Philly Authors tagged posts
Oh my God! Today was just a little bit crazy. Weird things seem to happen on the days I have my book signings but I refuse to let anyone or anything deter me. My book signing at Horizon Books in the Gallery was yesterday and though it was a success, I must say, the day started off quite weird. First I woke up to a flat tire. Definitely no buena LOL! Luckily, my nephews' father, Byron, who has an awesome magazine PAC Magazine (Photomic Art Concepts), came by and was able to take care of it for me. But as he was finishing, I could see the dark clouds rolling in where some wicked weather was fast approaching. By this time, it was about 8:30am and my book signing was starting at 12 noon. I crossed my fingers and prayed that whatever was about to hit was over before I made my way to the Gallery.
Next, my photo paper seemed to have magically disappeared and I was unable to print my little flyers to hand out to readers who were passing by and/or getting their books signed. The crazy part was, I saw the photo paper all week! Isn't it ironic how something that you don't need at the moment can be right in your face for days at a time but the minute you need to use whatever it is, it's nowhere to be found? Needless to say I was only able to print a handful of flyers. Then it gets worse. As I am curling and styling my hair, I hear this crackling noise. I'm looking around like, "what the hell?". I don't pay it any mind at first, I continue curling my hair until I hear this crackling noise again and then out of the corner of my eye, my curlers start sparking. Seriously...SERIOUSLY! Only half of my damn head was done, it was raining cats and dogs, I was doing long spiral curls and the curlers decided they wanted to start snap, crackling and popping like some demonic Rice Crispies. And there were no hair stores open in my area! So I had to take a gamble. The curlers were already super hot and they heat up rather quickly I unplugged them and proceeded to curl my hair a little faster to get as many curls in as possible before they cooled off. Once they did (don't judge me) I plugged them back in, let them heat up, unplugged them and continued until my hair was complete. I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going to a book signing in the Gallery with a lot of people passing by, looking like Samuel L. Jackson from Unbreakable. Think about it. Yeah...no buena.
So, hair is curled, make-up is flawless books are packed up in the trunk of my Ford Explorer XLT. I'm ready to roll...until I realize my daughter has my umbrella and left me the broken one. Seriously...SERIOUSLY!
I manage to get to my truck and thankfully, while I was in route, the rain slowed down and it wasn't that hot out...at first. I never drive in Center City because that's just madness. So I parked on 7th & Wallace and grabbed my travel "pully" with my books inside and began walking to the Gallery...with the broken umbrella. But thankfully, the rain was barely a drizzle. However, mother nature decided to become humid and by the time I got to the Gallery, most of my curls had met an untimely demise. I could have gotten electrocuted for nothing. SMH!
Nevertheless, the book signing was a success. An old co-worker of mine, Chynell, stopped through to show support and my brother, Victor, came through as well, to keep me company. I was able to get a few pics of my awesome readers and supporters and I can't wait to go down to the Gallery and do another signing. A Thug's Redemption can now be found in Horizon Books in the Gallery Market East. Stop down there and get your copy. And don't forget to leave a review!
Hello Readers! I am so happy to announce that A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return is now available on Amazon Kindle! You can download this page turning, suspenseful novel and read it from your iPhone, iPad, Android device, PC or Kindle. Many have been wanting to know when the soft cover copies would be available. At this time, I am experiencing a minor delay, however, I am unveiling the option to pre-order copies of A Thug's Redemption 2 which will be available July 5th. Below are the options to buy A Thug's Redemption pt 1 and pre-order part 2. All orders come with FREE Shipping and are signed by yours truly!
ATR 1 $15.00 USD
Pre-order ATR 2 $15.00 USD
ATR 1 & 2 $20.00 USD
Today, I was expecting to be at the Philly Urban Book Festival in Center City Philadelphia at the African American Museum from 12pm-4pm but I received an email letting me know that it had been rescheduled until further notice. I was looking forward to meeting with my readers, signing books and taking photos. But no worries, I will still be at the Horizon Book Store in The Gallery, also in Center City Philadelphia on Thursday, June 13th 2013 from 12pm-5pm. Come on down and join me for this Urban Fiction Affair! Until next time folks...PEACE!!Read More
Hello readers! I've been a bit under the weather lately and I even lost my voice. If you guys could hear me talk, it's terrible. Well... actually you are about to hear me talk LOL! I pre-scheduled a radio interview with Ronny Press on thefnradio.com. With the stress surrounding my grandmother's death along with a cold that I was falling prey too, it was just too much strain on my voice. But I was not going to back out of that interview. Tina Turner got on stage and did one of her best performances early in her career with a hoarse voice and sang the hell out of Fool in Love. So if she could do it, I definitely was not going to wimp out. I actually pretty good though I am a little upset with the sound quality on my mic. I swear I was right up on it. And speaking loudly. But for some reason, I was recorded very low. Nevertheless, I wanted to share my first radio interview with you all. I was unable to edit it so the entire radio segment is on this recording, including the second interview with an up and coming singer also from Philly as well as some hot music that was played. I hope you enjoy! Peace!Click here to listen!Read More
Goodreads have picked the winners of my book giveaway for A Thug's Redemption. I first want to thank everyone who was interested enough in my book to join in and I wish I could have made more available. Congratulations to...(drum roll)Shaina Gallaway, Mike J Gardner, Heather Polk, Michelle Lewis Carpenter, and Todd Burns! The books will be sent out before the end of this week. I hope you enjoy reading my novel as much as I enjoyed writing it! I look forward to your reviews.
As I mentioned before, I have finished the sequel to A Thug's Redemption and I am getting a lot of positive feedback from it. I've been told that the sequel is indeed better than the first which is what I ultimately was trying to achieve. I wasn't going to release it until possibly late July, early August, but my readers are insisting that I release it sooner. I still want to make sure that A Thug's Redemption reaches a broad audience not just in Philly, New Jersey or Delaware, but all over the country. But I have picked a release date which will be June 10th 2013! Right now I am working on the book cover and making some edits. As soon as I have decided on a cover, I will broadcast it so my readers can let me know what they think.
Again, I want to thank all those who continue to support my work as well as the people who entered the book reads giveaway and stop by daily to read my blog as well as the excerpts from my books. I will be posting a new preview from a new novel I am working on currently entitled "Ebony Femme Fatale". This book is definitely going to rock. Thanks for stopping by! Peace!Read More
How excited am I that the sequel to A Thug's Redemption is completed, edited and just waiting on a cover? Super excited! I finished writing it a little over two weeks ago but I recently finished going through it with a fine toothed comb to make sure all mistakes and errors were corrected and to make sure the plot came together and this black urban street novel was written so vividly that my readers can feel as though they are watching a movie with every page that they turn. I also wanted to make sure the characters from the original ATR had evolved into something more than the troubled youth that they were in the first story.
Click Here for a free preview of A Thug's Redemption and Click Here for a free preview of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return. And for all those who are curious as to what the sequel has to bring, hold onto your seats!
Synopsis of A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return:
After being away from his North Philly neighborhood for more than nine years and starting a career as a Wilmington Delaware Police Detective, Jamal is lured back to North Philly when a shoot-out erupts, killing one of his best friends and critically injuring another. A Detective, who becomes familiar with Jamal's past unravels shocking truths about drugs, dirty cops, and their role in a drug war that is claiming lives in a North Philly neighborhood, daily. Jamal is blackmailed and forced into a position to possibly take down his cousin Samir. With his back against the wall as his past comes back to haunt him one more time, Jamal has to decide whether or not he will return to his life from the past, or honor his badge? Plot twists, turns and jawing dropping, non-stop action from start to finish completes this new street lit novel, with an ending so shocking, readers will undoubtedly speculate that another part is waiting in the wings to conclude this Urban Saga. One thing is for certain and two things are for sure, in this urban fiction sequel, all bets are off and EVERYBODY is expendable...including Jamal.
Are you ready for an excerpt?
The morning of Kiree and Ms. Becky’s funeral arrived quickly. Keisha, Manny and their son got ready early. She grabbed her gun and was about to put it in the small of her back again but Manny stopped her.
“Keesh, we’re going to be in a church and a graveyard. I don’t think anything is going to pop off today. Leave that home.” Manny told her.
Keisha hesitated having a feeling deep in her gut that she should take the gun with her. But she didn’t want Manny to think that she did not trust his judgment. She removed the clip from the gun, put it in its lock box and sat it in the top of their closet out of their son’s reach. They climbed into Keisha’s car and drove to Ms. Becky’s house with D-Ball following behind.
The family limo arrived shortly after Manny and Keisha were in the house greeting other family members. Jamal, Maurice and Deisha showed up and they waited until it was time to get to the funeral. Deisha, Maurice and Jamal stayed with Keisha, Manny and their family so they could walk in together. Manny held it together until he reached Kiree’s casket. Looking at his older brother set him off and he lost it. Keisha did her best to hold him up but he was almost on the floor with his legs giving way. Jamal tried to help her hold him up to get him to his seat. His grief and loud sobs were upsetting their son and Kamir began to cry as well. They sat in the second row with Keisha cradling him in her arms as they cried together. Deisha, Maurice, Jamal and D-Ball sat behind them. Jamal and D-Ball were busy looking at the obituaries but Deisha was watching the people who came in to view Kiree and Ms. Becky. She noticed a tall man who had a stocky build walk over to Kiree’s casket. He was light-skinned, possibly Puerto-Rican, and dressed in an all in one gray Dickie suit with a pair of Timberland boots. He stared at Kiree for a moment, expressionless, and then looked at Keisha and Manny. Deisha stared at him, waiting to see if he was going to view Ms. Becky as well. But when she saw the way he looked at Manny, she caught a bad feeling. D-Ball bent over to tie his shoe, not paying attention to anything and was unseen to the man in the Dickie suit. But the visitor noticed Jamal and turned to leave as quickly as he arrived.
“Did you just see that shit?” Deisha asked Maurice, disregarding the fact that she was using profanity in a church.
“Yeah, I saw that shit.” Maurice said in a low voice as he looked behind him. He didn’t see if the guy sat down or left so he faced forward. He too had a bad feeling.
“Am I crazy or did it look like he was checking to make sure Kiree was dead?” Deisha asked.
“That’s exactly what it looked like. Aww man. This shit got me feeling sick. I got a bad feeling.” Maurice replied.
“A bad feeling like what, what are y’all talking about?” Jamal asked.
Deisha whispered to him what she and Maurice had noticed with the last guy who came in to view Kiree and the way he looked at Manny.
“Shiiiiid,” Jamal mumbled as he looked around. “I didn’t think to have the cops outside of the church.” He pulled out his phone and text Detective Davidson asking him to come to the church where the funeral was being held and to have a unit on stand-by just in case.
“Jamal, are you carrying?” Maurice asked.
“Fucking right I’m carrying. Shit, I’m in Philly. I don’t go no-where without my burner,” Jamal replied. He elbowed D-Ball. “Yo dawg, I know you’re carrying.”
“When am I never carrying?” D-Ball replied. “Why what’s going on?”
Jamal leaned over and whispered in D-Ball’s ear, telling him what Deisha had just said. D-Ball looked around and then turned sideways so the people sitting next to him couldn’t see him pull his gun out. He checked the clip to make sure it was fully loaded and then eased it back where he took it from. He then checked his other one.
“I don’t believe this shit,” D-Ball said as he shook his head. His palms were sweating as the funeral proceeded. Jamal, Maurice, Deisha and D-Ball were all nervous but did not want to alarm Manny or Keisha. Jamal checked his phone and saw Davidson text him back letting him know a unit would be on the corner and he was in the back of the church. Jamal turned around and looked. Davidson nodded at him.
Jamal turned back around and whispered to D-Ball. “Keep Keisha, Manny and Kamir behind you when we leave. I’ma stay on your right and Davidson will be on your left, cool?”
“Got you,” D-Ball replied. They waited out the funeral and finally, the recessional was under way. Little by little, the packed church moved past the two caskets to say their farewells. D-Ball leaned next to Keisha as they stood to the side. “When we walk out of here; you, Kamir and Manny stay behind me and Jamal.” He grabbed her hand and made her touch the small of his back where his gun was. “Pull my gun when you need it.” D-Ball said to her in a low voice. Keisha looked at him puzzled but then nodded her head. The Pall Bearers grabbed the caskets and began walking out of the church. Keisha’s heart was pounding in her chest. She stayed close behind D-Ball with Manny and her son at her side. Jamal walked ahead of them but close to D-Ball with Deisha and Maurice behind him. As they were walking down the stairs, Deisha looked around. She searched the crowd wildly for the man she saw in the church. By the time she saw him, it was too late.
“That’s him,” Deisha said to Jamal as she jerked on his arm. Another gunman came from the left and pulled his gun. Keisha pushed Manny and her son back with her left hand as she pulled the gun from D-Ball’s back with her right. D-Ball pulled his other gun and fired at the man in the all in one Dickie suit as Keisha fired at the one coming towards them. People screamed and started running, pushing to get out of the way. Jamal took two shots to his torso and fell back. D-Ball turned and fired at the other gunman as Davidson fired at him also. Manny grabbed his son and ran back inside of the church. The scene outside of the church was chaotic as people either fell or was knocked down while others pushed and shoved to keep from getting shot. More cops came and grabbed D-Ball and Keisha. Davidson ran over to Jamal to check him. He was almost in a panic hoping that nothing bad happened to Jamal. When he felt the bullet proof vest, he let out a sigh of relief. Jamal was disoriented as he tried opening the vest. It felt like there was too much pressure against his chest. He coughed as he took deep breaths.
“DEISHA!” Maurice called out.
Jamal looked over in their direction and scrambled towards them. Deisha lay on the steps unconscious but still breathing. A bullet hit her in her stomach. Jamal grabbed Maurice and pulled him back.
“I’ve gotta stay with her, man! I’ve gotta stay with her!” Maurice screamed as he struggled against Jamal.
“Listen to me! Listen to me, Maurice! Let the medics do their jobs. She’s going to be alright. Your sister and her son need you.” Jamal said firmly to Maurice. Maurice was trembling as he turned to look at Deisha. The medics were placing her on a gurney and putting her in the back of an ambulance.
“I’ve been where you are, Mar. But you’ve gotta keep a clear head for Deisha, for yourself and for your sister and her son.”
Manny came out of the church with his son in his arms. It took him a moment to calm Kamir down. Davidson was able to talk the police out of arresting Keisha and D-Ball since they both had a license to carry and his guns were registered. Keisha grabbed her son and felt all over his back, checking him to make sure he was okay.
“He’s good, I checked him.” Manny told her. Keisha fell into his arms and cried hysterically.
“They shot Deisha!!” She sobbed in his arms.
Manny held Keisha and looked over at D-Ball with his son. He looked at Jamal and Maurice and saw how distraught he was that Deisha had been shot. He was beyond pissed off and tired.
“Jamal,” Manny called over to him.
Jamal walked over to him and Keisha. “Yo.”
“Samir didn’t even have the fucking courtesy to let me bury my muthafucking mom and brother. He brought the bullshit to their funeral. To their funeral!! You tell that fucking cop he can either bring Samir in tonight or fish his fucking body outta Cobbs Creek tomorrow. He ain’t playing by any rules, why the fuck should we!?” Manny said furiously.
Jamal looked at Manny and Keisha but didn’t have the words to say. He knew Manny was right. He went back over to the cops to assist with the investigation and answer any necessary questions. When they were given the go ahead, Manny and his family headed over to Chelten Hills Cemetery to bury Kiree and Ms. Becky. Jamal and Maurice stayed behind so they could head over to the hospital to check on Deisha.
Maurice sat in a chair in the waiting room leaning on his knees with his hands to his head, shaking his leg. Jamal felt bad for him. He prayed that Deisha made it. He didn’t want Maurice to go through the same thing that he went through with Tamera.
They waited a little longer when finally a doctor came over to them. Maurice stood up. His heart was racing in his chest as he waited to hear what the doctor had to say.
“Ms. Brown was stabilized. It was touch and go for a moment, we almost lost her. The bullet is lodged in some muscular tissue and she had some internal bleeding. We were able to get that under control. She’ll be taken into surgery in the next ten minutes. Thankfully the bullet hasn’t traveled. Once we remove it and repair any damage, she should make a full recovery,” the doctor explained.
Maurice nodded his head and sat back down. Jamal sat next to him when the doctors left.
“She’s going to be okay,” Jamal told Maurice.
“You don’t know that,” Maurice said as he shook his head.
“No, I don’t know that. But I believe that she will be okay. And you need to, too. You have to stay positive for her. Trust me on this,” Jamal said to his friend. Maurice nodded and put his hands back to his head before leaning on his knees again. “I’ll be right back.”
Jamal left the waiting room and called Davidson.
“Davidson,” he answered after the second ring.
“You still think Samir can be taken down by the book?” Jamal asked into his phone, angrily. “Because today shows he doesn’t give a fuck. He attacked at a fucking funeral, my man!”
“I know Jamal, and I understand you’re upset. You should be upset. But we can’t just run around killing people because we think the world will be a better place without them. That’s not up to us to decide,” Davidson argued.
“You do what you gotta do. I’ma do what I gotta do. God bless my vest. Trying to do it your way could’ve gotten me killed today.” Jamal disconnected his call. He needed to move fast. Samir wasn’t waiting. He knew he couldn’t either....
Coming Summer 2013
I have noticed a trend with a lot of street fiction that is becoming appalling to me when it comes to portraying Black women. In too many of these stories, the roles are always the same; Black women who are trying to get ahead in life so they link up with the most successful hustler or baller so they can be taken care of; Black women who are setting our black men up for failure or to be killed; Black women who are struggling to survive and think the only way out is to either fuck their way to the top, strip or hustle. I once was told that literature is about writing what you know. But is that all that a lot of these authors know? Is that all that Black women in inner cities are seen as? Is that really what the imagination of a lot of authors have been limited to? Or is it a way to cash in on the drama and foolishness seen every day on Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and Cheaters? Whatever the reason is, I find it appalling and disgusting.
Black women are so much more than that. As I was going over my character details in all three of my books, "A Thug's Redemption", "A Thug's Redemption 2: Jamal's Return", and "Obsessive Intimacies", I was happy to see that I did not write my leading women in an exploitative fashion. Each and every one of the Black women in my novels were strong individuals with goals. They aspired for greatness and set out for such. They weren't the Ms. Independent that is misconstrued in today's society who believe they can make it without a man and spent their time tearing down the self-esteem of Black men while emasculating them, yet they did not allow themselves to be at their mercy either. They stood behind their men in my stories, had their backs, supported them and uplifted them as a Black woman should when it comes to sustaining a healthy relationship with a Black man. Some may say, "That's not realistic". I beg to differ. I have quite a few female friends who demonstrate these characteristics and that is the reason why their relationship will stand the tests of times. Kudos to Mrs. Quattlebaum.
I hope that my stories can motivate young Black women and show them that there are greater ways to get ahead in life and experience the finer things. I will never portray a Black woman in my stories as a needy, clingy chick with devious scandals and scams to get over in life (unless she learns the follies of her ways and turns her life around in the story and even then...probably not). There will never be a female in my story portrayed in any fashion as I described above because I know Black Women are so much better than that. If that is what readers are looking for, you have been forewarned that you will not find that kind of foolery in my books.Read More
Hello Readers! I know many of you are wondering when I am going to start doing Feature Friday again. I will start again very soon, I've just been a bit busy with promoting my book, spreading the word about my book and scheduling book signings. I miss doing the interviews and talking with people about their work. It's fun for me so I will be doing it again soon. Stay Tuned!!
I am so excited to be doing my very first book signing which will be tomorrow at The Marie Dendy Recreation Center in the North Philly section of the city. It is located at 1oth & Oxford streets and is an event that was created by an old childhood classmate of mine, Janelle Wright who was kind enough to invite me out to do the book signing. I'll have my camera with me and would love to take pictures with my current readers as well as my new readers. Though the event starts at 10am and is until 3pm, I will not be arriving until 12:30pm as I have class that morning. For those of you who ordered my book and would like for me to sign it, stop by and I will be happy to autograph it for you. And for readers who have not gotten the book yet, stop by and get your copy tomorrow.
For the most part, I have been pushing the Kindle version of my book as well as the other ebook formats, with the way technology has advanced over the last few years. I know for some, it is more convenient to read an ebook on their iphone, ipad, Android phone or tablet, Macbook or Laptop. I also am aware of people who are still like me and enjoy the feel of a book in their hands and would rather have the page turning experience verses the electronic one. You have not been forgotten about. A Thug's Redemption will be in Black & Nobel on Broad & Erie Avenues as well as Horizon Book Store in the Gallery Market East. You can also order directly through me using the paypal option on the purchase page to my website (shipping is free through that option). And if you would like the copy you order to be autograph, just send me a message through the contact form with what you would like me to say, and it will be done.
Most of you know I am working on sooo much right now. I've designed this website, I've been promoting my book on social networks, doing interviews and working on getting the word out about my book. I am also currently writing two other books at the same time and (dramatic pause) I'm working on launching my own PR business. I've had some very...strange experiences dealing with PR companies and I don't quite feel as though my needs were met. As the saying goes, when you want something done right you must do it yourself. So far it has been very fun speaking with people from different African American Magazines and newspapers such as Birmingham Times and Atlanta Voice and other places across the country and mostly all of the responses have been positive. Though there is a lot of hard work involved, I'm truly enjoying this experience and I'm very thankful to all of those who has been supporting me from when A Thug's Redemption was just a handwritten juvenile fantasy all the way up to now. PEACE!Read More