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Showing posts from 2015

A Review of Singin' And Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou

Yes, Maya Angelou was indeed a phenomenal woman.  We are reminded of this throughout all her biographies where she exposes herself to us through her religious beliefs, her politics, her struggles to find success, her love for the arts, her son and her family. In this third installment of her seven autobiographies, readers are introduced to Maya, the singer, dancer, and all round performer. We learn how her name came to be (Maya from her brother and Angelou a derivative from her married name, Angelos). Hence Maya Angelou was born.  
She had me cheering for her throughout the book especially when she walked through her marital woes, showing her son how to be a good boy, and trying out for parts in clubs and on Broadway to make ends meet.  When she got her big break to go on tour with Porgy and Bess, she transported me to many places (Egypt, Italy, Yugoslavia, Paris, etc.). Her descriptions of the people, the sights, the sounds and the smells were very vivid and I could imagine myself wal…

Interview with Maxine Bigby Cunningham, Author of Power Walking, A Journey to Wholeness

Author’s Bio: Maxine Bigby Cunningham is an engaging, inspiring, and empowering speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, and mental health advocate.  She is the creator of The Empowered Walking Steps to Wellnessä, a proprietary system for overcoming impediments to mental and emotional wellbeing.  Her audiences learn novel tools and “inside-out” strategies for optimal wellbeing - body, mind and spirit.  Cunningham is the author of POWER WALKING, A Journey to Wholeness, ametaphorical recounting of her recovery from a chronic mental illness, and a contributing author of Surviving Shocking Situations, Finding the Courage to Succeed in spite of Painful Moments.
Cunningham completed studies at Goucher College, Syracuse University, George Washington University, the Federal Executive Institute and Baltimore School of the Bible.  She is a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), City Temple of Baltimore (Baptist), and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, …

Interview with Leonard Anderson, Jr., Author of Love Won't Let Me Wait

Author’s Bio: Leonard Anderson Jr. is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Leonard obtained his Master’s Degree in Health Administration from St. Joseph’s University in 2012 and is currently a manager at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Leonard writes in multiple genres including Fiction, Poetry, Children’s Books and Romance/Suspense. Leonard’s works can be found at www.leonardandersonjr.com, www.leonardandersonjrkids.com, Amazon and other online retailers.
What inspired you to write your book? I became intrigued with Romance/Suspense after reading a novel called “Gotta Let It Go. Primarily a fiction writer, I wanted to go outside of my box and create in this genre.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? Langston Hughes
Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book? This is my 8th novel and 6th children’s book. The amount of time varied with each project. Love Won’t Let Me Wait took…

"Greenbelt Festival of Lights"

On Sunday, December 6, 2015, I exhibited with the Maryland Writers' Association (Montgomery chapter) at the Greenbelt Festival of Lights in Greenbelt, MD. The place was chock full of artisans, authors, etc. and lots of folks milling around looking for the perfect Christmas gift. I had a great time hanging out with my table mates.

Here are some photos from the event.






Black Writers' Guild Meeting - Getting Unstuck and Writing Again

On Saturday, December 5, 2015 I attended the Black Writers' Guild Meeting at the Enoch Pratt Library - Penn North in Baltimore, MD. Wilma Brockington-Parker presented a workshop titled: I'm Coming Out: How to Get Unstuck and Start Writing." She discussed the following objectives:

Self-discover what hinders you from writingParticipate in exercises to help spark your creativityLearn strategies to get your thoughts on paperJumpstart your writing towards finishing a project This workshop was very interactive. It included some writing exercises which we did individually and as a group. To tell you the truth, these exercises really got my writing juices flowing. So, I'm ready to get my writing on!
Here are some photos from the workshop.




A Review of Getting To Happy by Terry McMillan

It’s been quite some time since I have read Waiting to Exhale. But I loved it then and I loved the sequel, Getting To Happy, even more. For starters, I loved that Terry revisited these four sister girlfriends (Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine and Robin) after 15 years and allowed us readers to peek in on their lives. They have now matured into women dealing with what I would call the “what now” phase in their lives. The phase where you’ve been there done that and now it’s time for a change. And boy did they go through some changes: divorce, job loss, loss of a spouse, pill addiction, etc. But through it all, it was the sisterhood that kept them going, laughing, and challenging each other to be their better selves and to take control of their lives.
Terry’s writing style drew me in as I was laughing out loud so many times during the book. I felt like I was out shopping with Robin, getting my hair done in Gloria’s salon (loved the guys selling bootleg DVDs), listening in on Savannah’s conv…

Interview with Nanette M. Buchanan, Author of eight novels, her latest, The Stranger Within

Author's Bio: Nanette Buchanan is a wife, proud mother, and grandmother. She is currently employed full time in the State of New Jersey as a New Jersey Corrections Sergeant. Her literary journey began when she began putting pen to pad, writing poems and children stories while attending Rutgers University. I Pen Designs became a business, catering to personalized writings for gifts. Nanette's debut novel was released in December 2007 and I Pen Designs began its publishing division with its publication. Since then she has published a total of eight novels and one poetry collaboration. Her novels have a "what if" twist, topics with questions that readers may have about everyday living. Her latest work is The Stranger Within and the beginning of a new series is in the making. Her books are available in Kindle, Nook, and e-reader formats.
What inspired you to write your book? I’ve always been a writer. Putting my thoughts on paper became a welcomed escaped for me. After be…

"It's A Schwing Thing Holiday Event"

On Saturday, November 21, 2015 I exhibited at the "It's A Holiday Schwing Thing" at Make Studio in Baltimore, MD. This event had something for everyone: jewelry, art, clothing, and of course books.

I had a fantastic time hanging out with folks from LitMore and the Baltimore Review. And I really enjoyed the avid readers/book club members that stopped by to show our books some love!

Here are some photos from the event:






Interview with Dionne Peart, Author of Somerset Grove and Butterfly

Author’s Bio: Dionne Peart was born in England to Jamaican parents and grew up in Canada. Her debut novel, Somerset Grove,was inspired by the many stories of Caribbean families she grew up with while living in Winnipeg. The Jamaica Gleaner recognized Dionne's work as "part of an emerging genre of writing by Jamaicans in this society" and BET.com featured her debut novel Somerset Grove on their "You Gotta Have It" list for January 2015. When she isn't writing, Dionne loves to read stories that explore another time, place and culture. She now live in Washington, D.C. where she practices law and serves as a literacy ambassador for the Read Across Jamaica Foundation. She is currently working on her next novel.

What inspired you to write your book? I had not planned to write Butterfly when I did; I had actually been working on another novel, but long story short, I lost that manuscript. It wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to when I tried to rewrite it, so I d…