can seem like being lost in a jungle. With distractions and dangers emerging from every direction, it’s easy to lose focus. Over time, we lose touch with one of our most powerful, purposeful, God-given attributes–the desire to be fruitful and multiply, what Bishop T. D. Jakes calls our “instinct for increase.”

Combining historical, cultural, and personal examples with biblical insights, in INSTINCT, Bishop Jakes outlines how to re-discover your natural aptitudes and re-claim the wisdom of your past experiences. When attuned to divinely inspired instincts, you will become in sync with the opportunities life presents and discover a fresh abundance of resources. Knowing when to close a deal, when to take a risk, and when to listen to your heart will become possible when you’re in touch with the instincts that God gave you.

Bishop T.D. Jakes — iconic preacher, bestselling author, and entrepreneur–has inspired millions of people around the world. Here he writes from the peak of his personal power about how to experience the satisfaction of a life well lived. If you long to conquer the jungles of life, INSTINCT offers the personal and professional tools needed to navigate your course successfully and according to God’s design.

LaDonna Marie

Interview with LaDonna Marie

LaDonna MarieLaDonna Marie is an author, writer, poet, and motivational speaker. She is a Program Coordinator at Goodwill Industries and a contracted Therapist at Malinda Graham & Associates. She is originally from Mississippi and now lives in GA. She discovered her love for words early and started writing poetry pre-teen. It was always her childhood dream to become an author. She loves creating an atmosphere for learning and growth. She has also been a public and motivational speaker for numerous youth groups.

She received her undergraduate degree from Alcorn State University in 2005 with a B.A. in Social Work. She has a M.S. in Counseling Studies from Capella University and a M.A. from South University in Professional Counseling in 2012. LaDonna has two wonderful children, Landon and Lathan Cook.

Ladonna wants her true passion of love of writing, her encouraging word, her humble spirit, and compassion for people to be her message. She uses her poetry to release & teach lessons of growth and evolving from transformations in life. Her biggest motivation is to touch someone with her words and engage them to want to change their perspective. She believes that anyone can change the situation they are in. She believes in being positive and fighting for what one would like to happen. She feels that becoming a writer and her love for words, are her greatest gift from God.

She became apart of and The League of American Poets in 2007, in a collective anthology called Whispers. In 2012, she received a Certificate of Congratulation from Congressman Bennie Thompson 2nd district of MS. Also she was inducted into Who’s Who in Black Mississippi in 2012. In 2013 Best of Liberty Contest she was listed as runner up in the Writer category. Also in November 2013 with her dedication to the youth, she launched her first youth for Christ conference, called Planting Positive Seeds, to help motivate, encourage, and empower the youth. In 2014, she is featured in The Gospel According to Poetry : An Anthology, also in Sibella Women’s Poetry Magazine for the entire year. In 2014, she landed the January cover of Precious Stone Magazine, with Poetry Features and Author interviews in YoUnique Magazine, Shine Magazine, C Hub Magazine and Image & Style Magazines to spread her words of empowerment.

Publications

In 2010, she self-published her first book, Expressions of the Mind, Body, & Soul with Xilibris publishing company. She started writing to put a voice to issues that she felt needed to be expressed This is a book of collective poetry that talks about love, relationships, spirituality, and encouragement. Her motto is “Poetry is an outlet for the heart”.

Her second book Until Tomorrow Comes was released in September 2013. This book will also be an eclectic look at growth and awareness while using creative expressions in poetry. Her books can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She is looking in the future to continue writing about encouragement, relationships, and children books.

1. What is your inspiration behind your poetry? At what point, did you want to be a writer/poet?
My inspiration behind my poetry is to motivate and empower others. Poetry became my voice to speak on perceptions I had about life experiences growing up and others that I noticed in day to day life. I often use my pen to bring awareness about love, growth and relationships being able to positively transition in making life better each day at a time.

 
I started writing during pre-teen, and just wanted to journal things to be able to write out my emotions. I knew after I got to high school, that I wanted to be author and a poet. I started to writing sonnets, love poems and learning about the different styles of poetry. Then as my interest increased I started to write more and more each day from them until now. In high school, I met Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou, I started reading their work and being inspired to use my love of poetry to speak to others.

 
2. What would be your choice, reading a poem or writing one?
In the beginning when I started writing, I only wanted to be the voice behind the words. Until about a year ago, When God spoke to me to start doing some motivational speaking and sharing my poetry. Now, I love both experiences of writing and reading poem that will uplift or enlighten others. I now recite the poems with the same passion that I write them with.

 
3. How often do you write (and re-write)? What is your process for writing?
My writing process is based off of inspiration, whenever God gives me a piece. I immediately get a feeling in my chest or a whisper of a line in my head. Then, I start to pull out my pen, pad and write. I normally look over poems about 3 times before I finalize it. During that time I will change anything that I don’t feel with work.

 
4. What are you reading now? What is on your nightstand?
I am reading Never Again, No More A Novel by Author Untamed, and L.A.P.D. Life after a painful Divorce by Pastor J.K. Sanders

 
5. Do you have an author crush? Any favorite authors? How about a poem or book that you wish you had written?
No, author crush, but one of my favorite authors is G.P.A. Greatest Poet Alive aka James Gordon. I have all of his six poetry books, to name a few: The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub and his new release Hi, My Name is Bobo.

 
6. What’s next for you and Until Tomorrow Comes?
Right now I am working on a new empowerment poetry book for girls, that should be coming out soon. I am also working with an artist to get a single made for Until Tomorrow Comes. I have been featuring UTC in Magazines and also in the UK. I would love to continue to share my poetry with the world, with hopes of inspires others.

Until Tomorrow Comes by LaDonna Marie
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, September 25, 2013, Paperback

Author LaDonna Marie wants to introduce through her poetry a journey of growth and awareness with different life experiences. She shares her poetry in efforts to spark reflections and enlighten the reader on your own journey as well. Look inside and answer these questions. Are you feeling lost in some areas of your life? Are you on the verge of giving up? Are you seeking to become stronger and independent? Are you seeking a deeper connection in your spirituality? In answering these questions you may find some come instantly and some may take time. So Until Tomorrow Comes, let’s approach each a day with a positive outlook while finding yourself.

March: Book One by John Lewis

Georgia Congressman John Lewis is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis‘ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis‘ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall

Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World
Carla Hall (Author), Frances Janisch (Photographer), Genevieve Ko (Contributor)

For Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, food is a wonderful way to forge connections with and between people. In her delicious new cookbook, Carla’s Comfort Foods, she finds inspiration by going around the world in search of the universal home-cooked flavors of comfort. Spinning standbys into distinctive new recipes, she combines the beloved flavors of home with the most delectable, enticing spices and tastes of international cuisine. Carla starts with your essential recipe for perfect all-American burgers; from there, you can choose to do them up Persian-style with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, lime, and fragrant spices; or give them a Vietnamese twist with pickled veggies, scallions, ginger, and cilantro; or take your burgers to Morocco with gutsy spices, chiles, and feta cheese.

Full of Carla’s entertaining stories, the book shows how seasoning can transform any simple recipe. A comprehensive spice and flavor guide lets you chart your own course in the kitchen by turning your favorite go-to dish into a culinary trip around the world. In recipes that reflect her own vivacious personality, Carla takes you from Southern Chicken with Milk Gravy to West African Spicy- Sweet Chicken Stew; from German Double-Mustard Potato Salad to Moroccan Spice-Rubbed Beef Roast to Indian Chile, Pea, and Coconut Chutney; and from Southern Peach Cobbler to Greek Baklava. We all need an aromatic bowl of chicken soup from time to time; with Carla’s Comfort Foods, you can perk it up Italian-style with fresh basil and oregano; or have a taste of India with cilantro, curry, cumin, and turmeric; for a Caribbean treat, make it fragrant with lime, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

From Nashville to Naples to Nigeria, nothing gathers friends and family around the table like the flavors of home. Now you can hug your friends and family with Carla’s incredibly flavorful takes on creamy soups and noodles, fragrant stews and dumplings, and mouthwatering pastries, pies, and tarts. Join Carla for a delicious journey!

Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours

Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours
by Pat Neely (Author), Gina Neely (Author), Ann Volkwein (Author)

For Pat and Gina Neely the secret to a truly happy home is a lively mix of food and family. In their new book, the best-selling authors draw on their down-home roots and revisit the classic Southern recipes that have been passed down through generations. We’re drawn into the kitchens of their mothers and grandmothers and back to a time when produce was picked in the backyard garden and catfish was caught on afternoon fishing trips with Grandpa. In their signature style, Pat and Gina have taken the dishes they were raised on and updated them for today’s kitchens.

Inside you’ll find 100 recipes, including Small Batch Strawberry Jam (best when eaten with Easy Buttermilk and Cream Biscuits), Bourbon French Toast, Crunchy Fried Okra, Skillet Corn Bread, Grilled Succotash, Skillet Roasted Chicken, and Brunswick Stew (which combines a little of everything in your fridge).

Pat and Gina believe good food leads to good times and Back Home with the Neelys is sure to bring back fond memories of the tradition, history, and flavors that are present in every family.

2014 Black Writers on Tour – April 19

Featured Authors

Rose’s Garden: Every Bully Needs Prayer by Shauntae’ E Harris
When faced with the school’s biggest bully, Rose is forced to confront her fears. This heartfelt story will take you on a journey of a young girl’s prayer to God. This simple prayer and miracle takes place in the garden. It gives hope and courage. For any child who is a victim of bullying or low self-esteem, this inspiring story will empower your child with love, prayer, and faith.
The Sins of Eden: Murder in the Park by Patricia Hickman-Lampley
A sadistic serial killer is on the loose in the once idyllic community of Eden Beach. In the summer of 1973, Michael Reese and his friends are looking forward to their senior year of high school until two dead bodies are found on the lawn of their favorite neighborhood park. Brothers Phillip and Johnny Mulu, have been murdered and their friends, a newly formed but vicious gang born in the Oakwood Housing Projects, go on the rampage, looking for justice. Enemies of the two brothers start to disappear or turn up dead and, as the bodies pile up, Mike and his two best friends find themselves on opposite sides of the war. Because all of the murder victims are drug dealers, gang members or both, people are quick to blame the Oaktown Boys and their allies while others start to believe the killer is a vigilante, waging his own war against the scourge that has tainted their little piece of heaven.
You Are A Star by Rachel BB, illustrated by Juacclyn Nikol
You Are A Star is a factual and empowering poetic story filled with wonderfully creative and cultural illustrations for individuals of any age to read. It uses a traditional language with new vocabulary words to learn along with the included glossary. The awesome story that is all about children of color allows individuals to connect with themselves, their environment, and their world in order to unlock their inner power. This story reminds the reader that he or she can do anything, be anything, and have anything they want in this lifetime if they stay grounded in their roots and concentrate on their future.

Saturday, April 19, 2014–9:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.

SEMINAR SCHEDULE
Carson Community Center • 801 East Carson Street, Carson CA • (310) 835-0212
Black Writers on Tour line: (323) Telephone: (323) 750-3592 , E-mail: DrRosie@aol.com

Paid Seminars For Writers And Aspiring Writers
Pkg. #1 $50 for one seminar. Pkg. #2 $75 for two seminars. Pkg. #3 $100 for all seminars

Time & Room Numbers (ACM=Adult Community) (Room AB=International Room AB)

10:00-11:00 – AB
How To Set Up Your E-Book On Nook & Kindle Made Simple
L.C. Green, author, publisher, business consultant & social media guru

10:00-11:00 – Lounge
Every Thing You Need To Know When Looking For A Line Editor, Story Editor, Cover Designer, Book Layout Designer, Illustrator, Publisher, Printer, Web Designer, PR Person
Darrell Mitchell, author, publisher, motivational speaker & Jessica Tilles, author, editor, book designer, graphic designer

11:00-12:00 – Lounge
How To Operate A Successful Home-based Business; Recordkeeping For Tax Compliance.
L.C. Green, author, publisher, business/tax consultant, and Clara Hunter King, ESQ, author, publisher

11:00-12:00 – Room 122
How To Write A Best-Selling Novel
Dr. Maxine Thompson, author, publisher, literary agent, talk-show host

12:00-2:00 – ACM
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: THE RENOWNED DR. CLAUD ANDERSON
Author of Black Labor, White Wealth, PowerNomics: The Plan to Empower Black America, Dirty Little Secrets, More Dirty Little Secrets. Dr. Anderson will unveil his newest book.
Ticket $20 if purchased by March 15, 2014 and $25 thereafter.

12:00-1:00 – Lounge
Handling Your Book Like A Real Business And The Profit Centers You Can Develop
Lounge As An Author (Stop Leaving Money On The Table!)
Deborah Thorne, author, trainer, coined as “The Information Diva”

2:00-3:00 – AB
How To Increase Your Book Exposure and Sales Via Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Blog, etc.
L.C. Green, author, business/tax consultant; Damien Halliburton, social media specialist, website/commercial development; Halima Chancellor, talk-show host, social media consultant

2:00-3:30 – Room 122
Creative Writing Class For Beginners
Frederick Williams, professor, author, publisher

3:30-4:30 – ACM
How To Write A Book Made Simple & Your Publishing Options, The Nuts & Bolts
Dr. Rosie Milligan, author, publisher, speaker and talk-show host

3:30-5:00 – AB
How To Develop Characters That Leap Off The Page
Dr. Roland Jefferson, M.D., author and publisher

3:30-4:30 – Lounge
What You Need To Know To Be A Great Guest On Radio, Keep The Phone Ringing, Sell
Lounge Books, And Get Invited Back.
Jamal Goree, talk-show host; Keith Swanson, talk-show host; Dr. Maxine Thompson, author, literary agent and talk-show host

Free Seminars For The General Public
Time & Room Numbers (ACM=Adult Community) (Room AB=International Room AB)

8:00-9:00 – ACM
Roundtable Discussion With Authors. (A Close-Up Look At The Publishing Industry)
Authors Share Their Successful Marketing Strategies
Dr. Rosie Milligan and guests

9:30-10:45 – ACM
Children Writing Class Contest Showcase
E.L. Henderson, educator, and Dr. Eva Holmes, author, educator, Alice Houston, educator

10:00-11:00 – Room 122
A Close-Up Look At The politics of Street Lit, Urban Literature, AKA Ghetto or Gangster Lit. Is this genre of literature helpful or harmful? And Is Street Lit Something New In Black Culture? It Is Time To Look At The Positive That Has Evolved From Street Lit.
Dr. David Horne, author, college professor for multiple universities, professor of Critical Thinking and African Political-Economic History. He teaches Urban Lit and Introduction to Black American Culture.

11:00-12:30 – AB
Children Writing Class
E.L. Henderson, author, educator/trainer, Alice Houston, educator, Dr. Eva Holmes, educator, Dr. Claudia Holmes, author, educator

12:30-1:30 – AB
MASCOT-Teaching/ Entertaining/Empowering Children/Youth To Dream And To Have A Desire To Read
Roger Tinsley, Mascot, author, since 1998, he is the only urban super hero that literally keep children out of danger via teaching them how to be safe by empowering them and teaching them about safety, obesity and literacy.

1:00-2:00 – Room 122
A Close-Up look At Jobs/Careers In The Publishing Industry-Many! Leo Sullivan, animator,
founder/president of AFROKIDS; Jessica Tilles, author, editor, book designer, graphic designer; John Milligan, author, newspaper editor; George Hooks, author, graphic designer, newspaper editor; Damien Halliburton, social media specialist, website/commercial development; Jay De Vance, III, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist

2:00-3:00 – Lounge
Let The Elders Speak (A Forum Of Elders Ages 65-100) “Facing Today’s Challenges”
Lounge The Role Of The Elders And What They Must Do To Shape A Better Future For The Next Generation. Facilitator: Kenyaka Beckley

Ebony Magazine cover, March 2014

Ebony Magazine’s Book Choices for March 2014

Ebony Magazine’s March 2014 book selections:

Red Now and Laters: A Novel
Marcus J. Guillory

In this impressive debut Marcus J. Guillory brilliantly weaves together the many obstacles of a young man growing into adulthood, the realities of urban life, the history of Louisiana Creole culture, the glory of the black cowboy, and the role of religion in shaping lives.

South Park, Houston, Texas, 1977, is where we first meet Ti’ John, a young boy under the care of his larger-than life father — a working-class rodeo star and a practitioner of vodou—and his mother — a good Catholic and cautious disciplinarian — who forbids him to play with the neighborhood “hoodlums.” Ti’ John, throughout the era of Reaganomics and the dawn of hip-hop and cassette tapes, must negotiate the world around him and a peculiar gift he’s inherited from his father and Jules Saint-Pierre “Nonc” Sonnier, a deceased ancestor who visits the boy, announcing himself with the smell of smoke on a regular basis. In many ways, Ti’ John is an ordinary kid who loses his innocence as he witnesses violence and death, as he gets his heart broken by girls and his own embittered father, as he struggles to live up to his mother’s middle-class aspirations and his father’s notion of what it is to be a man. In other ways, he is different — from his childhood buddies and from the father who is his hero.

The question throughout this layered and complex coming-of-age story is will Ti’ John survive the bad side of life — and his upbringing — and learn how to recognize and keep what is good.

Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South
Blain Roberts

From the South’s pageant queens to the importance of beauty parlors to African American communities, it is easy to see the ways beauty is enmeshed in southern culture. But as Blain Roberts shows in this incisive work, the pursuit of beauty in the South was linked to the tumultuous racial divides of the region, where the Jim Crow-era cosmetics industry came of age selling the idea of makeup that emphasized whiteness, and where, in the 1950s and 1960s, black-owned beauty shops served as crucial sites of resistance for civil rights activists. In these times of strained relations in the South, beauty became a signifier of power and affluence while it reinforced racial strife.

Roberts examines a range of beauty products, practices, and rituals–cosmetics, hairdressing, clothing, and beauty contests–in settings that range from tobacco farms of the Great Depression to 1950s and 1960s college campuses. In so doing, she uncovers the role of female beauty in the economic and cultural modernization of the South. By showing how battles over beauty came to a head during the civil rights movement, Roberts sheds new light on the tactics southerners used to resist and achieve desegregation.

Saint Monkey: A Novel
Jacinda Townsend

A stunning debut novel of two girls raised in hardship, separated by fortune, and reunited through tragedy.

Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she’ll never get out of Kentucky — but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County.

That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem — an offer she can’t resist, not even for Caroline. And in New York City the music never stops. Audrey flirts with love and takes the stage at the Apollo, with its fast-dancing crowds and blinding lights. But fortunes can turn fast in the city — young talent means tough competition, and for Audrey failure is always one step away. Meanwhile, Caroline sinks into the quiet anguish of a Black woman in a backwards country, where her ambitions and desires only slip further out of reach.

Jacinda Townsend’s remarkable first novel is a coming-of-age story made at once gripping and poignant by the wild energy of the Jazz Era and the stark realities of segregation. Marrying musical prose with lyric vernacular, Saint Monkey delivers a stirring portrait of American storytelling and marks the appearance of an auspicious new voice in literary fiction.

The Secret of Magic
Deborah Johnson

In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.

Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.

As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest.

Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.

The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
Sarah Lewis

It is one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavors — from Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts — are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts.

The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both a void and the start of infinite possibility. The Rise — a soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit — makes the case that many of our greatest triumphs come from understanding the importance of this mystery.

This exquisite biography of an idea is about the improbable foundations of creative human endeavor. The Rise begins with narratives about figures past and present who range from writers to entrepreneurs; Frederick Douglass, Samuel F. B. Morse, and J. K. Rowling, for example, feature alongside choreographer Paul Taylor, Nobel Prize-winning physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, Arctic explorer Ben Saunders, and psychology professor Angela Duckworth.

The Rise explores the inestimable value of often ignored ideas — the power of surrender for fortitude, the criticality of play for innovation, the propulsion of the near win on the road to mastery, and the importance of grit and creative practice. From an uncommonly insightful writer, The Rise is a true masterwork.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

The Harlem Hellfighters
by Max Brooks (Author), Caanan White (Illustrator)

Broadway Books, April 1, 2014, Paperback

From bestselling author Max Brooks, the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment — the Harlem Hellfighters

In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on — and off — the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.

In THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, bestselling author Max Brooks and acclaimed illustrator Caanan White bring this history to life. From the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France, they tell the heroic story of the 369th in an action-packed and powerful tale of honor and heart.

Twisted by N’Tyse

Twisted Vows of Seduction (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 12/10/2013, Paperback

Some secrets aren’t meant to be kept.

In this scandalously provocative soap-drama series, deceit, seduction, and a tempestuous affair intertwines the lives of lascivious lovers who will go above and beyond to keep their sexual trysts a secret, but the curse of temptation will lead to revelations that may result in their own demise.     
Still mourning the death of his lover, Denise, Greg Adams conspires to leave his wife. He believes that Denise has come back to him in the form of a woman named Naomi Brooks, and he can’t forget her. But there’s one problem–his wife is going to honor every line in their wedding vows until death does them part.

Naomi Brooks, a recovering alcoholic, enters into an orchestrated affair to deceive Greg by creating the perfect illusion. Will the plan work or will she find herself a victim in a twisted game?

A long-term torrid affair with her best friend’s husband, Jeff, has scarred Nadine Collins for life. Nadine decides she must take a vow of celibacy to cleanse her spirit. While her journey seems impossible, she can see a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s only one problem–she’s still not over Jeff, now a divorcé living life in the fast lane.

Ménage, an aspiring actress, has her sights set on Hollywood. She will do anything to ensure her rise to the top, including robbing Jeff of all the life insurance money he collected after his wife died. But a blast from the past slows her down. When Jeff comes running to her rescue, it proves to be the perfect setup.

The real twisted games are just beginning.

Twisted Seduction: A Novel (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 11/26/2013, Mass Market Paperback

An erotic, drama-laced journey into the lives of two best friends who will stop at nothing to have the man of their dreams—even when the cost of betrayal has a price tag neither of them is ready to pay.

Thirty-two-year-old Denise Jackson seems to have everything a woman could want: a lovely home in the posh Dallas suburbs, a fancy car, a caring husband, and a beautiful nine-year-old daughter. Yet Denise feels incomplete. She pretends to be happily married as she allows her husband and best friend to carry on an affair so that she can get better acquainted with a millionaire client. But when Denise’s husband discovers he isn’t the father of their child, all her carefully built lies come tumbling down.

Twisted Seduction lures readers into an orchestrated web of raw emotion, deceit, infidelity, and sex that makes for an exhilarating read.

The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson



Mass Market Paperback
March 4, 2014
Harlequin

What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!

No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews — and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he’ll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry



Hardcover
April 8, 2014
Ten Speed Press
African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan‘s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.

12th National Black Writers Conference, March 27-30

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference: Reconstructing the Master Narrative sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Thursday, March 27, 2014 to Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on themes related to Reconstructing the Master Narrative.

The National Black Writers Conference offers us an opportunity to present to the public the complexity of the texts produced by Black writers throughout the African Diaspora.

12th National Black Writers Conference

The 2014 NBWC theme of “Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative” builds on previous NBWCs and takes into account the need to expose the general public to the vast range of texts that Black writers throughout the diaspora are producing. Using this theme as the premise of this public gathering of writers, students, literary agents, editors and the general public will have an opportunity to attend panels, roundtables and readings, participate in workshops, and take in performances over the four days of the Conference. The honorees for the Twelfth NBWC are: Maryse Condé, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Derek Walcott, and posthumously to Margaret Burroughs.

The National Black Writers Conference is a public program that will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for expanding their knowledge and reading of Black literature and for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on conference themes and on future trends in the literature of Black writers.

The Conference will also pay tribute to and celebrate Black writers who have made significant contributions to the literary canon and will provide emerging writers with opportunities to improve their writing craft. Conference panels, roundtables, and featured speeches will be streamed and videotaped. Selected proceedings will be published.

The Tiara: 5 Ways to Reign as Queen of Your Castle by Lakia Shauntee Brandenburg



Paperback
December 20, 2013
Perfectly Imperfect Publishing Company
Lakia fulfilled her journey by saying “I do.” Now she’s learning how to effectively communicate with her husband, love him, and keep their intimacy alive. But these lessons were not learned without a little help from an imaginary headpiece. For wives and wives-to-be, Lakia is back to present you with The Tiara, an acronym that details what a wife should do after saying, “I do.” In The Tiara, Lakia reveals five principles that will give a wife the power to strengthen the love, intimacy, and communication that she has with her spouse. Sharing personal stories and providing practical steps for any wife to follow, The Tiara is a must-read if you want to understand how to reign as queen of your castle.

Upcoming Bestsellers for February 2014

A list of the bestselling books to be released in February, just in time for Black History Month.

  1. Queen Sugar: A Novel by Natalie Baszile
    ( Pamela Dorman Books , 2/6/2014 , Hardcover )
    Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction —from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

     

  2. South Beach Cartel – Part 1 by Nisa Santiago
    ( Melodrama Publishing , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    TRIO OF TERROR Cartier Timmons is infuriated by the tragedy and vengeance inflicted upon her family. She’s making savage rounds through Miami until she can bring her own brand of hood justice to the cartel who messed with hers. After a reunion that seemed like a dream come true, Citi and her mother Ashanti clash heads in a power struggle. Ashanti plays her position as the head chick in charge, and Citi is ostracized from the family. With no money, she’s once again forced to make her way back to the throne. Apple is growing restless in Colombia with Kola and Eduardo. She’s tired of the controlling situation and wants to resume making money. Plus, she can’t let go of the idea of finding her daughter Peaches. The search takes her to Miami, where she runs into her old friend from New York, Cartier. When Apple, Cartier, and Citi meet up, there’s an instant realization that the three can take down their opponents and rule the MIA, inflict pain and taking their spots as the Queen B’s of Miami.

     

  3. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis
    ( Knopf , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial history of slavery and emancipation in Western culture that has been nearly fifty years in the making. David Brion Davis is one of the foremost historians of the twentieth century, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and nearly every award given by the historical profession. Now, with The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, Davis brings his staggeringly ambitious, prizewinning trilogy on slavery in Western culture to a close. Once again, Davis offers original and penetrating insights into what slavery and emancipation meant to Americans. He explores how the Haitian Revolution respectively terrified and inspired white and black Americans, hovering over the antislavery debates like a bloodstained ghost, and he offers a surprising analysis of the complex and misunderstood significance of colonization—the project to move freed slaves back to Africa—to members of both races and all political persuasions. He vividly portrays the dehumanizing impact of slavery, as well as the generally unrecognized importance of freed slaves to abolition. Most of all, Davis presents the age of emancipation as a model for reform and as probably the greatest landmark of willed moral progress in human history.

     

  4. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (Vintage Contemporaries) by Edward Kelsey Moore
    ( Vintage , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.  Dubbed The Supremes by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues.  Now, however, they’re about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. With wit, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances.

     

  5. A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah
    ( Atria/Emily Bestler Books , 2/18/2014 , Paperback )
    At last, mega-bestselling author Sister Souljah delivers the stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever that fans have been eagerly waiting for. Frighteningly fierce, raw, and completely unpredictable, this coming-of-age adventure is woven with emotional intensity. A Deeper Love Inside is written in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s sharp-tongued, quick-witted younger sister. Porsche worships Winter. A natural born hustler, Porsche is also cut from the same cloth as her father, the infamous Ricky Santiaga. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, Porsche refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention after her wealthy family is torn apart. Porsche — unique, young, and beautiful — cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status. Unselfishly, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her loving family.

     

  6. American Cocktail: A Colored Girl in the World by Anita Reynolds
    ( Harvard University Press , 2/24/2014 , Hardcover )
    This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an American cocktail. One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin’s anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe. In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.

     

  7. Scalawag: A White Southerner’s Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism by Edward H. Peeples
    ( University of Virginia Press , 2/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    Scalawag tells the surprising story of a white working-class boy who became an unlikely civil rights activist. Born in 1935 in Richmond, where he was sent to segregated churches and schools, Ed Peeples was taught the ethos and lore of white supremacy by every adult in his young life. That message came with an equally cruel one—that, as the child of a wage-earning single mother, he was destined for failure.But by age nineteen Peeples became what the whites in his world called a traitor to the race. Pushed by a lone teacher to think critically, Peeples found his way to the black freedom struggle and began a long life of activism. He challenged racism in his U.S. Navy unit and engaged in sit-ins and community organizing. Later, as a university professor, he agitated for good jobs, health care, and decent housing for all, pushed for the creation of African American studies courses at his university, and worked toward equal treatment for women, prison reform, and more. Peeples did most of his human rights work in his native Virginia, and his story reveals how institutional racism pervaded the Upper South as much as the Deep South.Covering fifty years’ participation in the long civil rights movement, Peeples’s gripping story brings to life an unsung activist culture to which countless forgotten individuals contributed, over time expanding their commitment from civil rights to other causes. This engrossing, witty tale of escape from what once seemed certain fate invites readers to reflect on how moral courage can transform a life.

     

  8. Fortune & Fame: A Novel by Victoria Christopher Murray
    ( Touchstone , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )
    Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams have been through a lot together—from fighting for their husbands to become the head of the American Baptist Coalition to getting mixed up in a terrible murder. Now the frenemies have found themselves the stars of First Ladies, a much-anticipated new reality television show. Jasmine balks at the idea of airing her dirty laundry on national TV, but Rachel sees it as the perfect opportunity to take her brand to the next level. And if Rachel is in, so is Jasmine. All the cast members are women of God—how much drama can there be? Rachel and Jasmine know their own pasts are murky, but they’ll seem like choir girls when the secrets and sins of the others come to light. The two will once again have to form an unholy alliance to go up against these so-called Godly women who see the show as their chance to take them down—at any cost.

     

  9. The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss by Charles W. Eagles
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/1/2014 , Paperback )
    When James Meredith enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi in 1962, the resulting riots produced more casualties than any other clash of the civil rights era. Eagles shows that the violence resulted from the university’s and the state’s long defiance of the civil rights movement and federal law. Ultimately, the price of such behavior–the price of defiance–was not only the murderous riot that rocked the nation and almost closed the university but also the nation’s enduring scorn for Ole Miss and Mississippi. Eagles paints a remarkable portrait of Meredith himself by describing his unusual family background, his personal values, and his service in the U.S. Air Force, all of which prepared him for his experience at Ole Miss.

     

  10. Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities) by Saladin Ambar
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/10/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1964 Malcolm X was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University. The topic of debate that evening was the infamous phrase from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican Convention speech:Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. At a time when Malcolm was traveling widely and advocating on behalf of blacks in America and other nations, his thirty minute speech at the Oxford Union stands out as one of the great addresses of the civil rights era. Delivered just months before his assassination, the speech followed a period in which Malcolm had traveled throughout Africa and much of the Muslim world. The journey broadened his political thought to encompass decolonization, the revolutions underway in the developing world, and the relationship between American blacks and non-white populations across the globe-including England. Facing off against debaters in one of world’s most elite institutions, he delivered a revolutionary message that tackled a staggering array of issues: the nature of national identity; US foreign policy in the developing world; racial politics at home; the experiences of black immigrants in England; and the nature of power in the contemporary world. It represents a moment when his thought had advanced to its furthest point, shedding the parochial concerns of previous years for an increasingly global and humanist approach to ushering in social change. Set to publish near the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Malcolm X at Oxford Union will reshape our understanding not only of the man himself, but world politics both then and now.

     

  11. Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas by Emory Douglas
    ( Rizzoli , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    A reformatted and reduced price edition of the first book to show the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director and later the party’s minister of culture. Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party’s visual identity.

     

  12. Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery by Noel Leo Erskine
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/6/2014 , Paperback )
    Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the Black Church they are referring to African-American churches in the U.S., but in fact, the majority of African slaves were brought to the Caribbean. It was there, Erskine argues, that the Black religious experience was born. The massive Afro-Caribbean population was able to establish a form of Christianity that preserved African Gods and practices, but fused them with Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba’s Santería. The Black religious experience in the U.S. was markedly different because African Americans were a political and cultural minority. The Plantation Church became a place of solace and resistance that provided its members with a sense of kinship, not only to each other but also to their ancestral past.Despite their common origins, the Caribbean and African American Church are almost never studied together. Plantation Church examines the parallel histories of these two strands of the Black Church, showing where their historical ties remain strong and where different circumstances have led them down unexpectedly divergent paths. The result will be a work that illuminates the histories, theologies, politics, and practices of both branches of the Black Church.

     

  13. Humbled (Urban Books) by Patricia Haley
    ( Urban Books , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )

     

  14. Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
    ( Albert Whitman & Company , 2/1/2014 , Hardcover )
    Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

     

  15. Willow by Tonya Cherie Hegamin
    ( Candlewick , 2/11/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1848, an educated slave girl faces an inconceivable choice — between bondage and freedom, family and love.On one side of the Mason-Dixon Line lives fifteen-year-old Willow, her master’s favorite servant. She’s been taught to read and has learned to write. She believes her master is good to her and fears the rebel slave runaways. On the other side of the line is seventeen-year-old Cato, a black man, free born. It’s his personal mission to sneak as many fugitive slaves to freedom as he can. Willow’s and Cato’s lives are about to intersect, with life-changing consequences for both of them. Tonya Cherie Hegamin’s moving coming-of-age story is a poignant meditation on the many ways a person can be enslaved, and the force of will needed to be truly emancipated.

     

  16. Game World by C.J. Farley
    ( Black Sheep , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    Dylan Rudee’s life is an epic fail. He’s bullied at school and plagued by seizures, until his videogame skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside a new game. But now actual monsters are trying to kill him. In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve the game’s dangerous mystery in three days.

     

  17. Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
    ( Ecco , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bill Cheng’s Southern Cross the Dog is an epic literary debut in which the bonds between three childhood friends are upended by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. In its aftermath, one young man must choose between the lure of the future and the claims of the past. Having lost virtually everything in the fearsome storm—home, family, first love—Robert Chatham embarks on an odyssey that takes him through the deep South, from the desperation of a refugee camp to the fiery and raucous brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the Mississippi hinterland, where he joins a crew hired to clear the swamp and build a dam. Along his journey he encounters piano-playing hustlers, ne’er-do-well Klansmen, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fur trappers, the L’Etangs, whose very existence is threatened by the swamp-clearing around them. The L’Etang brothers are fierce and wild but there is something soft about their cousin Frankie, possibly the only woman capable of penetrating Robert’s darkest places and overturning his conviction that he’s marked by the devil. Teeming with language that renders both the savage beauty and complex humanity of our shared past, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

     

  18. Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Alex Lubin
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/10/2014 , Paperback )
    In this absorbing transnational history, Alex Lubin reveals the vital connections between African American political thought and the people and nations of the Middle East. Spanning the 1850s through the present, and set against a backdrop of major political and cultural shifts around the world, the book demonstrates how international geopolitics, including the ascendance of liberal internationalism, established the conditions within which blacks imagined their freedom and, conversely, the ways in which various Middle Eastern groups have understood and used the African American freedom struggle to shape their own political movements. Lubin extends the framework of the black freedom struggle beyond the familiar geographies of the Atlantic world and sheds new light on the linked political, social, and intellectual imaginings of African Americans, Palestinians, Arabs, and Israeli Jews. This history of intellectual exchange, Lubin argues, has forged political connections that extend beyond national and racial boundaries.

     

  19. Harmony Cabins (A Finding Home Novel) by Regina Hart
    ( Dafina , 2/4/2014 , Mass Market Paperback )