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Thank you for visiting EDC Creations' Black Pearls Magazine online! The EDC Creations Magazine is a proud bi-weekly publication that both showcases and celebrates the positive Black image through motivating articles and intimate interviews. We are proud to boast that we represent emerging writers as well as the household names, in the publishing industry, who recognize the importance of celebrating African American heritage and our voice.

We hope that you enjoy our site. As you browse, please take a moment to explore not only the magazine, but also the exciting opportunities that we have for our authors, poets and publishers. Please share your questions, comments and reviews, we invite all feedback. Welcome to The EDC Creations' world of Literature!

Ella Curry, President  of EDC Creations

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BP Power Lists

Black Pearls Power List
--- Fiction 5 Stars

Preacher's Passion Lutishia Lovely
Nothing but Trouble by Bettye Griffin
Bliss Inc. by Chamein Canton
Ready to Male by Lamar Ariel
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Tracy L. Darity
That Devil's No Friend of Mine
The Company We Keep by Mary Monroe
Lovers and Liars by Teri Denine
Livin' Ain't Easy by Peron Long
The Next Best Thing by Deidre Berry
House on Monroe Street, Jacquie Bamberg Moore
Fatal Mistakes: First of a Trilogy by Jamison Davis
Single Husbands by Honey B
B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras
Hungry Woman in Paris by Josefina Lopez

Shop at our book store for great reading selections.

Black Pearls Power List
--- Fiction 4 Stars

Naughty by Rochelle Alers
One Taste by Allison Hobbs
The People vs. Cashmere by Karen Williams
Lies of Blue by Lynne Forde
Tantrum by Charles Ellison
Up at College by Michele Andrea Bowen
God Only Knows by Xavier Knight
Houston We Have a Problema , Gwendolyn Zepeda
Intimate Accusations by Nyra Knight
When Lightning Strikes by Keya
Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman
One in A Million by Barbara Keaton
A Gangsta Girl Saga by Chunichi
Baby Doll by DivineG
Mandingo: the Golden Boy by Sidi

Shop at our book store for great reading selections.

Black Pearls Power List
--- Non-fiction 4 and 5 Stars

Jesus 365 by Ed Stewart
Prayer is Our Power by Lonnie E. Pruitt
Brain Surgeon by Keith Black, MD
No Matter What by Lisa Nichols
Put Your Dreams First by Thembisa S. Mshaka
Hope on a Tightrope by Cornel West
Do Less, Achieve More by Chin-Ning Chu
On the Road to Freedom by Charles E. Cobb
Sugar of the Crop by Sana Butler
Freedom by Any Means by Betty DeRamus
The Naked Truth by Marvelyn Brown
Almost Persuaded by  Joshua McClure
The Daily Bible Devotional by F. LaGard Smith
The 4 Day Diet by Dr. Ian K. Smith
I Stand at the Door and Knock by Corrie Ten Boom

Shop at our book store for great reading selections.


Black Pearl
Bookclub Picks

5 star books
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Literary Leaders Tribute

Featured here are the book club presidents, book reviewers, literary networks and literary service providers that will receive appreciation gifts from Ella Curry, EDC Creations, our publishing partners, authors and community leaders. We want to thank each of the outstanding leaders for taking the initiative to create strong foundations in the publishing industry. Each group or business owner will receive new books, a exclusive radio interview and a special visit from our featured authors.

Author Interviews, Book Previews, Poetic Expressions and Gifts for Book Lovers can all be found at the Black Pearls Community blog. Join the family by choosing to "Follow this Blog" on the main page here. Also, sign up for our weekly Black Pearls Newspaper by subscribing to the blog with your valid email address. You will receive updates from the BP family in your inbox. What a great way to start your week! The Sunday News includes a wonderful mix of featured articles, literary events and special guest author interviews. 
Take a moment and check us out, then tell at least 10 friends to join us it forward.

Distinct Ladies Book Club 

Tiffany Rainey is currently the President and one of the founders of Distinct Ladies Book Club. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tn and currently still resides there. Not only is Tiffany a member of DLBC but she is also a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Sirius Ladies Social Club, and she is also a usher in her church. 

Distinct Ladies Book Club was founded in October of 2006 with 4 women who shared a passion for reading. When we first started little did we know we would grow to be such a tight knit family. DLBC doesn't just read books, but we attend movies, plays, book signing, and we just love to fellowship with one another. 

What is the vision for your organization? 
Our vision for our sisterhood is to continue to promote authors who are not as well known as some of the greats like Eric Jerome Dickey or Kimberla Lawson Roby. We want to continue to give back to the kids in our community.

On your nightstand now: We are currently reading The Dopeman's Wife

Book all readers should own besides the bible:
The Survival Bible by Jihad

Book you've bought for the cover:
Casanegra by Blair Underwood

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Urban, Erotica, Christian Fiction

Your top three authors. Why?
Brian W. Smith, President of Hollygrove Publishing is one of our favorite authors. Brian is a very down to earth person. He keeps your interest is his books from the beginning to the end. He also brings new talent to his company, that makes you just wanna read everything he has written. 

Memphis own Sheila Lipsey, author of Beautiful Ugly is also one of our favorite authors. Sheila is a Christian fiction author who always makes you wondering what's going on next. She brings everyday problems and drama into her books.

Jihad, bestselling author of Wild Cherry is a favorite author. Jihad brings erotica to street to I am gonna keep it real to you in his books. He always makes you wondering which direction he's going to write in.  We have a few more that we love, but since you only asked for 3. I think I am going to leave it at that.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year. 
Kimberla Lawson Roby, Wahida Clark, and Jane Jordan

Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group?
Distinct Ladies Book Club is planning their 3 year Anniversary Celebration. It will be held on Oct. 10, 2009 from 4-8. We will have Jihad, Brian W. Smith, Recha G. Peay, and other authors will be stopping through as well. DLBC will be having spoken word, music, and giving way door prizes. Admission is $10 and seating is limited. For more info you can contact us at 

You can find us at: 
We are also on Facebook and Twitter!!

Tiffany Rainey- President   
Josula Williams- Vice President 
P.O. Box 271415
Memphis, TN 38167 

Intimate Conversation with Sistahs BookClubbing Book Club

I organized Sistahs BookClubbing Book Club in Shreveport, Louisiana Our book club in July 2000 specifically to read, savor, and discuss the richness of African American literature. We meet the first Saturday of each month, at noon, to engage in a lively and stimulating discussion of the book (sometimes the after discussion is better than the book discussion). We enjoy a tasty and sumptuous meal provided by the hostess. Our gatherings provide a warm, safe environment to engage in thought provoking discussions, absorb other points of view in the hope that we can develop strategies that will enhance and enrich our own personal experiences, as we celebrate and exult in the spirit and power of being African women in America.

Since its inception, the book club has brought together a wonderful and diverse sisterhood of women who share a passion for reading and it has provided a forum for us to engage in thought-provoking discussions of books; build a sisterhood, support and nurture each other through insightful dialogue as we relate to some of the issues of the books we read. Our theme: Sistahs… Reading to understand, Inspire, Encourage, Uplift and Celebrate Us!!!

How important is reading to you?
I am a self-described bookacholic. I spend much of my time promoting literacy and the joy of reading. Books and reading are such an integral part of my being. I read for the escape books can provide and for the pure enjoyment of reading which helps to nourish and sustain my mind and soul.

Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes: 
Recognizing that life is a gift from God and the life I live—a life of gratitude, faith, obedience and serving Him by serving “the least of these”— is my gift to God.

On your nightstand now:
Letters from Black America edited by Pamela Newkirk, Colored People: A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna.

Favorite line from a book:
"I don't mean to say I think everybody should be married, but....what are you going to do if you don't get married or get an education? Where is your home, or your life, going to be? I have learned there is very little playing around in the very serious game of life. You can play, but it should be after you have done what you need to do for yourself!" from The Future has a Past by J. California Cooper

Your top three authors. Why?
Pearl Cleage because she gives voice to strong black women and she gave us Blue Hamilton who created and maintained a utopian community; J. California Cooper because she is a wise and consummate storyteller; James Baldwin because of his eloquent passionate words which spoke of the pain and struggle of being black in American.

Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group?
We are going to attend the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, LA on Saturday, October 17, 2009. We are also in the process of planning our 2nd Sister Soldier Packing Party which is scheduled for Saturday, April 17, 2010. Our goal is to pack and ship care packages to 150 sister soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. We packed and shipped 100 care packages at our first packing party in April 2009. 

The Sister Soldier Project was founded by Myraline Whitaker who heard about the unique hair care challenges African American female soldiers face while stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Ships at Sea (African American hair care products were not available for them). She was so moved, she began to buy requested items shipping them to individual Sister Soldiers whose names and requests she obtained from  She enlisted the aid of friends and local women’s organizations, which led to group Packing Parties on both coasts, including numerous locations throughout Central and Southern California. For more information on the Sister Soldier Packing Party Project visit  I strongly urge other book clubs to consider hosting a Sister Soldier Packing Party. It is a rewarding and worthwhile project.

Intimate Conversation with
Phenomenal Women Book Club

Phenomenal Women Book Club, of New Orleans, began in October 2007 with a meet and greet.  The president Makeda Peterson decided to assemble friends, family, and church members as a way to express opinions on books and for entertainment.  We read our first book in the November 2007.  PWBC is a book club for ladies of color and now has 30 members who are dedicated readers.  We range in age from 23-67 years old, which gives us a broader variety of opinions on books.  Our meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at 3:00pm and are usually held in members’ homes and restaurants.  We read different genres and the hostess of the month picks the book title or decides how a title will be chosen.  We usually choose titles 3 months prior to the month of the meeting.  Most of our members are from the greater New Orleans area but we now have 2 members who commute from nearby Mississippi.  PWBC has also started a nonprofit in order to do more for our community with helping students, literacy, and putting books in the hands of people in our community.  Makeda Peterson is a New Orleans native, avid reader, wife, mother of three and pursuing a career in writing.


Ella:  What is the vision for your organization?

It is our desire to expose others to written works by or about people of color. To encourage our members to read different genres, encourage authors and publishing houses of books we enjoy, to have literary discussions that entertain and broaden our knowledge.  To make a difference in our community by pushing literacy and helping put books into people’s hands.


Ella:  Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.

Reading is a tool necessary to give knowledge, broaden your vocabulary, spelling and ideas, it entertains, and it never fails.  You always get something from a book, even if it wasn’t the reason why you picked the book up in the first place. 


Ella:  Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes...
Living your best life includes-living out your dreams while continuing to dream.


Ella:  On your nightstand now: 

“The Love Dare” by Alex and Stephen Kendricks, “The Daily Writer” by Fred White, and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston


Ella:  Favorite book when you were a child:
  “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor


Ella:  Book all readers should own besides the bible: 

 “The Love Dare” by Alex and Stephen Kendricks.  It teaches you a lot about yourself and shows you how to treat the people around you, especially the ones you love.


Ella:  Book that changed your life: 

Mine was actually a collection of books.  When I was about 7 years old my uncle who had chosen my name gave me three books all about the Queen of Sheba Makeda whom I was named after.  Before then, he always called me queen but after reading those books I had a much greater understanding of the power of black royalty and women and was thankful for my name.


Ella:  Book you've bought for the cover:
“Daughters of Men: Portraits of African-American Women and Their Fathers” by Rachel Vassel


Ella:  Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I love short stories, books set in the South, historical and contemporary fiction.



Ella:  Your top three authors. Why? 

That is a very hard question for a diverse reader and bibliophile like me.  J. California Cooper because she writes mostly short stories based in the South using our dialect and it sometimes amazes me how she can tie you in with the characters in a small quantity of pages.  Maya Angelou would definitely be on my list because she is a totally awesome orator, writer, poet, activist, survivor, educator and a phenomenal woman with a great life story.  I would also have to add James Weldon Johnson.  His poetry like “The Creation” creates a feeling in me that is so spiritual and emotional. We love all the authors we feature at events. Pictured above is author Sherri Lewis with the Phenomenal Women Book Club members.


Ella:  Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year. 

Kimberla Lawson Roby about her upcoming book “A Deep Dark Secret”, L.Y. Marlow on “Color Me Butterfly”, and Dr. Maya Angelou of course because she is simply phenomenal.


Ella: Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group?

Phenomenal Women Book Club is celebrating its 2nd anniversary in October.  Our non-profit will also be holding a scholarship fundraising gala March 27, 2010 and will be looking for items to use in our silent auction and sponsors.  


Phenomenal Women Book Club





Intimate Conversation with D.I.V.A.S Divine Book Club 

Winners of "Why My Book Club Is Important to Me" Essay Contest NBCC 2009

Ella:  Welcome to Black Pearls and EDC Creations! Introduce us to your bookclub.
D.I.V.A.S Divine Book Club
was founded in 2006. We are a group of talented, sophisticated, ambitious females who come together each month and discuss various books & today's current issues. We are striving to be role models for all females young and old, as well as educate and reach out to others through community service & fundraising. The acronym D.I.V.A.S. stands for Divine Intelligent Accomplished Sisters. Mission: To promote literacy & reading while upholding the bond of sisterhood. My name is Bernella Henry. I am President of D.I.V.A.S. Divine Book Club. Reading books is one of my favorite past-times. I go through in a month at least 10-15 books. I love interacting with other avid readers. Also meeting with authors because without them there would be no book club. 

Ella:  Bernella, what is the vision for your organization? 
Our vision ties in with our motto "Reach One, Teach One, One Book At A Time, Through An Everlasting Sisterhood".

In 2006 I had a vision to form a club with a group of like minded women whom are all avid readers and desired to be a part of a sisterhood. Myself and another member of the group comprised a list of 10 women that we felt would be serious and committed to this endeavor. The goal was that each woman would bring something different to our group and be an active participant. The women in our group are comprised of my friends and family members. Everyone was excited and eager to participate in the book club. Even though everyone did not know one another I was the common thread amongst everyone. To my surprise at our first meeting everyone got along so well. We quickly formed a bond and it is now easy for us to call each other family. D.I.V.A.S Divine Book Club was hence established. The acronym (Divine Intelligent Virtuous Accomplished Sisters) in our name was chosen to represent the characteristics of every woman in our group. 

Ella: Favorite book when you were a child? 
It would be a toss up between Judy Blume books & Sweet Valley Twins books

Ella: Your top three authors. Why? 
Victoria Christopher Murray, Reshonda Tate Billingsley & Donna Hill. They are all phenomenal writers. Everything I've read from them I just cant seem to put down. They all have a knack for keeping me entertained. I just love their work! We had the pleasure of hosting a meeting featuring Donna back in March. She was the best! I recently met Victoria at the NBCC and I kept telling her how much I love her work. (Jasmine, Jasmine, Jasmine) We'd love to either meet Reshonda or do a possible phone interview. (Let The Church Say Amen in theaters soon!) I can't wait!

Ella: Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group?
We were deeply honored & surprised at the NBCC when we won the essay contest for "Why My Book Club Is Important To Me". It was a humbling experience. Especially since it was our first time attending the conference. In the last year we've been fortunate to have meetings with authors Janine A Morris, Karen Quinones Miller, Terrance Dean, Brooke Green, Donna Hill & Earl Sewell. Currently we have 5 authors lined up for the rest of 2009 and 2010. We are currently working on a fundraiser where half the proceeds will go towards buying books for schools in need and the other half to the American Cancer Society.

Contact info:






Intimate Conversation with Books and Beignets


Sonya Ward is the President of Books and Beignets (BAB) Book Club in Monroe, Louisiana. She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and spent many childhood summers with her grandparents in Detroit, Michigan. She currently lives in Monroe, Louisiana with her husband and stepson. Sonya is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Adult Education with the University of Southern Mississippi. Her research focus is on African American pioneers of Adult Education – W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T.. Washington. She is an educator who teaches part-time both online and on-ground with a number of universities. 

BAB Book Club was founded in May 2009. When Sonya moved to Monroe, Louisiana, she searched for three things – a library, an African American bookstore and a book club. She found the library, but no bookstore or book club. She decided to start her own book club and BAB was born! BAB started out with five members and currently has 10 active members and 4 honorary members. (Picture: from the BAB first meeting with Mrs. Murray and Mrs. Marlow)

Ella: What is the vision for your organization?
BAB’s vision is to support new authors in Louisiana and around the nation, along with supporting more seasoned authors. We also want to shake things up in Monroe, Louisiana with literacy awareness initiatives, partnering with the local library (hello Anna Meyer Library!), and other book clubs to show some love and support. More importantly we really would like to encourage our younger generation to READ. 

Ella: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is a huge part of who I am. My mother and grandmother introduced me to reading at a very young age. I saw my mother and grandmother pick up books to read and I emulated what they did. The exposed me to the library, to book stores – to an entirely new world. I thank them for this. When I am feeling down or stressed, I can pick up a book and escape or sharing a love for reading with others of like mind.

Ella: Living your best life includes:
Knowing thyself. Understanding that people make mistakes. Forgiveness. Loving your family and friends unconditionally even when they let you down. Letting go…Loving God. Reading and traveling. Learning something new every day. Encouraging, helping others and genuinely giving back to the community. 

Ella: On your nightstand now:
Whew! Too many to list. J Let’s see – Make me Whole by Roishina Henderson, The Defender by Herman Jimerson, The List, by Sherri Lewis, The Secret, Do You Really Want My Life, by Patsy Dillard, a few textbooks, my beloved bible. 

Ella: Book all readers should own besides the bible: 
The Secret.. I always heard about people talking about this book and once I read it – I understood why. I live by many principles in this book.

Ella: Book that changed your life: 
The Secret. I realized that we have control of our own outcome. It’s all in our mind. We can be miserable, or we can channel positive energy and watch positive things come our way. Would you rather be negative, stressed and broke or positive, happy and broke? If you are a miserable – what does it solve? 

Ella: Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I read a little of everything and my book club members read a little of everything – Christian Fiction, Urban Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Sci-Fi, my favorite, favorite series is L.A. Banks' Vampire Series!

Ella: Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group? 
More networking with other book clubs and authors! We will also begin reviewing books – buying books by our beloved authors is important however, reviewing these same books is equally important! We must support our authors. The economy is not the greatest right now and the literary industry is changing drastically. We can do great things in large numbers! Let’s support one another!   Our contact information:  or  or 

Sonya D. Ward, MSHRM 
President and Founder Books and Beignets (BAB) Book Club 

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.- John 21:24-25


Intimate Conversation with Circle of Color Book Club

The Circle of Color Book Club (COC) was founded by Margaret Bullocks-Matory and Yvonne Steel January 26, 2002. Margaret and Yvonne worked in the same office and often spent time discussing the books that they were reading. After looking for a book club to join and not finding one, they decided to start their own. 

Circle of Color Book Club was created to share our love of reading African-American literature with others through fun and lively discussions and to enrich our lifelong cultural education through books. We have a sister circle of 10 members in the Jackson, Mississippi area. We meet at member homes and local restaurants on the 4th Saturday of each month.

The goals of the Circle of Color Book Club are to

  ·Meet once a month to share views and opinions on the chosen monthly book selection. 

  ·Participate in book discussions with a positive attitude aimed at enhancing our knowledge of our culture. 

  ·Encourage children and others to read as often as possible. 

Margaret and Yvonne, as founders, rotate every 2 years as President and Vice-President. 

Our motto is “Reading the Books that Bind Sisterhood and Community”. 

The vision for Circle of Color Book Club is to continue to have an impact by encouraging children and others to read as often as possible. As evidenced by our commitment to various community service projects in the West Jackson area, we want to reach out to as many people as possible through books. In 2008 we gave away over 300 books and in 2009 our goal is 500 books or more. 

Reading is very important to
Circle of Color Book Club. So important, that our lives revolve around our book club meetings each month. We all lead busy lives, therefore we look forward to relaxing, having a great book discussion, lots of laughter, and food. 

We are planning for our biggest project of the year, our Reading Fair. The Reading Fair is a major part of a local community festival. We became a community partner with the Jayne Avenue Neighborhood Association 4 years ago. We started out volunteering to serve food to approximately 300-500 attendees. In 2008, we decided to take advantage of this opportunity to get books into the hands of the attendees. COC connected with storytellers, did face painting, arts and crafts, and gave away over 300 books and magazines to children, teens, and adults. The Reading Fair was such a success last year that our plans have grown to include a health fair this year. 

The next thing for Circle of Color Book Club is to bring some of our favorite authors to Jackson, Mississippi in 2010. 

Circle of Color Book Club Members include: Yvonne Steel and Margaret Bullocks-Matory, Founders; Karen Ayers, Alice Collins, Kimberley Coleman, Kimberly Belser, Anne Lovelady, Patricia Oluade, Rosalind Garner, Barbara Williams. The group picture is from our 2008 “Reading Luau” Christmas party. 

Margaret Bullocks-Matory
Co-Founder and Vice-President
Jackson, Mississippi 39209
Email:  or 

   Intimate Conversation with Essence of Knowledge Book Club

Essence of Knowledge Book Club
was founded in September 2003, by a group of co-workers who loved reading books. They invited family and friends to join for group sessions. From that point on, we became a book club and started meeting once a month discussing books with refreshments and going to different outings. At that time, Judy Stewart was nominated as president of the book club, along with other officers. We started with 18 members, but due to Hurricane Katrina, most of our members we displaced. We currently have 10 active members. We still consider our displaced members as our honorary members of the club. When they are home in Louisiana, they are welcome to attend our meetings.

The name "Essence of Knowledge" has a meaning of African American, educated women who strives to accomplish our goals of life. We are a group of African American women that supports literacy and decided to use literacy as a tool to support one another and share life experiences that will allow us to make wiser choices and gain knowledge within our circle.

Vision of Essence of Knowledge Book Club 
Our vision is to expand our reading level to a new level. We would like to have many meet and greets with various authors. Our goal is to continuously volunteer and donate to organizations and to our community. Some of the organizations we have participated with are Samaritan Purse and the Covenant House. We also strive to support new authors around the nation and in Louisiana, especially New Orleans.

How important is reading to you?
Reading is important because it is knowledgeable. Reading can broaden your mind and ideas. It can give you a deeper understanding on how to explain your feelings and experiences that you have encountered through your life. Reading also meditates your mind from a long day at work.

Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes... 
Living your best life includes...being happy and prosperous in whatever you may want to accomplish.

The book all readers should own besides the bible: 
"The Child of God" by Lolita Files.

The book that changed your life:  
"The Penny" by Joyce Meyers and Deborah Bedford and "The Power of Being a Women" by McKinney Hammond.

Favorite Series: 
Curtis Black series by Kimberla Lawson Roby and Dutch by Terri Woods

Name your top 3 authors and why. 
Noire, Zane and Kimberla Lawson Roby - Each author write their books as a page turner, which are full of action and suspense.

Three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Terri Woods, Zane, and Steve Harvey

News and Event:
In October we will have a meet and greet with author Tamika Newhouse. Her book is entitled "The Ultimate No No". In December we will be having a Christmas party to support Samaritan Purse with donating toys to children. For next year, we are planning to attend the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, for the first time.

Contact Essence of Knowledge Book Club  - Judy Stewart (President)  - Kim Palmer (Secretary)


Intimate Conversation with Sistah Circle Book Group

Ella: Welcome to Black Pearls!  What is the vision for your organization?
My name is Cynthia Harrison and I'm the president of Sistah Circle Book Group ( located in Shreveport, LA. My vision for our organization is to invite authors to our city for book signings and book discussions and to network with other organizations in the city to promote the joy of reading. 

I would like to start a reading group for small children and teenagers to introduce them to the joys and adventures of the written word. I would like to see our organization get more involved in the community by participating in the library reading programs and starting reading groups for children in their neighborhoods. I would also like to see our organization teach adults who cannot read how to read. 

On your nightstand now:
Nina's Got a Secret

Book all readers should own besides the bible: Their Eyes We Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Book that changed your life:  Woman Thou are Loosed by T.D. Jakes

Favorite genre, series or sequels:  Kimberla Lawson Roby’s Curtis Black series

Your top three authors. Why?
Kimberla Lawson Roby, Carl Weber, Reshonda Tate Billingsley - Because they are dynamic storytellers, and although their stories are fiction there is so much truth in them. They write about things that the everyday person can relate to and in the reading of the stories you can sometimes see yourself or someone you know or you will say I know someone like that about a certain character in the story. When you are reading their books it feels as if you are sitting down talking with friends and family. Their books makes for some heated discussions.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Kimberla Lawson Roby, Vickie Stringer and Carl Weber 

Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group? 
We will be celebrating our 12th Anniversary in July 2009. We are planning a weekend get-away to San Antonio , TX or Hot Springs , AR. We will be attending the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge , LA in October to support our book club member and author Shelia Goss. We will also be attending the National Black Book Festival in Houston in May 2010. We will be inviting authors to visit with us for a book signing and discussion.

Submitted by Cynthia Harrison, president of the Sistah Circle Book Group

Intimate Conversation with Divine Women of Faith Book Club

The Divine Women of Faith Book Club ( took root after a conversation I had with my pastor. We're a fairly new book club and we're comprised of women from my church's congregation. There are currently seven active members. 

We read Christian fiction and non-fiction. Some of our book of the months for this year: Everybody Say Amen by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Scandalous Truth by Monica P Carter, Lady Jasmine by Victoria Christopher Murray, etc. 

My name is Shelia Goss and I'm the founder of Divine Women of Faith Book Club. Although I'm an author, I am also an avid reader. I love to be able to discuss books with others and the book club is a great reason to fellowship outside of church. I'm also a member of another book club where we read books in all genres. 

Ella:  What is the vision for your organization? 
Besides promoting literacy in the community, our goal is to also assist others in areas of need. During each quarter, our goal is to do at least one act of service. Providing clothes to a local women's shelter is our primary goal for this quarter. 

Ella:  On your nightstand now: 
Lady Jasmine by Victoria Christopher Murray

Ella:  Book all readers should own besides the bible: 
The entire Left Behind series. If you pick up one book in the series, it will forever change your life and you'll be hooked. 

Ella:  Your top three authors. Why? 
Kimberla Lawson Roby
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Victoria Christopher Murray

All three of these authors make reading Christian Fiction entertaining and they allow readers to see that although we're all flawed that God loves us in spite of ourselves.

Ella:  Meet the president of The Divine Women of Faith Book Club and author Shelia M. Goss 
Shelia M. Goss is the Essence Magazine and  Black Expressions Book Club Best-Selling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and the new teen series The Lip Gloss Chronicles ( 

His Invisible Wife
is her fifth women’s fiction novel. Besides writing fiction, she is a freelance writer. She’s also the recipient of three Shades of Romance Magazine Readers Choice Multi-Cultural Awards and honored as a Literary Diva: The Top 100 Most Admired African American Women in Literature. Her main website is 

Ella:  Tell us about your passion for writing. 
The passion for writing comes from deep within. It's a part of me. I've been writing the majority of my life--whether it was a poem, a song, a short story or a full length novel.

Ella:  A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. What is yours?
My writing offers readers an alternate glance at the world of African-Americans; not just the negative side that many see on the news. My books are filled with ordinary people. The kind of people that I know--hard working and law abiding citizens who want the best for their families. 

Ella:  Introduce us to your book, His Invisible Wife. 
In these hard economic times, what would you do or not do for money? HIS INVISIBLE WIFE explores that question and more. In this riveting novel, a marriage of convenience is plagued with lies, deceit, intrigue, and betrayal, as two newlyweds must learn to love each other to get through the drama and thrive. 

What inspired you to write this story, His Invisible Wife?
Several things inspired me to write HIS INVISIBLE WIFE. Number one--the readers. Several readers of My Invisible Husband sent me emails about wanting to see Nikki and Byron again. The storyline for His Invisible Wife gave me an opportunity to re-introduce those two characters and give readers an up-to-date view into their lives. Another thing that inspired me: One day I was listening to the news and a question popped into my head, "What would you do for a million dollars?" I wrote HIS INVISIBLE WIFE based on that one question.

Ella:  How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I've been told that my stories are romance, chick-lit, romantic comedy and inspirational, so I usually categorize my books as women’s fiction. I also write young adult books.

Ella:  Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
I file away in my memory bank characteristics that I might find interesting in individuals I meet, and I use a combination of those characteristics for various characters. But to answer your question; no. None of my characters are based on people I know.

Ella:  What advice would you give a new writer?
If you want to be a writer, write. You'll never have enough time to write, so carve out time and stick to it. Believe in yourself and don't let the rejections discourage you. 

Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
His Invisible Wife is my fifth women's fiction book. I'm real excited that the book received an EDC Creations Top Books Award. I'm also the author of the young adult book series--The Lip Gloss Chronicles. The first book--The Ultimate Test hit the book stands in June. The second book--Splitsville will be in stores on September 29, 2009. My sixth women's fiction novel--Hollywood Deception will be in stores in 2010. I just finished working on the third book in the Lip Gloss Chronicles series so expect to see it in 2010 as well. 

Ella:  Where can the readers find you online?

Main website: 
Young Adult website:  
Myspace page: 
Twitter page:  

Shelia M Goss
National Bestselling Author of His Invisible Wife (July 2009), My Invisible Husband etc.


         Intimate Conversation with Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.)

Only One Key Stroke Away (O.O.S.A.) was founded in January of 2005 by a group of readers, wishing to share their thoughts and opinions with others. We started out as a group that simply read together. Eventually we moved to inviting authors to chat with us about their books. Shortly thereafter, we decided to review our selected reads. Our reviews are posted at several sites including: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, MySpace and GoodReads. The rest is…OOSA! Our resume includes hundreds of titles of varying genres as our motto is: OOSA Gets It Read! 

Ella: What is the vision for your organization? 
We do not have a president. We are a team and there is no “I” in team. We each have responsibilities and tasks that make OOSA what it is. We are an online book club and reviewing team that focuses on African American authors. We wish to further promote African American literature by taking special interest in new and self published authors. We read, review and recommend. 

Ella: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you. 
It’s cliché, but reading is fundamental. It’s the corner stone to life. We read everyday in our lives, whether we want to or not. Because literacy is so important we believe in starting as early as possible. The Ladies of OOSA are mothers, grandmothers and aunts. We promote literacy within our families first. When our children see us reading and enjoying ourselves, it encourages them to read. They learn reading is not a chore but something fun to do. What better method than to teach by example. 

Ella: Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes- living life to the fullest and being true to oneself. 

Ella: On your nightstand now: Always a book or two or three… 

Ella: Favorite couple from a book: Nina and Dutch (Dutch - Kwame Teague), Yuri and Britt (The Sweetest Taboo - Risque), Portia and Jay (A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent - Caroline McGill), Clark and Devin (Caught in the Mix - Candice Dow) and Natalia and Shawn (Triangle of Sins - Nurit Folkes). 

Ella:  Favorite genre, series or sequels: We are a group of avid readers with various tastes in literature. As such, we really don’t have particular preferred genres. We welcome and enjoy all genres. Some of our favorite sequels include: Little Black Girl Lost by Keith Lee Johnson, the True2Life series by Al-Saadiq Banks, Dutch by Kwame Teague, Naughty by Brenda Hampton, the Vernetta Henderson legal thrillers by Pamela Samuels Young and the Dilemma series by Reign. 

Ella: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year. 
We’ve been fortunate enough to have had phone chats this year with several of our favorite authors including Mike Sanders, Torrian Ferguson, Kwame ‘Dutch’ Teague, Anthony Fields and Al-Saadiq Banks. We’re hoping to get in a few more before the year comes to an end. 

Ella: Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group? 
What’s next…more Author Spotlights and contests.. And as always, we read, review and recommend. It’s what we do. 

Book club and contact info: 

Intimate Conversation with Queens Book Club of Atlanta

Queens Book Club of Atlanta was founded in 2006 by a group of friends who shared the love for reading. They felt the need to create a book club called Queens because they knew each woman should recognize the Queen they are. Queens Book Club was created to reach out to women and come together to discuss and enjoy selective books of the month. On January 2007, Queens had the first kick-off meeting with guest author Mrs. Tina Brooks McKinney (“All That Drama”) and she became our first honorary member. As of 2009, Queens Book Club is still going strong by the grace of GOD. Queens was fortunate enough to have a chapter formed in Raymond, Mississippi by Adrienne Bailey in 2008. With both chapters we continue to promote importance of reading through each other and our community. Among each other we continue to come together for the love of reading, positive fellowship and sisterhood.

President Biography: My name is Carla Walker and I have been fortunate to have fallen in love with books at an early age. With a huge passion for reading, I joined one of Atlanta’s biggest book club for five (5) years and became member of the year there in 2004. From there GOD planted a seed in me to start my very own book club and from there Queens Book Club was born! I was blessed to have a couple of friends who decided to take the journey with me. As of this day, some of those same friends are still a part of the club. They are my backbone when I feel I cannot go on anymore. I’m so bless to have my members because without GOD Queens Book Club will not exist. With all the hard work I continue to put into the club, my members (awesome Queens) came together on our 2007 Christmas gathering and presented me a plaque for all the hard work and dedication. When I think of that moment even to this day, that’s my motivation to keep going and allow Queens Book Club to touch someone and become a part of our circle.

  What is the vision for your organization?
To offer a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere, outside of the home and workplace, to, explore many bold, adventurous, and spontaneous interests as a whole. Enjoy the bond of sisterhood and fellowship.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is so important because you can reach to so many people. Giving someone a book to read can open doors to a new career, friendship and connection can be made; education can take place and so much more. Reading is something a person cannot live without. Knowledge is power.

  Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes... knowing and continue to learn and love GOD more, living a healthy and bless life, having wonderful family and friends in my corner, good loving relationship with a mate and just being comfortable and continuous blessings from GOD.

  On your nightstand now: Right now, on my night stand, “Behind Those Eyes” by TP Carter, “To Good To Be True” by E. Lynn Harris, “Why Men Fear Marriage” by RM Johnson, “Secret Society” by Miasha and so many more.

  Book all readers should own besides the bible: “Behind Those Eyes” by TP Carter

  Book that changed your life: “Behind Those Eyes” It just gives you a whole different perspective about love, finding your true mate, relationship and the belief in true love.

  Book you've bought for the cover: A book called “Taste Like Chicken”

  Favorite couple from a book: Best couple in a book is from “Red Light Special” detective agent Blessing Shields and Collyn Bazemore.

  Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: “Behind Those Eyes” & “The Other Woman”

  Favorite genre, series or sequels: I like all type of books from romance, urban fiction, mystery, inspirational, self-help and any others that I think will interests me or just to give it a try.

Your top three authors. Why? 
Top three authors are Eric J. Dickey, RM Johnson and all the authors who are incarcerated. I feel some authors who are incarcerated are telling real true stories and from research they are some of the best writers. Sad they cannot personally meet those who enjoy reading their stories.

  Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.   TP Carter, Risque and Wahida Clark.

  Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group? 
Our next upcoming event is, preparing Halloween bags for kids at a children’s hospital, making plans for the holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas to sponsor a needed family and to volunteer our time feeding the homeless.

Carla Walker, President and Founder
Q.U.E.E.N.S. Book Club of Atlanta 

“A true Diva is a woman who knows that life is not about her, but rather the contribution she makes to others around her and the legacy she will leave behind.” -  From ‘The Diva Principle’, 2004.

              Intimate Conversation with The Literary Divas- Des Moines, IA

The Literary Divas was started in the year 2001 in Des Moines, IA. I love to read. I have many friends and family members who also enjoy reading, so I decided to start a book club. In the year 2002 I moved to Atlanta. The book club sort of fizzled out when I left. I returned to Des Moines late in 2006. I reconnected with some of my old book club members and others who also get pleasure from reading. In January 2008 a new book club was formed. 

We have twelve reading members and one honorary member who usually doesn’t read the books (because she is pursuing her degree at night) but attends all of the meetings. All of our members are Christian, college educated females, although this is not a requirement. We range in age from our late twenties to our mid fifties. 

The Literary Divas meet monthly at a different member’s home. We read all types of books. The host receives the honor of choosing the monthly book selection. Our members have a lot in common so for the most part all book selections are enjoyed by the group as a whole. 

We take pleasure in each other’s company as much as we do discussing the books. Our monthly meetings are a much needed reprieve from our hectic lives. We eat, drink cocktails and catch up on each other lives. Some of us are family. Some of us attend the same church. We celebrate each others accomplishments. We support and pray for each other during difficult life circumstances. We are more than a book club. We are a family. 

Our May book selection is “The Shack” by WM Paul Young. Our April book selection was “Unexpected Interruptions” by Trice Hickman. Ms. Hickman joined our meeting via telephone. It was a superb experience. The group was able to question Ms. Hickman about her writing process, her personal experiences revealed in the pages, and her motivation for writing the book. 

Ella:  Welcome Dani Coleman, President of the Literary Divas!  Tell us a little about yourself. 
I am an almost middle age African-American female. I am married with two children. I have a son who is college age and a daughter who is in middle school. I have an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Upper Iowa University and I am a CPA. I am employed as a criminal financial investigator. 

I am an only child and for the most part I am a loner. I suspect being an only child is one of the reasons I learned to love reading. You can do it by yourself. I read approximately four books per month. I enjoy spending my free time with my family. We go to movies, play board games and just act silly. I am blessed to have such a wonderful immediate and extended family. 

Ella:  Book that changed your life: 
I would have to say “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. I received this book for Christmas 2002. I did not read the book until March 2003. Normally a book does not lie around my house more than a week or two before I read it, but for some reason I waited three months before I picked up this book. I woke up early one Saturday morning. I was going through some serious trials during this time. I started praying and crying while everyone else was asleep. I needed GOD to give me discernment. I must have prayed for about an hour. I was exhausted and weary. When I finally settled down I decided I would read. I picked up The Purpose Driven Life.” I will never for get the first page said, I am paraphrasing, It is no mistake you picked up this book. GOD has a plan for you. This book will help you to discover his plan. GOD spoke to me that day through Rick Warren. I have read the book both by myself and with my husband. 

Ella:  Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: 
“ Cane River ” by Lalita Tademy. This book moved me. I truly felt the experiences of the four strong black women portrayed in the book. It seemed as though I was flipping back to the family tree every few pages so I could wrap my mind around the family relationships. I first read “ Cane River ” in 2002. I would love to read it again and I will when my daughter is finished with it. 

Ella:  Favorite book when you were a child: 
The “Fudge” series by Judy Blume. Or anything by Judy Blume. I loved Judy Blume. I could finish one of her books in a day. Fudge was such a mischievous little boy. He was into everything and always had me cracking up. He worried the heck out of his big brother Peter. When I was in elementary we had a program called RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) whereby each child received a free new book three to four times a year. I tried my best to always be one of the first in line so I could be assured a new Judy Blume book. 

Ella:  On your nightstand now: 
The Bible, Where to Find it in the Bible (biggest concordance ever), and “The Shack” by WM Paul Young 

Ella:  Living your best life includes: 
Putting GOD and your family before every thing else. Doing the very best you can every day. Apologizing for errors. Loving yourself. 

Dani Coleman, President of Literary Divas 
Des Moines, IA 50320 

Intimate Conversation with Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group

Ella: Welcome, Sharon Haynes, coordinator for the Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group – Tulsa Chapter.
It is such a pleasure to have you visit with us the chapter.

Ella: Tell us about the mission of the literary group.

The Tulsa chapter of Sisters Sippin’ Tea Literary Group is committed to providing an opportunity for women from all walks of life to come together for a common and primary goal…reading and promoting literacy through our community outreach programs. Our pledge is to transmit our passion for literary pursuits to future generations.

Ella: Sharon, tell us a few books that you would define as "Literary Hallmarks."

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

Ella: That is a wonderful selection of books!  What do you define as Quality Literature?
Quality Literature encompasses style, characters, plot and the ability for the written words to come to life and embrace you in a way that totally consumes you. We know the characters personally and can visualize the settings and after reading the book we’re wishing for more.  Read more about us here.

Intimate Conversation with Radiah of Urban Reviews

Urban Reviews is the premier online resource for open and honest opinions on some of today's latest releases in African American Fiction. Our goal is to provide an insight for visitors to decide whether or not they should consider getting any of the featured releases. provides elaborate reviews of recent works, exclusive interviews and Q&As with today's Black fiction writers, comprehensive release pages, new book excerpts, and links to our different profiles and social networks to discuss books, relevant topics, and give feedback on our reviews or the website itself. We also feature music reviews and entertainment information on our  website.

Ella:  Radiah, share with us your top three authors. Why?

My top three authors would have to be Eric Jerome Dickey, E. Lynn Harris, and Kimberla Lawson Roby because I've always enjoyed each and every one of their many books.

Ella:  What news or events would you like to share?
Urban Reviews is holding its first annual GREAT MIDWEST BOOK FEST on July 25, 2009 from 1pm-4pm in Milwaukee, WI. There will be a total of eight African American authors selling their books in a book fair setting. This event will be FREE and open to the public. The main attraction authors include Earl Sewell, Tina Brooks McKinney, Bettye Griffin, and Michelle Larks. There will also be four local authors featured as well. We are very excited and look forward to hosting the event. For more information on the event and sponsorship opportunities, visit

Ella:  On your nightstand now:
Sisters And Husbands by Connie Briscoe, The Long Fall by Walter Mosley, Tantrum by Charles D. Ellison,  Nina's Got A Secret by Brian W. Smith, Triptych by Wendy Coakley-Thompson, and Hollyhood by Valerie Joyner.

Ella:   Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
I'd loved to chat with Zane, Gloria Mallette, and Bernice McFadden.

Links for Urban Reviews

Radiah of Urban Reviews 

   Intimate Conversation with Authors Supporting Authors

Share with us the history of the organization and President's biography (Linda & Tinisha).

ASA is a networking group of authors, poets, writers, publishers and artists. We promote reading amongst everyone, and offer support for other authors. ASA is a non-profit organization. Authors Linda R. Herman and Tinisha Nicole Johnson formed this group as a way to connect with everyone having anything to do with the literary world. ASA, Authors Supporting Authors, was founded in September 2007.  These ladies met in August 2007, when Linda was signed to Xpress Yourself Publishing where Tinisha had already been signed earlier in the year. Both Linda and Tinisha were ecstatic about their upcoming releases and shared concerns on how to effectively promote and reach a broad audience of readers. 

Linda is a native of South Georgia and Tinisha resides in Denver, CO. The two decided to try cross-promoting, agreeing to promote each other’s work(s) at their events. Their idea got the attention of other authors and in September 2007, ASA was founded. Today, there are 60 members and amongst the most active members are Nanette Buchanan who hosts the group’s monthly Blog Talk radio show every third Saturday; Allyson M. Deese, who creates the banners promoting the shows; and members Marie Antionette and Elissa Gabrielle who offer daily insight within ASA’s Yahoo group. These are just a few faces of ASA. To learn more about the members, be sure to visit the ASA website,

What is the vision for your organization (Linda & Tinisha)?

ASA’s ultimate goal is to work toward the eradication of illiteracy. ASA will be recognized for promoting reading, writing, knowledge and sincerity to help one another in the literary world and the like, to reach their goals and dreams. 

 "One Group. One Goal. Promoting reading one page at a time."

 Book all readers should own besides the bible (Linda):
The Bible is definitely a book we should not only own but actually read and try our best to live accordingly.  I also love reading books that actually inspire and/or inform readers. For that reason, I have to say my novel, CONSEQUENCES, is definitely a must read. HIV/AIDS isn’t always a subject we want to talk about, but being that AIDS is the leading cause of death in African American women 25-34 years of age, I say it’s high time we not only talk about it, but do what we can to eradicate the spread of this deadly virus. If AIDS is the leading cause of death in AA women 25-34, more than likely these women are contracting the HIV virus as teens or in their early twenties. As parents we definitely should read CONSEQUENCES and discuss its important message with our teens.

Book that changed your life (Linda):
A book that definitely changed my outlook on life was Changing Faces by Kimberla Lawson Roby. She is one of my favorite authors and I absolutely loved the concept of this book where one of the three friends was dealing with weight issues and self esteem. I can relate to the struggle with weight issues and I absolutely fell in love with this book. Kimberla holds my vote as one of today’s best authors; she’s my absolute favorite. 

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you. (Tinisha)
Reading is something everybody who is able to read should engage in. Reading is a creative process. It opens your minds into a deeper level of thinking than just watching television. With reading you can literally learn anything and everything you need to know. You can learn about your history. And for the most part, reading makes you smarter. The more you read, the more knowledge you gain and the quicker you are able to read. 

As a writer or/and author, reader should definitely be a part of your regimen. I find when I read on a consistent basis, it allows me to be more creative when I write my own books or short stories.

 What news or events would you like to share? (Tinisha)
My book Lessons Learned: Loving Yourself As a Black Woman will be released February 2010. It’s a non-fiction book that has been in the making for over seven years. Lessons Learned is an inspirational and uplifting book emphasizing on ten life lessons that addresses Black women’s intimate, personal, and professional life. 

I am very passionate about this book, and look forward to sharing it with the world. My hope is to make a major difference in the lives of all women, but especially Black women. Learn more about this book at my website:

Linda R. Herman is a native of South Georgia. The author of CONSEQUENCES, a book written to raise HIV awareness, Linda takes pride in writing stories that parallel our day-to-day realities. She introduces us to characters who touch our hearts with raw emotion. Linda's work can be found at Xpress Yourself Publishing, and her ebooks are available at Lady Leo Publishing.

Tinisha is an Author, Writer, Poet, and creator of ASA's website and also co-founder. Born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and raised in Denver, Colorado, Tinisha is an only child and still resides in Denver while strongly pursing her literary career. At the age of 11, she found her passion as a poet. One of her earliest poems she wrote at the age of 15, can be found on Poet Haven, entitled, "Prisoners of Life". Soon, the passion grew to short stories, articles and then novels. Tinisha is an avid reader and writer and is releasing her newest book, Seachable Wherebouts, a mystery/suspense novel in February 2008.

Along with writing, Tinisha is also dedicated to helping others and is an Entrepreneur, wife and mother of two. She also stongly believes in education. This is why she pursued her Associates Degree, Paralegal Certificate, her Bachelors Degree in Business and currently finishing an education literary program through the Long Ridge Writers Group, a company dedicated to help writers achieve there writing goals.

Links for Tinisha Nicole Johnson

Meet Marina Woods President of GoodGirlBookClubOnline ™

Marina Woods is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago where she received a B.A. in Communication Arts. With a strong desire to utilize her gifts in writing and speaking, Woods began pursuing her dream of working in Radio/TV. Upon graduation, Woods worked for Clear Channel Radio as a communications coordinator. Soon after, Woods began seeking the Lord for direction of how best to integrate her creative strengths and passions while working in the media. She began freelancing for various advertising and public relations agencies. Two years later she landed the position of syndicator for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Still feeling unfulfilled spiritually and professionally, Woods again sought the Lord for direction, this time inquiring about her passion for books, her aspiration to have an enlarged territory and a medium to encourage women to spend their leisure time in a rewarding way. Stepping out on faith, in 1999 Woods founded, the #1 Destination for Today’s Aspiring Woman where she serves as President and Chief Marketing Officer. She is a trailblazer for bringing Christian and inspirational books to a national audience when Christian books were unheard of and unpopular. To her credit she has inspired hundreds of writers to become Christian and inspirational author’s and countless others begin ventures publicizing Christian and inspirational books.

GoodGirlBookClubOnline™ is featured in Publisher’s Weekly, the Seattle Times, Essence Magazine; Black Issues Book Review, Precious Times Magazine, the Literary Source, Saints Mega paper, Good News Magazine, Gospel Today and Missionary Magazine. Woods has also been a guest on numerous radio and TV talk shows promoting GGBC. reaches over 125,000 aspiring women worldwide whereby helping women discover Christian books, products, ministries, events and resources that will inspire and empower.

During her 9 year career as a Christian book promoter and marketing specialist, Marina has worked with the national bestsellers such as Michelle McKinney Hammond, Patricia Haley, Victoria Christopher Murray, Joyce Meyer, Sharon Ewell Foster, and also helped launch the careers of new authors such as Mikasenoja, Kim Floyd and many more. In addition, Woods is an internet development and marketing coach with which coaches women on starting, marketing and sustaining online ventures. Woods’ corporate mission and ministry are the same ”to inspire, empower and transform the lives of women.” She is a highly sought after speaker for women’s groups, organizations, colleges and universities on the topics of marketing, advertising and PR, and has been featured in several books including Refined by Fire: Defining Moments of Powerful Women and Inspired Attraction with international marketing expert and guru, Joe Vitale. She volunteers as a communications workshop leader for the Girl Scouts of Chicago and a writing coach for College Summit.  Visit the GGBC site for more details:

Meet Diana Glasgow President  of Essence Of Books Book Club

Diana Glasgow founded the Essence Of Books book club in March 1997, due to her love of books. She grew up in Los Angeles, Ca where she attended elementary, middle and high school. Mother of two daughters and a granddaughter. Board of directors for a local mentoring youth foundation and full time job skills training specialist for a major utility company.

The Essence of Books book club was founded in March 1997 by Diana Glasgow. Diana has been an avid reader since a teenager, her first genre of books were romance novels. After years of reading alone, the decision was made to form a book club. Flyers and phone calls went out to all friends and family to attend the first book club of Essence. 50 ladies showed up to the meeting and we laughed and talked for hours, needless to say this was not the making of a good book club so the next meeting was more structured and geared towards only the serious readers. We have had 11-15 active members for more than 12 years.

Our goal is to read, discuss and reenact the events of the book. Our monthly meetings are held on Friday night where we get together for a fun filled sisterhood night of discussion, debating, eating, drinking and bonding. We have had authors attend our meetings to discuss their books, we have also indulged in a pole dancing experiment when the book we read main character was a stripper. Our members put 110% into their meeting. Each book and theme is scored monthly and hostess of the year and book of the year receives a beautiful crystal plague. We also end the year with a spectacular Christmas gift exchange and outing to a local restaurant to celebrate another year of books! We travel once a year with a weekend spa getaway, our favorite spa getaways have included Las Vegas , NV and Palm Springs, Ca. We have a Vice President, Gina Gray and an event coordinator, Euvon Cox who are extremely important to the operations of the Essence of books book club.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Eric Jerome Dickey
Maya Angelou
Terry McMillan

Book all readers should own besides the bible:
The Secret is a book everyone should own, it is an easy guide to help you get on or stay on the right path with your spirituality.

What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to promote good books written by us for us. We pride ourselves on having a safe zone at the book club meetings, our motto: what happens at the book club stays at the book club. My vision is to create a sisterhood that far out weighs just a book club. Promoting literacy amongst our young lady readers is extremely important and a goal is to form a young ladies of essence book club for 12-18 year olds. Our vision is to become better each year and have at least one author visit us each year.

Living your best life includes:
Good books, good conversation, good family and friends, good love and good food and wine!

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor.
Satisfy my soul by Colin Channer

Meet Tina Moss President of  BLACK  P.E.A.R.L.S.  Book Club

Ella our book club started with just my sister-in-law (Tina) and I talking amongst ourselves. I personally wasn't a reader and just was looking for a hobby that was just for me. I always catered my time to other individuals and one day I said I need to do something for myself. After Tina and I talked about starting the club we invited other ladies (some read all the time and others never did read).

We meet and went over guidelines and protocols...and the fun started from there. I must say from that day forward we have been very devoted ladies; each of us have grown to love, cherish, and respect each other and even the characters in most books.

At this time we have a total of 12 members with the potentials of a new member joining in May. Each of us look forward to our meeting so we can discuss, beat-up, love and rate our monthly selection. It's always interesting to see what other members think about a book.


BLACK  P.E.A.R.L.S.  Book Club- Positive Ebonites Admiring Reading Learning and Sharing

Our Purpose: Inspirational Scripture ~ Proverbs 31

Mission Statement: “Respectable Black Women’s Thoughts Bonding Together”

Inspiring Verse: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

P.E.A.R.L.S. believes in how the bible instructs us to be Christian women: faithful, strong, dignified, and compassionate and servants in our immediate and extended family, communities and most importantly the kingdom. We are striving to be ELEGANT Proverbs 31 women. We believe that what comes out of our mouth is what’s in our hearts. Therefore our purpose is to read, fellowship, support, and respect, encourage, laugh, and cry together. We want to be a role model for our young African- American girls. We are striving to teach them the importance of education while we bond our thoughts into our mind, body and soul.

What is the vision for your organization?
To grow in love, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, with one another. To be like the Proverbs 31 woman the Bible speaks of.

Living your best life includes: Reading, Shopping, going to dinner/movie, hanging with the family, going on out-of-town trips

On your nightstand now: Nightly devotion, Everyday Living Bible, Amaryllis, My Mom's daily devotion.

Favorite book when you were a child: Anything with Michael Jackson or Jackson Five

Book all readers should own besides the bible: Act like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey

Book that changed your life: God's WORD ~~ The Bible!

Book you've bought for the cover: Wives and Girlfriends by Nishawnda Ellis

Favorite line or couple from a book: My favorite couple: Hunter and Jade in "In Green Pastures"

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: uuummm, let me think...

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Series/Sequels: "A Man's Worth" and (sequel) Amaryllis by Nikita Nichols (nope have not read it ~~ I just know its will be a great read)

Your top three authors. Why?
Zane.....she keeps it real, Nikita Nichols......I like her style!  ummmm....let me think

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Nikita Nichols---we have already but she's GOOD!
Steve Harvey----Too funny-but I'm enjoying the book! I like!

Meet  Kim McRae President of Readers in Motion Book Club

Share with us the history of the organization.
Hello, my name is Kim McRae and I am the president of Readers in Motion Book Club. I am a 24 year old nurse and mother. As you can tell I am very busy; however, I have always had a passion for reading. I have tried to start a local book clubs here in Chicago , but it never was successful. It was hard to find individuals that shared the same passion for reading that I hold. I became a member of my favorite author, Wahida Clark’s social network. I felt very comfortable and welcomed. After seeing that everyone on the site had the same enthusiasm for reading that I had, I decided to do an online book club.

The first step for creating the book club was to create a name. We are all busy people; however, we make time throughout our hectic day to read. The name Readers In Motion seemed to fit perfectly Readers in Motion Book Club was established in January 2009. When RIM started we held our monthly online chats at Wahida’s site. In March 2009 RIM launched its own site, and with the help of my 2 Vice Presidents, Minah and Misha, we created our MySpace page, which is I enjoy different genres, which range from urban literature to Christian literature. Therefore, I didn’t want to limit the book club to a certain genre. I will admit that urban literature and contemporary fiction is my favorite, along with most of the members.

What is the vision for your organization?
My Vision for the book club is to have a place that readers’ passion is appreciated. RIM is a place where known authors as well as aspiring authors can come and get honest feedback by people that respect their work. We are a family and we want every member to feel welcome and important. We have monthly chats on our featured book, which we collectively chose. I also try to have authors attend the chats if possible. Our past guest is essence best selling author, Wahida Clark, author of the highly anticipated book, Thug Lovin’, which is the fourth addition to her Thug series. Mike Sanders, author of the highly acclaimed book, Thirsty is scheduled to log on for our April 25th chat. Both Wahida and Mike are honorary members. At the end of the day I want RIM to be known as the place where readers, authors, and poets can come and share their excitement for literature.

Favorite book when you were a child: My favorite books when I was a child were the American girl Abby series.

Favorite genre, series or sequel:
My favorite genre is Urban Literature; however, contemporary fiction is a close second. My favorite series is Wahida Clark’s Thug Series.

Your top three authors. Why?
My top 3 authors are Carl Weber, Kimberla Lawson Roby, and Wahida Clark. These are my favorite authors because their style of writing is unique. You can read any of their books without their names on it and know that they’re the authors. Their styles can not be duplicated. Their imagination and insight is endless.

Book that you’ve bought for the cover:
The book that I bought for the cover is Keyshia and Clyde by Treasure E. Blues. On the cover was a woman with dark sunglasses and a man that looks like he wants to embrace her but doesn’t know how. It is a great book and I am happy that I got it.

Favorite line or couple from a book:
My favorite couple from a book also came from the novel Keyshia and Clyde by Treasure E. Blues. They had a love for each other that was everlasting and pure. The feelings were palpable while I was reading it.

My favorite Line from a book is “It’s got to be God first or nothing will work long term, whether you like it or not. He will not be ruled by you or moved by your pouting, whining, or acting out”- Tamara’s mother Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond

On your nightstand now
: On my nightstand now is Single Husbands by Honey B

Book that changed your life:
The book that changed my life is The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. This was the first urban book that I read. I feel like this book was something that I can relate to as well as learn from. This book really showed me how there is only one “hood” or “ghetto”. They are all the same and we face the same problems. The only thing that changes is the names, address, and weather.

Book all readers should own besides the Bible:
The book that everyone should own besides the bible is The Audacity of Hope by President Barack Obama

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Book that I most want to read again and slower so that I can savor it is the Bible.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year:
The authors that I would love to have a phone chat with are President Barack Obama, Wahida Clark, and Carl Weber


Meet  Book Reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer and owner of  The Bookworm Sez, LLC

Ella: Terri, how did you get your start in this business/industry?
My then-husband was loudly complaining about my "book habit". I was working at a radio station at the time, so I thought maybe I could put my books to good use. I asked if I could do radio reviews. A couple months later, a friend-of-a-friend asked me to do a newspaper article. I saw that there was a market for low-cost, reliable book reviewers so I started marketing myself and here I am...

Ella: Did you have any formal business training?
I spent 5 years as the copywriter at that radio station. Because I was considered a part of the sales dept., I was expected to attend all sales training (even though it had no direct use for my job at the time). After I started writing my column, I took what I learned from my former job and applied it to my own business.

Ella:  What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I have a style all my own. I'm reliable and professional. I can churn out four or five quality columns each week, ON TIME and within word count, spell-checked and ready to go. Because I offer so many options, editors can choose what they want to run. And I'm inexpensive.

Ella:  How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
Freelancing isn't for the faint of heart, but I've learned to think so far outside the box that I can't even SEE the box sometimes. Being an entrepreneur often means nudging your brain in a different direction and pouncing on small things that nobody else notices.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
A couple things: I work with some fantastic people! Every one of my editors knows I'm approachable... and they approach me. I love that. I also like working at my own pace and setting my own hours. Oh, and I love working barefoot... it's one of the better perks. (grin)

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
I'm an impatient person since birth (I was born 6 weeks early, so....) I have a few close, trusted friends who remind me all the time that things are cyclical and that I need to remember to breathe deep and hang loose. They ground me and make me see real.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Failure should never be an option. Always be prepared with a Plan B, but never give up on Plan A. And remember that freelancing is HARD WORK. Don't kid yourself by thinking you're going to skid by; you're going to work harder than you ever have before, but you'll love it twice as much.

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I am FIERCE about literacy!! I hope - through my column - that I can entice someone to read more, which will enhance her life, teach him something, give them something to share.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
Perseverance, tenacity, and the ability to switch gears when the situation warrants.

Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing? I get really excited when I can tell someone about my product. THAT is what wakes me up. When I'm having a not-so-good day, I know I need to make some cold-calls. It really gets me revved because I know there are people who share my enthusiasm and it's up to me to find them.

Ella: What's new in your company for 2009? I'm branching out! I now work with several different niche markets and am always on the lookout for new ones. This year, I've added parenting publications to my client list, as well as medical publications and more.

 Always Double-Booked...

Terri Schlichenmeyer The Bookworm Sez, LLC

Meet Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, newsletter publisher and editor

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor, award-winning, bestselling author, podcast host, blogger, newsletter publisher, Internet marketing guru, and the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (WITS). She graduated from American Institute of Holistic Theology where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics.

What exactly does your company do for the client?
Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services offers ghostwriting and editing for books, biographical sketches, memoirs, résumés, media releases, press kits, marketing copy, Web site text, articles, brochures, newsletters, business documents, and articles. We also assist authors with online book promotion. Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services produces a free monthly newsletter filled with articles, announcements, and information about the craft and business of writing, publishing, and book marketing. Subscribe today at

Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
A lot of people have the idea that they need to refrain from freely sharing information in order to gain wealth. I have a different view, and I use a universal philosophy in my business practices. Sowing and reaping, giving and receiving, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the law of attraction, or whatever you choose to call it, there really is no competition; there is enough water in the cosmic universe to float all our boats. I assist others on their path to success by sharing what I have learned and allowing people to post messages and announcements on our blog and in our newsletter. I also post content-rich messages on Twitter to help other writers and let my network know about our clients’ books and successes. This mentality seems to be prevalent among the writers with whom I network and it provides a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Additionally, I blend a spiritual mindset with my business practices without making anyone feel uncomfortable. By honoring all paths, we have allowed a wide range of people to express their views in the form of books, Web text, podcast interviews, newsletters, brochures, and marketing material.

We have incorporated social networking into our line of services offered to our clients. Many people have not heard of these sites and methods or do not know how to use them wisely. We can either provide mentoring to set up and maintain a high-traffic and sales-effective blog, or we can do the marketing on behalf of the client.

How did you get your start in this business/industry?
Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services, also known as WITS, is my Nashville-based writing and editing services company. I started this company in 2003 with a strong belief that I could create the career I wanted by learning as much as I could about the craft and business of writing, focusing on the positive goals I had set, and doing the work necessary to reach these goals. I started out solo, but since then, I have put together a team to diversify the types of writing, editing, and promotional services we offer our clients.

What do you like most about your profession?
Having flexible hours, working from home, and meeting great people online. There is no limit on how far I can move up the ladder of success!

What is your biggest challenge in business?
Not being a workaholic!

How did you overcome it?
I put our business hours on our Web site and in our phone message. I close my office door at the end of the workday and let the machine take the calls. I can’t allow my business to take away valuable time from my family.

What are three things all leaders possess?
There are more than these listed here, but I would have to say vision, determination, and a belief in oneself/abilities is very important. Also, leaders have a willingness to set goals and do what it takes to reach them.

How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
I’m always looking for new ways to help authors and businesses use writing as a key tool for communicating their message in a professional manner that attracts high-quality clients. When I see an unmet need, I am quick to learn all I can about new tools available so I can begin to provide that service

What's new in your company for 2009?
We have started an affiliation with Full Circle Admin to offer virtual assistance to our clients. This includes calendar management, data entry, maintaining, Excel spreadsheets, job search services, letter writing, typing, transcribing, link building, SEO writing, social networking, and creating/posting trailers for books and businesses. I’m also looking to add technical services such as Web site building and maintenance.

Contact information and website addresses.
Yvonne Perry

Meet  C. Jay founder of the Risque Cafe

The Risque Cafe purpose is to create an outlet that will bring more awareness to the Art of Literature, extend authors craft abroad, and promote unity within the literary community.  We plan and promote events to bring readers and authors together plus facilitate activities pertaining to an intimate yet fun setting.
Ella:  What exactly does your company do for the client?
One of our primary services is literary event planning/management.  We at The Risque Cafe are very big on themes and getting the participants to be interactive at the events. This allows them not only to attend the event but to be apart of the event which in return creates a memorable experience for them as a guest.  One of our goals is to change the perception people have when it comes to book signings, readings, or pretty much anything pertaining to literature....reading can be fun.  We showcase authors and their books as well as advertise and promote events everywhere through several creative productive outlets.
Ella:  What's coming soon for The Risque Cafe?
The Risque Cafe and its partners are hosting a national campaign called Losing 4 Literacy.  This campaign will bring more awareness to the literary arts and healthcare plus bring communities together on a local as well as national level. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is a philanthropist at heart to give back and experience a positive life change. 

Losing 4 Literacy is a 12-week weight-loss/wellness challenge organized with the purpose of helping establish a nonprofit organization that will empower inner-city and troubled youths to express themselves in a positive manner, bring awareness to the literary community and promote healthier lifestyles.
At the end of the 12-week challenge, the top 3 teams with the highest percentage of weight loss will be awarded a cash prize, products, books, and more.  We even have a surprise celebrity helping with the project.  I can't release that information until all the paperwork has been completed and signed. The last sign up date is May 17, 2009.
Ella:  How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
Great, I would not change it for the world!  I have had my challenges like anyone else but for the most part, GOD has been good to me.  I've been blessed to meet some great people throughout my journey, like you, Ella and a lot more.  So again, the experience has been great.
Ella:  What advise would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Be ready to work.  Nothing is going to be given to you. It takes time to build but with persistence, late nights, and hard work anything is possible.
Ella:  What's new in your company for 2009?
The Risque Cafe is planning on doing some road trips in 2009.  We want to spread the experience of being a part of a "literary event" to people everywhere.  Plus our non-profit organization will be established and we will be collaborating with authors, publishers, and other literary base companies on different joint business adventures and workshops.
Contact: C. Jay

The Risque Cafe,


Ella:  Roger, welcome to Black Pearls. Please tell us a little about  you.
[Roger Madison Jr.] I am an independent "thinker, seeker, learner." I constantly strive to avoid being defined by popular culture.  It is obvious to me as a black person, that I am an "African in America.  I cannot be Black in America without first acknowledging that I am an African.

Ella: Share with us what iZania is and why you started it.
[Roger Madison Jr.] is a trendsetting leader in online networking for Black people. Our goal is to enable our members to leverage Internet connectivity to act in our self-interests. The word “iZania” is derived from a combination of Internet and Azania, which means Africa. So, iZania means connecting the people of Africa via the Internet.  Our intent is to become the best virtual facilitator – a crossroads, or town center of the Virtual Black Community -- that connects and transforms the efforts of black-owned businesses and consumers into accelerated economic success. 

We host a unique social network with the following services:  A Black-owned business directory of more than 2600 businesses, an online marketplace, marketing services for our 7200 + members, blogs, forums, and a weekly newsletter to share information that makes the Black community stronger. 

Ella: Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one." - Nicolo Machiavelli

[Roger Madison Jr.] Our driving goal is to help our online community to think about the economic value of collaboration among the descendants of Africa. We have been striving to get our members to think of themselves as a “virtual community.”  This is difficult for most people who are not fully trusting of those whom they cannot see. The new way of thinking and acting in this environment requires the trust and kindness of strangers. The nature of the technology foundation helps to validate that “I am who I say I am.”

Ella: How did you get your start in this business/industry?
[Roger Madison Jr.]  I launched my company after 30 years in the Information Technology business with a global technology company. 

Ella: Did you have any formal business training?
[Roger Madison Jr.] Yes.  I have a degree in Business Administration.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
[Roger Madison Jr.]  Our business model is based on “collaborative added value.”  All of our services are based on industry “best practices” which yield  greater value and leverage to those who use our services.  We share the knowledge gained from our experience, which helps enhance the success of all of our clients.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
[Roger Madison Jr.] My experience is best described as “continuous learning.”  Working in the corporate environment, one has the benefit of the “tacit knowledge” of the organization.  An entrepreneur must become a “learning organism” that develops the knowledge required to survive in real time. There is no corporate repository.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?

[Roger Madison Jr.] I like the satisfaction that comes from developing new solutions in a rapidly changing industry.  I thrive on learning and applying new knowledge.

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
[Roger Madison Jr.] My biggest challenge was recognizing that what I knew was a short-lived  advantage.  I had to become a “lifetime learner” to succeed.  In my previous life, I was a receiver of knowledge from the larger organization.  In my role as an entrepreneur, I had to become an “acquirer of knowledge” and apply it in real time.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
[Roger Madison Jr.] I would tell a new entrant to gather all the knowledge and assumptions about success, do your due diligence, then cut all your expectations in half before beginning.  When you fall short of those goals, take what you have learned from your early mistakes and build your business from that point.

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?

[Roger Madison Jr.] I can’t do much to shape the lives of my clients.  I can only offer a value proposition that addresses their expressed needs.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
[Roger Madison Jr.] First, leaders must have an understanding of their personal worldview and how it relates to the problems they are seeking to solve.  Second, a leader must have a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve and the ability to articulate that vision to others.  Third, a leader must have the intellectual and physical capacity to work and learn proactively in such a way that followers have confidence in their leadership into an uncertain future.

Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
[Roger Madison Jr.] I visit our mission and vision regularly to test the progress of our business. I make adjustments to adapt to changing external factors, and test the adjustments against the core mission.  What has transpired is that our mission and vision has evolved into something that we did not envision at the outset.  The fundamental goal to provide the services we set out to provide remains, but the operational processes have changed.

Ella: What's new in your company for 2009?
[Roger Madison Jr.] We have added more online interactive tools and services to extend our reach and keep our members and visitors engaged.

More than networking... Making the 'NET WORK for you!
Roger Madison Jr. CEO of iZania, LLC


Meet  Desiree President of Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club

Desiree (aka DD) is an avid reader born and raised in NYC. She is a single mother of two children (twins), living the life of a Plus-Size Diva. Her 9-5 job at a health insurance agency in NYC pays the bills, but it is her online and literary activities that give her life passion. She is the Online Activities Coordinator for the Sexy Ebony BBWS 4 Blkmen ( discussion groups and website (groups and website dedicated to Ebony BBWS and their admirers), and Co-Moderator of East Coast SISTAZ (online discussion group for women that live on the East Coast).

Desiree's literary activities are diverse. She is founder of Sexy Ebony BBW African American Book Club ( She is also the founder of BBW Reviews (, a review group created to bring together her activities in both the literary and BBW communities. Her most recent literary pursuit is in the world of romance. As an avid romance reader she has always wanted to review and even critique the novels that have given her pure pleasure. So she created For Romance Lovers ( as her romance haven. Currently the majority of the reviews are historical romance but as time goes on there will be reviews from a variety of romance categories.

Share with us the history. What is the vision for your organization?
We are an online group with about 20 active members and a number of other that drift in occasionally. Don't let the name of the group fool you. It began as a book club set up for members of another online group but a lack of interest in that group pushed me to open the group and we have been growing ever since. The group as it exist today has been around since 2001. Our original website actually went live in February of 2001 so this is our 8th Anniversary. Since then we have gone a few changes here and there but our primary goal has always been to be a haven for readers of African American Literature to come talk books and whatever else. This will always be the primary goal for the group but there are a things I hope to add if not this year in the years to come including our online chat sessions and starting at least 1 offline group.

Sexy Ebony Book Club Reviews officially launched in May of 2008 though.
The Review group was created because I hated saying no to review request and wanted to give members a chance to read some of the interesting books that come to me for various reason but don't have the time to read myself. Reviewing is work and running a review group is even more work but it has been a rewarding experience for me and hopefully for the reviewers as well. Including myself we have about 5 reviewers so we are not able to review everything but we manage to do pretty well even with the small number of reviewers. As the group continues to grow I hope more members will consider reviewing and making their opinion a part of the literary world.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is my get away. With a good book I can let my problems go if just for a little while and delve into someone else's world. I can travel in time, see mythical creatures, learn history, or just simply place myself in the place of a character and live a completely different life at least until the book has ended. I just love a good story. If an author can manage to put together words and make me believe that this is real at least until the book is over I can get through the rest of the day. For me reading is a necessity like breathing or eating. I feel lost without a book. They give me peace in times when my life is hectic and chaotic. Books allow me to have something that is just about me not about my kids, family or friends.

On your nightstand now:
My nightstand is crowded. Since I have read my book club reads right now I am delving into the piles of books that have been sitting around for some time. Currently Reading Murder List by Julie Garwood. Next I think will be Kindred by Octavia Butler. After that I am not sure I have a few books coming in that may just bump what is currently on the nightstand to the book pile under the desk.

Book all readers should own besides the bible:
This is going to sound crazy but I honestly believe that everyone should have a copy of Oh The Places You'll Go by Dr Seuss. I read it as a child but it was not until I read it as an adult that it actually affected me and changed if only a little bit about how I thought about my future and even the future of my kids. When I was just lost I would just think of the title of the book and remember the meaning of the book. I can go anywhere. Be it in a book or in life I can go anywhere I want to go. It is a lesson that I want to pass on to my kids and a lesson I try to keep to heart when I feel stuck and unable to move.

Books you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:

There are a few books I can add to this list but the top two for me are Mama Day by Gloria Naylor and Splendor by Brenda Joyce. Mama Day has some of everything I love. There is intrigue, romance, and even some paranormal. Added to that it is a testament to commitment faith and love. Splendor is the perfect example of why I fell in love with the historical romance drama. A couple that manages to find their way together against all odds. It's not about the hot sex, or how many times a couple can have sex but about two people falling in love who under normal circumstances would never have been each others orbit. A true happily ever after.

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I primarily read AA fiction, historical romance, and paranormal or some combination of this. Though of late I goal has been to expand my reading. Actually paranormal is fairly new to me and just recently added to my list of primary genres.

I love to read sequels and series and my favorites except for 1 pretty much fall into these categories.
-- LA Banks Vampire Huntress Series (I cried when the series ended)
-- JD Robb's In Death Series (the only series that does not fit into the above categories)
-- Karen Marie Morning's Fever Series (a paranormal series based in Ireland)
-- Gwyneth Bolton's Hightower Series (these brothers just make me want to.....)

Meet Tasha Martin President  of SistahFriend Book Club

Tasha Martin's love for African-American literature began in high school when she secretly read under her mother's nose, All For Love by Raynetta Manees. Her interest was further piqued after taking an African-American Literature class during undergrad at the University of South Carolina. She remembers thinking, "There must be more!" In a span of three months, she read over twenty Arabesque romances, and sought desperately to spread her newfound love. Sending out handmade pink and black invites to close friends and family in November of 2004, here passion sparked the beginning of the SistahFriend Book Club, a sisterhood dedicated to promoting literacy and women empowerment in the community.

Currently, Tasha is a marriage and family counselor, practicing in South Carolina. She is also a freelance web designer. In hopes to further promote quality African-American literature, she plans to soon establish an editing firm and transform the SFBC into an international book club. She resides in Columbia, SC with her husband and daughter, Blu.

Share with us the history of the organization.

The SistahFriend Book Club is a live and online reading and networking group for women that focuses on reading and discussing books by or about African-Americans and promoting unity through women empowerment and fellowship. Founded in November 2004 by Tasha Martin, the sisterhood began with four members in Columbia, SC. Once a month, members bond as sisters and discuss literary works in intimate settings.

In March of 2007, the SistahFriend Book Club opened its membership online, adding an interactive dimension to its website, Online features include: book reviews, literary spotlights and features, author and reader chats, and a message board for both readers and writers to stay connected. The group also publishes an online ezine to highlight authors and women leaders in the community. Currently, the SistahFriend Book Club has two branches in South Carolina: Columbia and Greenwood, and branches in Raleigh, NC, Memphis, TN, and Augusta, GA.

Online book club members drop in 24 hours a day on our forum, where lively book discussions and sistah bonding occurs all day. Chats are held Monday evenings at 9pm (see chat schedule). Contact us at if you'd like to join a current chapter or start one in your city.

 What is the vision for your organization?
My vision is for the SistahFriend Book Club to be a source of promotion and support for African-American literature by authors of various cultural backgrounds and to build intimate discussion groups everywhere, appreciating and discussing quality literature as well as the power of unity among women.

 Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading was my savior as a child. When times got tough, I buried myself in a book, and escaped through the lives of its characters. Growing up, I was quiet and shy. My readings often provided me with good conversation starters. The same applies today. When I'm totally stressed, I bury my nose in a good book.

 Living your best life includes: Seeing the humor in any circumstance.

 On your nightstand now:
The Best of Everything by Kimberla Lawson Roby, a Burning Desire candle by Pure Romance, a book light, and my daughter's sippy cup.

 Favorite book when you were a child: Charlotte's Web

 Book all readers should own besides the bible:
I suggest not a literary work . . . but a simple binder or journal to always record your thoughts or happenings in your life.

 Book that changed your life:
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. After reading it the first time, I knew my true passion for A.A. literature

 Book you've bought for the cover:
Ugh, I buy many of my books just for the cover. One in particular: The Living Blood by Tananarive Due, because it scared the crap out of me, but is one of my favorite works. I still can't look at the cover!

 Favorite line or couple from a book:
From a current book I'm reading: "The cool collected persuasive feminine charms always win against militant and forceful men. We women are still in control, but you can't let them know."--Tutuoba, Salem's Black Shango Slave Queen--Prince Justice

 Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

 Favorite genre, series or sequels:  Paranormal Romance

 Your top three authors. Why?
Gloria Naylor (can't phantom the amount of knowledge in her mind. wonderful fiction!), Victoria Christopher Murray (a relationship genius), Zane (not merely for the steamy writing, but because of her entrepreneurship)

 Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Ahhhh, there are so many! Let see . . . 1) Zane (for the inspiration) 2) Victoria Christopher Murray (for writing/relationship insight), 3) Tananarive Due (love to know how she plots her stories--particularly the paranormal research), and I have to add one more . . . 4) Steve Harvey (for the laughter)

Contact SistahFriend Book Club: or visit

Meet Melody Parker President of  Essential Women's Book Club

Essential Women's Book Club was started on April 12, 2008 and the name of the club started out as Melody's Book Club. I am a avid book reader!  I read so much that I am the "go to person" for a good book at home or work, and was ask on many occasions about starting a book club. At that time I felt that the people I knew who read like me would not want to seriously join a book club. When I would read a book I would call my sister Charlene and tell her about the book, she would be like don't tell me no more send me the book , so I would mail the book to her and we both would sit on the phone and discuss the book, there were times when she would even say I should start a book club. Charlene would tell me about our best girlfriend Kim's book club that she was in and say that they were slowly getting in to reading the new and up coming books, and the good books with that perfect twist that kept you reading into the wee hours of the night. One day I sat down and started making applications for the book club, rules, and an affordable fee for everyone. I typed up every thing and one rule that we have is to be creative when hosting a meeting such as using, themes, cartoons, holidays and etc.

I love Winnie the Pooh , that was what my first theme was going to be. I knew that I had to make everything attractive to get the people to want to join and it worked. Cups, plates. napkins, and treat bags. I even got Winnie the Pooh invitations that said, "Please come to Melody book club party, bring a smile, good attitude and have fun RSVP me to let me know if you will attend." Until this day our book club is still going strong and our one year anniversary is coming up this April 12, 2009. We have seven members and we will be celebrate on  April 26, 2009- my treat to my members no expense spare.

The vision for Essential Women's book club is to be stronger, socialize more and get out to promote reading to all people. Essential Women is planning a book drive, where we have people come to a picnic and bring a book new or use to donate to people of all ages who can not afford to buy a book or make it to the library.

Reading is learning. I am amaze at all the things that I have learn from reading books of all kind. Reading helps you to speak well, spell, it teaches you how to deal with all kinds of situations, and gives you advice. Books also let you know that you are not alone in dealing with situations, similar to those of the person who wrote the book. A person might have  went through the same thing or someone they knew went through it and wanted to write about it .To me reading is therapy.

Living my best life is to cast out the negative and embrace the positive.

My favorite book when I was a child was " Good Night Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown.

The one book everyone should have besides the bible is a dictionary for all the small words you forget to spell.

The book that change my life was Whore by Tanika Lynch

The book that I brought for just the cover was Hoe-zetta( I always and still do want to learn how to ride a motorcycle)

The book that I most want to read slower and savor would have to Addicted by Zane

The best sequel of books to me were  " Bloody Money 1, 2, and 3"

My top three authors would be
Ashley Antoinette
Ja Quavis Coleman
Nikki Turner
I pick those three authors because they never leave you hanging at the end of a book but keeps you wanting more. They always I mean always have that twist that keeps my attention from beginning to end.

I would like to do a phone conference with the three authors above and add Allison Hobbs to list.

Meet  TaNisha Webb is the president of the KC Girlfriends Book Club

TaNisha Webb is the president of the KC Girlfriends Book Club and host of the KC Girlfriends Book Club Radio Show. TaNisha Webb has moderated the Maximizing Your Book Club Experience at the National Book Club Conference in 2008 and will also do so in 2009. TaNisha Webb also serves as a literary resource for new and aspiring authors as well as a mentor to beginning book clubs.

Share with us the history of the organization.
The KC Girlfriends Book Club was established in 2002 by a group of 'girlfriends' that began meeting together in a local tea shop to discuss books. The book club membership was reduced to 2 in 2003, due to other obligations that the girlfriends had. In 2004 the book club was revitalized and we changed the name from Girlfriends Book Club to the KC Girlfriends Book Club, a name given to us by local author Michelle Buckley. TaNisha Webb joined the book club the summer of 2003, after she relocated to the area and in 2004 helped to restructure the book club. Over the years the KC Girlfriends Book Club has given back to the community literary-wise and we've also launched our own radio show to help support new and underexposed authors. Our book club read 90% new authors each year. We are the most recognized book club in our area.

What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to help support new and underexposed authors and to also give back literary-wise to our community. We help support authors by sponsoring book signings for well known and new authors in the KC area and we also donate books to different causes within the city.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is such an important part of my life. I can't tell you how many times I was able to escape my worries by slipping into someone else's life.

On your nightstand now:
The Next Best Thing by Deidre Berry, That Devil's No Friend of Mine by J.D. Mason and several other books...we'd be here all day if I named them all!

Books all readers should own besides the bible:
Some of my favorite books by new authors that EVERYONE should own are: Slow Burn by Ebony Farashuu, The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips, Game by E. Lemont Goode, Blackbirds Vol. 1 by Andre' Coleman, The Great Pretender by Millenia Black, Blood on the Leaves by Jeff Stetson, Color Me Butterfly by L.Y. Marlow, Pound Cake for Sweet Pea and Changing My Shoes by T.T. Bridgeman, Unexpected Interruptions by Trice Hickman, Sweet Georgia Brown by Cheryl Robinson, The MPire series by T.L. James and all Lutishia Lovely books.

 Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
Slow Burn by Ebony Farashuu and Pound Cake for Sweet Pea by T.T. Bridgeman.

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
Contemporary, Sci-fi and Christian Fiction. I love any book written by Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey, E. Lynn Harris, Victoria Christopher Murray, J.D. Mason, Patricia Haley and RM Johnson.

 Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey and E. Lynn Harris just because I've read virtually everything that they've written.
 TaNisha Webb
KC Girlfriends Book Club President  l  KC Girlfriends Book Club Radio Show Host
Information & Message Line: (641) 715-3800 ext. 59981# 
Radio Show- Mondays at 7pm

Meet Circle of Essence Book Club President- Lauren Yoni Benson

An introduction to reading by her mother at an early age has afforded Yoni Benson a relationship with reading that has spanned over forty years. She is the founder of Circle of Essence Book Club.  Through the book club she has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding the literary world including, writing and publishing vs. self-publishing.  The book club has celebrated five years of reading, discussion, fellowship, and author signings.  Ms. Benson participated in the first African American Book Club Summit at Sea. 

She is also the co-founder of The Good Book Teens, a book club for local teen girls.  The teen book club serves as a tool to enjoy literature of diverse genre and to give to the community through youth.  Yoni is also active in Galveston Reads, an effort to get the community of Galveston Island to read. 

Yoni was born on Galveston Island.  She attended public schools in Galveston and LaMarque.  She attended Texas Southern University of Houston Texas where she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Urban Sociology. 

Rodney, Resha and Tre’ are her heavenly blessings.

Share with us the history of the organization.
Circle of Essence Book Club was founded on the Island of Galveston, Texas, June, 1999 by Yoni Benson and Tonia Williams.  

It was the spring of 1999 when my friend Jean Lindsey offered me a copy of an Essence Magazine stating “read this because you are an Essence kind of woman”.  I often stopped by her desk and shared conversations with her.  I asked her to explain her comment, better yet, define an Essence woman.  She was unable to offer me an explanation or a definition. 

I thanked her for the magazine and returned to my office.  I have been a subscriber and a fan of Essence for many years.  I have always enjoyed browsing through the pages of Essence as well as reading articles on health, relationships, the best sellers list, etc. I thumbed through the pages of the magazine from cover to cover, glancing at article titles and taking notice to the trendy hair styles and clothing.  After I reached the back cover I told myself to turn the magazine to the front cover and THIS TIME to read an article!

An article about starting a book club grabbed my attention.  I was so inspired by the article that I contacted a local bookstore and reserved a copy of The Go On Girl!: Book Club Guide for Reading Groups (the suggested guide in the article).  It was a Friday afternoon.  I contacted a coworker, Tonia Williams, and informed her that I was calling to ask her a question and to “just say yes”.  Before I could ask the question she replied “no”.  I assured her that was not the correct answer and suggested she listen to the question.  I told her about the article that I read and I asked her to help me start a book club.  She and I had shared books and discussions in the past.  I also needed a dependable member, someone who would attend regularly scheduled meetings.  I faxed a copy of the article to her with an invitation to frequent the book store with me.  Her response was “Cool”. 

I spent the entire evening reading You Go Girl.  I was on a mission!  My next call was to recruit my next member, my Mother, Gertie Mavis.  I needed another dependable member, an avid reader, someone who could not tell me no.  My mother is the person who introduced me to reading for information, for knowledge, and for pleasure.  She declined my invitation to join the book club suggesting she was “too old” to participate in a book club with young women.  After much convincing she agreed to join.

Now that I had given birth to this new part of my life, it needed a name – something meaningful, something befitting, a name to carry of heritage to know when it came from.  BAM!  Circle of Essence Book Club.  I named the book club after the magazine that inspired its actual occurrence.

Our first meeting was held June, 1999 in my living room.  We began a group of five women.  Today we are a group of twenty diverse individuals consisting of two males, various professions with different social and economic backgrounds.  Some of us are married, single, divorced, widowed.  Some have children and grandchildren, some have no children.  Most importantly, we are a dynamic group of individuals who come together once a month to share a lively discussion of a novel. 

 What is the vision for your organization?  To continue to be a catalyst for reading literature written for and by African Americans. 

On your nightstand now:  Taking After MaDear by Tina McElroy Ansa 

Book that changed your life:  What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage 

Favorite genre, series or sequels:  Bernice McFadden’s Sugar and This Bitter Earth; Tina McElroy Ansa’s Baby of the Family, Taking After MaDear, The Hand I Fan With. 

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.  Tina McElroy Ansa, Pearl Cleage, and J California Cooper.

Meet SBS Book Club President- Mashawn

Share with us the history of the organization.
The reason we started our club is simple. We wanted a comfortable setting to have some good food and drinks. We try to read a mixture of books. Our club started April 2006. My name is Mashawn, the president. I am 32 yrs old and a assistant manager at Wal-mart. I love reading and writing. I just self-published my first book "A piece of Me: Mashawn in the Making".

What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to promote literacy within the community and support all authors. We are also heavily into Children Miracle Network.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
To me reading teaches you so many things, no matter if it's fiction, non-fiction, self help, or whatever your vice is. You get to step into the shoes of the characters and people. At the same time it gives me inspiration for my writing. It also  takes me to another place.

 Living your best life includes:
Spending quality time with family and friends. Living my best would be doing my best at whatever I do.

On your nightstand now: Steve Harvey: Act like a Lady, Think like a Man

Favorite book when you were a child: Sweet Valley Twins/High and R.L. Stine

Book all readers should own besides the bible: "God's gift to women" by Michael Basiden

Books  you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
"Chasing Destiny" by Eric Jerome Dickey and "Married Men" by Carl Weber, "Mocha Chocolate" by Shani Greene-Dowdell

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
 I'm itching for Shani Greene-Dowdell sequel to "Keepin' It Tight" titled "Secrets of a Kept Woman". EJD series..."Sleeping with Strangers", "Waking With Enemies", and "Dying for Revenge" aka "Gideon Series".

Your top three authors. Why?
Eric Jerome Dickey: He's a great story teller, knows how to combine characters from a number of different books. He doesn't mind trying different things. Carl Weber: He knows how to draw the readers in and he makes it real to life. He makes you feel you know someone like that. Donna Hill: she tells romance like no other. She keeps it juicy and different each time.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
EJD; Carl Weber; Kerry e. Wagner, Hazel Mills; Donna Hill....ok that's more than 3. I could go on and on... LOL


Meet Angelia Vernon Menchan, Author, Reviewer and Publisher

Hello Black Pearl family, I am Angelia Vernon Menchan, Author, Reviewer, Publisher, I review books for Amazon Vine Review team at and APOOO BookClub at

Living your best life includes:
Giving God praise for a blessed life, enjoying my life with family and friends and mentoring young women.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is the key to knowledge and knowledge changes lives. Reading can inform, entertain and transport. Like music it is a great connector.

Favorite book when you were a child:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Bettye Smith

Book that changed your life:  The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Hailey. I first read it when I was thirteen and I purchase it for all the thirteen year olds in my life.

Favorite genre, series or sequels: Contemporary African American Fiction

Your top three authors. Why?
James Baldwin, he wrote full female characters
Colin Channer because his writing has a certain rhythm and poetry
Pearl Cleage, she writes about life as it is.


Meet Tiffany Rainey President of the  Distinct Ladies Book Club

Share with us the history of the organization.
The Distinct Ladies have been together for almost 3 years. We started with just 4 members and we quickly grew to be 18 strong. Our book club consisted of men and women from different backgrounds with the passion for reading. We now currently have 6 women who have a strong bond with each other.

Being President of The Distinct Ladies Book Club is a wonderful experience. I am originally from Memphis and the mother of 2 wonderful girls. I am one of the Founders of the club and have been President every since. The passion that I have for my sisters are very deep. I would do anything for them or for our club. We have a strong sisterly bond that goes beyond reading.

As President of the club I try to bring new and exciting authors to meet our ladies. I try to keep their interest peeked to come them coming back for more. I wouldn't trade DLBC for nothing in the world.

 What is the vision for your organization?
 My vision is to see our club become more than just a club, but a sisterhood. I would love for our club to do more community work and support literacy more.

 Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
 Reading is fundamental in everyday life. Without reading, you wouldn't understand what's going on around. It enhances your knowledge and it helps educate you more.

 Living your best life includes: It includes my two wonderful daughters and my family.

 On your nightstand now:  The Green Eyed Butterfly by Kiffany Dugger

 Favorite book when you were a child: Green Eggs and Ham

 Book all readers should own besides the bible:
That hard to say because I have so many favorites, but if I had to choose I would choose "What Happens When God Moves" by Sharen Rooks.

 Book you've bought for the cover: Midnight by Sister Souljah

 Book you most want to read AGAIN  slower, to savor: I think I would read The Green Eyed Butterfly again. This book was intense.

 Favorite genre, series or sequels: True To The Game is my favorite series.

 Your top three authors. Why?
Brian Smith because he's a very talented and brilliant writer. Brian books have me on the edge from beginning to end. Jihad because he brings out characters who makes you think, dang is the really going on. Jihad books tends to relate to everyday life. Recha G. Peay is a very gifted writer. She pours her heart and soul into what's she writing. I love all these authors for various reasons, but all their books are good from beginning to the end.

 Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year: Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Miasha, & Vicki Stringer

Tiffany Rainey, Distinct Ladies Book Club
Contact Person: Tiffany @

Meet Tifany Jones President of Sistah Confessions Book Club and Radio Show

Tifany Jones is the Sistah Confessions Book Club president. She is also an author, web designer, radio show host, and Editor-In-Chief of the newly released (May 1st) Faith Filled Stilettos magazine. She believes all women should walk by faith and not by sight. To learn more about Tifany visit her personal site and to walk by faith visit

Share with us the history of the organization.
Sistah Confessions Book Club began in February 2008 as a radio show to give authors a platform to promote their work. I had already belonged to a great book club, but wanted more dialogue about the author and the book selections. I’ve always been fascinated with why people behave the way they do. What better way to find out than to ask the author.

After many successful shows, and a move to Maryland in May, I was lead by the Lord to provide the listeners with more than a conversation, but dialogue that inspired change. My selective listening caused me to experience something I felt so bad about that I finally gave in and did it His way. This is when my focus changed to have Christian and Inspirational authors and guests on the show. Then once I was settled from the move, I made SC “live” by having our first book club meeting in August and we’ve been reading ever since.

What is the vision for your organization?
The vision for Sistah Confessions is to have women come together in fellowship to shake and affect our community. This life we live is not about us. It’s about what we do for others. I want to join with like-minded women and bring about the change people are out there dying to experience.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is a guaranteed way to transform your life. If you want to learn something new, change your outlook on life, escape, travel, and so on you can simply pick up a book. We cannot begin to number the lives affected by reading. Even Black Pearls magazine would fail to exist without it.

Living your best life includes:

Not letting fear dictate who I should be. The negative words of my past have always convinced me that I would not achieve anything, and I’m not talking about standing before a crowd or winning an award. I’m talking about true-life prosperity that begins with breaking generational curses. I’m living my best life because I know I have everything that is important to me. I don’t believe the lies anymore. Unfortunately, many people cannot say that same.

On your nightstand now: First Comes Love by Shana Johnson Burton.

Favorite book when you were a child:
 I loved reading the Amelia Bedelia and The Berenstein Bears series. When I got older, and life got in the way of dreaming, I focused on historical figures and other topics. The Titanic and Al Capone fascinated me. Don’t even ask…

Book all readers should own besides the bible: Readers should own Redemption Song by Bertice Berry

Book that changed your life:
I have to say the Bible. My life was a mess before I actually started applying its principles to my life. It will change you if you let it.

Favorite line or couple from a book:
I love the couple from Jim and Louella’s Homemade Heart Fix Remedy by Bertice Berry. They were so cute and kept love in the marriage even after all the years they’ve shared.

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:  Right now, The List by Sherri Lewis.

Favorite genre, series or sequels:
I love Christian and Inspirational fiction. Vanessa Miller’s Rain Trilogy is great. She is our book club’s favorite author.

Your top three authors. Why?
There are so many to name, but here is my recent list. Bertice Berry because her characters pull you in and make you feel as if you are a part of the story. Vanessa Miller because you can relate to her characters problems and see how their history has influenced their decisions. Victoria Christopher Murray because she is true to herself and is not contained by what others think or say. She just writes what’s on her heart.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
I would love to speak to Bertice Berry, T.D. Jakes, and Joyce Meyers.

Contact info: 


Meet Dayna Turner President Nubian 

In November 2000 the Nubian Queens Book Club Meeting had its first Book Club Meeting. I had moved to Riverside in 1995 and wanted someone to discuss the books I would read. I prayed and ask God to send me the right women to get the book club started. Each member  chose a book for us to read. We meet monthly and feature a good news segment, a journal segment and a Sistah Circle where we can discuss issues that are relevant to the ladies. We have done The Riverside Black History Parade, Moreno Valley Black History Parade and the Revlon Breast Cancer Walk/run. We have donated toys and food to the homeless and less fortunate families at Christmas time.

Ella: Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dayna Turner. I moved to California when I was 6 months old so I consider myself a native. My greatest entertainment as a child was to read a good book. Whenever I want to take a mental vacation I grab a book.

What is the vision for your organization?
My vision for the book club is to be an organization for ladies new to town wanting a place to read, discuss and relax in Sisterhood. To help with literacy programs and have a children's and Young Adult book club.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading to me is as important as breathing. They always said "if you want to keep something from a black person put it in a book". I want to eliminate that stereotype.

Living your best life includes: Spirituality, Love, healthy eating, exercise and being surrounded by positive people.

On your nightstand now: Upper Room by Mary Monroe

Favorite book when you were a child: Little Women

Book all readers should own besides the bible: Acts of Faith by Iylana Vanzant

Book that changed your life: The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: Their Eyes were watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

Favorite genre, series or sequels: Short Stories by J. California Cooper

Your top three authors. Why?
J. California Cooper because every story has a lesson
Toni Morrison because she is complex and makes you think
Zane because she breaks down the sexual barriers that women of color have.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
J. California Cooper, Toni Morrison and Pearl Cleage

Email address is

Meet Nikkea Smithers President of Readers With Attitude Book Club

Nikkea Smithers is a dynamic writer and spoken word artist originally from Connecticut currently residing in Richmond , VA. She is also the president of the award winning Readers With Attitude Bookclub which has been recognized as a force to be reckoned with in the literary industry. Her vision with RWA has been achieved with being able to introduce the world to both self published and traditionally published authors. She has released several novels and poetry compilations. Her writing style is unique as she uses her ability to play on words throughout each project. Her novels flair with the explicit details of life told through her characters eyes. Her novel Sweet Dreams shot up the Essence Magazine’s Bestsellers list within five months of its release proving that her stories are provocative, fresh and truthful making her reader’s lifelong fans. Her readers have fallen in love with her ‘tell it like it is’ approach to writing and she has been crowned ‘Author of the Year’ for 2008 by Xander Magazine. Nikkea’s books address issues that need to be discussed but are not overly saturated making her stand out in the literary industry.

Share with us the history of the organization.
Readers With Attitude (RWA) Bookclub was founded in September of 2008 with a three-fold goal. Support the authors by making the sales count by buying books from an Essence Magazine and NY Times reporting book store. Support the book store by buying all of their books from Precious Memories Bookstore (a local African American owned bookstore). And finally, introduce their readers to a diverse plethora of books that we discuss with the authors who created them. By doing this many of our members have found favorite authors from some that they would not have known about otherwise. Since its inception the club has grown to a makeup of eighteen members, pioneered video reviewing as well as become award winners! And we are just getting started.

What is the vision for your organization?
As an author I recognize the importance of book clubs. In that I approach the book club with having knowledge from the best of both worlds. I look at what’s important for an author such as sales that count (reporting to Essence and NY Times). I also look from the perspective of the reader such as being able to meet the author and get their thoughts on why they wrote the book. I feel that RWA provides something for everyone involved and we support our community book store in the process! Hopefully we can reignite a movement in buying books from places that benefit the most and supporting authors traditionally and self published.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Many of our members prefer to read books over watching television. While most of the silver screen has been lost in the wind of not-so-reality T.V. the substance often becomes lost. With books, that is not a concern. The author can take their time to paint a picture that we can enjoy. We can take a vacation through the pages and escape the mundane of everyday life. Reading is important because it is a stress reliever with a healthy addiction!

Living your best life includes: Being happy, living free & loving yourself.

On your nightstand now: Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey & Hiding in Hip Hop by Terrance Dean

Favorite book when you were a child:
Cabbage Patch Kids (don't recall the author) & anything Shel Silverstien in elementary. Heaven by V.C. Andrews in junior high. Invisible Life, And This To Shall Pass & If This World Were Mine by E. Lynn Harris in high school.

Books all readers should own besides the bible:
Sleeping in the Bed You Made, Your Blues Aint Like Mine, Kaffir Boy, and the entire Donald Goines collection.

Book that changed your life:
Invisible Life opened my eyes. When I read this book it made me take a more critical look at everything. I loved the diversity between the pages, the struggle to love who you are, the journey to get there. This is the book that made me want to read more to find that same passion in pages and even inspired me to write my own.

Book you've bought for the cover:
Cooking Bacon Naked. It was just a simple black and white cover, a man an a woman entangled in each other. I thought it was interesting because it looked like a photo, but it said exactly what it needed to say.

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: Looker by Stanley Bennett Clay

 Favorite genre, series or sequels:

I don't have a genre preference but find myself reading African American fiction most. I can relate to the characters and almost feel like I know them. I love it when an author can put me in the room. My favorite series would have to be the intertwined characters of Raymond & Basil by E. Lynn Harris.

Your top three authors. Why?
Nikki Giovanni, when I'm feeling like poetry I can always find comfort in her words. Donald Goines, his words were written clear enough to transcend decades and still have the same effect as when they were written. Moses Miller, he has the ability to write intelligent urban fiction like it's an episode of CSI.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Moses Miller, Stanley Bennett Clay, Deberry & Grant.

Website links:

Meet  Sharney Thomas President of  Xpress Yo'self Book Club

Share with us the history of the organization.
Hello, my name is Sharney Thomas and I am the book club president of Xpress Yo'self Book Club. The book club was started in 2000 with four members by myself. The club meets every fourth Sunday at 4 o'clock. We fellowship together with a different food theme each month and have a discussion of the novel. We also attend book signings and take an annual trip to the Harlem Book Fair in New York. In addition, we host an annual book signing for upcoming and local established authors. As of today, we have grown to fifteen members and continue to grow.

Tell us a little bit about you Sharney.
I am the mother of two biological children, Rachele, 20 and Rashaun, 13. I have one stepson, Derrell, 20. I have a wonderful husband, Nathaniel and great family support all the way around. I work at a public school in Newport News, VA as an Instructional Assistant. I work with struggling readers and have recently started a book club with third through fifth grade children called the Pretty Page Turners.

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is very important to me because I can really escape within the book. Reading offers me relaxation and a getaway from the everyday stress that is experienced through out one's life.

Books that are on your nightstand now.
The books that are on my nightstand now are Life is Short but Wide by J. California Cooper, That Devil's No Friend of Mine by JD Mason, Crisis Mode by Michelle Larks and All I Need by Jacquie Bamberg Moore.

Book that all readers should own besides the bible: The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips

Book that I bought for the cover: Naked Love by Darnella Ford because that man has gorgeous LIPS! so KISSABLE!

Top three authors:

My top three authors are JD Mason, J. California Cooper, and Gloria Mallette, because they are great storytellers and always have the reader coming back for more!!! They never disappoint you

Meet Keyonda Campbell - President of Kreative Readers

Share the History of the Kreative Readers
I was searching for a book club to join at end of 2007, I found one, which name I won't mention and it seemed so cliquish and distant to the new members so I just kept looking. One of my friends joked about me starting my own group and I was on my journey since then. I began asking my online friends on Myspace would they be interested and also my friends off line. After starting a online YAHOO group we started our meetings. Our first in person meeting was March, 23rd 2008 at my house and the book of the month was The Coldest Winter ever. Which is a classic! Since then we have grown and have over six active in person members and four via online. We have meet several authors and even the Governor of IL.

The vision of the Kreative Readers:
When the group was first founded I promised myself not to be one of those groups where if you weren't a member you felt like you were looking at a secret society. I wanted the members and the group in general to be friendly and welcoming. Reading is more than just looking at a book, its absorbing some ones craftsmanship and traveling to a new place and or venue. Looking at the world through some one else's eyes and I feel that a book club should explore different, places and try different things that doesn't always line up with the literary world. Our slogan is "Where we put a Kreative Twist on reading" and I eventually want to add to that....Life.

Living your best life includes:
Enjoying all that the world of art has to offer with the emphasis of music, food and books!! And also a rewarding relationship with God.

On my bedroom book stand right now is: The List by Sherri Lewis and also We take this Man by Candice Dow and Daaimah S. Poole.

Favorite book when I was a child: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
I would love to do a phone chat with Author Angelle Michelle, Bernice L. McFadden, E. Lynn Harris

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor:
I really enjoy V.C. Andrews earlier work so I would like to re-read Flowers in the attic and savor her creative abilities.


Meet  Q.U.E.E.N.S. Book Club  (Quality Unique Elegance Exquisite & Naturally Sophisticated)

QUEENS Book Club of Atlanta is a group of positive, intellectual and elite women who possess a true passion in reading thought-provoking novels and enjoying the bond of ‘Sisterhood’ amongst each other. Our discussion is always interesting as we meet monthly inside local Atlanta Libraries, member’s homes and other public venues to converse about our stimulating reading selections.

Carla Walker, President and Founder
Q.U.E.E.N.S. Book Club of Atlanta

Q.U.E.E.N.S.' Vision of the book club: To offer a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere, outside of the home and workplace, to, explore many adventurous and spontaneous interests as a whole. Enjoy the bond of sisterhood and fellowship.

Queens's Mission: Utilize this book club for self, as a stress reliever and a motivational tool.

Queens's Objective: To make this a positive book club that will prosper beyond our imaginations. It is our promise to be a committed and dependable member, to partake in the fundraisers and community volunteer events, in addition, to read and attend monthly meetings and be prepared for open discussions.

Intimate Conversation with the Women of Character Book Club

Welcome Black Authors Network, join me in welcoming Jenelle of the Women of Character Book Club. Please take a moment and read the exciting Intimate Conversation and leave your questions or comments below.

EDC: Tell us how The Women of Character Book Club was developed.
WOC: I was introduced to Christian fiction in 2004 by an angel in disguise, Pamela, who suggested that I read Jamellah Ellis' book, "That Faith, That Trust, That Love." This novel was given to me at a time in my life when I was going "THROUGH IT" both spiritually and emotionally! It was as if the Lord spoke directly to me through this novel.

Soon after, I began reading so much that it had become like oxygen; I needed it to survive. This divine intervention caused a new-found interest in Christian fiction, which was very empowering and inspirational because I was able to see myself in many of the characters with a spiritual lesson being revealed in each one. I believe that because of the seed that was sown into my life, it is now my ministry to share the word of God by blessing others with the opportunity of experiencing God's love through Christian fiction.

WOC: The Women of Character Book Club is located in Orlando, Florida and was 'born' in 2005, with the makings of eight women. The interest and excitement of the group members sort of fueled a reading frenzy and is continually growing by word of mouth. We are a group of women of all ages from different backgrounds, but share a common bond- we love the Lord and enjoy reading Christian Fiction. The fellowship and new friendships that have been formed have really been a blessing. Our website is:

Women of Character's Mission
To provide women an arena to fellowship, encourage and empower each other by discussing personal experiences as it relates to the Word of God through Christian Fiction. The "Women of Character Book Club" has a sincere desire to be used as a vessel to enable a passionate discovery of each woman's destiny, to share the Word of God, and to advocate for women with compassion.

Romans 1:12- "When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours."  
Read more about us here.

Bookclub Suggested Reads

Body By Night by Zuri Day

ISBN-10: 0758228821  |   ISBN-13: 978-0758228826

Zuri Day sizzles with a seductive story of one woman’s quest to take control of her life…while experiencing an attraction too explosive to resist.

D’Andra Smalls has had enough. She’s tired of being overweight, she’s had it with her overbearing family, and she’s fed up with settling for any guy who’ll have her—especially since she caught her boyfriend cheating with her best friend.

But working out and avoiding delicious food is easy compared to resisting the charms of Los Angeles’ hottest personal trainer, JaJuan “Night” Simmons. Six feet of chiseled muscle and fine chocolate, he’s challenging her body in all the right ways—and proving there’s a sensitive, caring guy under the good looks. Their shared career goals of promoting health and fitness bring them even closer together.

But D’Andra feels it may be too much of a good thing. After succeeding in taking command of her life, can she risk losing control of her heart.   [Read More of the story here]

Behind the Books with Zuri Day

Zuri Day is a hopeful romantic. She believes in happy endings, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. That's why she's thrilled to introduce her second romance novel, which follows the success of Lies Lovers Tell, because writing and having her novels published is for Zuri a dream come true.

Zuri doesn't remember exactly how old she was when she picked up her first romance novel, but she does remember it was love at first sight. "It was probably a Harlequin," she recalled during a recent interview. "And it thankfully took me away from a fairly dull and routine existence growing up in a small Kansas town."  Things aren't dull and routine anymore. Zuri now resides in Los Angeles with her family and when she isn't writing loves to travel the world, cook vegetarian food, work out, watch sports, attend concerts and theatre and enjoy the simple things in life.

"Many people have given up on love, much less romance," Zuri says. "I'm hoping that somehow in the love-filled pages of my romance novels, they can ignite the desire to believe again. Anything is possible, when we believe..."

For more information on Zuri Day visit:
Available Wherever Books Are Sold!  Order NOW at:

Who Is He To You by Monique D. Mensah

Simone, a shockingly beautiful teen, is on the downward spiral of destruction as she battles incest and self-hatred and she finds cutting to be the only way to relieve her pain. Jessica lives the upscale lifestyle of a refined society matron. She strives to be the perfect wife, but without her husband, Ross, she would be nothing more than the abused stripper he rescued 16 years ago. Ryan, a fiery thirty-something, is quickly slipping into depression and prescription drug addiction as her boyfriend, Anthony, artfully dangles the empty promise of marriage.

As the shattered lives of three very different women collide, they find that they have one thing in common: they are all in a desperate fight to hang onto love. Experience their emotional journey through to the shocking end where these women will experience injury, imprisonment and even death while crafting new lives from the ashes of their ruination.

Monique D. Mensah is a native Detroiter with an innate love for the written word. Her talent for writing was first discovered by her third grade teacher when she declared her dream to become a published author. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan she completed her first manuscript, Who Is He To You. Shortly after, she launched Kisa Publishing and published her debut novel. Monique now resides in Southfield, MI where she is raising her daughter and working full-time as an enrollment counselor for a private university. She is also a freelance copywriter and copyeditor and is currently working on her second novel.

Monique D. Mensah, Author of Dramatic Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-578-02348-9

Intimate Conversation with Divas Read 2 Book Club

Divas Read 2 Book Club consists of African American women who get together to Read, Relax and Rejoice. We are a seasonal book club that meets from October thru March.

Our mission is to become a highly visible book club that promotes literacy, and build solid relationships by networking with book clubs and other literary organizations.

Readers that stop by to visit our site are kept up to date with our reading list, group activities, book reviews and Author spotlights. Open House for new members in the Dallas/Fort Worth area is held in September. Those outside of the DFW area, can join our Yahoo Groups which features monthly contests, motivational messages and literary news.

Literary Hallmarks:
Their Eyes Were Watching God
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Waiting To Exhale
Invisible Life
Laura Ingalls Collection: Little House On the Prairie, Little House In The Big Woods, etc.

Read more about us here.

Intimate Conversation with The Reading Circle/w Marc Medley

Intimate Conversation with  Marc A. Medley and Ella Curry president of EDC Creations Media Group

Ella: Welcome Marc! Give us the radio show details.

Ella: Please finish this sentence: I am Powerful because...
I am Powerful because I trust God; give thanks in all things; and remain grateful through the good and the bad.

Ella: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey?
I am from Paterson, New Jersey the oldest industrial city in the United States and the third largest city in the state of New Jersey. I started writing when I was a child, always responding to ads on the back of cereal boxes; Bazooka bubblegum inserts; writing letters to Santa Claus in my local newspaper; letters to the editor; television shows such as Zoom and writing letters to my cousins in Virginia. I took Creative Writing in high school and won several competitions. As I look back I find that I was always reading, writing and public speaking as a child and so it doesn't surprise me that those three areas are my areas of strength now.

Ella: What makes The Reading Circle/w Marc Medley standout and would entice a listener to tune in?
The Reading Circle w/Marc Medley is a one-of-a-kind radio show on independent radio. It is broadcast live out of William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ and listeners are treated to hearing authors tell about their work including the trials, tribulations and joy of becoming a published author. Listeners have an opportunity to call in and ask the author questions to learn more about the writing process or about the book itself. I believe my very down to earth approach during the interview process is also very inviting to both the guest and the listener.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want listeners to gain from listening to The Reading Circle w/Marc Medley?
The overall purpose of the show is to promote the benefits of being an avid reader. I strive for my listeners to be educated, entertained, inspired, motivated and informed about the literary world.   Read more about us here.

Intimate Conversation with Real Page Turners Book Review

Meet Monique Bruner (Deltareviewer)
Monique Bruner is an avid reader who reviews books for To her credit, Bruner co-wrote a textbook entitled, Strategies That Empower People for Success in College and Life; co-editor of Delta Girls: Stories of Sisterhood; and contributor to Violets.

She spends family time watching movies, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and watching football with her husband and two daughters.  Known for her quick wit and contagious laughter Monique has dedicated endless amount of time and hard work to support the programs of her beloved sorority, DELTA SIGMA THETA Sorority, Inc. and currently serves the community as President of the Oklahoma City Urban League Young Professionals. Monique’s online name is Deltareviewer and must be reading the page turning novel right now…

Ella:  Monique, tell us a few books that you would define as "Literary Hallmarks."
Monique: Here are just a few of the books I would select.

Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni
Divine Destiny by Gwyneth Bolton

Read more about us here.

Intimate Conversation with the Phenomenal Women of Color Book Club

Phenomenal Women of Color (PWOC) Book Club is a network of professional women who share not only a love for reading but for community service.  When visiting our website one will see that PWOC is dedicated to supporting up-and-coming authors as well as those who are self-published. We have several pages on our site where authors can submit their latest work.

If an author’s submission is not selected for our reading list, we will display their book and biography as a “Spotlight” author, “Featured Authors”, or “Coming Soon”. We give in-depth reviews of all books and the reviews are posted on our website.

Our Literary Hallmarks:

"Three Fifty-Seven AM: Timing is Everything" by Kendra Norman-Bellamy & Hank Stewart
"A Woman’s Worth" by Tracy Price-Thompson
"Little Black Girl Lost 1, 2, & 3" by Keith Lee Johnson
"The Coldest Winter Ever" by Sister Souljah

Ella: What do you define as Quality Literature?
PWOC:  A novel that can draw you in with vivid details and launch you into the characters’ lives is a sign of a great novel. When you read the final page and walk away from a novel, you should feel as if you just returned from a journey into the world presented in the book. While reading you became one of the characters and you live their experiences. You should walk away with insight into something previously unknown. You are more than just entertained by the novel, you enlightened. This to me is the definition of quality literature.  Read more about us here.


Ella Curry of EDC Creations sits down for a Intimate Conversation with lovely Shana Plummer Chapter Secretary of The Sweet Soul Sisters Book Club. Join us in greeting the ladies by saying hello in the comments section. Feel free to ask any questions you may have also.

Ella: Shana, how did your organization develop? How many members are in the group?
Shana: In October 2005, four ladies that enjoyed reading books by African American authors decided to change their causal conversation about the latest book into a formal monthly meeting. They named themselves The Sweet Soul Sisters Book Club. Over time, they opened these discussions to other friends and family and now The Sweet Soul Sisters Book Club has 9 members.

Ella: What is the primary mission of the group?
Shana: The primary mission of the book club is to broaden our literary experience by reading books written by authors of African American descent. Keeping abreast of the latest books and meeting the author that wrote them all while building life long relationships.    
Read more about us here.

The Distinct Ladies Book Club

Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations Media Group, has a wonderful Intimate Conversation with Tiffany Rainey President of The Distinct Ladies Book Club a.k.a DL Book Club about the workings of a well formed bookclub. Readers, enjoy a inside look at the DL Book Club.

The Distinct Ladies Book Club is located in Memphis, TN. It was started in October 2006 with just 4 members. Today the Distinct Ladies has 10 members and they just celebrated their Two Year Anniversary. The DL Book Club consists of Women from different professional fields, which share the yearning to develop spiritually, mentally and socially through writings of all genres. DL has bonded with many authors such as Brian Smith, Sheila Lipsey, Alisha Yvonne, Jihad, and etc. Even though they are a sisterhood, the group opens their hearts to brothers as well.

EDC: What to you defines Quality Literature?
TR: Quality Literature is something that is well written from beginning to end. Our club likes literature that catches our attention from the moment we lay eyes on the cover of the book.

EDC: How did your organization develop? How many members are in the group?
TR: Our club started with four ladies with the passion for reading and socialization. We quickly grow to a large club with men and women. Everyone came from various economic backgrounds with the same common interests and love for reading. We currently have ten ladies in our club.  
Read more about us here.

Essential Women's Book Club

Hello Black Authors Network,
Allow me to introduce me and my bookclub. I am Melody Parker, the president and founder of  Essential Women's Book Club. Essential Women is made up of seven women. The club started in April of 2008 - present. The book club was my idea because I love to read .

Reading is my passion and in order to be a member, my number one rule and last rule, is you have to be a avid book reader. I read so much and have read so much that is does not make any sense. The people that I know would call me first, before they would buy or read a book. If they needed a book to read I was the person to come to. I chose each member in the club, because each person loves to read and each person has something to bring to the table. We have a secretary, treasurer, researcher and reporter, designer, investigators(2 ), and myself the president. We do plan to do a lot of things in 2009 such as travel, support, learn, and experience in the name of sisterhood.
Read more about us here.

Readers With Attitude (RWA) Bookclub

Hello Ella and the Black Authors Network,
Allow me to introduce you to the RWA.
Readers With Attitude (RWA) Bookclub is passionate about reading and supporting our authors and our book stores. We are founded by an Essence Bestselling, Self Published Author Nikkea Smithers and buy our books through an Essence Reporting Bookstore, Precious Memories.

Because our president understands the importance of a bookclub to the literary community we focus our energy on things that we find exclusively important. We host authors at each meeting to fully understand the unspoken values in each book. We provide reviews for authors who are interested in having honest and timely feedback. Each month we pride ourselves in the ability to share with each other and promote reading in our community
.  Read more about us here.

Intimate Conversation with the NIA Literary Group

EDC: Please tell us a little about you and your bookclub. How many members are in your group?
GAA: My name us Gail Adams-Arnold and I am the founder of the NIA Literary Group here in Cincinnati, Ohio. There are 10 of us and we meet monthly to discuss and enjoy. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I married after college and had two daughters, and now 3 wonderful grandchildren. I spent 35 years in the field of education and retired in 2005 as a school principal. I am presently single and I have a home based business with an online Travel Company and I love every minute of it!

EDC: How did your group develop? What is the primary mission of the group?
GAA: In April of 2000, I organized our group by inviting a few close friends and family to my home on a Sunday afternoon. There are 10 members in our group. The primary mission, which is also evident by our groups name, NIA, is to make our collective vocation one of building our families and ultimately our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

EDC: Tell us a few books that you would define as "Literary Hallmarks."
GAA: A few Literary Hallmarks that we have discussed and enjoyed are: The Fall of Rome by Martha Southgate, Fifth Born by Zelda Lockhart, Sula by Toni Morrison.

EDC: What do you define as Quality Literature.
GAA: I define Quality Literature as that which there is a plot tht is well developed, characters that are introduced and also well developed. A story that engages the reader and the ending leaves the reader wanting more, i.e, the sequel or another selection by the same author.   
Read more about the NIA Literary Group here.

Intimate Conversation with The SistahFriend Book Club

Family, allow me to introduce you to  the SistahFriend Book Club. SFBC is a live and online reading and networking group for women that focuses on reading and discussing books by or about African-Americans and promoting unity through women empowerment and fellowship. Founded in November 2004 by Tasha Martin, the sisterhood began with four members in Columbia, SC. Once a month, members bond as sisters and discuss literary works in settings designed according to a theme, place, or character in a selected read.

In March of 2007, the SistahFriend Book Club opened its membership online, adding an interactive dimension to its website, Online features include: book reviews, literary spotlights, book features, author and reader chats, and a message board for both readers and writers to stay connected. The group also publishes an online ezine to highlight authors and women leaders in the community. In 2008, the SFBC opened three awesome new branches in Raleigh, NC, Greenwood, SC, and Spartanburg, SC. The SFBC will celebrate its fourth anniversary in January 2009.

Join Ella Curry of EDC Creations in an Intimate Conversation with SistahFriend president Tasha Martin.
Read more about the SistahFriend Book Club here.

Meet the Imani Literary Group of Metro Atlanta

Ella Curry: Hello Angela, thank you for sharing a moment with the Sankofa Literary Society. We want readers to meet our fantastic book clubs and literary groups. The publishing industry could not stand without the support of reader's groups. Share the history of the Imani Literary Group.

Angela Reid: Rashida Sule' Sloan had the brilliant idea to start a reading group when she realized that she and several of her coworkers were reading the same book--Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale. She suggested that they meet and discuss their book, the Imani Literary Group was born!

Established in 1992, the Imani Literary Group of Metro Atlanta is a dynamic group of Black women who come together once a month to engage in literary discussions about books by and with the authors we love, we encourage and we promote.

Imani, the seventh principle of Kwanzaa means faith, for Imani has faith in our authors. Meetings are held at members’ homes, African American-owned restaurants, libraries and bookstores. Imani Sisters are serious about our books! One must read at least one of the monthly selections to attend a meeting. We usually read and discuss two books each month. We also occasionally host a meeting with our teenage little sisters to read and discuss a book with them. Presently, Imani has twelve active members with two frequent visitors and a poet-in-residence.
 Read more about us here.

The Black Authors Network Literary Program aims to support the AA community and to show people, through the radio show, that AA writers are more than just a niche. That we bring wonderful stories to the minds and imaginations of everyone. We have stories to tell, using our voice and our experiences, that cross all races and cultures.

The mission of this show is to give a platform for AA authors, but to also show the diversity of genre within the diversity of the community. The BAN Talk Show  is a talk show  for authors who should be recognized as having cross-over genres. We are aware that there are authors that are totally targeted to AA readers, but why not discuss that? Why not make people aware that some books are written specifically for AA readers and some are cross-genre books? Each author on the show will be asked this question - "What genre or genres do you consider this book to be? What kind of readers will like this story?"

The Sankofa Literary Society sponsors the Black Authors Network Literary Program, which offers new authors a chance to showcase their books and articles on Internet radio, on the Sankofa Literary Society's site, along with book and branding coaching that will help them present themselves as professionals as they enter literary circles.

In February, 2008 and 2009 Ella Curry organized the historic SLS Black History Month Online book fair, which brought together 200+ authors, community leaders and educators to discuss ways to improve literacy. Each month EDC Creations sponsors a community outreach program to improve relationships and expose great books to waiting readers. Please explore the many facets of EDC Creations and The Black Authors Network brought to your by Ella D. Curry.  EDC Creations has a book and media tour featuring African-American literature in all genres- for example:  Fantasy, Paranormal, Fiction, Romance, Christian-Fiction, Non-Fiction, and others. The tours always visit BAN Talk Show!  Visit our website for more information on Black Authors Network Literary Program.  Readers win free books on every show by chatting with our audience.

Black Authors Network Radio Show:

We would love to feature your book club on the Black Pearls Magazine!  If you would like to be on BAN Radio with
Ella Curry or have your interview featured here, email Ella at: today with your history.

The Sankofa Literary Society and EDC Creations provides authors, artists, reviewers, journalist and book clubs, innovative website design advice, marketing and branding tips, personalized book coaching and virtual product promotions with a special focus on the African American literary community.

Celebrating Community
The Sankofa Literary Society pays tribute to Black Greeks, Social, and Civic Institutions, recognizing that African-American groups can raise awareness in the community, increase literacy as well as confront injustices and expand opportunities. The SLS believes in the potential and worth of every person, no matter what race they are or ethnic background.

We strive to set a positive example for readers and authors around the world. Here you will find the emerging writer, talented poet and established published author. We support reading and African American history 365 days a year!
Read more about us here.
  (Website under construction)

Sankofa Literary Review-check out the books we think make a difference in literature.

International Book Club Guild-join the Sankofa Literary Society's global community


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