Monday, June 28, 2010

Visible Lives

Welcome and Hello Terrance Dean

Who are you? Author, Speaker, Columnist

1. Tell us, what led you to write, “Visible Lives: Three Stories In Tribute to E. Lynn Harris.”
I wanted to celebrate the life and legacy of E. Lynn Harris. He was a major figure in the literary world and an inspiration to many writers. He encouraged and helped so many others and I wanted to acknowledge his life and contribution to our community and the literary world. I also wanted to honor my friend and mentor.

2. What genre is it?

3. What is “Visible Lives” about?
In VISIBLE LIVES, readers are introduced to three novellas House of John, The Intern and Is it Still Jood to Ya. In House of John, Jesse Templeton is a thirty-eight year old freelance photographer still reeling from a recent breakup with his live-in boyfriend Sean. He thinks he’s done with love —that is until finds he starts falling for a gorgeous local at an annual sex retreat in Santo Domingo. In The Intern, workaholic television executive Chase Kennedy finds himself drawn to the office’s new intern, sexy college student and basketball star Quincy Thornberry. Things couldn’t be going better until Chase learns that Quincy’s father may be the man he lost both his virginity and his heart to years prior. Lastly in Is It Still Jood to Ya?, actor Raheim Rivers is anxious to be reunited with his lover Mitchell Crawford after being away a long time. Uncertain about the future of their relationship, Raheim and Mitchell are forced to confront their issues and each other when a summer blackout strands them together in New York.

4. Are any of the characters you or someone you know?
In my novella, “The Intern,” the story is loosely based on a true story and real persons.

5. Introduce us to your characters and what do you like most about them?
My characters are Chase Kennedy, Quincy Thornberry, and Ashley Colby. I love them all and they each have characteristics I adore that make them lovable. Chase is mature, put together, and a really nice guy. Quincy is every woman’s, or man’s, dream. He’s innocent, sweet, and aggressive. Ashley is the good-girlfriend you want to hang with because she knows how to have a good time.

6. You have another book coming out also, let’s chat about that.
I actually have two books coming out. In the fall, “Straight From Your Gay Best Friend” drops. It is an advice book for women. Because I believe and feel every woman needs a best gay friend to tell them straight up truth about life, love, and relationships. And, next year, 2011, my first full-length novel is being released.

7. What were the easiest and the hardest parts to write?
The easiest is when your characters come fully developed with their stories and characteristics. They have personality and are full of life. It flows easy to write about them and hear them tell you their story and what’s going on in their lives. The hardest part of writing is trying to go to bed, or doing anything when you’re not writing. Your characters will start speaking and setting up the story and you have to wake up, or rush to a computer to get it all down. That is why I have notepads, my I-Touch, Blackberry, and computer on at all times.

8. Has writing “Visible Lives,” given you any AHHH HAAA moments?
Yes, I get them all the time. I feel any project you work on should be filled with Ah Ha moments. If you’re not inspired, then the reader won’t be inspired.

9. Has a fan, ever realized a point in your book, that you failed to realize?
I think every reader sees and realizes something different from you, along with other writers. It depends on what’s going on in their life at the moment and time. A lot of readers pick out various passages that resonate with them.

10. Has your journey been what you expected?
It is more than I could have ever dreamed. This is truly God’s work and destiny for me and I am so glad to be in alignment with His purpose.

11. How many books have you written?
I have written three books that are currently published. I have contributed to two anthologies, and I have two books currently being published.

12. Not calling any of your babies ugly, but which was your favorite?
I can’t choose a favorite. They each have sentimental and emotional value for various reasons. I love them equally for the purposes they serve and what I was experiencing at that moment in my life.

13. As a writer, what has been your epiphany?

My epiphany has, and is, witnessing how God works. When you surrender to God and allow Him to work in your life you will experience purpose. Your gifts will shine bright as the stars in the sky.

14. Have you ever written anything that left a bad taste in your mouth?
No, there has not been anything I’ve written that has left a bad taste in my mouth.

15. What else do you have brewing?
I have several ideas for books that I am working on currently. I am very creative and imaginative. I come from the entertainment industry. There is not a shortage of stories from my experiences.

Tell me about Hello Beautiful
I currently have a weekly advice column, “Straight, From Your Gay Best Friend,” on the popular website, Hello Beautiful, ( the sister site to Black Planet, and a subsidiary of Interactive One. His popular witty and humorous relationship advice column reaches over 100,000 readers weekly. Popularizing off my weekly success, I also created the widely popular weekly series, “He Can Get It” Wednesdays which features sexy and gorgeous male models, and “Read A Book” Thursdays which profiles authors providing a platform and outlet to showcase their recent book releases.

16. Who are some of your favorite authors?
E. Lynn Harris, Iceberg Slim, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Dominick Dunne, Jackie Collins, Octavia Butler, Eric Jerome Dickey, Junot Diaz

17. Why do you write?
I write to give life. To breathe. To escape. To share. To dream. To love. To be.

18. What makes your book stand out and entice a reader pick it up?
My books are emotional and cinematic. I paint the picture and put the reader in the scenes. They feel as if they are actually experiencing what’s happening. They cry. Hurt. Feel pain. Laugh. Smile. Giggle. Scream. Yell.

19. Where do you get ideas? Where you receive motivation?
Ideas are everywhere. I can drive down the street and become motivated. I can hear a song, an artist and be inspired. I can walk in Harlem, Brooklyn, Compton, DC, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Philly, Boston, hell, even, Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. There is inspiration all around us. You have to be in the moment to experience the moment.

20. What do you do while writing? Music etc?
I have music on as well as the television. I like background noise.

21. When you finished writing “Visible Lives” how did you celebrate?
I always go out to dinner when I finish a book. I get a really good meal and savor the dinner.

22. Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
“Hiding In Hip Hop” was the most difficult, and easiest, to write because it is my memoir. I had to relive a lot of painful memories. I cried a lot while writing that book.

23. Which of your books has bought the most responses from readers?
“Hiding In Hip Hop” received a lot of responses and a flood of personal emails from readers. I was shocked and overwhelmed by the positive response to the book.

24. Do you read you?
Of course I read. All the time. I love to read.

25. Thus far what has been your greatest reward?
My greatest reward has been working as a writing fellow with young people in the Detroit Public School system. The students accepted me and looked forward to my coming to their classroom each week. They were always asking their teachers if I was coming and when I would be there next. They were inspired by me to write and share their stories. I learned a lot from the teenagers I worked with. Their stories and creativity blew me away.

26. What are a few things you’ve done to promote your work?
I hired a publicist to help promote my book. That helped me tremendously. I also did a lot of writing for various magazines, like Essence and VIBE, on stories that were related to my book. That is the perfect tie-in for any author. I also did a lot of writing for blogs, and reaching out personally to a lot of entertainment bloggers.

27. Who are your mentors?
The late, E. Lynn Harris was one of my mentors. Stephen King’s book, “On Writing,” was a great inspiration to me. Also, Danyel Smith, former editor of VIBE, as well as Emil Wilbekin, another former editor of VIBE, and he is the current on-line editor for Essence. Dawn Marie Daniels, former editor at Simon & Schuster, and author of the Souls of My Sisters, and Souls of My Brothers anthologies.

28. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never stop writing. Keep writing, reading, and meeting fellow authors. Don’t listen to the “no’s” you will hear. Every author experiences them, yet, those who are committed and dedicated to the craft will shine through and make a living at it. Also, study your craft. Study writing. Take a course, read, or whatever you do, study the craft.

29. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Writing more best-sellers and having them turned into television and film projects.

30. What do you want people to know about you?
I’m motivated, and dedicated to love. I write to inspire, encourage, and allow people an opportunity to escape into a world outside of their own. I’m a giver and love helping others. It feels good to see others make it.

31. What are your future plans? Any new books? Upcoming book signings? Other literary events?
Yes, I have two new books dropping. One is dropping in the Fall – “Straight From Your Gay Best Friend.” And, next year, 2011, my first full length novel is dropping. I am working and writing my other new series. I have a young adult book I am working on as well. I am always touring, speaking at various colleges and universities, and events.

32. If you could have been a co-author, with any writer living or dead who would it be?
I would love to write with Junot Diaz, Eric Jerome Dickey, Jackie Collins, or Stephen King. I would have loved to work with James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, or E. Lynn Harris.

32. What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge has been accepting that I have fans who love my work. I pinch myself everyday.

33. What do you do for fun?
I love to travel, roller skate, go to the beach, and go to the movies.


**Other than the Bible

1. One book that changed your life:
“Mama Black Widow”

2. One book that you've read more than once:
“Mama Black Widow”

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island

4. One book that made you laugh:
“Water For Elephants”

5. One book that made you cry:
“I’m On My Way” by Christopher David

6. One book that you wish had been written:

My mother’s story.

7. One book you loved to hate

8. One book that you are currently reading:

“A Reliable Wife”

9. One book that you've been meaning to read:
“The Color Purple”

10. One book you've been meaning to finish:
Any of Toni Morrison’s books

11. One guilty pleasure:
Watching reality television shows

12. What’s your theme song?
I have several!

What is your Book and Contact information?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

From Ghetto to Greatness

Author Kevin Brown tells an incredible true story in his novel From Ghetto to Greatness. The main character Jerome Green is based him. Brown was born into a picture perfect family until in 1972 his parents divorced. From there he bounced around California and found himself as a book smart, drug addict, and juvenile delinquent. Somehow he found his way out of the Ghetto and followed his path to greatness. Today he has earned well over a million dollars in corporate America.

He gave twelve years of exemplary service to the United States Air Force and California Air National Guard. While in the military, he earned degrees in Education and Electronic Systems. From there, he embarked on a career in telecommunications as an Engineer, Instructor, and Consultant for fortune 300 companies.

Brown's burning desire to uplift the lives' of individuals with similar backgrounds as his, led him to establish his company Brown Publishing and Seminars (BPS). BPS provides:

1. Success Coaching services to individual clients-Including Dedicated Athletes

2. Success Seminars

3. Book Publishing Services

Brown has a following of over 5000 online fans who log on to his various websites to read his sage advice on positive living.

While still managing his responsibilities as a Senior Technical Consultant, Brown also finds time to be an active member of ToastMasters International, The International Coach Federation, Georgia Coach Association, and other civic and professional organizations.

He is married to Nkemamaka (Kem) Okoye-Brown.

Synopsis of From Ghetto to Greatness

Set in the late 1970's, Author Kevin "Coach" Brown's novel From Ghetto to Greatness is a masterpiece of storytelling that grabs the reader's attention from the very beginning. Once you are pulled into the protagonist's Jerome Green's world, you're whisked away with him through the perils ofteenage drug addiction and living life with no parental guidance.

You will be pulling for Jerome all the way. The plot is fresh and intriguing; as opposed to the trite storyline of "I sold drugs, I was in a gang, I went to jail, and now I want to save the world." The result of this brand new approach to urban literature is a book that is absolutely a must read for all.

It's just a wonderful story that will inspire you. It will make you laugh and sometimes want to cry. Brown paints his characters brilliantly as they all come to life and have a cumulative effect on Jerome Green's unsure future.

Book Trailer

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting graphic with SG Creations

1. What made you decide to start SG Creations?
I started making graphics as a hobby for myself and friends. I've been doing my own website and newsletters for years. After receiving many inquiring about my services, I decided to do it as a part-time business.

2.How long have you been doing it?
SG Creations became official this past fall.

3.What types of services do you offer?
I create book trailers, websites, book banners (animated & non-animated), advertising banners (animated and non-animated), logos, etc.

4.Who are your clients?
My clients are other authors, publicists, and business owners.

5.What is the most rewarding aspect of your business?
Creating something from scratch and having the customer satisified in the end has been the most rewarding aspect of the business.

6.What has been the most difficult?
It can be difficult when creating images because you're starting with a blank canvas.

7.What has bought you the most joy?
Being able to expand my hobby into a business has brought me the most joy.

8.How do you promote your services?
In the past, my services have been promoted via word of mouth and a tag line at the end of my emails.

9.What do you see people do that drives you crazy? I try not to let what others do affect me too much.

10.Who would you love to work with? Creative people. Too many to name.

11.Who are your mentors?
When it comes to graphics, my mentor would be Kandie Delley. We tend to bounce ideas off each other and she did my banner for The Lip Gloss Chronicles website.

12.What makes your business or service, stand out from the rest?

I cater my services to my clients needs and budget.

13.Are you adding any future services to your business?
None at this time.

14.Do you have a staff or is it all you?
It's all me.

15.What do you want people to know about you?
Overall, I love doing anything within the creative field: writing and designing graphic images.

16.What do you want people to know about your business? I created my business because as an author who is on a budget, I realize others are too. I wanted to offer services that would give the person a good product but at a fraction of the cost.

17.When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate? I usually have another project lined up, so there's no time for an official celebration.

18.What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your business? The most surprising thing is that it has grown just within the last six months.

19.Would you change anything about your journey? I would have taken more graphic classes.

20.Do you have any advice for people in business? Yes, make sure you are doing something that you enjoy doing.

21.Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow? Kandie Delley has offerred some great advice and thanks to her, I didn't have to go through certain pitfalls.

22.What have you realized about yourself since doing this business? I learned that I love doing creative things--whether it's writing or designing.


**Other than the Bible

1.One book that changed your life: Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan

2. One book that you've read more than once: Re-Rambled: Food and Thought by Angelia Vernon Menchan

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island
Any book filled with Affirmations.

4. One book that made you laugh: Can't recall right now.

5. One book that made you cry: Feels Like Falling by Michelle McGriff

6. One book that you wish had been written: The book I'm writing now.

7. One book you loved to hate: Can't think of one right now.

8. One book that you are currently reading: Don't Blame the Devil by Pat G'Orge Walker

9. One book that you've been meaning to read: Red Hats by Damon Wayons

10. One book you've been meaning to finish: If I start reading a book, I finish it (no matter how long it takes).

11. One guilty pleasure: Bath and Body Works products

12. What’s your theme song
? Southern Girl by Frankie Beverly and Maze and Oh Shelia by Ready for the World (a woman has to have two theme songs. LOL)

Sites and Contact information
SG advertising: A customized graphic is a great way to advertise your product or service. Prices are meant to work with any budget.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rambling with Angelia Menchan

Hello Angelia how are you!

1. Tell us, what led you to write Re-Rambled?

The stories running through my head and all the things I have seen and experienced...

2. What genre is it?

I write fiction, non-fiction and young adult fiction

3. What is Re-Rambled about?

My most recent non-fiction title is Re-Rambled: Food and Thought and that is about the experiences I have had that can potentially help others. Mrs. Black? Is my most recent fiction title and it is about a woman who loves two men and has for years making a spiritual choice for her life and future.

4. Are any of the characters you or someone you know?

I plead the fifth. :}

5. Introduce us to your characters and what do you like most about them?

Cinnamon Brown-Black the woman with everything, including a cheating husband and a lover...

Malcolm Black, community minded millionaire who loves nothing more than his best friends wife, Cinnamon and will do anything to be with her, anything.

William Brown, a man who loves his wife but cannot remain faithful and has ‘allowed’ his wife to be close to his best friend, too close.

6. You have another book coming out also, let’s chat about that

Mother Wit is an anthology I am doing with Dera Williams, it is chock full of timely stories about mothers and daughters and their impacts on each other lives.

7. What were the easiest and the hardest parts to write?

Writing is like breathing to me, however, it is sometimes hard to be a out-there as I would like to be, there is still a bit of holding back in my writing, but I am working on it.

8. Has writing given you any AHHH HAAA moments?

Writing has given me many AH Ha moments, to be sure.

9. Has a fan, ever realized a point in your book, that you failed to realize?

Probably, though I can’t recall ever being told that, most of my ‘fans’ simply want me to write, write, write and then talk about it...they are THE BEST...

10. Has your journey been what you expected?

Much more...
11. How many books have you written?

Nine and a half

12. Not calling any of your babies ugly, but which was your favorite?

Mrs. Black? but my first, very flawed book Black’s Obsession is a very close second.

13. As a writer, what has been your epiphany?

That I can own myself and write as I feel, that is huge.

14. Have you ever written anything that left a bad taste in your mouth?

Yes and no, when I first wrote a straight up sexy book, Cinnamon’s Universe, a couple of people tried to make me feel some kind of way about it, but after much prayer, I was good...the bad taste is so gone.

15. What else do you have brewing?

Oh so many things, I have a cache of hundreds of short stories, dying to be novels and I will write one of the Rambling books at least once yearly.

16. Who are some of your favorite authors?

James Baldwin, Pearl Cleage, Colin Channer, Nikki Giovanni, there are so many, but those are at the top of my list.

17. Why do you write?

It brings me joy and it is a God given gift.

18. What makes your book stand out and entice a reader pick it up?

The eye on Mrs. Black seems to do it and on Re-Rambled, the table with computer, coffee and plants scream Me.

19. Where do you get ideas? Where you receive motivation?

My ideas come from living and a very active mind and imagination, I am very self-motivated, very.

20. What do you do while writing? Music etc?

I listen to music, always. Anthony Hamilton has sang in my ear through many a book.
21. When you finished writing How do you celebrate?

I usually read it several times through...with a glass of cabernet...then move on.

22. Which of your books was the most difficult to write?

Probably Schae’s Story, I was burned out when I took that one.

23. Which of your books has bought the most responses from readers?
Cinnamon’s Universe and Ramblings. However, Mrs. Black has sold best.

24. Do you read you?

Most definitely I read every day, purchase over 100 books a year

25. Thus far what has been your greatest reward?

Knowing, that I can do this, just me.

26. What are a few things you’ve done to promote your work?

Online promotions, radio interviews, festivals...books signings galore.

27. Who are your mentors?

The Vernon women, were, my mom and aunts.

28. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

To always work smart and not hard and to continue to pursue your dream and improve your craft, no one can believe in you more than you can...

29. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Retired and writing two books a year and publishing at least one book a year for other authors.

30. What do you want people to know about you?

That I am who I say I am...period.

31. What are your future plans? Any new books? Upcoming book signings? Other literary events

Re-Rambled is going on tour. I have several blog tours coming up and will be one of the featured authors at the RAW Affair in October.

32.If you could have been a co-author, with any writer living or dead who would it be?

James Baldwin, definitely.

32. What has been your greatest challenge?

Allowing myself to just let go and write...too critical of my own work.

33. What do you do for fun?
I work hard and play hard, my man and I travel a lot and we love music fests and our family.


**Other than the Bible

1. One book that changed your life:

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, read it first at age 12 and went, Wo!

2. One book that you've read more than once:
Just Above My Head by James Baldwin

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island
My own book Re-Rambled, I advise myself.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Just read one that was sad but the narrator voice was at times so funny, A Quiet Storm by Hazel Hall.

5. One book that made you cry:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Bettye Smith, I first read it as a young woman and it still brings tears to my eyes.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
She’s Gone by Kwame Dawes...the language so appeals to me.

7. One book you loved to hate

8. One book that you are currently reading:

A Taste of Honey by Jabari Asim

9. One book that you've been meaning to read:
Song Yet Sung by James McBride

10. One book you've been meaning to finish:
Paradise by Toni Morrison, have been trying for years.

11. One guilty pleasure:
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE coffee, black with lots of sugar!

12. What’s your theme song?
I Am Every Woman by Chaka Khan

Book and Contact information?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beneath My Stilettos

Beneath My Stilettos


Beneath My Stilettos is about a remarkable young woman, Zafinah Marie Hembree, a woman who makes up in her mind that she is not going to allow a dreadful past to hinder her journey in life. From birth, she was said to be a curse because of things her grandparents and parents did. Who said it? Her aunt Joy, who was a woman of God, saw the condemnation of God above the love and restoration of God. She truly believed Zafinah's life was unworthy.

At only a few months old, Zafinah ended up in a foster home. Like any child would, she wanted to know what happened to her parents. She had bits and pieces of information but she needed more to complete the puzzle. For a while, she wondered until she fell in love with Chino, a young career criminal. In the beginning, Chino is sufficient to fill the void until his lifestyle is fully revealed. The void that was once filled became empty again.

No longer did she wonder about her parents, she set out to search for her parents only to have her heart broken. It was not until she ended up in jail, of course for something Chino had much to do with, that she was given access to the truth. Many times, we want to sweep things under the rug, we do not want to face the truth, but Zafinah who is a courageous young woman wants to know. By the way, she has this thing for Stilettos.

If we would take the time to just hear truth, which sometimes arrive in the darkest moment, when we sit still and listen, we gain access to freedom. When we face our fears and decide to conquer the evil that has threatened us or that had been spoken over us, then we are allowed full access to overcome. Zafinah uncovers generational truth in this journey.


Everything occurred shortly after the spring of 1979. The church bell rang profoundly as all the members of Mt. Tabor gleefully made their entrance. Men were accompanied by their wives while children skipped about playfully along their side. The well-mannered youths knew it was wise to tame the mischievous behavior once they entered through the doors that led to a paradise where veneration was to take place. All unnecessary acts were silenced upon the sudden entrance of the elders. One could discover complete order in this ripe ministry. It had been that way from day one. You did not find many broken families in this powerful ministry either. Whatever the case was, the members seemed to have always maintained a buoyant attitude, it was unmovable. Even the widows sang hymns with joy, they knew with all their hearts God was in the midst. Yes, they poured gracefully through the doors with their sophisticated suits, women represented with their wide brim hats and for many, showing off elegantly coifed hair was necessary. They believed if at any time they should look especially best, that time would be Sunday morning. Not to impress each other, but they wanted to look their best for the One who provided consistently.

At Mt. Tabor, they believed God was the One who made provisions where they could live in such a way that they did. In the congregation sat business owners, doctors, lawyers, best-selling authors, not an ounce of reason for jealousy. They weren’t merely excited about the newly renovated thirty-year-old structure. Cheerfulness covered the atmosphere because of their attitude of expectation. The members were eager to discover which sermon the most reverent Pastor in the community, Pastor Clifford D. McRae III, would dish out on Sunday. The fifty-two year old elite had picked up where his father, Pastor Clifford McRae II had left off three years ago after his father suffered an atrocious stroke leaving him partially paralyzed. It wasn’t enough to stop him, but the eighty-three year old figured that was God’s way of telling him it was time to pass on the responsibility of overseeing ministerial affairs to his only son. Not that Pastor McRae II wasn’t a fiery preacher himself, but Lord, his son, MY GOD, MY GOD… that Pastor McRae III knew how to deliver the Word with a fire that swept through every pew, shook the musicians, blew on the ushers, even stunned the children to an attentive silence.

Everyone was so caught up in the spirit that they didn’t recognize the stained windows trembling. No, there was never a dull moment. He had an ability to keep those members coming for more without earnest solicitation. He was a servant who owned unrelenting power.

Pastor McRae III and his wife, Mrs. Betty McRae never refused to greet their congregation before service and they were always present following service seeing all off with warm wishes. It seemed neither of them was ever tired of the firm handshakes, saintly kisses on the cheek and heartfelt hugs. Pastor and First Lady McRae were always glowing exuberantly, never exhausted of the ongoing responsibility.

It was exactly one minute after eleven o’clock, Betty realized. “Pastor McRae, it’s time,” she whispered softly in his ear. Twenty-five years of marriage and he still found her whispers to be sensual, never failing to acquire his attention. He agreed easily with a nod.

“First Lady, would you and Pastor like for me to begin? It’s after eleven,” Sister Joy Sweeting, optimistically prompted. She was always willing to get praise and worship going. There was always a song in her heart.

“In a minute, Sister Joy,” Betty replied nicely. Joy understood with a smile before rhythmically strutting away. Betty McRae realized her husband’s sudden hesitation. He was in the middle of a pivot when he recognized the last three individuals to arrive. He couldn’t help noticing the charming beauties being escorted by an ever so graceful masculinity. It was the Hembrees, one of the most prominent families in Belleville.


has been recognized for being a creative and brilliant writer who produces original and delightful reads. She aspires to compose award-winning scripts for movie production. She wants readers to discover a unique flair that is uplifting as well as entertaining. She does not seek after one, but many genres. The author’s goal is to provide variation in her work including spirituality, romance, conflict, and a twist of comedy. She may even surprise you with some crime and passion.

ShaniQ currently lives in Miami, FL with her children

Interview with ShaniQ

1. When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in book form when I was around twelve or thirteen years old. I can recall filling tablets up with stories I would imagine and sit for hours writing. Writing was and is entertaining to me.

2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer from day one when I started. As I would always create stories that I envisioned being used for film production. I did not have an audience besides my family and a few friends then but in my heart, I believed I was a writer.

3. What inspired you to write your first book?

I had a sudden urge to take my writing further than my personal tablets. As I went back and forth to work, I would spend time just writing out constant ideas for stories. For a while, many of those stories were tossed out while cleaning or sitting catching dust. It dawned on me one day that I needed to record my literary works. Much of my writings were misplaced and I wanted to make sure that never happened again.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In all of my writings, I want to give a positive message. With Beneath My Stilettos, I want readers to grasp that we choose our steps in life and it is up to us to choose our steps wisely. Our steps of belief are critical and come with consequence. As we journey through this life, we must know that we have a freedom to make a difference despite of what those before us may have done.

5. How much of the book is realistic?

Much of my works are from my imagination but comes as a result of real life incidents. The particular topic that led me to write Beneath My Stilettos is generational curses.

6. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The majority of the story reflects my imagination and there is a portion that reflects true experiences of someone I know.

7. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

You can expect to be amused, surprised and receive a great deal of inspiration from this work, I sincerely hope all who pick up Beneath My Stilettos will enjoy it. It is not so much what people do or say, but what we ALLOW in to our minds and hearts that can make a difference. If you believe you are cursed, you will be cursed. If you believe that you are blessed, highly favored, with a gift of chance to make things right for you and your children, and loved by God beyond your faults, then it is so.

Author Site:



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sins of the Mother

Sins of the Mother

Victoria Christopher Murray
originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining as any book on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”

Since Temptation, Victoria has written seven other novels and was a contributor to the first Christian fiction anthology, Blessed Assurance. She was also the Contributing Editor for the Aspire Women of Color Bible published by Zondervan in 2007. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers.

In 2008, Victoria’s first novels in her Christian fiction teen series - The Divine Divas – were published. “I was concerned with what our young ladies were reading. I decided to do something about that – give them stories full of drama, but with a message.” The Divine Divas has already been optioned to become a television series.

Victoria splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. In Los Angeles, she attends Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church under the spiritual tutelage of Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford and in Washington, D.C., she fellowships at Metropolitan Baptist Church under Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. She is also a member of the Long Beach Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Visit Victoria online at

About the Book
Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?

Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

But just when Jasmine has committed her life completely to God, her daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a mall the day after Thanksgiving. The police and the church community join in the frantic search to find the four-year-old. As the days pass without any sign of her daughter, Jasmine begins to crack under the strain and turns to Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, for solace.

Has Jasmine’s past finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price?

Book Review
While shopping, her 4 year old daughter, Jacqueline was abducted and the police and the members of the mega church her husband presides over begin a frantic search for the child. Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, is notified about the kidnapping and flies in to assist in the search. Jasmines concern about her past coming to haunt her and the days of Jacqueline still not home, takes it's toll on the mother. Brian is there only to find the child he gave up all rights too. He has a life, a career and a love of his own who just so happens to be Jasmines arch enemy.
I’m not quite sure if was the stress of the kidnapping or unfinished business, but Jasmine wants to reconnect with Brian.

This was my first time reading any of Victoria’s Books, so Jasmines character was new to me. She obviously has a huge and crazy back story, but from what I read about her in Sins of The Mother, she almost felt as if she deserved this horrible event.
4 Stars

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View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tamika Newhouse

Interview with Tamika

1. How did you get your start in this business/industry?

In February 2008 I was sitting on the bed watching my husband pack for his second tour to Iraq. Already staying in a new city of San Antonio, I felt alone and bored. I simply stated to him I wish I was in a book club. Just out of nowhere in that instance an idea of starting a MySpace page and to post up books I read came across my mind. I thought it would be a great idea to just talk with people over the internet. In that same month I started to get emails from authors I had never heard of who wanted me to read their books. I said to myself, wait I should read their books and post my thoughts on them. Not knowing that it was going to grow into something so large. This is how African Americans on the Move Book Club were birthed. I later birthed AAMBC Radio and Delphine Publications.

2. Did you have any formal business training?

I had absolutely no business training. I didn’t know anything about blogs, book reviews, how to publish, how to market, or any of that. I started with posting up my views on the author’s book and I asked people to read them. I believe this totally came from God’s doing. I was blessed to have met so many authors through MySpace and learn from all of them all at once.

3. What separates you and your firm from the competition?

I honestly didn’t know of any other format when I started my company. So the fact that I launched something clueless to the industry excites me. The ideas and concepts I started in which I continue to do all began when I knew nothing or no one. So the fact that I based a lot of my early works just from brainstorming separates me from the rest. Not to say I am original but I am not duplicated.

4. How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is tuff, time consuming, and adventurous. You take complete control and meet so many people. To think that I am here in this position is a blessing because I didn’t start to read novels until 2006. But I was always a writer since the day I could write a sentence. Being your own boss has its blessings and sometimes I find myself so obsessed over my work that I can’t stop. Ideas come one after the other. So I enjoy being an entrepreneur because I control my destiny. Well me and God that is.

5. What do you like most about your profession?

I design my concepts, I promote my concepts, I develop my concepts, and I can stop when I want to. I enjoy having control over what I do, when I do it, and how.

6. What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is that with success come trials and tribulations. I am a fan of myself but somewhere down the road you meet others who are not. It can be because of what you do, what you’ve accomplished and so forth. I use that as my motivation. So how I overcome the negativity is to use it as my gas to keep it moving. A business such as any other industry requires tuff skin so I put mines on and my game face and I enjoy my works.

7. What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?

To never enter an industry you don’t know anything about. I know that’s funny seeing as though I was an ammeter when I started. Thing is I took a crash course and learned the industry through others and research. Google is a great engine. Use it. Go to seminars and conferences and speak to veteran authors. Always research and as long as you’re living there is always something to learn.

8. What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?

I hope to give people I work with skills and knowledge. Anyone can show you how to do it but learning it for yourself empowers you. Within AAMBC I give authors exposure and I explain how to self promote. On my radio show I offer authors the opportunity to speak on the things they love while exposing themselves to potential readers. With my publishing house, Delphine Publications, I teach my authors how to hustle and grind. If you love who you are you would work as hard as you can to make sure you reach your highest potential and, even then, shoot for more.

9. What are 3 things all leaders possess?

A Strong foundation, common sense, and a creative mind.

10. How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?

I simply want to help others. My mission is to expose the independent writer so that they too can have a national fan base. Although I do converse and speak to national best sellers my main focus is the new authors. Because of this I have grown in more ways than I could ever imagine. I expect my reach for my company to reach more than triple the current reach within the next year with keeping the same mission and goals. When we started I could count the amount of members AAMBC had and with our new website I am able to keep track of over 1200 members worldwide.

11. Tell us about the people you help. How is your organization or company impacting the public? What social issues or causes do you want to address?

The authors I connect with on a daily bases are usually new authors on their first book or have recently self published and want more exposure. I offer them that. The purpose of getting your book exposed is very important. You want your name and novel to become a familiar product. My goal is to help them become more familiar. Some issues that occur are when an author knows to little about the industry and marketing. It can delay the process of promoting their novel. All authors must know that they have to self promote whether they are with a publisher or not. I always state that the author must self promote and do a lot of research. This is always important to any writer who wants a long term career in writing.

12. What's new in your company?

AAMBC has become more active in virtual tours since last spring; our radio show has a consistent concept with on average two shows a week. We started annual events such as Holiday Book Bash, Valentine Showcases, Virtual Book Release Parties, Holiday Book Drive, College Scholarship Fund, April is our Poetry Month, and we have our annual conference which will make its home in Dallas starting in 2011. AAMBC Radio has a new co-host Anna Black who is also signed to my label Delphine Publications. I am constantly thinking and developing new concepts and online events for our members. I will never rest I know that for sure.


Tamika Newhouse is the Award Winning-Best Selling author of The Ultimate No No. She is also known as the creator and President of African Americans on the Move Book Club, which is an online book club catering to avid readers across the nation. She is currently the CEO of Delphine Publications and literary consultant. In March 2009 Tamika was announced the Women of the Year by Alive Magazine and nominated as Best Radio Personality by the Black Book Clubs Rock Awards. She recently won Author of the Year with African American Literary Awards.

Tamika can be heard on the syndicated AAMBC Radio, where she interviews new and seasoned authors. The show showcases many of the author’s talents and their current projects.

Tamika created the national tour group called Literary Sistah's, where she and authors tour all over the nation. She is currently living in San Antonio with her husband son, and daughter and attends University of Texas. She is currently working on her third novel Cookie: A Fort Worth Story and plans to release her fourth novel He was a Bad Idea following Cookie.

The Book:


When Dahlia decides to get even with a man, named Troy, who broke her heart she thinks of a master plan. To her dismay after asking Nitrah, her best friend to help her get even, she falls in love with Troy. Not only does this cause a huge rift, the ladies must soon face the fact that they both have lied and their secrets will unveil. Troy thinks he has finally found true love with Nitrah but what will happen when he finds out their relationship is based on a lie. This novel includes, love, sex, deceit, and betrayal. Five characters tell the story as they see it. Learn what The Ultimate NO NO is when it comes to love.


I only wanted a quick fix, and now I’m stuck on what to do next. It’s been three long years and nothing but pure, unadulterated drama. I hadn’t expected things to turn out the way they did, especially since my friendships were on the line. But, no, I had to say yes, and commit to something I knew I would regret. All I wanted to do was help my friend. Dahlia approached me with this bright idea, but I didn’t expect it to go as far as it did. What she asked me to do was like nothing I’d ever done before. At first, I thought it would be harmless. You know that “pay back is a bitch” kind of thing. Yeah, right!

My subject was Troy, short for Troyon—local gigolo of Fort Worth and the headmaster of heartbreak. You see, he’d hurt so many women, including Dahlia, we wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. However, Troy Washington was no joke. Yet, my girls and I needed to break him down a little. Teach him a lesson. He needed to know how it felt to be cheated on, to have a broken heart, to have his mind twisted and, definitely, he had to know how it felt to love a cheater. Why was I the chosen one? It beats the hell out of me. But, just call me Superwoman; always coming to the aid of my girlfriends, who somehow always found themselves in some shit.

Troy had a brother, Robert, and a best friend, Tim. Although they hung out with Troy, they weren’t heartbreakers. Now, I still don’t know why my girls chose me to do their dirty work nor do I know why I suckered up and agreed to do it. However, there was one thing I did know, if nothing else. I knew I was playing with fire. Still, in the end it could have helped plenty of women. Okay, at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

From the kiss to the fight, from Dahlia’s screams to the truth being revealed; I constantly shake my head at this whole mess, and thinking about everything that happened, simply because my dumb ass said yes. Ugh! I used to hear my friend’s laughter when thinking about the old days; what I would do to get those days back. How we would go to the lake and pull phone numbers. Get our hair done and buy new outfits, simply to impress. Nevertheless, as I sigh heavily, I realize that all changed the moment I said yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The three-letter word ended up being the death sentence for our friendship. All of our lives changed. I just didn’t know if it was for the best or for the worst.

Fort Worth, May 2002

“So who in the hell made you the queen of all queens and allowed you to tell us what to do?” Jazzaray asked while laughing. Jazzaray was my youngest friend out of the group. Still in school, working at Lapetite Academy, and so badly wanting to move out of her mama’s house. That was me about a year ago.

“I graduated too, and I want to hit up Club MP3,” Dahlia demanded. Dahlia was my very best friend. I was the peanut butter and she was the jelly. You rarely saw one without the other. Dahlia earned her degree in criminal justice, but just like Jazzaray, she struggled with what she wanted to do with her life. So for now, she was a medical assistant. Something she hated to do, but it paid her bills.

It was my college graduation party and I made an effort to keep things going my way. “Well, I just want us girls out tonight. I mean, we always hit up some club,” I argued. I had just completed my degree and could now do everything I ever wanted, and that was to become a teacher.

“I know why you don’t want to go. Y’all know Denim is going to be at the club. I think it’s his night to spin records,” my friend Charmaine joked. Charmaine was the most responsible one out of the group—she kept us in check—and when we were about to fight or get into it with someone, she held our purses. Never was she the one to start a confrontation.

“Oh hell no! Don’t even go there, Charmaine. Denim is my ex so, of course, I don’t want to see him; it’s only been a while. I mean, damn, can’t we just have a girl’s night?” I yelled.

“Oh, she is cussing now so that means it’s true,” Jazzaray joked.

“Here we go again,” I mumbled.

Dahlia and Charmaine were laughing but my spirit was mingled with them mentioning Denim. He was my high school sweetheart until a month ago. I thought we would be married by now but, then again, we both couldn’t stay faithful to each other. He would usually spin records at many of the Fort Worth and Dallas clubs, and Club MP3 was one of the main clubs where he would spin. I figured tonight would be no different; I just knew he would be there.

“Okay, I will admit he is spinning tonight but hell, we just called it quits so why would I want to see him tonight, of all the nights, why tonight?” I debated.

“Okay, you right, so let’s just go rolling on Miller and just chill,” Dahlia suggested in my defense.

“Fine, let’s go. You know on Sundays it’s always somebody out on Miller and then we can hit up Arlington Lake,” Charmaine added.

On Sundays, we knew where to be and why to be there. We wanted to be seen, and wanted to make sure we were at the places with the most guys. Now don’t get me wrong. We are all young, beautiful educated ladies but, from time to time, we like to get a few phone numbers. Nothing wrong with that, right?

When we got to the lake we saw a lot of potential new boyfriends—one for Charmaine, Dahlia, Jazzaray, and me. Dahlia was the light-skinned female out of the click, while I was the blackberry. Both Jazzaray and Charmaine were caramel brown. Don’t get me wrong. Even though I was the darkest, I got much play with the men, plus my confidence stood out. We were all trim-shaped model types but conservative and laid back. I guess you can say we all got along great because we were more like true sisters than we were friends. I have my own siblings but these were my girls, my own set of relief from my everyday family.

Before I knew it, Dahlia had spotted some trouble and, as usual, she was eager to jump in someone’s face. Why does she always have to start some mess, I thought.

“Look at that bitch, Sarah,” Dahlia yelled over the crowd. “I have been waiting for her to show up.”

Realizing whom she was talking about, I saw Sarah, the woman who was now sleeping next to the man I had been with for years.

“We aren’t about to fight out here, I just got my hair done,” Jazzaray declared.

Sarah was my enemy, but we all hated her equally. “You don’t have anything to say, Nitrah? That hoe took your man of six years, let’s go kick her ass.”

“I don’t have much to say to her. You know I was messing with Kenneth anyway,” I said.

“I’m going to kick her ass anyway. Come on y’all,” Dahlia said, pulling my arm. As usual, Jazzaray and Charmaine were down and followed suit, and since he was my ex man I had to put my A game on and get ready to fight. I didn’t hate Sarah, but then again she was sleeping with Denim, while I held cold sheets at night.

As we walked toward Sarah, I thought, Dahlia is about to start some shit again, damn. What am I doing over here?

Sarah saw us approaching. She had one lonely friend with her—it was Kia. Now Kia was the local bed hopper in Fort Worth. I just knew she had a plan to get with Denim; she was that type of female that loved men who were taken, and hated men who were single. The challenge of the chase, I guess.

Noticing us, Kia yelled out, “So you hoes come to fight or should your men stand in line for some Kia action?” She ran up toward us, yelling in our faces, and before I knew it, my fist connected with her mouth. I didn’t expect to get so angry over this simple female, but she had it coming when she disrespected my friends and me. I could feel her teeth cutting my knuckles. The anger rushed through my body, and it felt like pure heat seeping from my pores. I heard people in the crowd yelling, “Fight!” I could feel Dahlia breathing down my neck. I could tell that she and Sarah were going at it. My mind was racing and then I thought, How in the hell did I end up fighting Kia?

Jazzaray started yelling, “Kick her ass, Nitrah.”

Charmaine was trying to separate us, and then I heard a familiar voice bark, “Nitrah, chill out.”

A group of guys separated Dahlia and Sarah, and Kia finally gave up trying to gain access to me after being pulled away. Then I saw the damage to her eye and mouth. I wanted to laugh because she never got a good hit on me. I also felt stupid because I didn’t know why in the hell I started fighting that girl in the first place.

“Next time, come prepared to back up all that noise you be talking, trying to act hard,” Dahlia yelled at Sarah over the crowd.

“I don’t have any beef with you,” Sarah shot back. “Separate myself from you. We don’t have anything to discuss.”

“We all got problems with hoe ass tricks like you,” I yelled, trying to get in my two cents. I was released by a man that restrained me and as I turned to walk away, with the crowd still watching hoping something else would happen, Denim walked up to me, yelling all in my face.

“So, you’re hittin’ on my girl. Damn, Nitrah, we’re supposed to be cool.” I wanted to run away from Denim. All I kept thinking was, why is he here and not at MP3? This is so embarrassing.

“Denim, this girl ran in my face. We didn’t start anything with her!” Dahlia yelled at him.

Even though we broke up, Denim and I stayed cool. We have known each other for fifteen years; we were friends for a long time. I truly did miss him, but why we could never stay faithful wasn’t clear to me. Of course, he started cheating first and I simply followed suit. I finally decided to cut him loose, seeing as though our relationship would never go anywhere. We were friends all of our lives so it was only natural we stayed close.

“Dahlia, my girl don’t start mess so don’t even go there with me!” Denim yelled back.

“She didn’t start it, Kia did,” Jazzaray interrupted.

“Don’t put me in this mess,” Kia objected.

Sarah yelled, “They were all planning on it; I saw them talking over there.”

“Don’t even go there, Kia came at us. What was that you said? Our men need to stand in line for some Kia action?” Charmaine reiterated.

“Kia you always starting something, and Sarah you going to start leaving her ass at home,” Denim demanded pointing his finger in Sarah’s face.

“That’s right,” Jazzaray yelled, trying to get her two words in as well.

Denim walked away but not before giving me a wink. He always did that to me, letting me know that this fight wasn’t anything and that he was cool with it. I gave him a wink back in hopes that he saw I was still his girl and not Sarah. Then my girls and I turned to walk away. It was just about time to leave before the cops came.

“Let’s go get something to eat, y’all wore me out tonight,” Jazzaray said jokingly, knowing that she was the only one that didn’t fight or, should I say, the only one that didn’t get involved. She knew that if she would have fought, her hair would have gotten messed up, or she would have broken a nail.

“You are good for nothing Jazz; you think you too cute to fight,” Dahlia teased.

We all hopped in my Sorento and drove off, heading toward the next eatery. We ended up at Bennigan’s because Charmaine wanted their wings. After we were seated at our table, we ordered our food, and Jazzaray spotted more boyfriend material. I told her I would introduce her and Charmaine to the brothas we saw, a little game we played. We would occasionally hook each other up; I would usually be the front man as I was tonight. I would create a leeway by stepping to the brothers first and telling them that my friends were digging them. Unlike every other night, they declined my opportunity to give them some leeway.

“That’s alright, Nitrah, we got it.”

While they were gone to go get some potential new men, Dahlia and I started talking. “You see me beat down Sarah?”

“I was too busy beating down Kia’s ass. You are going to have to stop pulling ‘em into every single fight you have. We got jobs now and we are grown. I am too cute to be fighting some simple bitch like Kia.”

“A’ight, girl, I know what you mean. But she had it coming but I saw Denim wink at you, so I’m guessing you two aren’t over.”

“Yeah we are. I mean for now we are, but I’m sure he’ll call me or my mama’s house to talk about tonight.”

“So whatever happened between you and Kenneth anyway?”

She was referring to the man I cheated with on Denim. After a while, that’s what I did, cheated. I guess Denim showed me how to do that. I never planned on staying with Kenneth; he was just someone to hang with at the time. Looking back now, he wasn’t even worth my time. A waste of a cheat.

“Nothing. He was just something to do at the time and so were Billy, Carlos, Antwain, and Tyrin,” I admitted, laughing.

“Damn, you a slut. Denim was trippin’ on the same stuff you were on too. Why couldn’t you two just stay faithful?”

She was right to ask me that, because if Denim was guilty, I was too. When you look at how he cheated on me, you would’ve thought I would’ve just dropped him. At first, it was a get even thing, but it later became like second nature. I just didn’t see me being faithful to him anymore.

“Dahlia, Denim was my first but wasn’t worth being my last.”

“I heard that!”

“So what are you two talking about,” Jazzaray asked coming back to the table.

“Denim, who else?” Dahlia answered obviously rolling her eyes as if she was tired of hearing his name.

“He was looking mighty fine tonight. I saw how he looked at you, Nitrah. You two are trippin’.”

“Yeah he did look good; I am not trying to go back that way you all. Let’s just drop the subject.”

At Bennigan’s our food had arrived and we started to eat. Just when things were about to get boring, in walked Troyon Washington and his crew. Troyon was about six-four, two hundred ten pounds, with caramel skin, curly hair like the singer Genuwine, and was clean-shaven. I noticed him walk in as I reached for the ketchup. My eyes were set dead on him, and I knew why. He was such a good-looking man. Charmaine, noticing who I had my eyes on, said, “Oh my, God. He is here.”

“Who?” everyone asked with curiosity.

I had locked eyes with Troyon as if he knew we were talking about him. He was with Robert, Michael, and another guy I came to know named Tim. Now Tim was just like Troyon and just as good looking. Seeing them two together was like walking into ongoing traffic, deadly.

“Don’t look at him, Nitrah, he is hypnotizing,” Dahlia demanded as her mood suddenly changed.

“I was just seeing who it was, you were talking like it was a celebrity up in here, and you know it isn’t any celebrities in Fort Worth.”

“It’s Troy and Tim, the damn dogs of the funk,” Jazzaray said in disgust.

The funk was the nickname everyone called Fort Worth, which was only thirty minutes outside of Dallas. It was rumored that the city was named Funky Town because it reeked of cow manure, but it never smelled that bad to me.

“Why you call them dogs? I’m sure they aren’t dogs, they just get silly females who do whatever they ask,” I teased.

“You laughing, but I’m sure he can punk you, too,” Dahlia added. She almost spit at me as if she was spitting venom. What’s up with her, I thought.

“Yeah right, I could punk him. You know I got skills. Better yet, I can show you how I work it,” I challenged

“Alright then, let’s make a game out of it. Go ask for something from their table…but very sexy,” Jazzaray dared me.

“Really, that’s it? No big challenge. I can do this in my sleep.” I knew the challenge was coming, but who was I to be scared? I was the queen of dares.

“No, Jazz, don’t dare her like that,” Charmaine begged. “You know she will do it, and Lord knows Troy is not the one to play with.”

“He may be the devil but he sure does look mighty good from here,” Jazz joked.

“I’m down, ladies. Watch and learn. Oh, by the way, you girls may want to take notes.”

Before I could get up, Dahlia grabbed my hand and said, “Be careful. This isn’t a game.”

“I’m not worried about that fool, Dahlia. I’m cool, I got this.” I walked over very slow and sensual, but not to obvious. I wasn’t scared but I wasn’t trying to fall on my face either. This seemed just like a good opportunity for something wrong to happen. I knew who Troy was. I graduated class of ‘97 from Southwest High with him. I knew he was the type of dog I would never date, and even now at the tender age of twenty-three, he was still that same boy to me.

I reached their table and said, “Hey boys, how are y’all doing tonight?”

Tim was the first to speak. “Good and how are you, miss?”

“I’m Nitrah, and you are?”

“Tim and this is Troy, Robert, and Michael.”

“How do you say your name again?” Robert asked me.

“Knee-trah,” I said slowly, sounding out my name.

“So there are four of us and four of you and your girls… Do y’all want to sit together?” Troy asked me, noticing my friends watching us. I saw something in his eyes as if he wished he could retract that comment. He saw something; I wanted so badly to look back but didn’t want to lose concentration.

“No thanks, but I do want something from you,” I said above a whisper to let Troy know I was flirting with him. His boys smiled at him thinking he had pulled another female his way, but I was a different female. He returned his attention to me, his smile returned. I have him railed in, I thought.

“And what do you want from me, Miss Nitrah?”

“Not much, just that ketchup on your table.” Tim looked at me like I was crazy, as if I was delusional for not wanting more. I repeated, “Can I have it?” and reached out toward him just a little bit. He didn’t give me an answer; just stared at me as if he was waiting for me to say more. So I leaned over the table, very sexy like, and grabbed the ketchup myself. I walked away but not without saying thanks first. I was hoping he was watching my ass sway in my shorts and I felt sure he was.

Troy yelled out to me before I got any further. “What’s your name again?”

“Nitrah! Nitrah Hill. You boys have a good night.” I walked back over to my table knowing Troy and his friends would be still watching. I sat down and all eyes were on me.

Charmaine was the first to speak. “He is still watching. What in the hell did you say to him?”

“I didn’t think you were going to do it,” Jazzaray added.

Dahlia said, “You’re my new idol.”

We all started to laugh. I didn’t want to admit that seeing Troy up close like that made me a little moist. Just thinking about what I could do to him made me squirm in my seat. I phased the thought out of my mind and finished eating my food, using the ketchup I got from Troy’s table.

Afterward, we had great conversations about men and the dirty things they do. I noticed Troy and his crew getting up to leave, and then I looked at my watch. It was way past one in the morning. “Alright ladies, let’s go because it’s late. We’ve been at this table for three hours.”

“Yeah, I hear you,” Jazzaray said. “It’s back to work in the morning.”

As I got up from the table and started walking to the exit, Troy came back in to give me a message.

“Hey, sweet thing, how about you give me your number.”

I was a little appalled at the way he asked me and started to see his playa mentality. “My number? I don’t believe you deserve that reward.”

“You know I’m feeling you, and you are just too gorgeous for me to just walk away.”

I decided to play with his mind just a tad and call in on his bluff. “Alright then. Here’s what we are going to do. If we meet again, and I’m sure we will, then it was fate and I’ll give you my number then,” I said as me and my girls walked out the door.

Making sure not to look back and give him eye contact, Dahlia whispered, “Girl you got him twisted.”

I smiled, knowing I could have him if I wanted to. “I could show him a new thing or two.”


The Ultimate No No goes up there with all of my favorite books, I met Tamika at our National Conference she was one of our Vendors such a lovely lady with a big heart and a kindred spirit, When I had purchase the book at the conference I put it with the rest of my books, I read the back and it sounded interesting but not at first catching my attention, So I was headed out of town and I always bring my reading material at least three books just in case I can not get into one of them I have two more and I know I will like one of them, I started with Tamika book and I could not put it down, the places where familiar the character seem like real people I knew and it always kept you wanting more and she kept giving it to you all the way to the end and I can not wait to read the second one. Mrs Newhouse did her thing on this one. Great Job Tamika!!!!!!!! look forward to future books from her.

~Savvy Book Club

Have you ever been so mad that you just wanted to get even with somebody. Well as the old saying goes, be careful what you ask for. In the Ultimate No No the only thing worse than a woman scorned is one on get back time. Tamika Newhouse has done a wonderful job of showing us just what can happen when you don't leave well enough alone. Nitrah Hill, has allowed her girls to talk her into getting into a man's heart (Troyon Washington) and then breaking it. The problem is once she gets into his heart he also gets into hers. However, this does not set well wither her girl Dahlia who has set this whole scheme in motion. Unbeknownst to Nitrah and the rest of her girls Troy the town slut has broken her heart in the worst way and instead of Dahlia being up front with her girls she tells them just what she wants them to know. While they are cooking up the scheme and Nitrah is following through she is falling in love. And, what do you know so is Troy. But, as luck would have it they all have a past that won't stay in the past. There is so much drama going on in Forthworth Texas that you may need to say a couple of Hail Mary's when you get finish. This book was definitely a summer sizzler. Five stars for Ms. Nitrah Hill who just happens to also be a very down to earth Authoress!

DC Reviewer
Michelle Rawls

Imagine this...your best friend asks you to do her a favor. Simple enough, right? Your friend wants you to befriend a certain man. He's fine so no problem with that. Here's the kicker - you are to make this man fall in love with you and then...dump him! Why? Because this man did your friend dirty. But what happens when you find yourself falling for him?

Imagine've met her, as in the one. She's the woman that makes you want to give up your doggish ways. She's got you ready to consider the dreaded - monogamy. Now imagine this, she's the best friend of a woman that you did the unthinkable to, but it's obvious that the woman of your dreams doesn't know. Do you just hope and pray that your past isn't brought to light?

Meet Nitrah and Troyon. It's gone beyond imagination to reality. And the reality is they both have secrets they don't want the other to discover. Add to the already volatile mix opinionated friends, lies, love and lust and you have "The Ultimate No No."

In her readable, sometimes surprising story, Tamika Newhouse examines the lives of two cliques of friends coming to terms with maturity and love. Newhouse knows one thing - drama! I really liked that her characters were practical and relatable. They fell in love a little too quickly for my taste, but to each, its own.

"The Ultimate No No," a captivating snapshot of emotional struggles, packs a lot. Newhouse's debut can hold its own. I look forward to more from this talent.

Reviewed by: Toni , OOSA


Tour Schedule:

June 19th The George W. Carver Festival, San Antonio, 11-5

June 18-19th The Juneteenth Music Fest, San Antonio, TX

July 9th, The Literary Joint, Forestville, MD 5pm

July 9, Cartel Books and Cafe, Oxon Hill, MD 1pm

July 10th Michele's Book Place, Annanoplois, MD 11am

July 10th Borders Lorgo, MD 5pm

July 11, Patapsco Flea Market , Baltimore, MD

July 12th, Michele's Book Place, Annanoplois, MD 11am

July 13th DC Book Diva, Washington D.C.

July 16, Horizon Book Store, Philadelphia, PA 1pm

July 16th Phenomenol Women Speaking Engagement & Signing, Chester, PA 530pm

July 17th Harlem Book Fair, Harlem, NY

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