Great Gift Book Suggestions


 

Click on the image to purchase the book or for more details.

The Black Pearls Magazine family would like to take the time to thank each of you for joining us monthly in celebrating the best in literature and the arts.  Our team of writers, bookclubs and authors are so humbled that you have allowed us entrance into your life. It amazes me each month as I check our subscribers how many of  you deem us worthy of your time and support.  We appreciate each of you for telling 10 people about the magazine and for driving people to this site. YOU make Black Pearls the magnificent publication that it is, by sharing the gift of knowledge!

Please know, as we prepare each issue for you, we look for those stimulating conversations, the most thought provoking articles and most of all the best books on the shelves. We want each page of this magazine to add value to your lives!  Your comments and feedback are welcomed. Join our blog and share your news, advice and wisdom with the other readers. Tell us what you want to read next, too!

As we take off in this new year we hope to bring you more provocative topics and life empowering books to shape your lives. We have contest for the readers and more interactive sections added to the magazine. Let us know what you think of the fresh new content by emailing us here.  Thank you!

Ella Curry, President of EDC Creations
Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine

 


Black Pearls Holiday Showcase

The Black Pearls Magazine family would like to take the time to thank each of you for joining us monthly in celebrating the best in literature and the arts.  Our team of writers, bookclubs and authors are so humbled that you have allowed us entrance into your life. It amazes me each month as I check our subscribers how many of  you deem us worthy of your time and support.  We appreciate each of you for telling 10 people about the magazine and for driving people to this site. YOU make Black Pearls the magnificent publication that it is by supporting us each month and by purchasing the featured books!  This issue is dedicated solely to our READERS. Below you will find several interviews with our bookclub friends. Give them a hand!  What a wonderful, beautiful collection of book lovers!

 


 




Add Black to Your Shopping Cart this Holiday Season 
By Shelia M. Goss

This holiday season why not buy books for gifts. Whether the person likes Christian fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, mysteries, science fiction or non-fiction, there’s a book out there to fit a variety of tastes. While doing your shopping don’t forget about picking up books by people of color. Many books by African-Americans and other nationalities sometimes go unnoticed unless it’s part of pop culture. Gems can be overlooked simply because you may not be familiar with their works.

How can you help spread the word about books by African-American authors? Simple. Just tell a friend.

•Link to the authors website 
•Link directly to the book 
•Mention some of the books on your online network–i.e., Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. 
•Discuss alternate books at your book club meetings 
•If you have a blog, do link exchanges or guest blog posts. 

These are just a few suggestions. Be creative.


Black Pearls Magazine (http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com) showcases a variety of books, so be sure to browse around. There are plenty of good books out there by African-American authors. Happy Holidays and have fun book shopping!

About the Author
Shelia M. Goss
is the national best-selling author of six multi-cultural romance books: His Invisible Wife (2009), My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum and Hollywood Deception (2010) and three young adult books: The Lip Gloss Chronicles series: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, and Paper Thin (2010). Delilah (Jan 2011) is her tenth novel but first Christian fiction book. For more information, visit her website: www.sheliagoss.com  




Readers Supporting the Independent Author 


Book Clubs and Avid Readers We Need You 

You can make a difference!  Many book clubs may feel as if there are only 12 months in a year, so they are limited to supporting only 12 authors. But nothing can be further from the truth.  There are so many things you can do to shine the spotlight on up and coming new writers.  Below is just a brief list of helpful tips.

• In addition to your monthly book selection, showcase a new author. Request promotional material from authors who contact you but aren't selected as your book of the month; then pass out the materials at your meetings. Create a spotlight page on your website, or invite a local author to your meetings and allow them to do a 10 minute pitch.

• A few times a year, host a local author's meet-n-greet and invite family, friends, and co-workers. It can be at a restaurant where each attendee pays for their own meal. Authors can introduce themselves,  do a quick pitch and afterwards sell their books.

• If you read a book and really enjoy it, post a review on Amazon,  Goodreads,  Facebook,  Twitter, etc.  
Don't keep the good news to yourself, share it with everyone you know. 

• Books make great gifts. This holiday season, give books by independent authors instead of those on the bestsellers list.  Chances are, your reader friends already have those anyway.

• When you are reading a book by an independent author, take a picture holding the book and make it your profile picture.  Create a link from Amazon on your Facebook and other social network sites that tell about the book. 

There are so many small things you can do to help further someone's dreams. Just think how empowered you will feel when you can look back and say,  "Hey, I supported him or her when they first came on the scene."  We all start somewhere, but without you we can't go far.

Sincerely, 

Tracy Darity
Teganjaz Books Presents
Website: www.TracyLDarity.com 


About The Author 
Tracy Darity
was born, raised, and currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the mother of three daughters, Morgan, Jasmin, and Shaunte. Tracy currently works in the benefits industry as a Relationship Manager but has long dreamed of becoming a published author.

As a child she had a creative imagination and a love for reading. In her early teens she began writing short stories as a hobby. It was not until she attended the 1997 Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, that she decided she wanted to fulfill her dream of becoming a novelist. The words of Tavis Smiley inspired her. During his speech at one of the forums she jotted down this message, "We all have a God given talent but if you don't have the desire to define, develop, and deliver your talent, you will always be in the audience and never on stage."

Tracy returned home from the festival energized and began penning her first novel. Although the manuscript was completed in late 1998, she became discouraged after receiving rejection letter after rejection letter from the publishing industry. She shelved her manuscript but every now and then she would pull it out and do minor rewrites. The desire to have her work published still simmered deep inside. In 2004 the flame inside of her reignited and she made the decision to pursue self-publishing. As time passed she began to feel discouraged again but refused to give up. She did research, talked with other self-published authors, and continued to believe that her dream would one day become a reality. Today she is happy to present her first work, "He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!" 

Read the monthly newsletter by Tracy Darity, here.   Original Source of featured article, here.


 

The Black Authors Network Literary Program aims to support the African American community and to show people, through the radio show, that African American 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 African American  authors, but to also show the diversity of genre within the diversity of the community. The BAN Talk Show  is a  radio based 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 African American  readers, but why not discuss that?  Why not make people aware that some books are written specifically for African American  readers and some are cross-genre books? View our BAN archives and click the blue links to listen.


Readers WIN free books every Mon. and Wed. night by calling 646.200.0402

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 of EDC Creations Media Group 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 for 28 straight days. Today, EDC Creations sponsors monthly community outreach programs and exclusive author interviews to improve community relationships and expose great books to waiting readers.  Authors, visit our main website for more information on reserving your spot the Black Authors Network Literary Program. 
(If you can not see the radio player or get an error message, refresh your page)




Conversation with Literary Legends Go On Girl! Book Club



BPM: Share with us the Go On Girl! history and chapter details. Share your founder(s) introduction. 
Go On Girl! Book Club was founded in February 1991 by Monique Greenwood, Lynda Johnson and Tracy Mitchell, 
three co-workers from New York City. The organization grew as members moved to other states and wanted to begin GOG chapters in their new cities. Today, Go On Girl! Book Club is one of the largest national reading organizations in the U.S. for black women with over 300 members in 31 chapters in 13 states including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Washington, D.C. 
(Photo taken by Ella Curry June, 2009 at Black Bookclubs Rocks Award. GOG won the Literary Legends award.)


Meet Lynda M. Johnson, Co-founder Go On Girl! Book Club
Lynda M. Johnson is co-founder and chair of the largest national reading group for African-American women, the Go On Girl! Book Club. Lynda spear heads the organization and its popular annual traveling Author Awards Weekend taking place in Washington, DC in 2011.  
In addition she co-authored The Go On Girl! Book Club Guide for Reading Groups by Hyperion with co-founders Tracy Mitchell and Monique Greenwood.  

Mrs. Johnson grew up in Syracuse, New York the city that helped nurture her love of literature, fashion and wanderlust. After graduating high school she studied fashion journalism and media studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Fordham University which led her to a career as a fashion journalist where she travels extensively covering fashion here and abroad.  She has received numerous awards, including two Atrium Awards for her fashion journalism coverage and an Art Direction Magazine Award for her styling of fashion photo shoots.

Mrs. Johnson is a partner in an online content based website for the children’s industry with Go On Girl! co-founder, Tracy Mitchell called www.kidstylesource.com.  She also teaches journalism and advertising and promotions at her alma mater, the Fashion Institute of Technology and works as a freelance fashion journalist/stylist.  She lives in Harlem, New York where she is slowly restoring an 1892 townhouse with her husband, musician, Alonzo Wright.



Meet Tracy Mitchell, 
Co-founder Go On Girl! Book Club
For nearly 20 years, Tracy Mitchell covered the children’s product industry in various editorial roles at Fairchild Publication’s Children’s Business magazine. From 1996 to late 2005 (when Children’s Business closed its doors), Mitchell was at the helm of the monthly magazine. Under Mitchell’s direction, Children’s Business developed and produced a consumer shopper magazine as a viable supplement, entitled Spree, The Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Kids; negotiated an agreement with Nordstrom to distribute Spree in 90 stores nationwide; introduced two quarterly supplements – Kid Luxe and Tween Business – in response to the lack of public information available on these emerging trends in the kids’ business; and launched a weekly e-mail alert service to provide additional information on fashion and market news to Children’s Business subscribers.

A children’s market expert, Mitchell has been quoted and interviewed by mainstream press, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times, Reuters, Chicago Tribune and CNN, on children’s business topics, ranging from luxury children’s wear and tween style trends to plus-size children’s wear and industry developments. Mitchell straddles the other side of the fence as a major consumer of children’s products as well. Mother to a toddler, a tween and a teen, she is well acquainted with the issues and concerns shopping parents encounter in the aisles and online.

KidStyleSource.com  represents Mitchell’s second entrepreneurial endeavor. In 1991 she helped launch what is now the #1 reading club targeting African-American women – The Go On Girl! Book Club (www.goongirl.org). She co-authored The Go On Girl! Book Club Guide for Reading Groups for Hyperion in 1999. 


BPM: What is the mission of the Go On Girl! Book Club? What are your group goals? 

Key among the Go On Girl! goals is encouraging the continued publication of works by authors of African descent. The reviews to the authors and their publishing houses ensure the club's message is heard: "African-Americans do indeed read, so keep the quality books coming. This is not just a trend!"

 

The mission of Go On Girl! Book Club is to support the development of literature by authors throughout the African Diaspora. To that end we maintain on-going communication with authors and publishers of each book on our reading list to let them know our praise and and rage for each title. Go On Girl! Book Club's chapters support their respective communities through book drives, reading to the elderly and incarcerated, breast cancer walks, charity fundraisers as well as organizing Jr. Go On Girl! Book Club chapters for young girls.

The following support our mission:
GOG Literary Magazine - 7th edition will be distributed in 2011
GOG Website - being redesigned; will feature advertising
Jr. Go On Girl! - Encouraging good reading habits in young girls
GOG National Archives - Capturing GOG's history for future generations
Writing Awards - Two monetary awards given to an amateur scribe and a student at an historically black college
Annual Author Awards - some past winners include Jewell Parker Rhodes, Lawrence Hill, Tananarive Due, Lawrence Hill, J. California Cooper, Sonia Sanchez and many others.


BPM: What legacy do you think Go On Girl! Book Club will leave for those watching in the community?
We believe that Go On Girl! Book Club's legacy will be the support and guidance that we provide to black authors and publishers and the inspiration that our longevity and size gives to other bookclubs.  In 2009, Go On Girl! Book Club won the Literary Legend award from the Black Book Club Rocks Foundation for 18 years as a national reading organization for black women.  In 2011, Go On Girl! Book Club will host its 20th anniversary celebration at its 19th annual author awards event. The festivities will take place from May 20 - 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott at Metro Center. All authors, bookclubs, publishers, bloggers, journalists who love black literature are invited to attend, For more information visit www.goongirl.org

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
Go On Girl! Book Club hosts an annual author awards event in a different city. In 2009 we travelled to Houston, Texas and in 2010 we were in Birmingham, Alabama. Each awards event features the winners of our Author of the Year and Best New Author Awards as well as Life Achievement, and Unpublished Writer and Scholarship Award winners. We are also joined by local authors. Some of GOG's winning authors include Lawrence Hill (Someone Knows My Name), Jennifer Baszile (The Black Girl Next Door), Sonia Sanchez (Morning Haiku), J. California Cooper (Life is Short But Wide), Stephen Carter (The Emperor of Ocean Park), Jewell Parker Rhodes (Douglass' Women) and many others. For our 20 year gala in 2011, 11 awards will be given to authors representing each genre reflected on our reading list in addition to the Author of the Year, Best New Author and writing award winners.

BPM: What adventures did GOG have in 2010? What will GOG do for the 20th anniversary in 2011?
2010 has been a tremendous year for Go On Girl! Book Club. We celebrated our 18th Annual Author Awards event in Birmingham, Alabama with authors Lawrence Hill 2009 Author of the Year (Someone Knows My Name), Jennifer Baszile 2009 Best New Author (The Black Girl Next Door) and Sonia Sanchez 2009 Life Achievement Award Winner (Morning Haiku). Special Guest authors included Vanessa Davis Griggs, Patricia Haley, Chaundra Sparks Taylor, Tina Kay and A. Faye Boykin.

In 2011, Go On Girl! Book Club will celebrate 20 years as an organization at our 19th Annual Author Awards gala. The festivities will take place from May 20-22nd in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center. We are looking for a tremendous turnout! Every author on our reading list will be invited to attend along with publishing professionals, bookclubs, bloggers, journalists - anyone who supports black literature. In addition to our 2010 Author of the Year and Best New Author, we will give 11 awards in each of the genres that Go On Girl! Book Club reads throughout the year.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
Go On Girl! Book Club reads a book from a different genre each month so that our members are exposed to a broader view of literature. The genres are: anthology, autobiography/biography, classic, historical fiction, international, mystery/suspense, new author, science fiction/fantasy, short story, novel/popular fiction and social commentary

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle or iPad, etc?
Go On Girl! Book Club supports new technology as long as the works of all black authors are readily available on these devices.

BPM: How may we find out more about Go On Girl! Book Club? 
To find our more information about Go On Girl! Book Club, please visit our website at www.goongirl.org

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Deep In Thought Bookclub

"Embracing Literature and Sisterhood" -- Takisha M. Tillie - Founder/President

BPM: Tell us a little about you and your favorite things. Share your favorite music, plays or activities.
My name is Takisha Tillie, Founder and President of Deep in Thought Book Club. I started the Deep in Thought Book Club as a means for women to come together to embrace literature and sisterhood - Which is our club motto. 

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I am currently attending the University of Phoenix studying Business Management. I actively volunteer with many organization where I can make a difference in the lives of all people. I am a wife, mother, and new grandmother. I listen to Christian and R & B music, I enjoy almost all of Tyler Perry plays, as well as related plays by other play writers. Some of my favorite authors are Steve Harvey, Curtis Bunn, Carl Weber, TD Jakes, RJ Washington, and Susan Orman. Just to name a few.....

BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
I enjoy reading as a means of relaxing and nourishing my mind. Most importantly, I enjoy reading Christian books that reference a relationship with God and how family and marriage are part of Gods divine design.  I have a passion for writing and is currently working on my first novel. 

BPM: Share with us the history of the organization. What was the first book that you read as a group? 
Deep in Thought Book Club was established July 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida by Takisha Tillie as a means for women to come together to discuss various topics while encouraging literacy. We are an elite group of women who embrace literature and sisterhood through unity of purpose, social interaction, and intellectual conversation. 

The group meet the first Saturday of each month at 5:00 pm with the exception of holidays where we meet the following week. We discuss an variety of books elaborating on family values, life experiences, women issues as well as world topics. The Deep In Thought meetings consist of fun activities and lively discussions all in a relaxing environment. Club meetings are just one resource for women to get away from everyday life to relax, laugh, and play in an social environment. 

The club consist of 11 members at this time and have a 12 member cap per chapter. As we continue to grow, our plans are to branch out to have a chapter in several cities across the country. The first book we read was by Author Carl Weber. 

BPM: What is the mission for your organization, Deep in Thought Book Club? 
Deep in thought is more than a book club. We strive to make a difference in everything we do. We take pride in using our talents to enhance the community through being positive role models for developing youth and seeking diverse avenues to bring moral values, promote literacy, and enhance the lives of all people. Through unity of purpose, we envision one day that we can offer scholarships to African American students who want to attend College.

BPM:  Is there anything you would love to see more of in novel? Any topics that need covering more?
I would like to see more books related to intellectual women who has defied the odds of poverty and through life's struggles made choices that has catapulted them into success. Additionally, I enjoy reading books that reference various types of relationships that inspire and gives a in-depth views of how women and men differ on certain issues. 

BPM: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? 
I do not download books, I prefer a hard copy book.  I think we, as readers, are moving in that direction. People enjoy the new technology and the benefits it offers. However, I think that there are some that prefer to snuggle up with a good old fashion book in the true essence of the reading experience.

BPM: What literary events do you attend each year? 
We are planning to attend the National Book Club Conference in 2012. 

Submitted by:
Deep In Thought Book Club

Takisha M. Tillie - Founder/President
deepinthoughtbookclub12@yahoo.com

 




Intimate Conversation with Sista Girl Book Club PA

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have? 
My name is Michelle Morris and I am the founder of The Sista Girl Book Club. I started my reading journey with the club September 2005. 

We started with six members grew to ten members and today we a five member book club, and this size works for us. Members Max, Cap Alethia, Blanche and myself. We are located outside of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly LOVE!

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
My mission for starting this club was to read at least one book a month, our mission as a group is to introduce each other to new authors, embracing dialog and the gathering of the ladies, did I say me time? 

We each individually pay a part in our communities through work and our personal lives, we want to help those who need help and are willing to help themselves.

BPM: What types activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel? 
The Sista’s get together for our monthly meeting that last Sat of each month. We are always looking to plan a Sista outing when we can. We have not had any major trips together as a club yet, but were are looking at Vegas in 2011.

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party? 
I host our December meeting each year and we look forward to our Christmas party to cap the year off! This year it will be a Red Carpet Christmas event and a Winter White after party. We will top that off with a New Years celebration at Sista Blanche’s to bring in the New Year!

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
I thank my sister Cap for giving me the book that started it all, “True To The Game.” She gave me this book and told me to read it, I carried that book around for over 5 months. I broke down and started reading it and I was hooked on reading, I decided that I would read one book a month. Starting this book club has brought valuable lessons, reading, showing my kids that it’s a good thing, sharing that with them and my friends. Setting goals and reaching them!

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
You know we love the hood books, we call them, my husband calls them comic books. We enjoy Urban fiction the most, but we subject our members to all different genres. I think a book that gets you in the first chapter and never lets you go, has you staying up till 2 in the morning trying to read just one more page, will be that book that you will never forget and won’t stop talking about. You have to create a unforgettable character, give that character a commanding presence that makes you say well dam! It doesn’t happen every day but it does happen.

BPM: Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why? 
I think it depends on the story because there some stories that if you don’t go there with the character's culture, sexual orientation or religion , you won’t get it. Religion does not really play a part in most urban fiction books, but it would be important in a Christian fiction book. It makes the book more than just a book, it makes it a story.

BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in today's media and books? 
Not always, but it’s better now than it ever was. Now you know they are going to always try and put us down when that can, but, I think it harder now. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc? 
LOVE IT! LOVE IT!! Some of our members have the Kindle and some have the Nook. As long as we can get the E-Books that we need it’s lovely! I think this is great, and an exciting way for kids to get into reading as well. 

BPM: Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
I say yes, some with the same message but with a different tone and a new voice. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club?
FaceBook Fan Page: Sista Girl Book Club; E-Mail: SistaGirlBooks@aol.com

Submitted by:
Michelle Morris
Sista Girl Book Club Founder
Glenside, PA 


 

Intimate Conversation with Girlfriends Book Club, Atlanta
Germeko Murray, GBC Atlanta President

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, Girlfriends Book Club, Atlanta Chapter. 
Our organization name is Girlfriends Book Club and we are the Atlanta Chapter. Our organization was founded in 2004 in Sacramento, CA. by CEO Tamika Shamberger. The Atlanta Chapter was founded in 2008 and we are the fourth of seven chapters. Officers of the Atlanta Chapter are Germeko Murray- President;  Vegletta Cook-Lewis- Vice President, Sherica Tate- Treasurer and Stephanie Jett- Secretary. As of now we have nine members. 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about the GBC work in the community. 
In the process of doing what we love which is reading we want to promote sisterhood. We would like to be a national known book club combating the stereotype that African American women can not get along, we would like show that it can be done in a positive way. 

BPM: What type of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel? 
Well, we do have our monthly book meetings, but we also try to get together as often as we can for social events such as: Book Expos, Birthdays and Girls Night Out. We have several annual events Parent/Family Day, Holiday Party and Annual Trip also we do several community services per year. 

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party? 
All of the members are very family oriented and will be celebrating the holidays with their families but we will most definitely get together for our Annual Holiday Party which will consist of dinner, games, gift exchange, a little partying and most of all enjoying the sisterhood!!! 

BPM: What impact has reading and being in an organized group had on your life? 
Reading is a comfort zone that sometimes takes you out of your element and it gives you a visual of situations and people that you may have never encountered or some you may know. Being in Girlfriends Book Club has allowed me to meet women from different backgrounds and experiences. I have also been able to participate in things that I would have not normally in return it has made me more open minded and appreciate sisterhood more. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club?
You can find out more about all our organizations chapters at www.girlfriendsbookclub.com  and more about the Atlanta Chapter at www.gbcatlanta.webs.com www.facebook.com/gbcatl  and we can be reached at gbcatl08@yahoo.com 

Submitted by: 
Germeko Murray, GBC ATL President
www.gbcatlanta.webs.com 
www.facebook.com/gbcatl 
www.girlfriendsbookclub.com   

 



Intimate Conversations Girlfriends Book Club Dallas 
Shameka Latimer, GBC Dallas President 


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have? 
My name is Shameka Latimer, President of Girlfriends Book Club Dallas Chapter. GBC was founded in 2004 by Tamika Shamberger, CEO in Sacramento, CA. Dallas Chapter Officers are: Shameka Latimer- President/Secretary, Tonya Henderson-Smith-Vice President and LeTanya White-Kennedy- Treasurer. GBC Dallas was founded in July 2009 and is the fifth out of seven chapters. As of now we have a total of eight members.

BPM: What is the mission of the group? 
Our mission is to promote sisterhood and utilize this book club for self, as a stress reliever and a motivational tool. We look forward to working with all local and mainstream authors as much as possible to promote their novels. 

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel? 
We meet every third Saturday of each month to discuss our featured selection. Each member hosts a meeting either in their home or a surrounding venue. Since we love good food each member brings a dish. We also try to have authors attend our meetings which is always fun. The authors we've featured were the ladies who wrote "MANY PATHS, MANY FEET"  and Brian W. Smith author of  "MAMA LIES, DADDY PAIN."

Our organization has three Annual Events (Family Day, Group Trip, and Holiday Christmas Party). Our chapter does things from movies, to shopping, team building, and etc. 2011 will be the Dallas chapter's first annual trip..... We are so looking forward to this!

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will you have a group party?
We will all celebrate the holidays with family and friends. We also have our holiday party to exchange gifts, talk, eat, awards, and just party and have a great time. 

BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? 
Reading has been a stress reliever for us. It helps to take our mind off of things we may be going through. Reading has opened me up to new author and great discussions.

BPM: What impact has being in a organized group had on your life? 
GBC has been more then just a book club, it has been an outlet for me. All women face challenges, everyday, be it at home or in the work place. When we get together we open up our hearts to each other. This organization has led me to meet some wonderfully encouraging women. It's like having an extended family. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
This is a tough question. We enjoy Contemporary, Memoirs, Biography, Self help, Mystery, Romance, and other genres. Since we all have different personalities our taste in books varies. Books that relate to our everyday lives are the ones that remain on our mind long ever the books are closed. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
As far as electronic book, I think its convenient and great. I think it depends on the person because some people want to collect the books they have read and some don't. 

BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
Yes, I do think the authors of today are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations and some are leaving even better ones!

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
Contact person: Shameka Latimer at: gbcdallas@aol.com
Corporate website: www.girlfriendsbookclub.com 
Dallas Chapter website: www.gbcdallas.webs.com  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gbcdallas 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gbcdallas 




Intimate Conversation with Our Reading Circle of Friends 

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?
Our Reading Circle of Friends (RCOF) was founded in 1995 by sixteen African American women bound by friendship, a love of reading and a commitment to support African American authors. We all live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Most of us have been friends for more than 20 years and Circle members for at least 10 years. Seven of the current members are founding members of the Circle! 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community

Our mission is to: 
· encourage African American women to find time for themselves 
· read and promote books penned by African American authors 
· encourage reading as a lifelong hobby 
· inspire others to read by demonstrating our commitment to literacy 
· heighten awareness of social and cultural issues 
· provide a forum where friends share life lessons 
· share our time and talents with our community 
· serve as activists for social justice 

BPM: How does your book club celebrate special occasions? 
In honor of Valentine's Day, the February gathering is open to men. Each member may invite her spouse, significant other or good friend to attend. The book for Men's Night is selected and moderated by a male guest. 

Each November, we have a special pre-Thanksgiving dinner as we discuss that month's book. It serves as a gentle reminder of all the things for which we are grateful; including one another and our beloved RCOF. 

The RCOF provides opportunities for friends to reconnect, read regularly and reflect as we explore literary works together. Our monthly gatherings allow us to etch out some time for "us" as we share our hopes, dreams and concerns through lively discussions. 

BPM: How are book selected? What happens at a RCOF gathering? 
Individual Circle members make book recommendations to the group. Once the recommendation is made, the group commits to read the selected book. Though we prefer that the books be written by African American authors, we do sometimes read books written by non-African American authors. The Circle member who selects a particular book, serves as the moderator for the discussion of that book and helps members make personal connections with the text. Most times, gatherings are hosted in a member's home. The evening consists of dinner and conversations that are sparked by the book. 

BPM: How does your book club make the connection between the book and real life? 
Each year, after we have read his/her book, one author is selected to join the Circle discussion in person. A few of the authors the Circle has hosted include: A'Lelia Bundles, AJ Verdelle, Pearl Cleage, , Lyah LaFlore, Pearl Cleage, Dr. George Jenkins, Pulitzer Prize winner, Edward P. Jones, The Honorable Kweisi Mfume and Pamela Samuels-Young. In some instances we have even been able to introduce our children to these prominent authors and they have welcomed the opportunity to interact with literary giants they never dreamed that they would meet. 

BPM: WHO'S IN THE PICTURE? 
Front row: Melissa Hinkson*, Denise Simmons, and Karen Murrell 
Second row: Stephanie Fulcher, Robin Evans, DeVon Caldwell-Brown, Deborah Crimes*, and Myla Moss* 
Back row: Shebbie R. Rice*, Joy Jackson*, and Yvette Downs 

BPM: WHO'S MISSING FROM THE PICTURE? 
Trisana Cephas, Ronicsa Chambers, Dana Duncan, Kathryn Keys, Laverne McAllister, Aricka Porter*, Robyn Simmons*, Marchetta Powell, Carolyn Tharpe-Robinson*, and Rhonda White 
* Members since 1995 



Intimate Conversation with R.A.R.E. Book Club
Reading And Rapping Experience

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?
R.A.R.E. Book Club ( Reading And Rapping Experience)  came to fruition on September 7, 1997 under the leadership of Salena Castle. There are a total of seven members, we have set a maximum of ten. Our President is Yolanda Marshall, one of the founding members...Secretary Latrice Dyson...Treasurer Tawanda Hardy......Event Coordinator Sandra Brown.....Webmaster Lisa Puckett ......Historian Sarita Baker.....Chaplain Sharlet Nunn. We are located in Memphis, TN. 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? What legacy will your club leave for the community?
Our mission is to infuse intellectual minds, strengthen sisterhood, offer time and service within the community and build lasting relationships through literary genre. our ultimate desire is to network with other book clubs, coordinate and host author's book signing events and all other literary influences as we promote the importance of literacy. We are scheduling reading time at some city schools. 

R.A.R.E. has for years participated in the Christmas Angel Tree Program. We have also provided food and clothing for several adoptive families. After the death of one of our members, Joyce Campbell, these projects were continued in her memory.

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We meet once every six weeks to discuss the featured book (Black/African American authors only) chosen by a designated member. The meeting place is chosen by this person whether it is her home or maybe a restaurant. R.A.R.E has an annual outing to celebrate its anniversary. Past celebrations have included extended weekend getaways to Atlanta, Nashville, and Tunica (riverboat dinner cruise and casino stay). We also periodically take in plays and movies together. We attended the National Book Club Conference for the first time this year. We so enjoyed it that we want to make it an annual trip.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in an organized group had on your life?
Being introduced to R.A.R.E. has been a great experience. I have been a devout reader all my life. As a child because serious allergies I was not always allowed to play outside with my sister and friends, so books were always with me. It is so great to discuss what you have read with someone else who thinks of the characters of the books as real people. The camaraderie of the book club is so satisfying.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
R.A.R.E. has a website:  http://ladiesofrarebookclub.weebly.com/index.html  we are also located on Facebook.

Submitted by:
Event Coordinator, Sandra Brown



Intimate Conversation with the BSURE Book Club

(Brothers and Sisters United for Reading Enjoyment)


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?
BSURE Book Club (Brothers and Sisters United for Reading Enjoyment) was founded in 2003. We began as 7 members and currently stand with 18 members strong. We are based out of Dallas and meet at various places throughout the metroplex. 

The current officers are as follows: Kellye Hillery (President), Arnecia Collins (Vice President), Patriece Alexander (Secretary), Carol Blakes (Treasurer), Veronica Morgan (Historian), Gloria Morrison (Financial Secretary), Carla Dixon (Event Coordinator), Mary Hamilton (Parliamentarian), and Phillip Salter (Financial Advisor).


BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
As a group, we have two special annual events. One is our Annual Social where we meet as a group, not to discuss a book, but to have fun as friends. In the past, we have enjoyed jazz concerts together as well as a day at the movies. Also, we have our Annual Christmas party in December, and to this day, every year is an amazing fun time of gift sharing and games together. We have not travelled together as of yet, but the more we continue to grow, we hope to add travelling into our yearly activities.


BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and TV?
There should be more stories of plus size or the "not so perfect" size person finding love. Also, we need more brothers and sisters portrayed on TV as something other than pimps, and hookers - bring on more positive images of Black America.


BPM: How do you feel about electronic books, such as downloads for Kindle, Nook, or iPad, etc.?
While it's understood that technology continues to advance, we still need our hardcover books. We will continue to read them and it is a concern that electronic books may cause some authors to not be financially successful and may decrease the need to even go to the public libraries.


BPM: Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding 
their point-of-view in a novel? Why?

A character's culture helps us to understand their point-of-view because we are all different. Some of us have opinions of what we think a person should or should not do. We often times do not give people a chance that are different from us. Everyone has a right to be heard, but that doesn't mean that everyone has to agree with their point-of-view. It just means we are all different.


BPM: What impact has reading or being in an organized group had on your life?
Our members feel that being in a group of this size has had a great impact. Some feel they have grown by hearing the different perspectives on books that the members have. While others enjoy being around people of different backgrounds and being able to get out of the house for some relaxing fun.


Respectfully Submitted,
Kellye Hillery, President BSURE Book Club 

http://bsureclub.bravehost.com 
b_s_u_r_e@yahoo.com
Facebook: BSURE Club



 

Intimate Conversation with Motown Review Bookclub


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?

Motown Review Bookclub was founded in the fall of 1999. The co-founders of the group were Jeanette Wallington and Sherri Stanley. We decided to form a bookclub after attending a literary event in Virginia Beach with Ruth Bridges. There we meet several bookclub and some of our favorite authors, i.e Victoria Christopher Murray, Lolita Files, Valerie Wilson Wesley to name a few. We were delighted to find other avid readers. Upon return home, we posted a notice at the DHS office we worked at and ask other if they were interested in forming a bookclub. We got a lot of responses, but the book club ended up with only 4 members for several years. 

We currently have six members. Membership is invitation only and only open in January of each year.  Yes, we were a bookclub that met monthly and did not have a name for several years. We finally decided on the name Motown Review, which is a play on Motown Revue, of the R&B era. 

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We meet on the third Sunday of each month. Each member host the meeting in their home and the other six months we go to a restaurant. Members who turn it is to host also selects the book of the month. Besides discussing the book, we love to have good food at our meetings, so the hostess usually scours the internet and cookbooks to come up with an original and succulent meal. When possible, we like to have authors come to the meetings. We have hosted such authors as Kimberla Lawson Roby, Freddie Lee Johnson III, and Suzetta Perkins.

Every December on the third Sunday, we have our annual Christmas brunch. Several of your members are really into crafts and have presented some very nice gifts that they make themselves

Our bookclub also likes to travel together. Sometimes it's all six of us or maybe one or two of us. We have attended literary retreats in New Orleans, New York,  Savannah GA, Sedona, AZ. BEA in Chicago,   NBCC is Atlanta, to name a few places. We also try to attend all the literary events that go on in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. You can usually find at least one of us and most booksignings. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life?
We have all stated at one time or another that being in a bookclub has really helped us broaden our reading taste. Sometimes books are chosen that one would have never picked up on their own and it ended up being book that they really enjoyed. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that makes a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page. 
We stick with AA fiction. However, street lit or urban fiction is not a genre that any of us are interested in. Books that can be related to our everyday lives, current issues or history then to have the most impact. Mostly everyone in the group have at one time or another worked in Social Services. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle or IPad, etc?
So far none of us have taken to these alternative means of reading. I know people who swear by them, but personally, I like having a book in my hands and turning the pages. 

BPM: Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as author from other generations?
Yes, there are some such as Daniel Black whose books I think will be classics. They are thought provoking and very interesting reads that cover a wide scope of topics. Then there are others who are turning out poorly written, poorly edited books about a bunch of hogwash that when their phase is over, they will be soon forgotten. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
We can be contacted by email at:   jnette88@yahoo.com. We can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/motownreview 

Submitted by:
Jeanette Wallington
Melvindale, MI 





Intimate Conversation with Divine Sister Book Club


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?

Divine Sister Book Club was created April, 2009 as a tool to help escape day to day stress from work and home. Nevertheless, it was a way for a group of women to come together through reading to empower, to encourage and to inspire one another by expressing our thoughts and experience with each other. Needless to say ,we became more than a book club.

Divine Sister Book Club is located in Memphis, TN. We presently have eighteen members from age 26 years old to 57 years young. We meet monthly at various locations to discuss the book of the month, selected by the host for that month. We host at least three authors during the year, and we have our annual "Parade of Characters" in December. Our book club volunteers and provide community services at various agencies. Divine Sister Book Club (DSBC) will celebrate our two year anniversary with a Blast in April 2011. All members in the book club are assigned to various committees. 

Our officers are:
Sandra Washington - President
LaTorya Washington - Vice President
Janice Wade - Secretary
Dedra Freeman - Treasurer


BPM: What is the mission of the group? What legacy will your club leave for the community? 
Our Mission is to empower, be proactive, and magnify a positive image of each committed member. We strive to form a strong sisterhood between women whose attribute is reading and supporting the talents of authors. We value a sense for caring for our community by volunteering our services. 

We have provided community services for:

1). Family Reading Night at Doubletree Elementary - Read books to elementary children

2). Breast Cancer Walk - Walked and raised funds for the cause

3). Ronald McDonald House- Serve food to Cancer stricken children at St. Jude Hospital 

4). FIT (Family In Transition) provided funds to set-up a savings account for women who are transitioned back into society. 

5). Holiday Outreach - Provide sandwiches and coffee to various Emergency Rooms during the holidays. 


BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
1). Attending Book Signings

2). Attended The Mid-South Book Lovers Conference, Hosted by Alesha Yvonne, National Best Selling Author
3). DSBC "A Parade of Characters" (members dress as their favorite character from one of the monthly readings)
We have not traveled, but we have tentative plans for our 1st trip to New Orleans for the 2011 Essence Festival.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
DSBC favorite genre is urban fiction and urban Christian. Books that have realistic characters and situations that can be associated to personal experiences, trials, and tribulations.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in an organized group had on your life?
Developing meaningful and lasting friendships and meeting some Awesome AUTHORS!

BPM: How may we find out more about your club, Divine Sister Book Club? 
DSBC email address is divinesisters16@yahoo.com.  Facebook - facebook.com/divinesisters.bookclub 
Contact person: Delores Freeman, PR

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Women of Essence SC

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?
We are Women of Essence Social Club. I'm very new to the club and I love because the women that were in before me are great role models. I recently joined the group in July of this year. I am located in Houma, Louisiana about 45 miles from New Orleans. 

President - DeMona Harrison-Alexander
Vice President - Chevelle B. White
Secretary - Tuesday W. Pierce
Treasurer - Penny Thomas
Event Coordinators - Lisa James & Shanta Berry 

Members
Natasha Edwards, Latoya Turner, Venessa Dunn-Collins, Shanta Phillips and Chandra Scott

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
I enjoy every social event that we attend and also give. Clubs such as this gives myself and others the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. We also travel as a group and if everyone cant attend, whoever can will, near of far.

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Do you have strong family traditions for the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
For the holidays my family and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve as as one in Florida this year. Thanksgiving will be spent together and sharing what we all are very Thankful for and Christmas this year we will be "Christmas Around The World", learning about different cultures. Our family tradition every year is to put the Christmas tree up and a family the day after Thanksgiving and take it down January 2nd as a family also.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
African-American-oriented erotica. It is something that I enjoy reading because most of them seem so real and they also teach me alot :-)

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and/or TV? 
I would love to see more on the gay culture because it is definitely out there and you don't see much of it on TV, movies or in literature. I would also love to see more on strong families, because that is something that is very much needed in our society.

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle?
Electronic books are a plus in this century because you have people as myself who are always on the go and if we don't have anything with us we have our laptops, iPad, cellular devices, etc. that we can access at any time. It is very convenient

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
They can find us by clicking the link to our Facebook group, GO.

Submitted by:
Natasha Monique Edwards
Gray, LA

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Sistahs of Urban Literature
Karen Waiters,  S.O.U.L. President 


BPM:  Karen, give us a little history on your organization, Sistahs of Urban Literature. 
Sistahs of Urban Literature is a face to face book club that was formed in January 2009 in Winston-Salem, NC. S.O.U.L  enjoys reading different genre of African American authors. Our book club meets once a month at restaurants and coffee shops. Our mission is to continue our appreciation of African American literature and support African American authors . The President is Karen B. Waiters who is also the founder. Lashanda Hanna is the Vice President of the club. We have a total of twelve members which includes the officers.

BPM:  What impact has being in a organized reading group had on your life? 
I have always been avid reader which led me to creating a book club. Being in a book club has allowed me to be exposed to even a larger genre of authors. I have read authors that I have never heard of and I have developed a great appreciation of our African American authors even more. S.O.U.L. has allowed me to meet authors and network with other book clubs. Our book club has allowed me to have a desire to introduce young girls to reading. We are currently organizing a summer book club for girls in 2011. I look forward to continuing to fellowship with a great group of women that I consider friends. 

BPM:  What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
My favorite genre of books is fiction. I enjoy a story that can invoke many emotions within me. I appreciate the detail information the author has chosen to include in their work in which I can visually place myself there. I have read some exciting prologues alone that have gotten me very interested in what type of story the author is getting ready to tell. 

A good book is like a movie, if you can still picture the ending and wonder what if or you are still talking about certain characters after you have the read the book. If I am wishing for a part two of an author’s work, they have definitely 
done their job.

BPM:  Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion is important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why? 
A character’s background tells a lot of how the character is going to react. Culture affects a lot of people’s motive on how they will react to a situation or life in general. 

BPM:  How may we find out more about your club?
To find out more about the Sistahs of Urban Literature, our website address is www.soulurblit.com.  
We may be contacted by e-mail at soulurblit@yahoo.com We welcome and encourage interests in our book club.

Submitted by:
Karen Waiters, S.O.U.L. President 


 

Intimate Conversation with Readers Journey Book Club 
Karen Brundage-Johnson, President Readers Journey 

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. 
In 2004, I founded the Readers Journey Book Club Network as there were no author events being offered at local book stores in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Various book clubs support the events that are held on a quarterly basis with attendance up to 25 attendees/members. 

In May 2008, The Readers Journey Book Club Network was featured in Essence Magazine with author Gloria Naylor (The Women of Brewster Place). I love to read and it is so wonderful to be in the company of other avid readers who share the passion for reading books. 

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
I have a small family and we traditionally cook a wonderful meal at home and enjoy each other’s company. The holiday season is another wonderful time to get in touch with one’s spirituality. It’s also a tradition for me to re-read The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times by Bishop T.D. Jakes.

I have been invited to a book club holiday party and we will be reading Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson. The theme for the party is the “roaring 20’s.”

BPM: What is the mission of Readers Journey Book Club Network?  
The mission of the Readers Journey Book Club Network is to bring together book clubs, reading groups and book lovers in the Atlantic County New Jersey areas to fellowship and experience African-American author discussions with well known and up and coming authors, and poets. We generally meet and a local bookstore . Authors who have attended include Gloria Naylor, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Haki R. Madhubuti, Kristin Hunter, Toby Tompkins, Gail Ramsey, Anya Nicole, Mark Anthony, Zelda Lockhart, Allison Hobbs, and Zane. Author Dolan Perkins –Valdez will join us in the early part of 2011. 

BPM: Tell us about your work in the community.

For me the Readers Journey Network is a community service initiative. By creating these events, book clubs are inspired, motivated, challenged and broadening their horizons through the author discussions. 

I am also an author and speaker. I co-authored the Beyond the Body! Developing Inner Beauty. This book is a must-read for women who wish emotional support on their life journey. Topics include Living a Life of Purpose, Positive Self-Talk, Overcoming Fears, Handling Emotions, and 15 Strategies for Overcoming Negative Thinking.

BPM:
What legacy do you think your club will leave for those watching you in the community?
I believe the legacy I will leave is that these free events were inspiring and though provoking to people of all walks of life.

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group?
Readers Journey Book Club Network generally hosts an author event at a local bookstore quarterly. I plan an outing to the Harlem Book Fair each year.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
Being part of a book club network provides for such a great support group with interesting and knowledgeable people -- good friends. The beauty of a book club is that it permits open discussion and opinion without rules. There are always interesting and unusual insights about one book character or another, or their situations, because book club members have different experiences. I enjoy the diversity that takes place in the group. The book club network is an interesting and fun way to discover new authors and each other, and it's a great motivator to read something different each month.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
This is a tough question. I enjoy Mystery, Romance, Historical Fiction, Biography, Auto Biography, some Urban Lit. The key factors that make a book remain on my mind after reading the last page are that there will be a sequel, or the author allows the reader to draw their own conclusion to the ending.

BPM: Do you believe a character's background,  culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why?
I don’t think these things are absolutely necessary; I like reading a book and often not knowing the race of the characters. I think this is important in order for all authors' books to have a fair chance of being read by all people. For example in Total Eclipse of the Heart by Zane, the reader is not aware of the race of the characters. This added such intensity to the novel.

BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in today's media and books?
I would like to see African-American couples and families represented more in media and books related to African -American culture and history. African-Americans are not represented enough in prime-time TV programs with positive images.

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and TV? 
I’m of the Baby Boomer Generation. Any books written about, for or by Baby Boomers are interesting to me. I plan to write a fictional book about Boomers.

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books?
I’m getting acquainted with Kindle and have used it. I still prefer the traditional hardcover/paperback book reading experience. 

BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
Yes, I believe that all authors leave a legacy. All authors are creators and originators of ideas ---- be it written or spoken word, paint, dance, etc. An author’s legacy is in the messages of the creative process that engages someone.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
Readers Journey Book Club Network – readersjourney@yahoo.com





Intimate Conversation with For Readers Only Book Club

BPM: Give us a little history on For Readers Only Book Club.
For Readers Only Book Club of Morrow, Georgia was in the thought process for many years, but officially began on October 2, 2010. At our first meeting, along with my self we had eight ladies to join. A week later we had four more, with the committee and readers, we now have a total of fifteen members. 

Our committee consists of the President & Urban Chapter Chairperson, Neisha Holloman; Administrator & Christian Chapter Chairperson, Anna Cunningham; Youth Chairperson, Nikeya Cunningham; Photographer, Deondre Holloman; Web Designer, Marvin Cunningham; Computer Support, Melvin Cunningham; Culinary Committee, Dion Holloman and Andreana Armour; more officers and committees are being formed in the beginning of 2011.

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
Our mission is to broaden our horizon and embrace the culture around us through fellowship, food and sharing good books. Keeping up with the latest books and meeting the writers that wrote them. We have not done anything in the community yet, but our goal is to attend local book signings, festivals, adopt a daycare, fun activities for kids and many other things. 

BPM: What legacy do you think your club will leave for those watching you in the community?
We want to do so much that our legacy will remain in the minds of the people of the community even after the founder and the original members are long gone.

BPM: What types of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
Our monthly activities consist of a monthly meeting which is held on the first Saturday of each month. So far on our yearly events consist of a Book Synopsis contest in January, Red and White Affair in February, Youth Summer Fest in June, Anniversary Celebration in October and Christmas Gala in December. We do plan to travel to the mountains in North Georgia and to some out of town book signings.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
Being in For Readers Only Book Club had made a big impact on my social life and it has enhanced my reading skills. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
My favorite genre of books is Urban Fiction, but I enjoy reading other books also, which is the reason why we have Urban, Christian and Youth Chapters in the book club. The key factor that makes a book remain on my mind is the ending, seeing resolution of problems or issues being solved that was mention at the beginning of the book.

BPM: Do you feel as if African American are represented in a good light in today's media and books?
I feel that the African America couples and families are represented truthfully and in a good light in some books and the media, but it seems that sometimes they only show or write the part that will make a good sale.

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and TV? 
I would love to see more sassy seniors, plus size women, financial advice, religious beliefs and happier black marriages.

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
As far as electronic books, I think that they are great and convenient for the readers who like them. I myself prefer to buy the hardcopy of a book because have a passion for collecting that books that I read.

BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
Yes, I do feel that the authors of today are leaving the same legacy or even a more better one.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club?
We have a website that is presently being constructed www.forreadersonlybookclub.weebly.com,  and our email address is forreadersonly2010@yahoo.com 

Submitted by:
Anna Cunningham, Admin
For Readers Only Book Club



Intimate Conversation with the Butterfly Book Club


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. Where are you located? How many members do you have?
Answer: The Butterfly Book Club officially started on May 7, 2003. We are located in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to us becoming an official book club, the founders of the book club (Afonda Johnson and Mala Robinson) discussed books over the telephone. Mala and I would go to the library, choose the same book, and after we finished reading the book we discussed it over the telephone. 

Over a period of time, we decided that it would be more interesting to start a book discussion group. Therefore, we had our first book club meeting on May 7, 2003. The first book that we discussed was, Reinventing the Woman by Patty Rice.

We currently have seven members. Our officers are: President – Afonda Johnson; Vice President – Danielle McKnight-Zellner; Secretary – Alva Cunningham-Collins; and Treasurer: Shannon Cunningham.


BPM: What is the mission of the The Butterfly Book Club?
Answer: Our mission statement is: “To inspire reading and the discussion of various literary works of African-American authors, while providing an atmosphere that fosters sisterhood and unity.” Our book club is limited to women, but we do not exclude anyone based on her race or color. Our first objective is to promote reading and communication within our organization and our community. And our second objective is to promote unity within our group as well as into the community.


BPM: What types of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
Answer: We have our monthly book discussion group on every third Saturday of the month. Each book club member has a chance to facilitate the discussion group. The facilitator chooses the book and hosts the meeting. We have a group of very creative women, so each meeting is different. For example, we have played games that were created from the specified book of the month. Also, if there was a movie based on the book we would read the book, watch the movie, and discuss the similarities and differences of the two works of art. 

In addition to our monthly meetings, we go on a yearly book club retreat. We have, within the past few years, incorporated traveling to various cities into our schedule. Also, we have a gift exchange and holiday gathering in December of every year. We have also had a few successful prayer breakfast events, so this could possibly become an annual event.


BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page?
Answer: Some personal favorites of our Vice President Danielle’s are: drama, mystery, humor, and fiction books. She stated that the things that make her remember a book are things or similar events that have either happened to her or someone else; if it was really good it’ll stick with her. I also enjoy the same types of books as Danielle, but I also enjoy the type of book that takes me back in history. 

There were a few books that two members selected that I really enjoyed. I would have never thought to choose the books myself, but they truly remained on my mind long after I read them. The titles of the books are: The Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.


BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
Answer: Our website address is: http://thebutterflybookclub.tripod.com  and our public email address is: thebutterflybookclub@yahoo.com




Intimate Conversation with S.A.G.E. Bookclub
Sistahs Acquiring Goals Through Excellence

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, Sistahs Acquiring Goals Through Excellence.
In November, 2002, a group of basketball mom’s got together and started SAGE at the suggestion of one Mary Johnson of Germantown, M. Since then, SAGE has grown to a total of eleven active members. While there is no president, SAGE is guided by our two remaining founding members, Mrs. Acqueetta Ragland-Higdon and Ms. Carlette “Sissy” Laing, both of whom reside in Germantown, MD the remainder of our members reside throughout Montgomery County, Frederick County and Prince George’s County, Maryland

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
The SAGE year kicks-off in November with our anniversary brunch at a fine DC eating establishment in commemoration of the founding of SAGE Book club. This is also the month in which the schedule for the coming year is set. Each member is assigned a month to host the club which includes choosing a book and preparing a place (usually their home) for the discussion, and an enjoyable meal. In December SAGE adopts a family in need, a local cause like the “Secret Santa” charity, to help make the holiday season a little lighter by donating new clothes, toys and food. This is one of our favorite things to do as part of “giving back” to our community.

In the spring, we all go on a retreat. From Friday to Sunday, we pack up and go to some wonderful chalet/resort to hold our book club for that month, enjoy a little R&R and sneak in a spa day and even wine tasting. It’s a great time to take a break and enjoy a little getaway. Each year we rotate which sister host’s the book club at the retreat. 

Rounding back to fall, SAGE holds our annual book bag/school supply drive every September and judging by the reviews from the schools we choose, this is our popular and rewarding undertaking. 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
SAGE has a strong sense of community. We feel it is important, not only as a group, but as individuals that we “give back” to society, to our community. We do our small part largely in the months of September and December with our school supply drive and adopt a family, respectively. 

Ms Laing, eagerly coordinates our charitable efforts. She locates needy schools, contacts the officials, and then takes charge of our delivery efforts – usually capped off with a celebratory brunch. 

As you can see we require energy to do our community service and we do not hesitate to take time out to get our nourishment and to be in each other’s company! Community service can be so rewarding. Our Secret Santa charitable activity operates in a similar fashion. The families in crisis are suggested or referred to us from a local school counselor. We divide up the shopping responsibilities and then we get together again – this time for a potluck, gift-wrapping event! Delivery to the family is done discreetly, so the parents of the children can give the gifts as if they had purchased them. We really enjoy this fundraiser the most!

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
We find that when reading in an organized group, it requires us to respect our differences in taste, as well as, appreciate our similarities in reading materials. We do not always like the book of the month, but because the love and respect that we share, it requires us to be flexible and tolerant. We have realized that flexibility, tolerance, patience and true sisterhood is required for the cohesiveness and continued success of our book club.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
Initially, SAGE wanted to support only black authors as we hear constantly how black authors do not receive much support from their own community. So in our small way, we tried to do our part to support our own community. However, we have found we also enjoy “other than black” authors as well. Some members find books that tell the story of social struggles and obstacles that reflect morality issues of love and fidelity are considered a “good read.”

While others enjoy stories with villains and heroines as great page-turners, all of SAGE appreciate books that have in their conclusion, moral and ethical lessons, to be considered on an individual scale. We have enjoyed page turners by authors such as: Trice Hickman, Mary Monroe, Eric Jerome Dickey, Kimberla Lawson-Roby, Beverly Jenkins, GiGi Gunn, Walter Mosley, Dolen Perking –Valdez, Lutisha Lovely and last, but certainly not least, the late E. Lynn Harris.

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
SAGE has several members who use and enjoy electronic reading devices. It is a fact that if all of us go to our local library or bookstore for the book of the month, there would be a shortage. Having the ability to order a book in an instant has increased readership. Having the ability to download the book at one’s leisure is very satisfying, although some of our members just love feeling the pages and “the smell” of a great book, or if luck has it, having that book signed by the author. Overall, a hard copy of a book will never go unappreciated.

Submitted by:
Acqueetta Ragland-Higdon and Members of the S.A.G.E. Bookclub
Sistahs Acquiring Goals Through Excellence (
S.A.G.E. Bookclub)


 

Intimate Conversation with Indulge Book Club 
Micole Marbury, Coordinator/Founder

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, Indulge Book Club.  How many members do you have?
Indulge Book Club was started December 2005. We are located in Washington DC. We currently have ten members. Indulge Coordinator/Founder is Micole Marbury, Secretary is Marcia Horton, Activities Coordinator Latarsha Reid, Photographer Chaquita Goode, Indulge little readers facilitator Mailka Watkins

We started Indulge because we love to read and we wanted an outlet from our daily lives and to fellowship with friends. We are a group of individuals who meet every 1st Sunday at various member homes from 4pm to 6pm for book discussions. We are varied in age and are of numerous backgrounds. We are passionate readers who have been reading together for five years in December, 2010. 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
The mission of the group is to free our minds from the stresses of life and indulge ourselves in great books, food and conversation. Indulge was not originally establish for community service purposes but in the upcoming years we plan to start promoting the importance of reading.

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We meet once a month for our book club meetings. We have activities planned for every three months in the year. We have an annual game night, we see movies together, go to dinner together, and for our 5th Anniversary on December 4, 2010 we are going to cruise on the Odyssey. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
As the Organizer/Founder of Indulge Book Club, it has been a great pleasure to know and meet so many amazing people and to hear there thoughts and emotions. The experience helps us grow as individuals. The books are a bonus

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as for the Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
These devices are good because it helps the reader now have so many books all over the place. But they do not hold the same substance as books.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
You can contact us at Indulgebookclub@yahoo.com,  www.Facebook.com/Indulgebookclub,  and (website is under construction www.indulgebookclub.com).  Email us for the mailing address to send books for review.



 

Intimate Conversation with Sister’s United Book Club 

BPM: Give us the history on your organization, Sister’s United Book Club. How many members?
Sister’s United (SU) Book Club is an African American Women's Book Club organized to learn and experience the world of African American Literature in a fun, exciting, and enlightening atmosphere among our peers. We were established January 2002 in Jacksonville, Florida. Our current membership is at nine and following are officers: President: Sherrell Moore, Vice President: Vanessa Thomas, Secretary: Cassandra Matthews, Treasurer: Yvette Stallings and Historian: Angie Brown.

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
Our mission is to promote and Support African American authors. Our goal is to collectively gain knowledge of the African American experience, collaborate through literary dialogue, build sincere and loving relationships and serve the African American community by promoting literacy and sisterhood. 

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
SU tries to engage as many authors as we can throughout the year. We often invite authors to come to our monthly meeting to discuss their books. SU also attend The Romance Slam Jam events annually when our schedules permit. To date we’ve joined authors Zane and Brenda Jackson on their cruises. In additional to all of our activities and events we have our Annual “Waiting to Exhale Trip” where all of us travel to designated vacation spot for a weekend of fun and relaxation. 

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
SU has an annual Christmas celebration where we exchange gifts, enjoy a meal and fellowship as sisters.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in an organized group had on your life? 
This group has been more than just a book club, it’s been an outlet for us as women to discuss life and its challenges as well as benefits. Our book club emulates the true meaning of sisterhood.

BPM: Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why?
Yes, understanding the character’s whole being makes the character more relatable to readers and helps to further illustrate the message the author wants to convey. I’ll use Tyler Perry’s latest movie “For Colored Girls” as an example. That movie touched on reality in today’s society even though the play was written some time ago. Tyler used his craft and the right actors/actresses to bring it to life. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc? 
We have a very diverse group and we all enjoy different ways of doing things. With that being said I must give a shout out to Angie she’s our Kindle Queen. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
www.facebook.com/sistersunitedbookclub  AND sistersunitedbookclub@yahoo.com 

Submitted by:
Sisters United Book Club
President: Sherrell Moore 
Jacksonville, Florida 
Email us for the mailing address to send books for review.



 

Intimate Conversation with Lovely Ladies Book Club


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, Lovely Ladies Book Club. 
A: Lovely Ladies Book Club was founded in November 2008. We are located in Minnesota and we meet the 2nd Saturday of every month. At the present time we have 9 members and we are continuously growing. Our purpose of coming together was to broaden our horizons in all areas of literature and meet new people while ding so. We are a women's only group who take pride in our meetings and discussions times while we also actively participate in the community. We love the variety of books that each member brings to the group and we are always looking for new books to review. We have hopes of traveling to meet other book clubs around the world.

President- Katrina Rhodes
Vice President- Jamila Reid
Treasurer- Bobbie Miller

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
A: Our group volunteers three times a month at different organizations such as Feed my Starving Children, local food shelf's, senior citizen homes, schools, boys and girls clubs, and much more. Giving back to the community is very important to all our members. Along with giving back we also like to show our members just how much we really appreciate them so we have a middle and end of the year event every year. They can be anything from parties, spa treatments, dancing lesson, dinners to gift cards, special recognition at meetings, present and more.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you have read the last page?
A: One difference of our group from others is that we read it all. There is no limit as to what we might read. We read drama, fiction, auto biographies, urban fiction, spiritual, horror and so much more. In order for a book to stay on your mind it has to have tons of suspense that keeps you guessing. It should start off with a little background and slowly build on the plot but throw things in there that the reader may not have even imagined therefore making it unable to be put down because it is so exciting.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
A: At this we do not have a website but are currently working on one. The best way to find out information about us is to check us out on Facebook under Lovely Ladies Book Club or email us at lovely_ladies_book_club@live.com Also for authors who would like us to consider their book for our a meetings, please email us for the mailing address.

BPM: Do you feel as if African American are represented in a good light in today's media and books?
A: I think that there are some books that have a lesson to be learned and portray African Americans as good people but the majority of urban fiction books do not portray a positive outcome. They portray the African American males as drug dealers, hustlers, pimps and so on while the African American women are portrayed as hoes, groupies, gold diggers, and uneducated. The media has a more positive outlook than books do when it comes to African Americans.

Submitted by:
Katrina Rhodes, President
Jamila Reid, Vice President 

Lovely Ladies Book Club
Email: lovely_ladies_book_club@live.com



Intimate Conversation with
Ladies of the Round Table


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, Ladies of the Round Table. 
Ladies of the Round Table or LRT as we affectionately call it, began with a vision of Veronica Jackson wanting to start a book club. She asked a few co-workers and the group was formed. We all shared a passion for reading and possess different opinions on subject matters. We began in November 2009 and during this first year a president was not appointed. We govern ourselves by a set of bylaws that each member helped to organize. Our secretary is Tyliekia Webb and our Treasurer is April Stewart. LRT is located in Memphis, Tennessee and has eighteen members. 

BPM: What is the mission of the group? Tell us about your work in the community. 
The mission of LRT is to build strong sisterly bonds with each other and extend that love into the community. We have collected and donated household items and food to the Ronald McDonald house in Memphis, TN. We recently took part of a photo shoot campaign, “Think Pink”, where all monies raised were given to the Susan G. Komen fund for Breast Cancer Awareness. Our upcoming goals for 2011 are to complete three (3) projects in the community. 

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
During this holiday season we plan to have a fellowship with all members. Discuss and reflect on the past year, establish goals for the upcoming year and provide a needy family with gifts that may not have been normally possible. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
LRT has impacts my life by being a great social network that allows me to step outside of the box by reading books that I normally would not have chosen. It has given me a broader perspective on authors. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
Electronic books such as Kindle, Nook and IPad seem to be the wave of the future. We recently raffled off a Nook for our one year anniversary. The Nook offers various options of books with the touch of the hand at a reasonable price. The device pays for itself several times for the serious reader. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club?
LRT can be found on Facebook, Ladiesofthe RoundTable-Bookclub or email us at lrtbookclub@yahoo.com

Submitted by:
Tyliekia Webb, LRT Secretary



Intimate Conversation with Women of Character 


BPM: Join me in welcoming Jenelle of the Women of Character Book Club. 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. 

We have open membership at this time. For more information, please e-mail Jenelle at jb@womenofcharacterbookclub.com.    Our website is: http://www.womenofcharacterbookclub.com 

The Women of Character Book Club 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."

BPM: What format does  your meetings take place?
WOC: We currently meet on the 3rd Saturday every other month at a member's church. We always open up in prayer for the Lord to lead our discussions. When we have women that are visiting, we discuss our mission statement and review the importance of confidentiality. A designated member will open up with an Ice Breaker. This is a time for them to share a word of inspiration, empowerment and sister-building.

BPM: What do you define as Quality Literature?
WOC: In speaking to several authors, it is my impression that quality literature is when an author allows the Lord to minister through them onto the pages of a novel. It is through the story lines portrayed in the novels that hit really close to home, which allows an opportunity for self-discovery. Our discussions are based on real-life experiences as it relates to the word of God.

BPM: Who are some authors that your group has featured?  What are you reading now?
WOC: We have had the opportunity to talk with authors such as Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Victoria Christopher Murray,  Sherri L. Lewis  and ReShonda Tate Billingsley via speakerphone.   We were blessed to have met Patricia Haley at a book signing for "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie."   We have also been blessed to have Tia McCollors visit us to discuss "The Truth about Love."

WOC: We are currently reading, "Chosen", written by Patricia Haley. This novel was sent to me by Patricia's publicist. I enjoyed it so much that it became one of our selections. 


BPM: How does the Women of Character Book Club stand the test of time?
WOC: I feel our book club has lasted as long as it has, mainly because God has always been the center of every decision. In the beginning the majority of us came together with mostly one thing in common, and that was our love of reading. Over time a bond was formed from the discussions and personal testimonies. So over the years it has become about more than reading a book. We are excited to see each other, to encourage and be encouraged in our daily walk. We are a small intimate group that truly love each other.

The W.O.C  is also a safe haven, a place where members can share their joys and sorrows, it's a sisterhood built on faith, bound by our desire to go beyond the boundary of books and see what God is speaking into our hearts and minds. It is for this reason that I think we have been able to maintain and grow. The W.O.C has allowed me to experience sisterly fellowship with women who understand that we are all 'Water Colored Pearls' (a novel written by Stacy Hawkins Adams that was our 2007 book of the year).

Thanks for giving the Women of Character an opportunity to share with you why we love our book club. We ask for your prays and your continued support, and when you need a break, grab a good book, kick back, let go, and let God!! 

BPM: Jenelle, it has been a pleasure speaking with you. The Women of Character Book Club is a wonderful literary group. Thank you for Giving the Gift of Knowledge.

Ella Curry, president EDC Creations
Website: http://www.edc-creations.com

 


 

Intimate Conversation with ReadPeriod Book Club


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization, ReadPeriod. How often do you meet?
We are a book club located in the Dallas-Ft Worth, Texas area. The name of our "club" is ReadPeriod. We started in 2007 with four members and we've grown to 12 enthusiastic members, who enjoy the fellowship as much as we enjoy the critique. We meet once a month, rotating the meeting locations. Our President is Milledge Caldwell. Some members are related which adds to frank and honest discussions.

We sometimes see a movie that is our book of the month. We have also traveled to San Antonio, Texas to participate in Black Book Club seminar that featured Black Authors. On occasion we go out socially, i.e dinner, drinks and good wholesome fun.

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
ReadPeriod, President Milledge Caldwell -- As president I will be spending the Holidays with family. I'm originally from the Mid-West as are five other members, so we often have extended family visiting during that time. One of our members gives a annual Christmas Party for our members (just the ladies, LOL).

BPM: What genre of books do you select for book-of-the-month discussions? Why?
We choose to read Black Authors for ten months during the year, because we want to support African American authors financially and because we can relate to the works and understand the point of view that the authors are writing from. We also feel that African American literary works ensure lively discussions! We do however, read other authors twice, during the year. 

BPM: Do you feel as if African American couples and families are represented in a good light in today's film, music, media and books?
We find that many of the Black Authors have the common theme of misogyny and unfaithfulness, which can be disappointing because of the negative characterizations.

BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
I feel that because of the commercialism of today many black authors won't live up to the standards of writers in the past whom wrote from real hardships and were trying to paint black people in a more positive light i.e Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, John Hope Franklin, Frederick Douglas etc. It seems that some of the largest African American book sellers are not the best writers but are instead the writer with the largest publicity budget. 

Submitted by:
Nikki Coe and Deborah Sanders


ReadPeriod, President Milledge Caldwell

 


 

Intimate Conversation with Soul Sistah Book Club


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization,
Soul Sistah Book Club

Soul Sistah Book Club started with several co-workers that constantly shared stories from different books we all read. Eventually that lead to swapping books and even more stories. After some time, we decided that we should form a book club - get together and discuss the books that we all were reading. 

Currently, our group does not have officers, but we have decided to change that with a vote that will take place in December 2010. We held our first official meeting in November 2008 and we're located in Chicago, IL. To date, we have sixteen active members. 

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? What type of yearly events to you have?
We have a monthly meeting at a different member's home each month with the other members making a monetary contribution for food/drinks. For our first anniversary author Earl Sewell came to facilitate our discussion for his book Have Mercy. We just celebrated our second anniversary this month at Waterbird Inn and Spa in Chesterton IN. We enjoyed an overnight stay with a manicure, pedicure and massage. Currently, we have no plans to travel, but we are considering that for the future. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
We all agree that this book club has brought us closer together as friends and co-workers. Recently, a member lost her mother and we banded together to support her during her time of loss and grief. Having a connection with the book club has opened us to new thoughts and ideas. It's like having sixteen extended family members. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
This was a tough question for us to answer because we read such a variety of books as individuals let alone as a group. We mainly focus on African American authors, but are open to other authors as well. One of the key factors that make a book remain on our minds is how much it relates to real life, i.e. Hittin' the Bricks by Noire and The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips sparked very engaging conversations for us because some of the storylines hit home. 

BPM: Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why?
Yes we do. We read In My Father's House by E. Lynn Harris and some members couldn't really relate to the main character's homosexual lifestyle. It's important to be able to relate to a character when reading. The character has to be believable - even if you don't like him/her or their lifestyle. 

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and TV - plus size women/men, sassy seniors, diverse personalities, gay culture, financial advice or religious beliefs, etc.? 
We all said yes to the examples in the question, particularly, we'd like to see more seniors as main characters. We couldn't recall any books we've read recently where a senior has been a main character and not someone's grandparent or older family member. Seniors still have drama, romance and crime happening in their lives so it would be interesting to see it in a novel. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
We have a few members in our group that have electronic books/readers and they love them! We even have a couple of members that read books through their iPhones and Blackberrys. Electronic books save space and are very convenient: no traveling to the bookstore or waiting for books on back orders. A few mouse clicks and you have your book right there. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
Soul Sistah Book Club can be reached at:  soulsistahbookclub@hotmail.com or on Facebook at SoulSistah BookClub. 



Intimate Conversation with Proverbs 31 Book Club

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. What year did you start? Where are you located? 
Proverbs 31 Book Club formed October 4, 2009 in Montgomery, AL. We consist of five members, President -Carolyn Lucas, Secretary-Chelsa Brown, Treasurer-Regina White, Book Reviewers-Alesha Judkins and Nicole Duff.

Proverbs 31 Book Club supports Christian fiction literature by African-American authors. If you are an author and would like to have your book considered by the Proverbs 31 Book Club or featured on our blog, please contact us at proverbs31bookclub@gmail.com  We are interested in helping, promoting and supporting African-American authors and we will do our best to get the word out about your books. 

BPM: What legacy do you think you club will leave for those watching you in the community?
Not only are we a book club but we are women who encourage, and inspire each other through Christian fiction and literature so that God can shape us into the virtuous women He made us to be, a Proverbs 31 Woman. We also try to reach out to other women through our postings on our blog as well. We have donated to the organization Aid for Inmate Mothers for the Pack a Purse Project so that women released from prison with have necessities to help them on there journey of getting out in society. We are planning many community service projects in the near future.

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
On occasion we have a movie night at a member's home or we got out for dinner and a movie just to keep in touch with other. Our book discussion meetings are held once a month. We are looking forward to doing some traveling to book conferences in the future.

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays? Will your club have a group party?
We will be having Christmas Party in the month of December and will be participating in Secret Santa. We're very excited about it!

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
Proverbs 31 mainly reads Christian fiction novels. Because we are being ministered to in those books, it has been very beneficial to each member in developing and strengthening her walk with the Lord. Because of that we have also formed a sisterhood with each other and have become great friends and prayer partners.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
You can find out more about us on Facebook, on our blog at: www.proverbs31bookclub.blogspot.com,  or email us at proverbs31bookclub@gmail.com. If you visit the site please feel free to leave a comment or sign our Guestbook!

Submitted by Chelsa Brown - Secretary


 

Intimate Conversation with 
Black Author Book Club aka BAB Club

The Black Author Book Club was created to bring a group of friends together that enjoy reading. The book club has increased the members volume of reading. Book club members meet at each others homes to give each member a chance to host a book club discussion. We use a standard set of discussion questions, if we can't find the discussion questions that exist for a particular book. We are celebrating our 5 year anniversary in November 2010.

What year were you founded? 
The Black Author Book Club aka BAB Club was established in 2005. 

What state are you located? 
We are located in Birmingham, Alabama. 

How many members? 
We currently have 5 members. You can read more about them below!

Tina Jones- Founder & Member 5 years 
*Favorite authors?  Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Carl Weber
*Favorite books?  A Piece of Cake, Too Much of a Good Thing, Invisible Life
* What impact has reading had on your life?  It has changed my reading habits. I read more books since creating this book club.

Kimberley Washington- Member 5 years 

Jeanise White- Member 5 years 
*Favorite authors?  Kimberla Lawson Roby
*Favorite books?  Too Much of a Good Thing, Be Careful What You Pray For
* What impact has reading had on your life?  It has exposed me to new people and activities.
*Hobbies besides reading?  Tennis 

Santauisha Mcguire- Member 4 years 
*Favorite authors?  Carl Weber, Zane, and Mary B. Morrison 
*Favorite books?  G-spot by Zane
*What impact has reading had on your life?  It frees my mind from my everyday life and allows me to escape into fantasy. 
*Hobbies besides reading?  Member of the Order of Eastern Star. I do a lot of community volunteer.

Debra Taylor- Member 5 years
* Who are your favorite authors?  Kimberla Lawson Roby and Carl Weber
* What are the titles of your favorite books? Too Much Of A Good Thing, Be Careful What You Pray For, Best Kept Secret, One In A Million, The Preacher's Son and Baby Mama Drama. 
* What are your hobbies besides reading? Bowling, playing cards and hanging out with my friends when time permits us too.

Debra Taylor- Member 5 years
*What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life? 
Being in a book club has made me stay consistent when reading a book with determination to finish it. Yes, several of them has allowed me to evaluate some things in my life, especially relationships. 
 
What was the first book that you read as a group? 
The first book we read as a group is "Too Much of a Good Thing" by Kimberla Lawson Roby. 

What literary events do you attend each year? 
We attended the Black Book Expo in Atlanta, Georgia this year. We plan to attend the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta 2011. 

How many books do you read in one month? Would you say you read more for escape, for educational purposes or for entertainment? 
The BAB Club reads and discuss a book by a black author every other month. We read for escape and entertainment purposes. 

Interview submitted by Tina Jones 
Birmingham, AL 35215 
Email: TCJ03@aol.com 



Intimate Conversation with Sistahs United 
on the Eastern Shore Book and Social Club

Sistahs United on the Eastern Shore Book and Social Club was found on July 26, 2008 by Lori Morris. She got the idea to start the book from family and co-workers. The conversation of books always came up at family gatherings and at work. A co-worker told her she should start a book club. She invited friends and family members to the first meeting, there were 6 ladies that registered at the first meeting. Now we have 11 members. 

We are a small group of women on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware, we coming together once a month, for at least three hours to discuss books. Our first book of the month was “Jezebel” by Jacqueline Thomas. We have attend the Chocolate Social and National Book Club Conference 2010. The vision for our organization is to come together as sisters to share our feelings, love of reading and to socialize. We host the Mother's Day Social each year.

On your night stand now: 
Shack by William P. Young

Favorite book when you were a child: 
The series from author Mildred D. Taylor "Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry" "Road to Memphis" 
and "Let the Circle Be Unbroken".

Book you bought for the cover: 
A Change Had to Come by Gwynne Forster 

Book that should be a movie or play: 
Up To No Good by Carl Weber 

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year: 
Wes Moore, Victor McGlothin, and Jacqueline Thomas 

How can authors contact you for book reviews and events?
SUESBooksClub@aol.com
http://suesbookclub.webs.com

Lori, how do you like to read? Do you download books? Will digital books ever replace a hard copy?
I love to read a good story, especially when I see the characters as if I were looking at a movie and it keeps my attention thru the whole book. I read two to three books in one month, reading more for the escape and entertainment. I do not download books, preferring to have a hard copy book. In my opinion, digital books will replace printed books in the near future.



Intimate Conversation with Book Talk Book Club


Meta, tell us a little about you. Share your favorite books, music, plays or family activities.
My name is Meta Anthony and I am an 50+ avid reader and president of Book Talk Book club in Atlanta. My favorite authors are James Patterson and Kimberla Lawson Roby. I enjoy all types of plays, mostly geared toward black artists. 

Share with us the history of the organization. How did you get started? 
Our book club was formed in 1997 by four co-workers who worked at a local company in Atlanta, GA. Since that time we have had many members, fortunately some have stayed and unfortunately some have decided to move on to other things. We have had as little as five members and as many as twenty-one. As you can see Book Talk goes on. Our current active members are twelve. I'm not sure of the first book we read back in 1997, but the first one we read in January of 2004 was Mary's Little Lamb by Lawrence Christopher. 

We are currently reading Uptown by Dewberry and Grant for August, 2010. We usually attend the National Book Club conference in July/August in Atlanta. We also attended the 1st Black Book Club Expo on August 7th in Atlanta, GA this year. Also, in December we will be attend the DeKalb County Jubilee Annual Book Conference in Decatur, GA

What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision to make life better for someone by reading and making dreams come true. We are not currently involved as a book club in donating to charities, but several members donate their time and energy on their own. 

Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you. 
Reading is very important to me, for it helps me to look at this in a different prospective.

What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life?
Reading has been a great impact on life. Mainly, because I come from a background of teachers....mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles.  I always loved to read, because it took some places I may never visit. I usually read at least books a month, if time permits. One for the book club and two on my own.

Do you prefer a printed book or digital book? Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book?
Yes, I have been introduced to the kindle and I enjoy the books on digital. I do have some authors that I collect their writings and I prefer them on hardback. No, I don't think the digital will ever replay the hardback, for some just like the feel of a book and turning pages. 

:Living your best life includes: 
• Being true to yourself

On your nightstand now: 
My kindle and Uptown by Dewberry and Grant

Favorite book when you were a child: 
Raggedy Ann & Andy

Book all readers should own excluding the bible: 
Write It Down, Make It Happen  by Henriette Anne Klauser

Book you gave as a gift: 
Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman Bellamy

Book you've bought for the cover: 
E Lynn Harris -- In My Father's House

Book that should be a movie or play: 
Fifteen Years by Kendra Norman Bellamy

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year: 
Kimberla Lawson Roby, James Patterson and Victoria Christopher Murray

Submitted by Meta V. Anthony 
Book Talk Book Club,   Atlanta, GA  




Intimate Conversation with the Savvy Book Club

BPM: Rose, tell us a little about you, your family and your favorite things. 
My name is Rose Wright, President of the Savvy Book Club and I live in Jackson, Mississippi with my family, including my husband Frank of 20 years. Our family consists of three lovely children, Takesha, Khadijah and Frank Jr.. I am an educator by profession. I have been in the education arena for 22 years. I currently teach APAC U. S. History. I love to read and spend quality time with family. I am the President and Founder of the Savvy Book Club. My hobbies include reading, cross-stitch and flora arrangement.

BPM: How did you get started? How many members? What literary events do you attend each year? 
Savvy Book Club began April 2007 in Jackson, MS. The club started because we were always talking about the good book we read, when we passed each other in the hallway at work. And people use to think we were talking about someone real and when we revealed we were talking about a book character everyone's response was, you all should start a bookclub. So, one day I told them I was ready and wanted to know if I could count on them as members. They agreed. I researched other clubs and even visited other meetings to get ideas. The librarian at the local library in the area were looking to start bookclubs in their library so we started our club at their library. We had a lot of help from the ladies at the library. Three of them joined the book club and have been faithful members from the beginning. 

Our First Book chosen was "Let the Church Say Amen" by ReShonda Tate Billingsley. We currently have 15 active members. Events: Since beginning the bookclub we have met over forty authors. Many in which we hosted Author Meet and Greets for them. We have also hosted several book release celebration. Charity donations: We have donated books to youth through day care centers, learning centers and summer programs. We hold book drives to do this.

BPM: What is the vision for your organization? Do you host events during the year? 
Our Vision Is: Keeping in tune with the latest Books and Literature, through our Love of Reading and Meeting those who have touched our lives through books. We have hosted alot of writers over the years. This year we sponsored several book release celebrations for authors. Those authors include:

Virginia Deberry & Donna Grant /NY Best Selling Author
Kendra Norman- Bellamy /Atlanta Christian Fiction 
Brian S. Smith /Texas and Bruce Wright/Atlanta

We hosted Mississippi Author Sydney Molare' (Author Pick of the Year 2009) We teamed up with author to do a Literacy Drive and she provided books to everyone who attended the event. 

BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you.
Reading is so important. As my pastor recently said. "Words have power". When I read a book I always try to find the message. It may not be the one the author has set for me, but a message no the less.

BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life? 
Reading had impact me alot. It is my escape. When you have a family you sometimes need some down time. So after everyone has gone to bed I curl up with a book. I can relate to many of the books I read. 

BPM: How many books do you read in one month? Would you say you read more for escape or for entertainment? 
Books are my escape. I speed read so I can finish a book in two to three days. Sometimes in shorter time (summer months). Summer months I may read six to ten books a month. Other months two at the most. Unless I have a book to review. If the book is really good I can really get through it fast. I will read a book before I watch television. 

There are so many books I have not read and many that I have read and want to read. I can't mention them all but I do love their work. I mostly Christian Fiction, Romance, little Mystery Autobiographies and Drama. I have not read Sci-Fi, Vampire etc.  It does not interest me. But it doesn't mean they don't have some good novels.

BPM: Do you download books? Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? 
I have only downloaded one book. I like the hard copies and audio books. I can clean my house, exercise, and drive using audio books. I don't think it will ever replace a printed book. Some may like it. I just don't have time for it, right now.

BPM: Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations?  
I think that all writers have had a author to inspire them at one point in their lives and or career. Some authors may have more impact than others. I think that today many authors write about everyday life situations and are not limit as many earlier writers were. That's why we are finding more and more self publish authors with great little books. I think there are many that will go on to be just as great as many of those past author if not greater.

Living your best life includes: 
Love, Trusting in God and Spending time Family & Friends.

On your nightstand now: 
Power of the Praying Women.

:Favorite book when you were a child: 
Little House on the Prairie & Box Car Children.

Book all readers should own excluding the bible: 
Daily Devotionals, I recommend Jacquelin Thomas's novels. 

Book you gave as a gift: 
Kimberla Lawson Roby's " Deep Dark Secret"

Book you've bought for the cover: 
The Vow

:Favorite couple from a book or series: 
Hosea Bush & Jasmine Lawson, series "Victoria Christopher Murray". Mary Monroe, "God Don't like Ugly series"
:
Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: 
Terri Mc Millian's "How Stella Got Her Grove Back"

:Favorite genre or sequels: 
I read a lot of Christian Fiction. I do not have just one genre or series I love to read. Brenda Jackson "Madris Saga" or Kim Roby's "Curtis Black Series" or maybe Mary Morrison's "Darius Jones Sagas". There are so many...hard to select just one...LOL

Book that should be a movie or play: 
Several of Brian S. Smith books

:Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year:
Maya Angelou, Terri McMillian, Francis Ray.

Submitted by: Rose Wright, President of the Savvy Book Club
Website Address: www.savvybookclub.com



Intimate Conversation with the Black Orchids Book Club

The Black Orchids Book Club of Houston, Texas was founded in February, 2005, by Sheryl McConnell and Sherral Berry. The purpose of starting the book club was to reach out to African American women who were 40+ and shared the love of reading. Presently our group consists of 21 diverse Orchids from various professions. We cover the entire relationship spectrum from married, single, divorced, and widowed.

We meet on a bi-monthly basis at homes of club members or local restaurants. Our primary goal is to get together for a lively evening of discussion, debating, eating and drinking. We occasionally have authors attend our meetings to discuss their books. We also periodically dress or decorate the meeting site based upon the theme of the book. Our members are noted for putting 100% into our meetings. All of these activities translate in fun filled events.


Vision for Organization 
The vision of our club is to be more than a book club. Additionally, we also want to serve as a “sisterhood.” We are striving to expand our activities into more community outreach projects. To date, we’ve made several individual donations as well to organizations such as the Food Bank and the Covenant House.

How important reading is to you? 
Reading is very important to us because it provides the mind with nourishment. It exercises the brain and provides us with food for thought. Reading also provides a venue for traveling around the world from the comfort of your home. How awesome is that!

Reading is also beneficial to us because it is a perfect medium for relaxing. It allows us to temporarily remove ourselves from places of pain and sorrow. Books can serve as remarkable friends.

Living your best life includes: 
Being thankful for everything, everyday and throwing out the negative and embracing the positive! 

On your nightstand now: 
Starting Your Day Right & Ending Your Day Right (double-set) by Joyce Meyer 

Favorite book when you were a child: 
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 

Favorite line or couple from a book: 
Lindes from Now and Then, Again by Bonnie Hopkins 
“You can’t get weary in well doing. Even if it means doing good to somebody who wronged you in the worst way.” 
AND, “You shouldn’t let anyone make you have a hard heart against them. It’ll make you sick or shorten your life.” 

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: 
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Klyosaki 

Favorite genre, series or sequels: 
All time favorite sequels is The Pact and The Bond by Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. Two books of triumphant and inspiration for the youth of today.

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.  
Steve Harvey, Mark Dulaney and Maya Angelou 



Intimate Conversation with the Literary Lunch Bunch (LLB)

History – We discussed THE SISTERHOOD OF BLACKBERRY CORNER in two meetings. 
At the 1st meeting in which we discussed it, one of our members did “show and tell.” She brought the stoneware jar in which her husband’s great aunt stored their ‘juice’ and shared stories she was told about how this aunt used to go into the hinterlands of West Virginia to deliver babies. She also showed us a handmade quilt that contained photographs of the family, and genealogical information.

• Identity – We have custom made caps on which our club name is embroidered.

• Friendship/Celebrations – When people meet together on a regular basis to perform a common activity, bonding occurs. This situation is no exception to that phenomenon. New and deeper friendships have been formed. We have celebrated occasions that are special to a member, such as a birthday, a wedding anniversary or the wedding of a son or daughter. One member and her husband hosted a party to celebrate the inauguration of our new president. It started prior to the administration of the oath of office, and ended with the changing into eveningwear for the ball.

How did the Literary Lunch Bunch get together?
We are a group of women who retired from professional careers. Upon her retirement, the founder of our club (Evelyn Gilliard) felt that she did not want to loose contact with many of her professional friends. Thus, our club was founded in September, 2002 by Evelyn and a core group of four ladies. Each person was commissioned to recruit one to two additional members, so that our initial membership consisted of 13 people. We range in age from 62 to 87 years old. 

How does your bookclub work and how does your bookclub decide what to read?
On the third Thursday of each month we meet at one of Atlanta’s finest restaurants for lunch. The role of session leader is assigned in alphabetical rotation. The responsibility of the leader is to choose a reading assignment, to decide on the method of discourse for that assignment, and of course, identify a restaurant in which to hold the meeting.

What makes your bookclub unique?
• We read short stories and place emphasis on intellectual discourse. 
• We look at the authors and their possible motivation for writing the stories.
• We thoroughly dissect the story.
• The session leader will also share her rationale for the selection of the respective readings. 

Our session leader has used a variety presentation and discussion strategies such as:
• Small group (2-3 persons) discussions
• Chat with the author
• Large group discussions
• Movie/Book Comparisons
• Debates
• Power point presentation
• Prepared questions given to individual or pairs that are to be addressed and presented to the total group
• Invite younger ladies to attend meetings so that a different perspective on the story or situation can be obtained.

What have been your favorite selections?
We have read stories by Harlem Renaissance authors such as Langston Hughes, internationally recognized authors such as Maya Angelou, well-known drama playwrights such as Amiri Baraka, and numerous contemporary authors, such as Anthony Grooms, Dr. Oz and President Barack Obama. 

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading?
Annual Sail – In June, a summer gathering consists of a meeting on the boat of one of our members. It’s a two-day meeting, consisting of a discussion of our reading selection and a sail on the lake.

Fall Frolic – Every Fall (October or November) we go to the mountains of North Georgia for two days. On this occasion, our session leader conducts our discussion by candlelight, after a meal eaten on fine china and excellent wine.

Summary
What started out as a means of keeping in touch after retirement has turned out to be a stimulating and rewarding seven years for Literary Lunch Bunch members. Not only has our inquisitiveness for literary works been heightened, but also, our viewpoints on life have broadened. And most importantly, it has resulted in the cementing of relationships with each other. 

 



Intimate Conversation with The Pillars Book Club



BPM: Share with us the history of the organization.
History -The Pillars Book Club was established in November of 2008 by Sondra George. We meet quarterly as we have members in Louisiana and Texas. Each quarter a hostess chooses a destination location (We travel!) for our meetings. Our meetings usually last two or three day and the events are centered around the book we're discussing. 

In addition to our quarterly meetings we participate in community service events. Recently we held our 1st annual "Gift of Literacy" event gifting 400 books to children. We currently have fourteen members spanning five generations. We hold our annual Meet & Greet for new members in the fall each year. 

BPM: Sondra, please tell us a little about you and the things you are passionate about.
I am Sondra George of Dallas, Texas. While I am an avid reader of all genres, I have a passion for history, African American, French, American and otherwise. 

BPM: What is the vision for your organization?

It is our vision to share the love of reading with each other and to use this gift of literacy to bless others while we have fun.  My vision is to share my love of reading with others hoping to enhance their lives on all levels. To use the book club as a platform to build life long relationships. 

BPM: Living your best life includes:
Having no regrets, learning from your mistakes and embracing all days, good and bad, while reading your heart out!


BPM: Share a book that changed your life:
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini, gave us insight to the struggles of women today. It changed our perception of our Eastern sisters here in American and abroad. It gave us a new respect for their culture and their plight. 

BPM: On your nightstand now:
The Help - K Stockett  and The Million Dollar Divorce - RM Johnson

BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
Maya Angelou,  Barack Obama and Eric Jerome Dickey

BPM: The Pillars Book Club President's favorite quote: 
The worth of a book is measured by what you can carry from it.

Photo:  The Pillars Book Club president, Sondra George 



Intimate Conversation with The
Regal Sisterhood 


The Regal Sisterhood was founded in October 2005 by Misty Irby, on the premise of fostering new friendships around a common activity--- reading. Misty wanted to introduce a reading club which embraced the concept of “Sisterhood”, creating a unified literary circle! 

BPM: What is the vision for your organization? 
• The vision of the Regal Sisterhood Book Club is to expand literary knowledge and personal growth amongst its members and their families. Regal stands for “ Reading , Empowering & Gaining Abundant Life.” 

BPM: Living your best life includes: 
• Living a life of joy and peace with a commitment to get better every day. 

BPM: On your nightstand now: 
• “Beater” by Brian W. Smith

BPM: Book that changed your life: 
• “Up Pops The Devil” by Angela Benson

BPM: Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: 
• “The Shack” by William P. Young

BPM: Favorite genre, series or sequels: 
• Favorite genre is Christian Fiction. Favorite series of books is on the character Jasmine Larson by Victoria Christopher Murray.

BPM: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
• L.Y. Marlow, Victoria Christopher Murray and Stephanie Perry Moore.

BPM: Interview presented by Misty Irby, Regal Sisterhood Book Club
Website: www.regalsisterhood.zoomshare.com  

Photos:  Misty Irby, Regal Sisterhood Book Club

 



Intimate Conversation with The Reading Divas Book Club

BPM: Tell us a little about your passion for reading and your position in the bookclub.
My name is Sharon Richardson-Lucas and I am the founder and Chairperson of the Reading Divas Book Club. Though we have structure, we’ve never felt a need to elect officers but rather to draw on the individual strengths displayed by the club members. 

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and a Reading Diva! I recently retired after 20 years as a District Sales Manager with Avon Products, Inc. I have read all of my life – I come from a family of readers. I do not remember a time when I didn’t read – going back to when I had to hide “True Confessions” under the covers and read after I was supposed to be asleep. 

BPM: What was your first meeting like? How was it organized and structured?
After thinking about it for some time, in July 1998, I invited a group of friends to my home to review the book, “The Good Negress” by A. J. Verdelle. It wasn’t the most exciting read, but it did allow me to share my vision of a book club with the attendees and thus was born “The Reading Divas”. After more than 12 years, our basic structure remains the same: We are a group of African American women who meet monthly to review a book, share ideas, and exchange stories. Thus, we have formed a “sisterhood” of book lovers! My initial goal was to have at least 12 members so no one would have to host a meeting more than once each year, currently there are 14 members; we meet monthly, rotating from house to house; the hostess for the month selects the book for the month. We primarily read books written by African American Authors, but do not limit ourselves to any race or type of book. By silent vote, we don’t usually read the now popular “street” books or “erotica”. 

Several years ago, another charter member, Lena Tanguep, and I attended the National Book Club meeting in Atlanta hosted by Curtis Bunn. After that uplifting experience we agreed that the club needed more structure and we also needed to give something to the community and not limit ourselves to simply reading a book a month and socializing (we love mimosas and sangria). We then adopted a club charter to define our structure and we agreed to host an event to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. We weren’t sure exactly what we wanted to do, but we knew it had to be “literary” and not just a social event. 

BPM: Share with us the history of the organization.
In October 2008, we successfully hosted the “First Annual Reading Divas Literary Brunch” featuring Mary Monroe - she was fabulous and so was our audience of about 100. In October 2009, when we held our second Brunch featuring Virginia Deberry and Donna Grant- we knew we had hit on something good. Virginia and Donna were “excellent” – they made themselves at home and our audience loved them. We closed this affair knowing that our event has a “following” and that we were keeping our commitment to involve the community not just through our audience participation but also by inviting local authors, many of whom are self-publishing and trying to get their foot in the door – to participate and therefore expand their reach. 

In October 2010, we hosted our third Brunch – we have moved to a larger facility and our featured author was Dr. Daniel Omotosho Black – Nationally Acclaimed Author of the 21st Century. Special guest speaker was Ella Curry, of EDC Creations. Please go to Dr. Black’s website to read more about him – www.danielblack.org (Dr. Black  in photo above)

BPM: What is the vision for your organization?
Our vision is to “keep on keeping on” – reading, discussing, and socializing – as we help others to realize how important it is to our culture that we read the works of African American authors and to continue to grow our own annual Literary Event. 

BPM: Living your best life includes:
Living my best life includes: having books and my Kindle at my fingertips at all times – my motto is “Never Leave Home Without Something to Read”.

BPM: On your nightstand now:
On my nightstand now are: “Book Clubs” by Curtis Bunn and “They Tell me of a Home” by Daniel Black along with many books on my Kindle including “God Ain’t Blind” by Mary Monroe, “And Mistress Makes Three” by Francis Ray, and “Witch & Wizard” by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet.

BPM: What types of books did you read as a kid?
I’ve always been a mystery and suspense lover – so I loved “Nancy Drew” as a child but I soon moved on to Perry Mason.

BPM: What book would you read again to savor?
The book I want to read again and again to savor is “What Seems Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day” by Pearl Cleage.

BPM: What's your favorite book series?
My favorite series is anything in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson.

BPM: How important is reading in your life?
I cannot imagine life without the ability to enter new and different worlds through the written words of others.

BPM: How can our readers reach out to you?
Please go to our website – www.thereadingdivas12.com  – to read more about us or to get in touch with us. You can find out more about the Annual Reading Divas Literary Brunch on our site too.

Interview presented by chairperson – Sharon Richardson-Lucas





Intimate Conversation with Literary Wonders! Media Group


Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, president LW Media Group


BPM: Give us a little history on your organization.  How many members/staffers do you have?
My name is Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, and I am the president and owner of LW Media Group (Literary Wonders! Media Group), the parent company of Literary Wonders!, Literary Wonders Kids!, Bryant Consulting, and Yolanda M. Johnson.com. We originally started with Literary Wonders! in 1996. We initially started to encourage children of color to read and write and bridge the illiteracy gap in the African American Community. From there we went on to create curriculum and creative writing lessons for home school programs. 

In 2004, Literary Wonders! added another aspect to its business plan to include helping new authors, get the information and resources needed to make the book publishing process as painless and as successful as possible. 

Currently we have a full-time staff of two; however we have five reviewers, including a children, tween and teen reviewer. We are located in the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina. However, only twenty-five percent of our clients and those that we help are local, we have clients and followers globally.

BPM: What is the mission of  LW Media Group? Tell us about your work in the community.
As stated above, our mission is to bring awareness and assist the world in bridging the illiteracy gap and be a valuable resource to first time writers, with special concentration in the African-American community. Even though African-Americans are our main focus, we are not limited to them. 

LW Media Group conducts and sponsors workshops in the community as well as around the country and on-line on self-publishing and the literary industry. Our company sponsors entrepreneurial programs as well as creative writing and reading programs in the Piedmont Triad area. We also conduct and annual Scholarship Project, encouraging creativity in writing in children ages 8-21 giving them a chance to win a cash scholarship reward. 

In 2011, LW Media Group is looking to take Literary Wonders! and Literary Wonders Kids! to the non-profit sector, and create more programs in the community for at-risk youth. 


BPM: What legacy do you think LW Media Group will leave for those watching you in the community?
It is our hope that the legacy LW Media Group leaves on the industry is that it is important to educate ourselves, conduct effective research, get involved and lessen the illiteracy rate, especially in the African-American community. Long after we are gone, we want to be known as an agency that made a difference is the lives of others, and can be used as a model for future organizations.

BPM: How are you celebrating the holidays?  Will your club have a group party?
Being busy throughout the year, personally, I like to spend the holidays with family. We get busy with our work and neglect our families, so I try to focus just on them. Our family will have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, along with the traditional feast as we catch up on family gossip and happenings, and simply have fun. Christmas, we bypass the feast and settle for spirits and horse devours, holiday movies, fun and games. New Years is spent reflecting and planning. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life? 
My initial and hidden reason for starting the LW Media Group companies derived from my son’s lack of desire to read and write while he was in elementary school. I was determined that my children would not be statistics and got busy working on programs to help children read and write and enjoy it. I’ve always been a reader, mostly of self-help, educational and instructional books. 

Over the years I have become an avid reader. Each year I set a goal for how many titles I would like to read, and although I’ve yet to complete any of those goals, I have read more titles each year. To me, progress is always good.  Reading has allowed me to become more creative and imaginative in my writing and has increased my passion to help others in the industry. I feel truly rewarded when I see someone, that my organizations have helped, achieve or get one step further to their goal.

BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy with LW Media Group? Do you travel?
Currently, I belong to several reading and writing groups. I hold book signings and attend conferences as well as support various other author events.  It is my pleasure to support those organizations that have given so much to the literary community to the best of my ability.  LW Media Group sponsors an annual Scholarship Project and an annual Anthology Project, which combines well known and first time authors in a themed project. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page? 
My favorite genre of books are self-help and educational. After years of receiving various genres of books to review and publish, I have opened my mind and have started to read genres I would have not otherwise explored.  Books that are consistent, believable and original are the ones that cause me to remember them weeks, months and years after I’ve read them and make me want to go back and read them again. Excess and drab will cause me to put a book down and forget about it. 

BPM: Do you believe a character's culture, sexual orientation or religion are important to understanding their point-of-view in a novel? Why?
This is a great question, and my answer is, yes. In years past, I will admit that I was a bit closed minded. But, as the years have gone by and I have matured and opened my mind to accept all people and leave the judging and sentencing to God, I find myself interested in other cultures, sexual orientation, religious and even political points of views. If we must be one society, we must be an accepting society, short of giving up our own values and ourselves. I don’t do drugs, never have, and never really associated with anyone that had done them. However, a client talked about his grief after the death of his father, in which he turned to drugs like Oxycodone and alcohol to grieve. A few years ago, this would have been absurd to me. But I had to understand what he was going through and why and realize that people do different things for different reasons; differently. 

BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in today's media and books?
Honestly, I don’t. Just like slavery, we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go. I’m not knocking any genre, but I believe with the influx of urban fiction and certain other genres, the art of writing has been lost. I realize that things urban authors write about happen in the hood, but how about writing about something that can happen in the hood. What happened to the inspirational and positive stories? I’m not just talking about just Christian Fiction, because you don’t have to be Christian to be positive or leave a positive impact. I suppose that there is a genre for everything and I respect that. What I would like to know is where are the influx of writers that illuminate those authors such as Octavia Butler, Daniel Black, Tony Morrison and the such? Why aren’t these types of authors and books saturating the markets?

A mother figure once told me, “Baby, it’s not fair, but because you are black and a woman, you’re going to have to fight extra hard to make it in this world.” That has been the case in the workplace, in politics and the same in the publishing industry. If we as African-American stop writing junk and start writing more quality, perhaps the publishing industry will take us more seriously and give us our more respect. 

Many people complain that Oprah doesn’t have many black reads in her book club. First, you must decipher why, and second, make a change. Be a solution or the answer, not the problem, or a questioner of the problem. 

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature, film and TV? 
You know, For Colored Girls got a lot of flak, or yet, Tyler Perry received a lot of flak for his portrayal of the book of the same name in which his recent film was depicted. Why do we still fail to see that issues from our past, affect our futures. The African-American community has been so good at brushing things under the carpet. We are expected to be strong, not deal with our problems and move on. We are human. 

Things affect us, and the longer we deny it, the longer we will continue to struggle as a people and a family. Black men frequently question the emotional state of black women and why they can’t get or keep a man. Black women complain that there aren’t any good black men. This will continue if we do not address the root of our problems. We are too embarrassed to deal with psychological issues, but not too embarrassed that a good percentage of our people are in jail, on drugs, are abusers, are illiterate and so on. 

I said all that to say, I loved how Tyler address our realistic issues and that is what I’d like to see more of on television and books. In addition, I’d like to see more books and movies that either come up with or contribute to solutions to help our current and future generations of black men and women.


BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle or iPad, etc?
As a technology major, I think technology is great. However, I think that just as much as it is a help, it can also be a hindrance. These gadgets do make our life easier and I love it.

BPM: Are today's authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
Simply put, no. Not at all, no way. As a matter of fact, I think its making other generations, shake their heads and roll over in their graves. And, that’s all I have to say about that. 

BPM: How may we find out more about you and
LW Media Group
Feel free to visit us at www.lwmediagroup.comwww.literarywonders.comwww.literarywonderskids.comwww.bryantconsultingonline.com  or  www.yolandamjohnson.com.  We can also be reached by mail at Post Office Box 13727, Greensboro, NC 27405, or by email using Info@ (website). We are also on social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

 




Ladies in Charge of Their Own Destiny Inc.

Charlene Lester-Allen  is the CEO and Founder of LIC-Ladies in Charge of Their Own Destiny Incorporated a national nonprofit that assist women of all ages with coping with the everyday rigors of life through inspiration, motivation, and empowerment.  LIC-Ladies in Charge of Their Own Destiny Incorporated has 7 programs that address 4 major Areas as it relates to African American Women: Corporate and Business Leadership Network , Training and Mentoring , Social Services, Health, Mental Health, Financial Planning and Management.

Ladies in Charge of their Own Destiny Incorporated was founded in May of 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia by Charlene Lester-Allen. The purpose of the organization is to form a coalition of professional African-American Women to encompass the barriers that African-American women have in terms of being a conglomerate indomitable force in every professional arena possible.   LIC is comprised of many major components: Corporate and Business Leadership, LIC Networking, Training and Mentoring, Social Services, Health Advocacy, Mental Health Awareness, and Financial Planning and Management.

LIC Vision
LIC-Ladies in charge of their own destiny is a broad based collaborative and initiative with a vision to assist women of all ages with coping with the everyday rigors of life through inspiration, motivation, and empowerment.

LIC Mission
The mission of Ladies in Charge of their Own Destiny Incorporated is to fully encompass the totality of circumstances that are barriers to economic viability and successful living for women by training, teaching, coaching, inspiring, motivating, and empowering women to be the best.


Meet Charlene Lester-Allen
Multifaceted Entrepreneur, Visionary, Advocate
Founder of LIC-Ladies in Charge of Their Own Destiny Incorporated

Charlene has over 20 years of professional experience that encompasses the arenas of social service, corporate and nonprofit administration, collegiate instruction, mentoring, journalism, and a lifetime of service unto others.

Charlene has participated in numerous studies on Crime, Race, and Gender and was instrumental in implementing programs in the state of Florida targeted for lowering recidivism and the dropout rate of African American students in the Broward County School System. She was a leader in the pilot program the Pompano Project in the early 90s, wherein her work there proved to be a vital agent for efforts of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice regarding crime, race, gender, and disparities in sentencing. Her love of advocacy for justice has afforded her the opportunity to teach criminal justice classes at the collegiate level since 2002. 

As an avid reader and one who appreciates literary arts, Charlene also has the pleasure of assisting, reviewing, and editing data for McGraw Hill Companies as it relates to Women, Crime, and Wrongly Convicted Individuals and ensuring that they are appropriately represented in textbooks all over the nation.  Realizing that her passion for empowerment of women, children, and families was the path that brought the most happiness to her life, Charlene made a decisive move in 2010 to become the CEO and Founder of the nonprofit  LIC-Ladies in Charge of their Own Destiny, Inc. The mission of the organization is to totally address all barriers that African American women have in terms of being an indomitable force in every possible arena. 

Charlene is also the founder of the BUD-Beats Unload Dreams Foundation Incorporated, a nonprofit that addresses the critical needs of African American males ages 12-18 as it relates to “Making IT” in society. 

Additionally, Charlene is the owner of La Bella Don (Lady in Charge) Publishing Company, wherein the urban writer and author is enabled to provide inspiration and hope for post release options of incarcerated individuals that need inspiration, hope, and examples of how to be outstanding citizens upon release from serving sentences in jail or prison. Charlene will be the first author to release a debut book from La Bella Don Publishing entitled-WHAT-Who Knew?

“One person at a time, one change at a time, one step at a time can always effectively create change in the lives of people,” is the practiced principle that makes Charlene Lester-Allen the phenomenal woman that she is.

Ladies in Charge of Their Own Destiny Incorporated
http://www.ladiesinchargeoftheirowndestinyincorporated.org 




Intimate Conversation with Denise Turney
Off The Shelf Radio

BPM: Tell us a little about your favorite things. Share your favorite books, music, plays or family activities. 
I am an avid book reader and an author (Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral, Long Walk Up, Rosetta's Great Hope, and Love Pour Over Me @ www.chistell.com). My favorite male singer is Maxwell. Aretha Franklin is my absolute favorite female singer (have been loving her sound for years)! Love to travel and visit with my family. The one and only, Gwendolyn Brooks, is a writing inspiration.  

BPM: Share with us the history of the organization, Book Lover's Haven. 
Founded the Book Lover's Haven ten years ago. Over 1,000 avid subscribers read the literary magazine monthly. In March 2010, founded the Book Lovers Haven Network. It's a Ning site that is free for writers and readers to join. Forums, blogs, chats, book reviews, etc. are posted at the Book Lovers Haven Network. I also host the annual Chistell Writing Contest (short stories and poetry). The contest is going into it's 11th year!!

BPM: Give us a deeper understanding of how important reading is to you. 
I'd like to see more literary pieces (i.e. James Baldwin, Edwidge Danticat) and intricate storytelling (i.e. J. California Cooper). I'd also like to read more autobiographies of people sharing their personal stories of struggle, faith, and triumph (i.e. The Pursuit of Happyness).

BPM: Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life?
Currently reading Paula Deen's, "It Ain't All About The Cooking." Her book (as do other books that I read and enjoy) encourages me, lets me know that focus and perseverance yield tremendously good rewards. Gwendolyn Brooks' and other poets' work have inspired and enlightened me as well. I love the lessons that J. California Cooper teaches through her stories. 

BPM: How many books do you read monthly? Would you say you read more for escape or entertainment?
I haven't been reading as much as I used to. My average reading is about two books a week. I read for escape, inspiration and entertainment. 

BPM: Do you prefer a hard copy book or a digital book, such as a Kindle book? 
I prefer hard copy books (print). 

BPM: Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? Do you see others following their path? If so, who?
Yes. Urban erotica and other urban literature that focuses on dysfunctional relationships has become popular. But there are many books (and writers) that respect and continue to hone their craft. The same Source that brought us the Mayas, Octavias and Alexes is still at work in the universe gifting us with great art.

Finish these fun loving sentences:

Living your best life includes: 
God in you life

On your nightstand now: 
My journal

Favorite book when you were a child: 
Pippi Longstocking books

Book all readers should own excluding the bible: 
A journal (so they can pen experiences from their own life journey)

Book you gave as a gift: 
Long Walk Up, Spiral and Portia

Favorite line or couple from a book: 
Something to the effect "The cavalry ain't coming. If you want to change or do so something, you've got to get out there and make it happen" -- from "The Pursuit of Happyness"

Book you most want to read AGAIN much slower, to savor: 
A Course in Miracles

Book that should be a movie or play: 
Loving Donavan by Bernice McFadden

Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year: 
Bernice McFadden, Jamaica Kincaid, J. K. Rowling



Intimate Conversation with TDM Comics International

This TDM COMICS Company’s top Executives, decided to form a T.E.A.M. of MATES, after obtaining the knowledge that each of them were working separately to establish themselves as players in the entertainment, publishing, writing, books, media industries. Some were planning to publish, some were writing, some were publishing, some were into comics’ creations, and some were seeking to establish Film, Animation productions and Cartoons.

The original top executives Terry Reece, Darrick Tucker, and Michele MA’KO’, brainstormed together to formulate a workable T.E.A.M. Mates type of philosophy, which would prove to make each of them individually stronger, by their collectively working together towards a more T.E.A.M. oriented set of missions and goals. Other mates are strategically recruited and added. Although we all may have our own separate companies, visions, goals, and thoughts of how WE can get to where we want to go, most important thing to always reflect upon is that we have to learn to work together, better, as a people, better as a T.E.A.M., to help cause the necessary paradigm shift of breaking the chains and the glass ceilings. 

BPM: What is the mission of TDM Comics International? 
The Family Media Company/TDM Comics International's main mission is to spread the love of positive media for people of color all over the world, by utilizing comics, animations, videos, video games, toys, action figures, and super heroes’ likeness profiles to portray people of all colors in positive heroic roles.

BPM: What legacy do you think your company will leave for those watching you in the community?
I want to leave this world, with people of color knowing that we filled the void for super heroes of color, which Marvel and DC Comics did not. I want to see children and families enjoying our products and "brands" for generations to come. 

BPM: What impact has reading or being in an organized group had on your life?
Currently, this is the most excited, I have ever been about working in an Industry, which I truly enjoy and get excited about each and every day. 

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books?
I really Love Books that can go to Great Movies, thus, I truly enjoy most Sci-fi, fantasy-mystery, and comic super hero action books, because I know they make for outstanding movies and video games. 

BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in today's media and books?
NO, not on the massive equal scale, and that is why we are joining forces with who ever will join us in spreading the love of positive media world wide.

BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in literature and TV? 
we aspire to have and see more people of colors in TV, big screen action movies, animations, video games with super heroes of color and comics characters of color. 

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc? 
We have to keep up with current trends. The youth of today are growing up with these type products, and I feel that making our books, and comics accessible through these mediums, keeps our people "in the loop" of modernization.

BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
Yes, and it is about time, that we make our own legacies, so that we help define who we were, are, and will be in history. 

BPM: How may we find out more about your company? 
Keep in touch, and check our web sites often, as we add NEW "Brands" and products into the Future. Visit our all new website: http://tdmcomics.com 




The Importance of the Black Book Clubs 
by Dr. Maxine E. Thompson 

Twice this year, I met with Book Clubs, once at the Inglewood Library, where I did a writer’s workshop and the other day at my book club, Seniors on The Move. I was happy for the feedback, the reminiscing and the discussions. It started me to thinking about how important the Black Book Clubs have been in this Literary Renaissance. In fact, I know one writer who is self-published and who makes a good living doing 2-4 book clubs per month. So the Black Book Clubs are definitely important.

It made me want to revisit an article I wrote several years ago that is still apropos.

Sometimes God sends an angel into our lives and we don’t even know it. When God has a plan for our lives, He will make a provision. In 1999, I had been off my job approximately two years when I re-issued my debut novel, The Ebony Tree. Looking back, The Special Thoughts Book Club was the first Los Angeles book club–in fact the first book club–to host me as a writer. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of being hosted at many book clubs, known and some even unknown.

In 1999, when I met with the founder, Janel Stephenson, and she paid me my first check (which was sizable,) for my books, I thought, “Wow! Someone will actually pay you for your dreams.”  Somehow, in chatting, I told Janel of my dilemma. I had just received a letter offering me to return to work as a supervisor, (which was a promotion) at the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Family and Services, or I could stay on the unknown rocky path of living the writer’s life. I had no idea what the future held, and financially, it didn’t look like I’d be able to make it. After two years, I had run through my savings, my sick leave, and my vacation time. At the time, I had two mortgages, my youngest son in college, and grandchildren, a dog, etc. etc.

At any rate, Janel encouraged me to pursue my dreams. “You’ll never know if you don’t try.” With that check and Janel’s words of encouragement, I took one day at a time, and that one day has led into almost eleven years since I was last an employee.

Looking back, when I attended the Special Thoughts’ book club meeting, I was impressed by the number of members–almost thirty readers and 50 percent of them men. They were articulate and challenged my thinking. Last year, in celebrating the Special Thoughts Reading group’s tenth anniversary, I congratulated them.

As for the journey, I am happy to report the following:

Since my first book club meeting, I’ve either published or been published in 11 books, (2 novels, 1 short story collection, 3 self-help e-books/manuals, and five anthologies,) one that I published under my company, Black Butterfly Press, Saturday Morning, (and two pending novel deals and one pending nonfiction book deal). I’ve edited, formatted or ghostwritten numerous books for other writers or companies. Many of these books have made bestseller’s lists, some even have made the New York Times’ bestseller’s list.

I am the agent for books for other African American writers and we are now pursuing film or independent deals for some of these deals.  As another business, I’ve hosted Internet radio shows for writers since March 2002 to promote writers’ works. I currently host on Artistfirst.com.

So I’d like to give special thanks to Janel Stephenson for acting as an angel and for her encouragement and continued support of Black writers. I also want to thank the Special Thoughts’ book club members for pulling me through a dark hour. Congratulations on their upcoming eleventh anniversary in November 2008.

Now, once again, we are faced as a nation with that same dilemma that I had in 1999–except the economic climate is worse. Even so, many people have a dream of either being a writer, a magazine owner, a publicist, a book store owner, an agent, actor, artist, or you name it, but the economy looks so bleak. Wall Street crashed the week of 9-15-08 and banks failed. I mean how bad can it get during a recession?

Therefore, how do we make it as Black businesspersons during these trying times? What can we do?

Well, we can work together. We can build resources through one another. We can support one another’s dreams. We can barter. We can help each other. However, what we cannot do is to ever give up hope and faith. Remember, no good work goes unrewarded. In this vein, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many Black book clubs across the country that have supported Black books, thereby promoting literacy! I give a special thanks to Special Thoughts Book Club, Rawsistaz and Apooo.org.  In behalf of Black writers, I applaud and commend you, Black Book Club Leaders and Members. 

About the Author
Dr. Maxine E. Thompson is a novelist, poet, columnist, short story writer, book reviewer, an editor, ghostwriter, Internet Radio Show Host, and a Literary Agent. She is the author of The Ebony Tree, No Pockets in a Shroud, A Place Called Home (A Short Story Collection), The Hush Hush Secrets of Writing Fiction That Sell, a contributor to bestselling anthologies Secret Lovers, All in The Family, and Never Knew Love Like This Before, (Also a Kindle Bestseller), Proverbs for the People.

Hostage of Lies is her latest fiction novel, was voted a Best Book of 2009 by EDC Creations: http://edcmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/12/best-books-of-2009-our-relationships.html 

You can sign up for her free newsletter at  http://www.maxinethompson.com  

 


 


Intimate Conversation with 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 will celebrate their 4th  year Anniversary Celebration.  It will be on Oct. 10, 2010. For more info you can contact us at distinctladies@yahoo.com 

You can find us at:
http://www.distinctladies.com 
http://dlbookclub.webs.com 
http://www.myspace.com/distinctladiesandgent 
We are also on Facebook and Twitter!!

Tiffany Rainey- President   
Josula Williams- Vice President 




         
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  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 www.anysoldier.com.  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 www.sistersoldierproject.com.  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  celebrated its 2nd anniversary in October, 2009.  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

Website:  www.phenomenalwomenbookclub.com     

Email: mail@phenomenalwomenbookclub.com

 


 


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: Name 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 in 2009  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.  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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/DIVAS-DIVINE-BOOK-CLUB 

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/divasbookclubnyc 

Listserv: divasnyc@yahoogroups.com 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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 info: www.booksandbeignetsbookclub.com  

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

http://www.booksandbeignetsbookclub.com 
http://booksandbeignetsbookclub.ning.com 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/booksandbeignets 

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 us  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. 

Interviewed submitted Margaret Bullocks-Matory
Co-Founder and Vice-President

Jackson, Mississippi 39209

 


  

 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 writes 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:
We are planning to attend the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, for the first time.



 

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 (www.myspace.com/sistahcirclebookgroup) 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 (http://www.myspace.com/divinewomenofaithbookclub) 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  Divine Women of Faith Book Club/ 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 (www.thelipglosschronicles.com). 

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 www.sheliagoss.com 

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. 

Ella:  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. 

Ella:  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: www.sheliagoss.com 
Young Adult website: www.thelipglosschronicles.com  
Myspace page: www.myspace.com/sheliagoss 
Twitter page: www.twitter.com/sheliamgoss  

Shelia M.  Goss
National Bestselling Author of His Invisible Wife (July 2009), My Invisible Husband etc. 
http://www.sheliagoss.com

 


          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  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: 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: 
Website: www.oosaonlinebookclub.com  
www.facebook.com/oosaonlinebookclub    
http://twitter.com/OOSABookClub  
www.oosaonlinebookclub.blogspot.com   
www.myspace.com/oosaonlinebookclub  
www.myspace.com/oosacontinued 


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.

Ella:  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.

Ella: 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.

Ella:  Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes... 
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.

Ella:  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.

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

Ella:  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.

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

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

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

Ella:  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.

Ella: 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.

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

Ella:  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

http://queensbookclubofatlanta.webs.com 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QueensBookClub 
http://www.myspace.com/queensbookclub 

“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.
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.  Urban-Reviews.com 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 http://UrbanCREAM.com  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 http://gmbf2009.info 

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
http://www.Urban-Reviews.com
http://www.BlackBookReleases.com
http://urbanreviews.blogspot.com
http://literarysoapbox.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/urbanreviews
http://www.twitter.com/urbanreviews
http://www.twitter.com/blackbkreleases
http://www.shelfari.com/urban-reviews


Radiah of Urban Reviews
http://www.urban-reviews.com

 


   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, www.asanetwork.webs.com.


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: www.tinishanicolejohnson.com

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.

 Links: www.LindaRHerman.webs.com
www.SomebodyPrayed4me.webs.com
 
 
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
http://www.tinishanicolejohnson.com
www.myspace.com/tinishajohnson

 

 


 

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  www.goodgirlbookclubonline.com, 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. www.Goodgirlbookclubonline.com  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 iMarketingPR.com 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: www.goodgirlbookclubonline.com

 



Diana Glasgow President of Essence of Books 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

 


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!

 


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, www.readersinmotionbookclub.ning.com and with the help of my 2 Vice Presidents, Minah and Misha, we created our MySpace page, which is www.myspace.com/readersinmotion. 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
Website: readersinmotionbookclub.ning.com

 


Book Reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer 
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...



Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, newsletter publisher and editor

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor, award-winning, bestselling Amazon.com 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 http://www.writersinthesky.com/writing-newsletter.html


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?
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

http://writersinthesky.com
http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com
www.OnlinePromotionMadeEasy.com






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. 
 
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?
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.
 

The Risque Cafe
www.therisquecafe.com, www.myspace.com/therisquecafe

 



 


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.]  iZania.com 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?
[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

Email: rmadison@izania.com 
Website: www.izania.com


 


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 (www.sexyebonybbws.com) 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 (www.sexyebonybbwaabookclub.com). She is also the founder of BBW Reviews (www.bbwreviewers.com), 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 (www.forromancelovers.net) 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.....)
 


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, www.sistahfriend.com. 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 info@sistahfriend.com 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:  http://www.sistahfriend.com

 



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.
 

 


 

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


Website: 
www.kcgirlfriendsbookclub.com   l  Myspace: www.myspace.com/kcgirlfriendsbookclub

 

 



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.

 



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

Website:  WWW.MYSPACE.COM/SBSBOOKCLUB 

 



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 www.amazon.com and APOOO BookClub at www.apooobooks.com 

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.
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.

Websites:
http://acvermen.blogspot.com 
http://
www.angeliavmenchan.com  
http://mammproductions.com

 


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
www.distinctladies.com
www.dlbookclub.webs.com
http://distinctladies.blogspot.com



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 www.tifanyinternational.com and to walk by faith visit www.faithfilledstilettos.com.

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: www.sistahconfessions.comwww.myspace.com/sistahconfessionsbookclub,  

 



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

Website:  http://nubianqueensbookclub.ning.com




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, and Deberry & Grant.

Website links:
www.rwabookclub.com
www.nikkeasmithers.com
www.myspace.com/rwabookclub

 



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.


 



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.

THE KREATIVE READERS
www.myspace.com/kreativereaders

 


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 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.
MARC A. MEDLEY, HOST  WP88.7 FM
THE READING CIRCLE w/ MARC MEDLEY

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?
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 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 www.myspace.com/realpageturners. 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 define 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, http://www.sistahfriend.com. 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. 

 





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:  edc_dg@yahoo.com 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. 


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

http://blacklitmedia.wordpress.com